Who Defines the Philanthropic "Product:" How and When Will Donors Participate?
Across most industries, companies are allowing clients to define product, promotion and even price through interactive online platforms. While the nonprofit sector is not there yet, several organizations are starting to move in this direction. Understanding the elements that support this type of client participation is critical for future success.
Knowledge Networking is the amalgamation of knowledge management and social networking. It is the idea of capturing the knowledge of your organization and putting it online so it can be used to efficiently to serve your customers, but also so it can also be used by your constituents: donors, nonprofits, board members, advisors, etc., moving toward the self-serve model that is prevalent in so many other industries online. There may be some debate about how soon we need to make self-serve options available to our clients, but there is no question that this is the direction we are all headed.
On the social networking side, most people think of MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Those are difficult analogies for our marketplace, because they don't seem aligned with our business. The fact of the matter is that much of our business is social networking that takes place offline: events, one-on-one meetings, donors talking with each other about the organizations they are involved with, etc. The idea that we move some of that online is a logical next step for our market. We have to figure out what parts of social marketing fit our sector.