Get Rid Of Those 8-Tracks: Advances in Donor Communications

by Mark Dreistadt | Jan 26, 2012 | Fundraising

You may not have noticed, but our culture is changing. Technology is pushing us forward at an unprecedented pace.  The world of fundraising and donor interaction is advancing like never before.

Small Step, Big Change

Let’s look at music for a moment. I’m giving away my age, but I remember when I had a collection of eight-track tapes. The sound wasn’t very good, but they were portable.  For the first time you could have the music of choice in your car, and not just what happened to be playing on the radio. The world started to change…

Then technology took a leap forward and we moved to cassettes (I still have most of my cassette collection). Cassettes were smaller and had better fidelity, but always had a little tape hiss in the background. Dolby technology helped, but when CD’s were introduced with essentially no background noise — their popularity soared.

Leaving the Past Behind

Then came the DIGITAL REVOLUTION and CD technology paved the way for music to be transferred to a computer file.  Now, songs could be copied from one source to another without any loss of quality. This may seem normal to you, but at the time, this was amazing! In the old days we had to be careful what generation of tape we were using for a master because each successive duplicate lost quality and dynamic range.

Today, we live in a world of Internet technology, iPads, and mobile devices. All types of media (audio and video) are passed across the web with the click of a button. George Jetson, we have arrived!

Communication is Changing

As the world changes, the way we communicate to donors is changing too. Communication is no longer a monologue we deliver to a listening audience, but a dialogue we have one donor at a time. Our communications must be high-tech AND high-touch.

Donors are concerned; not just about the quality of your ministry or non profit, but also about the experience they have interacting with your organization. We need to communicate in a way that reaches the donors where they are at and creates opportunity for building relationship.

Donors are Changing Too

Don’t worry. Just when you think you have it all figured out, it will be time to figure it out all over again because technology has taken us to yet another level. Donors are changing just as our culture is changing. Don’t be afraid to change with them and reach out to a whole new world in a whole new way.

Time to throw out those eight-tracks.

Mark Dreistadt

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