State of the Sector
Jo: We took an entire Web 2.0 plan to the board and presented it.
Kurt: Board members running companies are taking risks every single day. Our job as nonprofits is to get them to behave the same way in our board rooms as they do in theirs.
Roger: How did it go, Jo?
Jo: Got their buy-in … signed some of them up for text messaging and then showed them how people were responding — like some of the profiles who linked to us, that kind of thing.
Kurt: There you go, Jo … exactly what I’m talking about. How many nonprofits even know what Web 2.0 is?
Jo: And they got excited. They would call every week and say, “I got my text message.” It was education, and it worked — but we NEVER presented it as fundraising. We kept it separate and talked about it in terms of warm prospecting and awareness. And they loved it!
Roger: And Web 2.0 is so important for the future. Especially if you believe that user-generated content, activism and giving is an important part of the future.
Kurt: And why isn’t education presented as cultivation?
Jo: We weren’t far enough ourselves to figure how to turn a text subscriber into a donor.
Roger: Certainly should be, Kurt, because it’s an essential part of building loyalty.
Roger: So far, in my experience, the ’net involves several steps before getting to money: involvement, activism, information and, eventually, financial participation.
Kurt: This is also what we have done in our sector for centuries: considered anything but an outright ask something other than fundraising — or asking for marriage on the first date. All the work that goes in the middle is what these new media can help us with.
Polly: We have encountered organizations that are looking for the “silver bullet” in their fundraising program — and they think it’s online fundraising vs. no direct mail!