Grid Giver: Visually representing progress on fundraising goals

Grid Giver: Visually representing progress on fundraising goals

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Last Update: September 13, 2012

GridGiver is an online fundraising tool which enables small and medium non-profits and charities to visually illustrate their progress toward a donations goal.

In the offline world, charities and non-profits have long used a part of a larger whole as a mechanism for fundraising. For example, donors purchase a brick in the wall of a new hospital, or 'buy' a seat as part of a theatre renovation.

International NGOs have transferred this approach to the online space by enabling donors to buy a piece of a virtual space. Here are some recent examples:

• Conservation International: http://www.conservation.org/act/get_involved/protect_forests/Pages/defor...
• Golden Hat Foundation: http://www.goldenhatfoundation.org/
• Charity Water: http://www.waterforward.org/

GridGiver is an online fundraising tool which enables small and medium non-profits and charities to emulate this behaviour, visually illustrating their progress toward a fundraising goal. GridGiver is also an innovative fundraising platform that leverages the social web to more deeply engage online donors.

Type: for profit

The Problem

For BC non-profits and charities, fewer and fewer cheques are coming in the mail. Their donor base is aging--one organization I spoke to had an average donor age of over 60. More importantly, those offline donations aren't sufficiently being replaced by online donations. NGOs are finding it difficult to convert engaged online followers and friends to donors, and face competition not only from other NGOs, but from the distracting, enchanting Internet at large. Larger NGOs have the capability and budget to run robust, creative fundraising campaigns. Small and medium-size NGOs do not.

The Solution

In the offline world, charities and non-profits have long used a part of a larger whole as a mechanism for fundraising. For example, donors purchase a brick in the wall of a new hospital, or 'buy' a seat as part of a theatre renovation. International NGOs have transferred this approach to the online space by enabling donors to buy a piece of a virtual space. Here are some recent examples: * Conservation International: http://www.conservation.org/act/get_involved/protect_forests/Pages/deforestation.aspx * Golden Hat Foundation: http://www.goldenhatfoundation.org/ * Charity Water: http://www.waterforward.org/ These are costly and intensive projects. GridGiver is an online tool which enables small and medium non-profits and charities to emulate this behaviour, visually illustrating their progress toward a fundraising goal. GridGiver is also an innovative fundraising platform that leverages the social web to more deeply engage online donors.

Example

Wildsight, a small NGO based in Kimberly, BC, is working to protect the Flathead River Valley in southeastern BC. They want to collect donations to further their work protecting wild places and habitats. They visit GridGiver's site, and sign up for an account. They launch a campaign, uploading a large, scenic photo of the Flathead Valley. They're guided through configuring their grid, identifying how many squares it will display and how much each square will cost. They also set up their financial details for donation processing. The GridGiver site provides an embeddable app that's as easy to work with as a YouTube video. Wildsight creates a campaign page on their own site, and embeds the app within it. See the early mockups attached to this application for an example of how the grid might look. Wildsight then embarks on their fundraising campaign, driving traffic to their own site through email, social media and other online and offline channels. When a user wants to donate, they pick a square of the grid to "buy". They enter their credit card or PayPal details and purchase the square. They then have the option of adding a social media avatar--their Facebook or Twitter avatar--to the square, and sharing their action with their friends and followers on those social media channels. Wildsight pays a small fee ($99?) to set up the app, and then GridGiver takes a small percentage of each donation.

Budget: $10,000 - $50,000

Marketplace

The number one competitor in this space is in-house, one-off developments like the examples I've listed above. They're built by in-house staff and agencies, and typically cost anywhere from $30K to $100K. Secondary competitors are all the innovative online channels for fundraising. For BC and Canada, these include Weeve.it, Indigogo, ChipIn and the like. GridGiver's main differentiation is that it offers a visually-rich experience for the NGO and user. We've seen the use case made for this approach by the ad-hoc examples I've cited. In GridGiver, we're first and foremost trying to commodify this approach so that it's available to BC-based organizations with smaller budgets.

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Comments & Activity

Comments

Thu, 09/13/2012 - 10:34

We're in the early stages of building this platform to help small and medium-sized NGOs with a new approach to online fundraising. Feedback welcome!