Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BIG’s Blog: Can Nonprofit Fund Raising Groups Innovate? - Part Two

Writing in 2002, Peter Drucker, the great writer, professor, and management consultant foresaw the future. “In the next 30 years,” he wrote, “power will shift to the customer – for the simple reason that the customer now has full access to information worldwide.” And the platform for Drucker’s great power shift – from the corporation to the consumer – is, of course, the radically transparent Internet, where nobody, it seems, can hide anything from anyone.

But, will this power shift be easy for nonprofit fund raisers?

Today’s fund raising methodologies are, for the most part, about presenting the organization's case statement or direct mail appeal based upon the nonprofit’s version of events. Whether printed in a direct mail package and mailed to thousands of donors or prospects, or in a brochure handed out by charitable gift officers, the statements and information have been drafted, re-drafted, edited and finally signed-off.

What happens when someone comes to your organization’s Facebook page and posts a tough question or – God forbid – challenges something on your Web site?

Reacting to online, real-time posts of any type is new ground for established nonprofit fund raising organizations that, just like long-established commercial companies, have always controlled the message.

Suddenly the radically transparent Internet forces nonprofit fund raisers to re-think their whole strategy of engagement.

Is this just about re-writing the fund raising manuals?

I think it is more than that.

It is about changing the culture of fund raising.

Is changing the culture of fund raising innovation?


Can nonprofit fund raising groups innovate?


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