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The Social Media Donation Multiplication Effect

Let me guess, you have a friend who is involved in a Team-in-Training triathlon, marathon, or Iditarod, and she has asked you (and all your friends) to contribute. If you’re anything like me, your friend’s personal request usually works. Or maybe your local public radio station caught your attention with a major challenge grant that was just about to slip away…if you hadn’t called right away? Or perhaps your company matches your donations, and that thought of your boss making out a check to your favorite charity was simply irresistible?

Let’s face it, there’s a kind of community effect to these fundraising strategies that donors find appealing. First of all, everyone’s doing it. Second of all, my dollar actually may actually buy me two or more dollars of benefit to one of my favorite organizations.

donorbadge enables organizations to tap into these multiplication and community effects. When a donor posts a badge to her Facebook page, it’s as if she’s running that marathon or making that challenge grant—and encouraging all of her buddies to follow her lead. She’s no longer an individual donor—she’s leveraging his gift to make a greater impact.

To reinforce this multiplication effect, think about creating customized messages that can convey to your constituencies the value of sharing donorbadges with their network of friends.

Ideas for Your Back-to-School Campaign

Back-to-school means new classes, new friends and roommates, new clothes, and the start of a great opportunity. Tap into your alum’s nostalgia with a special donorbadge campaign. Even if most of your donations come through your generic school badge, a new badge draws attention and gives you the opportunity to reach alumni through their diverse sets of memories and activities.

Here are a just a couple of ideas that donorbadge invites you to adapt for your special back-to-school campaign:


Until the end of September, donorbadge is giving all new and current subscribers one extra badge for the back-to-school and future campaigns. These complimentary Badges will be active for one year and can be modified and reused for future campaigns. If you choose, donorbadge will also help you adapt the designs shown in this post for your campaign at no additional cost. Your organization must be a subscriber to the donorbadge service in order to take advantage of this offer. Not yet a subscriber?  Contact us or join our free webinar.

Do you have a great back-to-school campaign? Share it with the donorbadge community on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Colleges investing in social media “report positive impacts in… website hits, positioning, and alumni-giving rates.”

A July 2010 report on marketing spending at colleges and universities, revealed that more institutions are using social media, and that it’s an effective choice:  “Moderate-to-heavy investors were more likely to report positive impacts in three important areas: website hits, positioning, and alumni-giving rates… One final point of interest regarding social media use: The moderate-to-heavy users of social media were actually spending less overall per student on marketing activities.”

Fundraisers have an increasing awareness that traditional by-mail direct mail campaigns and advertising no longer have the same success rate, and that email and phone calls can be evaded via spam filters, voicemail, and caller ID. Also, as was well-documented by the Socialnomics blog, book, and break-out hit YouTube video, social media is  no longer a fad—word of mouth the primary method by which people discover and act. And, while social media requires investment of staff time and expertise that may not initially result in donations, it is increasingly important and difficult to stay in touch with alums.

Slideshow, “Implementing a Social Media Marketing Campaign for Fundraising” provides useful tips

In her presentation “Implementing a Social Media Marketing Campaign for Fundraising” for CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education), Julie Chiron of UC Berkeley featured donorbadge as their social media solution for their New Alumni Challenge. The presentation notes that in a two month period, the UC Berkeley badge was seen by as many as 10,000 through the activities of just 70 donors. What does this mean for institutions? Increased exposure to the institution’s brand, and an increased likelihood that other donors will join the party.

donorbadge Tutorial: Publish donorbadge in Facebook Fan pages

Donor badge offers an effective way to appeal to the fans in your fan page  to support the institution.  It can be used to craft an appeal during time critical periods such as fiscal/calendar year-ends, challenge periods, events and more.  Some of the benefits from this approach include :

  • Conversion of fans into donors by using donorbadge as a reward and donor recognition tool
  • A new opportunity to reach out to the Fans, especially ahead of deadlines
  • Ability to measure the response (click through) using donorbadge reports
  • Increased awareness (viral propagation) from new donors getting their own donorbadge

We have created a brief tutorial that describes how you can take advantage of this donorbadge feature and make a successful gift appeal in Facebook fan pages.

Let us know your feedback/suggestions/ideas regarding this feature and more.

Coming soon! donorbadge on license plates

California license plate with UC Berkeley donorbadge

Well, I am just kidding for now, but this may be a real possibility if California and other states adopt the law that would allow electronic license plates on our vehicles.  States are pursuing this technology as a means to generate additional revenue.

The device would display ads or other messages when the vehicle is stopped for more than 4 seconds.  According to one of the companies developing this technology, Smart Plate, this could also be used to display the driver’s allegiance to alma mater or sports team.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could share your donorbadge with the world by publishing it to your license plate with the click of a button?   Looks like that day is not far off.

Virtual Badges for Social Media Campaigns

Sprint is about to launch a social media marketing campaign tonight for its new 4G phone using virtual badges.  Users must perform a set of tasks to get the unique badges which they can then share with their friends in Facebook and Twitter and brag about being the first to do those tasks.

Apart from Sprint, several other companies are using virtual badges to engage the users and spread the word about their product or service .   Recently, Wall Street Journal teamed up with Foursquare to offer its own badges.  Huffington Post is offering virtual badges to its most active users.   Foursquare has made it easy for thousands of small businesses to offer virtual badges to customers.  And of course, several education institutions have been giving donorbadge to its supporters since August 2009.

Virtual badges is a win-win for both the users and the organization.   The users enjoy collecting the badges and sharing(or bragging) in their social networks.  In the case of education and non-profit institutions, the supporters display the badges with pride and appreciation.

For the organizations, badges are a great way to engage its constituents and spread the word in social networks.   Badges are easy to set-up.   Unlike traditional marketing campaigns including email campaigns, there is hardly any production work(content creation) involved in creating a badge.  As a result, the overall cost of this approach is much lower than traditional marketing campaigns.

Any organization that is interested in creating a word of mouth campaign for its product, service or fundraising should seriously consider using virtual badges.

Welcome to donorbadge’s blog!

Welcome to donorbadge’s blog.  I look forward to chatting with you regarding leveraging social networks for Annual giving and more!