E-philanthropy Tips From the U.N. Foundation
Dick McPherson’s new book, “Digital Giving: How Technology is Changing Charity,” is a comprehensive yet highly digestible volume that marries McPherson’s sage insights with real-life case studies, tips and observations from myriad nonprofit fundraisers and consultants. In it, McPherson, president and creative director of Malvern, Pa.-based McPherson Associates, breaks down e-philanthropy to its essential elements and details how those elements need to be addressed by nonprofits hoping to raise money and awareness online and through other new technologies.
Here, an excerpt that outlines tips for success from Katherine Miller, director of communications for the United Nations Foundation, which recently partnered with Sports Illustrated and the National Basketball Association to launch an online campaign to fight malaria:
1. Third-party validation is important. Online, you should be prepared to reach a lot of people who may not know you or who may not think of you as a place to donate. Associations with Google, the NBA, Expedia, AOL Black Voices and others were key to earning the trust the foundation needed with new audiences.
2. Don’t get sucked into the tech movement of the moment. Develop a comprehensive strategy using new as well as old media.
3. Technology is just another word for grassroots. Think first and foremost about where your potential supporters are, how they get information, what motivates them and how to make it easy to be involved. Then pick the technology and the partners that fit.
4. Keep your message and campaigns simple. The temptation is to treat your newfound audience to the grandeur of your mission, the breathtaking genius of your programs, and ... well, just don’t do it. A first date is not the time to start discussing china patterns.
“Digital Giving: How Technology is Changing Charity” is available through www.iuniverse.com. $13.95 paperback; $6 Adobe e-book.