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The Rise of the Wired Fundraiser

Got an email yesterday from blogger/marketer Katya Andresen on a new report from Network for Good--The Wired Fundraiser: How Technology is Making Fundraising Good to Go (PDF).

In case you're wondering, a "wired fundraiser" is someone like our good friend, Beth Kanter, who has "both a cause and a keyboard" and isn't afraid to use them to run personal fundraisers on their own, like this one to send two Cambodian young people to college (it isn't too late to contribute to this, by the way).

There are four key findings in the report:

1. When Wired Fundraisers Talk, People Listen: Wired Fundraisers are regular people with a cause and a keyboard, and they are proving highly effective at fundraising for their favorite charity in an ever-widening personal sphere of influence online.  That’s because today, the messenger matters even more than the message.  People trust messengers they know, like friends and family.  These messengers naturally communicate in the most effective ways – through personal means, in a conversational tone, and with great stories.  A promotion from a charity can’t compete with that level of intimacy, authority or authenticity. 

2. Not Every Wired Fundraiser Is a Champion: The successful Wired Fundraiser has a relatively rare combination of true passion and a means to lend a sense of urgency to their cause.  Not every Six Degrees fundraiser or Facebook Cause is a winner, but a proud few – the superactivists - are very effective, raising $9,000 on average and reaching 150 people.

3. Technology Gives the Wired Fundraiser Special Power:  Widgets and social networks make personal fundraisers more effective for four reasons. Widgets – bits of code that enable you to generate and place content anywhere online, including on Facebook pages or blogs – make it possible for personal fundraisers to take their message anywhere they communicate online, including social networks where messages spread very efficiently.  They make it possible for the fundraiser to evangelize in their own way, in their own words. Because they make fundraising so easy, widgets attract a new group of fundraisers.  Importantly, widgets also make it easy and convenient for friends and family to give instantly, when they feel an impulse to give. That means more donations to more causes.

4. Smart Charities Embrace the Wired Fundraiser: Technology enables anyone to be a fundraiser, anywhere online.  The control over the message is in the hands of the Wired Fundraiser.  Wise charities see this as something to embrace rather than something to fear.  They tap into the opportunity to spread their message further, by new means, via new messengers.

Read more here to find out how you can leverage this new breed of volunteer.


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Thanks Michelle -- So far, I have 73 donors (I'm only up to blog thank you post 16 but I will thank each person individually) and about $300 or so more dollars to go.

I am the wired fundraiser, but I don't fit the age profile ..:-)

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