Let’s go back in time five years to 2007.
You’ve got a great idea to build a watch with built-in Bluetooth, allowing you to control and access your phone or tablet from your wrist. Unfortunately, you’re a relatively broke hobby designer working a 9 to 5 IT job.
How do you proceed? Call up your rich uncle and ask him to back you? Go to the bank and apply for a loan?
Five years ago, any method of raising capital for a project would generally require a substantial profit share once the product came to fruition.
Image by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Flickr: Kick-Tipp) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
There’s an interesting white paper out today, issued jointly by the Case Foundation and Razoo Foundation, and authored by Geoff Livingston (disclosure: he’s a friend), titled How Giving Contests can Strengthen Nonprofits and Communities.
It examines whether “giving days” – such as last year’s Give to the Max DC, which used gamification to give additional awards to the nonprofits and donors that raised the most money – can strengthen nonprofit communities.
“The report seeks to show how a giving day contest impacts a metropolitan area’s nonprofit community. In particular, can these contests provide a financial boost during tough economic times, strengthen relationships between donors and nonprofits, and serve as an online capacity-building moment for participating nonprofits, all while strengthening the general nonprofit sector?
To me, this can be much more impactful when it comes to reaching our end-objectives (which is what we should begin with when we embark on public relations, right?) than, say, focusing on reaching traditional media first, and social second.
You need to reach people to get them to do something? Go straight to them and build your community. It takes time and consistent effort, but it can be very effective.
Razoo’s Give to the Max Day
Come Wednesday, Razoo is going to try to pull off an ambitious exercise in helping nonprofit organizations in the Greater Washington area do just this. It’s Give to the Max Day, and it starts in 41 hours (if you’re a local nonprofit organization and want to participate, you can still register as long as you do it by 11:59 pm ET today).