There are a lot of ways to raise donations and most of them rely on people’s sense of compassion. Once a donation is made people get in return a small psychological reward. Unfortunately, often times it is not strong enough if you plan to make a habit out of charity giving.
Taking a closer look at people’s behavior and motivations made me realize that donations should not be treated differently from other tasks people have to do. More exactly, reciprocation should also apply to donations: people need something tangible in return once we ask them for a favor.
Rethink the way money donations are made and redirect advertising budgets to non-profit organizations.
In order to accomplish this, I designed a product that let advertisers launch video ad campaigns as native content on popular social media channels and spend their advertising budgets on donations without changing their advertising goals.
Before going into any kind of designing process, I made some research regarding donations, asking people about their previous experiences. And it wasn’t long before I noticed a pattern: asking for medium or even small amounts of money is just uncomfortable for most people.
With that in mind, I realized the best way to overcome that feeling of discomfort is not to ask for their money at all. Instead, I used the concept of micro donations and combined it with the popularity and exposure of social media. So, donors were not to donate money but social media shares.
In short, advertisers could launch a new video ad campaign with a preferred budget and audience, while donors could share the video on their social media profiles. Each view generated from their share earned them a predetermined amount of money which was transferred from the advertiser’s budget into the donor’s platform account, at the end of the campaign.
Once a month, all the money earned by the donors were directed by us to a nonprofit organization of their choosing, which would receive a constant stream of micro donations and as the platform grew, that could amount to a generous sum.
In the end, the best part was that the advertisers would meet their campaign goals, yet, the budgets spent on campaigns through our platform would go to nonprofit organizations as donations, while people contributed to a cause they cared about without spending any of their own money.