From Buttons to Blogs
Although the nonprofit sector largely focuses on funds raised online as the measure of success, we should pay more attention to holistic metrics such as the impact on overall constituent engagement and results of channel-integration efforts. While we have come a long way, we have a long journey ahead to fully realize the potential of the medium. In July 2001, [consultant and author] Peter Drucker said the Internet will have a more transformative effect on the nonprofit sector than the for-profit sector. I agree.
Vinay Bhagat is founder, chairman and chief strategy officer of Austin, Texas-based Internet software and services firm Convio.
YOU CAN’T SHAKE HANDS WITH A COMPUTER
By Jake Dell
Suppose tomorrow you had to make a choice: You could have your telephone and a call list of 20 recent $50 to $100 donors or your existing fundraising software. But not both.
If you’d rather have the telephone and call list, you’re making the choice to protect your organization’s ability to raise money. Some things a computer just can’t perceive — the edge in a donor’s voice or the reluctance in a handshake. Some things a computer just can’t gauge — the readiness of a major-gifts prospect to give or the degree to which he identifies with the cause.
This is the subtle, personal side of fundraising, the instincts and gut feelings that guide a cultivator as he builds his relationships with prospects and donors.
Designers and consumers of fundraising software need to remember that there is a pool of intuitive data in our fundraising organizations that registers briefly in the mind of a cultivator, enables a decision and passes — untracked — into oblivion.
As an industry, we need to respect that data and the fundraising professionals who make good use of it. We need to make sure that our “decision-support systems” don’t get too big for their britches. They shouldn’t (or shouldn’t foster the impression that they can) make decisions for us.