In case you haven’t heard, Ammado is set to be the next big thing in online fundraising. Well, outside of the US and Canada anyway.

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Ammado is a social network just like Facebook or MySpace, but whose primary focus is to empower people and nonprofits worldwide to fundraise and donate online. One of the reasons it’s going to be big is that the Facebook’s Causes app, which has been instrumental in raising funds and awareness for thousands of charitable organisations, is only available to organisations registered in the US and Canada. Considering that 70% of Facebook’s users are outside of the United States and that most of its growth is occuring internationally, Ammado’s option for charities worldwide to receive donations via its Facebook widget is a big draw.

Ammado was founded as a mission-based, for-profit enterprise, in Dublin in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Peter Conlon and Dr. Anna Kupka. They travelled the world for three years meeting with over 1,500 companies and nonprofits to understand their needs and challenges in harnessing social media for social good.

The site was launched in June 2008 and is available in 12 languages (Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, traditional and simplified Chinese) connecting individuals from 130 countries and over 4,000 nonprofit organisations worldwide. Individuals and nonprofits can join Ammado for free and all you need is your email address.

In addition to online donation capabilities, they offer ‘Giving Circles‘, a programme of giving directly, giving vouchers, eployee donations and Facebook widgets, which can be used in conjunction with each other to create a complete fundraising campaign. In fact, Ammado accepts and distributes donations (via wire transfer) in 31 currencies, opening up a huge opportunity for chairties to widen their donor base.

Nonprofit Tech 2.0 has a good write up of the implications of Ammado here, including a step by step guide of how charitable organisations worldwide can get started on Ammado:

  1. Nonprofits that want to use Ammado must read and agree to their Nonprofit Recognition Policy and then sign up to be added to their database of nonprofits. Ammado has staff dedicated to vetting nonprofits and researching their legal status. This vetting includes checking registration with proper authorities, reviewing of websites, calls or inquiries, personal referrals, etc.
  2. After your nonprofit is approved, you then create a profile. You can add a summary of your organisation, photos, post news and articles, join/create communities, etc.
  3. Once your profile is up and running, you can then apply to accept online donations by clicking the “Apply for Donations” button on your Ammado profile. Donations are accepted in 20 formats (Visa, AMEX, PayPal, Diners Club, JCB, Carte Bancaire, etc.) and the processing fee of 5% is used to cover donation processing fees. Nonprofits are responsible for wire transfer fees. See their Giving Policy for more information.

Ammado also provides some excellent fundraising tools to both individuals and organisations, much of it based on peer-to-peer fundraising like those that the Facebook Causes app uses:

  • Ammado Giving Circle Widget – They also offer giving vouchers and giving widgets which can be embedded on blogs and Web sites by both your nonprofit and your supporters.
  • Corporate Giving – There’s also an interesting corporate giving component that no other social networking site has addressed. There’s a lot of potential there for large donations and corporate social responsibility Web 2.0 style.

Overall, it’s a great opportunity for charities worldwide to widen their donor base and use the power of online fundraising to generate furthe rincome from new donors. Together with it’s intuitive interface, slick widgets, and customisable organisation profiles, it’s a platform that you should be taking a look at closely and to widen your organisation’s own ‘giving circles’.

Find out more about Ammado at www.ammado.com