Thank You, for saving lives…



Currently, an emotional ad running on TV with cancer survivors and their families saying  “thank you” to all donors and contributors who funded the cancer research.  The ad was made simple with only a real cancer survivors telling their stories and sending their appreciation to the audiance. A very heart capturing ad emphasising the role of donors in saving lives.

The Ad was integrated with social media campaign that aims to engage people into conversation and encourage them to leave donations to the charity. Content in its own can be very touching, but engagement play a greater role in outreaching more people.



Get the most of your social event

My favourite video from the London Marathon is, hands down, this Parkinson’s UK video published on Facebook immediately after the run. It’s a moving, funny and captivating story told by a father and his daughter. And here is the effect of the post according to the third sector website:

“The video has been viewed over 41,000 times and has had a reach of 172.5k. They also saw a significant increase in donations to John’s fundraising page, which they attribute in part to this post. John had raised £4,750 before the post went out, and since the post has raised an extra £6,560 (not including gift aid)”

In the article, Kirsty Marrins shares few helpful insights based on how charities connected  with their fundraisers at London Marathon this year:

  1. Building up case studies based their runners to be shared on social media.
  2. Sending a personalised social content to their London Marathon runners
  3. Posting real time interviews and media
  4. Sharing post-event stats and information.

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.


Social media doesn’t always get you donations


While many are still betting on social media donation,  a recent study showed that social media campaigns do not always result in donation, especially for smaller charities.  The study is called Viral Altruism? Charitable Giving and Social Contagion in Online Networks” and it shows that people may share your campaigns online but do not donate!

Unethical fundraising is bad for everyone

The reports exposes the problem of unethical fundraising taking, in particular in this case how elderly and generally more vulnerable people were specifically targeted, and presented this negative finding together with the fact that some of the larger charities spent less than 50% of their budget on the cause. Charities defend themselves by stating that they have to account for expenses such as fundraising, supplies, charity shops etc.  The nonprofit industry in  the UK composes  of 80 billion pounds / 105 thousand charities, making in it a sector of a significant size that has to be better understood. Unethical practices and budget mismanagement hurt the whole intustry exponentially, as marketing of any sort is already – wrongly – considered somehow incompatible with charities work.  That’s why charity spending needs double the consideration and an intelligent scrutiny, meaning an unbiased monitoring that takes fully into account the needs of the organisations to function and grow. Implementing  a charity valuator system should be a must to ensure not just that the donor is protected, but that the sector as a whole is not damaged.