Wednesday, September 4, 2013

BIG’s Blog: Don’t Make THIS Mistake!

Apple was once the “gotta have” in every consumer’s mind. Not only were they creating products we hadn’t even thought of (iPhone and iPad), but also their visionary and fearless leader was charismatic and more idolized than living Presidents.

But then the competition caught up . . . and worse, they not only lost their charismatic leader, but their vision as well. Apple invented the iTunes store where, for 99 cents, you could download your favorite song onto your Apple device.

But now people are streaming music from Web-based companies like Pandora or Spotify. Do you think free music is having a negative effect on the iTunes music downloads?

I know . . . I know . . . you’re thinking, “I don’t operate in the fast track of consumer technology like Apple; I’m just a nonprofit fundraiser. What does this have to do with my organization?”

Here is where your world is just like Apple, et al.

Ever hear of Clayton Christensen and his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma? Christensen is a professor at the Harvard Business School, and the theme of his book (which, by the way, was first published in 1996) is that you prepare for disruption by creating your own competitor. Don’t wait for a new technology to make what you are doing obsolete. Take the new technology and open an office down the hall or across the street and start going after new donors that you are not getting now with the old technology.

Of course, the new won’t replace the old overnight, or even next year. Apple is starting a free music streaming service even as they are still making money selling songs through their iTunes store. But where is the music market going?

Where is your market going?

Is Apple too late with their competitive streaming music business? Maybe, or maybe not, since streaming is still building. But at least give them kudos for moving.

But for the vast majority of nonprofit fundraisers, their core new donor development is still via direct mail. Isn’t it time to learn how to develop new donors 100% through online?

What’s keeping you from moving?

Join us.
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