This Hotels.com campaign is one of my favorite running right now. It elevates the power of peers. As its quirky characters take on the armchair reviewer role they were born for, we see a brand built not by experts, but by us. Weird, wonderful us.
I got a great text message this weekend that made me wonder if the same sort of “power of peers” change is afoot for non profits. A shift that will leverage the financial power of hundreds of thousands of small donors rather than relying on corporations and wealthy donors to foot the bill.
Here’s the text message:
[Presidential candidate] asks that you give to the Red Cross: give 5 dollars by texting GIVE to 24357 or give more by calling 1-800-435-7669 or at redcross.org/donate. Please fwd.
Pretty powerful stuff.
- A simple message.
- Sent at a time (just prior to the Gustav hit) when we were primed to care about the cause
- And closed with an almost ridiculously easy way to donate.
It’s difficult to get an individual to write a check for $100,000. Especially a fatigued donor who is asked again and again. But, with the right distribution list, how difficult is it to get 20,000 people to text $5? No billing information to fill out, no credit card number to type in. Just text.
Causes that inspire passion – whether it’s empathy or insurgency – are uniquely suited to the energy of the social Web – which, largely, extends to the community of texters. Campaigns like this are not only primed for action, they’re ready for pass-along.
When the Democrats were still fighting out the primary, I remember hearing news that more than $10 million (1/3) of Obama's second-quarter contributions were made online, and 90% of them were in increments of $100 or less.
What will a donor shift like that mean to decision making in a campaign or at a nonprofit? How will it change priorities and challenge assumptions?
I should know more on this topic soon. Later this month, Ologie (my home agency) is hosting Richard McPherson, the author of Digital Giving - a book about how technology is changing charity. I’ll tell you more about that soon, but for now – it’s interesting to think about the groundswell using technology to democratize giving. And fascinating to see just how easy we can make it to break down the barriers to giving.