Social Trends in Online Fundraising

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<ul><li><p>8/4/2019 Social Trends in Online Fundraising</p><p> 1/5</p><p>Social Trends Impacting Online Fundraising</p><p>Social fundraising is becoming a buzzword within the cause space. The growing trend allows</p><p>citizens to create their own fundraising campaigns independent of, but still benefitting non-</p><p>profits. These efforts use a middle platform or set of tools to create grassroots communications</p><p>across traditional social networks likeFacebookandTwitter.</p><p>While Facebook and Twitter continue to dominate the general social networking space, there is a</p><p>need for middleware platforms to provide additional functionality when it comes to causes.</p><p>These solutions also incorporate traditional outreach mechanisms like e-</p><p>mail.Causes,Crowdrise,Jumo, andRazooare some of the early leaders empowering individual</p><p>fundraisers, donors and non-profits with grassroots functionality.</p><p>Obviously, people/orgs want to capitalize on the best feature of Facebook the wealth of</p><p>social data, said Holly Ross, executive director of theNonprofit Technology Network. Whatthey dont want to [deal] with is the Facebook UI etc. When Facebook is a platform and not just</p><p>a site, you get the best of both worlds. An additional feature is that some of these third-party</p><p>tools also integrate with your donor database, so you can actually track which of your supporters</p><p>are participating, and what that participation yields for you.</p><p>Heres a look at how these early leaders are starting to shape the social fundraising marketplace,</p><p>and some of the challenges the rise of middleware brings.</p></li><li><p>8/4/2019 Social Trends in Online Fundraising</p><p> 2/5</p><p>1. The Rise of the Independent Free Agent</p><p>Because these platforms support individuals engaging in their own citizen philanthropy</p><p>activities, they are attractingfree agentspeople who want to operate outside the domain of a</p><p>501c3. These free agents feel empowered to fundraise for a cause they care about without</p><p>management. When their efforts are completed, a check is cut for the non-profit, and the</p><p>individual can walk away or choose their next project for the cause.</p><p>As independent philanthropists continues to rise, more influence may transfer to them, making</p><p>efforts and experiences a critical piece of the puzzle. Causes,a recent recipient of $9 million in</p><p>venture funding, is expected to move towards a more individual-centric experience over the</p><p>course of 2011.Philanthropy is going to become a more donor-centric experience, and non-profits will not be</p><p>able to own the donors, as people in the sector commonly say, saidMatt Mahan, the vice</p><p>president of social impact for Causes. Individual donors can talk to each other and discuss</p><p>whats working via the Internet. This creates more transparency, accountability, and a more</p><p>enjoyable experience with donors. And this will cause non-profits to become more responsive</p><p>and better.</p><p>2. The Importance of a Social Good Identity</p><p>At the core of the fundraising platforms approach to the individual is the concept of a social</p><p>good identity. Facebook and Twitter provide general identities for people, but they dont allow</p><p>someone to delve deeply into their philanthropic side. This lack of definition also prevents</p><p>opportunities to connect based on shared interest in social good.</p></li><li><p>8/4/2019 Social Trends in Online Fundraising</p><p> 3/5</p><p>Whether or not theres a real market for a place to connect and explore social good identity</p><p>remains to be seen. Prior attempts at creating social good communities like</p><p>TechSoupsNetSquaredandIdealisthave done well within the causes space, but they have not</p><p>translated to the general public.</p><p>Several platforms like Crowdrise and Causes see themselves transcending that gap and breaking</p><p>into the general public marketplace. If Facebook is the platform where people assert This is</p><p>who I am as defined by who my friends are and Twitter is where people say This is who I am</p><p>as defined by what Im doing right now Crowdrise is where people proclaim This is who I</p><p>am as defined by what Im doing to make the world a better place, said Jeffrey Wolfe, co-</p><p>founder of Crowdrise.</p><p>3. The Challenge for Middleware Platforms</p><p>Social fundraising can be a challenge for non-profits. Often, while raising money for the cause,</p><p>there are fees ranging from 2.9% to 8% (credit card fees plus transaction fees). In addition, someof the platforms protect the individuals privacy and dont provide non-profits contact</p><p>information, denying them the opportunity to build a file of contacts.</p><p>Each platform has strengths and weaknesses in this regard. Some of the weaknesses from the</p><p>non-profits perspective are the very strengths that make the platforms attractive to individuals.</p><p>But generally, non-profits have to decide whether to plunge into the space and support it.</p><p>At the end of the day though, social fundraising will not be a silver bullet for raising money</p><p>for your non-profit, saidAllyson Kapin, editor of theCare2 Frogloop blog. Using multiple</p><p>channels (e-mail, your website, direct mail, telemarketing, etc.) to raise money will bring in thedough!</p><p>Razoo is differentiating itself by making its grassroots tools more non-profit friendly. We make</p><p>it incredibly easy for non-profits to raise money, giving them everything they need,</p><p>saidSebastian Traeger, CEO of Razoo. From the ability to tell their stories, to receipting</p><p>donors, handling refunds and customer support, to simple, robust reporting, to tools to empower</p>!/sebtraeger!/sebtraeger!/sebtraeger!/sebtraeger</li><li><p>8/4/2019 Social Trends in Online Fundraising</p><p> 4/5</p><p>peer and team fundraising to widgets to distribute throughout the web all with no setup or</p><p>monthly fees, and transaction fees of just 2.9 to 4.9%.</p><p>4. Team Focus for Social Fundraising</p><p>One unique development is the rise of teams in these platforms. Causes, Crowdrise and Razoo all</p><p>have added multi-person functionality to enable grassroots fundraising for groups of people.Whether its friends, competitive fundraising groups, offices, school clubs or civic groups,</p><p>people can now enjoy the autonomy of an independent grassroots platform not seen before in the</p><p>non-profit sector.</p><p>One example is musician Glen Hansardscampaign on Crowdriseto buy two much-needed</p><p>trucks for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT). People join the team as a show</p><p>of support and others join to fundraise. One person on the team put on a concert for her friends to</p><p>raise money, another did a bake sale, another offered to build websites for donors. Showing a</p><p>higher level of connectivity, two of the team members that had never met before just went to</p><p>Kenya together to volunteer for the MWCT.</p><p>Social fundraising, where fundraisers and charities involve their friends and supporters, is</p><p>incredibly effective, said Crowdrises Jeffrey Wolfe. It takes an individual team leader or</p><p>charity that inspires their squad to set personal fundraising goals, feel connected to the team, and</p><p>fully engaged in the campaign.</p></li><li><p>8/4/2019 Social Trends in Online Fundraising</p><p> 5/5</p><p>Razoo is also putting resources into supporting teams: Since teams represent the future, we plan</p><p>to pour our efforts into making them more fun, social and easy, said Razoos Sebastian Traeger. </p><p>The Future?</p><p>The future of online giving is still uncertain. What is clear is the early market leaders will try to</p><p>cement their role in the space this year. The non-profit software market is defined by a few big</p><p>names and then oodles of niche product that fill very specific needs, said NTENs Holly Ross.</p><p>We see this in every single software type. So I think that well see these early leaders continue</p><p>to get more robust, but I see a lot of other players continuing to enter the space.</p><p>There is also hope that if successful, the social fundraising middleware platforms will not only</p><p>do well, but successfully grow online donations as a whole. Perhaps its an ideal, but it sure</p><p>seems worth the strenuous effort.</p><p>If we can power philanthropic identity, we can create more philanthropic activity because its</p><p>easier, said Causes Matthew Mahan. As people interact with each other, and see millions of</p><p>people interacting, it will become a more worthwhile experience. Its part of making the</p><p>experience more meaningful. We think this is a win-win, and that people will end up donating</p><p>even more.</p></li></ul>