e-Seminar for Sustainability: Small Gifts and Micro Loans

Uploaded by serviceresources on 17.09.2010

>> My name is Susan Hailman
and I'll be facilitating the session today.
I work with Campaign Consultation.
And this e-Seminar is sponsored by Vista.
This afternoon, we are provided for the corporation for national
and community service.
Vista has graciously opened this seminar to all the students
and services to the corporation.
So you're all welcome to participate and we're very glad
to have a good turnout for this first e-Seminar of the series.
What we hope to do with these seminars is to open questions
that are a little bit broader than the usual webinar topics.
What we hope will happen is we'll have a
about a half an hour presentation
and then a half an hour of discussion among you,
not just questions and answers with the presenters
but discussion among you,
because the topics don't have easy answers.
The topics we're choosing are ones that are pretty vague
and they are probably a lot of ways to use the information
that we're going to be covering this afternoon.
And we hope that we'll hear some ideas from each of you
that we haven't heard before.
And that will enlighten all of us as we work through some
of these difficult questions and difficult times
through all of our programs.
The first topic as you know is small gifts and micro loans.
And we chose that because these are the hard times
that people are going to have to be very creative in trying
to figure out how to find resources for their programs.
And these are some of the ways that are being [inaudible]
in the literature on sustainability
that can build different kinds of basis for fundings
and foundations and government grants which we know
in many cases are shrinking.
To start us off our speakers for this session are Melissa Cline.
Melissa is a Spanish teacher with [inaudible] KEY Academy
and she'll be talking about her experience with DonorsChoose,
Jeana Takahashi who's with DonorsChoose,
Stacy Monk who is with Epic Change.
And our agenda for today is that we'll hear
from our recipient first and hear about her experience.
We know that in general, we've all been and trying to good
in under-resource community and the position
where we have a project under way
and they're just aren't the resources we had hoped
for to get it off go.
And so, Melissa is one of the folks as a teacher who is
in that situation and she's going to talk
about her experience finding funding for a program
that was important to her.
>> Yes, hi everyone.
I am so glad to be able to share my story with you.
I have actually applied to DonorsChoose twice in the past.
The first time I was actually unsuccessful
at getting my project funded.
So I'm gonna talk about the second time I applied
and tell you some of the things I did the second time,
what DonorsChoose was look looking for in my application.
And hopefully that will help you in your experiences.
First of all, DonorsChoose fund teachers through primarily
through an essay where you explain your needs as a teacher.
Then what they really are looking for,
what the funders are looking
for with DonorsChoose is very specific things.
They want the teachers to show exactly how they're going
to be able to use this small donation
to make an impact in their classroom.
For the second time I applied
when I was successful I made sure I was really careful
about explaining why I needed the resources for my room.
I was applying as a Spanish teacher for a classroom library
of Spanish books and I was really excited
about having these books in my room but they're very expensive
and they can be hard to find so that's why I turned
to DonorsChoose, my school was not able
to have that kind of money.
It was going to cost hundreds of dollars.
And so that was why I needed the resources.
I wanted to provide that opportunity for my students.
But I think the big piece the DonorsChoose looks for
and their funders look for is why the resources are needed
but also why I can't get those in another fashion.
So I was very specific with them
that second time I applied explaining to them
that although books are available obviously
at public libraries and my school can purchase a few,
the number that I needed to make this a successful classroom
project and the quality of the books and the types
that I wanted were simply not available to me otherwise.
And the other part that I think that was so important
in bridging us with donors and convincing them
that my project was useful was why my kids deserved the money
and deserved those books in my classroom.
Talking about how my students would be able to go
to high school and college with an advance knowledge of Spanish
because they would be able to see those words and I knew
in my classroom I heard them use vocabulary from those words
in speaking and I too memorize them in essays and on exams
and there were just a way that they were learning language
in a fun way and I could never have really replicated
that without the textbooks
or without those books for my library.
And finally, just making sure
that the donors understood the lasting impact
that those books would have in my classroom, I wasn't asking
for something to be used one time.
I was asking for books that would stay
in my classroom forever.
And talking about how we would use them carefully
and how my students were taught
to use those materials appropriately
so that they'd be reusable over a long period of time.
So once I included all of that in my essay I was able
to really reach out to the donors in DonorsChoose
and convince them of the need of my classroom.
I was about approximately a month later,
I found out that a donor had chosen my project
and had chosen to fund it.
I received 250 dollars and the way DonorsChoose works is the
donor provides money to DonorsChoose,
DonorsChoose asks me for the specific books I was
looking for.
I was able to look at online retailers,
and then DonorsChoose works as the intermediary
and I received those materials pretty quickly,
after that we waited for the summer to be over
and I would see them in the fall.
And the final piece that I think is really important
and why DonorsChoose is extremely successful is
that once I received the materials I was asked
to write a thank you note and have my students write letters
of appreciation to the donor who actually was anonymous to us
but we packaged those materials along with some photograph
for my students reading the book
and some projects they had done related to the book
and we sent them to the donor.
And I think all those pieces together keeps--
makes the donor feel like they've really mad an impact
and it helps the students to be appreciative what they received.
But all those pieces together made DonorsChoose a really great
experience for me and my students.
And I believe that it really makes the donors feel
like they had a piece in what we're doing in my school.
>> Thanks Melissa.
>> You're welcome.
>> Oh, I'm sorry.
>> Well, I just-- you're welcome.
That's all.
[ Laughter ]
>> Next, we'll hear from Jeana Takahashi
and Gina represents DonorsChoose.
Gina, tell us a little bit about DonorsChoose and how it came
about and how it functions in the big picture.
>> Sure. Hi, everybody my name is Jeana Takahashi.
I work with DonorsChoose and thank you so much
for joining the webinar.
I really wanted to speak what most about citizen philanthropy,
getting people really involved within projects.
And so I'm going to give you a bit of background
about DonorsChoose.org.
It started in 2000 and it was started by Charles Best
who is our CEO and founder
and he was a social studies teacher in the Bronx.
And he kind of formally talks about his time
when he was a teacher and they would sit around the lunchroom
and talks about how they really wanna do the science project
but they did not have the funds.
They really wanted to take their kids out to museum or trip
to Washington D.C. but they really--
the school couldn't provide for the funds
for these special kinds of trips.
And so you have a room full of really innovative teachers,
really inspiring-- people
who really wanna inspire their students to learn
and when those funds aren't available it makes it
really difficult.
And so that's really how DonorsChoose came about
and its mission is to improve public education
by providing the teachers with the resources they need.
And I think we're all aware that right now
in tough economic times was really-- with budget cuts,
with people not donating as much to charities with people
who have a little bit to give but don't feel
like it is enough to make a change.
I do believe that DonorsChoose tries to show those donors,
these potential donors who we call citizen philanthropist
that they really can make a change.
And so how it works and most have spoke about this is how--
you just go on our website and browse a project
and the process was changed a little bit, but now you can shop
for the exact items you like and then you write an essay.
Now it's kind of segmented into shorter piece of--
but it's not as a daunting task.
So it's not like you're applying or you're writing a 5-page essay
like applying for a grant.
This is very simple steps,
saying how the materials are gonna impact your students'
learning, how they're gonna be use to promote that.
And then once you've--
it's funded on the website then DonorsChoose.org purchases these
materials, sends them to the schools
and then the key component is really the kids--
using the materials, the teacher taking the pictures
and then asking the students to write letters of appreciation,
these thank you packages back to the donors to say thank you
for these materials and really show how much
of an impact a 5 dollar donation might have had on the classroom.
>> And so I understand that most people
on this call would probably not be eligible directly
for the funding because we ask that teachers who work full-time
in a classroom-- apply for-- can register on the website.
But we really encourage people to--
if you are in a position to help direct these teachers towards
this method of receiving funding,
we would love you to encourage them.
We would love you to help them write the essays
[inaudible] process.
We would love to see you kind of coming up with ideas
like really creative ideas that can be implemented
in the classroom and then helping the teachers write their
essay and quantify the impact online once they register
on the website.
And so this is-- DonorsChoose.org is really open
to public school teachers across the U.S.
And when I talk a little bit about posting a project
on the website, as I said, it's not really a huge daunting task.
It's really step by step.
It's quite easy to follow.
And so I think that makes it a lot easier now.
When we think about charitable, giving and thinking
about the methods we have to go through or to acquire funding.
It can be a little tedious but we hope
that after quite a few iterations
of the submission process, we try to find a step by step way
that makes it easier for any user
to post a project on our website.
And so really the first step is getting started.
We ask the teachers to fill up an account
and then upload a photo of their classroom.
A lot of teachers put up pictures of their kids
in the classroom or an empty classroom to show
that this is the place that really needs the resources.
And then the second step is to go shopping online,
picking up the items that you'd like, the resources that you'd
like for your classroom.
And so the point of this is
that once you've select these materials and it's posted
on the website, a potential donor can come
to your project page and look at exactly the resources
that you are asking for.
And so we find that especially now
when people really aren't willing or able to give a lot
of money when they don't know exactly what it's going
towards-- by having all the information online,
showing exactly where the money is going,
we find that donors really trust putting their money towards
classroom project even if it's five dollars,
you know that that money is gonna be put to good use.
And so the rest of the project submission process is once you
find your materials you write your essay describing your
situation, describing the solution you came
up with whether it's an innovative solution
to really inspire your students to get engaged in learning.
And most is being specific
about how these resources are really gonna make an impact
on a classroom.
And so another step is to quantify impact and so we try
to help teacher really quantify impact by saying how many hours
of learning they're gonna get out of it
or if these resources are gonna be used in the future.
And so, we believe that all these things help to give--
help to give donors a good sense of exactly
where their money is going.
And then you just confirm your project and we review it
to be put on the website.
And so those six step process
that we hope is very easy to follow.
But then of course, the most important part is getting those
projects funded.
And I'd like to mention we review all the projects
that are put on our website and just so that we can make sure
that teachers have all the tools they need, to make sure
that their project is funded because right now we have
about 65 percent of project pass rate
for projects getting fully funded on the website,
but this can really change
with [inaudible] to your project cost.
We find that projects that are under 400 dollars,
so a classroom set of certain books, those encyclopedias,
maybe that will be under 400 dollars but it's likely
to get funded than something that is in the thousands
of dollars, obviously.
But another way that we find
that teachers really are successful is starting
to learn about their projects.
You're not asking someone to write a 200 check to your school
where they don't know exactly where the money is going.
You have a specific project on the website, you have a page
to yourself saying this is exactly what I need
for my classroom, this is exactly how we're gonna
use this.
And so, we see a lot of teachers
with their email signature saying, "checkout my project
on DonorsChoose.org with a link to their project.
And so really engaging your friends, your family,
and your colleagues and your community to join in the effort
to really get the materials you need to inspire your students.
Finally, one more thing to talk about is these thank you notes.
What we find is the most powerful tool
to getting those small gifts getting--
and getting people to really engage
in citizen philanthropy is making that connection
between the donor and the teacher much more powerful.
And so we find that these thank you notes
that the students write are really the most special thing
that a donor can get to feel that their donation has impact
on the students' learning.
And so I do think that this is something that is so specific
to DonorsChoose.org can be applied in any sort
of giving experience, really acknowledging your donor even
for small amount really engaging them in getting the experience
and can make them repeat donors.
They might come back to your project if you have another one
up in two months to fund that same project.
They were really inspired
by the thank you note that they receive.
And another thing that is on the website right now is a section
where you can meet the donors.
And so on the left hand side you see Melissa gave--
Melissa a donor engaged in this project and so that--
she gave because this project really kind of inspired her
because her son's favorite subject is math
and thought the project was really cool.
And so the teacher can respond right away.
And so making that instant connection that really uses--
we're trying to use the internet as-- in the best way possible,
making those instant connections online we find
that really engages the community.
And so, again, this is something that's open to anyone
who donates to the page,
anyone who can send a one dollar donation can really talk
to the teacher and really gets a sense
of how their funds are being used
and how they're impacting education.
And so in addition to these citizen philanthropists,
we also provide funding opportunities.
So what we do is we have--
we've been really lucky to receive donations
from large foundations such as the Gates Foundation another
corporate partnership [inaudible],
but what they do is they don't just funnel all the money
towards like a blanket cost.
What they do is they provide.
They still provide that giving experience
for citizen philanthropists
through double your impact offers.
And what that means is the foundation
or the corporate partner will put down the money for half
of the project price and as soon as the donor comes
in to fund a part of that project,
they match that person's donation.
And so in this way your 5 dollar donation can become a 10 dollar.
Your 100 dollar donation a 200 dollar donation
and can possibly fully fund the project.
And so that really, we've really inspired donors to--
it really empowers them because right now maybe they don't feel
like a 10 dollar donation goes far but fortunately,
thanks to these very generous donors, their small gestures,
their small donation can still have a huge impact
and potentially fully fund a project.
Another funding opportunity is ChipIn [inaudible] funding
for teachers that have like 90 percent of their project funded
and it just means that little push to get it fully funded
so that they can get the material.
And so we have quite a few corporate partnerships
and foundations that partner with us
to make sure these giving experiences can happen
and you can find that on our website.
And so finally, I just want to close with the impact
that we've had, thanks to individual donors who come
to our website everyday.
And right now we have over 32 million dollars donated
which means it's impacted over 2 million students across the U.S.
And so it's really thanks to those donations
that come individually and then those foundations
that can match those donations as well.
And we find that with what we learn from this is
that no matter how small your donation you can really have an
impact and you can really become a citizen philanthropist
and really what the most important part
of our model is the thank you's that the student send.
And so acknowledging donors and creating that really--
and creating a closer connection especially in these times
when we-- a lot of people really want to know exactly
where their money is going not only do they see exactly
where their money is going by looking at the resources
that are being funded, they also see what impact their donation
is having on the students.
And I think that special connection these students are
really speaking from their heart when they say thank you
with these drawings and with their pictures of--
with the materials that are purchased.
That's really the special connection
that we really wanna foster
between the donor and the teacher.
And so if you have any questions about DonorsChoose.org
or anything about citizen philanthropy or e-philanthropy
which is something kind of cropping up, please feel free
to contact me at Jeana@donorschoose.org.
>> Big hands.
We have a question from Cathy and she wanted to know
if after school programs are eligible if they're ran
by certified teachers.
>> Yes. After school programs are eligible as long
as the teacher is a fulltime teacher and as long
as after school program have to do with student learning
as it's gonna-- if the materials
for that program are gonna enhance a student learning
experience, it is [inaudible] for something.
>> Great. Thank you.
>> Thanks Jeana.
Are there any other questions
that we wanna take care off right away?
Remember you have to unmute to ask a question.
Okay. Let's move on.
Stacey Monk is gonna talk
about something a little bit different.
We're gonna talk about micro loan and new program
that she is operating that takes a very different twist
on micro loan.
And I think although as national service program we're not
generally involve in loan I think there's a lot
for us to learn from this.
So I hope you'll be listening and will be ready
to discuss it afterwards.
>> Right. Thank you so much.
My name is Stacey Monk and I'm the founder
of a startup nonprofit called Epic Change.
And I just wanted to show with you a little bit
about how we've been able to use the power of small gift
to make a huge difference
for our prototype project in Tanzania.
So let me see.
So at Epic Change what we do is we help people
who are already doing amazing things in their communities.
People like I'm guessing most of the folks on this call,
we help them share their stories in ways that raise the resources
that they need to improve their own community.
The first thing we do is we raise money and we really focus
on small gift from individuals to provide loan capital.
So we actually make loans.
We don't do grants.
So we're different from DonorsChoose in that way.
Then we make a change.
So we make substantive loan.
So micro loan, if you heard of like Kiva,
those are in the realm of like 500 to a 1000 dollars.
We actually do-- our prototype loan is 65, 000 currently
in Arusha, Tanzania and it will actually be more substantive
than that.
But we try to make loans
that can make a very significant difference for the change makers
that we're working with and I'll share a little bit more
about that specifically.
The third thing we do is then we, because of the change
of that we're supporting our nonprofit.
We support them in creating income stream
to pay back that loan.
And the way that we do that is by sharing their stories
and creating products that are marketed with those stories.
So I'll share a specific example as we move through.
And then finally, once the load is paid back, the aim is to pay
that forward so that someone who create a change
in their own community not only did it in their community
but then gets to participate in choosing
where that loan goes next.
And as I mentioned, our first loan is in Tanzania so the woman
who receive that loan will be able to not only make change
in her community in Arusha but also participate
in making change potentially in the States or in Latin America
or somewhere else on the globe.
So I love this quote, nobody made a greater mistake than he
who did nothing because he could do only little.
And the woman on the slide here, Mama Lucy Kamptoni [phonetic],
she's actually the recipient
of our first prototype loan in Tanzania.
She used to sell chickens and she saved up her income
and she rented a tiny piece of land next to her house
and she started a little school with six students.
And by the time I had met her there were 115 students there.
She was paying teachers.
She was charging tuition to the students who could afford to pay
to subsidize the orphans and the children who couldn't.
And I think she just make a tremendous point.
When you give what you're able you can potentially make a
huge difference.
And the reason we chose to get involve
in her particular story was
because she was doing tremendous good.
But she didn't have access to the resources she needed
to make an ever bigger difference in her community.
And we started actually by looking for--
just partnering with her.
Before Epic Change was ever founded,
we tried to approach other granting organizations
and present her grant application
because we thought foundation, yeah, they have a lot of money
and businesses have a lot of money
so maybe we get it from them.
But what we learned is actually individuals are the key
to giving.
Actually, according to Giving USA individuals are the engine
of the charitable sector.
They make up like 75 percent of all giving in 2007.
And in our country, about two-thirds of household
with incomes under a hundred thousand dollars give
to charity.
A lot of people in America actually give to charity.
And what we thought--
it was actually the wealthy that were the primary givers.
It's actually the percentage of salary,
it's actually the working poor who give more
than anyone in our country.
So we really started on a strategy of figuring
out how do we get to those small guests.
And I'll show with you just quickly how we move
from small gifts to significant outcomes.
We are volunteer, run startup.
We pay no salaries.
So we've been in existence for about 18 months
and we've raised about 75,000 dollars.
Over 80 percent of our donors have given 40 dollar or less.
So you can se how much
of a difference just a 40 dollar gift to make.
It just doesn't need for DonorsChoose.
An Epic outcome, so since December
of '07 we made our first loan.
We've loaned over 65,000 dollars in Arusha.
With that money, land has been purchased,
five new classrooms have been built, and a school bus.
So those are the tangible assets
but more importantly there are now over 300 children
at the school and the school
because of our investment was able to qualify to participate
in national exam and the very first time they participated
this cord number one out of 117 schools
in their district including other schools
that are foreign funded and may have millions
of dollars in funding.
So this little tiny locally led, locally founded school performed
at the top of its district and we were really excited
about those outcomes and it just kinda improve our hypothesis
that local change makers can make a huge difference
that they have access
to the resources they need to make change.
We've actually helped her to repay over 15 percent
of that initial 35,000 dollar loan
to because we solve things like-- you'll see a candle here.
We basically wrap products with hopeful stories
and I think we've seen from like the Obama campaign
and other places recently that hope is really a great strategy.
So we've really been leveraging the hope in her community--
to sell things to help her repay back that loan.
And our work has appeared in over 200 online publication
from The NonProfit Times to Ode, Mashable, VentureBeat.
A lot of people have been picking up on what we're doing.
I just wanna give you one example
of how we compel those small gifts.
We do a lot with social networking
and online community building because it's free.
So one of the events we scheduled was called
TweetsGiving was created in November 2008 and we use Twitter
to celebrate credit to them giving
and in 48 hours we raised over 11,000 dollars.
Just to give you some idea of how much investment
versus how much it raised.
It was prepared in six days.
I actually have the date--
the idea of six days before we went live.
It was done by five part time volunteers,
people that I just reached out to.
We've spent 10 dollars on the domain registration
and we used entirely free and in a case of PayPal low cost tool.
Twitter, we used ChipIn which is totally free.
We used YouTube, a WordPress blog, and PayPal.
Like I said, we raised over 11,000 dollars in 48 hours.
There were 360 donors to the project and 98 percent
of those were people who had never heard
of Epic Change before.
Thirty, our average gift were 30 dollars 92 cents.
We had over 15,000 visitors to that website in 48 hours.
There were over 3,000 people who sent out tweets of gratitude,
tag with our tagline, and it built a new classroom.
And you could see that actually on the previous slide.
It says in the background this classroom built by gratitude
and those are actually the Twitter handle names
of all of the donors.
So we were able to send out all of our donors similar
to how DonorsChoose those thank you notes.
We were able so sent out a personalized note
that had their names actually painted on the wall
where the students were learning.
So I would encourage you as people who are leading
in your communities to start to build a small gift strategy
and I'll just share a couple of lessons that we've learned
and some things from Beth Kanter who was one
of the most prolific, brilliant bloggers
about social media and social change.
Micro collaboration is the process
by which many people work together in lots of little ways
to create something bigger than we could alone.
So that's really the strategy that we've relied on.
And there're five ways we really think that you can help
to build yourself a micro collaborative network.
The first one is share yourself and I'll talk a little bit more
about these on each slide but really be authentic.
People are much more interested in giving
if they know why you care.
Two, share stories and we'll talk a little bit about that.
Three is spread hope.
Four is creating community with relationship building,
rewards, reciprocity and fun.
>> And five is using free tools in existing communities
to build your own community.
So we'll talk a little bit about that.
The first one is being your authentic self
and sharing yourself.
The message isn't necessarily about the charity.
It's about why the messenger cares.
So in this case, if you look at these--
that's actually me doing white curl on the slide.
But I can't, Mama Lucy and Beatrice are
in the larger picture.
Alice is in the smaller picture then Faith and Gideon and Edmond
and Keith and Naomi and [inaudible] and Glory and all
of these people, I know their stories intimately
and I know this community.
So I've been able to share with our donors
and potential donors why their story is really so compelling
to me, why this woman in the middle of Arusha who used
to sell chickens that had such incredible [inaudible] of hope
that she was willing to kind of put it all in the line
and go build a school why that's so compelling.
The second thing is sharing stories.
A lot of people who come from a policy background,
I actually went to a policy school for grad school,
have the tendency to wanna share stuffs and share big numbers.
Actually, sharing stories,
the story of just one person is actually far more inspirational
of giving than sharing information
about an entire community.
So I would encourage you to share vivid stories
and also to narrow the frames.
So instead of talking about how you can affect an entire
population if you donate,
talk about how you can affect just one person.
In the case of DonorsChoose, it's one teacher, one classroom.
And in our case, we talked a lot
about just one child that's [inaudible] about the school
or one-- or Mama Lucy the founder of the school.
We cannot wrap our minds around two people as well
as we you can just once to narrow the frame.
The next lesson is spread hope.
And I think we've seen from the success of the Obama campaign
to the way that Pepsi and other large corporations are entirely
reorienting their brands around hope.
That's really a successful strategy and guess what,
nonprofit and our kinds of efforts,
if we have nothing else, we have hope to follow.
So, I think historically, a lot of nonprofit have used fear
and guilt as motivators.
I actually believe that hope is a much more powerful strategy.
There's a great quote here
from Seth Godin who's a really reputable marketer and author
and you can refer to it later, then build a community.
And I think we all know how to do this.
The only way to have a friend is to be a friend.
So build relationships and you can do that online,
you can do that in person.
For me, I live in a tiny community in Florida
so I've really reached out online.
I build relationship on Twitter
for several months before I ever even thought
of imagining TweetsGiving.
Mama Lucy blogs in our community as do parents from the school.
So we try to build as much of a bridge directly to the community
of impact as we possibly can between our donors
and the community of impact.
We shared YouTube videos.
We've actually have had people dedicate songs
from here to there.
We shared artwork between donors
and the children in the Tanzania.
The second thing is rewards.
People always love to work for rewards.
So during TweetsGiving for example,
if you give 100 dollars, you were one
of top turkeys then we posted on our first page or top page
and we kept retweeting your name.
I showed you that the Twitter handles are painted
on the walls in Arusha.
There was a YouTube thank you video that we did
that had a thank you note to different donors.
In reciprocity don't forget that you can't always
in online communities, you can't always be talking
about yourself.
You really have to invest in the lives of other people.
Just like I said, the only way
to have a friend is to be a friend.
And then don't forget effort fun.
No one wants to join a boring community.
Some of the things we do that are really serious
but there are ways to really engage people
in fun and interesting ways.
And then on the last page here, I just wanted to share
where a new invention promises to be useful
and ought to be tried.
So there're all of these tools and there's a tool set there.
All of-- Most all of them are free.
So figure out how to use them and put-- and make use of them.
I've put a list of blogs and tool sets that I really refer
to as I create social media campaign, some things like that
and I hope they'll be hopeful to you.
The first one is best blog.
If you're not reading best blog
and you really wanna social media, she's the primary source.
And then the other one I'll point to you is we are media
and that's a Wiki that's being developed with how
to use all different tool sets from YouTube to Twitter
to Facebook and things like that.
And most of these are free, so no excuses.
And then I just wanted to say again,
small gift can create epic change.
Imagine this woman who used to sell chicken,
some started with-- from scratch.
Now she's got a school that, the number 1 school in her district
that served over 300 children
and it's just growing day after day.
So that's I think how I'll wrap up.
If you have any questions for me, the fastest way
to get tome is @StaceyMonk on Twitter.
You can certainly send me an email
and you can visit our website.
>> Thank you Stacey, that was great.
Does anybody have any questions by the way with Stacy?
Remember you have to unmute.
Let's move on to some discussion.
And I'm really looking to everybody specifically
to get involve because this is hopefully where the richness is,
the only-- the wonderful presentations
but how do you use it?
Is-- There a million different ways
that you can take little bits of this I hope and use it
but we won't grow from that unless we share it.
So let's start with, in your opinion,
what makes the direct giving sites like DonorsChoose
so appealing to the questers and to donors?
>> This is Brandon.
I believe that mainly, I think one of the best ways is
that with the card and everything
and just the direct relationship in the pictures,
the donor can really have a hand
and really see what they've done.
I mean so often, you have people who give to charities,
who give to a large sums like habitat for humanity
and they never really get to see the result.
I believe the thing, the result is probably a great
motivating factor.
>> Do any of you have the examples of ways
that your programs currently make a strong relationship
between the donor and the service
that they're helping to support?
>> I do.
[ Simultaneous Talking ]
>> Patrice Parkinson [phonetic] in Greensboro, North Carolina.
But we have a weekly e-newsletter that goes out
and we try to make an effort in every e-newsletter
to tell one story about one of the immigrants or refugees
that we have help or that has volunteered with us
or that has donated to us so that everybody,
each part of the relationship gets featured
as a story on our newsletter.
Every week, there's some kind of story about somebody
who has a relationship with us.
>> Great, good example.
Anybody else?
>> I'm Kara [phonetic] from the University of Google.
We just did a-- We actually just had our alternative spring break
this past months in March.
And pretty much all of our money either came from the students
or we had several faculty members of the university
that donated things and the students send them pictures,
they post to the blog.
They keep them updated on what was going on
and also wrote them thank you notes
for everything that they donated.
>> Great, great.
So there was a thank you note that link
to what was actually done during the spring break
with those donations.
>> Yes.
>> Great. Thank you.
Anybody else?
>> Well, I actually had a question.
I think it's Stacy, she's the one
who did the Epic Change, is that right?
>> Yes.
>> I'm just interested when you talked about reciprocity.
You kind of went fast over that
and I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that
so I'd really appreciate it
if you could elaborate a little bit on that.
>> Absolutely.
So I participate a lot especially
in the Twitter community but also in communities
like Facebook and other places online.
I-- Well, I do a lot of promotion and a lot of talking
about the work we do at Epic Change.
I also-- I'm constantly retweeting
for instance the messages of other people
and sharing the work that other people in my network are doing.
Occasionally, I'll pose the blogs
that are crossed referencing other people
to drive traffic to their blogs.
There're all different kinds of ways.
I donate small donations to other people's causes
when they're doing important micro fund raising efforts.
It's really just about how can you--
and it doesn't have to be monetary,
but how can you use your voice in support of other people
because I find that in online communities,
if you're constantly talking about yourself, if that's--
if that's the only message the fewer people
who are gonna follow you.
You really have to be supportive and be engaged
with other people's work as well if you want them to be engaged
and supportive of yours.
>> Thanks you.
>> Uh-hmm.
>> What do you think we can borrow
from that direct giving approach?
We've heard that there are folks that are really doing a good job
of linking the small gifts with the impact they're having
and we've heard that people are copying the idea
of thank you notes and [inaudible] donors.
Here's exactly where your money went and the good that it did.
What else can we borrow from this direct giving approach?
What did you hear that you might be able to pick up on.
[ Pause ]
>> Yeah, there's a lot to think about.
[ Laughter ]
>> Well, I think the idea
of using all those different wonderful internet tools.
I do technology for State Action,
the organization I worked for, and we spent today sort
of trying to think of that, how we could use Twitter
in a campaign that we're just starting.
But I think this whole idea of trying to use as many
of those different tools that are free, that are out there
like ChipIn, like WordPress, all of those.
I think that's a really important--
that can make a very important impact.
I think there is a question, however,
as to how much time those kind of things take
and I'm interested Stacy
in how much time you spend doing this kind of thing.
>> It's interesting.
It really differs by person and there's actually
on Beth Canter's [phonetic] blog, there is a--
there's a really nice article that she's posted about,
about different levels of time and investment that you can make
and those kinds of things.
Because we have really chosen to become and evolve
into a really social media-based organization,
I would say up to 50 percent of my time is spent either
in development of our online site or blog,
nurturing our Twitter community,
working with our Facebook community.
And remember, we are in a start-up phase.
So we really kind of building that community.
So I think, you know, I would say that I would be dishonest
if I would say it was less than half of my time.
I definitely think it is very, very time intensive process.
But I also think it's very, very rewarding because it's not
as if I'm only getting the funds which, you know, in comparison
to much larger organizations
or more established organizations may not be
of significant but like I said,
everything we do is volunteer run from our website
to entire the TweetsGiving campaign
that was pulled together in 6 days.
All of that comes from the relationships
that I'm able to build online.
So I would say, yeah, it's about half of my time at this point.
>> You know, well that's a huge percentage.
The other thing that is coming to my mind
as I'm listening is how many of your donors
and I'm gonna addressed this first to Jeana and then
to Stacy, how many of your donors are repeat donors,
you know, so how much is the, you know, would you--
if you are looking in a more traditional stockholder
development or motivation of donors is with people
that have already giving, have a record in giving and give again.
Jeana, do you have any idea of how--
what percentage of your folks give again?
[ Pause ]
>> Jeana, are you unmute [inaudible].
>> Hello.
>> There we are.
>> Okay, sorry.
I was just saying I don't have a specific percentage.
It's a-- I guess that really depends on the campaigns.
Right now, I think it is about just a little less than half.
And it really is a lot of people who are--
who already have relationships with their-- with their--
the teachers on the website, whether it's their friends
or colleagues who are our repeat donors.
But then again, we have a lot of people who come across the site
through these blogs and through these messages, social media
that Stacey was talking about who may come
and give a little bit of money and then if they don't--
it really depends on their thank you package.
They usually-- And if they get a really compelling thank you
package, they're back in donating more next.
But right now I think it's about 50 percent.
>> That's great.
Thank you.
Stacy, do you have a sense of that yet?
You really new in the process,
18 months you've been sure yet but-- yeah--
>> Right. I don't think we're sure yet.
We certainly have donors that give month to month.
So I'm not sure how many that is but--
yeah, I think it's interesting, there have been recent studies
as one publisher, I believe in the New York Times,
about online givers not actually coming back
but there's been a lot of discussion recently
as to whether we've have enough data
to really prove whether that's the case.
I would say that we have a lot of very,
very engaged online givers so I would be surprised
if they don't give again when we do major campaigns.
[ Pause ]
>> Are there other things that you heard
that we can borrow from this approach?
I think the idea of the social media which is free
and which creates that online relationship is certainly a
big one.
What about telling stories?
Are any of you really engaged in figuring
out how you tell your stories and how you make that impact?
>> Could you repeat that question?
I was using-- I'm using my cellphone
so I couldn't hear you.
>> Okay. I guess I'm curious about how many
of you really are continuously involved
in refining your stories so that they are as both Stacy and Jeana
and Melissa pointed out.
There more clearer you can say what the impact
of this dollars gonna be and who's gonna benefit,
the better your chance of really reaching out and hooking a donor
and I'm wondered to what extent [inaudible]
in working on that process?
[ Noise ]
>> Please unmute if you want to talk [inaudible] the question.
So we know that micro loans have been gaining a lot of attention.
What do you think in the US we can learn
from programs like [inaudible].
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> I can't-- is there somebody speaking, you need to speak up.
We can barely hear you.
[ Pause ]
>> Please unmute if you wanna speak.
[ Pause ]
>> So big silence.
Does that mean that micro loans aren't really something
that you think has applicability for your program?
[ Pause ]
>> Well, actually-- can you hear me?
>> Yes, I can.
>> Okay. Hi, this is Amy Falcon [phonetic] and I can see
where there's a possibility.
We're kind of in a different situation because we're
in indirect service organization.
We support non-profits who are doing the direct service
and with resources in great counseling and volunteers,
but we do physical agent work?
So we're helping a lot of groups just get started
and we're looking at this idea as a way
to help provide a seed money fund for non-profits that--
groups that are just trying to raise the money
to get their 501C3 filing fees complete.
And I can see where something
like this might work for that project.
>> Yeah, yeah.
That's sounds like-- that's sounds like a possibility.
And if you're not in the business of micro loans,
what other aspects of what Stacy was talking
about are really applicable to your program?
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> And so I'm very direct.
[inaudible] looks me in the eye over the internet
and tell you the story.
[Laughter] What can we pull from that?
[ Noise ]
>> I can't tell if somebody is trying to talk.
I'm hearing computer typing that I'm--
I'm wondering if somebody's also trying to talk.
[ Silence ]
>> Asking questions.
Maybe somebody wasn't aware [inaudible].
>> But the issue of micro loans as far
as phase action is concerned is that you still have
to have revenue streams to pay back a micro loan.
>> This is Stacy.
So, what we do is support our partners
in creating those income streams.
So, she's managed to raise thousands of dollars which in
that affinity is just an unheard of amount
of money in a very short time.
We've done things from reaching out to small businesses
in the United States that were manufacturing items like cards
and gifts and candles and that being cursory around it.
There's a compelling studies that say
that sales will increase if a good is sold for good.
So, there are small businesses and other organizations
that wants to associate their products with good
that may not have identified,
somebody who can tell their story in a really compelling way
or who are able to write images and great story content
to really bolster sales of other items.
So, that's one thing that we have done.
She's also done performances.
We have the children.
We taught the children how to use--
we have brought photographer over there
and taught them photography.
They created postcards that are now sold
in local hotels in [inaudible].
So, there's all sorts of things you can do
to help create those kinds of income streams
to pay back those loans.
>> The items that she's selling, is she selling them there
or she's selling them here and if she's selling them here,
how are you are selling them?
>> We do both.
She's actually arranged some hotel sales over there
and we do online sales and we actually just got
into our first retail place in California,
so-- but mostly online.
We use a tool called Shopify which is very, very inexpensive
and we drive our sales through there.
>> Advertising some in your website.
>> Yeah. Because most of our community is built
in a social media space.
They're very, very savvy about how to access that.
>> And again, you have to adapt those things to your community.
So I would think you know, there are communities
where you are almost likely givers may need
to see some of these products.
You know, at things like community art fairs
or those community gift shops.
Those kinds of things you start out with and you may be able
to also leave them to websites to buy them after that.
But you may-- your first attempts may need to be
with the real products and real space
if that's what your community needs to.
It's [inaudible].
I mean I wouldn't think of it being instantaneous
but you know, it's something to think about.
[ Noise ]
>> Are there other applications of this that you can see
for your programs or other things
that you might wanna think about discussing offline
when having seminars over.
[ Silence ]
>> This is Sammy again and one thing I'd like to know more
about is because we're in this indirect-- we don't--
our stories are gonna be a little bit different
and we're kind of struggling with how
to make personal stories and inspire donors when it's
for you know-- we had to start this supporter organization--
support the cause of supporting these groups.
One of our groups works as a great support.
It works with children in grief and suicide prevention
and everybody wants to donate to them and that's wonderful
and we help launch their program.
So, we're trying to figure out how to create
that heartstring story when it's important but it's removed
and I supposed one thing to do is to get the stories of the--
you know, well without SEER, it would have been a lot harder
without SEER nonprofit's help to get our 501C3 together.
We didn't know how to do it.
We didn't-- something like that
but does anybody have any suggestions
of how we could hold, get some of those warm stories
in the situation like ours?
How we could create that?
>> Well, this is Stacey and I would say that the majority
of the outcomes that we indirectly create are created
by our lone recipient, Mama Lucy [inaudible].
We focus on her story a lot though regardless of the fact
that there is that kind of fiscal relief.
We're a fiscal relationship.
We're not-- we don't do the programs there.
We don't do anything with the curriculum
or the school or any of that.
Those are outcomes that she creates and we specify as much
as possible in all our blog writing and all of those things
that this is her place and that she's able
to do those things only because of the relationship
that she was able to--
the financial relationship that we were able
to establish with her.
So, I think you kind-- at least in our experience,
it's been very successful for us to share that story
as it kind of relates to us.
I don't know if that's helpful.
>> Yeah. I mean I could see that and that's been kind
of the trick because people would just suddenly wanna donate
to that 'cause they see us as you know--
they're donating to her.
They're donating for her and you know--
and so she's getting the benefit of that, isn't that right?
>> Yes.
>> Right. And what we need to do is make the case that donating
to our organization is a benefit
because it helps these other organizations keep--
you know, it helps provide a resource center
for these other organizations.
That is not really--
it's benefiting to them because it helps keep our doors open
which gives them a place to go find things like how
to do fundraising and how to find a grant and where--
you know and stuff like that.
But it's not benefiting a direct service organization directly.
>> Right. Technology has exactly the same problem.
>> Yeah, yeah.
>> I have a nonprofit organization
that is international and we provide technology solutions
to places around the world.
Well, they're interesting.
The stuff that they're doing is interesting but getting somebody
to give to us so that we can then turn around and help them.
The money is not gonna go to them.
The money comes to us.
That's what you're saying--
>> Yeah, yeah--
>> It's nice that you're in business because they can come
to you but they're not gonna turn around and get the money
like Mama gets the money.
>> Exactly, Mama gets the money but in our situation--
>> Right--
>> Yeah.
[ Simultaneous Talking ]
>> The donation is actually the Epic Change
and we aggregate the donations and loan it.
So she actually have to pay it back.
So, yes, it does in some-- so, in some ways it's the same kind
of relationship where you're giving them--
maybe it's not cash directly but it is a good or service.
It's equivalent to that amount of cash.
So I wouldn't short sell the impact
that you're creating in that community.
I wouldn't overemphasize the fact that we--
just due to technology piece
because without the technology piece,
that work cannot happen or--
>> That's true.
They wouldn't be able to get to her otherwise.
>> Exactly, right.
>> So essentially, what they're donating
to is the bank and that's you.
>> Right.
>> Yeah.
>> Exactly.
>> Okay.
>> Exactly.
And the money will come back
to us [inaudible] change to reloan again.
So, it's not that the donor gets it back and it's not
as if Mama Lucy gets to keep it.
>> Okay. I've can hear wheels turning from this distance.
>> Yeah.
>> Is there more that we wanna talk about this afternoon?
I think I want to open up the opportunity
to continue the discussion more in these seminars over
and I want to let you know how we'll gonna be doing that
but first, I also wanna make sure you know
that this is the first in a series of [inaudible]
and the next one will be on May 27 from 3-4 and is
on strategic thinking through idealist.
How you can look at what you want to do, need to do and plan
for it and figure out is there anyway those stimulus dollars
could come to you?
[Laughter] The question right now, isn't it.
All over the country I think that even states
and communities are looking at that.
But an e-seminar in July, we're gonna try something new.
We're going to try, You Propose, We Plan.
We're going to take your suggestions and--
for the July seminar and date in here isn't--
let's see, is incorrect?
We've got until about May 15 then we'll ask you
to submit your ideas to us directly
at Campaign Consultation and we will set up a way to poll
so that people can vote on what they want for the topics
for the July e-seminar.
We thought we'd get this help sooner
and we thought we'd get suggestions you have.
We're behind, what can I say?
So up until May 15, if you have ideas of topics you'd
like to see covered in these series.
Please let us know.
We'll put them up for vote and we'll let you know
by the beginning of June what the topics for July will be.
Once we get to August,
we're going to do Poverty Perspectives.
We're gonna do a [inaudible] on financial literacy
and also [inaudible] we're gonna do a second in September
on poverty and health status, nutrition and environment.
So, we welcome your thoughts about these topics.
We hope you'll register for them or continue discussion--
Steph, you wanna help me out here?
>> Sure. We opened
up a discussion board on Vista Campus.
You can follow the link below
and that'll take you directly to the forum.
If you're not going directly to the link,
you can go on your capacity and it's under funding and resource
and has our title for Small Gifts
and Micro Loans e-Seminar number 1.
>> And if you're from other programs,
you might wanna consider setting up all the forms to talk
about it, on your list LISTSERV or on your discussion board
and we hope that you will do that.
We will be watching those and we will be commenting on them.
You can also get that directly to [inaudible] from your e-mail
or your phone and if they [inaudible],
I think the e-mail is the easiest way to get them.
So, hopefully we will do that and we also have resources
that we hope you downloaded.
>> Yeah. You have the options that download it
when you sign off and when you close out of the program,
it will give you the option to download them which case,
you can download the PowerPoint and also made a research packet
with the website and interesting articles
that might just work your interest in other way.
If for some reason you can't download it,
I put my e-mail in the chatbox.
It's grocott@campaignconsultation.com
and I'll be sure to send them to you.
>> And we'd like your feedback on this e-Seminar.
So there is a survey and that will appear on the screen.
We ask you to please complete it before you sign off
and thank you so much.
We've enjoyed this.
We enjoyed the discussion.
Thank you for being part of it.
Thank you to our presenters, Melissa and Jeana and Stacey.
You are just a [inaudible] of information
and good ideas and we--