In search of new, more user-friendly fundraising channels, philanthropists are embarking on “speed dating”, meetings between associations and potential donors. This is the approach that has existed, in particular, since 2017 with the Night of Common Good. It was founded by the social enterprise Obole with the support of organizations like the Fondation de France (FDF).
Solidarity auctions at the Salvation Army Philanthropy Night
It was after the unexpected success of a first Night of Common Good in Paris five years ago (it brought together a thousand people for a collection of 1 million euros) that Thibault Farrenq and his team at Obole chose to systematize these events to mobilize the generosity of the public towards young innovative associations.
“Our company aims to provide resources to these associations and give them visibility, says Thibault Farrenq. The Common Good Night meets the expectations of associations to find new donors. »
At each edition, around ten local projects are selected by partners, such as the regional branches of the Fondation de France, and are presented during an evening open to all. After each speaker’s passage, an auctioneer launches decreasing bids, ranging from €5,000 to €100. The pledges will then be transformed into real donations via the web pages of the organizers, then paid to the winning structures.
The projects and the use of the money are monitored over time by Obole and its partners. Some of the associations are invited to talk about their project during the following Night. Because every year, new cities host Nights of Common Good. This year, about fifteen will be organised, locally mobilizing individuals and corporate sponsors, often not yet involved in generosity initiatives. In September 2021, Lyon hosted such a Night for the first time, supported by the Fondation de France.
Drastic selection of projects
“Our proximity to local associations enabled us to identify the ten projects that deserved support, says Delphine Allarousse, general delegate of the Fondation de France Centre-Est. They are supported either for their day-to-day operation or for a specific initiative. »
The contribution of the FDF is not limited to this single evening. The selection of projects by its volunteers is the result of a one-year process, with support for the candidates, in particular for their presentation which will only last a few minutes, but which will condition their future.
“Beyond the financial aspect (€575,000 collected in Lyon), we want to launch a collective philanthropic dynamic, complete Delphine Allarousse. At La Nuit, we bring together donors from all walks of life who did not meet before. And we show them what generosity can achieve. »
Among the winners from Lyon, the Wake up Café association participates in the successful reintegration of those released from prison. Created by a former prison chaplain from Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine), it is beginning to spread to several cities and needed a boost to fit out its premises in the Rhône prefecture.
Action not financed by public authorities
“We were supported during the first Night of Common Good in Paris in 2017, says Clotilde Gilbert, at the origin of Wake up Café. The contacts made on this occasion enabled us to open in the 15and district the Quai Liberté social integration restaurant on a barge for the people we help. Also, when the opportunity was offered to us to represent us in Lyon, we did not hesitate! »
The sums collected will be used to improve the reception of prisoners and to start their journey of preparation for release, in particular with the 170 companies in the country which are committed to recruiting them. “This support is not funded by public policies, concludes Clotilde Gilbert. We are therefore counting on the generosity of civil society, as expressed during the Night of Common Good. »