Mission Increase: Charities should learn from Obama fundraising

From Mission Increase, Lake Oswego

PORTLAND, Oregon, Sept. 15 /Christian Newswire/ — Presidential-hopeful Barack Obama’s internet-powered campaign announced it had raised a record $66 million in August.  Eric Foley of Mission Increase Foundation says charities should take a page from his playbook. “Effective fundraising revolves around purposeful relationships,” says Foley, Vice-President of Giving and Training, “and that is even truer in online fundraising. Obama’s campaign has mastered this like we’ve never seen before.”

Foley notes Obama’s online strategy involves three basic steps.

First, he asks people to get involved in a movement, to commit to the cause of “change.” Second, once the commitment is there, he asks for money, knowing that money follows commitment. Third, he equips his supporters with online tools and information to pass along to friends and urge them to get involved: websites, photos, videos, forums, blogs, wallpapers, and even ringtones.

Many charities are following a similar fundraising strategy pattern in what Mission Increase Foundation calls “Participation Architecture”, or ‘P-E-O.’ Participate is the first and basic step when the non-profit gets the donor to do a project or activity.

Engage, where funding typically first occurs, is the next level of involvement when the donor wants to do more and learn more about the cause.

The most advanced level, Own, is when champions passionately and actively fundraise and promote the charity’s cause within their spheres of influence.

Foley says, “People aren’t responding to unsolicited e-newsletters from charities. They’re responding to invitations from friends to get involved! So, an effective Internet strategy must focus on equipping supporters to share the cause.”

A recent survey by the blog Social Actions found that people are 100 times more likely to donate when asked by a friend or family member than by an anonymous solicitation.

Charities need to understand how donors want to interact and build ways for them to advocate for their cause. “Donors want to call the shots in today’s charitable world,” says Foley. “The star of your Internet strategy must be the donor, not your organization,” he advises.

Mission Increase Foundation offers no-cost workshops on this and other fundraising topics in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. For more information, go to www.missionincrease.org.

Contact: Matt Baxter, 503-639-7364

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