General Manager of communications agency Alpha 245 Terence Ooi recently told ADOI, "Despite the high levels of information shared between users, people are cautious as they are afraid of being cheated by online scams. However, in the case of the Red Cross and more recently, UNICEF Malaysia, online donation solicitation campaign were successful."
Overcoming the initial hurdle of authenticity and trust, the donation drive by UNICEF Malaysia garnered significant support with eager contributors purchasing coupons on the deal-of-day site in support of the cause. UNICEF Malaysia’s Tree of Hope campaign developed by Alpha 245 not only caused a wave of support through the deal-of-day website platform, but also caused an organic viral effect on social networks. While organisations are discovering that the introduction of new communication networks and payment channels are not only influencing consumer trends, but they are now tugging at heartstrings and purses quite successfully when it comes to charitable contributions, Alpha 245 is pushing the envelope for charity.
Over the last year, the media channels utilised by some non-profit organizations for fund-raising have raised eye-brows, not so much because of the methodology, but rather the impact it had in garnering public support. The Red Cross put out a donation plea on a deal-of-day website following the tsunami that devastated parts of Japan, and UNICEF Malaysia utilized the same platform to help raise awareness and raise funds for underprivileged children in their campaign in December 2011.
In many online campaigns utilised by marketers as well as non-profit organizations, significant levels of non-financial support was obtained via social media networks through likes and shares. As was in the case of the Red Cross and UNICEF’s effort, via Groupon, a deal-of-day website which gained much publicity even though contributors had reservations.
"We believe as people spend more time understanding details in a deal-of-day website, their decisions are more calculated and they want to ensure their dollar is well spent. It will be interesting to see how other charitable organizations will use this channel in the future," added Terence.