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BIG’s Blog:  Preaching to the Converted

With the exception of my post last month, I did not write a single blog post in 2016.


Last year was a transition year for Browne Innovation Group, but also for the maturity of online digital marketing, which forms the foundation of all nonprofit fundraising going forward.

Since the inception of BIG’s Blog, it has been about converting the unbelieving, not in the religious sense, but converting the unbelieving to believe in the reality of the societal shift from analog-based mass media (traditional media) to digital, Internet-based personal communications.

Last year I had two huge “ah-ha” moments. These insights changed my approach to sharing and promoting this change in nonprofit fundraising.

The first insight was that the nonprofit vendor industrial complex – those people and companies historically supporting nonprofit fundraising departments; agencies, consultants, even trade associations – cannot make the leap to the new online world. And it isn’t because they’re not smart. Some are smart like foxes and know that online is taking over, but if they admit the digital online world is the future, then that means their analog-based approaches are dying. And that compromises how they make their living. The other vendors are heartfelt in their belief of “what” they know. They just can’t see or believe that all is changing around them.

The second “ah-ha” was that digital marketing was going mainstream. The adoption of ease-of-use, powerful and inexpensive digital Marcom tools and technologies, combined with the continuing decline in effectiveness of traditional media and methodologies —  and most important — the millennial generation becoming the largest cohort in the U.S. labor force, finally shifted the game.

And though it wasn’t an insight on the magnitude of the other “ah-has,” the insights in 2016 validated and clarified that what was missing in the nonprofit fundraising world was the need for a WHOLE NEW FUNDRAISING BUSINESS MODEL that was built around the shift to the digital platform and driven by CONTENT MARKETING.

Do you read Seth Godin’s blog? 

Last week Seth wrote a post entitled Shared Reality, Shared Goals

He started the post stating, “The best way to persuade someone of your approach is to begin with three agreements: 1) We agree on the goals, 2) We agree on reality, and 3) We agree on measurement. 

We agree on the goals: Your organization’s Development department is tasked with raising the revenue, and you (personally) carry the burden of raising the revenue your organization needs to power your missions.

That one was easy.

We agree on reality: This one may prove more problematic… or maybe not. We are – all of us – living through one of the most technological transformational times in human history. A little over 550 years ago Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type (as in printing type) and ushered in the era of mass printing which changed how the common man could learn and transfer knowledge. Today, the Internet is transforming — and disrupting — our established mass media world of print and broadcast in particular, and communications in general. Very, very quickly, knowledge transfer is moving to the digital Internet. 

So the ways we have communicated and connected with new and existing supporters for years is undergoing a fundamental change. Our existing practices, our existing methods, our existing business model is being undermined. Of course we are trying to keep up by adding digital tools and technologies. But do we have a viable plan? Are we seeing a path to increased revenue? 

We desperately need a Plan … a new comprehensive business model that incorporates online tools and technologies with the practices and methodologies (think Content Marketing) that work with this new digital world and delivers “new supporters” and “increased revenue.” 

We agree on measurement: As Seth Godin says in his blog post, “Because we’ve agreed on goals and reality, we agree on what success looks like as well.” Of course we all agree that we desire to deliver new supporters and increasing revenue using online tools and technologies… but what’s missing is the HOW! 

That’s what this “new” blog is going to deliver…

I’m not going to waste your time (or mine) trying to convince you of the shift to the digital world. That ship has sailed.

This new blog is written for the tribe who is already believers, have already started to shift and are serious about growing sustainable fundraising. And that tribe is growing as the industry’s traditional ways of acquiring new supporters and generating annual dollars from existing supporters plateaus and declines.

Spread the word and pass these blog posts along.

No more “Drip, Drip, Drip”… it’s now full-speed-ahead!

Please forward this post to your friends and coworkers…and email me a comment at:

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