August 8, 2013; Mashable
Can you stand another infographic? But wait—this one is interesting, in that it exhibits in a nutshell the degree to which much so-called crowdfunding does not observe any sectoral boundaries.
The fact is that such giving is often quirky and based on a good story. Everybody loves a good story. You may have seen on Facebook or Twitter the compelling story of Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man from Kansas City who returned a diamond ring. That story went viral, and more than $191,760 in donations poured in for Mr. Harris through GiveItForward.com. In a similarly touching story, a man from Nairobi inspired more than $80,000 in donations in less than twenty-four hours after being slashed in the face trying to defend his orphanage. These stories have the power to capture the hearts and open the pocketbooks of many.
Who has your nonprofit moved today? Sometimes just one individual will move mountains for you.
More than $1.4 million was raised via Charity: Water when Rachel Beck, soon to be nine, asked that in lieu of birthday gifts, friends and family helped bring clean drinking water to developing nations. Her wish was fulfilled after her passing. In another case, more than $200,000 was raised for Doctors Without Borders by a FirstGiving campaign sponsored by Reddit/Atheism. The infographic does not tell the story of how the online campaigns were created or executed, but the focus on a nonprofit’s mission, as opposed to on an individual such as Mr. Harris, is key.
In some ways, online-giving opportunities are touching and speak to our common humanity. The money given to the man in Nairobi or to Mr. Harris will change their individual lives, but will not affect the lives of the many other homeless men or the safety of other orphanages. However, to stay relevant online, nonprofits likely need think about how to communicate the meaning of their work in more resonant ways.—Jennifer Amanda Jones and Ruth McCambridge