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    May 17, 2009

    Target Gives, Facebook Votes

    For about a year now, the blogosphere and online commentators have been grumbling about Facebook's inability to be a major fundraising platform. I have written here about this topic and my general feeling that to grumble about a platform's lack of fundraising prowess when it was not designed to optimize activism is like grumbling that a car isn't flying you to the moon.

    Recently, I received an email from an organization I have supported in the past. This was the headline: "$3M on Facebook." Huh? Someone has managed to raise $3 million on Facebook? Last time I checked,the Causes Application combined has raised just over $2 million.

    Clearly, I had to investigate. Organizations, take heed. What I found is an blueprint to how to use Facebook to promote your brand in a feel good kind of way.

    Many of us have heard thru some way or other that the Target corporation gives away 5% of its income to various do-gooding, which, as it turns out, comes out to be about $3 million a week. On it's Facebook page, Target is letting people vote for one of ten organizations that should get the cash.

    This GenYers first thought? "That's so cool. They wan my input on who to give the cash to."

    This marketer's first thought? "How did they get these 10 organizations and what did one have to do to be part of the top 10?"

    This is the time to pay attention people. This is what differentiates organizations with a targeted, engaged, and wholistic donor engagement strategy and those who don't.

    I am either an email subscriber or online donor to 3 of the organizations featured on the Target Bullseye Gives page. But, only 1 has so far reached out to me via email to get my attention and ask for my vote. Fundraising/marketing peeps at the other two: what exactly are you thinking? In this economic environment, you don't need $3 million dollars, or even say 10% of that? Why aren't you working your toosh off to get me to vote for you? And who do I think I am most likely to vote for--the organization that took the time to tell me all about this campaign, devoted a page on their website to it, and asked for my vote, or you guys, who so far, have done nothing?

    My point of the little tirade above is to make a point: if you expect platforms that are not designed for activism, that are not specifically pushing people to give and become involved, setting up a giving page, sitting back, and waiting for the cash to roll in is not enough. The same way you have to work your DM donors, you gotta do some legwork with social and online.

    Anyway, I am off to vote for the organization that got my attention (even though they would not have been my top choice). And Target, very smart cause marketing--I am thinking I should start shopping with you guys more often, after all 5% of my dollars could end up in the pocket a do-gooder I care about.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    With all the social media options, it can be very overwhelming options to use. The biggest challenge for nonprofits is understanding the outreach (fundraising, volunteer recruiting, etc.) potential of using social media. I wonder how many consulting and advisory firms to nonprofits understand the potential as well.