The Fundraising & Marketing Interviews: 7 Questions for Thon Morse

Author: Jono Smith on 18 July 2010 | 1 Comments

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The next interview in our 7 Series is constantly evangelizing the need for a better online giving experience for donors.. Meet Thon.

My name is: Thon Morse

My online profile(s) of choice can be found at: LinkedIn

The abc's about me:

  • KIMBIA is my second startup company and the second one that is doing extremely well.
  • My wife is a double masters in International Public Affairs and Public Health.  Dinner conversation is all about causes.
  • I'm a very, very tired marathon runner trying to stay in shape and run a business too.

My take on Fundraising & Marketing: We are in the middle of a seachange from trust-based marketing to ownership-based marketing.

When fundraising was primarily print, phone, and DRTV there was always a limited inventory of messages to inspire donors.  So, the message was always, "give us money and trust us to do good things."

Now the message is changing to one of ownership, "you can effect change by giving money or taking action."

Online is driving this in two key ways.  First, there is no inventory problem - you can pitch each and every program and each and every marketing idea and let the donors vote with their dollars.  Second, online is two-way.  Donors are more empowered than ever to do something to support the cause.

Everyone knows that the majority of giving with be online soon. Participation is going to drive that.

What's good: The "social" thing isn't for kids anymore. Social internet users look like the general population ... but they are twice as likely to give.

Best of breed software is taking hold in our space. Organizations are using the best CMS systems, the best email systems, etc. and throwing away or minimizing the use of brittle, aging, all-in-one solutions.

What's bad: Templates. Participants who want to help a little should be able to help a little without having to jump through a lot of hoops. Participants who want to help a lot should have unlimited tools.

If you go to almost any participatory event site, it is harder to become a volunteer fundraiser than it is to just setup your own blog. In 2010, that's just nuts.

What's next: All fundraisers will look like participatory events do now. They will have publicly stated time and money goals, lots of options for supporting the cause, lots of ways for individuals to drive the meter in addition to giving.

In a similar vein, I think we'll see a shift from recurring giving to returning giving. Annual gifts, memberships, and recurring gifts will stay somewhat flat. These are the "give and forget about it" type gifts. Growth will come from responsive gifts - people who give multiple times during the year in response to a particular issue, in response to a crisis, or to support a specific program.


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  • Wonderful insight

    Posted by Bill, 31/08/2010 8:56am (4 years ago)

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