Invisible ChildrenI'm going to be presenting for WOMMA in early May on how The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society word of mouth marketing to achieve our goals. In thinking about this and looking back what we've been doing and trying I started doing some research and came across this blog post.
I thought that my organization was pushing ahead of the curve but I've (as usual), been put in my proper place. What is going on here is truely remarkable - not because of the technology but because it is a part of a collection of defining moment that smart charities should be looking at closely - the grassroots nature of charities and the grassroots nature of the Internet have completely merged.
I'm so completely blown away by The Global Night Commute and what these folks are doing!
However, don't get me wrong - the big NPO's will always be big, raising more money and garnering more attention than anything a Viral NPO can muster. That said, the really interesting stuff is happening in places that you aren't looking closely enough at... Second Life, Myspace.com and in places you just don't expect.
Traditionalists are being blinded by the past by focusing on how to improve Direct Mail response rates by .1% or complaining how their open rate on their 500,000 name email list are dropping. They're ignoring the present by not taking all their assets and leveraging them in new places like iTunes, YouTube, Google Video, Squidoo and Del.icio.us and much, much more...
No, there's no ROI (yet). No, your boss doesn't understand what the hell you are talking about... it doesn't mean you shouldn't be doing it though. Push the envelope NPO marketers.. the future is here!
Last night - my 6 year old daughter broke open her piggy bank and pulled out $17 and change and told me that tomorrow she was doing "Pennies" - a program sponsored by my organization... I hadn't asked her to do this, or even talked w/her about what we do. While she didn't really capture the details the same way that the 12 year old in the blog post I referenced did, she said a mouthful.
"The class who raises the most money gets to go to the book faire - but that's not important. I just want to help the people."
I hadn't been thinking about The Global Night Commute at that point - but clearly there is something going on with today's youth. Kids today are empowered by not only the Internet, but their own filters and authenticity. They have the power to move mountains and to affect real change in our world.
Update - my wife Tivo'd Oprah and by chance, it was the show that featured both the Invisible Children story and George Clooney talking about Darfur. Oprah did an amazing job tying all the pieces together - it was really interesting to see how polished it all felt on Orpah against the rawness of the videos and the Invisible Children's site itself.