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You know the statistics well: every year, Americans donate generously--nearly $300 billion in 2011. But a new study from GuideStar and Hope Consulting argues that donors would be willing to shift $15 billion of that giving to top performing nonprofits if they had easy access to better information about these organizations. The authors came to this $15 billion figure by evaluating multiple inputs from survey data, such as: what is a donor’s loyalty to the nonprofits she supports? How willing is she to change her giving if information needs are met? How certain is that change?
There are not a lot of things one can be sure of in this world, including the notion that there’s always going to be help out there when you need it. Problems or challenges—including the kind that your organization is dedicated to addressing—can at times seem insurmountable. But if you accept the notion that there is kindness in people, you can also be sure that that a combination of creativity and communication (and the magic of the Internet) can exponentially multiply a single act of kindness to achieve otherwise impossible goals. Consider the case of Caine Monroy.
I stumbled upon Caine’s story last Tuesday on a quiet little blog on Tumblr. The video was launched on Monday. By Thursday morning, Caine was on all of the morning TV shows. As of today, Caine’s Arcade has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube and 2.6 million times on Vimeo. Over $165,000 has been donated to his college fund in just one week. The Goldhirsh Foundation has offered a $250,000 matching grant to the video's creators to create the Caine's Arcade Foundation (you read that right - a Foundation doesn't even exist yet!). There is even a Wiki page now that is tracking all of Caine’s media coverage. Here’s an interesting contribution from the Christian Science Monitor.
On Friday I discussed how the internet has changed the landscape of giving, and today I’ll follow up with a look at two organizations who successfully adapted to these changes.
Social networking offers fantastic opportunities for non-profits to expand their reach amongst virtual groups of interconnected friends, family and co-workers (Facebook currently has more than 200 million active users!) but the most successful campaigns are about quality leading to quantity. The most successful marketing, fundraising, and awareness campaigns are those that have a strong connection to the heart of the non-profit’s mission. Let’s look at Jumpstart’s Read for the Record or the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Second Life as examples.
A funny thing happened as I enjoyed my coffee this morning. Actually two funny things happened this morning: I heard a piece on NPR about non-profits looking for new ways to inspire giving and, at the same time, my mother called to tell me she was proud of herself. My 60 year old mother was searching online for the best gas price in her neighborhood.