Combining Social Fundraising And Performance Marketing

Becky Doles

With the Kickstarter phenomenon taking the crowd-funding world by storm, it seems only natural that similar sites might emerge in other market segments. Last night at a Seattle pre-party for the upcoming GROW conference in Vancouver, B.C., I met the team behind Weeve – a site that’s attempting to be the Kickstarter for nonprofit funding. According to Weeve CEO, Alex Chuang, their fundraising platform is unique in that the funded campaigns aren’t charged any fees in the fund raising process.

Funding 100% Donor Passthrough

I instantly wanted to know how Weeve plans to make money if they aren’t taking a cut. At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be any source of revenue on the site, as they only launched fairly recently. In the future, Weeve plans to partner with companies who offer discounts or other incentives to donors. The internet equivalent of the NPR tote bag, perhaps?

Initial plans are for Weeve to charge companies a fee for the ability to market to donors. I predict this will evolve over time into something more like a super-affiliate relationship, much like FatWallet has in the shopping space.

While donors will definitely want to know that 100% of their donation is going to the nonprofit project, companies providing incentives are going to want something else – results. A few companies may enjoy the feel-good benefits of associating with non-profit causes, but paying to offer a discount isn’t a sustainable marketing practice – unless those discounts are converting to sales.

Performance Incentives Offset Overhead?

Much like coupon affiliates get paid when someone makes a purchase using some combination of their tracking link and unique coupon code, I expect to see Weeve incentives tied directly to conversions. This could be a great opportunity for a number of advertisers to negotiate incentive based deals with Weeve.

Maybe that’s the best way to look at the long term potential of a company like Weeve. By combining the ability for users to fund things they believe in (a la Kickstarter) with the kickbacks offered by a site like Fat Wallet, they can hopefully generate enough revenue to avoid needing donor funds for overhead.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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