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Created by TheGivingLab team, SeeTheDifference was a pioneering UK crowdfunding site which brought transparency to giving, with feedback direct from the people you helped. Find out how it started, which celebrities make you give, which stories motivated givers … and about the power of Nanas.

Sometimes unexpected events shake things up.

The Japanese tsunami of 2011 provided an opportunity for an innovation experiment. Could we deliver something that felt like real time feedback and what impact would it have on donors?

We worked with disaster mapping charity MapAction to experiment with low cost film-making to involve givers as events unfolded in the biggest news story of the year.

They launched an appeal to fund the small team they were sending out to Japan on the same day they left. Here it is:

tsunami

The video was widely shared and their fundraising target was met within 5 days. Interestingly donations almost completely stopped after 7 days.

They gave their first feedback to givers within days:

feedback

They delivered a final video feedback 3 weeks later:

feedback2

Donors to the MapAction project were the most satisfied of any SeeTheDifference project.

The speed of feedback astonished and delighted many donors. They had given in many cases as a response to the news they had seen and ended up feeling they had made a personal difference and it had been money well spent.

Speed matters to givers.

By contrast feedback to other givers about other projects, delivered to givers 6-12 months after donations were made was often much less impactful.

Two striking findings stood out; over 50% of feedback alerts went unread, so many givers didn’t see the fruit of their generosity (thanks to changes of email address, spam filters or disinterest).

Secondly when we surveyed people, many had simply forgotten they had given – and whilst pleased to hear back, the passage of time meant their emotional engagement was low.

Intriguingly overall 1% of SeeTheDifference givers donated 4 times or more, 1% donated 3 times, 7% donated twice and 91% donated once. Would speedier feedback have increased repeat donations? USA based Kickstarter encourage regular feedback after funding and have achieved up to 30% repeat giver rate, which looks encouraging.

Speed matters.

TheGivingLab offers innovation consulting, consumer research and digital design to help charities change and grow. Contact us: change@thegivinglab.org