As the dust (sand, really) settles from IFC 2017, a surge of energy has swept across Open.
Despite our digitally connected world, nothing beats being in the same space as our peers from across the world to share, listen and debate.
The theme was ‘A New Conversation’ and Jeremy Heimans’ opening plenary hit the mark with his progressive thinking about building movements with impact. If you weren’t there you can watch it back here.
We also loved Zack Exley and Kenneth Pennington’s Big Room Session News from the Resistance: Big Organising and Beyond. At their session last year no one would have believed what we’ve since seen in American politics. But in that time we’ve been privileged to work with the ACLU, fighting back, and it was great to see Michelle Ehrhardt (Deputy Director of Membership) up on the stage with them discussing a vision for a post-Trump world. Check out their joint grassroots movement People Power here.
Finally Jo Wolfe teamed up with Paul de Gregorio to run a Masterclass and two workshops about Open and Breast Cancer Care’s experience of using mobile strategically in fundraising. 2017 felt like the right year to converge our conversations about mobile and digital – and as Paul keeps saying…
Mobile is Digital, Digital is Mobile.
There really is no distinction. Drop Paul a note if you’re interested to hear more.
A lot of you will know that Open has a strong West Country contingent and we live up to the stereotype of being fond of a pint or two of cider…
But the reason this campaign by Old Mout caught my attention is because there is no mention of the product. Nothing about how good the cider tastes or that it’s good value, or that you’ll have a lot of fun drinking it.
Instead the sole focus is that Old Mout will make a donation to charity for every bottle bought to save the kiwi *cute*.
No doubt this campaign started life with a focus on audience – the much talked about but elusive millennial. And it’s smart because, more than any other audience, they care about the ethics and social responsibility of the companies they buy from. 73% are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand (against an average of 66%). And more than 9 in 10 would switch brands to one associated with a cause. When it comes to purchase decision making the traditional drivers of price and convenience are taking a back seat.
Millennials matter to our sector as much as any other generation. But, given the fact that our reason for being is ‘social good’, surely attracting and engaging them should be an easier job for us than most of the corporate brands?
After all, there are 17 million of us and we’re all over the internet!
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:
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:
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.
Digital Media Strategist