Concluding our 4-Part Series: Workplace Giving and Crowdfunding
Part 4. In this concluding post about the opportunities to apply crowdfunding to workplace giving, we focus our attention on perhaps the toughest challenges for any fundraiser in our hyper-busy lives. How do we facilitate more giving in the moment? After all, workplace giving raises a lot of money every year – on the order of $5 billion or more. Yet that falls way short of the potential. Unleashing that greater potential requires us to enable more giving in the moment.
We talked about this a bit in Part 1. The charitable giving sector is losing donors. Most donors work for a living. And the largest generations of employed potential donors are less and less engaged with nonprofits. Remember those 3 keys to fundraising? Let’s revisit.
First, people give to people who make an ask. Check.
Second, telling a compelling story strengthens the ask and completes the emotional connection between donor and cause. Check.
And third, once the connection established, capture the donation as fast as possible … as in immediately. Giving in the moment.
Furthermore, everything we know about human behavior says that, if we want someone to do something, make it really simple. People are too busy for anything else. So if we want to help companies, teams, nonprofits and other organizations raise more funds, we have to keep asking ourselves an important question:
What are the barriers to giving, and how can we remove them?
Because the more barriers to giving that we remove, the closer we come to that third key principle: Capture the donation in the moment the connection is made.
In the old days, when a nonprofit asked me to give, they accepted my check. Simple. Not necessarily fast, but simple. In fact, with one checkbook I could give to any charity in the country. Now all too often, nonprofits ask me to fill out forms, create passwords, and enrich profiles so that my personal data gets monetized through a lifetime value analysis of my giving potential. And if I want to give to a second charity, guess what? I get the same treatment. And a third? You get the picture.
There is nothing fast or simple about this, right? Why are we using technology to make the giving experience harder, slower, more complicated?
Givio makes it easy and fast to give, and to fundraise. Here’s an example, using a Slack channel.
Giving in the moment
Let’s think about the donor’s behavior for a minute. Even better, the employee-donor’s behavior. We are busy. Very busy. In fact, to help us keep our busy lives organized, what do we do? We use technology. The more that a particular technology helps us stay organized, informed, engaged, the more we will use it.
What technologies to busy employee-donors use frequently? Well, for starters, apparently I check my phone 96 times a day. I did not know it was so often until I started researching this blog. Wow. We use our mobile devices a lot.
We also use communication platforms like Slack and Teams … a lot. In fact, the typical Slack user logs in and stays logged in all day, following numerous channels and sharing many communications every day.
So pivoting back to the “in the moment” principle, in order to improve employee engagement, we have to meet them on their terms, where they are, with technologies they already know and trust.
I did something good today
What else happens when we make it really easy to give … giving in the moment when the need is encountered? We help donors to do something good.
Let’s think about our own lives – how many times have we encountered a need, had no way to respond, and intended to do something later? But we never did. This is a topic for another blog, but common sense, personal experience, and science all tell us that giving makes us feel better. We are happier, healthier people when we help others.
One more reason to make giving as easy – and as social! – as possible. There is more to this crowdfunding thing that we thought.
Isn’t crowdfunding a bit “messy”?
With easy-to-use crowdfunding solutions – like Givio – the checkbook is replaced with an app that can be encountered on a mobile device, in a Slack channel, or across Teams. With Givio on my phone, once again I can give to any charity in the country, anytime I want. In the moment.
And crowdfunding is not simply “here to stay”. It is a critically important part of our fundraising future. Why? Because donors like it. They find familiarity and trust in these experiences. A generation of donors expresses themselves through social apps. A platform like Givio isn’t simply infinitely shareable – it opens new doors you did not even knock on. Think about that for minute!
Crowdfunding is also a bit messy. As a fundraiser, it feels like I am not in control. Who knows where our message goes? Who knows who sees our ask and responds? Is my brand “protected” as it is shared? But you know what? That’s okay. Let’s recognize that we don’t control donors to begin with – we invite them into a relationship. And then we nurture that relationship. Most nonprofits I know need more donor relationships, need younger donor relationships, and need to find new ways to re-engage lapsed donor relationships.
Givio opens doors you never even knocked on.
Think of a crowdfunding activity as meeting multiple needs:
Connecting with donors on their terms.
Lead generation for a broader donor base to nurture. By the way, some will become those higher net worth donors you need.
Reaching donors who don’t write checks, use credit cards, or spend much time on email.
Providing a way for your strongest supporters to leverage their networks – their spheres of influence – which in turn opens more doors that you never knocked on!
To enable more giving in the moment, we need your help
Small business, mid-sized companies, United Way – we need you! I’m encouraging you to think differently and creatively about how to activate your sphere of influence for causes you care about.
To all 1,200 United Ways out there, give us a shout. I worked at United Way of the National Capital Area in the late 1990s and designed the first scalable online giving software in the United Way system. I understand your challenges, and I think Givio can be part of your future. Maybe crowdfunding still sounds new and confusing. Don’t worry, contact us, we can help.
To small and mid-sized businesses everywhere, the Givio team consists of small business owners and entrepreneurs. 90% of small businesses give back to our communities. You and your employees want to do more to help your communities, but you don’t have time. Contact us. Let us help you make it easier.
To every nonprofit that is resource-constrained and struggling to understand changes to the giving landscape, we understand. We have talked to many charities in your situation, and we see first-hand the impact of COVID and the economy on your organization. In fact, we want to do something about it – we launched a program through the Givio Charitable Foundation to help smaller nonprofits adapt to the changing landscape. We call it “COVID-19 Nonprofit Survival”.
Replacing lost leadership
Circling back to my opening point: our nonprofit community needs workplace giving more than ever. Because young, working donors hold so much untapped potential. We have to start by removing barriers to giving, and then meeting donors on their terms. By removing so many barriers to giving, Givio helps you capture more giving in the moment.
When giving is easy for the donor, fundraising gets easier for all of us.
What Givio cannot do, however, is replace the lost workplace leadership that we discussed in Part 1. But you know what? – that’s okay. Times are different. Don’t go backwards, go forwards. And that’s were we all come in.
The donor metrics from giving through the workplace are still strong. Incentives like matching gift programs are widespread, but under utilized. Business networks of employees, customers, suppliers, and partners represent huge resources for fundraising. And giving platforms like Givio enable the grassroots to take action like never before. Each of us can fill that leadership vacuum in our corner of the world.