The IPhone 4 is here.
I am very excited.
I love to watch the rapid progression of the technological evolutionary chart and how we, the adoring public, scamper to ride the rising swell of bits and bytes.
In November of 2009, Duke University commissioned a white paper to explore the evolution of technology and the impact of that change on the social sector.¬† In Disrupting Technology, the authors devote their attention to a lengthy consideration of the relationship between the philanthropic enterprise and the rapid evolution of technology.
I promise, they do not mention ‚Äúonline giving‚ÄĚ once.
Their study really considers our relationship with information and how that relationship has been shaped by emerging technologies.¬† Simply stated, thanks to the world wide web, information is now ubiquitous.¬† Documents, videos, photos, and all manner of media, now reside on an infinite number of routinely accessed websites.¬† And because the information is out there, we expect it, or, we expect to see it, very quickly.¬† When we enter a search term in Google, we expect that the electronic gods will deposit the information at our feet, neatly wrapped, ready for our review.¬†¬†¬†¬† Easy access to omnipresent data:¬† we expect it, we demand it, we need it.
So do potential donors.¬† If the rise of entities like Guidestar teach us anything, it has taught us that the internet has also become a vast shopping mall where current and potential donors seek out information on the charitable causes that they are seeking to support.
Consider, for a moment, the electronic footprint of your annual fund.¬† Last week, I chose 30 dioceses at random and visited their annual fund websites.¬† The vast majority of them had two things in common:¬† a static .pdf of their annual fund brochure and a copy of their annual fund video.
I did not break my arm reaching for my checkbook.