Online fundraising... reputation matters

peterkim
Peter Kim General Manager, Dachis Group

Posted on January 12th 2009

IMG_0189 Hot on the heels of David Armano's successful and generous #Daniela outreach, I'm seeing charity requests start to crop up for all kinds of causes.

Simultaneously, reports of phishing online and Ponzi schemes offline are on the rise as well.

Reputation matters.

This brings numbers come into play, i.e. friends and followers.  Links to many people hint at a conspicuously public presence, where one would have little to hide.  But numbers aren't everything - certain figures like 2,000 friends on Twitter should be a warning sign.

So relationships matter.  If people you know are participating or connected already, then you might be inclined to join in.  When you receive a friend request from someone on Facebook who you can't place, the ability to view mutual friends may help you decide to confirm.  But as our grade school teachers rhetorically asked us, "if everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you?"

Thus we require personal interactions to help bridge the trust gap.  These consist of content and quality within direct conversation.  Recency and frequency matter here which should temper the "monetary"/intangible risk of any action.  Behavior bundles in here as well.

These three factors work best together as a set - think of it as a bridge of trust between two people.  (The image in my mind is illustrated above, inspired by Tropic Thunder...and as you know, sometimes your understanding turns out to be all wrong and you need to blow it up.)

So with a half-hearted apology, that's why I'm not going to blog about your PR spam, trade links with you to game search engines, or help you transfer $17.7 million out of Burkina Faso.  Even if you really did write the email with tears, sadness and pains.  It's also why I steer clear of grey areas like sponsored blogging.

Reputation matters.  After all, in a world of weak ties, what else do we have?


peterkim

Peter Kim

General Manager, Dachis Group

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Comments

MartinMeyerGossner
Posted on January 12th 2009 at 11:30PM
Hi Peter, absolutely agreed.. reputation matters. Nevertheless, I ask myself if the modern web people really want to understand what they are doing when micro-blogging on Twitter and Identi.ca: following and accepting followers. Sometimes it looks a bit like getting the right information and news first to blog them away as a trendsetter or professional media person. It becomes impossible to follow more than 100 (or os this number not already to high...) people if we are honest, right? Generally speaking, a lot of everybody's contacts are in some way contact hunter-gatherer in social networks and communities. Some still don't see the value of one good contact instead of just showing off with thousands of worthless people. And have they done business with them? Quite unlikely... Anyone disagreeing? I am sure most of the people have not even talked to each other - no more words than in the lines of 'Let's get connected, we have a lot in common'. 

So, my question: isn't this just a new form of business card collecting?Some stay in the box forever and some don't...?

PS: A blog can also be media hubs in a publishers mindset. Companies might be advertising on it as they think the right target group might read this hub. So, where is the clear cut between a mag-blog (magazine blog) and an online magazine? Does this not create positive reputation if companies sponsor personal blogs? Isn't this what many bloggers are looking for?

ScottyHendo
Posted on January 13th 2009 at 8:29AM
Trust is certainly the foundation of any relationship. It becomes profoundly important when raising money.

I have been an active participant in the recent Twitter #Daniela conversation and thought you might appreciate my follow-up post since it touches on trust:

Helping Our Neighbors: Further Thoughts on the Armano Family's Act of Charity http://tr.im/5jlr

@scottyhendo