Charity: Water, an international nonprofit that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries, used an immersive virtual reality experience to raise $2.4 million dollars in one evening at a black-tie fundraising banquet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Those who live and work in the world of virtual reality have long believed in the power of the medium to evoke empathy in immersive experiences. A use case from Charity: Water is showing just how far that empathy can go when it comes to fundraising for nonprofit causes.
The Source is a 360-degree video that chronicles a week in the life of Selam, a 13 year-old Ethiopian girl whose family gains access to clean water for the first time in her life. The film was commissioned by Charity: Water, and was shown using Samsung Gear VR headsets to 400 attendees of the nonprofit’s annual event before the fundraising portion of the evening began.
One donor, who had already committed to giving $60,000 to Charity: Water, was so moved by the VR experience that he donated $400,000 instead – more than 6x above his original pledge.
What is particularly intriguing about the impact of the immersive experience on donor conversions in this use case is that there was no frictionless donation mechanism available, meaning the event attendees had to take the headset off and determine their donation amount after the experience had ended.
Payscout, a leading payments ingenuity company, recently announced the world’s first non-profit donation in virtual reality at CES . What is so compelling about VR as a storytelling medium is that it places the viewer at the center of the experience and fully immerses them in the world of the story. There are no distractions or interruptions in that world – and through Payscout’s innovative VR Commerce solution, non-profits can now enable frictionless donations while the viewer remains in the 360-degree experience.
As more use cases for VR emerge, the world will continue to see the power of immersive experiences to evoke empathy. In parallel, frictionless payments will enable even higher conversion rates (and reduce “shopping cart abandonment”) by enabling donations within the experiences.