If you work for a nonprofit, you know the situation: daunting organizational goals around fundraising, where you have no idea how you’re going to hit your target. The only solutions seem to be hammering your supporter base with standard fundraising asks, hoping it will get you all the way there.
But what if you could use technology to develop creative and innovative ways to raise more money and give supporters a refreshing sense of engagement? Something that illustrates the value add of each person to your campaign. This is what we recently tested out at ShareProgress with our good friends, Greenpeace USA.
What if you could use technology to develop creative and innovative ways to raise more money and give supporters a refreshing sense of engagement?
A new approach to fundraising
In October, Greenpeace launched a global #NotJustTuna campaign calling on tuna industry giant, Thai Union Group, to change its practices for the well-being of both workers and the oceans. As part of this campaign, Greenpeace USA launched a U.S. campaign calling on Chicken of the Sea, a subsidiary of Thai Union Group, to better its practices and stop “Rippin’ up the Sea.”
Greenpeace reached out to ShareProgress to help them design and develop an innovative fundraising approach for campaign. Together, we came up with a creative idea – what if we ran a fundraiser where individuals could donate to fund a tangible piece of the campaign?
The goal of the campaign was to fund a massive billboard to sit right outside of Chicken of the Sea’s headquarters, calling on them to improve their practices. To raise money for it online, an image of the billboard was divided into squares, which supporters could select by clicking on them and then make a donation to fund those specific pieces of the billboard. Once all the squares were funded, there would be enough money raised to get the billboard up.
We wanted to attract a large number of existing donors, as well as new ones, so we set the donation amount for each square to only $5. Once we’d settled on the plan, ShareProgress got to building the campaign, extending Greenpeace USA’s Convio donation system to allow for this new type of donation.
Want to see the billboard website in action?, You can view a test version here: http://billboard.shareprogress.org/
The interface for donating to fund billboard squares
Testing out this new fundraising idea
This campaign was new and exciting, but we weren’t certain if it would be successful. Would people engage with this new type of ‘donation’ method? Would seeing the billboard and the interaction of actually selecting squares of the billboard encourage people to donate? Could we engage people who have never donated to Greenpeace before? We had a lot of questions, and the only way to answer them was to try it and see what happened.
On October 16, Greenpeace USA launched the campaign, slated to run for two weeks and (holding our breath here) hopefully raise $13,500, enough to have the billboard up for four weeks outside of Chicken of the Sea’s headquarters.
To say it simply, the campaign’s success blew past its goal and all of our expectations. In two days, Greenpeace reached their fundraising goal.
We were surprised and elated that our whacky, creative experiment was actually working.
We were surprised and elated that our whacky, creative experiment was actually working. In fact, it was working so well that we decided to add a stretch goal that would allow two smaller billboards to be put up nearby. And in five days, the campaign met its new stretch goal.
By the end of the two weeks, Greenpeace raised $20,705 (153% more than their original goal of $13,500). Over 1,771 people shared the billboard, helping Greenpeace reach 1,254 donors in total, with over 40% of them first-time donors. The average gift was $16.33, funding more than three squares per donor.
Over 1,771 people shared the billboard, helping Greenpeace reach 1,254 donors in total, with over 40% of them first-time donors.
What we learned: Creative tactics can pay off big
The ShareProgress team had a great time working on this campaign. Greenpeace staff were willing and open to try something new, and we were excited to flex our own creative muscles to help make this fundraising campaign possible. You never know whether new ideas will work, but if you try, it can pay off big. Check out the billboard outside of Chicken of the Sea’s headquarters if you need some proof.
There are so many ways to add creativity, visual representation, and interactivity to your work.
There are so many ways to add creativity, visual representation, and interactivity to your work, that allows for anyone, no matter the organization or campaign, to engage supporters in new and fresh ways. There’s no need to be stuck using the standard tactics of the past, but instead push to try something new. Because maybe, you’ll blow past all your goals and help push your cause further than ever before.
At ShareProgress, we are always happy to help organizations find creative ways to fundraise and engage their audience. If you want to chat with us about what campaigns you are working on and how to add a little bit of creativity and technology to help it succeed, please feel free to contact Cindy at [email protected]