The image is from Roger Carr who is raising money to support the Arthritis Foundation’s annual nationwide event, Arthritis Walk, that raises awareness and funds to fight arthritis. I've just donated to his campaign and here's why. Hint - the three R words.
- Reciprocity: Roger Carr helped me with winning the America's Giving Challenge he blogged (more than once I might add), left supportive comments, retweeted to his network (connected me to Dr. Mani), and personally donated to my campaign. He invested some of his social capital in my cause and I want to invest in his.
- Relationship: It's spring fundraising season and I'm getting spammed. People (I don't know even know or have a relationship with ..) are sending me broadcast emails and generic private messages on Facebook asking me to donate. What no coffee? Roger Carr didn't do that. We have an ongoing relationship and he only has to ask me through one channel.
- Rewards: Dr. Mani offering donors to Roger's campaign a copy of his Social Media Marketing Plan Guide.
And now I'm asking you to consider making a gift to Roger's Campaign - his goal is $1,000 and the minimum gift is $10. You can also learn a lot about personal fundraising from reading Roger's blog or checking out his presentations.
Dr. Mani, who was a master of personal fundraising with his CHD Awareness Day and who also helped with the America's Giving Challenge, was featured in a 2006 FAST COMPANY magazine report about his work online helping children with congenital heart defects. The article was titled: “Dr.Mani - Spamming for Good”
That's definitely not the right metaphor or approach. Dr. Mani points to some good examples (including Roger) - but also Anne Mitchell who helped raise money for the desperately poor in Tajikistan. I'm thinking about the personal approach the Jen Lemen used to raised for her mission to Rwanda - and she did it in record time -- that is the result of relationship building. And relationship building can scale into a networked approach - take a look at the most recent BlogHer's Act fundraising campaign to improve maternal health.
Seth Godin says it another way:
You can contact just about anyone you want. The only rule is you need to contact them personally, with respect, and do it months before you need their help! Contact them about them, not about you. Engage. Contribute. Question. Pay attention. Read. Interact.
Then, when you've earned the right to attention and respect, months and months later, sure, ask. It takes a lot of time and effort, which is why volume isn't the answer for you, quality is.
Before you send out canned broadcast messaging via Twitter, Facebook, Email, LinkedIn or whatever other social media you are using, take a walk in your potential donors' email box. Do they really need to get the same canned message form you in multiple channels? Have you built a relationship?
Are you spamming for good or are you using the three R's effectively? What is the secret to success of social networking for good?