Collaboration for Good

In an email last month, from one of my favored non-profits, came an invitation to participate in an online auction. While I normally eschew such programs, I was intrigued by the fact that my favored organization collaborated with two, similar minded, local organizations with which I was familiar. In fact, the more I thought about what the three organizations had done, the more willing I became to support them.

Merrymeeting Conservation and Education Alliance

Merrymeeting Conservation and Education Alliance

Instead of three separate, competing auctions or fundraisers, tapping into the same businesses multiple times, these creative organizations used some very enlightened leadership and real time technology tools to improve their results and very much enhance their good reputations.

This auction was a unique collaboration of:

the Brunswick/Topsham Land Trust,
the Cathance River Education Alliance
and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.

BTLT, CREA, KELT, combined forces to create their first annual on line “bidding for good” campaign. I am particularly pleased with their approach. How nice to have just one solicitation for multiple organizations that I care about and allow me to distribute the money I would want to donate in an equitable and non-pressured way. By engaging me this way, they got me to be more generous than I would have been had I needed to stop to consider who else will be tapping on my pockets in the traditional end of year ‘giving’ upon which so many organizations depend. I liked the beneficiaries, they are well aligned with each other and they eliminated the need for me to balance the financial equation of who gets how much. For a couple of images from my day in photo shoot with Gary Fogg, check out The Forecaster story here.

For the auction, I got to focus on just what items I wanted to bring home for the family. No, I didn’t  “win” the item as the automated auction email implied, I chose to outbid others because I was empowered by those organizations I care about to focus on my desired results and in so doing, I better helped them achieve theirs.

Hat’s off to the planners, leaders and collaborators of this campaign because they have invoked three key concepts needed to excel in this real-time-web world:

 COLLABORATION – easier than trying to do it all alone – no-one-organization  can really do it all alone

 REAL TIME WEB –  bidding for good allows a streamlined and real time approach to raising funds for organizations that matter

 INBOUND MARKETING – SELF IDENTIFYING DONORS- yes it really works and you are less a nuisance this way. The right people with aligned interests will find you. Thank you for allowing me to have a say in all of this.

While this particular auction will be over by the time you see this blog post, you should take a look at how they put it together and gain some ideas for your own work with 501c3 organizations.  Take advantage of the real time technology tools that are all around us and recognize the revolution in social interactions and access that is occurring.

If you need help understanding the changes, send me an email. If you’re a solicitor, don’t bother to call or add me to your grinder/donor list. I don’t respond when you and your agencies make it all about you.


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