By S. McNamara & E. Doxey
Are charities keeping up with online consumer trends?
In an era of dramatic cuts to foreign aid and government support, Not for Profits (NFPs) find themselves competing more than ever for the support of individual donors. NFPs adopt various ways of distinguishing themselves in the market and of encouraging consumer behavior, increasingly involving heart-wrenching pleas on behalf of individuals in need.
So what is the best way to get consumers to open their wallets?
Recently an anti-poverty charity attempted to promote more positive imagery in a campaign – a huge move away from their traditional heart-breaking images. The amount of fundraising decreased – by about 20%! (They’ve since gone back to the tear-jerking pics).
‘In a series of experiments, it was found that people are much more responsive to charitable pleas that feature a single, identifiable beneficiary, than they are to statistical information about the scale of the problem being faced.’
World Vision and Oxfam continue to use more traditional approaches to seeking donations by appealing to our philanthropic side. Newer NFPs, like Kiva have tapped into the younger generation, with smaller amounts to contribute, a “loan” system where you are effectively a financial investor, with a personal stake in following the project. Check out their campaign missions on youtube:
So, over to you.
How do you choose where to donate? What can a charity do to appeal to you? How much of your giving is planned and how much is spontaneous or in reaction to a direct request?
Look at the sample advertisements below. Click on the one you think you’d be most likely to support.