This IoT pilot is making charity appeals more engaging

This IoT pilot is making charity appeals more engaging

This IoT pilot is making charity appeals more engaging
(Image: Omnifi)

A new project using Internet of Things technologies is trying to make charity donation appeals more appealing – and successful.

Rising inequality, wars and Climate Change are just a few reasons why the gap between the wealthy and the vulnerable is growing by the day. Because of this, charities such as World Vision have never been more reliant on public support to fund their projects. Fortunately, the clever folk at The Yard Creative have devised a way to better engage potential donors through an innovative IoT experience.

Cold-calling and large-scale marketing campaigns have varying degrees of success when raising money for charities, but direct conversations are often the thing which people are most eager to avoid. They might be busy, on their way to something important, or just not in the mood to face up to the world’s problems during their lunch break. Therein lies the problem. How do you successfully engage potential donors whilst they’re on the move on streets and in shopping centres?

Until now many have viewed the emerging Internet of Things as a way to make life more convenient, services more efficient and generally the devices we use a great deal smarter than before. After a thorough research stage focused on donor psychology, The Creative Yard have found a way to deploy IoT technology in the charity sector to improve customer engagement and experience.

On the face of it this makes a lot of sense; connecting things is what the IoT is all about. So why not connect two worlds which are fundamentally apart? – An IoT-powered virtual experience which appeals to donor’s humanity more than a man with a clipboard ever could. With that came the idea of an Engagement Mirror.

Once you interact with the Engagement Mirror through touch, you’re faced with a girl in need who asks you not to let go because she will disappear; perhaps a fitting metaphor for why donations are increasingly important. She then tells you her story, followed by a heartfelt message that encourages the customer to step into the World Vision stand.

There’s a strange contradiction in needing a device to help find our humanity, but as The Yard Creative founder Steve James-Royle explains, “It’s not the device but the interaction that becomes human. The mirror acts as a moment in time when you forget where you are and are transported to her world for a split second. The fact that you touch hands for almost 40 seconds, the connection feels warm, heart-felt, sincere.”

Changes in the charity sector are already underway, and harnessing the latest trends in technology will be crucial to secure the donations of the future. Who knows, pretty soon you might not even have to touch the screen to have it interact with you.