The ICT Foresight blog is looking at ways to help nonprofits understand the possible benefits of new technologies, which in my experience can be quite tough. In A new way of campaigning - a story Megan Griffith highlights an article by Tom Steinberg in which Tom shows how a typical, medium sized charity could move from its current way of doing business to something more innovative. Tom writes:
Currently the role of the internet for most established charities falls pretty neatly into three activities:
* Providing a donations box through which money can be given
* Providing information on a charity’s activities
* Building and maintaining as large as possible an email list to encourage supporters to use 1 and 2
These activities are not to be scorned: they’re tried and tested and in cases such as the 2005 Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina appeals have been enormously effective.
However, many charities are starting to feel that there must be more that can be done to use the internet in more effective and powerful ways. Meanwhile some members of the public are starting to feel more and more like cattle being ever more efficiently farmed for money by increasingly impersonal, professionalised and automated charity engines.
Outside the voluntary sector use of the network is heading in a different direction. Instead of people feeling increasingly like tiny cogs in big machines, personalisation is the order of the day, making each person’s experience of the internet more tailored to their interests and needs.
- Signing up online to meet locally for a meeting
- Collaborating online
- Peer review by voting online
- Recruiting fund-raisers
- Mobilising volunteers
The ideas are very practical, and the storytelling format makes it really easy to show how new tools would bring benefits. The article links back to the blog for comments.... which is another neat demonstration in itself