Nonprofit social-media visionaries like Beth Kanter (who writes the must-read Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media at beth.typepad.com) not only helped make Tweetsgiving a success by getting the word out to their own networks (called “retweeting”), but they also tried their own experiments in Twitter fundraising. Specifically, Kanter raised $2,500 in 90 minutes using Twitter alone. These campaigns upend the traditionally slow, often expensive process of developing more traditional tools in favor of smart concepts and powerful individuals wed with social media. Pretty neat, huh?
But it didn’t all happen online
The report titled The Wired Wealthy: Using the Internet to Connect with Your Middle and Major Donors (published by Convio, Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research in March 2008, and available for downloading at www.convio.com/wiredwealthy) suggests that folks are, indeed, donating online in ever-increasing amounts. The wired wealthy (defined as donors who contribute $1,000 or more and have e-mail addresses on file) might have represented only 1 percent of the active donor files of the nonprofits that participated in this study, but they gave 32 percent of those organizations’ annual revenues. This data suggests that nonprofits no longer can afford to ignore online components in their individual-donor fundraising strategies.
While groups work to get those big gifts online or in the mail, organizations like the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network are combining the best of both worlds, using tools like LinkedIn and Facebook to connect with alumni and invite them to share stories about YNPN, some of which will be featured in (mailed) fundraising appeals.
Some of the money raised in 2008 came in via SMS — or text messaging. United Way kicked off the year with a text-to-give campaign during the Super Bowl, which, paired with on-air ads and some in-stadium promotions, raised about $10,000. Singer Alicia Keys also sparked $74,000 (as of Dec. 1, 2008) in cell phone giving for the nonprofit Keep A Child Alive with her integrated “Alicia in Africa” campaign promoted through a documentary, pitches at concerts, TV appearances, widgets, Web site appeals and more.