Sure, you may have bought your DipJars to power your holiday season fundraising — collecting your end-of-year gala or during your seasonal cause marketing campaign with your favorite corporate partner. But now it's February, the mercury's rising, and you have amazing untapped opportunity to capture new donations and new donors before it gets cold again next fall.
Topics: best practices
This Monday, I walked into the coffee shop on my corner for my morning caffeine fix and noticed something different — the lid on my coffee cup was pink, not the usual bland off-white. The pop of color reminded me: Breast Cancer Awareness month!
It was unmistakable, and even though it’s a cause very close to my heart (indeed, a close family friend just started chemotherapy after a double mastectomy), it was the pink coffee lid that reminded me it was time to make a donation to one of the many organizations that fight to find a cure.
Disease awareness months are essential opportunities for causes in the health advocacy, research, and direct service space. November, for example, provides diabetes charities an unparalleled platform for driving awareness of the fact that the disease is the leading cause of blindness in adults and that treating it costs us $174 billion every year. [Source: Joslin Diabetes Center]
That kind of awareness is a powerful motivator to contribute to a cause — but how do you catalyze awareness into action?
Voter turnout can be affected by neighbors seeing people's voting records. Does the same apply to charitable giving?
I’m an economist at Wharton who studies generosity, so I frequently talk to nonprofit organizations about fundraising strategies. When I do, I often lead off with this story about a seemingly unrelated research study on voting conducted by researchers a decade ago:
In the months leading up to Michigan primary elections in 2006, a team of researchers ran an experiment aimed at increasing voter turnout. The experiment leveraged the fact that who an individual votes for is secret, but whether or not an individual votes during a particular election is a matter of public record.
Everyone knows that a robust social media presence is central to engaging existing and potential donors, and so keeping an ear to the ground is essential. If you're a nonprofit, you have to wonder: What’s going to be the next Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram, where we’ll need to grow our online presence and donor engagement?
Well, we might have an answer now. Who would’ve thought that the app to top Twitter’s daily users, tally more installs than Tinder and boast more user engagement than Facebook within weeks of its launch would be……..Pokémon Go?
The mobile game, developed by Nintendo and Niantic (formerly a Google offshoot), has become the most popular mobile app in the U.S. ever, with a peak of 25 million daily active users.
Eliminating frictions to maximize donations
When taxis here in New York City started accepting credit cards, riders in backseats across the five boroughs noticed something they hadn’t seen before — once their ride was over, default tip options would appear on the taxi’s screen: 10%, 15%, 20%. One touch and they could add a tip to their fare total.
Before that, a rider might have rounded up her fare to the nearest dollar or thrown an extra dollar or two into her payment. These new defaults were higher, but they were also easier. Tipping went up — much to the delight of cabbies who’d been opposed to taking credit cards in the first place given the processing fees.
Nonprofit fundraising professionals have long known about the power of defaults — it’s why the best mail campaigns have clear options for donation and why sophisticated cause marketers offer single-price donations in their campaigns.
Last Friday was Fundraising Day here in New York City, and it was a pleasure to set up shop at the Marriott Marquis and spend the (long!) day face-to-face with nonprofits large and small.
It was a joyful event, with recent college graduate volunteers walking the hall alongside lifelong development professionals keeping their fingers on the pulse of new innovation. But mixed in with the joy was palpable frustration.
It’s a tough time to be raising money out in the real world: potential donors aren’t carrying cash to drop into a donation box, and they’re not responding to alternative calls to action in the real world or online. Reliable donors are dropping out of campaign rolls, and prospective supporters aren’t making their way into the ranks.