Nhuong Son, Wired Fundraiser for Cambodian Children!
Beth Dunn wrote a great piece called "We're The Young Generation" reflecting on an article in the New York Times about the growing use of social networks by young people for social good. Her reflection questions:
- How might young people use social networks (existing or yet-to-be-built) to learn about philanthropy and support causes that matter to them?
- How does your charity’s web presence make it easy for youth to get involved?
I am reminded of this recent Doonesbury cartoon. I am also thinking about the report that Katya Andresen and colleagues at Network for Good published several months ago called "The Wired Fundraiser" providing some research and insights on these very questions. Some advice from the report:
Find your Wired Fundraisers: Find the people that are passionate about your cause and reaching your target audience. Then develop a relationship with them. You can do this by creating signups in all your communication for people who may be willing to be your messengers. Network for Good estimates that
5% of your donors might be superactivists who would champion your cause and recruit others.
Perhaps that advice should be more, "let your wired fundraisers find you." And, then, of course, there is the art of integenerational online fundraising.
I am learning so much from Nhuong Son. He discovered the Sharing Foundation's project on Global Giving and decided to enter the America's Giving Challenge. He quickly found me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and my blog. (Not the Sharing Foundation's web site). Now we have a team of intergenerational wired fundraisers. Nhuong Son is in college, a Cambodian American, who believes in the importance of the Sharing Foundation's mission from first hand experience.
Last week, I had a conversation with a respected colleague and we were musing about the difference between a 20 something who lives online and a soon to be 51-year old who lives online and how our wired fundraising tactics might differ. How do we support and empower these younger fund raisers?
Nhuong is blogging what he is learning about being a wired fundraiser. Here's what he did in the last few days:
I have been posting on many Cambodian forums, from Khmerlife.com to myspace groups and I have gotten many different responses. I have received funny responses to very serious one.
Nhuong participates on social networking sites that I do not. For example Stage 6 In fact he received a supportive response from the founder of this site:
Why I am doing this? I am Khmer. After reading up on The Asian Economist Blogs, I was touched by such an effort that was put into this. KEN is after all was made for the Khmer people and it was made in such away to reach the Khmer community near or afar. In that aspect, I would like to give my condolences to such great cause. Please help us help ourselves. Only us Khmer can bring forth the change needed in Cambodia.
I am truly compelled by this action that has been put forth by Nhuong Son. I urge everyone to read more and help donate to make a difference for the sake of our country.
Nhuong also received some good questions from his post over at MySpace:
"the organization usually gets most of the money. how much of that 40 dollars acc[t]ually goes to cambodia?"
Now, that is a great question and I told Nhuong that the Sharing Foundation has a very low administrative percentage. All the fundraising is done in the US on a volunteer basis. We hire local people in Cambodia to run the programs. Over 95% raised goes directly to supporting the children!
Nhuong ends with some lessons learned that I have inspired me:
So what have I learn from all of this? I learned that there are a lot of generous people out there but at the same time, a lot of people are very cautious about online donations. It makes sense to not put too much trust when it comes to people online. Hopefully though, I hope that I have gotten people to open up their pockets a little and donate to this cause. As one of my old boss told me:
"You're not gonna going to get a sale at every door, the more houses you see, the better your chance of getting a sale today. It's the law of average. Now go get em!"
Nhuong, I don't know what the statistic is, but not everyone you ask to support your cause will make a donation. And that's okay. I've been turned down or ignored ... you just have to keep on going and stay optimistic.
Thank you again for helping the Sharing Foundation's fund raising effort and sharing your lessons learned.
And of course ...
- Donate $10 or more to the Sharing Foundation through Global Giving Fundraiser set up by Blogger Michele Martin of the Bamboo project!
- If we are four of the top causes to get the most unique donors, we'll win $50,000 for the Sharing Foundation as part of America's Giving Challenge
- If you are a blogger and want to participate in this blogger's campaign, you can sign up here.