14 March 2011

We Know Who Does it Wrong. Who Does it Right?

On Friday, I wrote a post on the use of misleading tactics by CARE in order to raise money. I highly suggest reading the comments as they provide some excellent additional points to my post. However, one challenge got me thinking. Ward A wrote:
There are any number of creative and somewhat/marginally/incredibly misleading ways of raising funds out there. As a community, we wax poetic about them.

I'm curious as to whether you've seen any outstanding, positive, creative examples of 'new' ways to fund-raise. Something that stood out for it's honest yet engaging approach.

I imagine reinforcing (and promoting) positive work might have a greater impact than highlighting yet another negative example
He is 100% right here. It is really easy to point out how campaigns are wrong. For someone who is critical of organizations for going for low-hanging fruit, I have to realize that I can be just as guilty of it with my criticisms. Far too often we (re: I) focus on what is wrong rather than right.

The worst part of all of this is that I cannot come up with any real good example of something done well. Am I so focused on the negatives that I have not taken the time to praise what is done well? Are advertising campaigns so terrible that there are no real examples of how it is done right? I tend to think it is the former. Yes, there are many terribly done marketing campaigns which rely on our lack of understanding and guilt, but that cannot be done by every organization.

My first thought was of the Mama Hope video. However, it really did not seem to be an effective marketing tool as the focus on the organization was minimal at best. So, I cannot really count it.

Second was the use of vloggers by World Vision Australia in Zambia. The short story is that WV Australia took three vloggers from around the world to record and share their experiences seeing projects by the organization in Zambia. The three did their own updates that showcased what struck them about the day and shared what WV was doing in Zambia. To me, this was clever because they took young people who were not discussing these issues, exposed them to it and had them share the experiences in an instant manner to WV supporters and their individual audiences.

It is raw and a bit of an experiment, but it is what I believe to be the start of using social media effectively by NGOs. A new audience was introduced to the organization through this campaign. I assume that many of them decided to make a donation. Yes, it is not perfect, but I am again bullish on the potential.

Those two are where I ran out of ideas. So, as I try to search around and brainstorm ideas, let me know what you think. I challenge us to think of examples that are specifically meant to be a way of fundraising. Awareness is different and there are some organizations who do a superb job at that (which I should feature in a future post), but this is to look at getting people to part with money.

Who does it effectively?