It’s social media people!

My continual frustration with non-profit organizations goes on.   I have asked myself, is it because of the volunteer nature and the mindset of the leaders behind them? Do those two things coupled together create a lack of thinking outside of the box and getting up to speed on how other companies are operating?

Certainly, there has been some forward thinkers.  The Jewish Museum redid their entire shop inside and online.  They got Russ & Daughters to open a restaurant in the basement of the museum.  They have curated some shows that are in a contemporary mindset.  I’d be interested to see what those changes have done to the bottom line.

The SFMoma began a project that people were invited to text a number with the phrase send me and the museum would send the texter an image from the museum’s collection on their phone.  It did two things.  It delved into the storage of the SFMoma where many artworks have not seen the light of day in decades.  The most important thing it did was to engage an audience through social media that are now connected to the museum.

All non-profit organizations function because of the generosity of people who care about the mission.  That goes for museums, parks, Planned Parenthood and more.  In Europe, museums and parks are completely subsidized by the Government but not here in the US.  It is private capital that funds those organizations so engagement is key.  Fun fact, philanthropic giving has remained around 2% of our GDP since WWII. Boomers and Gen X’ers tend to give to specific organizations of choice where as Millennials and Gen Y tend to pair their volunteerism with giving.  Social investing is growing as well where people use their dollars towards change with the hope of a very small return.

Two-thirds of people over 65 use their own smartphones.  The number of people who use their smartphones under 65 increase as they get younger.  I’d love to see the age demographic that engaged with the SFMoma project and the e-commerce dollars at the Jewish Museum.  Impressive to see each of these organizations tapping into what profit organizations have already figured out.  It is all about social media people! After all, when organizations make smart moves about fundraising,  embracing technology and connecting with their patrons, it points directly to the people running the organization.  Just look upward.