Thursday, November 13, 2008


The economy, technology, consumer expectations; together they demand an evolution, if not of practice, then at least of thought. Whether it's speaking to a younger generation or finding new ways to connect people, we need to adapt.

We've been working with the Memorial Foundation in Yakima, Washington on creating a strong, multi-dimensional presence online that reflects the passion and personality of the organization and its mission. An admittedly game organization, the CEO is a self-professed "iPhone packin' Grandma," the Memorial Foundation is creating an entire online forum devoted to their donors called NetCommunity.

As the direction, capabilities and spirit of the community become more defined, we are excited to have a role with imbuing NetCommunity's face with vibrance and energy. NetCommunity presents a dedicated environment for communication and recognition, connecting donors, volunteers and beneficiaries of the many programs funded through the Memorial Foundation

The truth is, regardless of economic climate, we must still communicate; asking for gifts, proposing investments and driving a momentum of philanthropy. You might think we have reached a recession-imposed end of giving, but let's not give up hope.

Convio and JupiterResearch have released a study that gives nonprofit fundraisers new and valuable insight into the expected online giving of Americans in the upcoming holiday season. The report As we read the data, the news is good: Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! A report asked 175.6 million online users over 18 within the United States about their online giving intentions for the holiday season. Some things to note from the report:

51% say they plan to give to charities through an online avenue;
24% of these say they will give $100 or more;
Despite what they say is a worse financial situation than years prior, 46% say they plan to donate;
61% say they will give about the same amount as last year, 6% say more, 33% say less.

Where do they plan to direct their donations?

53% to faith-based charities;
43% to human and social services;
37% to disease research and health services;
37% to animal welfare;
31% to international relief and disaster assistance.

Where do we go from here? We must be fluid in our communication, striving to use the tools that reach our audience and allow us to appeal to their emotions and or sense of duty. Maybe the key will be an online forum or an HTML email, maybe it's in Facebook or YouTube.

There is a world of possibility and a community that will give if asked. Adopting the spirit the Glens Falls Hospital Foundation used when it said, Your gift this year makes our whole promise possible, your willingness to explore new avenues of communication will make anything possible.


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