Over recent months, I’ve been asked to give a number of presentations to companies and communities – even primary schools. And one of the main feedback phrases that crop up about TheGivingMachine is along the lines of “What a great concept! Why have I not heard of you?” Obviously, the first bit of that sentence is great as everyone likes great comments about their organisation but the “Why have I not heard of you?” relates to awareness building or perhaps lack of it.
Being a relatively small charity ourselves, we have similar issues to the many amazing causes we serve. We don’t have large marketing budgets to spend on awareness building. We’re not big enough to have a bid team working on large scale corporate partnerships. What we do have is an incredibly loyal and amazing membership of people and causes who seem to love working with us.
And that gets to the heart of how many causes build engagement and audience. It’s not via rapid and costly sales and marketing techniques. It’s by working with your existing audience and doing a good job to win their trust and loyalty. You can then enable and encourage your audience to help spread the word. Recently we started working with Trustpilot and that has given us a great boost in getting independent feedback on the service we deliver which was, and I hope still is at the time of publication, excellent!
Sometimes, there are great referral incentives to build an audience but I think that in the charitable/community sector, I’m always a bit wary of this because giving a monetary reward on someone’s advocacy can cloud the “ask” and creates a transaction mindset rather than a community support one. It reduces the emotional element and starts to engage the “is it worth it” part of your brain. I’d hope that people who engage with what we do are the kind of people who just want to help others and make a difference.
As I’m an optimist, the other way of looking at the phrase “Why have I not heard of you?” is as an opportunity. The answer might be “Well you have heard of us now so if you like what we do, then please consider joining in and helping to spread the word in whatever way you can”. One of the things I really love about our sector, and especially in the local community focused side of things, is that so many organisations and people are willing to help each other – we really are all better off making a difference together.
So I’m going to put this into action, here and now. TheGivingMachine is all about enabling companies, customers and communities to thrive together. Our main service to enable people like you to give for free when you shop online at over 2,200 of the most popular online retailers. You can support up to four causes of your choice from over 7,500 schools, charities and community groups all over the UK. It’s free to join and use for everyone. Yes, we have commercial competitors but being a charity ourselves, we can give more away and use our own organisation to give brilliant work opportunities to full-time parents as well as help mentor and train young people who may need that extra bit of support as part of our team.
Well, you have heard of us now so if you like what we do, then please consider joining in and helping to spread the word in whatever way you can. That way we can give even more free donations away and support the communities that support us all.
And if I or our charity can share your story too, please get in touch. Together we can make a huge difference!
CEO & Founder TheGivingMachine