Month: August 2014

Is December 3rd the new Christmas for Charities

 

                          This year our marketing/communications team wanted to participate in #GivingTuesday. More specifically they wanted to attempt an on-line campaign or appeal to raise funds which would primarily utilize our social media to promote the opportunity to give. According to Craig Newmark (2014) there was a 90% increase in online giving on #GivingTuesday between 2012 and 2013. It seems that charities might be on to something. Is it possible to leverage off of the awareness about the most commercial day in North America, Black Friday to make Dec 3rd the most philanthropic day in North America?  Many nonprofit leaders think so.  Newmark (2014) describes #GivingTuesday in the following manner;” #GivingTuesday is an online annual crowdfunding day that changes the conversation and the hype around Black Friday to raise money around the holidays.”  In general when our staff proposed that we participate, I was all for it. On-line appeals and peer- to peer fundraising have continued to be more successful for us each year, and it seems that the more we try new things in this area, the more we learn about what resonates with our supporters.

                       “Crowdfunding raised an estimated $5.1B worldwide in 2013 and peer-to peer nonprofit fundraising is exploding (Newmark, 2014).”  Changing media and the way we interact with that media is making approaches such as crowdfunding and peer to peer much more versatile and effective for charities.  VanDeCarr (2014) describes;” It’s the new media paradigm: Passive TV viewers are being replaced by new generations of engaged web users who can easily comment on news stories, share videos on YouTube, and donate to Kickstarter campaigns to fund social-justice documentaries. And why wouldn’t they? It’s fun to create media and get involved in a cause.” I personally have been a big fan of our own P2P efforts. The first year we added a P2P component to our 5k/10K run our participants raised an extra $15,000 for the event. Last year at the same event our participants added $200,000 to our event total by asking their friends and family members to pledge them. It is rapidly becoming a tool that when added to one of our traditional fundraising events can significantly increase the events ROI. Having our participants enlist their own networks in supporting our cause allows people who we might not necessarily normally have reached to become aware of our mission as well as the fact that we need financial support. Some critics of P2P fundraising would suggest that someone who makes a pledge is not doing so because they are interested in your cause but they instead want to support your friend who is running your race. There may be some truth to this notion, however it affords a charity to at very least share their case for support and their mission to many new contacts and sure enough so of these contacts do become repeat supporters. Creating material or tools that help your most interested and engaged supporters to raise awareness and financial support for your charity couldn’t be a bad idea could it? It is however important to consider that to be effective in this type of fundraising an organization does need to invest in planning and some trial and error. Be prepared to learn from your efforts and trials and do not expect to swing for the fences on your first attempts. Scott Chisholm (retrieved from Newmark’s infographic) suggests;” Nonprofits who raise the most money via crowdfunding understand that online fundraising does not succeed by itself and they are thoughtful about the outreach and marketing activities they need to perform in order to drive long term success. They have engaged supporters that care deeply about the organization and its mission.” I think what Chisholm is trying to say is crowd fundraising or peer to peer fundraising efforts (or tools) don’t stand alone. You have to consider and plan for these campaigns in concert with your other visibility and awareness building strategies.

 

 

References

Newmark, C (2014) Cracking the crowdfunding code; Infographic as retrieved from:   

          http://craigconnects.org/crowdfundinginfographic

VanDeCarr,P (2014) Reaching New Audiences Through Storytelling; Philanthropy.Com as retrieved from:

          http://philanthropy.com/article/Reaching-New-Audiences-Through/147443/