Obama needs to ask for Votes as well as $

I signed up to Barack Obamas site a few weeks back after I heard he was going to text the name of his VP to everyone. 

I thought this was fascinating and what a great way to engage people…Did I want to be one of the 1st to know…of course I did. We all want to be the first to know something and Obama’s team have tapped into that.

Since then I have recieved almost daily communications from the Obama camp, well written pieces that are appropriate and of interest to me. As I have been getting these I have been thinking about all the lessons we fundraisers, and all marketing professioals too can learn from the campaign. For a great Direct Mail lesson check out what Damian over at Ask Direct has to say in his piece..Does your direct mail sound like Bill Clinton

Anyway aside from the good lessons we can learn there are other lessons we can learn as my good friend (and great fundraiser) Katie Schrier pointed out when she wrote to me and said:

Hey Conor: Heard something really interesting on the news yesterday that I thought was a great reminder for the non-profit sector in general.  As you know, in the states we are prepping to elect our next president (thank God).  A democrat was being interviewed about Obama and whether or not she was going to vote for him, and she said, “He [Obama] has asked me for my money, but not my vote.”  I thought that was such a fascinating statement when considered from a fundraising perspective. As fundraisers our job is certainly to ask people to support a cause that we believe they will or should be passionate about.  But this statement is such a vital reminder that we must first always be doing the groundwork of getting the donor on board “emotionally” before we ever ask them to make a commitment financially.

Great point Katie, thanks.

Impact Calculator

I was checking out the Capital Area United Way site today and thought this was a clever tool. It allows donors put in an amount and it lets them know the impact of their donation. I know a lot of charities do similar pages about What your donation can do, but I just thought this was a more interactive version of that. Nice work.

American Red Cross faces defecit

The Chronicle of Philanthropy writes that

The American Red Cross is facing a $200-million deficit, a nearly empty disaster-relief fund, stagnant fund raising, and large loans it took out to help victims of recent disasters, reports The Wall Street Journal

The paper criticizes the charity’s fund raising as outdated, saying “its fund-raising model of living from disaster to disaster no longer works well in a world where other charities constantly are competing for donor dollars.” The paper also points out that fund raising between many of the Red Cross’s local chapters and the national headquarters is out of sync, with some affiliates refusing to share donors with the national office.

AdWords-Style Widget Recommends Related Ways to Take Action

Social Actions has announced the launch of a revolutionary widget that recommends to readers of your blog or website related ways to take action.

The widget automatically identifies the keywords on any page and lists social change campaigns related to the stuff you’re writing about. These campaigns are gathered from social action platforms like Kiva, DonorsChoose, Change.org, GlobalGiving, Care2, Idealist.org, and fourteen others.

Find out what actions would be listed for your blog (or any website)

Because the new widget pulls actions from 20 social action platforms, it can recommend actions based on a wide variety of content. Whether you’re writing about your local community, pop culture, or green living – you can expect to surprise your readers with related ways to make a difference.

How the new widget from Social Actions works
After you cut and paste the widget snippet code into your website, the widget automatically scans the content of each web page on which it appears and identifies the top three keywords for that page. The widget then searches for related campaigns on 20 social action platforms. It then automatically loads the top three campaigns for the keywords, with the option to discover more. As the content of your site changes, the widget checks to see if there are new keywords. As a result, your readers are always connected to fresh and relevant calls to action.

Is anyone using this? How are you finding it…let me know..

article found on AFP Blog and text taken from the Social Actions Blog

Drink for Charity

Im really just not sure about this.

The idea behind this is fine, it was set up  to engage the target audience in activities they were already likely engaging in – drinking and socializing – and using that to tap into their benevolent spirits.

Ok I get that. in fact I often thought when organising fundraising gala balls for the 20/30 somethings that less formal events that reflect what the target market is doing anyway, would be more effective.

But something about this just doesnt sit well with me (and trust me Im pretty open when it comes to fundraising ideas!) Maybe its the name…drink for charity…it sounds like a challenge or something…drink as much as you can for charity.

Any thoughts???

The Big Give

I dont know why I havent come across The Big Give before now, but its a great site. Its another example of a site that aims to give the donor more ownership.

Today Professional Fundraising report:

Corporates looking to give money to charity can now opt to do so via a new voucher scheme launched by The Big Give today.

Companies can buy Big Give charity vouchers for a minimum of £10. These vouchers can then be redeemed on any of the 3,933 charity projects currently listed on www.thebiggive.org.uk

The scheme has been launched as a means of providing additional income to the registered charities. The website’s operators hope it will be used within corporate CSR initiatives or to replace conventional client gifts.

This is certainly a site charities should look to have a presence on. http://www.thebiggive.org.uk/

CSR reporting

Mallen Bakers Blog has an interesting post about Corporate Social Responsibility reports, he believes that:

companies that want to make better impact of their audiences are going to have to find new ways to do it – move from the report mode (one way, broadcast only) to the discussion mode (new media, dialogues, blogging).

Also on the site is a survey with some interesting results, below: