Posted on Friday, 23rd April 2010 by chris wignall
Since my last post one of the things that have kept me busy is the continuing process for Stronger Together. It has been extremely informative. Reviewing 131 applications initially and now sitting in on some site visits for some of the 49 finalists has given me a lot of perspective on some of the things that are happening in the nonprofit community in Canada.
One of the trends is part of the ongoing tension between improving efficiencies through technology and wanting to establish deeper relationships with donors.
Lots of organizations are developing fundraising strategies that heavily incorporate online giving. The Haitian earthquake demonstrated that even text messaging can generate massive returns in the right circumstances (which I would argue are definitely not circumstances common to Canadian charities and not a sustainable strategy). The difficulty is that it is widely acknowledged that next generation donors are looking for more than just a tax receipt, we want to feel personally connected to the work we support.
Forward thinking leaders are exploring ways that technology and relational impact can be merged.
For many this equates to en entry into social media. This will soon become an absolute necessity for meaningful charities along with a regularly updated blog, blog, or web based tool for sharing your needs and stories. I’m still leery of some of what I see happening in some cases where (often guided by a “social media coach”) organizations approach an essentially interactive medium with a monodirectional approach and lacking a clear and comprehensive strategy.
What I do find promising are tools that enable donors to become advocates and both explore and express their involvement with a favourite nonprofit.
In a somewhat promotional article, Opportunity International points to a solid approach they’ve developed. I also like the work from Peer Giving Solutions is putting together, though the cost and commitment are probably prohibitive for many organizations at this point.
I’d love to hear some other examples. Where have you seen outstanding examples of web based fundraising that connects well with donors?