Sunday, October 7, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Blowback

Well…my blog last Friday touched a few nerves.

Although I did get some positive and funny responses (including the guy who informs me he drinks Champagne from a paper cup), most of the “negative” responses could be summed up by this one…

“Are you saying my fundraising group is an old coffee mug? I take exception to that!”

Come on people, it’s called “poetic license.” I am making the same point that a young Jewish man made some time ago as it is chronicled in Matthew 9: 16-17.

“And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins, if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

I obviously can’t compete with the Master. Therefore my old coffee mug analogy for your current fundraising operation was meant to convey a “comfortable,” and “safe,” not to mention “totally understood” world.

And of course that comfortable, safe, and totally understood (but no longer predictable) fundraising world stands in stark contrast to figuring out, for instance, how mobile and mobile apps fit into your fundraising practice today.  

The iPhone and the iPad screens are bright and shiny with unbelievable crystalline quality…just like bubbly French Champagne. But how does using them drive fundraising?

What I am saying is, they don’t within the context of the way you practice fundraising today. Oh sure, you can have an app created for your fundraising group and you can feel like you’re hip and modern, but the base of your donors are still writing you checks. For many of your organizations 90% or more of your revenues come in through checks. And who is still writing checks? Right – your WWII and Depression era supporters whose youngest members are 67 years old!

Does that sound like the iPhone app set? Apps are a tactic to reach younger audiences. And until you are ready to develop a strategy to attract younger supporters and donors…don’t waste your money on apps.

Think new cloth on an old garment or new wine in old wineskins or pouring sparkling French Champagne into an old coffee mug.


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