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.