Sunday, August 26, 2007

New Column Every Monday--"The Fundraising Guru"--August 27, 2007

Enter the world of Web 2.0 for fundraising success
By Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein, author of the nationwide bestseller, 30 Days to Successful Fundraising, now in its second printing, available through,, other online booksellers, and bookstores nationwide

Every nonprofit (yes, even the tiniest with no money in the remotest location) can now extend its fundraising reach (and success) to anywhere in the world, at any time—for free. The barriers of time and space no longer exist. The world is filled with your potential donors. No kidding!

All it takes is your being willing to enter the world of Web 2.0—and you don’t even need to be computer savvy. A few years ago, it was a big deal if nonprofits developed a web site. Most organizations simply created the digital equivalent of their brochure and, too often, forgot about them—or at least didn’t feel they needed to keep them fresh and inviting. You can’t be passive in the world of Web 2.0. You need to be actively engaged in an ever-expanding conversation; but once you realize the doors it opens, you won’t be able to resist its enormous potential to enhance your fundraising.

Here’s a primer on Web 2.0. Be sure to go to the podcast of my “Fundraising Success” radio program—itself an example of Web 2.0—to hear the full interviews with the people to whom I refer below.

1. Use Web 2.0 to increase your fundraising success: You may hear Beth Kanter (Boston, MA) talk about how and why nonprofits’ future fundraising success depends upon their savvy use of social media, Web 2.0, on the podcast of my radio program, “Fundraising Success” (081907). She defines it as using the Internet to instantly collaborate and share ideas with people. It’s interactive. You’ll find and have a conversation with all sorts of people who are like-minded, who may be passionate about your organization’s purpose, and who may donate and help you raise money. They can be anywhere in the world. You’ll learn from Beth that what Google is to the Internet in general, Technorati is to blogs—a search engine for what people are talking about. (Technorati boasts that it is currently tracking 100.1 million blogs. The last time I checked there were 91,567 blog posts just about fundraising.)

2. Start your blog for free and why every nonprofit needs one: Stephen Rockwell, of Management Consulting Services (Boston, MA), on “Fundraising Success” (081907), points out that blog is simply short for web log. You don’t have to make any changes to your existing web site. Just link it to your blog. It’s a great way to create an individual relationship between yourself and your individual donors. Executive directors and others can communicate directly and ongoing with their constituency. Think of it as an online diary. Web sites like blogger, wordpress, livejournal, and blogspot let you have your own blog for free. Investigate each one. Create an account. Customize the formats you’re given. Be sure you are committed to updating it at least once a week—but the more often, the better. You just need to know word processing—how to type.

3. Keep track of the fundraising blogosphere: Peter Panepento of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, has his finger on the pulse of the blogosphere. He regularly reviews new blogs on fundraising and contributes a weekly segment to my radio program, “Fundraising Success” (

Stephen L. Goldstein is the author of 30 Days to Successful Fundraising, now in its second printing. He is producer and host of “Fundraising Success” on WXEL/National Public Radio in South Florida, broadcast Sundays 7 to 8 p.m. and available at any time from anywhere in the world at Email your comments and questions to him at

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