Laughter, tears, and a whole lot of celebration

Monday, April 27th, 2020

On Tuesday, a group of over 600 fundraisers joined together to celebrate fundraising and share in the love for the sector, for our first ever virtual I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) with SOFII. There were some tears, a load of support, a ton of clapping emojis, and even the appearance of goats…

This year’s IWITOT felt even more special than the previous years, as it was held at a time when the charity sector feels very uncertain amidst a crisis that is forcing us all to be apart. That didn’t stop fundraisers from all over the globe getting involved to listen to speakers pitch their favourite fundraising campaigns in a bid to win the IWITOT 2020 title. And what a range of incredible campaigns they were… from Moses and the Tabernacle, to Queer Proms beating bigots; corporate partnerships bringing tears and changing lives; a Blue Peter totaliser childhood memory; goats as attendees at your company Zoom meetings; and a host of other inspiring and interesting fundraising examples. 

With every new speaker that took the virtual stage came an inspiring campaign and a unique take on why it deserved to be crowned the winner. The great talks kept coming, and in what seemed like only a few minutes, all 17 speakers had put on a great show. It was hard to know who was going to win, so we left everyone to cast their votes and waited to see the result. It was a close call, but the winner is:

 

Megan Townshend with her talk on the Choose Love Christmas pop up store!

 

We managed to raise over £15,000 for SOFII so they can keep doing great work for the sector, and are so grateful to everyone who came and joined us, and to all the incredible speakers who took part. A special thanks definitely goes to our 2 fabulous hosts Camille (last year’s IWITOT winner) and Joe (representing SOFII) – who kept things going and even managed outfit changes – it was just like the Oscars! 

As with every year, we’re so happy and proud of IWITOT and all it does, and that it brings everyone together to celebrate success. It is so uplifting, and we’re pretty sure that the virtual part is here to stay – hopefully alongside the live event returning soon! 

 

If you missed IWITOT, you can still catch up and watch the whole show here: https://sofii.org/iwitot/i-wish-id-thought-of-that-london-2020

Please note, you will no longer be able to vote. 


Celebrating fundraisers ‘together’

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

It’s that time of year when I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) returns, to celebrate fundraising excellence and to pitch speakers against each other to present their views on the best fundraising campaigns. IWITOT celebrates all the great stuff out there that our colleagues have done, and supports the sector in continuing to grow and develop – both with ideas and with the much-needed funds it brings in.

And this year we decided to take it virtual, which, as it turns out, was the right decision! We were already excited to try this event on an online platform, as we knew it would bring together a global audience, giving even more perspectives in one ‘room’ and spreading the learnings of the sector much wider. It is the way forward. 

With the new coronavirus restrictions in place, coming together online is now even more important. We need these stories of great fundraising more than ever, and time to celebrate and take stock of the amazing work the sector does. And we can draw inspiration, give ourselves some relief and joy, and remind us all why we work in fundraising. It will also allow us all to feel connected and part of a huge community when we are siloed at home. 

Plus, virtual events in this format stops you being restricted by specific timings – if you’re a bit late, just join when you’re ready and no one will be turning round to see the late comers enter! Or, if something comes up and you can’t attend that day, you will receive a recording to watch back later. Of course, it’s not quite the same as being there in the moment, but it’s a good second option. 

Our hope for the virtual IWITOT remains the same as when we first set out to do it – to bring together fundraisers from across the world to celebrate success and support the sector, and probably to have a few laughs along the way!

IWITOT is taking place on Tuesday 21 April. Join us and a host of fundraisers from across the globe – get your ticket now! 


Why Facebook Donate matters

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Back in March I spent the week helping the digital team of Open with the ACLU Stand For Rights telethon.

 

Before I logged into Facebook that night I hesitated. It was the first telethon held on Facebook Live. Tom Hanks was presenting. Everybody was excited. But I wasn’t convinced.

 

If there’s one thing my digital roles have taught me, it’s that when everyone else gets excited, you should get realistic. When everyone else is amazed, you should be critically evaluating whether or not this technological triumph / creative concept / viral video / hyperbolic headline is going to lower your cost-per-acquisition.

 

But after another few seconds, I gave into the impulse to open Facebook and this is what I saw:

 

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My skepticism remained in-tact. Yes, 449 people had donated, but they had Alec Baldwin and Usher talking about a cause which could not be more topical.

 

It was entertaining and seeing other people’s donations and comments racking up was alluring, but I didn’t see how this was going to change the fundraising-game… until I hit the Donate button any my eyes bulged slightly, at this sight:

 

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This was the entire donation process.

 

The effort required from a user (who albeit had given before on Facebook) was two thumb-taps.

 

Tap. Tap. Thanks for donating Adrian.

 

I stared at the Thank You screen for several minutes and arrived at the conclusion that this was going to reduce the cost of recruiting a new donor on Facebook by 50-80%. Why? Two reasons:

 

1) People don’t go “on Facebook” to leave Facebook

 

Every social campaign I’ve ever run has reminded of this infuriating truth. Facebook is a break from reality, a self-contained browsing experience. Even people who are engaged in a cause, don’t want to leave the social party to come hang out on a boring charity website. And that’s why conversion rates from Facebook are so low.

 

2) People let themselves off the hook if a donation process is complex

 

Giving your money to a charity isn’t like booking your holiday with Easyjet. If it’s a pain, you’ll just give up because there’s no carrot to motivate you. And better still, you can tell yourself you’re still a good person… at least you tried. Most charity donation forms involve over 100 thumb taps on mobile… by making the process 98% shorter, you can’t let yourself off the hook.

 

When I went back to Facebook Live and saw my name appearing beside the other donors. I was buzzing. It was so easy and yet, I felt like Tom and I were making a difference.

 

And then… I really got it.

 

This event made donating to charity a live and pleasant experience, which is what people in their twenties and thirties want. They don’t mind parting with cash, as long as there’s an experience and it involves them.

 

As a result, over $500,000 were donated in a few hours.

 

Forget SnapChat. Forget Twitter. Give some thought to how you can use the Facebook Donate Button. It already fundraised $6.8 million for other US charities on Giving Tuesday and now it’s here in the UK.

 

Adrian

Digital Media Strategist