Online fundraising the creative way

This will be a big hit with word people. And it’s flat-out cool.


I CAN, a UK charity that helps children with language and speech problems, has a fundraising program called Adopt a Word.


Here’s how it works: You look up a word on the site, and if it isn’t already taken, you can adopt it for £20 (for a year). The money goes to help children.


If you’re in the UK, you’ll get an adoption certificate mailed to you. If you’re a poor schmoe who doesn’t live in the UK, you have to make do with a PDF of the certificate. (By the way, “schmoe” would be a great word to adopt.) Here’s mine:


Adoptioncertificate

You can also buy various swag with “your” word on it.


Swag

The whole thing is a great way to put flesh on what otherwise might be a pretty vague offer: It would be tough to quantify and price what it takes to help a kid who has communication issues. But £20 to adopt a word (that’s about $33 US) is something you can connect with. And it’s not just a random thing: It’s words. Something connected with the offer.


Very admiring thumbs up.


Read more about the campaign at SOFII.


Thanks to Conor’s Fundraising Blog for the tip.


Comments

2 responses to “Online fundraising the creative way”

  1. Jeff,
    I’m with you. I love the creativity and RELEVANCE of this idea/offer. Similar to direct mail campaigns … IF someone makes the business decision to use a premium; I favor those that are relevant to the mission of the nonprofit and to the offer.
    This “adopt a word” idea reminded me of three others I’ve seen this year. You probably did too. I’ll briefly share them just in case.
    1 – America’s Second Harvest has a neat interactive device on their website. It allows donors to choose how much they give and see what it buys at the same time. Basically they help fill a refrigerator that’s pictured on the site. http://bit.ly/QgykW
    2 – This next one helps spread the word (raise awareness) about the mission and also raises a bit of money. The Grain Foods Foundation created the “Bread Art Project.” Their purpose was to help raise money and to increase awareness of the growing hunger problem in the U.S. The foundation gave money to the cause and also gives $1 for each piece of bread art submitted. Even someone who isn’t really a talented artist could have fun with this. My only negative comment is that I don’t find the web site, http://bit.ly/11jlzM user friendly.
    3 – This last one isn’t an example of online fundraising . . . however it is relevant and clever. At least I liked it. “Well Aware” is a Texas charity that builds water wells in Africa. This summer 35 volunteers went on a “shower strike” – went one week without taking a bath or shower – to raise money for the charity. The promotions centered on “a stinky fundraising idea” and they tracked progress on their blog. Their goal was $40K and they raised $23K. This was for a specific project but I still like the idea, especially since in the US and other developed nations we seldom think twice about water supply. http://bit.ly/42LnL2
    Karen Zapp, Fundraising Copywriter
    http://www.PKscribe.com

  2. Jeff,
    I’m with you. I love the creativity and RELEVANCE of this idea/offer. Similar to direct mail campaigns … IF someone makes the business decision to use a premium; I favor those that are relevant to the mission of the nonprofit and to the offer.
    This “adopt a word” idea reminded me of three others I’ve seen this year. You probably did too. I’ll briefly share them just in case.
    1 – America’s Second Harvest has a neat interactive device on their website. It allows donors to choose how much they give and see what it buys at the same time. Basically they help fill a refrigerator that’s pictured on the site. http://bit.ly/QgykW
    2 – This next one helps spread the word (raise awareness) about the mission and also raises a bit of money. The Grain Foods Foundation created the “Bread Art Project.” Their purpose was to help raise money and to increase awareness of the growing hunger problem in the U.S. The foundation gave money to the cause and also gives $1 for each piece of bread art submitted. Even someone who isn’t really a talented artist could have fun with this. My only negative comment is that I don’t find the web site, http://bit.ly/11jlzM user friendly.
    3 – This last one isn’t an example of online fundraising . . . however it is relevant and clever. At least I liked it. “Well Aware” is a Texas charity that builds water wells in Africa. This summer 35 volunteers went on a “shower strike” – went one week without taking a bath or shower – to raise money for the charity. The promotions centered on “a stinky fundraising idea” and they tracked progress on their blog. Their goal was $40K and they raised $23K. This was for a specific project but I still like the idea, especially since in the US and other developed nations we seldom think twice about water supply. http://bit.ly/42LnL2
    Karen Zapp, Fundraising Copywriter
    http://www.PKscribe.com

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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