Monday, January 14, 2013

BIG’s Blog: Big Changes Are Coming…Messenger Change

The online world changes the way fundraisers communicate. The old paradigm of vertical communications (your plan, your money, and your control) shifts to horizontal communications (you create a superb mission and story that others carry your message from person-to-person on the Internet). This shifts the power from you being in control through paid intermediaries (TV, magazines, direct mail) to unpaid passionate outsiders.

Who has more “power” to share your message? A friend sending an email with a link about your organization or the postal service delivering a piece of mail from an organization the recipient has never heard of?

Do you know how many people are connected to the Internet today? Try over 2 billion.

But how do you reach them? Your knee jerk reaction is to immediately think of a way to “push” a message out to them. After all, it is theoretically possible to reach them all, and the cost of sending them each an email would be theoretically zero.

But “push” online communications are not the most effective. The Internet connects people best and most effectively one person at a time. But a message…a story…can get passed along as people who know you share your message with their friends and family. By passing along your message, they validate you to their circle of friends and family.

You’re doing this today yourself by passing along all manner of online communications from jokes, recipes, blogs, news, and more. Why do you think it is any different or less effective for charitable organizations?

Trusted messengers who pass along your communications amplify your message. This is what builds your network in the coming Golden Age of online fundraising.


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