We were joined by Ben Parker of Stockcrowd UK who gave the groups his insights on the digital fundraising landscape, how this presents a commercial opportunity for organisations and how our new partnership with Stockcrowd UK can help organisations grow their donor supporter base.
Stockcrowd UK started in 2015 with the vision to enable any organisation to turn their own website and digital channels into their own fundraising platform, rather than using a 3rd party technology. However, due to the current trend in fundraising moving towards digital technologies, some challenges were perceived. Firstly, the online giving market has become very crowded and the ability for an organisation to differentiate its cause from any other is becoming increasingly difficult and secondly, the issue of control over payments and data. With a typical donation flow, the donor donates money to the third-party platform which, in turn, distributes the money to the organisation. The problem with this is that the 3rd party provider owns and controls the donor data. This creates a barrier between the organisation and its donor community leaving the organisation unable to build an emotional connection that would make the campaigns more successful.
It can be noted the audiences that support campaigns can be quite static. Many organisations going back to the same audience for every campaign that they are trying to launch and an element of fatigue can set in. Ben noted that the key differentiator in this situation is creativity and cited some examples of fundraising campaigns using Stockcrowds technology. One particular was a campaign to buy an educational school bus and the platform allowed donors to fund different parts of the vehicle.
This format for fundraising has shown not only to be very effective in engaging a fundraising community but also helps the donors understand what their money is actually contributing towards.
Another challenge facing organisations, Ben highlighted, is the internationalisation of fundraising campaigns. How organisations can show a common journey of donors when they live across different tax structure regions. The solution that Stockcrowd is able to offer is the ability to create different donation forms depending on the region of the donor.
As an organisation that has started in the UK and now working across Europe, do you see things that other countries or sectors are doing that can be implemented from a fundraising perspective?
Ben: We are seeing a trend towards gamification of the donor experience. We are also changing things to allow people who feel an affinity towards a cause rather than just towards the organisation. For example, Exeter University has a strong dementia research programme, I can be engaged with this cause, even though I did not go to Exeter University.
Fundraising is moving towards caused-based models/ Lots of institutions are in campaign mode but how does this work on the Stockcrowd platform from a user perspective?
Ben: One of the things that differentiate Stockcrowd from other fundraising platforms is its ability to host different campaigns side by side. For example, fundraising for a new science block and then right next to it, a campaign to fund a scholarship. The point is that you are inviting your community into a single space and allowing them to decide on which aspects of the organisations fundraising efforts they want to engage with.
How much flexibility does the Stockcrowd module offer for alumni to create their own campaigns?
Ben: If you are using the Aluminate Community Builder it’s very easy. The power of having Stockcrowd integrated into the Aluminate Community Builder is that you can leverage your own community network. People are familiar with it and then this is one more widget that empowers them to do the fundraising bit. What you’re doing here is turning your donors into fundraisers and getting a far greater reach.
We design our Creating Connection events in order to provide community managers and builders with a space to learn and interact about the challenges and successes they face in their communities