Non-profits of the future will treat their donors and volunteers more like customers than vendors as they seek to accomplish their mission.
Blackbaud’s Infographic on Online Influencers illustrates the Multichannel Consumer. They take it information from a variety of devices (phone, tablet, TV, laptop computer) and sources (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, YouTube, news websites, etc). Because they are regularly interacting in a variety of places, they expect you to be there as well.
If you only send them information in one channel (often the channel you prefer, often direct mail or email), then chances are some volunteers and donors do not feel as connected to you as they would like.
The tremendous shift that is taking place is described well in The Future of Relationship Fundraising:
“In the 1980’s fundraisers sold to their donors. They marketed at them. I believe that approach is wrong. It is ultimately counterproductive. I believe that a sales approach is wrong because it is too adversarial and reduces fundraising to being just like any other kind of commercial transaction.”—The Future of Relationship Fundraising, Ken Burnett
Ricebowls.org takes an interactive rather than transactive approach to fundraising.
Their homepage invites potential donors to participate with them in their cause. The language and fonts they use have an informal tone that is meant to demonstrate their personality. They use emotion-filled photos and bright colors to communicate their passion.
DonorsChoose.org includes an image of a hand-drawn picture from a child during the giving check-out process. At the start of the giving process they have committed to building a relationship and bringing gratitude to the forefront (“Thank you for the books”).