How nonprofits shouldn’t adapt technology

Technology can’t transform your nonprofit

Technology can only be an enabler to your purpose.

Just because suddenly a virus made us realise the need to go digital. It also won’t happen overnight. But my friends at Donorbox don’t seem to think the same. They just published an enriching blog post on “How Should Non-Profits Adapt To Technology In 2020?”

The article was published on AFAQS and since it is filled under the news bureau. I assume that the publication might not have bothered to check the content. I initially considered it to be an insightful report on the Indian nonprofit space.

But I was literally disappointed.

Hence I wanted to share my thoughts on the insights that the article shared. Just that the world needs a badass mind to question the BS. Not often but at times.

Meanwhile, I am ignoring things like:

How Donorbox is a boon to the nonprofit sector

What are nonprofit organizations (Writer is seriously high)

And should nonprofits sectors promote innovation? (I don’t know what it means)

Explaining the innovation bit the article says: “For the continuous evolution of the organization, technology adaptation is a must. For which digital marketing is the crucial feature which assists the Non-profits in keeping a check on their growth and reaching.”

Hit me up if you know what the above paragraph means. I normally don’t understand the jargon.

Moving forward the article provides a simple guide on how nonprofits can implement the technology. I will add my thoughts to them:

Digital Fundraising

What is digital fundraising?

Another medium for a nonprofit to collect money for a cause. In this case, it is online or digital. So it all boils down to your Donation Page but the article makes no mention of how the donation page should be, the challenges, and the common mistakes

It is surprising because Donorbox calls itself a Nonprofit Donation Software. I have my doubts. 

But the  article lists out following things must be kept in minds :

The motto of fundraising should be mentioned clearly and boldly.

The agenda must be engaging enough so that people can donate willingly.

The payment methods must be secure.

The procedure should be like that people get a thanking note whenever somebody contributes.

The donation could be small or big, But there must not be any discrimination in handling contributors.

I don’t know if it helps? For me it is misty.

Social media marketing

The article says: “75% of people spend 50% time on social media platforms- Isn’t it great?? Many nonprofits are having an advantage on social media platforms. They usually upload and share suitable posts on their social media outlooks. The main agenda is to showcase the broad array of activities in which they are involved in and also highlight their achievements. This usually helps them in gaining more attention, which can be fruitful in the long run.”

Whoever wrote this is definitely is sitting on Mars. No offense but “Social reach is straightforward through social media. ”

I am not debating the power of social media but how is it related to implementing technology for nonprofit organizations.

Also, you get reach on social media when you spend money. This was pretty clear from 2018 when Facebook started cutting its organic reach but if you are waking up in 2020 then we have Badshah special for you.

Organic reach on social media is zero. Barring LinkedIn but the company pages have the same story. And let’s not talk about Facebook or Google family.

However, in 2019 the parameters of online fundraising have drastically evolved: Website Donations (66%), Fundraising Event Campaigns (59%), and Social Media (59%). These findings are part of Classy’s latest report: The Modern Nonprofit Professional Experience.

Join tech communities and workshops

The article says: “There are many technology-based nonprofit organizations in the markets that provide grant or no-to low-cost technology support specifically for other nonprofits - Sounds good? Yes, You heard it right, So don’t waste time and start your search in this direction !!”

To some extent, this makes sense but again do you really want to build your technology like this. I will leave it to you consider. 

Probably just incorporate the Google and Facebook ad grant if you are not using it.

Email Marketing

I was happy to see email marketing on the list. But the author has never thought of email marketing from a nonprofit perspective.

It remains the most trusted source for one to one communication between donors. However, email marketing is a different beast when it comes to nonprofits. Obviously the article misses out to explore on how to implement it as a technology.

And when you have done so how do you take it forward.

Well, this is the solution provided by the article:

“With the help of email marketing, you can target your audience sector and draft them relevant messages to get them engaged. But you have to ensure that you don’t bother or irk them too much.”

God save the nonprofits 🙏

Door-to-door to Peer-to-peer fundraising

The article says: “Many of us must be aware of the door to door fundraising. It is the most challenging task, I must say. Moreover, it is not very efficient as well. Since its reach is minimal.”

Door to door has stopped for a while because of the ongoing pandemic and the one-word answer for peer-to-peer fundraising is Facebook fundraising. Simply for the reach and ease. 

Is it effective?

Earlier this year, M+R released its well-known 2020 industry benchmark study - The study states that Facebook giving generated 3.5% of all online revenue for nonprofits in 2019. Overall, revenue raised on Facebook increased by 6% over the previous year.

The vast majority of all Facebook revenue (97%) was donated through the peer-to-peer Facebook Fundraiser tool.

Basics of online fundraising even with a minimal budget

If you are a Nonprofit who is venturing into the world of online fundraising, my humble advice would be to ignore the BS around digital transformation and focus on the donor and your cause. When you do so you will get your answers on what are the core areas to focus:

Donation page: The page that sits on your website which is the end goal for you to collect money from the donor. This is the most important aspect of online fundraising. Don’t fuck this up. I have already shared what are the common mistakes that people should avoid on the donation page.

Also, keep testing your donation page, check the data regularly to understand the simple problems that might be stopping people to give you. It is an ongoing process.

Your cause: As a nonprofit, you need to tell the world about your work and impact you are driving with your cause.

Your content is the trusted tool that you need to showcase on your blog and website.

Find some inspiration here or my latest favorite nonprofit blog.

Email: This is not dead and it is the most trusted and loved form of communication with your donors and subscribers. Buy an email client, segment your email lists, and build your email content plan which syncs with your blog content plan. 

What is your blog content plan? The answer lies in your “Why” and how you peel it will answer your content buckets.

Social media: Finally this is the tool to get your voice out and get you, new users. But this won’t be free.

Put your money and time in - Donation page, blog, and email. Finally, if you have money put that into your website. It is your home. Your investments in your home will only reap benefits.

I haven’t told anything new. I am repeating the same things in almost all my stories. To some extent, it is boring to me but my experience says that we miss out on the basics and rush towards the fancy jargon of the world.

I wasn’t intending to write today and then I saw the Donorbox article. Sometimes the old me comes out 😜 Especially when you have a lot of free time to kill.

By now you must be cursing me as an arrogant shit. Damn! when will I transform into a good human being?