Crowdsourcing more than money from your donors

Instead of just buying your gelato from the ice cream shop, why not help them make it by supplying organic fruit from your own garden?

That’s the premise of New Zealand’s Giapo Gelato, whose new “Giapo Certified Organic” line is crowdsourced from its customers. From Springwise:

Located in Auckland, Giapo Gelato serves up an all-natural line of healthful gelato and sorbets, with inventive flavours including Spirulina, Feijoa and Chili Chocolate. Earlier this week, it kicked off its new crowdsourcing effort to incorporate organic fruits supplied by the crowds. To be eligible for consideration, consumers must guarantee that no herbicides or pesticides have been used within the growing area of their fruit; samples will be randomly tested to ensure compliance. The price of the fruit supplied will then be calculated in current market prices, and Giapo will give suppliers free Giapo Gelato in return.

Springwise goes on to note that trading extra produce for gelato is an exchange that many gardeners will likely be willing to make. But I think there’s more here than free ice cream. If I’m supplying the fruit for an ice cream store, am I likely to mention that to my friends? Invite them down to the store to taste it? Explain how I got involved and challenge them to do the same?

Yes on all three counts.

And this is the “secret sauce” that has powered Habitat For Humanity for years.

It would be infinitely less enticing to say to people, “The poor in our community need homes. Our organization can build them for a good price. Please make the most generous donation you can today.”

Instead, Habitat sticks a hammer in your chest and says, “The poor in our community need homes.” And we reply by saying, “But I don’t know how to build a home?” And they reply by saying, “We’ll show you how, and we’ll do it with you.”

As we noted in a previous post, volunteers donate 50% more than non-volunteers. What that tells us is that when we crowdsource more than money from our donors, we end up crowdsourcing more money from our donors as well.

This is the most basic lesson of fundraising in modern times and yet perhaps the most resisted. We nonprofit leaders protest that it’s more efficient if donors give us money–rather than their labor or their creativity or their word of mouth–so we can use the money to fund our labor, our creativity, and our advertising that is the cost of not equipping and relying completely our donors to share the cause in their sphere of influence.

What can you crowdsource from your donors other than their money?

Yes, it will require you to fundamentally rework your “supply chain”, your way of approaching the cause, your identity as an organization, and your management structure.

But lest you protest that your cause doesn’t lend itself to this, note that it’s the causes we never dreamed could be crowdsourced–from building homes to microlending in the developing world to large-scale adoption of children–are now the hottest and fastest growing causes.

What cause will be crowdsourced next? I hope the answer is:


About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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3 Responses to Crowdsourcing more than money from your donors

  1. Pingback: Crowdsourcing more than money from your donors « Transformational Giving | Everything Organic

  2. How is the micro-loaning agency using crowd sourcing? Thank you, I enjoyed reading this.


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