1. Project-based pitches trump non project-based pitches.
The days are over for people to give money to cure "world hunger" or "the environment." Today people want to give money but also want to know exactly what that money will do and when the results will be in. Kaboom does this well-- they build playgrounds. Give $x and y playgrounds get built. Tom's shoes does this well too--buy a pair of shoes and another pair of shoes will be given away to a person who needs them. 141 has mirrored this for eyeglasses (buy a pair of eyeglasses and your purchase buys and delivers another pair of glasses to someone in need of glasses). In bringing this into Surfrider's world, you can help a Gulf coast chapter test waters for toxins from oil and dispersants here.
2. The distinction between for profits and non-profits is increasingly blurry (and arguably increasingly irrelevant).
Today non-profits must compete with meaningful and relevant products alongside the bevvy of products from for-profits. The question is less "should I give $5 to this cause?" and more "should I give $5 to this project or buy another latte?" If you're going after consumer/individual funds you're, by definition, competing with alternative purchases by consumers. Add to this the above-mentioned Tom's example (a for-profit retail company whose value proposition is directly tied to what would historically be a non-profit concept) and things get even murkier. In the end why does the distinction between for-profit and non-profit even matter? I know the historical arguments, but do they still apply with the same vigor?
I like the video below. It's cheeky, leverages the heck out of faces we know (establishing trust and credibility) and then pops the call to action. Forty cents matters, here's how.