Frequently Asked Questions
What is Root Funding?
Root Funding is an online fundraising service that provides the supporters of a non-profit with the ability to create and manage their own independent fundraising campaigns. These supporters create personalized fundraising pages on our site from which they effortlessly send email and social networking notifications to their network of friends, family and co-workers, telling them about the fundraising activity that they are engaged in. Recipients of these notifications can hit a link that will take them to the fundraising page, where an online donation can be processed.
Why is Root Funding such a powerful fundraising tool?
The critical advantage that Root Funding provides is as follows: The chances of a person making a donation to a cause when asked by somebody they know and trust, even if it is to a cause that they know little about, will be significantly better than if that same potential donor was approached by the non-profit itself.
When a person is asked by a friend or family member to consider supporting a cause, people will be inclined to give because they want to support the efforts of that person, and the organization itself is often not the primary driver of the decision to give or not.
We already collect donations online. Why do I need Root Funding?
Root Funding is much more than an online donation page. We provide the supporters of a non-profit with email and social networking tools to get the word out regarding their fundraising activity in a very quick and effective manner. They can customize their page, track donation activity online, and maintain control over the entire process. If the same person merely sent out links to the non-profit's donation page, there would be no accountability. Neither the fundraiser nor the potential donors would get feedback concerning the effectiveness of the campaign, and there would be no collaborative grassroots feel, which is critical in gaining momentum for the project.
How do we get the funds?
Root Funding collects the funds through online credit card transactions, and then forwards the proceeds to the non-profits on a monthly basis.
How will our supporters know to set up fundraising pages?
While our website can always be found using standard search engines, we encourage the non-profits that use our service to take a much more proactive approach. Immediately upon making the decision to use our site, the non-profit is encouraged to send out an initial notification, using any communication methods available (email, social networking, direct mail, word of mouth, etc.), to all of their supporters to tell them about this fundraising service. If the notifications are electronic, a link will be included that will take the recipient back to our website, and a fundraising creation page will be open that will be defaulted with the non-profit’s information. From that point, it will literally take a few minutes for the supporter to have a page created, and notifications sent to their circle of family and friends telling them about their fundraising activity.
What tools are available to non-profits that will help them monitor their revenue growth?
Non-profits can designate administrators who can then access their secure Non-Profit profile. This section will provide valuable information such as:
We would love to receive regular monthly donations from our supporters, but this has always been very difficult. What is different about the Root Funding approach?
We strongly believe that unless a fixed amount of money is targeted by a campaign for a specific purpose, then recurring monthly donations should be the primary focus of most campaigns. Creating a predictable and diverse donation stream will help a non-profit with their financial planning. By providing our fundraisers with the ability to effortlessly reach out to large groups of people, they only need to collect small monthly amounts from each person to make a significant impact. The goal is to ask their network of friends and family to consider giving a monthly amount that is set low enough that the donation will have no measurable impact on each of their lives, but when these many small donations are added up, they combine to make a significant recurring revenue stream.
How long does it take to create a fundraising page?
Minutes. We have taken great care to make the page creation process as easy and quick as possible.
Once I create my fundraising page, can I edit it?
Yes. You can open your fundraising page in edit mode from your Profile page. Additionally, when you are viewing your page online, because you are the creator of that page, the website will display a button that will allow you to open the page in edit mode as well.
I want to raise money for a certain non-profit organization, but I cannot find it when doing a search on your website. What is my next step?
You can either send us the information about the non-profit, and we will gladly contact them on your behalf, or you can reach out to this organization, and encourage them to contact us so we can enroll them in our service.
How can a fundraiser track activity associated with their campaigns?
Each fundraiser has their own personal Profile page that contains information about their campaigns, as well as their own donation activity. Each fundraising page will give progress statistics as well.
Does it cost anything to create a fundraising page?
No. You can create as many fundraising pages as you like for as many non-profits that you wish to support.
Does Root Funding provide photos for me to use to include on my fundraising page?
Yes. We provide our own selection of photos. Additionally, non-profits are encouraged to provide their own photos and videos. When fundraisers create a page, they can either use the non-profits’ media, use Root Funding photos, or load their own content.
When would I want to create a fundraising page that focuses on raising one-time donations, rather than setting up to generate recurring monthly donations?
It is a good idea to structure a fundraising campaign to hit a predetermined goal when the non-profit that you are supporting has a project that has a specific fundraising need. Whether it is for something large, such as adding or fixing infrastructure, or just buying books for a library or funding a school play, a one-time donation strategy is the right way to go.
If, however, the goal is to provide general operating support to the non-profit, then taking the recurring approach, where many people are asked to give modest and repeating donations, will provide tremendous value to a non-profit. Potential donors should be encouraged to give whatever they can, as no amount is too small.
If my fundraising page is encouraging monthly donations, can donors still give one-time contributions?
Absolutely. Donations of any size and frequency are always welcome, regardless of the structure of the campaign.
Can donors track their donation activity?
Yes. When a person makes a donation, our website will automatically create an account for this individual. The donor can return and log into our site in order to track all activity. If this donor decides to become a fundraiser, this will be trackable from the profile page as well.
How do I know that the non-profit will use the money properly?
Root Funding makes no guarantees regarding the nature of any of the organizations that are listed on our site. It is the responsibility of the fundraisers and donors to make sure that they are helping legitimate organizations, and that the donations are used in an appropriate manner.
Will I get a tax deduction receipt?
Root Funding does not monitor the tax status of the non-profits on our site. All donors will get an email after a donation is processed. This email will verify that a donation to a particular organization was made on a certain date for a specified amount. The email will state that if the receiving organization is qualified to receive tax deductible donations, then the email itself can be used as a receipt. In many cases, the non-profit will issue their own receipts.
What is a ‘Branch Campaign’?
Oftentimes, donors to a campaign are so inspired by either the fundraiser or the non-profit itself, that they want to do more than just merely contribute money. In such cases, an individual can create a campaign that is linked to the original fundraising page. This is called a Branch Campaign. Setting up a Branch Campaign is very easy and quick. The total donations raised through branch campaigns will roll up to the parent campaign, so the original fundraiser can see the total results, both direct and indirect, of his/her fundraising efforts. This is where a fundraising campaign can really take off, for networks of people that have no direct ties to the original fundraiser will receive word of his/her fundraising efforts, and donations will be received from groups of people that were never originally considered.
What is ‘Spread the Word’?
Spreading the Word is very similar to a Branch Campaign, except the visitor does not actually set up a campaign, but simply forwards the link to the fundraising page to his network of friends and family. The effect is similar, as many additional people outside the fundraiser's circle of contacts are now given the opportunity to donate.
I am always hesitant to use my credit card on the internet. Is the site secure?
Yes. Root Funding encrypts all credit card information using an SSL issued by Trustwave, a leading provider of internet security solutions. We do not store any credit card data; rather, we send this encrypted data to Authorize.Net, which is a world class, PCI compliant online credit card processing company.