- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
The Challenge drew a very large number of participating organizations and donors, with Causes on Facebook, Network for Good, and Global Giving processing large numbers of donations (81,597 in total). These numbers will undoubtedly increase in future Challenges given the attention the first Challenge received as well as the difficult fundraising economy.
Beyond the funds, other key results included:
- Donor attraction and conversion. Almost all of the cause champions who were interviewed reported that the majority of donors to their causes were new, sometimes in overwhelming numbers of 80-90 percent of the total number of donors. Plus, the Challenge was a great mechanism for converting interested friends to donors. As one cause champion of a youth-oriented cause said, “A lot of our supporters who didn’t consider themselves donors could get in with the minimum donation.”
“About 50% of the people who made donations were chapter members. They were not new to the organization, but they had never donated before. The contest was a real motivator.” – Heidi Dormody, Engineers Without Borders, USA
- Higher visibility. Many cause champions also reported that participating in the Challenge raised their public image considerably by expanding their circle of friends beyond their usual supporters. Fifty-three percent of the survey respondents reported an increase in visibility for their cause—particularly the opportunity to appear in the mainstream media—as a result of participating in the Challenge.
In addition, many champions reported learning to use new technological tools as a result of participating in the Challenge. Seventy-five percent of the survey respondents said they would participate in a future Challenge if given the opportunity.
"Yes, we're thankful we won the money. But the exposure for our organization was priceless. The Challenge encouraged us to reach out beyond our known group supporters—and that's a good thing because it brought us new donors. We raised a lot of awareness about our organization. That provided a lot of value.” – Linda Shiller and Mary Parente, 11th Hour Rescue. Raised $54,000 from 2,448 donors.
“The prize money was enticing, but even though we didn't win we got many benefits. We expanded our donor base, reached out to people who didn't already know about us or who we didn't ask to donate in the past, and learned a lot about online fundraising.” – Seva Mandir, Non Formal Education for Tribal Children in India. Raised $41,412 from 1,488 donors.
- Multi-generational teamwork. The Challenge wasn’t uni-generational but, rather, multi-generational, as Millennials found themselves in the position of coaching their elders in online giving. We estimate that about half of the cause champions for award recipients were Millennials (between the ages of 15-29) and many had their epicenters on college campuses. These young people were comfortable using Facebook and Causes on Facebook, and already had large numbers of friends on their social network sites. “We were calling our grandparents and others who were not familiar with widgets,” said one cause champion. “We had to learn how to explain so they understood and could get past their fears of security.” Another said, “It was great to see grandparents, parents, young adults, and teens all working together to support orphaned children.”
- Network effect. Another unforeseen benefit of the Challenge was the network effect between participating causes and their supporters. Cause champions were watching each other’s efforts closely and adopting each other’s successful strategies. Donors learned about causes other than the one they may have known initially, and some organizations found ways to work together to share donors and create one widget for their efforts.
- National-local coordination. And lastly, some organizations, like Engineers without Borders, discovered that the Challenge was a great way to coordinate a fundraising effort between the national organization and local chapters. As part of their strategy, the national organization issued a challenge to their chapters. The three chapters that brought in the most donors would receive a matching grants of $3-5,000. According to the staff at Engineers Without Borders, most chapters had previously raised modest amounts, so the additional matching incentive was a strong motivation.