For organizations, fundraising is hard. So is giving meaningful thanks. Perhaps even harder. We know. We've been there! And for donors, it is very disappointing not to receive a prompt and meaningful thank- you, not to learn specifically how a donation will be used, not to be told of progress made toward a goal, not to be formally included in celebrating success and, finally, not to be able to easily share the whole experience in a collaborative way. We know. We've been there too!


A big stumbling block we found in our personal involvements in the non-profit world was in the area of rewards for donations. What should we give donors that would be both relevant and appealing? What would it cost to purchase or create these items? What about storage? And what kind of delivery system would be required, and at what cost? Too many "whats" to puzzle over and too many dollars diverted from mission-central programs. Interestingly, research shows that donors don't like having their money spent on gifting them with things they neither want nor need. In fact for many such rewards tend to be a turnoff.

Another big stumbling block we found was in the area of donors sharing with friends the fact that they had donated to our cause. Obviously this is the basis for peer-to-peer fundraising. Great concept but not easy to do from a technical standpoint in terms of easy click-through. Plus, beyond the usual motivations driving social media sharing, generally there did not seem to be an easy way to create an appealing impetus to do so. No simple way to kindle the donor’s desire to share.


In struggling with the "perks" puzzle mentioned above, the image of the ceremonial brick with which organizations sometimes reward donors came to mind. This is a brick with the donor's name impressed upon it to be prominently displayed in a walk of similar bricks in or around the organization's facility.
Biggest problem for us. We didn't have a suitable walk and probably never would.

Then eUREKA!. It dawned on us that, since we are professional digital folks, why not a digital brick or "tile" that could be displayed in Internet space to be seen anywhere in the world and that could carry audio-visual material far richer in content than just the donor's name?! Being made of 1s and 0s, this tile would be inexpensive, easily warehoused, and easily delivered. These tiles could even be displayed together on a virtual tile wall any time, any place on an Internet enabled device!

That solved the "perks" puzzle. And it pointed the way to solving the "peer-to-peer fundraising" problem with something digital, attractive, and easily shared via social media. But what about the "dissatisfaction" problem? The "meaningful thank-you" problem? What about the kind of communication that is the basis of strong donor engagement?

That's when the "Create, Co-Create, Curate" flashbulb popped. The content for the tiles had to come from somewhere. Why not enlist donors as co-creators by inviting them to add pieces of content to an emerging story which they help to shape? Why not enable a creative partnership that generates passionate engagement because donors have more than money invested. Because they have contributed something of themselves. Because they have contributed something of themselves.
Because they feel a part of the organization’s story.


The result of this chain of inspirations was the Story Tile, a new and unique way for organizations and donors to work in concert to achieve great goals. Storytelling is innate. So is the desire to do good. Story Tiles tap into bedrock human behavior while leveraging the power of the Internet and social media. DonorTiles, through Story Tiles, provides a platform whereby organizations can meaningfully engage donors and thereby exponentially increase their donor base. It gives us great satisfaction to be a part of that story!