Every so often you just get stuck when you need an idea. All writers know this. And we all know the standard advice for coming up with a creative inspiration: take a walk, sleep on it, put it aside and come back to it later, and all that.
The charity event Awesome Games Done Quick, a weeklong gaming livestream featured on the video-streaming site Twitch, raised more than $1.5 million for charity research earlier this month, benefiting the Prevent Cancer Foundation. How it did it says a lot about the value of embracing niche audiences online.
The weeklong gaming marathon was hosted at a physical location, but the momentum and energy behind the event was really online, where people could watch speedrunners play live, chat about it, donate money and potentially win some prizes.
Charles Huang partnered with two college friends to develop Charitweet, a start-up that simplifies the donation process to just one tweet. Most donations are typically made on charity websites. Then people share separately on social media. This process is a broken experience, Huang said.
With Charitweet, donors write a tweet with any combination of the charity's handle, Charitweet's handle and the donation amount. Without leaving Twitter, someone can donate money, spread awareness about the cause and share efforts with friends, who can retweet a message to also donate.
(Press release, Dec. 17, 2014) — The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation's leading cancer research funding organizations, is pleased to announce proceeds of Dick Vitale's latest book, "It's Awesome Baby! 75 Years of Memories and a Lifetime of Opinions on the Game I Love," will benefit pediatric cancer research. Covering Vitale's career as a coach and announcer, the book includes personal memories, insights and much more. The proceeds will be added to the more than $12 million Vitale has raised for pediatric cancer research through his annual gala for The V Foundation.
Change is coming to philanthropy. Big change. Hoping it will "blow over" is not a workable response. Doing what you've always done is a prescription for extinction. But neither is simply taking action based upon our own perspectives and experience.
It seems "The Long Tail" has its own tail. Since Chris Anderson first coined the term in a Wired article back in 2004, the concept has been applied to practically every product and market imaginable. It may sound outdated, but there's still some knowledge to be mined there for fundraisers, especially as it relates to noncash giving.
Recently, I said to someone that direct mail is a "melting iceberg." By that I mean that it's big, but continually shrinking due to people's habits changing. So instead of still building around direct-mail CRMs that can output postcards to different households, nonprofits need to focus on different inputs feeding a single CRM.
The person said to me that the term "melting iceberg" might offend nonprofits since so much of their income is still tied to direct mail.
At first I felt bad that it may have come across dismissive. But then I thought about Amazon.
As nonprofits develop their interactive strategies and budgets, they have the right idea: ensure the basics work and then make them work hard for you with effective engagement.