Technology in the NFP space

While attending Sculpture By the Sea in Bondi Beach this last Friday, I was pleased to see the organisation asking for donations. The annual event, free to the public, is a showcase of artistic talent. When I have attended the event in past years, I have often wondered why people are not asked to donate to support the non-profit organisation which coordinates the event. The organisation has information tents along the walk and sells various merchandise, including commemorative books and water bottles. Yet, there has never been an ask for donation…until now.

I was pleased to see a donation station (Tap n Go Donation) set up in the main tent where various sculptures are on display and for sale. The organisation did not draw attention to the donation station and there was only one on the entire grounds. However, at least one station was available for those of us inclined to support this terrific event. Sculptures by the Sea called their campaign 20for20, which symbolised the encouragement of donors to give $20 in honour of the event’s 20th anniversary.

donate-1The technology is produced by Square, a US-based technology company.

This type of technology is perfect for hospitals, medical research centres, universities, museums, and other organisations where there is a public location with foot traffic. It is easy to use. I simply selected the dollar value I wanted to donate, I touched my credit card to make the donation, and I entered a few details, including my email address and mobile number. I was pleased the organisation collected my details and not simply my credit card number.

While conducting a little research to write this blog post, I noticed the Melanoma Institute Australia has implemented a test of some similar technology using JCDecaux public advertising spaces. Likewise Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has deployed a similar campaign.

I am inspired by this technology over gold coin donations. Why? The charitable organisation captures contact details rather than simply the cash and, thus, is allowed to re-solicit these same people in upcoming campaigns and engage the audience in a regular donation. With gold coin donations, you simply reap the cash on the spot.doante-2