August 25, 2012; Source: Washington Post

Razoo, a platform providing online giving methods and solutions to nonprofit organizations, has been the driving behind 15 “Give to the Max” events across the country. These Give to the Max days are 24-hour races in which regional nonprofits compete to raise the most money, and the events have raised awareness and funds for organizations from Greater Washington to Minnesota to Alabama, as NPQ noted earlier this year. Since 2007, Razoo has helped 14,000 organizations collect a total of $100 million. “People tend to think of online as removing the personal quality of giving, but it does provide us with powerful ways of continuing to engage donors post that first donation,” says Razoo Executive Director Lesley Mansford. “So it’s the beginning of a dialogue and relationship.”

The Washington Post’s Steven Overly notes, however, that many nonprofits have discovered “likes” and followers “have not converted to donations as readily as some had hoped.” While a social media report released this month found that, on average, a nonprofit’s Facebook follower is worth $214.81 over 12 months, Andrew Watt, president and chief executive of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, remarked that social media is not the “Holy Grail” it was once thought to be among fundraisers and that many have “recognized now that what they’ve done is expand their repertoire for how to interact with donors.” Nonetheless, Razoo and those it has worked with have shown that positive results are possible. For instance, Girls on the Run-D.C. raised $17,500 last year during the Greater Washington Give to the Max Day, which brought more than $2 million into the regional nonprofit sector. Has your organization experimented with or participated in online campaigns of this sort? –Aine Creedon