Media noise is a huge issue. Go on Twitter most business days of the week, and you will see some nonprofit awareness or giving day trending. Or it might be their week. Or month.
Similarly, on Kickstarter, Indiegogo and a variety of other personal and business fundraising sites, you'll see new apps, camera equipment, watches, clothing companies, etc. Peer-to-peer backing for art projects happens every day on our social networks.
There's a day or fundraiser for every cause and everything now.
This is the beauty and the curse of online fundraising. The new option to go out and raise your own cash rather than getting a grant, a loan or surrendering control to an investor who will surely interfere with your vision is attractive. For nonprofits, there is little choice. Online donations continue to grow year over year while traditional checks and mail donations dwindle.
Consumers -- people in our core social networks and communities -- are now accustomed to seeing advocacy days and online fundraisers. And they are much quicker to tune them out, especially if you simply deliver a formulaic textbook campaign that offers all the requirements. Even if your fundraiser is super interesting with a compelling topic or item to purchase, you will still experience a lag in these conditions.
Overcoming the noise-inspired doldrums -- what I call the Fundraising Wall -- becomes a central challenge for the capable online fundraiser competing in a crowded market.
Innovate and Entertain
Just having a fundraiser for a worthy product or cause won't be enough to carry a campaign end to end. The way to overcome the Fundraising Wall is through entertaining evolutions in your fundraising narrative.
Interest can be achieved through content, events, surprises, new details, and prizes (that other people care about, not just you). You have to make the fundraiser something worth seeing and experiencing. Whether that's time-bound tension in attempts to achieve a goal, pop-up events, access to leaders and celebrities, new content featuring donors or customers using your content, or beneficiaries experiencing aid through your cause, find something to make your fundraiser compelling and interesting.
It's thinking through the staging of an online fundraiser that can help you overcome what are very normal obstacles. More importantly, you will increase your overall yield.
What do you think?
This is an excerpt of a larger blog post titled The Fundraising Wall on geofflivingston.com.