The reason why charities are increasingly developing really powerful work is that they have something that many companies have lost – a sharp focus on the improvement of a human need. A specific consumer and his predicament is at the heart of everything they do. So many companies have broadened their target focus, and are hitting many different needs, as technology has allowed them to reach many different people at once and then adjust tactics in real time based on consumer demand. Charities have focus and use technology to facilitate and immerse people into their cause versus us it to simply blanket a wide consumer base.
Misereor is a charity that helps fight poverty in the Third World by creating self-help initiatives. To encourage donation it did not simply lean on a highly effective SEM or Display campaign, it wanted to use technology to allow potential donators to feel the impact that they were having. As such the created the Social Swipe. This brilliant outdoor installation allowed people to use their credit cards and donate right away with a simple swipe. There was not need to spend time giving away details, no site to go to, nothing. The billboard not only allowed you to give a 2 Euro donation, but visually brought to life through your “card swipe” the help that you were providing. The result was incredible. Have a look at the case video.
Another charity that has leverage technology to not just market their cause but actually help tackle it is Water is Life. This charity helps tackle the dilemma of contaminated drinking water in less fortunate countries and communities. They partnered with Carnegie Melon to develop a book that not only educates people about the importance of clean water but also allows them to use the book to actually purify their water. These books can be produced at a very low cost and can be easily distributed to those who need them. Therefore, this program drives awareness of Water For Life due to the exposure that this innovation received in the press and online, while at the same time helping raise awareness of their message to those in need and simultaneously providing a solution. Brilliant.