Last week, in response to one of our customers looking for a way to let families raise money on their behalf for their kids’ educations, we launched CrowdRAZ. We started about 6 weeks prior to launch in scoping features with our customers and it was fun to witness their excitement about inviting their supporters to fundraise on their behalf.
Fundraising is hard work and having supporters join in advocating lets them do more than just give. At it’s core, CrowdRAZ is an easy and fun way to invite anyone to fundraise on your behalf, to see their results in real-time, and to DRAMATICALLY increase the reach of your cause. If you have 1000 social media followers on Twitter and Facebook and they have 1000 followers each, you could be in front of 1 million people in an hour. That’s pretty amazing and points to the power and promise of peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising.
In contrast, typical crowd-funding (and all its warts) consists of creating a presence on a 3rd party platform and then relying somewhat on their email list to get you donors. Alongside their efforts you would be expected to be directing supporters to your crowd-funding campaign on the 3rd party platform. Your expectation is they have way more email addresses than you which is why you go to them for their service.
P2P is not like crowd-funding in one important aspect. You’re inviting your supporters to create their own fundraising vehicle that they can share in their own online and offline networks of friends, family, co-workers and most importantly-their social media followers. And, since the donor data is yours in real-time with CrowdRAZ, you get the chance to have further engagements with your new donors.
I feel crowd-funding is at the apex of its hype-cycle which is one reason we didn’t choose to go with that approach. If we think it’s played-we don’t build it. Plus, our customers weren’t asking for crowd-funding. They wanted to invite supporters to leverage their networks to fundraise on their behalf. This simple use case drove the simplicity of how CrowdRAZ works. (If you want me to show it to you live, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
As we were building CrowdRAZ, Blackbaud released their excellent report, The Next Generation of American Giving. They, like us here at RAZ Mobile, draw a distinction between P2P fundraising and crowd-funding.
The great thing about this report is in the Summary of Key Findings they state “Peer-to-peer fundraising and crowd-funding appear to have promising futures as fundraising strategies.”
Why is this the case? Their findings in the report suggest “strong majorities of donors are highly receptive to ‘friends asking friends’ types of pitches…”. This is precisely what our customers asked for and what CrowdRAZ does.
Also in the report, “friend fundraising” is shown to have an acceptable rating of a whopping 80% of donors surveyed. Moreover, the graph below from the Blackbaud report shows 89% of Gens X and Y have already done P2P fundraising. They get it and in many circles these 2 groups are the future of giving in America.
As our customers work with CrowdRAZ, we’ll share their tactics and results here and it promises to be a great seat here at RAZ Mobile as we watch our customers usher in the next generation of American giving.