Micro-Donations: Getting Creative to Target New Donors

It is undeniable that the development of new technology has revolutionized the way that people donate to charitable organizations. Now, the rising trend of apps and tools for micro-donations makes it possible for people who might not have otherwise considered themselves philanthropists to give money to your cause.

Spotfund, a tool that launched in June 2016, is a great example. The app functions like a social platform, allowing organizations to set up an appealing and easily shareable profile. When clicking to donate, the user is prompted with the options $1, $5, or $10 and then asked to share on social media that they’ve made a gift. If you’ve used crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you’re probably already familiar with this model.

Of course, this tool requires the donor to be proactive. Interestingly, in recent months we’ve started seeing some prime examples of nonprofits getting creative in order to attract more regular micro-donations without needing to rely on consistent reminders to their donors.

Bail Bloc, for instance, is a project developed by The New Inquiry in partnership with the Bronx Freedom Fund. The website explains: “When you download the app, a small part of your computer's unused processing power is redirected toward mining a popular cryptocurrency called Monero, which is secure, private, and untraceable. At the end of every month, we exchange the Monero for US dollars and donate the earnings to the Bronx Freedom Fund.

100% of the currency your computer generates is used by the Bronx Freedom Fund to post bail for low-income people detained in New York effective immediately.” Most users, they explain, can expect to generate $3 to $5 per month. What’s really interesting about this tool, is that the user doesn’t need to know anything about cryptocurrency in order to use it to fund this cause.

Taking a more tech-lite approach, Planned Parenthood of New York City has developed a partnership with Amalgamated Bank to start a what they are calling a “Give-Back Savings Account.” All a donor has to do is set up a give-back account with Amalgamated Bank, and every month, the bank will donate an amount equivalent to half of the interest they earn on their savings to Planned Parenthood of New York City.

If you’re looking to start taking advantage of the growing culture of micro-giving, your options are plentiful – whether you encourage your audience to use a pre-existing tool, or come up with a new option that’s right for your organization. As with the case of Planned Parenthood of New York City, getting creative around micro-donations may even be an opportunity for a new partnership. So, don’t be afraid to think outside the box!