Thursday, May 10, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Three Part Series on the Future of Fundraising – Part Three

The First Thing Fundraisers Must Do To Make The Shift To The Internet

To make the shift to the Internet effectively, you have to have access and you have to be using social networks.

You can’t understand the new Internet-based world I write about in my blogs if you are not a part of it. Although most of you use computers to access social networks such as Facebook, fewer may be using smartphones. A smartphone is a handheld cell phone with Internet connection. The two main operating systems are Android, which is available from a variety of manufacturers, and Apple’s iPhone. Also, it is mandatory that you can download apps to your smartphone; especially social networking apps.

Unless you are actually using social networks via a mobile device – which means you are using apps – you just don’t understand what the social networks mean to your organization.

From Beth Kanter and Allison Fine’s book The Networked Nonprofit, they tell the story of Ellen Miller, the co-founder of the Sunlight Foundation, who, as a forty-year veteran of the nonprofit world, had her own epiphany about social networks and what it would mean to her organization.

To succeed in this new role, Ellen had to change her thinking about the way that she worked and the role of her organization. She described her shift this way: “It was the classic lightbulb going on. I realized that this new medium was a way to engage people at far less cost and more effectively. But it meant that I had to give up the control that I had used in running the organizations in the past. I had to be willing to be open and recognize that the old ways of working [were] not as effective as I would have liked them to be” . . .

You have to use the tools if you are going to commit to shifting to the Internet. You cannot delegate this.


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