What fundraisers and researchers need to know to avoid donor blunders.
Picture this: you’re going on a blind date. You sit down and order a round of drinks, but before you can say “cabernet sauvignon,” your date starts listing off every detail of your life and history and asking you about them.
Uhhhh, check please!
That’s the world we all live in today.
That includes your donors.
Social media and the internet have opened a whole can of worms when it comes to our private lives and it’s left us split between two worlds.
On one side, information is freely available for all on social media. It allows us to share thoughts, pictures, and experiences far and wide with nothing more than a device we keep in our pocket.
However, this rapid expansion of technology has also forced us to question what should remain private and what should be out in the open.
Typically, it isn’t until a piece of data or personal moment from our lives has been abused that our ideas about privacy are challenged. But once that line has been crossed, we realize just how much information is out there, and we question whether those social media status updates were worth it.
This situation becomes even more fraught when brought into the realm of nonprofit donor research.
Social media can provide information that is indispensable for fundraisers, and it’s a nonprofit’s responsibility to do their research on a potential donor so that they can effectively reach out and offer relevant opportunities to potential major donors.
But is it ethical to dig through social media profiles?
As with most deeply complicated issues, there is no simple yes or no answer.