#zooGood Twitter Chat: Current Trends for Online Fundraising Campaigns

Last week brought yet another great #zooGood Twitter discussion about tips and tricks in online fundraising. Led by online media strategist and environmentalist Andy Sternberg, the chat took up particularly hot-button current trends for online campaigns, including using geolocation to build stories.

It was a fitting—and trendy—topic for Andy, who has directed online content and interactive strategies for organizations and corporations, including Control Room and Live Earth. He’s developed massive social media campaigns to raise awareness of the most critical environmental issues of our times.

With Andy’s experience, razor-sharp Twitter participants, and important topics, it was a Twitter chat not to miss—and just in case you did, we’ve covered the highlights:

Q1: What are the current trends in online fundraising that you think work?

Andy cautioned against overly complex or overdone forms of fundraising, “Sweepstakes and contests can get redundant, quick simple sms campaigns, and user-powered fundraising seems to be the trend.” He added that there are distinct advantages to targeted, one-day campaigns, including simultaneous media coverage

Jenna Sauber, of the UN Foundation, said, “Also, direct donor to recipient story-sharing, updates, i.e. @Kiva, @DonorsChoose.”

Q2: How can NPOs enable people to affect change in their own ways? #zoogood

“People-powered events are a great way to enable and empower individuals and communities to directly affect change,” Andy said.

He also had advice for how to guide and empower individuals, “Good to encourage people to take a lead. Lay out basic guidelines and principles and empower the crowd to take it away!”

Sue Anne Reed noted that the Salvation Army has added an online element to their traditional red kettle storefront fundraising; now the signs offer a text to give option, too.

Kami Huyse and Jennifer Windrum advised that all campaigns need to reports results to their community and send thanks to supporters.

Kami said, “I think that for fundraising, coordinated events in time (ie: @charitywater) make people feel they are part of something bigger.”

Heidi Massey agreed, “Part of making people feel part of things is to share victories/success to inspire more support-I want to be a part of THAT!”

Q3: How can NPOs successfully use storytelling through geolocation for fundraising?

Andy said, “A3: Geolocation in storytelling helps to personalize the issue. @hardlynormal does a great job of incorporating place into stories. Especially if an issue is global, climate, water, food. It’s important to stress the local impact and how it relates globally.”

Note: You can read Mark Horvath’s (@hardlynormal) post about mobilizing supporters here. http://www.socialbrite.org/2010/10/27/tips-on-how-to-mobilize-your-supporters/

Heidi Massey gave another example, “@realizedworth talks a lot about the importance of storytelling-that is part of the process of creating great volunteers.”

Other notable tweets:

@andysternberg Andy Sternberg: @kamichat yes @Ushahidi developed an amazing tool to enable geoloco-rich storytelling and disaster relief mapping #zoogood

@franswaa Frank Barry: @geoffliving i think trying to get all the conversations/sharing aggregated into one place, if possible, is a good idea. #zooGood

@cajunjen Jenna Sauber: A1: focused, short-term campaigns. i.e. @charitywater’s September bday campaign. It’s SMART. #zoogood

@kamichat Kami Huyse: @franswaa I think campaigns should appeal to all learning styles and have elements: visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic #zoogood

@kamichat Kami Huyse: Here is a list of Google mashup tools, re Geolocation. Look at the tools section at bottom of post http://ow.ly/3aZ76 #zoogood

@HeidiEKMassey Heidi Massey: @jpippert Here’s @Itstartswithus site: http://itstartswith.us/changetheworld/index.html I can find specifics later if you want… #zoogood

@andysternberg Andy Sternberg: @jpippert akvo.org does a great job sourcing updates from the field and using maps, “thermometers” http://bit.ly/cJYZDM #zoogood

Connect more with Andy at his Web site http://andysternberg.com/ and on Twitter and Facebook at http://twitter.com/#!/andysternberg and http://www.facebook.com/andysternberg