Donate Now, or Dont.

by Greg.Winfield


We’ve all been there. Briefly. Arriving on a new website with a vague interest in a group or cause, only to be greeted by the big, bold DONATE NOW button. A lazy flex of the index finger later and another organisation’s shiny new fundraising tool smoothly scrolls up and out of your consciousness. So what happened?

I’d like to say it’s a simple fix, but it’s not. It’s quite the opposite of this potential digital panacea. It’s an awareness that the donate now button is the end point of your interaction with our interested party, not the beginning. To get to that successful end point you can follow this well-trodden path of the community organiser.

In the process of bringing people round to a new action, you need patience with the process. Let new potential members and collaborators view what you are doing in peace. Give them time to digest it, understand it a bit more, then maybe sign up to hear more later. To  raise this awareness in the first place you might get out distributing flyers and having conversations or you might start tweeting at key people and linking to your site.

As these interested people continue to be updated (through a poster, an email, or a blog post for example) , they might start sharing your ideas. They might pass on your flyer, or maybe tell someone about it, verbally or online.

If they engage further you might even find them creating additional content for you – commenting on articles, writing letters or typing blogs in other places. All these are endorsing your message and spreading the word.

As they become more committed still, they may start attend your events and even convene groups of their contacts (digitally or in person). Now you’re into the realm of donating. These people, who have become significantly bought into your idea , will be so much more likely to offer their money or time (don’t discount the value of a non-monetary contribution).

After all that, it’s time to ask them to donate. Now.



Thank you to @ashleyelizaball and @keithlistens for their community organising tips.

Throughout this week we will be blogging on what we’re learning, thinking and doing on the People’s Accelerator. You can stay up to date via @YFAccelerator and the hashtag #wishweek