The current issue of The NonProfit Times features a transcript of an executive session about mobile giving and messaging.The discussion covers a very broad range of topics related to mobile, online giving, and implications for the nonprofit sector.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to take part in the discussion. The other participants in the discussion included Lori Held, director, marketing, Trout Unlimited, Jason Wood, director of Internet services, The Salvation Army National Headquarters, and James Young, formerly with Convio. Moderating the panel were Paul Clolery, editorial director of The NonProfit Times and Rick Christ, vice president of online fundraising for Amergent/NPAdvisors.com.
Here are a couple of excerpts and please be sure to read the entire article:
Paul Clolery: Organizations are going into dozens or more social networks. How do database people keep up with all that to make sure that it all integrates into a master database so you can solicit?
Jason Wood: It’s not so much your database it’s your communications folks. When Haiti hit, immediately Twitter went out, ‘Here’s what we’re doing we’re on the scene.’ There were Facebook status updates, and then a couple of hours later we have images on the Web site. But the immediate knee jerk reaction is ‘Let me send out a Tweet saying here’s what we’re doing, here’s how you can give.’
Lori Held: You have to be completely staffed to do that, too. I mean completely staffed. I mean 75 to 85 percent of the attendees over at the DMA’s conference are not prepared to do any of that. And there’s probably not a whole lot of pressure from senior management to make sure you’re getting that.
Rick Christ: Because they’re afraid you’ll ask them a question. They all know the word ‘Twitter’ but they have no idea what it does. They probably know where the money is coming from and it’s not coming from Twitter right now.
Steve MacLaughlin: It’s historical. If you go 10 years ago, the same things were being said about online giving and email: ‘Who’s going to use it?,’ ‘Wake me up when it’s over a million dollars,’ ‘Where do we store all these email addresses?,’ ‘Who cares?’
If things aren’t revolutionary they’re evolutionary. I’m waiting for the article that says ‘Online Giving Is Dead Along With Mobile.’
I think mobile is of interest because people have figured out, through all of the social networking buzz in the past two years, that it’s an engagement channel. If you’re looking for the dollars from that, that’s a much longer train, unless you get an event fundraising or some other way where there’s demonstrated ability to raise funds through it. But Twitter is not going to get the next $20 million into the nonprofit, right?
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Paul Clolery: Five years down the road best case, worst case scenario for mobile…
Steve MacLaughlin: Best case scenario is that nonprofits have figured out how to work mobile into all their other channels like direct mail, email, Web and everything else. Worst case scenario? It encourages a high amount of anonymous donors that are very hard to follow up with and contact, and that overall hurts giving in general.