Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BIG’s Blog: How Do You Scale Without Mail? (Part 2)

Do you really believe that you CANNOT replace direct mail revenue using the Internet?


Okay … okay … I can identify with some of you. I can get so stuck in my ways in some areas of my life that I don’t consider other options … because I’ve always done it this way!

The #1 Reason we cling to direct mail is that we don't see an online method of fundraising that generates significant dollars today … let alone one that is scalable.

Yet there are some fairly sophisticated fundraising organizations that are gaining email addresses from mail-generated donors and beginning email solicitation programs that are growing, but this is merely shifting the transaction mode from check to online. Still, it offers a glimpse into the growth of online.

So HOW do you grow online? Well, first you have to recognize that the Internet is a different thing. HOW we do something on the Internet today is different than HOW you used to do something.

Success on the Internet is DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

We used to go to the car dealer and pick from his stock on the lot and, though we tried to haggle price, the dealer knew the value of the car. Now we go online to check out exactly the make, model and color of the car we want and, since we’ve priced the car, we tell the dealer what we think it’s worth.

We used to buy all our books at Barnes & Noble or Borders. These book superstores had great selection and cheaper prices than the Mom & Pop bookstores. Now we go online to Amazon where we get even better prices, plus reader recommendations and e-books instantly.

We used to go to our local insurance agent for home, car, and life insurance. Now we go online to Geico or Progressive to get quotes in minutes, and our insurance is cheaper and our service is better because all customer service is instant and online.

We used to get our news from TV at 5 & 10, or from our local newspaper. Now we go online 24/7 to get instant news, sports, and weather.

We used to have to go to the doctor or call Ask-a-Nurse to find out what illness we had based upon our symptoms. Now we go online to WebMD or other healthcare or wellness sites to get informed medical information.

You know I could go on and on – but you get the point. Growth in all these sectors is online.

So, those sectors that now have online alternatives, or that have been completely transformed by the Internet are just flukes? And nobody could possibly figure out how to scale online support for nonprofit organizations?

Except that some nonprofit organizations have abandoned direct mail as their growth vehicle (American Cancer Society) and are moving online, while other new start-up nonprofits are starting up without mail (Charity: Water and The Missionary Benedictine Sisters) and are growing dramatically.  

Charity: Water launched in 2007, and by 2013 raised over $34 million dollars. The Missionary Benedictine Sisters have a long history, but never had a Development group until they launched their online program in March … keep an eye on them!

Growth is online.

Growth is online.

Growth is online.

Scalable means growth … and growth is online.

Are you ready to scale (grow) online?

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