Last Thursday, I attended at the Berkman Center Bloggers Thursday night meeting and shared some learnings about personal fundraising and facilitated a discussion. I'm in the process of reflecting in action on my various campaigns on behalf of the Sharing Foundation, including the current one.
The big win is in turning donors into patrons and activists and participants. The internet allows some organizations to embrace long-distance involvement. It lets charities flip the funnel, not through some simple hand waving, but by reorganizing around the idea of engagement online. It means opening yourself up to volunteers, encouraging them to network, to connect with each other, and yes, even to mutiny. It means giving every one of your professionals a blog and the freedom to use it. It means mixing it up with volunteers, so they have something truly at stake. This is understandably scary for many non-profits, but I'm not so sure you have a choice.
Mark Rovner admits asks: So what is the answer? Beats me. It certainly means focus. And authenticity. And passion. And flipping the funnel.
This is exactly what the Sharing Foundation has done - they've allowed me the freedom to fundraise with passion, authenticity, and social media. (See Birthday Challenge (pt.1, pt.2, pt.3). Of course, this organization isn't one of America's largest 50 charities and is only ten years old. So, perhaps the resistance to change ingrained processes isn't there.