That sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? What I’m referring to is a new discovery in the realm of fund raising. I’ve openly admitted this has been the biggest challenge Kids Are Heroes has faced to date. My palms start to sweat when I think about asking for money. I’m simply not good at it. Period.
So when I saw this new idea (at least new to me) I said to myself, “I have to get that for our site!”. I stumbled across something I thought was called the Support Wall. Since I heard about that someone else told me about the new Promo Wall. The basic idea is that people buy squares on the wall for a relatively little amount of money. They can be in denominations of $25, $10 or even $5. What makes it interesting is that for that little amount they get to purchase real estate on that wall that can be used to promote their business or non-profit. The square can be hyperlinked to their web site, Twitter or Facebook account, or wherever they want it to go. They can even have a message that pops up when the mouse hovers over the image. So I couldn’t wait to sign up. The problem was that these sites weren’t going to be ready for a month or so. I loved the idea so much I built our own on the Kids Are Heroes site. We call it our Foundation Wall. People can buy three different kinds of “bricks”. 100x100px spaces are $25, 50×50 are $10 and 25×25 are just $5. Check it out in all of its glory here.
Why I feel so strongly about why this would be beneficial to us is because we are giving true value for their tiny investments. Between Facebook and Twitter we can invite more than 30,000 people to go to this page as often as we want to. We have our own traffic to send to it. It’s actually fun to see who is up on the wall and why they bought a square. We often think that $5 is so little so why won’t people donate it? The reason is because it’s too much trouble and normally you get nothing in return. Everyone’s asking for just a small donation. But If I can give $5 for a plug and a link back to my site while helping a charity on a page that will get lots of traffic, why wouldn’t I do that?
So I am encouraged by our first square purchased right away and a promise of another. (As this was being written another $25. square was also gobbled up.) It remains to be seen how successful it will be, but on paper it should be amazing. It encourages people to buy early as if they do they will be on the wall for a longer period of time. Our wall has a capacity of raising $2500 for us and when it gets filled we simply start another. There is virtually no cost to us yet the squares offer real value to our donors.
So, in the indomitable words of Peter Marshall, pick a square!!
Update 3/03/11: Well the Foundation Wall got off to a GREAT start. We sold 5 big squares last night and the reviews were very positive. This gave me another idea. Why not build a second wall for corporations? The bricks would be a bit more expensive but they would be up longer as this wall won’t get populated as fast. And at $100 for the most expensive square it’s still very reasonable. So the corporate wall is up and we have already sold 2 $100 squares!! Looks like we might be on to something…