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The Nonprofit Blog

1 comment - Last on 02/02/2009

Lessons from Barack Obama

The eyes of the world are on Washington, DC today as billions of people join the US citizens in hope for the administration of President Barack Obama.  There is a stirring sense of optimism that we can build a better world at this turning point in history.

Three million people made 6.5 million donations online to Obama, totaling a half billion dollars!  Most were first-time political donors, contributed $80 on the average, and gave more than once.  Through email, text messaging and social networking, Obama combined the most basic fundraising fundamentals (relationship building, volunteerism, donor involvement) with cutting-edge, yet inexpensive technology that could reach an unprecedented number of citizens.  His fundraising costs were 5 to 10 cents on the dollar compared to 95 cents, the average for direct mail.  Read about this and more. 

In the coming years, many will be looking to our nonprofit sector with the same hope that we can build a better world for our children. The nonprofit community must take its inspiration from Barack Obama.  I urge you to study his campaign and this historic groundswell of grassroots support and consider what elements you can apply to your own mission.  A terrific article by David Erickson on the eStrategy Internet Marketing Blog will help get you started. 

In the coming years, the challenges to the nonprofit sector will be enormous.  We will need the participation of our friends, neighbors and all citizens.  Make the case - get the word out - sincerely engage the support of  people who want to help and want to be part of initiatives that will change our world for the better.

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I'm enormously impressed by the Obama campaign's use of the new technology and social media to raise funds for his successful election.  What an inspiration for the nonprofit sector!  Granted, this team had a ton of money to upstart and maintain it's online programs, but the bottom line of spending only ten cents for every dollar earned-- and bringing in as much as it did, in such a short time-- are very cool nevertheless.  It's a very thrilling time to be learning about fundraising.


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