Bold is Beautiful

Researchers have found that “donors who feel engaged by a charity will donate 50% more annually than those who feel neutral about the cause they support“. Engagement includes any activity “that causes a supporter to invest in a charity  either cognitively, emotionally, and behaviourally”. Here is a campaign with an innovative and creative idea for activities to get the donors involved.

A campaign supported by the cosmetics brand “Benefits”, in partnership with two charities, Look Good Feel Better UK and Refuge, will take place on Sunday the 8th of May, with a march through the streets of London to raise funds, under the hashtag  #boldisbeautiful . Participants will be provided with t-shirts and a map signalling the special checkpoints across the city,  where they will be able to find different activities and rewards.


persuasive content a new drive for charities

The Guardian explores how a quality of ruthlessness was used in some famous slogans for important causes made to effectively make a deep impression and captured their attention and support. The article emphasises on the importance of considering emotions as the secret ingredient for the success of a campaign. Emotional content connects audience to the organisation’s ads and urges people into acting.

This brings me to Nathalie Nahai, a web psychologist and international speaker, keynote from last week #SEObrighton conference. Charities need to design  a persuasive toolkit that Nathalie  articulates in the three phases: grab, provoke, convert; transforming your audience in active participants (either buyers or donors) is just as essencial and requires just as planning as engaging your audience. To do so it’s important to understand the phycology of decision making: unsurprisingly, decision making to take action is an emotional process. ‘Trust’ is another factor which is important to consider while trying to get people to take an action, and to get your audience’s trust you need to establish a construct your message based on homophily, as people  get attracted to others who share the same values as them. Thus, for an effective communication demographic and psychographic research is essential.

CrowdRise and expense transparency

Last week, Lord Gus O’Donnell speaking at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) annual conference, emphasised the need to clarify for donors how the funds are being spent. Calling for transparency and embracing “the insights of behavioural approaches and focusing on raising our impact”. The donors’ demand for transparency is ever-growing, a trend only increased by online media, and it has been recognised at the NCVO as one of the main vehicles to success.

From the CrowdRise platform comes a good tip on how transparency, along with educating the donors about the overhead costs, can be translates in the little aspects connected to giving. The platform is a hub of great ideas for how to use technology for fundraising, and a great example of how really investing in the interface between charity and donor can produce exponential returns.

Edward Norton is the Hollywood face behind CrowdRise, which aims to help connecting people to causes through social media, facilitating and maximising the individual fundraising effort. CrowdRise tries to combine the more entertaining part of social networking with fundraising for charitable causes. One of their most famous features is the “giving tower”, an ambitious Virtual Reality experience, easily accessible through a free app, which showed during Giving Tuesday a tower made of “donations” growing amongst recognisable buildings, according to the number of donation received through the platform over the day. It is an innovative experiment of how online technology can be used not just as a communication tool but also as an entertainment device aimed to boost interest around the organisation.

On a smaller scale, but somehow of potentially greater impact and interest, is another interesting feature of CrowdRise website: once reached the checkout stage, the donor can opt to pay just the amount he decided to donate, or to also include the administrative fees. It’s a very little gimmick but effective in its simplicity, as it immediately shows the donor how charities are bound to credit card and service fees like any other business, and exactly in which proportion.


Fundraising: donors segmentation

The shift from traditional fundraising methods (telephone or direct mail) to digital platforms goes a more granular understanding of your donors. In the video Richard Craig, Technology Trust CEO, explains how he segmented the people to reach in as much as six different groups, to which he assigned individual media strategies using different networks. Social media platform allow to be smarter and more targeted in the way organisation can choose to communicate to their audience, but this requires a deeper understanding of how to define the different groups, and which platforms are more effective for each. Data such as age, gender, location, house cost, friends, likes are all collected to create a tailored engagement plan that can respond to the individual type of donor, and possibly even foster a one to one relationship.


Tips: Charity & Cybercrime


Lawrie Simanowitz, Partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite solicitors,  advices charities to “consider the implications of using Facebook and the risk that their data may be accessed without their knowledge”. In one of his cases, a fraudster penetrated the database of a charity  obtaining information on thousands of members. The charity didn’t tell their member about the incident and after a year, the charity started receiving complains and in process they lost many members.

Security is a concern for any digitalised organisation and charities unfortunately are not exempt, and they need to implement security measures to protect themselves and their trustees.

The video above is from the Charity Digital News and it gives some good advices for security measures that charity needs to take.

  1. Ask a professional: some organisations are struggling to grasp the basic requirements.
  2. Physical security: lock the cabinet, lock the access doors and don’t leave the computer open out of business hours.
  3. Implement an information security awareness program: conduct an IT and information security  indication awareness program before creating an account.
  4. User access: ensure all employee have a proper password policy and if they use organisation’s account on their mobile device, ensure those are also password protected.
  5. Keep an eye regularly on your firewall settings.
  6. Be aware of the various ways data can be leaked accidentally.
  7. In general, is not a lack of knowledge but a lack of good practice that usually leads to security breaches. People have to work in harmony with technology: online and IT technology, much like a car, is a complex tool that needs to be used with awareness.

The Story of #FindAzam

This video has been published 5 months ago, but the message it’s still somehow relevant. It is a story of hope for all of those who got separated from family, friends, loved ones because of any kind of natural calamity or humanitarian crises. The combination of simple tools, such an hashtag Twitter campaign to spread the word to those who can help reach the person who’s been lost, and the use of Facebook images to identify her/his location can be incredibly effective in such circumstances.

digital humanitarian network

Here is an interview with Patrick Meier, Co-Founder of the Digital Humanitarian Network, CrisisMappers, and the Humanitarian UAV Network. He explains how social media can be used for the humanitarian aid. The network is composed of technology savvy digital volunteers and their  role is mainly to make sense of big data. For example, the United Nation during the Nepal earthquake activated the Digital Humanitarian Network to carry out different missions, one of them was to scan the social media network for help/ urgent messages.

Volunteerism or tourism?


The video above from Reach out Volunteers shows you how volunteerism might be fun…

Barbie Savior   Instagram account that recently gained popularity and attracted followers with interest on the  volunteer work abroad, depicts a behaviour of some volunteers during their travels in third world countries which raises moral questions: taking pictures with poor children, teaching them without proper qualifications are all common examples of how volunteers underestimate the seriousness of the mission. Barbie Savior satirically pictures volunteers as barbie dolls wondering around for self pleasure instead of focusing on the mission or actually helping people. The account shed some light on charity action abroad, by enlightening the trustees it pushes them to question their organisation’s volunteerism action. Another aspect that the account exhibits is the power of social media either in educating or making people aware, and helping organisation to catch up with their act before reaching more serious consequences .



A cause related campaign from Chevrolet has just kicked in. It’s not a random act of kindness without reward, it’s a planned marketing campaign to appeal to the conscious    consumer. It’s a partnership mutually beneficial, Chevrolet will attract  different consumers and One World Play Project will  earn visibility.  Social media offer an unprecedented opportunity to size profitable partnerships like this for charities.

shocking or emotive Charity advertising


The charity advertising has become saturated  with emotive and shocking advertisement as being “emotive often makes it easier for charities to justify advertising spends, and avoid the hit/miss risk of fun or amusing advert”. Some marketing experts suggested the use of soft advertising that helps in building the image of the brand instead of  selling it.  While shocking people might seem sometime the quick solution, long term plans to gain your audience’s favour, to make them learn about your cause, can sometime bring better results in actually engaging supporters. In any case, the most important rule to remember is to think how to tell your story.