There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has changed our world. Many organizations are now looking at alternate means of raising money for their programs, or heaven forbid, closing their doors altogether. But for some organizations there may be a means of raising funds using the increase in Internet shopping.
This means of raising money may have not been something that organizations would have considered or something organizations knew nothing about.
What I’m referring to is affiliate marketing. What this type of marketing does is, it gives the opportunity for anyone with a web site or blog to place links to retail companies and in turn those companies pay out commissions on any sales (excluding refunds) through those links or banners. The industry pioneer in this type of marketing is Amazon. They have been running an affiliate program for years (called Amazon associates). They certainly are not the only company doing this, in fact there are thousands of well known retailers using this to make sales online.
1. The first option as I have just mentioned above is to place links on your web site to companies that you think your supporters would use to shop online. Third party affiliate companies that handle the affiliate programs for retail companies such as Shareasale manage affiliate programs for thousands of companies. Signing up is free and once signed up you would then search their database of companies and choose the ones you would like to promote. Once approved by the companies you have chosen and applied to, you would then be given a choice of banner, text and product links you can place on your site.
If anyone clicks on one of those links and makes a purchase, you earn a commission (except if a refund is given). Commissions are paid out normally every thirty days or after the refund deadline passes.
The great thing is that the person shopping pays no extra and gets the same discounts, sales or pays the same price as anyone else, and you earn a commission. Commissions vary from company to company but average between 5% and 10% per sale.
As well as an affiliate you do not represent the company, you do not have to stock products or answer questions, this is all done by the retailers themselves.
2. If you run a program to make money such as making products or providing services you can run your own affiliate program. Again companies such as Shareasale offer options for merchants to run their own programs. They will set up your account where you can add banners, text links or product links. The exciting part of this is that there are thousands of people online with web sites and blogs looking for great products to sell on their sites. These people are called affiliates.
Let’s say your organization has a furniture making workshop and you would like to sell more furniture. Let’s say John has a blog where he writes about woodworking and has a fairly large following online. He comes to the Shareasale site and sees your organization listed and likes the products you have. He then takes a banner and text link and places it on his site. Every follower that comes to his site to read his latest blog will see your banner or text link, or he has a large mailing list and sends out a weekly newsletter praising your products. That is the power of affiliate marketing.
3 Your organization can simply join our site for free and have hundreds of retailers that your supporters can choose from, and we are adding new retailers every day.
Here is a drop down list (not clickable) of retailers to date:
All you have to do is spread the word to your supporters. We pay out 80% of the commissions earned. It’s easy, there’s nothing for you to do other than promote it. Your organization will go on the Provincial or State page so anyone really can choose your organization when they use the site. There is no registration or email required for your supporters to use the site. All dealing are done with the retail company just like any other online transaction.
Affiliate marketing may not have been something that non profit organization would have looked at for raising funds in the past but our changing world is making organizations think outside the box. It’s definitely worth the look if you are looking at other means of raising donations.