Why do you click “Donate Now”?

It’s been a while since I posted to this blog. If you’ll allow me to make excuses, I do think I have a couple of good ones. I’ve been madly working to finish my master’s degree at Johns Hopkins in digital communication while working full time. On top of it all, I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant! I’m now in the final stages of two of these three all-consuming activities (being pregnant and completing my master’s) and I’m hoping I can get your help on the latter. (If you want to help me with my pregnancy, donations of caramel apples are warmly welcomed…that’s all I crave these days.)

Over the next several weeks I will be writing a thesis on social networking fundraising strategies. I’ll conduct several focus groups with people who are plugged into social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Yes, I’m looking at YOU.


Infographic on Donations for Social Good from @Mashable

I want to know what makes donors feel motivated to give to social causes of all sorts, and when, if ever, that motivation has started with a recommendation from a connection online.

For all you academics, my working research question is: What factors motivate people to donate to a charity through social media?

But before I even start recruiting for my focus groups, I’d love your help.

Do you think traditional best practices in fundraising apply to social media?

We know that organizations such as Charity:Water have been able to use networking on Facebook and YouTube to raise millions. The Red Cross credits their outreach on Twitter and other key social media networks to bring in $5 million in donations via text message following the earthquake in Haiti.

But what makes these effective appeals different from traditional fundraising? Anything?

Do you interact differently with charities because of social networking? If you see a friend’s recommendation for you to “like” a non-profit on Facebook, what makes you want to click?

In sum, does social media push you any closer to clicking that famous “DonateNow” button? And why?

Ok, now your turn. Let me have it…

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9 Responses to Why do you click “Donate Now”?

  1. Jess says:

    With so much “noise” on the Internet and on social networks, a trusted friend’s endorsement goes a long way for me. I’m more likely to click to learn more (at the very least) if I know that xxx has been working deeply with an issue for a while. I trust that for him/her to put it out there on Facebook or Twitter means it’s genuine and sincere. It adds another layer to the exchange between charity and donater (is that a word). And *people* are the best purveyors of trust.

    I also can appreciate if social networks ramp up their emphasis on online fundraising for environmental reasons. I’m sick of getting copious amounts of paper in the mail, and I think a lot of others are, too.

    Jess 🙂

    • Dawn Arteaga says:

      Thanks so much Jess for your thoughts. I agree that personal recommendations help cut through the noise a lot.

  2. Liz Coppock says:

    Yes, peer pressure works on me :-). But those mini-scams where you sign a petition and then get sent to a page to donate just annoy me.

    • Dawn Arteaga says:

      Thanks Liz! That is interesting what you said about the scams. I will have to look into that more. Hope all is well with you 🙂

  3. Hugo Carrion says:

    Hey Dawn, each of the activities that you are doing, for some of us are a handful by themselves; however, you are managing all of them together!!!! AMAZING, congratulations and best of luck to you.
    Now to your topic, I have to say that I haven’t been involved in any donation activities trough the social network. I don’t tweet, but I have a Facebook account.
    I don’t know where I got it or from who but I usually have a bad perception regarding donations on line, and that is my personal view only. Nevertheless, I have to say that Facebook has a great impact on that topic. The reason I think is because there are people out there that are not interested in following the news or any other traditional ways of charity advertising, but they do have a Facebook or they tweet.
    It is taking too long to do this in English, so if you allow me, voy a continuar en español.
    Yo creo que la razón porque las redes sociales afectan positivamente a causas caritativas es porque un individuo se puede llegar a sentir atraido por una causa viendo que sus amigos o conocidos lo hacen también. En otras palabras, tradicionalmente , creo yo, donar para una causa era algo anonimo que se propagaba por el boca a boca entre tus conocidos más cercanos y confiables. Sin embargo ahora con las redes sociales, el monto puede o no ser anonimo pero la propagación de la información tiene un campo muchisimo más amplio que se multiplica en proporción aritmética (o es geométrica, bueno la cosa es que en vez de 1 en 1, va de 1 por todos sus contctos– por los contactos de ellos y así sucesivamente). De esta forma la causa cuenta con una herramienta de marketing practicamente gratuita y que sabe que puede llegar a las masas.
    Anyway, that is what I think of it, hope is helpful to you and that I am not wasting your time, jaja. One more thing, the “If s/he is doing it (donaitng for something) then I have to do it too” factor also affects it, and since you can see what people “like” on facebook, you might feel more attracted to it because of that.
    That is it my friend, hope everything goes well. Saludos en casa. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

    • Dawn Arteaga says:

      Gracias Huguin!!! You weren’t wasting my time at ALL! thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. Besitos a Laurita!!!!

  4. Thanks so much Jess for your thoughts. I agree that personal recommendations help cut through the noise a lot.

  5. With so much “noise” on the Internet and on social networks, a trusted friend’s endorsement goes a long way for me. I’m more likely to click to learn more (at the very least) if I know that xxx has been working deeply with an issue for a while. I trust that for him/her to put it out there on Facebook or Twitter means it’s genuine and sincere. It adds another layer to the exchange between charity and donater (is that a word). And *people* are the best purveyors of trust. I also can appreciate if social networks ramp up their emphasis on online fundraising for environmental reasons. I’m sick of getting copious amounts of paper in the mail, and I think a lot of others are, too. Jess 🙂

  6. Thanks so much Jess for your thoughts. I agree that personal recommendations help cut through the noise a lot.

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