Social Media Strategy in
Businesses & Nonprofits
18 February 2009
A case: Twestival
Who’s here tonight?
Social media types?
About David Karp
Director of marketing, Firstgiving
Board of directors, Photographic Resource Center
Social media fan
Social media skeptic
About Firstgiving.com fg
A private, for-profit company (“social enterprise”)
Founded 2003 from Justgiving UK
15 employees in US
$80 million raised for 20,000 nonprofits
1.5 million donors and fundraisers
Fundraisers are people who raise money
They connect causes and organizations with the
donors and donations they need
Some are paid (“development officers”) and some
Fundraisers are key to Firstgiving’s model
Our web 1.0 math
1 NPO -> 21 Fundraisers -> 160 Donors
Average donation ~$55
Average fundraising page ~$300
Average premium account NPO ~$30,000
“The leading social
platform for fundraising for
any nonprofit cause”
Nonprofits raise money with Firstgiving by asking
their supporters to ask their friends and colleagues
Firstgiving provides the social tools, security and
We help turn donors into fundraisers
We’ve learned a lot about fundraising in five years,
and our fundraisers and nonprofits look to us for
information and ideas
How do you make money?
5% transaction fee on donations
Optional $300/year fee for nonprofits
Who feels like they pay?
Firstgiving in action:
Make a fundraising page
Ask your friends
Firstgiving in action:
Get an account
Make a start page
Ask your supporters to set up fundraising pages
Which channel generates
more activity, more
Ask for more…
it’s for a good cause
$5 is too little to ask, even with huge distribution
Actual average gift thru Tipjoy more like $20-25
Small donations make most marketing unprofitable
Small auctions can leave money on the table
Was sponsorship available?
In order to make a ham omelet, you’re going to
need a chicken and a pig…
The chicken is involved.
The pig is committed.
What’s the level of
commitment in a social
How important are Facebook statuses and tweets
compared to emails and phonecalls?
Facebook’s Causes app
500,000 daily active users
17 million total installs
In 2008, raised $2.5M for 20,000 charities
That’s $125/charity on average
Less than a dollar per active user?
..the theoretical cognitive
limit to the number of people
with whom one can maintain
stable social relationships.
Do volunteers outperform
See Dan Pallotta’s book, “Uncharitable”