Nonprofit Gives Day

December 4th, 2012 is Nonprofit Gives Day in many states.  It is an opportunity to support the social sector.  The purpose of the day is to draw the public’s collective attention to the work of the social benefit sector and encourage community members to give.  As meaningful as the contributions may be there is a more important task, each nonprofit is granted a chance to connect with individuals who make a donation to their cause.  Many of the financial gifts are small in amount.  However, each contributions is an opportunity ready to be amplified.  If the receiving organization can respond authentically and demonstrate trust they have the opportunity to move an individual from donor to member of the organizational tribe.  The difference can be equated between two forces, manipulation and inspiration.  Most social sector causes will use Giving Day as a way to manipulated a gift (increased awareness,  a call to action, and permission to contact their community with broadcast communications).  A few will inspire by transforming contributions into an experience that connects donors with those that share their belief.  Inspiring take far more work but done successfully it sets one apart from the crowded school called “we have a need.”  

Looking to get started?  The razoo and Case Foundation commissioned a report to measure the effectiveness of giving days in 2011 on greater Washington.

Manipulation vs Trust

Here is an example of a campaign that is less transactional that some of the ones I noted in my Its About Trust post last week.  If you want a vote you still needs to be a Facebook fan of Crate & Barrel (the hook still exists which leading practices says is manipulative) but Crate & Barrel is committed to giving the money regardless of the number of fans and votes.  In an ideal world, Crate & Barrel would open the voting to everyone and trust that those that appreciated their generosity would become fans.  If Zappos is willing to trust that customers will not abuse the free return shipping policy (which could be a significant cost) then why not allow everyone who believes in the causes you are supporting to vote.  Some of these voters will become fans based on their own motivation and the retention rate of these fans (the stickiness of their relationship) will be quantifiable higher than those who opted in just for one purpose.

Manipulation works until you lose your leverage.  Trust works far longer and the rewards are much higher.