Social media is a common place to see fundraising requests; however, I recently saw a screenshot of a Tinder profile being used for fundraising purposes while scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed. Needless to say, my interest got the best of me.
I asked my friend to connect me via Facebook with Mark Babel, the person who is using Tinder to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (Disclaimer: As a happily married woman, I have only heard about Tinder through my single friends and colleagues...back to the point here!)
Quick background of Tinder
Tinder has over 30 million accounts.
Tinder is a dating app for your smartphone that uses geolocation to find others near you. The idea is if you like someone's profile you swipe right and if they swipe right on your profile - you can further connect and chat. The company started in 2012. The most recent stat in regards to total users I could find was from November 2014, reporting 30 million accounts with about 2/3rds of its users being overseas.
Knowing what I know about Tinder, I was very intrigued and asked Mark Babel a few questions about his clever use of Tinder for fundraising sake!
Tinder for Fundraising
Tell me about this fundraiser you are doing.
This fundraising campaign is called the Man/Woman of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. How it works is people are nominated for Man or Woman of the year. If the person decides to accept the nomination they have 10 weeks to compete against the other candidates to raise the most votes. A vote is equal to one dollar in this case. This means we, as candidates, must use every resource we can to raise money for blood cancer and in the end whoever wins has raised money for an awesome cause. For more information on the campaign you can go to http://www.mwoy.org and you can see that this is a national campaign put on around the country. I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Milwaukee Chapter.
How long have you been involved with this organization?
I am fairly new to the organization. I worked with LLS for about 6 months using social media and helping design the brochure for the Scenic Shore 150 which happens in late July - an awesome event. I have to admit that the people that work over at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are some of the hardest workers I know and I am super lucky to have such a great team backing me and helping me out.
How are you promoting or getting the word out?
Right now I am using email, letters, telling businesses who may want to help out by donating to charity, and trying to set up some fun events. I did a March Madness bracket which worked fairly well. Also, I am using Tinder to help promote the cause.
Why not? In my head, Tinder is just another extension of networking and its the hottest thing when it comes to "dating." Everyone is attached to their phones so it's perfect. I look at Tinder as a way to connect to that 18-34 demographic just like a tangible letter would appeal to that 45+ age group. Also, it is fun to swipe right and I didn't realize there was a cap on how many people you can swipe right on in a 24 hour period. It has really affected my Tinder game, that's for sure.
Where did the idea come from?
I have been on Tinder as well as some other dating sites and I just looked at it as fun and how is it actually usable. Well I went to school for advertising and now work at a radio station selling advertising. I saw an agency in Minneapolis use Tinder for some kind of giveaway and then I saw iHeart radio using it to promote and give away tickets to a show. I thought it was genius and have been telling everyone that its an awesome use of new technology. Well I was nominated and finally I had a reason to do it myself and well I have found some success in it and hopefully much much more.
What types of responses have your received from your Tinder profile?
Well I am still trying to get closer to 1000 matches to send out my mass Tinder message advocating for and telling people how to donate because my assumption is a lot of people just swipe right because there is a cute dog in the picture and don't read the about me section. Tinder is somewhat shallow I would say so cute dog is a good enough reason to swipe right.
From the actual interactions, I have sent out a couple "Moments" which are pictures that will go to ALL your matches. I have sent a picture of me with short liners like "Message me for more information on how to beat blood cancer." I have gotten a lot of likes and a couple messages asking how they can help. Out of those people that ask how to help a good portion of them donate. The other group that messages me basically says I am super cute and when I tell them what I am doing they don't message back. Then there is a small percentage that thinks I am full of it and I am a liar and people aren't good people so you will always have that. I am very curious to see what happens when I blast EVERYONE with a message.
Would you use Tinder again for fundraising purposes?
Absolutely! Why wouldn't you use a free medium where you can reach an extra thousand people? I don't even know a thousand people. I think it is a great way to spread the message to people you don't know as well as try to have them talk to their friends and family. It is all a chain and the more people you can connect with either by firsthand contact or by word of mouth it al works.
How much are you hoping to raise?
I wanted to raise $10,000 dollars. I thought it was feasible. I am not all that sure about that now but we will see.
How far along are you to reaching your goal?
Let's just say I have a long ways to go.
How can our readers donate?
Well the easiest way for people to donate is to go to www.mwoy.org/pages/wi/wi15/mbabel.
Let's help Mark reach his goal by making a donation!
You can also be a sponsor at the final gala which happens on the 16th of May. This is where the Man and Woman of the Year will be announced. It is a black tie event at the Pfister and it is going to be phenomenal. You can buy tickets to the gala through my name above through that link and you can also sponsor the event with a table, be a part of the brochure, or even be a presenting sponsor. That means you would be included in the slide show and get a TON of coverage at this huge event. I would hope a business gets that presenting sponsorship soon because it will be a great event, a lot of people, and a phenomenal cause.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Honestly, everyone has their story. I am so fortunate as to not have had to deal with blood cancer in my life. I will tell you though. When I worked over at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in social media I read a lot of stories. I read about the Honored Heroes who are people who help support us fundraisers. They are the people we do this for. They either have blood cancer or are survivors. Our Honored Heroes, who are the Boy and Girl of the Year, are William Krause and Ali Mbise.
William is 6 years old and his golden birthday is May 7th AND his final treatment is May 11th! The final gala will be great because that is cause for an amazing celebration.
Ali is 17 and loves theatre. I talked with her about some shows that she was helping with costumes and everything for her high school. She found out she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when she was 12 and she is a survivor who finished her treatment in 2012.
These 2 people are AMAZING! They are the reason everyone should be happy about their lives because honestly they have dealt with strife and hard times but if they can smile so should we. I am extremely lucky to have been nominated and am very honored. I am fundraising for William, Ali, and all others who have been affected by blood cancer. In the future, they will find a cure. It is inevitable. I am a part of a team making that future come closer to the present and I hope that day comes soon.
Again here is that link:
And the story of Ali and William:
Follow Mark's progress on his Facebook page:
Thanks for chatting Mark! I love the creativity you've put into using Tinder for good cause and I hope you hit your goal.
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