- Thu, April 26 2007
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
I’ve posted before about SixDegrees.org, Network for Good’s partnership with Kevin Bacon to promote person-to-person fundraising. This week, Kevin Bacon gave $10,000 matching grants to the top fundraisers from SixDegrees.org; their stories as told to Kevin are incredible. Thanks to my terrific colleague Stacie Mann for these and the tips in this post. (Stacie is at right below with Kevin and Kyra.)
The experiences of the Six Degrees fundraisers – who have helped raised more than $630,000 in just over three months – reveal four important lessons for your nonprofit. Here are the lessons—and quotes from the fundraisers alongside the charity they supported.
1) Contests and goals motivate people to give.
“–people were absolutely thrilled to participate–the reason that people wanted to participate is because they wanted me to win that $10,000 bonus”
–Robin, MS Society of Blue Ridge Chapter
2) Giving people tools (like badges) to fundraise on your behalf is effective; badges encourage viral giving and give your organization access to new audiences.
“I went back and tracked with Family Pride and 50% of the people that donated were first-time donors to the organization. So that’s really huge.”
-Ken, Family Pride Coalition
“My daughter’s in college right now, so I contacted her–.They [her friends] started putting it on their blogs and on Facebook, and she became so energized around it.”
-Tom, Helping Children Worldwide
3) It’s okay to relinquish control of the message; Your supporters are experts at knowing how to communication about your nonprofit to their own friends and family.
“We were given the opportunity to travel to Sierra Leone and visit the Child Rescue Centre and meet these children, hold them and play with them. It was a life-changing experience. I’m definitely a different person for having had that experience and met those children.”
–Ginny, Helping Children Worldwide
4) Donors can raise more than you (or they) think.
“About halfway through, I came up with a goal. I wanted to reach 1,000 donations. I put it out there, and then I felt really sheepish about it. I felt like it was not going to happen. As it got closer to the end, I saw that it was actually a possibility. It was a good lesson for me in putting a goal out there, having faith in that goal and in the goodness of other people.”
-Ali, Autism Speaks
These findings could really change how organizations envision fundraising in the future. If you haven’t already, create a badge for your organization and/or encourage your supporters to do so.
Stay tuned for new matching grants coming soon!