Linkin Park and SocialVibe.com recently released a video to ask people to help raise $25,000 for Haiti. The SocialVibe member with the highest number of recruits will be flown to Los Angeles to meet Linkin Park in their studio while they record their new album this spring. You can watch the video here.
Here’s the way this works in general—go to SocialVibe; pick a corporate sponsor; find the cause; create a SocialVibe “badge” that links the two profiles; and encourage your friends to click on the badge. The more sign ups, the more your charity benefits.
OK, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see people helping those in need. I can even imagine that it is good for people who aren’t exactly philanthropically minded to get involved. But I have to tell you, like most of the social media kinds of fundraising, this doesn’t make much sense to me.
Check me on this:
- The person clicking, isn’t actually giving the money, it’s the corporate sponsor.
- The person clicking (are they giving?) appears to be unknown to the charity who is benefiting.
- The likely demographic of the “clicker” would be traditionally least inclined to philanthropic intent.
- The relationship is more between the corporate sponsor and the “clicker” than the “clicker” and the charity.
- And here’s my big problem, the charity can’t thank that clicker/donor, can’t cultivate them, can’t demonstrate what great stewards they were of the clicker’s gift (although it really is the corporate sponsor’s money, but that’s a technicality). And don’t even try to think about long-term value analysis on donors (clickers) in a strategy like this.
OK, OK, I’m willing to give them kudos for a good idea, but it illustrates one of the fundamental flaws with much of what passes as fundraising in the social media world—they are not creating a relationship between the donor and the charity. Sorry, I just don’t see it.
This is the electronic version of “kettle change” or as a friend says, “it’s just people throwing dollar bills.” Don’t get me wrong, cash is cash and most charities are in need. But for my time and my client’s money, I want a relationship with a donor—a relationship turned into more than a one-time gift built on someone whose primary motivation is wanting to see a Linkin Park recording session not helping people in Haiti.
Again, kudos to Linkin Park and SocialVibe for the idea. But frankly I’d rather invest the money spent planning and promoting this kind of project on a good integrated, multi-platform donor acquisition campaign where I can know the donors acquired and develop a relationship with them (not to mention calculate long-term value and replicate the strategy).
What do you think? Is this the future?