What can a benefit concert raise?

Posted in Music, Special Events on November 9, 2010 by Charity Spring

It’s interesting to watch benchmarks for various forms of fundraising. Garth Brooks, the country-music star, has sold out nine December concerts to raise $3.5-million to support Nashville flood-relief efforts through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The benefit concerts brought 48-year-old Mr. Brooks out of a 10-year retirement. According to The Washington Post, more than 140,000 tickets, at $25 apiece, were sold, breaking all records for Tennessee. To keep it all in perspective, the flooding in Nashville in May caused more than $2-billion in damage.

How a colossal disappointment affirms that fundraising is first and foremost about relationships

Posted in Cause Marketing, Other, Reflections, Social Media, Tie-Ins on November 1, 2010 by Charity Spring

Here in today’s NYT is a perfect example of how new technology (such as texting donations) can greatly facilitate, but not on its own motivate people to support your cause. That so much planning and cost and especially rarefied and quality exposure even for a very reputable charity can produce so very little, is a reminder that fundraising is primarily about relationships, and secondarily about everything else.  

Share Our Strength tried a mobile giving campaign in early 2009. AT&T paid for a substantial portion of the promotional costs, which included advertising in airports and a public service announcement that ran during Sunday morning talk shows, as well as an internal push to its 300,000 employees. Share Our Strength devoted space on its Web page to the campaign and reached out to bloggers and others to publicize it.

“We threw a lot of spaghetti on the wall and tried to learn from what stuck,” Ms. Twohig said.

The effort raised about $14,000, the group said.

Nordstrom to Open Experimental Store for Philanthropy

Posted in Cause Marketing, Other, Special Events, Tie-Ins on October 29, 2010 by Charity Spring

Nordstrom is opening a store in Manhattan in the Soho neighborhood dedicated to philanthropy sometime next year. No more details other than profits will go to charity. The news may have leaked prematurely.

The 109-year old company, which began as a shoe store, operates 112 department stores (two in CT), 68 Nordstrom Rack clearance stores, two Jeffrey Boutiques, and one final clearance store in 28 states.

When they opened their store in MA in 2007 at the newly renovated and upscale Natick Collection, Nordstrom raised over $2,500,000 for the Boston Museum of Science and Boston Ballet.

For Nordstrom or any store, cause marketing is still relevant and something for your cause to pitch.

Your Year-End Appeal in Bonus Season

Posted in Other, Reflections on October 29, 2010 by Charity Spring

Inasmuch as many Wall Street titans live in CT, it will serve your charity well to consider who among your donors and prospective donors might receive a bonus in the next few months that exceeds the total annual giving of most CT foundations. The Wall Street Journal recently estimated that Wall Street bonuses in 2010 will total $144 billion. Goldman Sachs set aside $13.1 billion in bonuses this year. At Morgan Stanley, half of the $24 billion in revenue the firm generated in the first nine months of the year is earmarked for compensation. And so it goes. You have your year-end appeal, a one-size-fits-all affair. You will do well to give that Goldman Sachs family a tour and make your “ask” up-close and personal.

Top Charities on Twitter

Posted in Social Media on October 28, 2010 by Charity Spring

Following are the counts for the top charities, based on how many followers they had as of the middle of this week, per The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

  1. Charity: Water (@charitywater) 1,308,128
  2. Room to Read (@RoomtoRead) 457,158
  3. ONE (@ONECampaign) 452,002
  4. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (@gatesfoundation) 430,549
  5. DoSomething.org (@dosomething) 366,737
  6. Water.org (@Water) 365,230
  7. Creative Commons (@creativecommons) 364,809
  8. Kiva (@Kiva) 357,148
  9. Care (@CARE) 350,785
  10. The Case Foundation (@CaseFoundation) 338,283
  11. Acumen Fund (@acumenfund) 326,138
  12. Ashoka (@AshokaTweets) 322,734
  13. Skoll Foundation (@SkollFoundation) 320,057
  14. Samasource (@Samasource) 314,298
  15. Witness (@witnessorg) 276,553
  16. Unicef (@UNICEF) 209,690
  17. American Red Cross (@RedCross) 208,660
  18. World Wildlife Fund (@WWF) 159,353
  19. Greenpeace International (@Greenpeace) 109,579
  20. Save the Children (@savethechildren) 106,162

44th Annual Film & Video Festival Invites Submissions

Posted in Film, Music, Social Media on May 31, 2010 by Charity Spring

The Council on Foundations’ 44th Annual Film & Video Festival, to be held April 10-12, 2011, in Philadelphia is seeking submissions of films and videos. 

Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media (GFEM) has partnered with the Council on Foundations to organize the annual Film & Video Festival showcasing some of the most important independent filmmakers of our generation. Here is a link to some of these media projects.

The Festival has explored innovative approaches to using media to affect society. It has given voice to unheard voices in society and illuminated important issues. And it has demonstrated how foundations can leverage their resources through media. The films, videos, and television programs that have received support from foundations, corporate giving programs, and donor networks have encouraged grantmakers to use media to advance their philanthropic goals and to expand the boundaries of the use of media for the social good.

Causes.com at #854 is the only charity on Google’s list of the top 1,000 Internet sites

Posted in Other, Social Media on May 31, 2010 by Charity Spring

Google’s current list of the world’s one-thousand most visited sites on the Web does not include a nonprofit cause until you reach Number 854, (Facebook’s answer to charity) Causes.com. Despite all that we do and say, as absorbed as we are in our world of causes, the world we are trying to reach with our respective calls-to-action is still hardly listening, at least online.  Fundraising will always be mostly about relationships (as Causes.com confirms) and those still mostly happen in the material world.