Where It's @
Are you having fun yet? You should be. As technology takes on an increasingly prominent role in what you do for a living, it offers myriad opportunities for that outside-the-box thinking you’ve been hearing so much about.
But the brave new world of the World Wide Web doesn’t come without its pitfalls, among them the temptation to look before you leap into technologically enhanced development, according to Katrin Verclas, newly appointed executive director of the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network.
“Everybody has jumped on [e-philanthropy] and is looking at it like a panacea,” Verclas says. “Technology alone isn’t going to do it for you. These are tools that you should be deploying according to what your organizational goals are and what your strategy is and who you’re trying to cultivate and to what end.”
Verclas warns that organizations that rush to adopt newly emerging tactics risk squandering resources because they fail to assess their successes and failures, and to tweak accordingly as they go along.
She advises that the keys to success when it comes to e-philanthropy are, “an emphasis on good strategy; a hard look at return on tech investments; and a good dose of common sense, reality, and a bit of fearlessness to try new things occasionally.”
The market gets saturated with new techniques pretty quickly, and by forgoing careful assessments each step of the way, a nonprofit could find its appeals quickly becoming indistinguishable from the plethora of others that make it to donors’ in-boxes. It also might miss that sweet spot in the time continuum where the new gets old, the old all of a sudden seems new, and donors find it refreshing to get a postcard rather than an e-mail. The tables will turn again quickly, so fundraisers need to stay on the ball — another warning Verclas sounds rather insistently.