The following article by Jim Lynch was originally posted to the TechSoup blog on August 19, 2013. Since we just released our latest RevITup Quarterly Technology Grant Review for Nonprofits we thought the article would be very informative for nonprofit organizations looking for information on finding and securing technology funding.
I have to admit that the venerable Association of Fundraising Professionals website was one of the last places I looked to find fresh interesting coverage of fundraising technology, but I have mended my ways. I’m now a fan of Reed Stockman’s AFP technology blog.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is a 54 year-old trade association of fundraising professionals. It has more than 30,000 members throughout the world. Its mission is to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. AFP’s president and CEO, Andrew Watt, is on the 2013 NonProfit Times list of the 50 most influential people in the charitable sector.
What I’d expect from an online blog from such an established institution is a weighty selection of content from equally businesslike sources. What I found is a sprightly and often surprising take on fundraising technology that I wasn’t expecting.
Fundraising News from a Millennial Perspective
AFP’s Reed Stockman curates one of the interesting and underused fundraising resources: the Association of Fundraising Professionals Technology Blog. His short snippets of fundraising technology news provides a fresh view of fundraising from a millennial perspective. There are items in the blog about how to reach and appeal to prospective donors or volunteers who are in their 20’s and 30’s. And there are more traditional pointers to things like Drew Hendricks: 5 Ways Non-Profits Can Get the Word Out Online.
Oh! Did I fail to mention that Reed is not a millennial? He’s a guy in his 50’s and has been with AFP for 14 years. He’s a nonprofit technology veteran and something of a cherished resource among AFP members. Among them he is not an underused resource. Members can contact him directly to get answers on which technologies are useful for fundraising and reaching donors and several other things like when to use consultants. His “Hot Tops” section of the AFP website aggregates information based on those conversations.
He told me that he has a passion for showing members how to use new technologies, and he also likes to catalog new tools in AFP’s Resource Center. He says that his inspiration for doing this work came to him in wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when AFP needed to find additional ways to stay in touch with members. It was the dawning of the Facebook era and AFP became an early adopter of social media. Reed says that communicating across diverse media is now a culture-wide attribute of the organization. Much of their blog contact is tagged (e.g. ”ªNPtech, ”ªNPMobile, ”ªNPOnlineGiving etc.) so that fundraisers can get RSS news feeds or social media feeds on the exact subjects they’re interested in.
From Email To Social Media
Reed is often ahead of the curve in his postings on social media. In a time when email is still the killer app in reaching donor audiences, the AFP Technology Blog has items that assume that you’re spending a significant part of your life on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. It goes beyond the obvious like the recent item he posted: 10 Surprising social media statistics that might make you rethink your social strategy from the The Buffer Blog.
I also like the way the AFP Technology Blog isn’t afraid to run technology failure stories like the U.K based Third Sector piece “Half of people give up when trying to donate by mobile” and also 101 Fundraising’s Digital is the ‘New Normal’, so why is digital fundraising still so rubbish?
In all Reed Stockman provides a fresh, interesting take on the field of nonprofit technology with fundraising overlay, as he calls it. Even his pointers to traditional stories like the Fundraising Success Magazine’s “Fundraising Advice From Katya Andresen Over the Years” are good insightful pieces. Three of his current hot topics are: integrating donor databases with mobile, mastering online grant applications, and crowdfunding.
Find a list of the other AFP blogs via their resource center, which Reed Stockman also runs.