Guess2Give aims to generate new online fundraising income from sponsored events

While I don’t have hard and fast data to prove it I strongly suspect that, after Emergency Appeals, Sponsored Event fundraising is the largest generator of online donations in the UK – with leading sponsorship fundraising site Justgiving recently announcing that its users have passed £1billion in funds raised since it launched 10 years ago. As such, I was particularly interested when I came across Guess2Give, a new fundraising site which is aiming to complement traditional sponsorship sites by adding a £3 per entry sweepstake element to any type of event – with a proportion of the money raised being given to the winner and £2.50 for each entry going to the event organiser’s chosen charity.

Launched in beta last year, and to consumers just this month, the site has already attracted a range of big and small brand charities as well as picking-up a handy financial boost in the shape of a £50k award from NESTA. The heart of its refreshingly distinctive proposition is that far from competing with traditional event sponsorship fundraising it will actually generate additional income from events as supporters fundraising for their chosen charity set-up both a sponsorship fundraising page and a Guess2Give sweepstake fundraising page.

I love the innovative thinking here – such a wonderfully simple fundraising idea and yet no-one seems to have come-up with it before (unless you know better?). However, I’m not so sure about the idea that event participants will set-up two types of fundraising pages and then promote both to their networks of friends and colleagues.

What I suspect might actually happen is that people who have asked their friends for sponsorship before and who like the sweepstake idea will go to Guess2Give so they don’t have to send around yet another sponsorship ask – which could have quite an impact on the amount raised. Assuming that the average sponsorship fundraising page generates around £600 (which doesn’t seem too far off, based on this presentation from Jonathan Waddingham of JustGiving (p8)) then the sweepstake fundraiser needs to secure something like 240 sweepstake guesses to generate the same amount. That’s a lot of friends doing a lot of guessing.

However, on the up-side, new income may well come from people taking part in less challenging and more fun events where a Guess2Give sweepstake is more applicable than traditional sponsorship. For example, one of the site’s promotional videos involves a charity paper plane challenge.

Only time will tell both whether event participants take to the sweepstake idea and whether the innovative approach generates additional funds for the sector or cannibalises traditional sponsorship fundraising by offering a novel but lower value way of raising money. The team at Guess2Give are certainly working hard to get their name out into the public arena – with quite a bit of media coverage related to last weekend’s London Marathon and a spoof face-to-face fundraising promotional video. So, it’s definitely worth keeping track of their progress.


2 thoughts on “Guess2Give aims to generate new online fundraising income from sponsored events

  1. That’s a great summary of Guess2Give and I’m pleased that the simplicity of the idea comes across. You quite rightly raise the questions of fundraisers setting-up 2 pages and cannibalisation. On both points we’ve had some in-depth discussions with many of the 50+ charities registered so far.

    I should point out at this stage that I’m one of the co-founders of Guess2Give and I can hopefully add some insight based on users of the site.

    Regarding setting-up 2 pages, I think its fair to say that some people will and some won’t won’t. With sporting events people fall generally into 2 categories: those that want to boost their online sponsorship (to raise as much as possible or to achieve their target) and those that do so many fundraising events that they feel they cannot setup ‘another’ online sponsorship page and ask friends for money.

    Its quite simple to setup a sweepstake page (about 4 mins including the initial registration) so a Guess2Give page is quite a low-hassle way of achieving more money compared to say, tin-rattling/ washing cars/ baking cakes, so we’re hoping that people do use Guess2Give in this way.

    For those people who have done the same event for many years or do a number of events each year, then Guess2Give means they can engage their friends in a fun and simple way without the ‘ask’ that is involved with online sponsorship. Of course online sponsorship continues to be highly profitable for charities and that’s why Guess2Give complements, and doesn’t aim to replace. Sponsorship will always generate higher amounts of giving in certain scenarios – but may be not with the group that are repeat eventers?

    The point of cannibalisation is the most interesting. My points above cover some elements of that but we always believed that Guess2Give would attract new people and therefore generate a new income stream. The amazing news from initial usage is that a much younger demographic is being attracted to make guesses. An example is the high percentage of males in the 18-30 age range which are traditionally a hard-to-reach group and yet are clearly key users.

    We won’t ever say that there won’t be some crossover between sponsorship and sweepstakes, yet a fundraiser’s close network that support them with large sponsorship amounts will continue to do so and we doubt will switch from a large donation to a making guesses. The benefit of Guess2Give is that those same people who sponsored may also make a guess as well as a fundraiser’s wider network that are attracted to guess whereas they wouldn’t normaly sponsor. The outcome is new income from both groups and new donors for the charity from the latter group.

    As a final point that you also made, Guess2Give can also be used for fun scenarios such as the paper plane challenge or anything that can be measured, which also generates new income.

    We have a long way to go, but the feedback and statistics are extremely posiitve.
    Mark Chandler

    1. Hi Mark, Thanks for taking the time to share where you’re at with Get2Give – especially the insights into the younger male audiences who are engaging with it, which is v.interesting. Look forward to hearing how things progress over the year as more fundraisers make use of the site. Bryan

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