It used to be that media was scarce. If you owned a media you charged people dearly for the privilege of posting information or an advertisement on it. Today, media is abundant and everyone can be a publisher.
The words “information overload” get bandied about as if we are all stumbling around numb from too much information. What nonsense. The truth is we are finding more and more about things that interest us and not just the generic, middle-of-the-road information put out by one national publication. On the Internet, we seek and find what we are interested in.
GET IN THE GAME
When I surf through nonprofit Websites I just want to cry. I have met the people behind the missions and they are exciting and engaged … but when you look at their Websites there is a disconnect. They are … for the most part … electronic brochures. An overstatement? Hardly. Look at yours today and then go back tomorrow. Does it convey the dynamic mission you are carrying out everyday?
Think about this: What if you turned your Website into an online magazine? The number one thing that would change is people’s expectations (both inside your nonprofit as well as people on the outside). You wouldn’t go to CNN’s Website tomorrow and see all the same stories you are reading today. If the common wisdom is that we are all on “information overload,” it certainly isn’t your site they are referring to. Change the expectations. Is your organization dynamic? Is everyday different? Then why isn’t that reflected in your online front door?
IT’S ABOUT TODAY, NOT TOMORROW
Online is instant access. Everybody (even you) expects what they want when they want it. When people come to your Website the first time, they want to know immediately what you are about and, many times, they want to connect. Look at Amazon; you cannot only find what you are looking for today, but they are moving heaven and earth to deliver the same day you order. And you can’t update your Website daily? To fight this expectation is delusional, let alone having people that actually search out your site click off and leave.
MOBILE IS EVERYTHING
From your Website to every single message you send or post online, they must be optimized for mobile, and primarily mobile phones. We’re all connected. If you are a nonprofit fundraiser and you don’t have a strategy that syncs with mobile, you’re screwed.
INSTANT ACCESS TO FRIENDS
There is no such thing as a busy signal. We expect to be able to reach everybody right away. And the corollary to that is, you better be there when they reach out.
BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY ONLINE
Tell them what you’re doing. Tell them why you do it. Let them know who the “we” are. Make it personal. Why? Because friends take care of friends.
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