Next time someone suggests, “let’s create a viral fundraising campaign,” you might want to tell them to think twice – or at least think strategically based on what we know.
Most of what we know is that successful viral fundraising is incredibly difficult to achieve. It feels somewhat random in regards to the small amount of campaigns that work vs. the large amount that don’t. And it’s rarely sustainable over time.
This article is recommended reading if you want to ponder how to get inside the motivations of people who participate in these campaigns, and if you want to try to use the evolving social media space to attempt a campaign of your own.
One key to long-term success is recognizing the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and to think about how you’re building these motivators into your potential campaign. (Hint: Intrinsic motivation is essential for sustainability.)
Check out what ultimately happened after the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, one of the most prominent viral campaigns ever, and then contrast it to the slower-growing, but ultimately more sustainable Movember campaign. Interesting stuff.