This concept is the result of a Better Giving Studio 3-day collaborative sprint focusing on Small Dollar Donors. Kevin Conroy (Global Giving) and Joe Lajavic (Facebook) championed this idea. You can read the brief the teams worked from for more context.
We know from past research that donors don’t like when giving feels directly transactional and that donors seek emotional connection when donating. One way to provide this is through a sense of closure or “warm glow” post-donation. But donors are often met with “cold transactional” experiences. This is especially true for smaller dollar donors, who are less likely to have the kind of direct interaction that nonprofits cultivate with large-scale donors. With the marked increase of small donor mobility in 2020, nonprofits need to work harder to give them a reason to give again and again. Warm Glow will help small dollar donors join a growing community of generous people like them, feel appreciated, and see their impact within a larger giving moment.
The key Warm Glow audience is “small but mighty” donors like Larry. He’s passionate about specific causes and supports them to the tune of less than $1,000 per year, often in $25 to $100 increments. He makes a few recurring small dollar donations to organizations that matter to him.
When Larry joins Warm Glow and makes his first donation, the other donors to that cause are alerted that a new donor has joined their community. Larry and the other community members can see a patchwork of each other’s profile photos. This visual recognition helps build a sense of belonging and appreciation.
Now part of the community, Warm Glow offers Larry a choice of donation options with tiered levels of engagement, donation amounts, and frequency. The app provides “giving anchors” that let Larry know how much others in his group have donated, and to whom. Larry can get inspired by seeing how his community is making a larger impact together. He can also share updates of his impact with his community and via social media.
Warm Glow gives small dollar donors the appreciation they deserve. By sharing impact stories, it proves that they are an important part of the philanthropic ecosystem—their donations matter. And by providing a spectrum of engagement levels, Warm Glow allows for a more personalized experience, meeting donors where they are so they feel capable of staying engaged. The Warm Glow community also encourages accountability while building a connection to something bigger.
Are you working on something similar? Have feedback to give us or insights that we should know about related to this exploratory concept? Did you test out this idea, and how did it go? We’d love to hear from you! Please write us a note at [email protected]
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