A bit of controversy can be healthy when it comes to business.
The recent blog about electronic cards at Xmas focused on making emailed Xmas cards stand out. As part of the blog a few feathers were ruffled due to the comment related to there being potential doubt that all senders of such ecards would actually make the donation to the charity referred to. Thank you to those people who provided feedback giving details of the charity payments made. Thank you, because it sparked off another idea …
Human nature means that some people will be sceptical. For every 100 emailed Xmas cards sent out, referring to a charity donated to, a few people may think “yeah, right, did they really make that donation?”. This raises an opportunity and I’ll use Kiosk Creative (the subject of the original blog) as an example as they’ve kindly supplied me with something I can use …
Let’s imagine it’s Xmas 2010 again and it’s time to send emailed Xmas cards out again. Kiosk could send their card out but in addition could include a note similar to the following:
For more details of our donation of 5 chickens, 4 goats, 3 pigs, 2 cows, and a cockerel to Rwandan families, click here.
When people click on that link they could get taken to a page that gives a bit of information about their chosen charity and includes evidence of the contribution they made, such as shown below:
The financial details wouldn’t necessarily have to be there, although they do add some credibility to the gift.
The value in doing this is in standing out from the crowd. It’s partially about giving sceptical people nothing to feast on but it’s mainly about being transparent – being proud to show evidence of the contribution being made. When you combine that with an emailed card that has a ‘different’ edge to it, you’ll be more memorable to those people you send to.
Before the flood of comments come in saying that it’s a very personal thing how much is contributed to charity, I’d say that I’m in agreement and of course, it would be up to individuals whether they disclose the amount. Purely something from the benefiting charity that shows a contribution was made, would be enough.
Perhaps also there’s another idea to be exploited here. Perhaps the benefiting charities could each have a page on their own websites that lists the names of companies/individuals who have donated to them, and in which months. The donators could have a tick box that dictates whether or not the value of their donation is shown on the website for all to see. Then, it’s purely a case of providing a link to that website page from within the emailed Xmas card. It wouldn’t be hard for the charities to set up such functionality – it’s just an addition to the payment process and a page that gets automatically updated as contributions come in. It’ll be interesting to see whether, at Xmas 2011, any charities have picked up on this idea and developed it further, as well as how many companies realise that there may be some benefit in being more transparent about the charitable donations being made via their use of an emailed card at Xmas.