As long as we’re jumping off the band wagon and swimming completely upstream on the popular social media fundraising strategies, we’re going for the whole enchilada with this post.
Consider this is our “The Emperor Has No Clothes” post.
charity:water is announcing a twestival (tweeting+festival). Mashable is joining in. The idea is to build awareness for charity:water and get people to eventually give to charity:water.
Because we’re good people, first we’ll tell you the things we like: Love the charity:water website. very nice. very focused. great navigation. Love, love their “birthday” strategies. Love their mission.
However, Don’t love the twestival strategy. Don’t like it. (Deep breath) even think it’s dumb.
To the twestival. 100 cities are involved, 100% of the money donated goes to the charity (it’s unclear if that means no fundraising and administrative costs).
Again, beating the drum:
Does charity:water get an opportunity to cultivate a relationship with those who donate?
Can charity:water have an opportunity to thank those who give?
After all the hoopla dies, does charity:water have anything more than the gifts? You may be thinking, “Cash is nice.” Agreed. But in the world of analytically-driven strategy, the keys are “what did those donors cost you to acquire?” and “what is the long-term value of those donors?” Anything else is change in a jar.
Bottomline: You cannot build a healthy ministry or charity on change in a jar. You have to sort out what donors are worth, what it took you to acquire them, and (the toughest) what those donors are worth to your organization long-term.
If you aren’t answering those questions in your donor acquisition, then you’ve just put out a tip jar and are asking for pocket change.
What does your ministry need in 2009: pocket change or relationships? We want to hear what you think.