Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Donors Want It NOW

The following blog is my “fundraising re-do” of Ed Nash’s Op-Ed in the April 12th edition of the Wall Street Journal entitled: Is Your Company Late to the Mobile Party?

Mr. Nash is unabashedly talking about the fact that Web 3.0 is here. Most fundraising groups I talk to haven’t quite figured out what Web 2.0 is, let alone 3.0. That’s a problem according to Mr. Nash who, as a consultant to the music industry, has seen a level of digital disruption that few in the nonprofit fundraising world can imagine. And since he has lived digital disruption in the music business, his words are worth heeding.

“Web 3.0 isn’t coming – it’s already here. And it’s all about mobile interaction. If your (fundraising) group doesn’t have a mobile Website – a site specifically designed and coded for each mobile platform – you’re seriously behind the times. The marketplace demands content and the available delivery pipelines are exponentially more diverse and interactive than ever before”

“Our businesses (and nonprofits) compete in a technological environment in which information is coming and going from every direction in all conceivable digital forms. Suddenly, the ability to explore a fully interactive Website or a full-length video doesn’t require anything more than a small hand-held device.”

Having a Website isn’t enough if it isn’t easily readable on a mobile device.

This should catch your attention: according to a 2011 study by comScore, half of the U.S. uses mobile media, and here is the big news . . . that is a 20% increase in a single year!

I have friends who finally decided to buy an iPhone. They report that they were so pleased with their access to the Internet on their new smartphone that they are actually spending less time on their computers. And, of course, iPads are considered mobile devices as well.

Mr. Nash tells us that there are 1.2 billion mobile Web users worldwide with 25% of users in the U.S. accessing the Web exclusively through mobile devices. But in a sign of the continuing growth to come, in other parts of the world the number is significantly higher; examples include 70% in Egypt and 59% in India.

“Today’s Web 3.0 is different – it is fast, easy, clean and interactive. Viewing videos, hearing music, buying products, signing up for email lists (or getting information or donating to a nonprofit) is now simple, convenient and attractive …”

And the cost to translate your Website to mobile: “despite what you might think, it is not expensive. The technology is broadly available and the process of using existing Web elements to ‘skin’ (i. e. optimize) a site for mobile isn’t altogether difficult.”

Mr. Nash’s final admonition for businesses as well as nonprofit fundraisers: “I’ve learned that change can be very profitable for innovators and early-adopters, or very costly if you’re the last to show up to the party. For those who aren’t ready for Web 3.0, get your dancing shoes on – the party is already in full swing and you’re late.”

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