#4 Youth fundraising
The big question looming for all fundraisers is, “How do we engage the next generation of givers?” These “kids” grew up on computers, and their world view is different. Experts such as consultant Don Tapscott got it right as early as 1998, noting that the digital revolution, unlike previous ones, isn’t controlled just by adults. Today, there are only a few organizations that are inventing the future with these young adults. Two examples of ground-breaking work in this area are Amnesty International’s “Make Some Noise” campaign and PETA’s peta2.com effort.
Both initiatives have been designed around young people’s interests and modes of engagement. The efforts include music downloads, multimedia and cause-centric merchandise as program cornerstones. But these aren’t just window dressing on the old concept of cause-related merchandising.
These initiatives fully embrace the notions of youth community online through chats, instant messaging and viral communications. They go further and fully tap the creative energy of youth, making it possible for them to create their own personal spaces and content to share their enthusiasm for the cause. To get a glimpse of what the future of fundraising may be, take a tour.
#5 Build your list and convert
With more current and potential supporters accessing the Internet with high-speed connections, fundraisers have the opportunity — and the imperative — to offer more than well-crafted copy and appealing
graphics. Broadband Internet users are more likely to respond to movies, games and other multimedia efforts than static e-mails, and they’re more
likely to pass them along to their friends and family, too.
Here’s a recent example. The Quaker-affiliated social-justice organization American Friends Service Committee distributed its online movie, “Eyes Wide Open,” to an initial e-mail list of fewer than 20,000. Ten months later, more than a quarter million people have watched the online film. The effort has raised nearly $200,000 in online donations (not including additional gifts from follow-up fundraising) with a cost of less than 10 cents to raise a dollar.