When you talk with Katya Andresen about the future of philanthropy in the United States, you come away feeling pretty hopeful.
Andresen, who is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy Officer for Network for Good, thinks that human beings are “intrinsically wired for empathy”.
You just have to reach them and inspire them!
Andresen will be sharing how to best to do that when she speaks to attendees of The 7th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising in Washington, D.C. in August.
“Giving is an emotional experience,” Andresen told American News Report. “The key is to demonstrate to the giver how your cause relates to what they most value.”
To engage your audience, you have to know them.
Network for Good was born right after 9/11. Three technology companies, AOL, Cisco and Yahoo! came together to create this technology platform that allows people to donate to charities digitally, nonprofits to fundraise, and corporations to encourage giving.
“We are still early in the transition to online giving,” she said. “Less than 10% of giving occurs online but it’s an area that is going to grow and grow very fast.”
In fact, she predicts that technology can and will unleash generosity in a way never seen before. For that to happen, the former journalist believes that philanthropy will have to continue to evolve.
“We are learning new things about how people think and how they make decisions,” she said. “Neuromarketing tells us that the major thinking part of human activity, including emotion, takes place in the subconscious area,” she said.
So how do you take this new science and make it effective?
“The problem is how we are asking,” Andresen states. “The best way to tell the story is to tell it at a very personal level.”
Many nonprofit leaders resist that approach because they are concerned that it is too manipulative and, as a result, spend too much time talking about data. Sometimes the data is so overwhelming, like millions of people are starving, that people wonder what difference their gift can make.
It is why Katya Andresen will be telling attendees at the Bridge Conference about the Singularity Effect.
“When you focus the story on one person, one young child, you can inspire people to give,” Andresen pointed out. “Don’t undermine your message by making the donor feel hopeless.”
It makes sense.
Andresen traces her passion for good causes to the enormous social need she witnessed as a journalist prior to her work in the nonprofit sector. She was a foreign correspondent for Reuters News and Television in Asia and for the Associated Press and major U.S.newspapers in Africa.
Network for Good has sent nearly $700 million in online donations to more than 80,000 different nonprofit organizations. Network for Good also helps companies with their cause marketing efforts and has partnerships with Capital One, Crowdrise, Causes.com and Yahoo! to name a few.
But it’s the nonprofits that are the “sweet spot” for Network for Good’s efforts as they help train development and fundraising personnel in the developing science of online giving, including specific topics of online fundraising, email marketing, and event and donor management.
“We truly can unleash generosity,” she smiled. “Online giving opens new avenues for philanthropy and more ways to help people around the world.”
Direct marketers and fundraisers will find Andresen interesting and passionate when she speaks at The Bridge Conference because that is exactly what she is.