The holiday season is drawing near, and that means that many on-campus clubs are ramping up their efforts to fundraise for various causes. Oftentimes, this takes the form of sitting at tables and asking people for spare change. Unfortunately, college students are unlikely to be carrying substantial amounts of cash on their person. Even if they want to donate to your cause, they can’t without making a trip to the ATM. This can be worked around, however, with a combination of two things: EverRibbon and QR codes.

EverRibbon is a startup which allows you to collect credit card donations without having to set up a bank account. They manage the money (taking a 3.5% commission–not great, but not awful) and when your collection period is up they deposit your funds into your personal bank account or send you a check. If you’re raising funds for something that doesn’t allow you to donate directly (if, for example, you’re funding an on-campus event of some kind) then this allows you to collect credit card donations with relative ease and gives you a URL that you can promote on your various social networks.

If you’re donating to an established organization, of course, just link to their existing donation page and cut out the middle man. The important part is to find the direct URL to your recipient organization’s donation page–optimized for mobile phones, if possible.

The second part of the plan involves creating a QR code which links to your EverRibbon page or the donation page for the established organization. Next time someone at your table says that they don’t have any cash on them, show them the code and explain that they are able to donate online using a credit card, if they prefer. If they’re honest about wanting to donate, then they’ll follow through–make sure to hand them a copy of the QR code if they don’t do it at your table. If they’re not honest, you’ll at least have guilt tripped them a little bit.

If you’re looking to fundraise effectively, then you have to give students as many ways to donate as possible. Cash collections at tabling events, QR codes to get to your donation page, and a laptop on your table so students without smart phones can donate will all help you be the most effective fundraiser that you can be. Social media can actually help you do some good.