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Double donations creates a multiplier effect

Over peak giving season in June, we noticed a number of trends sweeping across Australian charities. One of those was donation matching or double donations.

Double donations are an innovative approach to spruce up a time-based campaign.

In previous years we saw double donations being used by the large scale charities such as Amnesty International Australia.

This year, we were impressed to see many other charities employing this technique for greater impact, including Royal Flying Doctors Services QLD, Habitat for Humanity Australia, Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation and Save the Bilby Fund.

One campaign that stands out as a clear success is the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) who held a telethon for World Refugee Day.

There are so many reasons why this campaign was hugely successful. Here is their unique recipe for success.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre: Cracking the code for success



The team at ASRC hosted an online telethon for World Refugee Day, and super-sized their campaign across social media and the idea spread like wildfire.

In fact, they did everything just right, and they cracked the code for online telethon success!  Here is a look at how they took the telethon to the next level with smart use of digital tools.

All the credit goes to the dedicated organisers who have worked for months to invite celebrities, driven community members and volunteers to join the day of advocacy, celebrations and fundraising. Everyone involved was driven to raise much needed funds for asylum seekers in Australia.

Let’s look at how they did it:


1. Choose the right day to celebrate

The smartest move was to choose the right day to run the event, namely World Refugee Day.

Australia is often the first country to celebrate international days, which adds plenty of momentum to content on social media. Added bonus points for selecting a hashtag #WorldRefugeeDay that has international reach.

Key element here is to form an online TREND.


2. Double donations from a generous supporter
With the support of a very generous donor, ASRC were able to match donations at key times of the day. This added incentive to give by matching your amount, opened the floodgates of generosity for donors.

With smart use of large corporate donations, this key ingredient offers a sense of urgency and doubling.

Key technique here is to MULTIPLY.


3. Matched with twice the success via text

Text messages

Perhaps one of the most innovative and successful tactics during the day, was to send out two rounds of texts on the same day, only while the donation matching was available.

First text was sent at 8am. The key factor here was to use the donation matching to create immediacy.

The second text was sent at 5pm, as a reminder to those that had not donated yet but still had the urgency due to the fact of another donation hour matching of power.

Both outbound SMSes resulted in outstanding return on investment of greater than 10 x each for the organisation.

Key factor here is URGENCY.


4. Choose the right time to hit send
The selected time for the first wave of text messages was 8am, and supporters responded swiftly.

The multiplier effect here is to rally support across social channels, with an additional invitation to rally support.

Key action here is to RALLY.


5. SMS a keyword to mobile number

Selecting the right SMS keywords is vital to inspire, and this team chose well with the keywords of HOPE, CARE and HOME.

They made it so simple to donate that it spread like wildfire on social. SMS was used an additional way for supporters to donate via an inbound channel.

At every stage of the experience, the team took the opportunity to inspire.

Key concept here is to INSPIRE.


6. Celebrities being social

Celebrities on call

The joy of telethons is that people get the chance to speak to their favourite celebrities, and be part of the celebration on the day. ASRC invited these celebrities to post on social media, and the responses made the day even more fun online.

This also included regular updates from their CEO, adding fuel to the fire

Telling the successes of the day live as it unfolds makes for an exciting event, particularly when you add fun and humour.

Key factor here is to SHARE.


There are so many reasons why this telethon was a success, these are a few other key success factors:

Create a sense of belonging

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) took their telethon to the next level by giving their existing supporters a real sense of community and belonging. They were smart about the tools they used such as double donations, which allowed the team to exceed their targets in financial terms and community engagement.

Building a list of second time SMS donors

At GiveEasy, we have worked closely with ASRC for the last three years to grow their impact for digital giving. They have raised significant amounts by using the best of inbound and outbound SMS campaigns.

One of the contributing factors of building communities, is that their second time donation experience gets quicker and easier every time.

Articulate your ask and create urgency

Importantly they have been able to articulate their asks and create the necessary urgency around their campaigns. We cannot emphasise how important these two ingredients are for you to think about for your future campaigns.

Lessons for other campaigns

The great thing about this telethon, is that it utilises so many fundraising tools in a short space of time for maximum impact.

If you are looking for digital fundraising solutions for your next major campaign, get in touch today.

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