Things I Learned

Well, tried to do a spur of the moment fundraiser to support VetDogs, a wonderful non-profit organization that provides service dogs to our disabled veterans, at no cost.  I detailed the fundraiser in a blog post and also posted on facebook.  A few wonderful people donated and one will be the lucky winner of a Perky’s Paw necklace, but for the most part, this fundraiser went unnoticed.

I’ve been trying to figure out why.  It’s quite the puzzle, especially since there were so many people posting flags and statuses honoring our veterans, on Veteran’s Day.  I’m sure it’s not because they don’t care about our veterans.

  • A person in the non-for-profit (NFP) sector mentioned that donations for all  NFPs are down and when they come in, they trickle in slowly.  So in any future effort, I will allow much more time, to give people a chance to learn about the opportunity and take action.
  • I learned there was a minor web site issue at VetDogs and some people couldn’t complete the donation process.  These things happen – next time I will post all options for donating, including a good, old phone number!
  • Some people are leery of putting financial information online, even for a trusted and secure site like VetDogs.  Again, next time I will provide alternate donating options, with a phone number.
  • Some people may only read facebook at night – by then, a message posted that morning is already buried by later news.  The solution here is to post info about the fundraiser several times, at different times of the day.
  • Some people thought that they needed to wait for a receipt from VetDogs, to post their comment for a chance to win.  Hmmm, my bad – I need to make the “rules” a bit clearer next time.

Well, looks like I learned quite a bit!  Next time I do a fundraiser – or any event where I would like reader participation, be it NFP or business related, I need to take advantage of this new knowledge.  At any rate, it certainly won’t keep me from trying other fundraisers to benefit worthy causes – I’ll just be a little smarter about it!

4 Responses to Things I Learned

  1. Lia November 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Maria, I’m sorry the fundraiser didn’t go as well as expected. It was a great idea and seems like you’ve learned some good lessons for next time. This is something we talk about a lot in Public Health School – how do you get people’s attention and how long does it take them to respond to messaging. Taking people from ‘contemplation’ to ‘action’ is one of our greatest challenges. Looking forward to the drawing and thank you for doing this.

  2. Maria November 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    Thanks Lia. It will go better next time, now that I learned a thing or two 🙂 Please feel free to pass along any pointers you may have learned in school! Thank you for donating to VetDogs.

  3. Carol November 19, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    I think you hit on some key factors here, Maria. I do think the short length of time was a disadvantage. People do need time to read about it, maybe research a little, and the time is needed to build some momentum. Also, the timing was another factor. This time of year, there is just a lot going on, on and offline. We are all getting hit up for donations. I think this was a great idea, so try it again next year, well before Veteran’s Day.

  4. Maria November 21, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    My daughter had the same idea, Carol – start the fundraiser well before Veteran’s Day – and maybe pick the winner on Veteran’s Day. Seems to be a lot of attention for the veterans before/on Veteran’s Day – less afterwards, when everyone is already off preparing for Thanksgiving and the holidays.