Matt Mahan & Susan Gordon, Causes: The Secret Sauce of Fundraising

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Matt Mahan, VP of Social Impact, Causes
Susan Gordon, Director of Nonprofit Services, Causes
Twitter Handles: @matthewmahan & @susangordo

A lot of organizations are creating online fundraising campaigns; not a lot of organizations are raising funds. So what's the secret to a well-run online campaign? Effective online fundraising is remarkably similar to raising money and supporters successfully offline—the trick is in the translation.

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  • Thanks for having us, here to talk about “secret sauce” of social media fundraising, and while there are best practices for being a successful social media fundraiser, there is no silver bullet. In fact, it turns out that effective online fundraising requires all of the hard work and organization of effective offline fundraising (community organizing). So I want to start on Dec. 15th 2009…GENERIC:IDEAAUDIENCEMESSAGEADVOCATESCOMMUNITY (Roles, Communication, Relationship Management)CAMPAIGNS (Goals, Media)CCP:IDEA: B&W vs ACSAUDIENCE: People who care about cancer researchMESSAGE: NHS (Nurses’ Health Study)ADVOCATES: Med School Students and ProfsCOMMUNITY: Causes as hubCAMPAIGNS: AGC, Cancer Research Article
  • Eric’s story in many ways is the story of how all nonprofits are formed. If you think about your organization’s history, it likely started with your founder having an idea – or feeling a frustration about an inequity, or seeing a solution to a problem so clearly that no one else did. And you, if you’re not the founder, joined that nonprofit because you began to see and want those same changes. So with social media, you start with building a community. And to get those people on board, you have to think like a founder – like a community organizer. Remember that people are choosing between your organization and 1.5M others.
  • The story starts with Eric Ding, pictured on the right above. At time he was a 25 year-old medical school student at Harvard who had an idea. Actually, he had a frustration. Eric had been in medical school for a couple of years and when talking with friends and family back home whose lives had been changed by cancer he realized that he had access to dramatically better information about about cancer treatment, prevention, and research than the people he spoke with. What bothered Eric was that cancer is so common, it touches so many people, and yet those who want to understand prevention, treatment, research, and how to take action to help end cancer lacked the quality of information that a couple of years at med school has given him. Eric didn’t think it was inevitable that non-med school student should have poorer knowledge…- Talk about him being particularly frustrated by the funding model (people not giving to the best research, and research taking way too long to get grants) ----This was made possible by a medical student who was passionate about social change and had started a small online community on Causes two year before. What I want to walk you through now, through the anatomy, no pun attended, of how a single med school student was able to galvanize literally millions of people around a cause he cared about - and how you can learn from Ding and the thousands of other individuals who work at nonprofits – or don’t! – who have learned how to apply to principles of community organizing to social media for effective fundraising.
  • Everyone should be able to get information about cutting edge cancer prevention and treatment research directly from the people conducting the research and at leading research institutionsPeople who want to support this research with funding should be able to give directly to researchers and get updates directly from those researchers Audience = researchers and people who cared about cancer research. Specific niche within cancer organizations. Clearly standing for something – even if it’s controversial – will attract the right people to your organization.
  • Everyone should be able to get information about cutting edge cancer prevention and treatment research directly from the people conducting the research and at leading research institutionsPeople who want to support this research with funding should be able to give directly to researchers and get updates directly from those researchers Audience = researchers and people who cared about cancer research. Specific niche within cancer organizations. Clearly standing for something – even if it’s controversial – will attract the right people to your organization.
  • Spread through med schools – cross promotion. Students and profs.Eric brought in 374 people himself.
  • 3. Spread through med schools – cross promotion. Students and profs.Empower your core supporters
  • 3. Spread through med schools – cross promotion. Students and profs.Empower your core supporters
  • NEW PICTURE FOLLOW UP BULLETIN
  • 3. Spread through med schools – cross promotion. Students and profs.Empower your core supporters
  • 3. Spread through med schools – cross promotion. Students and profs.Empower your core supporters
  • 3. Spread through med schools – cross promotion. Students and profs.Empower your core supporters
  • Eric’s story in many ways is the story of how all nonprofits are formed. If you think about your organization’s history, it likely started with your founder having an idea – or feeling a frustration about an inequity, or seeing a solution to a problem so clearly that no one else did. And you, if you’re not the founder, joined that nonprofit because you began to see and want those same changes. So with social media, you start with building a community. And to get those people on board, you have to think like a founder – like a community organizer. Remember that people are choosing between your organization and 1.5M others.
  • Eric’s story in many ways is the story of how all nonprofits are formed. If you think about your organization’s history, it likely started with your founder having an idea – or feeling a frustration about an inequity, or seeing a solution to a problem so clearly that no one else did. And you, if you’re not the founder, joined that nonprofit because you began to see and want those same changes. So with social media, you start with building a community. And to get those people on board, you have to think like a founder – like a community organizer. Remember that people are choosing between your organization and 1.5M others.
  • Provoke, listen, respond, reward Educate and inspire – you can’t craft a group identity unless you get everyone on the same page.
  • Provoke, listen, respond, reward Educate and inspire – you can’t craft a group identity unless you get everyone on the same page.
  • Provoke, listen, respond, reward Educate and inspire – you can’t craft a group identity unless you get everyone on the same page.
  • 6. Follow up
  • Matt Mahan & Susan Gordon, Causes: The Secret Sauce of Fundraising

    1. 1. THE SECRET SAUCE OFONLINE ACTIVATIONMatt Mahan and Susan Gordon, Causes.com
    2. 2. Causes.com• World’s largest platform for grassroots action campaigns• 170 million installed users• 600,000 cause communities• Deepest Facebook integration available
    3. 3. Meet Eric.
    4. 4. Eric had a vision.
    5. 5. Eric launched a campaign.
    6. 6. Eric started with people he knew.
    7. 7. Supporters invited their friends.
    8. 8. Eric published great content.
    9. 9. Eric asked them to act.…and closed the loop.
    10. 10. Eric made it a meaningful experience.
    11. 11. Causes
    12. 12. Action Campaigns on Causes
    13. 13. Action Campaigns on Causes
    14. 14. Facebook Integration
    15. 15. Facebook Integration
    16. 16. What’s your next action campaign? • Petitions • Pledges • Video Campaigns • Quizzes • Share Your Story
    17. 17. Running an Action Campaign
    18. 18. What’s next
    19. 19. THANK YOUBecome a nonprofit partner athttp://nonprofits.causes.comCome visit our table!Matt Mahan, matt@causes.comSusan Gordon, susan@causes.com

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