Random Thoughts on Life and Work

July 6, 2007

Technology vs Touch

Filed under: Non-Profit — Darren Mullenix @ 8:41 am

Or maybe this should be titled “Lack of Communication Kills”.  In fundraising, we occasionally run into situations where “high technology” and “high touch” do not coexist.  Here’s an example:

The web team creates a wonderful presentation using video about a particular project and posts it on the website.  The presentation is probably done in some version of Flash so that it is viewable by the thousands of people who come to the website each month.  The video is on the website for 2 weeks.

A staff person (responsible for foundation interaction and grant proposals) sees the video for the first time when visiting the organization’s website.  The staffer calls the web team to request a version of the video to be put on DVD or CD so that it can be personally sent to some high level contacts that this staff person has with certain foundations that have supported this project or are likely to support it.  The staff person is told, “Why would we do that when it is already available to millions through the web.”

Here are some lessons to be learned from this:

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate.  All areas of the organization should be informed of creative pieces that are in production so that departments can weigh in with possible alternative uses.
  2. Don’t assume that because a production piece is potentially going to be seen by millions, that it will be seen by the people that you most want to see it.  Have alternative delivery methods available.  These will often be high touch opportunities.
  3. Don’t assume that because it is going to be published on your website that it will be seen at all.  In all fairness, it probably will but again, look for alternative delivery platforms.  The wider the better.
  4. Your website is one of the key fundraising, donor relationship building tools that you have.  It reaches a wide audience on at least a surface level.  However, your web team should not be dictating fund-raising strategies.  Especially when it comes to higher level contacts

Hopefully that provides some food for thought.

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