Is the World Listening?

There is a lot to think about in today’s world when you talk about online fundraising. In many ways it is still in its infancy. I write a little bit about it in my post, A Foretelling of the Birth of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising. What will the future look like? What is coming in the new frontier of online giving? I think that it has a lot to do with what is happening in online chat rooms, on message boards, on blogs, and other social media networks. Richard McPherson says in his book, Digital Giving, “Charitable success online will be driven not by the size of your email list or even your donor base, but by the number of people who are talking about you through social media.”

Here are a few simple rules that I gleaned from that book:

  • Start with a clear idea of what you want your community to do
  • Plan for your superusers
  • Have a growth plan
  • Balance listening and leading

You need to know what you want to promote online. Is it a general issue, a cause linked to a geographic area? Make sure that you have this idea in place. Once you start your online community you will start to see a few “superusers” emerge. These are the one out of a hundred that leave a comment or send you an email. Make sure that you are talking to them, thanking them for their comments, asking for their input. Make sure that you are responding and changing based on what your community is telling you. If you ignore them and don’t listen they will go away. Here is another interesting quote from Digital Giving:

Online networks for social action and engagement, of course, compete not for retail sales but for the affections of people willing to speak up or at least listen to others with a cause… “The more connected people feel, the more active they’ll be.” Randy Paynter, founder of Care2

I’m just starting to see the power of this kind of planning and action. There are a few places that I’m trying to start some online community. One of them is connected to each post. A few examples of this working really well would be my All Donors as Major Donor’s post or I Don’t Want to Ask for Money. A couple places that I’m going to try and start some new conversations is are my Idealist Group, my Facebook page, and the Search & Questions section. I want to create a place where I can be listening to the kinds of things that you want me to talk about. Have you had success creating online communities? Has it contributed to fundraising success for you?


One Response to Is the World Listening?

  1. Jeremy Gregg says:

    Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing them, and the valuable links.

    Jeremy Gregg, Editor
    The Raiser’s Razor

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