Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

 

Learning from one another – curating dialogue on Facebook

Posted by manmeet on October 19th, 2011

Do you remember asking a classmate to help you with your homework? Perhaps they owed you a favor because you’d helped them with something else? There are many intellectual, cultural and social reasons for asking friends and colleagues for help, but what is quite fascinating to me is the manner in which we respond to one another. When we engage with others’ success and failures, we learn. Development experts have a buzzword for this type of peer learning; they call it “collaboration.”

At GlobalGiving we crowdsource new partnerships with non-profit organizations that have expressed interest in working with us. Typically we work actively with 500-600 organizations over 2-4 months, through group trainings and individual consultations to help organizations map and grow their networks and building an online fundraising plan. We then invite them to post a project on the site and implement their online fundraising strategy raise funds for their projects. If an organization meets a threshold of raising $4000, from at least 50 donors they are invited to join the GlobalGiving platform. We call this an Open Challenge.

In addition to the trainings and individual consultations for Challenge participants who we call Project Leaders (PLs), we host sessions with fundraising experts and other social entrepreneurs who have successfully leveraged our tools (aha! The peers!).  Several years ago it suddenly struck us – what would happen if we made it easier for organizations to talk to one another?

Facebook turned out to be the lowest common social media denominator amongst Challenge participants, so we created a private Facebook group, first time in December 2010.At first we used it primarily to share fundraising resources, and encouraged people to ask questions about the design and other details of the Challenge.  It was gratifying to watch the conversation start to emerge – people asked and answered questions, others made suggestions  and shared fundraising ideas.

But it wasn’t quite vibrant. We tried something different for the next group we set up for the last Open Challenge we hosted. Here’s what we did differently:

  • Every day during the Challenge we posted relevant content– fundraising tips, links to resources and suggestions for raising funds
  • Regularly asked a variety of questions of the participants
  • Engaged participants that had shown interest by inviting them to share their opinions on a particular question
  • Responded to every single post by a member, with a relevant response
  • Celebrated accomplishments big and small

These tactics were driven by some of our core philosophies:

  • Intention: curating the conversation, and facilitating interaction
  • Relevance: sharing irrelevant information is a waste of time
  • Celebration: fundraising is hard work. 4 out of 10 participants had never raised funds online before, so we celebrated all types of victories
  • Recognition: by acknowledging contributions to the group we encouraged more participation. The emerging dialogue seemed to draw more comments.

Take a look at what happened. In comparison to a Facebook group organized for the previous Challenge in April, relevant posts (i.e. posts that were not just links to their projects, and websites) increased from 8% to 33%. The number of Facebook posts from participants increased from 6% to 24%.

In addition, the content of the conversation changed. The posts and comments covered a range of subjects from ideas for fundraising, potential solutions for questions posed, and reactions to fundraising resources that had been posted. Three out of four posts entered by the organizations resulted in two or more comments.

Wow.  People were talking with each other, and they seemed to find the conversation useful! It was exciting to watch people begin to collaborate instead of just compete. It is heartwarming to see the group celebrate milestones – projects submitted, funds raised, thresholds met.

We will continue to experiment with the way we facilitate these conversations by  making it fun and interesting for members to talk to each other with the upcoming Winter Global Open Challenge. This idea of creating a space for interaction to happen is central to GlobalGiving’s core philosophies. We believe that expertise should be decentralized, and that the possibility of learning from each other is immense.

If you have any experience in facilitating content-driven dialogue online, please do share your thoughts with us. We’re going to keep experimenting, and keep learning.

A Fundraising Success Story: Somali Survival Backpacks Project

Posted by Marc Maxson on August 3rd, 2011

A week ago GlobalGiving launched an employee giving portal for Eli Lilly & Company. On the first day, the Lilly Foundation and its employees contributed over forty thousand dollars to GlobalGiving projects within Lilly’s giving focus areas. One of these projects was an emergency project to provide Somali famine victims with “Survival Backpacks,”  run by Hot Sun, a film school in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. Hot Sun raised over $8,000 from 143 donations in one day, thanks to Eli Lilly employees.

This unexpected windfall is noteworthy for two reasons:

  • First, the organization was flexible in its mission and able to shift focus to disaster relief (when it had only managed a film school prior to this).
  • Second, the reason Survival Backpacks for Somali Refugees attracted all those new donors was because their team followed GlobalGiving’s recommended strategies – posting four project updates in 2 months, tweeting / facebooking heavily about the cause, and building personal relationships with donors in a variety of other ways. This helped them attract 76 donors, which gave them good visibility on our website. (Site placement is determined by a series of factors including donor numbers, reporting history, etc.)  Therefore, the Backpacks project had high site visibility on the day that we brought in 38,000 new donors; this led to  a significant overnight fundraising success story.

Fundraising is stochastic, meaning that each action does not guarantee results in a tit-for-tat fashion, but the sum of each incredible personal act does indeed add up. This example should inspire and instruct others in how to attract resources to any community effort, whatever the need, regardless of barriers.

Here’s a bit about the genesis of the project from its founder, Nathan Collett:

Long before this crisis hit, Somali filmmaker Ahmed Farah and I had been shooting a documentary about the Somali refugee camps in Dadaab. We felt we had to do something to fill the gap that large aid organizations are not filling. People need immediate help, before “official” help arrives, as they wait for days, even weeks, to be registered. This gave birth to the Survival Backpacks project. Famine now adds to war as the reason for their exodus. Somalis are crossing the horn of Africa on foot, arriving at Kenyan border camps, where they wait. This will help them survive until “survival aid” arrives, and allows them to keep moving if needed.

As filmmakers we also are working to raise awareness of the issue from a Somali perspective. In 2007 I shot a short film in Northern Somalia called “Charcoal Traffic.” Every time the country tries to get on a solid footing there is outside intervention, war, and attacks such as the Ethiopian invasion in 2008. Many of Somalia’s problems are self-created, but outsiders have made the problem worse. An African proverb says that ‘when the elephants fight, the ground suffers’… this is the case in Somalia. The people are suffering.

Our goal is to give something tangible and raise awareness. No filming or transport costs are taken out of GlobalGiving donations. The trailer for our next documentary “Dadaab: get there or die trying” was screened on Al-Jazeera English’s “The Stream” on July 27th 2011. We hope to continue raising awareness through you, and those whom you tell about us… but to not limit ourselves to that. People on the ground need help. We’ve seen their faces, we’ve experienced their suffering. We can’t just film anymore, we need to save lives.

Best,
Nathan Collett

If you’re interested in learning more about the story of the Somali Survival Backpacks project, here are some links to follow:

The crisis in the Horn of Africa is so immense, we’ll be watching to see what other innovative people and projects arise to help alleviate the suffering. Here are the drought/famine relief projects on GlobalGiving today: http://www.globalgiving.org/east-africa-drought/

You can find other tips and examples about successful online fundraising strategies on our Tools and Trainings Blog.

New Read: Half the Sky

Posted by caroline little on September 16th, 2009

Half the SkyThis week at GlobalGiving many of us are reading the new book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Pulitzer- Prize winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

While exposing the horrors women in the developing world face on a daily basis—gender-based violence like honor killings and genital mutilation, the sex trade, and high rates of easily preventable maternal mortality—the book also shows how changing the circumstances of just one woman can have a powerful ripple effect on her family and the community at-large. Through the work of our GlobalGiving project leaders, we’re lucky enough to see the effects of empowering disadvantaged women first hand.

Consider this update posted earlier this year from a women’s collective in Bihar, India who is looking to raise funds to help support their sewing centers that provide a community space and help women learn a valuable trade: “I was married two years ago and I am lucky because my husband is kind to me and gives me permission to go to the market and sewing centre. But some other members are not so lucky, but under pressure from all of us we get their husbands not to object to their wives coming to the centre. Here we are learning a useful skill but this is the only place we can meet as women in friendship and in mutual support. We are now stopping drunken behavior from the men, we have patrolled the village with 35 of us forcing the local drinking shop to close, now drunken beatings are a thing of the past and our village is more peaceful and we feel more secure.”

We’re so pleased that Kristof and WuDunn have brought this important issue to the forefront, and are humbled to be included in the book under “Four Steps You Can Take in the Next Ten Minutes.” Right now we’re featuring a great promotion; donate $100 to any GlobalGiving project and receive a copy of Half the Sky for free. Check out our Half the Sky page for some pre-selected projects that relate to the book.

If you’ve already had a chance to read the book, please share your thoughts! What story did you find the most compelling? Where do you think change needs to happen most urgently, and through what means?

Let’s kick some ball……

Posted by robert on February 25th, 2008

“Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose-it teaches you about life. Sports are a microcosm of society.” — Billie Jean King

Her comment cuts through to the true nature of all sport. Sports brings out everything that is the worst and the best in us. It brings out our true spirit – grit, courage, grace, empathy and so much more – hidden by the many layers of our personality. But it’s about who we are and what we can do; no matter your ethnicity, gender, caste. It’s about achieving something exclusively on merit. It’s about walking the talk.

For GlobalGiving Project Leader Tommy Clarke, it’s a way to create incredible social change in Zimbabwe. A former pro football player Tommy Clarke came up with an extraordinary idea – he was going to turn around the tide on AIDS amongst youth in Africa, beginning with Zimbabwe. And he was going to do it by getting them to play soccer – a ubiquitous passion even in the most impoverished areas. Today, nearly 23% more youth now understand the importance of using condoms than they did before. “Now we know we can cure HIV/AIDS with our knowledge and power.” Susan Bulaya, 15 year old recipient of Tommy’s program.

Tommy Clarke isn’t the lone visionary to understand the power of sports as a way to influence and alter behavior, establish new ways to communicate, to empower and heal. Click here to read about another outstanding social entrepreneur who is using sports to provide solutions to challenges like women’s right and HIV/AIDS, youth unemployment.

And guess what? You can support these amazing social entrepreneurs win the Ashoka Changemakers competition! Click here to vote for GlobalGiving Project Leaders Tommy (Grassroots Soccer), Matt (Partners of the Americas), Sarah (Kilifi) and Trevor (Kids League).

Yelpy New Year

Posted by bill brower on January 11th, 2008

Techno sounds, cramped corners, ambient light, and a trendy crowd of talkers came together two nights ago at the Yelp ’08 event at Arlington’s Eleventh Street Lounge. GlobalGivers Alison, Dana, and I made an appearance in support of the community Yelp has built here in DC. Yelpers are tastemakers and influencers who are very vocal both on and offline; they visit, rate, and review everything from restaurants, to public services, to mass media. At the event they offered a high-tech photo booth (Digital SLR + live printing), and delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

We were dazzled by the high energy of party-planner Miriam (pictured below), and wanted to say thanks to Yelp for the fun evening!