Former EMA colleague Greg Loh today reported on Centscere, the winner of a start-up event based in Central New York. The company’s solution is designed to help non-profits connect with donors in new ways while maximizing existing social media activity. Loh cites several important caveats to consider, including:
1. Non-profits will need their own resources to promote the Centscere channel
2. Centscere won’t meet all fundraising challenges facing today’s average non-profit
Despite these potential barriers, Loh applauds the winning concept for its simplicity and alignment with the product’s target audience, which he refers to as “purpose-driven Millennials.” Let’s examine these caveats and draw some conclusions.
First, Centscere is in fact another media channel. This may create a challenge for some organizations. Many non-profits, including well-established ones, struggle to manage their existing assets, programs and activities. Adding yet another channel may sound simple, but breaking through the noise of social media is still an equation many small non-profits (as well as major businesses) struggle to crack. As an unintended result, well-established organizations with larger marketing budgets and teams might edge out smaller non-profits without the resources to spread the word and attract the pool of micro-donations. For example, this phenomenon occurs during the ROC the Day, an existing initiative in Western New York where thousands of organizations compete for online donations during a 24-hour promotion facilitated by the United Way of Greater Rochester. Many of the less-established non-profits in Rochester lack general awareness to attract donations. As Centscere gains traction, hopefully it can begin to provide all participating organizations with best practices based on data analysis derived from its platform. In short, Centscere has the potential to be used for listening as well as amplification and engagement.
And listening is what many non-profits of all sizes vitally need to solve their larger fundraising and awareness issues. Beyond the Internet and technology as a whole, many non-profits must confront an institutional dilemma: Is the organization still serving the relevant needs of its intended constituents, or has it become consumed in the protection and preservation of an identity and legacy, which may very well be outdated?
Using Centscere as a listening platform and drawing from the analysis of real-time social media activity (especially what triggers a consumer’s donation) may very well help to provide a wealth of intelligence worth far more than a nickel- or quarters-worth spent on the original Tweet or Like. In that way, Centscere may actually hold the potential to solve the larger fundraising needs of a 21st century non-profit.
Like our first Market Ready winner, Rosie, Centscere is just the kind of company we had in mind two years ago when we created the Market Ready Award as part of StartUp Labs Syracuse. It’s a breakthrough idea that’s far along in development. It’s been created by people who are open to innovative marketing ideas. How can we not be excited?
There are three big things I like about Centscere:
Centscere breaks the mold for charitable giving. It’s an entirely different way of making a donation – a digital version of collecting small change outside of a retail store. But instead of charities chasing down…
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