prologue: this is really long - sorry! I wrote one reply, then reread your message and took it another way, but decided to leave the first reply anyway in case it is of any help, and have followed it with reply number two. hope something here is a little helpful!
a few questions, first:
are you volunteering, or is the university paying you or are you to be paid out of the funds raised?
is the outreach that you or anyone you hire are planning to do solely online, or online and in print, or online and in print and in person (by speaking or organizing events?)
what will your affiliation with the university look like? are you an employee, or a volunteer, or a helping hand that directs donors their way?
writing out the answers to those questions might help you get the start of your proposal on paper, and if you feel like sharing said answers here, I bet you can get lots more input.
in the meantime, you might try googling "social entrepreunuer" and "community business" for some inspiring reads - there you will be able to link into a whole field of people who are looking to good, be socially responsible and address social issues using a business model rather than the NPO/NGO and philanthropy model. this might not be quite the model that you have in mind, but as the field is pretty hot and emerging and widely spread across a number of fields, you may stuble across something that helps you on your way or sparks a helpful thought. a lot of it uses technology and online stuffs and social networking and the like, so that aspect at least ought to be relevant to you.
dh and I are in the process of starting up a community development/rural revitalization community business sort of thing at the moment, and I can relate to your excitement and the wonderful feeling of being suddenly on the right path.
ps (this is reply number two) - am rereading your post, and think maybe you have answered some of the questions I mentioned above - I gather you are looking to be a volunteer who runs a website to attract donors and direct their funds to the university - correct? Writing out the proposal will probably move you along in your plans - there is nothing like getting your thoughts on paper to see the next step.
The way I see it, you start working on getting the idea approved (write the proposal) then you start gathering together the resources to write the page, then you start writing and organizing it and while you are doing that you read up on writing for an internet audience. There is something called search engine optimization (SEO
) that is all about how to get people to find your webpage. Read up on that (but be aware that a lot of it will be commercially slanted, which may put you off, but it doesn`t matter much, because really all anyone wants, whether they are selling something or sharing info, is for people to find their site) and put some of what you learn into practice in your writing. The choice of a webhost is of course important, but not a hugely complicated decision - google the name of any companies you are considering and see what people have to say, or start a thread here asking for recommendations.
(dunno if the writing of the proposal is a stumbling block for you, but here are some thoughts on the matter if it is)
I would begin the proposal by introducing yourself briefly (I am so and so, and passionate about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders because....), then move on to say "I am creating a website dedicated to raising awareness on this topic and will be incorporating an opportunity for readers to donate funds to further research. With your approval, I intend to connect my readers to the ABC University FASD Fund."
And then, use the rest of the proposal to outline the contents of the website. For instance:
Visitors to the website will be greated with a welcome page including a blog meant to keep readers up to date with the latest FASD research and links informational pages. These informational pages will provide readers with detailed information about FASD and its effects, and will cover the following subjects: (bulleted list detailing some of the subjects you plan to cover).
Following this, you might mention the people/agencies/resources you plan to rely on to give your site credibility ("As I put together this website, I will be consulting with Dr So and So, The FASD Foundation and The Society for FASD Research.")
Close with a statement like "I truly believe that the ABC University FASD Fund is making groundbreaking progress on FASD issues, and hope that I can become a part of this effort. I look forward to your input/reply.
Sign out with "Regards" or whatever you like and feel good about doing good things!
Since you are beginning with an email, try to keep it all down to one, or at most, two pages.
sorry for the really, really long reply and I hope something here was useful!