Let’s put social media in its place

Earlier this week, I raised the flag for high touch here at Generous Matters, hoping to capture the attention of nonprofit leaders marching lemming-like toward high tech methods in fundraising. Now check out what some other folks have to say on the topic.

From the Nonprofit Quarterly Newswire comes a caution about social media and the ask.  Facebook, we are told,  is  great for attracting new event attendees, driving traffic to petitions and websites, and building general awareness, but it’s not so hot for fundraising. In fact, according to a study conducted by Idealware, only 29 percent of respondents saw an increase in donations to their organizations as a result of fan pages or others uses of Facebook. You can download the study from the Idealware website.

In the latest offering from Monday Movies—a wonderful FREE resource which I’ve mentioned previously here at Generous Matters—Zan McColloch-Lussier from Mixtape Communications talks about using web content to build loyalty and trust with your supporters.  The 5-minute movie is titled “Using social media to provide value to your supporters,” and it’s a refreshing departure from the usual technology-as-THE-way-to-ask mantra.

The editors of FastCompany’s online newsletter caught my attention with the provocative title, “Want to sell product? Sleep with your customers.” Although written with for-profit marketers in mind, there’s a lot in this article for nonprofiteers as well.

The author asks, “When did you last spend a day with your consumers? At worst, you’d find out why those 4% brush their teeth in the shower. At best you might stumble across that tiny nugget of insight that could transform your product. “ Substitute donors for consumers and approach to fundraising for product, and you have something worth pondering.

Finally, I direct you to Seth Godin’s blog titled “Synchronicity, intimacy, and productivity.” Godin writes: A shortcut to customer and co-worker intimacy is to respond in real time. A phone call is more human than an email, a personal meeting has more impact than a letter. . . For interactions when only a hug or a smile will do, allocate the time and the schedule to be present.

To paraphrase a bit of ancient wisdom, there’s a time and place for everything under heaven, including social media — when put in its proper place.

What's your take on this topic?

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