I'm on Day 7 of participating in the America's Giving Challenge. My goals are to raise money for the Sharing Foundation (and maybe with your help get $50,000 for the Sharing Foundation), share stories about the Sharing Foundation's programs, and share what I'm learning about using social networks to raise money as an extra organizational activist on my blog over the course of the 50-day giving challenge.
The Sharing Foundation Calendar Project
The Sharing Foundation will be celebrating 10 years of helping to care for Cambodia's children in 2008. This calendar project, produced lovely by a proud adoptive parent, is one of the ways the organization acknowledging this important milestone. Everyone on the board has purchased in bulk or is selling calendars right now! This is an example of how we work together to support our cause and bring people in.
Another indicator is leadership, particularly our founder Dr. Hendrie, who knows how to inspire and motivate. Many board members and volunteers give many hours of their time to this organization. There is definitely a warm and loving community surrounding this organization. In Cambodia, the Sharing Foundation hires Cambodians to manage all programs and through strong oversight and mentoring, the number of trained Cambodians ready to lead their communities is steadily increasing.
- It's been a week of small experiments and trials to get a better understanding of where to focus my efforts. I'm convinced that experimentation is the key to understanding, even if there is a lot of tension, stress, and frustration involved. The best approach - in terms of winning this contest - is to focus people to one giving channel. I think we have the best chances of winning the $50,000 through Global Giving.
- I spent quite a bit of time today analyzing the top 50 causes. We are number 49. I looked at each cause, the number of members and the number of donors. There is too much competition and to win the top prize, it really favors existing networks.
- The causes represent a spectrum - from those launched by organizations, by extra organizational activists (like me), and by student networks. Because of the networked effect, the causes connected with school networks may have a distinct advantage over those launched by a single activist for the grant prize.
- Questions to ponder:
- Is the $1,000 daily prize worth the time investment?
No. And it is doubtful that we could win one of the daily prizes.
- Is there an opportunity to engage cause participants so they become regular donors or supporters beyond the contest period?
Maybe. The interaction design on causes does not match a ladder of engagement. It is really hard to cultivate and get to know people on a one-to-one basis. And, if you message people privately and cut and paste, Facebook might punish you by deleting your account.
- Given TSF is on both Networked for Good and Global Giving and it doesn't make sense to use both for the campaign, which on to choose?
We've decided to focus on our Global Giving fundraiser for a variety of reasons. Since the badges will be used by our core volunteers who are not technology savvy, I set up a test. I had to create a separate page to make it easy.
- What is the best strategy for directing the people who have joined the Facebook cause to make a donation over at Global Giving?
I'm mulling this over and would love your advice.
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