Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Calling all INGOs - invest in Australia

At the IWRM conference Mal Warwick stated that 'Social Media is no good for fundraising'. But he wasn't telling us not to use it - he was suggesting that we use it to build relationships and generate leads.

He also told us that the more fields of information that you capture, the lower your response rate, so to generate maximum response rate just ask for email address. Makes sense - BUT we know that calling people on their mobile phone is much, much more effective in converting them to donors, especially regular (monthly) donors.

But what is the optimum point? Charities and companies worldwide are investing in exploring these ideas, but rarely coordinated even amongst their own sites.

Even when tested, in many of the case studies I saw at IWRM and then at ADMA Forum there was no joined up thinking between the initial test and the final sale.

The initial sign up rate when capturing data is not the point - the number of sales is the point - but testing is long winded and expensive.

Chatting to people from different INGOs (International Non Governmental Organisations eg UNICEF, Plan, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Amnesty) in different countries I see some amazing tests but again, no joined up thinking.

For example, Greenfam USA may be testing one thing, for a cost of $50k and Greenfam UK testing another for the same price, Greenfam Brasil another and so on.

Surely a better approach would be a team effort, pooling resources and testing joined up thinking in a tech savvy country, with a small but rich population, high Internet penetration and in a language used in more countries than any other?

Having a multi-national team enables 24 hour project development, doubling the speed at which progress can be made (I know, in theory it should treble speed but in practice, hand overs etc slow things down). Back end could be done in cheaper countries - any online test can be done anywhere of course.

The lessons learned can then be rolled out and tested. Of course, some practical differences between countries will emerge but as World Vision have shown with their international rollouts of successful products, these differences are cheaper to iron out than everyone just doing their own thing.

We are managing to do this at Pareto - with our international offices working together with areas of speciality in different countries. It is hard work to get it going, but we can see the advantages already.

And the country rope for these tests? Australia. WSPA did it - come on the rest of you!

Oh, and for all those non-INGOs grumbling that this blog is useless for them, make friends with INGO staff and find out their results and I promise to publish whatever I can get permission to publish.

1 comment:

'Sean is always learning' said...

Mike Johnstone of HJC reckons Mal is wrong, and social media DOES raise money - we are just not tracking it right.

He reckons that Charity Water apparently made $250,000 on Twitter.

Also, NSPCC found that 4.6% of all their online donations were coming from Facebook 18months ago – so it can work. Make sure you track properly.

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