Doing Good Together

It’s Who You Know: How Networking Can Help Your Nonprofit

TV presenter Damiano Cavadi’s encounter with Pope Francis at the Vatican proves that even a brief meeting with a well-known public figure often leads to great things. British news site ‘The Independent ‘reports how the host of the Italian TV program Le Iene managed to convince the Pontiff to exchange white zucchetto hats with him while addressing a public audience. The event generated quite a buzz, and Le Iene was quick to capitalize on the resulting publicity to help the Italian charity Soleterre, which is based in Africa, using the eBay Giving Works program.  

Footage of the moment showed the Pope carefully comparing it to his own hat and swapping after finding it was the same size, handing his scull (sic) cap over.

The broadcasters then gave it to a charity to auction it on Ebay to raise money for humanitarian work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Within two days, bids had reached €80,000 (£63,000) and the holy hat was eventually sold for €89,050 (£69,560) on Wednesday.

Associating with a beloved and respected personality is one way to make your auction a resounding success. However, you might well ask: Does the success of non profit fundraising rely on popularity alone? That does not have to be case if you use our online auctioning platform and did some legwork of your own. At eBay Giving Works, we will handle most of the transactions involved in your auction, thereby giving you more leeway to get the crowd involved in your fundraiser—just as Le Iene did.

It all begins with launching an effective marketing campaign in print and in digital media. In particular, you can spread the word about your campaign through leading social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can also use these sites to post live, regular updates of your fundraiser to keep online traffic going in your favor. Meanwhile, keep in mind that traditional methods like flyers and stickers are still effective at generating awareness about your event. Use them to entice friends and strangers alike to participate.

Once you’ve got marketing in the bag, you can now focus on ensuring that your auction meets its fundraising goals. This is perhaps the most crucial task in organizing any nonprofit fundraising event. After all, the success of your auction ultimately hinges on how much money you are able to raise. See to it that your goals are reasonable, given that hosting fundraisers online still entails expenses on your part.

Keep these points in mind and perhaps, with a bit of luck, your auction can achieve the same level of success as Le Iene.

(Source: Pope Francis' hat sells for almost £70,000 on Ebay in charity auction, The Independent, September 29, 2014)