Charity CHAMPs – get involved with microphilanthropy now!


Fundraising 101 and online microphilanthropy by sylvng
May 13, 2009, 9:52 pm
Filed under: General Charity Musings, Microphilanthropy | Tags: ,

As a member of the L’Arche Daybreak board I’ve been involved with the process of hiring consultants to assist with a a capital campaign. The consultants recently put together a “fundraising 101” package, which included a page outlining 5 reasons why people give:

  1. They have the means
  2. They desire to improve a situation
  3. They believe the organization is worthy of their investment
  4. They respect and admire the person approaching them for a donation
  5. They are dealt with in a respectful manner

If 5 of out 5 elements are met, then it’s certain that a donation will happen; 3 out of 5 means a possible donation, and 1 of 5 means a decline to give.  This is, of course, is from the traditional context of an in-person ask for money, which is very different from asking for micro-donations through social media. In fact, with most online microphilanthropy the barrier to entry is really low; almost anybody who’s online has the means to click on an ad to donate to a charity. So #1 is almost a sure thing.

Points #2 and #3 I actually believe are harder in some ways to meet online. With Twitter and Facebook and social media in general, descriptions and stories tend to be short and concise, making it harder for organizations to communicate what situations require improvement. While it is a lot easier to find a cause that strikes your heart simply due to the volume of causes available, there is information overload to consider. With a million other causes right beside each other on social media sites, it’s hard to figure out which organization is worthy, let alone which organization is MOST worthy. With microphilanthropy though, perhaps the #2 and #3 points don’t matter as much. If you’re giving only a few dollars instead of thousands of dollars it probably matters less which specific charity the money is going to.

Point #4 I find to be very interesting because obviously personal interaction can be entirely missing when doing online donations. If you log into Facebook Causes there isn’t a specific person asking you for money, which is why I believe the most crucial part of Causes is still the ability to post causes on walls.

In any case, online microphilanthropy probably allows you to hit the 5 elements more easily than traditional in-person donation asks.  With online microphilanthropy, #1 is a given, and #2 and #3 may be less important because of the small size of the donation. #4 and #5 certainly are not any easier to do online, but assuming you make sure that the donation request is coming from a person and not just an application, then it’s not any harder either.

And there you have it – another case for online microphilanthropy.

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