The Choice Isn’t Yours

Friday, May 24th, 2019

Have you recently joined a gym? Changed your mobile network? Moved your bank account? Subscribed to anything in a box or on a screen?

If you have, my bet is that you were offered a great deal of choice and control. You can cancel when you want, take a break, upgrade, downgrade, whatever you like – you’re the boss.

You’ll probably have also been made to feel part of a community – welcomed, listened to and encouraged to share. It might have been a bit cheesy, but the message will have been consistent. You’re in charge – and we’re here to help.

Don’t believe me? Check out Monzo, GiffGaff, PureGym, Netflix, Pact Coffee and countless others. And this isn’t just about disruptive startups. Established brands are falling over themselves to follow the model that is becoming the new normal.

But what are we in the charity world doing about this? What choice and control are we giving?

Last week I was stopped by a face-to-face fundraiser. He was brilliant – motivated, passionate and engaging. But when we got to the point of money changing hands, he only had monthly giving to offer.

My ‘choice’ was more of a mutually embarrassing negotiation which started at £25, and was only ever going downwards. I offered to give cash. I asked about events. But as you’ve probably guessed, it was the charity’s way or the highway when it came to how I was going to help them change the world.

At the risk of seeming sadistic, I also asked my new friend whether I could control my monthly gift – to give a little less or not at all, if circumstances dictated it. His shoulders sagged even further.

Of course, this isn’t specific to a channel. This is about the offer. And the fact is, until we start giving our donors the choice and control that they expect in pretty much every other area of their lives, we will continue to leave money on the table – and miss the chance to engage with good people who want to help.

This is what we’re trying to do at Open right now – strategically, technically and creatively. We’d love to meet you, and tell you all about it.

But that’s entirely up to you.

Tim

 

 


Catch up with PDG at this year’s IFC…

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

A few weeks ago I sat in a room at Amnesty International’s office near Exmouth Market and attended my first IFC Advisory Panel meeting. I’d been asked to join the panel to help shape the theme, content and direction of IFC 2018. It’s a real privilege to join that group and I hope I will do a good job. If you have any ideas or opinions about the conference you’d like to share with me – drop me an email with IFC in the subject line.

 

It won’t be long to this year’s conference. It runs from the 16th to 21st October in a wonderful location in Holland.

 

I’m running a masterclass with Jo Wolfe this year. The theme of our masterclass is mobile and how charities can maximise the opportunity that mobile provides. We’re hoping it will be a great session for the delegates coming from all over the planet. I can already see that we will have attendees from as far afield as Brazil and South Korea. All the details are here if you’re going to be there. We’re also running a workshop in the main conference programme.

 

And if you fancy coming to the conference – there are still a few tickets available.

 

Hope to see you there!

 

Paul de Gregorio


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