Light Bulb with Plant Growing Inside Kevin Hawley

Barefoot Insiders


Micro-donations are loosely defined as small donations…. UNICEF’s Hallowe’en program (no longer running in the same way) is a great example. It raised over $188 million in the US… by simply asking people to toss in a bit of loose change into kid’s Hallowe’en bucket.

Check-out donations fall into that category. Canadian grocery chain Loblaws “facilitated” the donation of $22.4 million in 2010. That’s pretty awesome for micro-donations. Tim Hortons Camp Day generates just over $13 million. Again – there is a lot of power in a lot of people giving a little.

AmazonSmile is similar. 0.05% generates an amazingly large figure in a company with billions of dollars in sales.

I believe we should celebrate micro-donations. And I believe that charities should work hard to reach ordinary people with relevant and authentic communications about partnering with them – with sending just a little every month.

In some circles, it’s called mass marketing.

Mass marketing is all about numbers and trends. A major donor giving $100,000 or $100,000,000 is fantastic. To be celebrated for sure.

But let’s not forget the ordinary Canadian.

It’s working well for World Vision, Plan International, Compassion, Red Cross.  In analyzing one of our client’s data we saw one of their staff members pop up on the major donor list. It kind of surprised us, because they are not “typical” major donors. So we dug in a little. They were loyal and generous donors. And they gave monthly.

Developing successful pathways for ordinary people to give small amounts is extremely important.

PS. Thanking them is equally important….

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