As we gathered information for last month’s special section on e-philanthropy, we spoke to a number of folks whose comments didn’t make it into print. Following is a sampling of those comments. Some came from our own interviews, while others (marked accordingly) were in response to Katrin Verclas’ request for comments from members of the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network, of which she is the executive director.
“Online fundraising is growing rapidly. Donors are becoming increasingly comfortable with giving online and expect organizations to have Web sites that offer well-functioning online-giving options. At its core, though, fundraising is the same whether done online or offline. It’s about building relationships with donors and prospective donors. Organizations need to focus on their overall strategies for communication, cultivation and stewardship, and utilize the new technology in concert with traditional marketing and development strategies. They need to focus on data integration and personalized communication to appeal to donors as individuals.”
— Betsy Harman,
member, N-TEN, and principal, Harman Interactive
All about people
“Fundraising is all about people, and about building a relationship with people. Even fundraising with foundations is about people. And that’s why the technology is a means — not an end. Technology that involves you is what works, and works well. If video involves you — and well — then it’s a good thing. If it’s just a postcard, and that involves you, lets you feel empowered to make change happen, to make the world better, well, then a postcard is a good thing, too.
“Fundraising is all about community, involving you in one, linking you to one, or making you feel part of one. Sure, the polity of geography is still with us (we give locally, we give to our churches, we give to the local Boy Scouts), but the new polity is one of issues, of information, of community that spans the globe based upon a larger set of shared values.”