One of the simplest ways to start earning passive income right away is to request donations. Just invite people to give you money.
19-02 The Kindness of Strangers
In rare situations donations can really take off. Consider the recent case of Karen Klein, the New York bus monitor who was filmed being bullied by students on the bus. A guy named Max Sidorov started a campaign to raise money for her to take a vacation, via the site Indiegogo, with a goal of raising £5000.
As the abuse video went viral, racking up millions of views on YouTube, and news of this campaign spread, donation pledges came pouring in. Last time I checked, Karen’s donations were well in excess of £700,000.
On top of that, someone started an Indiegogo campaign to raise some “love money” for Max as well, perhaps to reward him for coming up with the idea. The initial goal was to raise £2500 for Max, and that campaign is already past £4400.
Before this is over, Karen Klein could very well be a millionaire. And she didn’t even ask for this.
Apparently Karen’s normal salary as a bus monitor was £15K per year. At the rate her donations are increasing, she’s probably earning a year’s salary in a few hours now.
19-03 Ask and It Is Given
My results with donations are nowhere near as explosive as Karen’s, but I do invite and accept donations as one of many passive income streams. Donations are one of my smallest streams, but they can add up over time, and this stream is very easy to maintain.
If you already have a website that provides some decent value for free, I encourage you to at least try putting up a donations link and see what happens. If at least a few people want to pay you back in some small way, why not make it easy for them?
19-04 Effectiveness of Donations
Donations help, but I wouldn’t suggest basing your entire income strategy around donations unless you’re creating a non-profit enterprise and you have someone in charge of fundraising, or if you have a truly massive audience like Wikipedia. For a normal web business, donations can provide a nice little income stream, but I wouldn’t count on them to cover all of your expenses.
On the other hand, if you have the ability to create a major viral campaign around your fundraising efforts then a donation-centric strategy may be worth a try.
If you want to start generating some passive income, meet the universe halfway. Ask!
Our goal is to find multiple income streams, and the more passive the better.