Thursday, May 31, 2012

BIG’s Blog: How Big is the Internet?

Most fundraising organizations that do direct mail fundraising consider one million pieces a large mailing. In fact, many groups don’t even mail one million pieces in a year. Nonetheless, we all understand that one million pieces of mail is a lot of mail.

Do we even get how large the Internet is?

Quick story:

A year ago my wife decided to get rid of a swing set we had built for our kids almost 20 years ago. We live in Lincoln, Nebraska, population 250,000. When you leave Lincoln you drive into the country, which just illustrates that Lincoln is an island of a relatively small population.

My wife decided she was just going to give away the swing set so she posted it on Craig’s List.

Within 20 minutes three people had responded. Within an hour and a half one of the people called a buddy, got a truck, came to our house and disassembled the swing set and took it away.

Swing set gone in 90 minutes from its post on Craig’s List.

Lincoln doesn’t have a large population like Washington DC, New York, Chicago, or LA. But there were at least three people looking at Craig’s List that presumably wanted a swing set at approximately the same time my wife posted the note.

I know that you understand the dynamics of direct mail; you mail… you get donations. You’re probably less clear about the dynamics of the Web to get donations.

But consider this… there are millions and millions and millions of people on the Web every second of the day. My swing set story is an example.

How many are looking for you but don’t know you are there?


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