A Call for Truly Successful Online Donor Recognition

October 11th, 2010

Fundraising organizations are actively seeking effective means for communicating with donors through online tools. More importantly, donors expect the most efficient and timely means of communication.  Web-based technologies have the potential to create a new paradigm where donors co-create an engaging online experience that strengthens existing donor relationships and facilitates greater giving.

Despite the potential for success, there are relatively few instances of online donor communication that take full advantage of the Internet’s capabilities.  Overall, there are surprisingly few examples of donor recognition online at all, and what I’ve found is usually predictable and lacking in the motivating savvy characteristic of other online markets’ best efforts.

Entertainment, shopping and peer-to-peer Internet applications can be used as models for successful online donor communication.

In order for recognition to drive new giving, it must be truly engaging.  I challenge the not-for-profit marketplace to rise to the occasion.  Take the best of the lessons learned by our for-profit and entertainment counterparts and apply them to the need for philanthropic support.  Don’t miss the opportunity to “go viral” by relying on traditional norms.  It is time to engage new thinking about thanking!

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