Americans are labelled as “aggressive”, especially when we share our fundraising ideas. Perhaps this is a term of endearment. Perhaps it is meant as a label and some are truly turned off by campaign tactics shared out of the US. Nonetheless, I was surprised to see one tactic employed last week when I was dining in Newtown with some friends.
When the check arrived, we were asked by the server if we wanted to make a $2 donation to help the homeless (StreetSmart Australia). $2 is nothing – especially after enjoying a wonderful meal of wine and good food! I agreed and the server informed me the $2 had already been added to the bill.
I was surprised. In fact, I was shocked.
Why was I surprised/shocked?
This type of fundraising tactic works and is rarely employed in Australia. I was surprised and shocked in a good way!
Why does it work so well and resonate with an audience? Rarely will someone ask that the $2 be taken off the bill. Also, rarely will people remember, at the end of the evening, to add the $2 to the bill. So, by adding it in, proactively, the charity is likely to raise more money. This is not misleading to the consumer, either, because the consumer is fully informed of the charge and has the ability to opt out should he or she desire.
Each of us were given a small pocket-size brochure on the charity so we could read more about the charity and about the campaign. #Success.
I have only one criticism of this campaign and, perhaps, this brings out the “aggressive American” in me. I would like to see the charitable organisation collect my contact details to have the ability to engage me as a true supporter rather than receive just a one time $2 gift. Without my contact details, this type of campaign mimics the gold coin collections in a theatre or at a street fair.