Before you come to an easy Yes or No, please take another minute or so to fully digest the question because your answer is directly linked to whether or not I, your potential donor, will give money to your organization and cause. I’ll ask again:
Can Cause Marketing Work to Distract the Donor?
To give more context, I’ll give you the situation that led me to this question and walk through my thought process. Yesterday, I sat at my desk wrapping up a few things in the evening. As I shut down my computer, I grabbed a post-it note and jotted down a quick list of to-dos. I know, I know. How un-GenY/Social Media of me…I’m just not at the point where I’m ready to rely on services like Evernote, but clearly, they’re on my radar.
Back to the list though…
The last bullet on my list was: “Check in on Charity Water.”
Now, I first got acquainted with Charity: Water via the first Twestival and shared my thoughts on how the DC event was organized and my change of heart after the fact. It had been months since I ventured over to their site for updates, so I wanted to check in on them.
Their cause is an important one, so I made up my mind to make a donation. My eyes immediately were attracted to the large images and I began to scroll down, but I didn’t see a donate button. However, I did see something for merchandise, so I decided to click there.
First Option: The Little Black Box
This seemed like a nice option…price was reasonable AND I could help provide clean water to one person in a developing nation for 20 years. Sounds like a start… but I wondered what else did they have there…what else could I get?
Second Option: A $40 gift card/DVD set….
Third Option: An $80 gift set with 5 branded bracelets, 1 tee shirt, 1 water bottle….
Fourth Option: The big dog… $5000 to sponsor a well that would provide an entire community with clean, safe drinking water for 20 years!
I kept going back and forth on these options (minus the well…I’m not there…YET!). What was I trying to do? Because there were these different options, I was sitting at home trying to do some sort of cost/benefit analysis.
What did I do at the end of the night? NOTHING.
Someone must have called…a google alert must have come through…a jam could have started playing…
Despite whatever you might think of me and my situation, here are the facts:
- I couldn’t find a donate button prominently featured on the homepage.
- The merchandise actually served to distract me from the goal of giving.
Now, we come to the major questions:
- How many people would follow the same path that I did?
- How many of these people are your potential donors?
- How could your organization or ones you know rectify this situation?
I’m conflicted about calling this Cause Marketing because of the simple transaction/exchange which occurred. I’m 50/50. If you have thoughts on that or any of the questions above, please share your thoughts in the comments section.
Oh… and to conclude the story, I did purchase something – the little black box. We’ll start here and see where it goes.
Hopefully, this provoked some deeper thinking about online giving, what some view as cause marketing and how it relates to you, your organization, groups you know AND potential donors.