publication date: Nov 27, 2012
author/source: Lindsey Simms
The popularity of social media has changed the way we raise
money. But in many ways, we are missing out on its potential to capture new
markets of supporters .
Many wonderful online
fundraising platforms help you connect with your donor communities online
and make it easy to donate with just a few clicks of a mouse. While face-to-face
connections and personal relationships still play vital roles in each stage of
your fundraising, social media is being used to reinforce and complement
everything you do. And it's working! In the US, online giving generated
approximately $22 billion in revenues in 2010
about 8% of total giving.
Same principles, new
What we're seeing is the digitalization of traditional
offline fundraising approaches so that they work online. Instead of spending
time and resources on conducting telephone donation drives, some nonprofits are
now more inclined to spend that time and those resources on social media appeals
or mobile giving campaigns.
But it feels like something is still missing. In our hurry
to adapt to the popularity of the social web, have we missed out on the
opportunity to innovate and take full advantage of its potential to maximize fundraising
consumption holds fundraising promise
A new trend called "collaborative consumption" has begun to
define Web 3.0. It's the reinvention of old market behaviors - renting,
lending, swapping, bartering, gifting - through online technologies, and it's taking
place on a scale and in ways never possible before.
Collaborative consumption is about sharing access to what
you have - cars, houses and skills. Everything is now a commodity that can be
shared with others. One of the most prominent examples is AirBnB
, which allows individuals to offer
small-scale accommodation services. AirBnb has introduced a new way for people
to put one of their greatest assets to work, and is changing the way we travel
and book accommodation. Why not tap into these new market strategies to
maximize online fundraising potential?
AirBnb recently used their model to give back by helping the
City of New York to connect victims of Hurricane Sandy with free housing
options through a new platform off their main site. The entire process was
free, with Airbnb providing customer service, insurance for hosts and other
services. In just under a week, over 500 free spaces were listed on Airbnb's
Donated Sandy Housing Directory, which allowed those with an unused asset (a
spare room in their homes) to donate it to those in need.
Making it work for
Your nonprofit may have supporters who are eager and willing
to give talents and skills rather than money. For example, someone may be able to
offer custom-designed logos in return for donations towards your cause. Here's
where you can merge the principles of collaborative consumption with online
fundraising. Instead of tweeting an appeal for their friends to donate money, that
person can now offer graphic design services in exchange for donations to your
People love buying cool and unique gifts and services.
They're more inclined to purchase these things from their own friends and
networks, and they feel good about giving back while getting something in
return. You'll circumvent donor fatigue and tap into your supporters' assets in
a time- and cost- efficient way.
So don't get stuck on the old way of doing things. The
social web offers incredible potential for you to maximize your fundraising
goals and put the collaborative consumption model to work for your nonprofit.
Lindsey Simms is a
strategic communications consultant with extensive experience developing and
implementing online community engagement and fundraising campaigns for nonprofits.
She is passionate about the power of social networking to enhance the reach of
nonprofit organizations. As Managing Director of Communications for Raise5, Lindsey helps charities use
Raise5's online platform to maximize the fundraising potential of their