Open Fundraising

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I’ve read a lot recently about the growth of the ‘sharing economy’.

 

The principle is simple: there are loads of people out there who need a little help – and plenty who want to give them a hand. They just need a little matchmaking.

 

Websites that do just this have been popping up left right and centre – like Couchsurfing where you can rent or let your spare bedroom, Liftshare where you can find a commuting buddy and Zopa (which has been going for a while but has become a lot more popular recently) where you lend or borrow money without a bank getting in the way.

 

And there are two in particular – skratch my back and impossible – that really got me thinking.

 

They don’t just help you save money, they’re a way of fulfilling the basic human need to connect to other people meaningfully.

 

The organisations in this marketplace that are experiencing rapid growth (and grabbing all the media attention) are the ones that put this need first.

 

And it’s not just start-ups. Big brands are at it too – Coke is getting us all involved in telling its story and Nike’s Fuelband is getting us all training together.

 

So what can we fundraising types learn from this?

 

Well, it’s a reminder that the organisations we represent are not the most important thing – donors and beneficiaries are. And it’s our job to connect them.

 

The technology is there to make that happen.  Whatever your cause or wherever you operate, mobile and social apps make it simple.

 

Have a think about it. What are you doing to introduce your donors to each other? They’ve got a shared interest after all. They might like each other.

 

Are you offering both donors and beneficiaries chances to share their stories? Ask them. They’ll share and everyone will feel a bit closer.

 

It doesn’t have to be hard. Social networks aren’t just for the digital team, they’re tools for your donor stewardship programme too.

 

Mark

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On Wednesday night I went to the DMA Awards and shared a table with some lovely people from Friends of the Earth, Bluefrog and Listen. Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign, which we all worked on was nominated in two categories.

 

Sadly we didn’t win a Gold, but we did get Silver in the Charity section. Which was ace.

 

We all had a lovely time and we’re all determined to make the Bee Cause campaign bigger and better over the next year. So watch this space.

 

And we’re really chuffed for UNICEF who were also there and picked up a Gold!

 

Paul de Gregorio

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We can’t stand industry awards. Until we win them, of course. Then we love them. Especially when our partners enter them for us and we don’t have to fill in those massive forms.

 

So we are very, very happy that last night we picked up Mobile Marketing’s award for best charity thing (the thing in question being Mobilise).

 

Unfortunately, in doing so we beat Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign which we were a proud part of. But they were very gracious in defeat and vowed that next year they’d kick our asses – hopefully with our help.

 

As you can see from the picture, we shared the award with the lovely people of Open Market who have done a great job of building and aggregating the most stable, reliable, flexible and fully-featured PSMS regular giving system ever. So a big thank you to them from all of us.

 

Anyway, today is a day of celebration, hangovers and pizza. Happy Friday Everyone.

 

James