Avalon's FYI Newsletter:  Subscribe!

Freeing the Internet and Digital Predictions for 2015

staff placeholderHere’s what we’ve seen and heard online recently:

Writing in the Agitator, Tom Belford jumps into the conversation started by Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now—where to focus your fundraising? “Or should I say, on whom?” writes Tom. Because there’s a lot of hand-wringing going on these days about how to best communicate with all the different generations of donors and potential donors. Tom and Jeff break it down for us: stop worrying about Millennials—wait a few years (decades?) and they’ll show up and give. Your focus should mainly be on Boomers. Jeff lays out how he would allocate fundraising focus:

§   40% to Silent Generation (born before 1946)

§   50% to Boomers (born 1946-1964)

§   8% to Gen Y (born 1965-1980)

§   2% to Millennials (born 1981-2000)

Back to Tom, who wonders if we should worry about generational fundraising at all, and instead continue our focus on multi-channel efforts. He sums it up this way: “I, for one, do try to keep abreast of media usage and media device data. And that tells me even if I want to chiefly focus on Boomers (and older), I had better figure out how to do so via digital media, to balance out and complement my workhorse direct mail.”

  • Facebook recently (and quietly) made a change to how much organic reach companies and organizations can get through the New Feed on Facebook, come January. In short, Facebook is trying to limit the blatantly promotional messages in News Feeds so people don’t have to sift through what FB considers to be so many unpaid ads, to get to the meat of the updates they want. On the surface, this sounds good, but it will also mean that once this new policing is in effect, it will be more difficult for organizations to organically spread the news about events, offers, and other engagement tools. A recent piece in Target Marketing pushed back at Facebook, called 2 Tips for How to Handle Facebook Killing Organic Reach. Bottom line: If your digital outreach and website are in good shape, how much should you rely on (or pay for) Facebook to engage your supporters?
  • Net neutrality is a hot topic in Washington these days—the concept that the Internet should remain free and accessible for everyone. In mid-November, Edward Wyatt reported in the New York Times on President Obama’s call for, “…the Federal Communications Commission… [to]…adopt the strictest rules possible to prevent broadband companies from blocking or intentionally slowing down legal content and from allowing content providers to pay for a fast lane to reach consumers.” We wholeheartedly agree with the president, and intend to stay tuned to see how this issue works its way through the FCC, Congress, and (inevitably) the courts—while keeping an eye out for ways we can make our voices heard in support of net neutrality.

Facebook all

  • Writing in AllFacebook (the unofficial Facebook blog), David Cohen reports on how coordinating marketing emails with Facebook ads boosts email response. He writes, “A study in which a leading U.S. retailer targeted 565,000 email subscribers with both its regular emails and coordinated Facebook News Feeds ads found that subscribers who received both were 22 percent more likely to make purchases than those who only received emails.” This might be a fruitful test for your year-end digital plan, to see if these impressive numbers translate to nonprofit marketing/fundraising.
  • As a founding partner of #givingtuesday, Blackbaud recently announced the release of its free For Goodness Shake app. Madeline Turner writes at npEngage, “With For Goodness Shake, you can search for a cause you are passionate about and immediately view details about the organization, including their mission statement. Tap their location on a map to get directions instantly, or tap their phone number to call them! Visit their website to donate and support their cause. Use the history feature to see the organizations you recently viewed and visit them again.” Could be an interesting way for potential local donors and volunteers to find and get involved with less well-known organizations.