Dear Friends - Never buy bottled water again (as an example - feel free to substitute) This is a cause I really care about! To learn more or donate go to....
Hey Robert- Great seeing you at week at Tim's! Can't believe we're already into summer and looking forward forward to seeing you at the 10k next week - how's the training been going? Did I tell you that I'm training for the Ride/Run etc. - would love to tell you more...
Both of the messages above could be easily done on Facebook. The first can be driven off Facebook's social platform causes in probably a half hour or less (depending on your tech savviness). It's relatively easy to use and is adaptable to doing anything from sending out a petition to raising donations. While I didn't do a ton of back research here, I believe it was one of the first of its kind and a bit of a precursor to today's wide range of crowdfunding sites. There have been weeks where I've received multiple notices of these - interestingly enough from the same person. Even more interesting is that they end with "this is a cause I REALLY CARE ABOUT. Really?
The other semi-fictional (but reality based) message is one I could have received from an acquaintance, friend or colleague which could have ended with 1) an invitation to meet and talk more 2) a request that I consider supporting a campaign and/or 3) a request that I share a link with my friends and contacts. These outcomes are all good and not mutually exclusive.
Which would you rather receive?
Which are you more likely to respond to?
My quick and hopefully clear message is that personalization still works in this age of online fundraising, crowdsourcing and peer-to-peer fundraising. And by the way, I will be first to say that I love and use all of them. Teens Run Westchester, an organization I'm part of has 4 days and (I believe) is 62% towards our goal.
By the way, I shouldn't say personalization STILL works. It never went away. I do feel; however, that we're in this moment where the means have got us as excited, if not a bit more excited, than the ends; raising much need funds for critical issues. All of the great tools we have today-including my ability to connect with you through LinkedIn, my blog or some other source reay don't add up to much unless I can make that personal connection. So make it....it's worth the effort.
Think about it the next time you're about to hit "send" to 1 friend....or 1,000
Robert Grabel is the President of Nonprofit Now! You can find his posts here and at www.robertgrabel.com
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