Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Would you like to plant a tree with that?

The caricature "suggestive-selling" line used to be "would you like fries with that?" but recently things have got a bit more sophisticated and environmentally aware.

My job involves a reasonable amount of travel, and as a result I am frequently booking flights / trains / hotels and other bits and pieces online. And it is very common that as part of the payment process, I'm invited pay a bit more for an extra bag or lounge access, but also there is another box to tick to plant a few trees / donate to the company's charitable foundation / donate to a well know charity group etc.

In fact, here in Mexico, when you withdraw money from an ATM, the last question you are asked before you get your card back is whether you would like to donate to a charity - with a suggested amount (usually about $0.50).

I think its a great idea, and the "charity marketers" have realised that if you make the donation process part of an already existing transaction, it is probably more likely that a donation will be made.

That got me thinking about the fundraising I'm involved in - raising money to support theological education in Latin America. How could I encourage those who are "already making a transaction" to add a bit more for the sake of being a donor to a worthy cause?

Here's what I came up with.

Generally, the registration process for a conference or an event is out of my control (unless of course I am running it), but what if each time we went to a conference or a training event where we were going to be fed we thought - "I'll give $25 to Latin America for Christ so a Latin American pastor can have a similar experience"?

I've chosen $25 as the figure because for that I can meet the costs of one pastor doing one subject through MOCLAM in one of the countries Latin America for Christ supports.

So if you're going to a conference this year - can I "suggestively sell" www.latinamericaforchrist.org to you?

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