Wed, January 31 2007

Kevin Bacon may give your charity $10,000

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

Kevin Bacon is offering six, $10,0000 grants through, the site building on the popularity of the “small world phenomenon” to inspire giving to charities online. Through nonprofits and individuals can create charity badges to fundraise on their own web sites, blogs and AIM Pages.  The charities featured on the six badges that have the most number of donations between January 18th and March 31st at 11:59pm ET will get a matching grant of up to $10,000 each from Kevin Bacon. Simply create a Six Degrees Charity Badge and your nonprofit will be eligible for the grants.

So how do you get donations through your badge?  Here are some tips.  I also recommend reading anything on the topic by Beth Kanter, who is widget super-woman.  I’m not exaggerating - she raised $100,000 in three weeks with a charity badge. 

1. Build a Great Badge.

The best badges have a touching photo, a compelling and tangible reason to give, and a clear call to action.  Use the limited space on the badge to make a strong, authentic appeal rather than simply cutting and pasting a boilerplate mission statement.  The badge can be created by you and your organization, or you can ask a highly involved donor or board member to be the voice of the badge, with their thoughts on why people should support your nonprofit. Link to compelling video or online slide shows if you have them.

2. Donate to Your Own Badge.

People like to feel they are part of a larger effort.  It’s not inspiring to see zero donations on a badge, so donate to your own badge to get fundraising momentum started for your cause.

3.  Post the Badge on Your Site, Blog(s) and All Staff Email Signatures.

Put the badge on the home page of your website.  Tell people that their donations could help your nonprofit get a matching grant from Kevin Bacon and Six Degrees.  Do the same on your nonprofits’ blog(s), and post an entry about your efforts that encourages people to submit comments and ideas for getting the word out.  You can also put a link to the badge URL in your staff email signatures.  Put a photo in the signature that is hyperlinked to the URL to grab more attention.

4.  Send a Link to the Badge to People in Your Email Address Book.

Ask all staff to send the badge link to the people in their own email address books.  Ask for donations and encourage these contacts to forward your email to others.  Your professional and personal circle is most likely to support you.

5.  Promote to Your Donor and Volunteer Lists

Email your donors and volunteers, targeting the call to action to the level of supporter they are.  Ask occasional donors to simply give via the badge so your organization can receive a matching grant from Kevin Bacon.  For your steadiest, most enthusiastic supporters, ask them to post the badge on their email signatures, websites or blogs and encourage them to pass it on to their own friends and family.  As the grant deadline approaches, last minute reminders and appeals may be effective, especially if your organization is among the top fundraisers and close to qualifying for a grant.

6. Ask Bloggers to Join Your Cause.

Go to and search for blogs that are focused on your issue.  Tell bloggers about your campaign and ask them to post on your efforts.  They have a circle of active readers who are likely to care about your campaign.

7. Take Your Cause (and Laptop) Everywhere.

Ask your closest supporters – staff, board members, friends – to bring a laptop to social events, church meetings or other gatherings when they can talk about your cause and ask people to donate on the spot.  Beth did this to great success.

8. Thank People and Report Back on Progress.

Use your Donation Tracking Report ( to monitor donations and thank people quickly.  Tell them the progress you’re making for your important cause, so they feel good about themselves and the difference you’re making together.


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