Here are the four key findings of this study:
1. When Wired Fundraisers Talk, People Listen: Wired Fundraisers are regular people with a cause and a keyboard, and they are proving highly effective at fundraising for their favorite charity in an ever-widening personal sphere of influence online. That’s because today, the messenger matters even more than the message. People trust messengers they know, like friends and family. These messengers naturally communicate in the most effective ways – through personal means, in a conversational tone, and with great stories. A promotion from a charity can’t compete with that level of intimacy, authority or authenticity.
2. Not Every Wired Fundraiser Is a Champion: The successful Wired Fundraiser has a relatively rare combination of true passion and a means to lend a sense of urgency to their cause. Not every Six Degrees fundraiser or Facebook Cause is a winner, but a proud few – the superactivists - are very effective, raising $9,000 on average and reaching 150 people.
3. Technology Gives the Wired Fundraiser Special Power: Widgets and social networks make personal fundraisers more effective for four reasons. Widgets – bits of code that enable you to generate and place content anywhere online, including on Facebook pages or blogs – make it possible for personal fundraisers to take their message anywhere they communicate online, including social networks where messages spread very efficiently. They make it possible for the fundraiser to evangelize in their own way, in their own words. Because they make fundraising so easy, widgets attract a new group of fundraisers. Importantly, widgets also make it easy and convenient for friends and family to give instantly, when they feel an impulse to give. That means more donations to more causes.
4. Smart Charities Embrace the Wired Fundraiser: Technology enables anyone to be a fundraiser, anywhere online. The control over the message is in the hands of the Wired Fundraiser. Wise charities see this as something to embrace rather than something to fear. They tap into the opportunity to spread their message further, by new means, via new messengers.
This month's net2thinktank topic is how nonprofits can use the social web to raise money during the giving season. I think some of these findings apply to this question.
I think the most important finding is #4 which is Smart Charities Embrace the Wired Fundraiser. Through technology nonprofits can spread the word about their fundraisers in many different ways.
How can nonprofits spread the word using the social web?
- Write a blog entry on the organization's blog and/or MySpace blog.
- Post a message on your group on Facebook.
- Write a bulletin on MySpace.
- Write a note or share a link on Facebook.
- Include a video on the webpage for the fundraiser.
- Come up with keywords/tags to describe your fundraiser. Tag it on del.icio.us and other social bookmarking sites.
- Encourage members/supporters to spread the word about the fundraiser by posting a blog entry, sharing the link on Facebook, writing a bulletin on MySpace, or sending an e-mail to their contacts. (this also applies to #1 - When Wired Fundraisers Talk, People Listen)