Giving Tuesday raised $45.7 million for non-profits on the December 2nd, 2014 day of giving meant to follow the commercial wave of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This was the third year of Giving Tuesday and Givkwik.com undertook the daunting challenge of creating a live online event on the day. In this interview Jason Rosado (GivKwik.com Founder) and Jorge Fontanez (Advisory Council Member) discuss the importance of visual story telling and developing your organization’s ‘baseball card’ that can quickly tell the story of impact to supporters on giving platforms.
Giving Tuesday Statistics and Fact list
This section is for the numbers geeks, so feel free to skip over.
- #GivingTuesday +20,000 partners (15,000 ngos)
- Total amount donated: $45.7M – $3,046 per NGO
- Est. GDP:17,229.2 billion (+2.75% growth World Bank )
- Est. U.S. giving:344.58 (Est. 2% rate)
- #GivingTuesday 8,500 partners (7,000 ngos)
- Total amount donated: $27M – $3857 per NGO
- Avg individual gift:143 (Blackbaud)
- US individuals gave:335.17B (1.99% of GDP)
- #GivingTuesday 2,500 NGOs involved
- $4,800 per NGO
- Total amount donated:12M
- Avg individual gift:101 (Blackbaud)
- GDP:15,533.8 billion
- US gave228.93 billion (1.5 percent of GDP)
- GivKwik.com – corporate giving platform
- IndieGoGo.com – crowd fundraising platform
- Giving Tuesday fundraising ideas
- Video training guide with Giving Tuesday tips
Speaker 1: This is “Using the Whole Whale” a podcast that brings you stories of data and technology in the nonprofit world. My name is George Weiner– your host– and the chief whaler of Whole Whale.com. Thanks for joining us.
On December 2nd 2014 . . . “Giving Tuesday” as it is called . . . reaction to “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”. . . I had the chance of sponsoring a great event that “give kwik” put on. I met Jason and Jorge there while they were putting on a live event that went along with “Giving Tuesday” where they were showcasing great nonprofits and sharing different stories about the day.
Welcome to Episode 24, where I do a sort of postmortem about the event, but we also discuss with both Jason and Jorge. We discuss things like crowd giving, and philanthropy, days of giving and the “Chase Community” giving challenge. Let me get your names. I’m over here in this “impact hub office” . . . a really fun environment. Can you introduce yourselves?
Speaker 2: My name is Jason Rosado and I am founder and CEO of “Give Kwik Inc,”
Speaker 3: My name is Jorge Fontanez. I am an adviser to “Give Kwik” and work as a grand marketing strategist.
Speaker 1: Great! So, let’s start off with. . . what is “Give Kwik” aside from something that sounds like give quick through.
Speaker 2: “Give Kwik” is a mission technology-driven company company that connects causes companies and communities and to put it more in layman’s terms . . . we help companies give away money. And we make it easier for them to get more people involved such as their employees and their customers in the philanthropic decision making process. Whereas in the past too many cooks would spoil the broth. If you ask too many people to get involved in the decision as to where companies philanthropy should go . . . now with technology. . . better user experience. . . mobile apps. . . social media. . . you can involve thousands, if not millions of individuals in the decision.
Speaker 1: So, the “field of giving” is ideally growing and you have seen some growth. A lot of things like “Giving Tuesday,” and we will get to that in a second. I am curious a bit more about your platform and what are the metrics that you are looking toward that would indicate that you are having some success?
Speaker 2: It is a crowded space, with respect to online giving, and crowd funding and fundraising. So, we started out in that space and realized how crowded it was and pivoted a way from fundraising and more towards philanthropy, where we created a distinction between fund raising being from going from zero to raising 50k. And, philanthropy is having 50k and getting down to zero. And we have identified opportunities for efficiencies for companies to be more efficient for their philanthropy in order to get more people involved. So, the basics of our metrics include active engagement . . . how many users are involved in the decision making process, the resonance on social media. So, your typical media. . . social media metrics such as “Shares” and “Reach” and “Active Accounts”. We have our own account system. So we track how many accounts are created as a result of this campaign, as well as we have our own ecosystem. So, how deep an individual can get into the ecosystem . . .to learn and discover more causes that they help the companies support.
Speaker 1: Got you. And I was introduced to you both through the world of “Giving Tuesday,” which started in 2012. . . . significantly grew in 2013 . . . and can you tell us what your thought was of purchasing December 2nd which you were trying to do with “Giving Tuesday?
Speaker 2: “Giving Tuesday” . . . giving the first Tuesday after “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” being a “giving” and philanthropy company, we sort of looked at it as our Christmas. You know. If you are in this space, you should have a presence on this day. Primarily it’s a social media phenomenon, whereas most of giving traditionally has been an offline experience. . . an experiential . . . in person. . . .write the check . . . shake the hand and hug each other experience. Online giving has been great for accelerating the experience of giving but it sort of removes the interpersonal activity. So, when we look at “Giving Tuesday,” we are excited by the idea and baffled by the idea that no one had yet added an interpersonal component to the celebration of giving. So, we wanted to create an event, tied to an online experience that would bring people together. . . make decisions together. . . and make an impact.
Speaker 1: So, this is like Walmart saying “forget this Cyber Monday thing” “Let’s get people lined up in front of the store. So, you are bringing the “Black Friday” back into Cyber Monday.
Speaker 3: Although you know what we thought was compelling about “Giving Tuesday,” was that it has grown as a conversation. Over the last three years it had been in place. . . the number of nonprofits involved has more than doubled, the number of individuals pledging to give on “Giving Tuesday” has increased substantially and the actual dollar amount has also increased. But, one of the main problems that we have thought about from the user experience is “discovering what nonprofits to actually give to. So, there is a great conversation happening around “Giving Tuesday,” but, for many users in this case, potential donors. . . the opportunity to give is as good as having a relationship with a nonprofit. And that was another reason we thought tying the platform experience with an event experience would be interesting to test because it might get donors closer to nonprofits and use storytelling in more compelling way than me figuring it out at home on my computer.
Speaker 1: Got you. So, you have this convening . . .and saying the relationship as a true asset for “not-for-profits” are getting. So,can you describe in a bit more detail, what the event actually was and how it went and some of the numbers behind it?
Speaker 2: Sure. So, we set up an event here at the “Impact Hub,” which is a coworking space for impact companies for-profit social ventures and nonprofits. It is a beautiful three floor loft space in Tribeca, just begging for an event and we sat the organizers of the coworking space and actually sat down with “Indigogo” as well who were also thinking about having an event on this date and hashed out what that would be. So, what we did was we said “let’s work together to find campaigns on “Indigogo,” that are raising money on their “Giving Tuesday” program. “Let’s find nonprofits that are working out of the Impact Hub”. and let’s look at some of the nonprofits that are already signed up for Give Kwik and see who would want to participate in a sort of live pitch to showcase nonprofits giving each of them two minutes of time and five highly visual slides with some impact statements and let’s start with 42, but, let the crowd decide the top ten or twelve that would actually “pitch” at the event. So, we had to stage two big flat screens on that stage as well projecting the bonding experience that the people in the audience could follow along with on their mobile apps or the people on the inter-webs could follow through a “live cast” screen that was captured by one of our partners. And we had food and drink. . . and music . . . in the background and we tried to create a sort of interactive “ted style” salon event . . . where we could sit and stand and watch these great compelling inspirational pictures from nonprofits and make a decision as to where to allocate $5,000.
Speaker 1: That’s great. I don’t know how the idea came about, I don’t know if you were just looking at a space or you recognized an opportunity, but it was an undertaking, so, you had “live stream”. You had a couple of hundred people here in the room. What were some of the numbers that you ended up getting? I guess with either regard to donation, or viewers, or that public impact.
Speaker 2: We had close to 300 people here in the building. We had almost 300,000 people connected through social media through our website. We received in about 12 hours, 75 individual votes into our system. We had a ton of impact in terms of how we accounted for the lives touched. Twenty-six hundred youth and people were touched . . .not touched physically, but their lives were changed as a result of the actions that we made on that day over a thousand volunteer hours were supported. Everyone’s skills were developed. And through Indigogo primarily $600,000 was donated. We had two mechanisms and course of actions for donation. One, we focused on corporate donations and multi-value donations through corporate sponsorships and Indigogo focused on some of the individual donations that were occurring from it.
Speaker 1: This is a good time to share some clips from the “Giving Tuesday” event.
Speaker 4: Okay. Woo! That’s a lot of money.
Speaker 5: Okay. So, can you offer a solution?
Speaker 6: If they can’t go to school. We are going to bring school to them. We created the world’s largest crowdsource repository of free and offline musical educational contact. We, then preloaded this contact on to this super power efficient $50.00 tablet. One in three Kids lives is below the federal poverty line and we all know that that many more kids live at the edges. In the neighborhoods where we serve , only one in ten students graduate ready for college, This is something that we have to address. This is something that “Teach for America” does every day.
speaker 2: I would just add, as we think about learning from this pilot event some of the metrics that we think would be even more compelling is using the event particularly for corporate audience to engage employees. For a first time event, getting 300 people in the room , you know . . . we all know . . . can be a challenge, particularly for that time of year. But, what was interesting was that it was an energetic crowd, particularly for that time of year. They were very engaged. Companies or corporations that are interested in using that time of year to acknowledge employee ambassadors, those who have spent time during the year to volunteer. . . this could be a great to connect an organization with these nonprofits in a more deep way through the event. I think also we are looking for an app and sort of metrics, the idea of how many impressions this event could complement the conversations around “Giving Tuesday.” And “Giving Tuesday,” tweets are probably in the millions in terms of hashtag. We had our own unique hashtag for New York City in real life to distinguish ourselves and that combination of hashtags reached over half a million people through social media. So, we believe that there is something there, that we can take to more cities and potentially bring in more partners next year.
Speaker 1: So, you are saying there could be “multiple live streams”. So, just like New Year’s we are watching the ball drop and in California and New York and seeing this happen . . . you are going to go and take another crack at it.
Speaker 2: Well . . .yeah. I think aligned with the “Impact Hub”, which is a global network of coworking spaces. There is a coworking space in DC . . . in San Francisco . . . in Berkeley . . . I think there is one coming up in Chicago. They are in Madrid, etc. We could align ourselves that way. But, also we are looked at the event itself as a first iteration or a prototype of an event based implementation. So, we’re talking to other conferences as well, that would convene a bunch of people together and to use this as a tool to say that “we are all together here at for example by “South by southwest”, Let’s make an impact together. Here are three quick stories on nonprofits and “pull out your phones” and vote together as to where philanthropy should go. So, this notion that grant-making should happen behind closed doors and made by decisions of less than five people. We want to throw that out and open the door and say now you can get thousands of people involved and if you get thousands of people involved, those thousands of people will be talking about the decision they help make and if your brand is insinuated in that , then that is another opportunity.
Speaker 1: Got you. Let me take a step back. First off, I love this idea of growing this concept. . . the seed of “Giving Tuesday,” and the assumption of a day of giving is a “good thing.” One . . . focus day . . . of just insane to get your credit card and to go to town, partially based on “it worked for the commercial industry with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Why do you think this is a good idea with regard to giving and why do you think this sort of nagging in the back of your mind . . . “maybe this isn’t the best thing”.
Speaker 2: That that’s a great question I think that “Giving Tuesday” is just one day. It’s like Thanksgiving. It like that one big day. Or Christmas. That’s just one big day. But, we are actually focused on multiple days. there is a movement now to replace “Valentine’s Day” and call it “generosity” day, led by folks from the Acumen Fund. We are looking at opportunities to learn ourselves there. There are things in second quarter that we could learn. . .like the Superbowl, for example, well known statistics that large instances of domestic violence occurred during the Superbowl. Let’s create a day of action to nonprofits and giving that promotes the elimination of domestic violence. So, . . .
Speaker 1: I feel the need to jump in here to maintain the “truthiness” in this of our podcast. Well . . . Jason is right that the Superbowl is going to experience a high amount of domestic violence . . . it is no higher than other holidays. The myth that the Superbowl is the highest day of domestic violence actually comes from a mistaken quote from a California press conference in 1993. It was then picked and carried by many news headlines and television talk shows. Ultimately, holidays are times when families with domestic violence issues are together, you are going to have increased domestic violence. So, this is true for the Superbowl, but it is no different for other holidays at home. And, now back to the podcast.
Speaker 2: We want to be where the events and the people are as a technology to decisions to occur. There is plenty of movement now . . . companies such as “Dollar a Day,” and “Google’s” approach to try to get philanthropy more into a daily experience. You can insinuate giving in places where it hasn’t been given before such as commercial purchases like Tom’s. As a platform, we want to support the insinuation of giving and help out other companies to be the “Tom’s” of their sectors so that giving moves away from just being “one day” in fourth quarter to being a daily experience. And if not daily, at least monthly or quarterly. And pertinent to whatever event is going on at that particular time and space.
speaker 3: You know I agree with the opportunity. My take on “Giving Tuesday” as an initiative . . . is that it has created for some nonprofits, particularly smaller organizations with limited resources some angst. Because in addition to the fundraising activities whether it’s their annual gala or their year end fundraising. which we all see as being the peak season for that time of giving . . . there is a choice that many nonprofits are having to make as to whether to extend the resources to do anything related to “Giving Tuesday” with the risk of it detracting from their giving. And, part of the opportunity around “Giving Tuesday” is for the community to continue to collaborate in a sense, and that’s another way that I think this event was able to demonstrate the ability of partners like “wholewhale” and “radishlab”, “Indigogo” and “Give Kwik” in this case to understand: “how do we play well together all for the benefit of the non profits. So, that we can . . . the analogy that Jason uses. . . “I always get this wrong. . . rising tides lift all boats.”
Speaker 1: I think it sinks everybody. Were talking about a noah situation, If you built an ark and you put snakes in it, I think that you are okay.
Speaker 2: Somehow, I imagine Samuel Jackson in there with the snakes, but I don’t know why.
Speaker 1: Alright. The rising tide does nothing to all points. That’s the same thing.
Speaker 2: Well, there you go.
Speaker 1: You mentioned a good point, let’s say that I am a time strapped non-profit. . . I know . . . hard to imagine. I’ve got limited staff and energy and I just said for the fall of November, “everybody, it’s all hands on deck for this one day. And, the day is over. Did we make a positive ROI on our time? What would be your thoughts?
Speaker 2: Well. . . I would actually venture to say that . . . that objective would be “short-sighted”. I think the one day . . . unless it is truly an experience where there is an exchange happening between the nonprofits and the funders. . . is a really hard thing for many nonprofits to do. I think the secret also for larger profits is. . . those that are getting the PR lift on that day are getting a lot of work. As you say, in November, in order to make that one day more successful. So, I think there are two approaches. One, is you acclerate your activities using “Giving Tuesday,” as a celebration point because it is the peak of when we see fundraising dollars come in. But, for many others “Giving Tuesday” was the launch for their year end.
Speaker 1: So I want to come back to an idea that you brought up already Jason about “having the crowd decide where money goes and there was a hint of disdain there . . . of like . . . there’s an ivory tower somewhere where you have a small group of people making decisions for large amount of money and in Jason’s world what percent of the foundation and corporate giving would be done by a small group versus a crowd. is this 100% world or is this 5%?
Speaker 2: I mean I’m the ex-banker. So, I’m always going to rely on the 80/20 percent rule. Let’s assume that 80% is giving away at least 20% of their money and vice versa: 20%is giving away 80%. I think that’s what I remember from my days in banking. . . is getting the email from some far away corporate man that said: “hey, we just gave away a million dollars to “X-Y-Z.org” and hearing him distinctly says: “so what.” I had nothing to do with that process and if you ask me, I would have given it to Prep-for-Prep.org or ABC.org, etc. And, why didn’t you ask me. I would have loved to participate in that decision. So, I think that with our platform and the way that technology can be utilized today, the problem with smaller or sort of private foundations is that they have to work on the 80% rule as well in the sense of 80% of their time, and 10 to 20% of this distribution and they just don’t have the time to say: “hey, you know what, we have a million dollars”. “Let’s give away 10 grand of that, around $1,000.00 a hundred grand of ten thousand dollars, etc. space simply don’t have the time to make those decisions where they can plug into the crowd and say: “hey, we want to give away this large amount of money”. “Crowd help us decide”. Let’s not do it in the time period that we have. . . that we can get the board together. But, rather let’s do it over a six month period. and, have these campaigns these driving campaigns like “Giving Tuesday”, etc., to sort of break it down into greater numbers, to achieve greater impact. And benefit from that by getting more non-profits involved in the campaign and getting promotion associated with the campaign, and engagement from constituents of the nonprofits,to get more resonance related to this decision.
Speaker 1: So, we’ll say foundations aside. They’ve got their own process and by the way, the Gates Foundation gives away basically half of all of that money. We are talking about corporate giving and what makes you a little bit nervous is when a corporation says: “let’s throw a dart at the wall.” “That kind of aligns with our organization and just “give a ton of money,” forgetting the employee engagement and the upside that can happen there. And, that’s where you see that as the opportunity to have . . . not necessarily the crowd, but the employees decide.
Speaker 2: Okay. I’ll take it. Exactly. So, whenever our major corporate clients . . . as the top four global professional services firm for two year now, we have helped them engage the employees in deciding how to give away 1.5 million dollars. We work with nonprofits to gather their stories and to create a “voting experience” with their employees with zero keystrokes, who are able to come in. . . review stories of nonprofits . . . watch videos, look at pictures, read mission statements, look at “impact accounting statements” and make a decision . What this had been called, especially in the corporate giving spaces i “check box philanthropy”. looked upon disdainfully. What I have been saying is that the problem with “check off philanthropy is that it is literally a “check box”. It is a name in a box. And, what that undermines is that one, the end user wants that experience, wants it to be as simple as “yes” or “no.” But, the problem with the checkbox is literally . . . that box and the name. It doesn’t convey the impact of that decision. It doesn’t show the picture of that young child, whose life you are going to change, as a result of your simple decision. It doesn’t show the mission that is being fulfilled in real time. So, we are trying to explode that experience and make it possible for these stories to be there when the decision is made. And, that is great for a brand. That is that is something brands want to have their logos next to . . . and when we look at matching gift transactions inside of corporate giving . . . that is the closest incidence of a company saying “hey, employee you have a decision in the process . . . but, you just have to get in the game first. And, then we will match you. There is great research coming out of Harvard Business School, showing that “doing what we are doing,” which is companies saying “hey, this is a large sum of money involved in the decision versus matching gifts exponentially increases the happiness associated with the brand by the employer with the employee.
Speaker 1: That’s interesting. Yeah. The matching gift thing has honestly been around for a long time. And, this is a version of that. . . that I can see . . . once you lower the barriers . . . “and you don’t have to put any of your money in” . . . suddenly, it makes you feel like you are playing with a “house of money.” as if you went to Vegas and they said, here are your chips, sir. Well. . . . isn’t that nice.
Speaker 1: Ironically, the matching transaction for corporate gift giving is the single transaction that every company wants everyone to know about. When your company gives a thousand dollars to the “Make a Wish” foundation, for example, there is a reason why the check ceremony exists. Right? With that big check ceremony . . . with all the noise that is out on social media now, that type of one off ceremony has about a day’s worth of resonance. Versus creating a campaign such as Jorge ran for several years. Now, Chase took the giving program which gets tons of people involved. . . active engagement . . .promotion for nonprofit. This is fantastic for the brand where they can attest to . . . that’s the kind of opportunity their companies have with respect to matching gifts and say: You can turn your individual employees into cause marketing ambassadors for all the transactions that involve them with, they can turn around and say: “hey friends, look at how awesome my company is. They gave me two hundred and fifty dollars to give away. Where should I give it? How do I make . . . maybe I can split it up into ten dollar increments. Tell me where I can give this money to?
Speaker 1: So, when we are talking about the choice of making for . . . is it just the “C” level of the company or is it the employees. . . is the primary outcome here that we are trying to achieve? Is it employee brands. . . employee satisfaction and brands of awareness. . . or is it a better sort of impact with a dollar well spent on the right type of organization, in the right type of way? Which do you feel is the primary . . .
Speaker 2: When feel as if I am talking to I am talking to my corporate clients. It is going to be the former. Let’s look at it from a purely revenue generating employee satisfaction perspective . . . you want your brand in good places. You want people to be happy with your brand. You want your employees to be productive. This is a good reason to do it. When we are talking to the nonprofits, we are saying: “you want to partner with more nonprofits and these corporate sponsors are expecting you to provide data in due diligence and in compliance with information on a professional level. And, they want these stories. They want to put their logo next to your great pictures that you capture when you are fulfilling your mission. And, basically we have upgraded this ecosystem where we are raising the level of professionalism with respect to reporting and storytelling for nonprofits. Getting it on par with what corporate sponsors want . . . need to promote and supplement their cause marketing.
Speaker 1: Yeah. I think that’s an honest way to look at it. And, it leads me into a question that Jorge. . . maybe you can see where I am going. And, the “vetting” question and using a social following as a proxy for on the ground impact . . . efficiency . . . which is a loaded term but you are involved with the “Chase Community Giving Challenge”. Can you tell us a little bit about the Chase Community Giving Challenge.
Speaker 3: Sure. So, it’s interesting. This discussion brings up a theory that I think is an important thing to think about with respect to where we are today in crowd funding and philanthropy, in general, which is the influence of social media. So, “Chase Community Giving” was effectively this partnership between FaceBook and Chase coming out of the financial crisis. And, looking back, I think that the technology “Leapfrog” where many corporations were comfortable playing. And, what I mean by that is . . . social media did help facilitate for not just for J.P. Morgan Chase, but for many other brands, to engage the public in nonprofit giving. Many of the larger programs and we are talking “Pepsi Refresh” . . . “American Express” had its own programs program. Home Depot weighed in. There were really a number of big brands that were spending a lot of money actually building their own proprietary technology also to work with the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and others. So, that the technology could work. But, it is almost as if by going out to the public, the employees were not taken along the way. I think that is a big lesson learned for many brands.It is just because the technology exists and by the way I think this space is now maturing. It doesn’t mean that we have to go off and do it. So how do we bring our employees along the way? Which is . . . “Give Kwik” in particular, is really well-positioned for offering service to brands because we are thinking about that problem statement of how these can connect with the employees first before going out to the public. They can ultimately be the biggest advocates for any gift giving program.
Speaker 1: That’s interesting that you carry into this. Who also goes to Chase for. . . really charging up there like a bull and into an untested china shop and saying: “hey everybody in the world, start voting on these things. And by the way, there is going to be issues of voting fraud that comes up. There is going to be issues of bridesmaids. Meaning always a bridesmaid, never a bride, with regard to I’m sorry, you’re just out of the money. Right?
Speaker 2: We are more winners than losers. Yeah. more losers than winners. I guess that’s what you’re saying.
Speaker 1: Especially when we didn’t factor in this idea of “how much time I put into the process of getting my audience involved . . . getting to go out there and vote. So, you now approach it with the mindset of . . . and it’s not just the crowd in general, it is the crowd with regard to our organization.
Speaker 2: Correct.
Speaker1: And that gives a better sense of community and responsibility. and, also in your design I noticed that the way you structured it was a distribution of money, which I think was pretty responsible. With regard to . . . “were going to raise “X” and then “yes” we are going to have our winners, but everyone is going to get a piece of the pie if you were participating in this.
Speaker 2: Yeah. We pride ourselves on the flexibility of our platform and we want to create campaigns that can be more rapidly deployed. In the case of Chase, it was a big program that happened for a short amount of time throughout the year, for a large amount of money. Whereas, we are saying, “you can take that large amount of money and give smaller campaigns.” The problem with that is that with Chase. . . I remember when you said that “the number of bridesmaids and only one bride,” when you can create smaller campaigns and you can distribute the money to more places, so, it becomes more of a value added in our pocket to say: “oh I am going to campaign with nine other nonprofits. There is a higher likelihood that I may win this money. So, I am going to have to activate my network and hit them over the head for votes. there is going to be some more credible pay back than if I am one of 150,000. And, I barely move the needle. So, we are trying to tell companies to look at the bigger picture. You can make a large campaign and do it once. . . in the fourth quarter and do four campaigns for smaller amounts of money or you can break it down into daily campaigns if you want to. And to align it with campaigns of adoptions of particular products. You can say “we are downloading this app.” After “downloading this app,” you can participate in this campaign and let us know what portion of our philanthropy should go. Things that the “go daddies” of the world have been doing for years. Or “Survey Monkey has said: “if you sign up, we will let you donate a portion of your profits to charity. And, here is a voting experience for you.” We are just trying to make that a little bit more compelling.
Speaker 1: Yeah. so, you’re able to now vet the crowd, so to speak. Who is going to be making a decision on this. On the other side, how are you choosing the not-for-profits involved in . . . that will be shown to companies?
Speaker 2: Most of it is driven by our corporate clients. So we are very client focused, in the sense of who we are working with already, we can bring value of consultation, and let them know here’s ten nonprofits addressing breast cancer awareness, here’s another ten that address domestic violence. Here are their ratings on “charity navigator” on “guidestar”, were not as interested in trying to be another “guidestar” charity navigator to do the vetting. Those organizations do that very well, we consider that information we can plugin to our process. The way we look at doing our approach is a baseball card analogy: when a company is looking to initiate a cause marketing campaign and their looking to increase their scale of causes that they might align with, their go to place today is to a guide star or charity navigator, and typically those two organizations will give you the back of the baseball card, the statistics the data the 990 data etc. But what is most compelling for most people is the front of the card, the action shot, the story, the person, the face. Were saying we can provide both, we can get the back end data, the mission statements, impact statements the 990 data tax id information etc… and we get the stories, from most perspectives that’s really what you want. you don’t want to put your brand next to a spreadsheet, you want to put your brand next to a compelling highly visual image that tells a story. And we work with nonprofits that do both.
Speaker 1: So, we have a “front of the baseball card” analogy that I really like. The question then becomes: “I’ve got a dimly lit picture of “Ken Griffey,” and I have got a bright new “Derek Jeter.” The sun just shines on him anywhere he goes. He must pay extra for that. When we are talking about nonprofits that have this “front of the baseball card,” there is a couple of elements that feed into it and one that I will come back to is this “social equity.” I am kind of checking out “how many FaceBook fans and followers and people that they can kind of broadcast to. And, two is how quickly can I tell their story and that as you said is now going to become the rubric for making that decision. Is that a good thing or a bad thing.
Speaker 2: I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s in tune withthe technology of today.You have got smartphones, with double-digit pixel resolution, you can capture stories in the moment. You can use the Facebook’s of the world to get real-time feedback on “what are better pictures” . . . obviously the number of lights that you can get on the picture, one versus the other, can be indicative of that. That feeds into the AV testing . . . that savvy nonprofits are in with their “direct marketing” campaigns. That is also something that we are exploring to see if that is a service that we can provide to say: “hey, nonprofits, these stories you are providing to us. These are the stories that we are pushing out into these campaigns. These are the images that are making people want to say “yes.” You can take that information back and push back the marketing. Here is the picture that you need to see to make you want to give. So, the storytelling devices are now in the hands of just about everyone. You don’t need an eight millimeter camera and a high tech device. Look at the device that you have just to capture this podcast. It is all accessible to the average consumer. And the younger generation and the millennials are the ones that are the most savvy about using this equipment and savvy about posting that in real time. What we tell nonprofits as well is that there is an increased emphasis on metrics. Right? And it is all about the spreadsheets and the data etc. And how you counteract that is by telling a better story. You can have metrics for fourth quarter that aren’t as impressive as the third quarter by people and you can have that picture of that child that you have impacted this month. You don’t want to have one without the other. You should be using those tools to capture those stories .
speaker 3: I agree also that the imagery might help elevate the conversation before an individual looks at the statistics around number of followers. . . . numbers of fans. I think there is some psychology that plays into fundraising right? Whereas there are a lot of people giving to this nonprofit so I should be giving to it as well. And if we do our jobs right we are giving more nonprofits an even playing field. For those that aren’t as savvy at social media or just don’t have a strong social media following but maybe have great supporters offline.
Speaker 1: So how are you giving an equal playing field Because I am willing to say that my picture of Precious the kitten behind a little adobe sign is going to be like ASPCA wins. The local animal shelter is going to win this game.
Speaker 2: Ah yes. We all love our our animals.
Speaker 1: And so you are changing the playing field and you are leveling it for some. . . or if I were to go head to head . . . like . . . a local animal shelter with a cute picture versus a volunteer match which is like a heady concept of connecting volunteers with nonprofit opportunities. And you have already stopped paying attention to me. And you remember how cute “”Previous”” was. That’s a different playing field.
Speaker 3: Well. . . I mean I will just introduce the framework that Jason has effectively led with the “”Gift Kwik”” platform which is this AVC framework right? So it’s “”action shots benefactor shots. . . champion and what has been interesting for me to observe the remaining nonprofits that may not have thought about their own assets in this way. Sometimes they have more content than they realize. And it’s more about making the right choices so . . . I’m sure that Jason can explain more. But I think there is an opportunity for us to be smart about the way in which these images are portrayed. It is not just the cat that can motivate someone to share a viral video or the animal that compels someone to give but it is a little bit more behind that. It is like . . . “”where is this money going? Who is it benefiting? Who else supports your organization? Next to these impact statements that can also bring a little bit more of the quantitative element to the surface.
Speaker 2: I think you level the playing field by the ability to increase the frequency of the storytelling by using these smartphones you are able to say “”what was once a monthly correspondence with a picture”” if that can be a more daily correspondence of posting the . . . the equivalent of posting to your FaceBook page. Savvy nonprofits are actively posting to FaceBook. But there is no “execution mechanism.” The only thing that you can do is “like.” The only value that the “like” button brings to anyone is FaceBook. Right? And sure that are incidences increasing now of nonprofits saying that “hey we have a generous donor now that if we get to a thousand “”likes”” they are going to donate a thousand dollars.” And that’s great. And we believe there will be more of that and you can facilitate those types of interactions with the technology that we are building. But going back to your equation of the kitten ASPCA versus “Volunteer Match” I would go to “Volunteer Match” and say: you have a wealth of opportunity for content because every volunteer is going to a specific volunteer engagement and has got a cellphone in their back pocket and has the opportunity to take a picture and say “”I was here.”” And this is what I did. And let me upload that. And “volunteer match” has stories for days.
Speaker 1: So “Volunteer Match” if you are listening. . . just get one of your freaking volunteers and go get “”Precious””. Make sure this freaking kitten already. I want to thank you both for the conversation and the time. As a wrap up how do people find you. How do people help you?
Speaker 2: Sure. We are “”GivKwik.com. In case you forget that . . . we have a variety of different misspelled versions of that. Also “giv.nyc”” is the web URL that we use for our “Giving Tuesday” campaign. I invite you to check that out and all the great stories….
Speaker 1: Well . . . thank you again. And good luck. Next December 2nd the countdown begins.
Speaker 2: Thank you.
Speaker 1: I am a huge fan of “”Giving Tuesday””. And I love that you guys took a big risk on putting on a “”giving”” event in 2014. In 2013 “”Giving Tuesday”” managed to raise about 27 million dollars. In 2014 the final number came to about 45.7 million that is according to the Case Foundation. Prior to that “”Whole Whale”” was predicting that in 2014 we would raise about 52.5 million. So, we weren’t too far off of our prediction and I hope that it continues to increase at this rate. Because it is important as long as nonprofits realize that when they are participating to invest appropriately for the return. You know if you are wasting all of your annual energy on this one day of giving and not thinking about these other days. And spreading out your energy it can really lead to a lot of waste and ultimately that is one of my biggest critiques of the crowd voting competitions out there including the Chase Giving… where you have a small group of winners and you have a large group of participants that spent a lot of communication and relationship equity and their own staff time to participate in these events with very little reward. So, just keep that cost-benefit in mind when you are playing in the crowd giving and crowd voting and competition space. Alright until next time you can always find resources, remember this is episode 24. so you can go to wholewhale.com/podcasts to find more links and helpful bits…
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On our next podcast we’re talking with sara duram the founder of “big duck”.