What i've been reading (and debating) this week
Barriers to creating donor magic: Lack of time and resources

Adopt a Word, Twitter & the power of celebrity

I loved this story at Professional Fundraising about I-Can's 'Adopt a Word' scheme, which received a massive boost when Stephen Fry bought a word and then tweeted about it.

The charity weren't promoting the site at the time and have seen a huge increase in traffic and adoptions in the last week.

Like many of the best fundraising ideas it was simple, easy to understand and there is a clear connection between the cause and the fundraising mechanism.  However, there are still a couple of areas that could be improved.

I instantly wanted to buy a word for my girlfriend, as she's been complaining I've lost my romantic touch recently and I thought she'd find it cute if I adopted a couple of our pet names for each other.

However, it seems we're not quite as original as I thought and quite a few other couples share the same pet names - I won't embarass myself or my girlfriend and reveal what they are! After looking at about a dozen words they were all taken and so I gave up, didn't adopt a word and so I-Can lost a potential donation.

I'm sure this problem will happen a lot, so here's a couple of suggestions for how I-Can could overcome this problem in the future:

  • Have a waiting list for people to get their chosen word in the future.
  • Auction off the most popular words.
  • Offer bargain words of the day or bundles (based on current affairs) to get rid of less popular words. For example, after David Cameron's outburst the other week, I'm sure the word 'twat' would have attracted a large donation and generated a heap of publicity!
  • Let more than one person adopt the same word, but charge an increasing amount per word i.e. first person pays £20, next £25, next £30 etc, etc.  They could then use this data to produce an interesting PR piece about the most popular words to adopt and those in need of some tlc.
I hope I-Can can put some of these ideas into practice in the future and that the scheme raises lots of funds for their excellent work.