We live in very interesting times, times in which a charity can achieve outstanding results with less effort and money. The world is connecting at an enormous space, and connections are made based on shared values and passion and a common purpose, social media being the driving force behind these partnerships. Fundraising is no longer dominated by the main fundraising techniques Direct Mail, Telemarketing and Direct Dialogue, but online social network fundraising, crowdfunding, open innovation, facebook, eBay, SMS, Mobile giving, products and also services among others are at the disposal of every fundraiser to integrate and execute.
The fundraising income that will also grow significantly in the next years is that of companies. Companies are expected to become more social and contribute to society. This is not only required from the customer point of view but also to acquire the talent of today and tomorrow to make the business grow.
More and more companies are interested in cooperating with charities to create emotional relevant partnerships for everyone. It’s no coincidence that Some American Charities call themselves Emotion Providers.
Charities can benefit
Looking at these developments and you realize that charities are in exactly the right place to benefit from this paradigm shift and the world in which being authentic and honest really sells.
Being a fundraiser is the best job in the world if you know what the success factors are, and every charity big and small can become very successful, but they need to complete the transition from ‘transaction based thinking’ to ‘relationship based thinking’ only then can sustainable success be attained.
Stimulating and accelerating the transition
We have been actively stimulating charities to make use of the internet and partnerships since 1998 We are glad to see that in the 7 years that passed between our first Online Fundraising research and the 7th edition that will be published in March, that progress has been made but charities are missing out on many opportunities if they hesitate in making the transition.
Dare to innovate
More and more charities are measuring their marketing efforts and conversion from the visitors on their website, the level of interaction on their social media, the open rate of the E-letter etc..
Charities that focus more on improving the relationship with their relations from visitors, to subscribers, to donors and volunteers will be see an enormous boost of their fundraising performance. Every charity has competition, but the charity that seek dialogue, practice open innovation will benefit, not only in fundraising results but also in access to expertise and channels to accelerate even more their performance and purpose.
Direct dialogue can assist in improving relationships
Why not use direct dialogue to also improve the relationships with current and new relations, instead of pressuring people in committing to monthly giving. More and more people take a detour if they see a ‘DD’ team ahead. But “DD” can still be stay very successful, we have shared our solution already 4 years ago. In the beginning you have to fight against the created apathy of people but once they realize that the charity is sharing their experiences, their gratitude for support and what they wish to achieve in the future. People will receive a little booklet containing ‘special deals’ made with 5 companies (retail chains). These companies pay a fee to be mentioned in the booklet, and the teams are generating traffic to these stores that are in line of sight of the teams. People can support the charity in many ways, one of which is still the old and trusted monthly giving, the other – email address, sms, a facebook like that is worth 1 euro provided by a business partners, participate in events (a running event of which the charity will be the beneficiary; social network fundraising) and the buying of products and even services. In this way the presence of the teams will lead to meaningful relationships, and you will find more people willing to join such a team for small reward.
Facebook for acceleration
Facebook will lead to a large following, fundraising results if a charity shares, invites and co- creates with their facebook connections.
Social media is still very young and not yet very mature, charities can still make an enormous progress if they share their ambitions, be bold, keep everyone updated and make it happen.
We stimulate charities in making many ‘connections’ admin of the page or group and to invite ‘admins’ of other relevant facebook communities for a meeting to share experiences and become partners. The same goes for inviting facebook likes and friends to take part in the social media council for a period of one month or more…
Partnerships with companies
Companies will be willing to partner with charities more and more in the near future for mutual benefit. Charities should focus on coaching these companies in translating their social identity into emotionally relevant campaigns and joint promotions. So the ‘transaction’ should be postponed to the future so that the relationship gets room to grow. Each company can commit to a fundraising guarantee agreement in which the company will pay an certain amount after 6 months. In these time of economic decline this approach will lead to mutual beneficial partnerships.
In the Netherlands http://www.woordendaad.nl/ has a brilliant fundraising proposition for companies. They can contribute € 0,10 ct for every free click that a visitor on the website makes on the button ‘ Donate free’. If www.woordendaad.nl would pay even more attention to the conversion of the traffic this ‘donate free’ page generates for their partners, they could double the current revenue easily.
The American charity www.facebook.com/Weday has gone one step further, just like what http://6x6x6opreis.nl/ a fundraising campaign initiated by Getaway Travel in 2010, by adding a donation value to every like. WEday has used among others Dutch Television Ads to double the number of likes with 900,000 in just two weeks with each like being equal to $ 1`.
We will keep accelerating this transition, and advice and guide many charities who participate in The 100 program, towards the success that the transition will bring, if they are able and willing to make that transition.
If you wish to receive the 7th Online Fundraising Results than become a member of our LinkedIn group Online Fundraising for updates, downloads and for advice to accelerate your transition and success.