I want to be a guinea pig defender

The world is changing. If charities are to survive they must be able to respond quickly to the changing needs of their supporters and stand out in a crowded marketplace. They must be able to innovate.

Charities are generally risk averse and are apprehensive to invest in something new without a guarantee that it will work. The ‘problem’ with innovating is that there are no guarantees. But in a quickly changing world there are no guarantees that the old things that you have been doing for years will continue to work either.

I recently saw a campaign that caught my attention. Humane Society International campaigns to end animal testing. They have a neat slider on their home page that lets you choose your gift amount when signing up to make a regular monthly gift.

Humane Society

You move the slider on a scale between $10 – $100 to choose your regular gift amount. As you slide, the cage moves back to show the animals that you have helped. So I know if I want to release the guinea pig, it comes at a cost of $49 dollars a month. Click the link here to see the slider in action.

I expect that there is some nudge psychology being applied here to help increase regular giving amounts. And I imagine there could be some interesting testing to find the optimum animal line up. (*if the guinea pig was the last animal to be released would this nudge me to give $100 a month?)

It appears this concept is working. The gamification of the recurring gift page has produced a higher average gift amount as well as a higher number of people signing up to give monthly recurring gifts.**

Often innovation in fundraising isn’t about the next big thing, but more about thinking differently about getting your message across, making it really easy for supporters to get involved, and testing on a small-scale to minimize risk. However you choose to approach innovation in your fundraising, just working harder to do more of the same is a sure recipe for sleepless nights and declining income.

I’m always on the look out for campaigns that others can learn from. If you have seen something interesting or are working on something then drop me a line – I’d love to share it.

* I rather like guinea pigs

**In December 2012, the existing donation page had 56 recurring donations activated online with an average gift amount of $18.36. In the same month the test Lab Animal Defender slider interactive design saw an increase in average gift amount to $22.08 and the number of recurring donations more than doubled to 122. Both sites were promoted in the same way through the same channels.

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