Toasty online fundraising

Howard Lake | 8 February 2007 | News

Grab the World on a piece of toast

Yournameontoast.com is an online fundraising initiative from a small Belfast-based creative agency that marries humour, ‘electronic plaquing’ or online donor acknowledgement, and pixel advert sites like Alex Tew’s milliondollarhomepage.com. It has already raised over $6,200.

In return for a donation Yournameontoast.com will write your name (or web address or even just a word of your choice) on toast and publish it on the web site. The image of your toast will act as a link to your web site.

The toast images are displayed in order of size of donation. Currently the top donations are $330, $230, $225, $200, and £151.

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Provided the site can generate sufficient visitors and click throughs it will, like the many pixel ad sites of a year or two ago, generate satisfied advertisers and probably gain further new advertisers. Indeed, its creators have published a “heatmap” (from crazyegg.com) on the project’s blog which they say shows that “creative toast works… expensive toast works… and even toast that isn’t creative and isn’t expensive is getting a heck of a lot of clickthroughs.”

The original minimum donation was $5 but that has now risen to $40.

The site’s creators say that “all toasty profits go to Save the Children or World Vision or Christian Aid or Oxfam or something else brilliant.” Indeed, they will let the site’s users vote on who receives the money.

Pete Kerr of agency atto said: “We started Your Name on Toast as a friday afternoon project, when all of the work we had left on our desks was too dull to do, or too big to start.”

Having created the initiative with colleagues Heather and Karys, he said: “It works because it’s remarkable. The toast on the site (especially the top row) accrues real value, because of the sheer amount of traffic and goodwill the owners receive because of having it.”

It’s also remarkable because “people are paying $200+ for their names written on a piece of toast with a sharpie [knife]”.

The site doesn’t yet include any Gift Aid declaration because it hasn’t selected the recipient charity. Also, a good number of donations come from non-UK taxpayers. However, atto are thinking about how to secure Gift Aid declarations in due course at least from some of the larger UK donors.

Yournameontoast.com has already created another fundraising initiative. One of the toasts on the site links to the Iproposeatoast blog. There, an amusing photo of a toast tableau encourages people: “if this made you smile, please show your appreciation at www.womenatrisk.org.uk”.