Robin Fisk

Here are seven myths about cloud fundraising courtesy of Robin Fisk, global fundraising product manager at Advanced Solutions International, that are laid out in the Fast15, "Get Your Head in the Cloud."

A June 2009 study from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research found that 89 percent of nonprofits are using some form of social media, and these organizations now are outpacing businesses and even academic institutions in their adoption of social networking tools. With more than 400 Web sites and tools out there, according to research conducted by David Nour, managing partner of consulting firm The Nour Group Inc., how do nonprofits and associations know where to start? How do they to determine what components fit into their social media marketing strategy? This article will offer some information on internal versus external social media tools and how organizations can take advantage of them, to maximize their marketing efforts.

Looking back on the year, 2009 can be characterized as a rollercoaster ride for nonprofits. Fearing the worst, the industry so far has seen an 11 percent decrease in donations, according to a September 2009 report by the Charities Aid Foundation and National Council for Voluntary Organisations. This has been especially hard on small organizations, with many of them getting squeezed out by their larger, more national counterparts. At the same time, many charities with similar missions have come together, creating partnerships or merging in order to survive the economic downturn — and ensure the proper support for their causes. Although this has been a difficult time for nonprofits, 2009 has made organizations aware of how they need to shape up. 

If fundraising is the communication of a need in order to elicit a philanthropic response, then it’s obvious that in order to raise funds, you need to get the communication part right. The digital age was supposed to make things easier, but are we taking full advantage of electronic communications?

The fact that you can process a donation electronically makes it more convenient, but it doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in donation revenue. This was the first mistake by the sector — we thought that opening up donation pages on our Web sites would attract large numbers of new donors. But apart from isolated cases, that didn’t happen. And while e-mail also has become part of our communication strategy to existing supporters, we’re still struggling to see the digital age improve donor acquisition.

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