Award winner lets donors fund specific cancer research projects

Fundraiserofthefuture
Congratulations to the first-ever winner of the Fundraiser of the Future Award.

It’s Cancer Research UK for its My Projects fundraising website.

The geek name for this approach is crowd-sourcing, because it pulls together a crowd of people to accomplish things individuals can’t on their own.

As you can see, users can sift through cancer research projects and choose to fund one they like. They can search by cancer type or location of the research. Then they can either donate, join a “giving group” created by another donor, or start their own giving group and recruit people into it. (I don’t know how they inform and update donors to specific projects; I hope it’s rich and detailed.)

Myprojects

Donors can fund a project for any reason they like: Maybe a project sounds promising; maybe they know the researchers; maybe it’s aimed at a cancer you or a loved one fought. The choice is the donor’s

And as far as I’m concerned, that’s the magic. It connects people’s passion to their giving, which is how it ought to be.

Nay-sayers will note that this cedes the role of deciding what projects should be funded to non-experts, which could lead to important but harder-to-understand projects going underfunded. While I don’t doubt that not all projects get equal donor attention, I thumb my nose at that objection. It’s an anti-donor smokescreen that a smart organization can (must) solve.

I’m especially glad to see this being done in health fundraising; as a sector, health has been least open to empowering donors. These guys are doing it — it’s possible. The old excuses for traditional top-down, trust-us fundraising are falling away.

This is the way a lot of fundraising will be done in the coming years. Giving donors choice. Treating donors as partners, not ATMs.

Congratulations to Cancer Research UK!

This award is given periodically to fundraisers who get it right in a notable, creative way. If you know of others who deserve the Fundraiser of the Future Award, let know.

Thanks to Giving in a digital world for the tip.


Comments

2 responses to “Award winner lets donors fund specific cancer research projects”

  1. This is a wonderful idea, give people a choice of which kind of cancer they would like to donate to.
    One thing that a lot of donors don’t realize about “restricted funds” that they donate to a multi-purpose charity is that there is only one bank account for the nonprofit.
    Therefore, there’s no way to make sure that the money they donated goes to a specific purpose.
    Nice workaround here.
    Mazarine
    http://wildwomanfundraising.com

  2. This is a wonderful idea, give people a choice of which kind of cancer they would like to donate to.
    One thing that a lot of donors don’t realize about “restricted funds” that they donate to a multi-purpose charity is that there is only one bank account for the nonprofit.
    Therefore, there’s no way to make sure that the money they donated goes to a specific purpose.
    Nice workaround here.
    Mazarine
    http://wildwomanfundraising.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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