Make time, find time, their time……is it time?

23 Oct

time

Thanks for stopping by-I know you don’t have much time. 🙂

This week’s blog topic is just that-time. Time as it pertains to many aspects of the mission and operation of nonprofits.  And, lest we forget, perhaps the most valued time-the time of nonprofit supporters and donors.

I attended (and am writing this now at) the NP Connect 2013 Conference. On Monday, Beth Kanter spoke about the importance of making time and to quit trying to find time to adopt and use social media. The same thought applies to going mobile. Many of the speakers pointed to both social and mobile as the future and I always say the future is here, today, right now. Her advice (and mine too)-make time for them both now since social and mobile are vital for the future success for nonprofits of all sizes and missions

With low budgets and staffing challenges, time, or the lack of it, is always top of mind for nonprofits. However, as hard as you may think it is, you have to make time and quit trying to find it in your effort to adapt and change to meet the massive opportunities afforded by social media and it’s lifelong pal-the smartphone. It’s like the Nike slogan of “Just Do It”.

Draft a social media code of conduct and start slowly and don’t pressure yourself. Instead, ease into it and build over time. There’s so much promise in social media that you have to begin using it since there is a high likelihood that your donors are already looking for you there today. The 2013 Millennial Impact reminds us that millennials go to your website first but then to your social media for your content, to see what others say about you and to share you with their network if they are motivated to do so.

Going mobile too is one of those things you should probably address now as well. You know it’s inevitable. In the for-profit world, retailers are predicting a bigger mobile commerce holiday shopping season than 2012. For them, mobile commerce grows and they learn what works and what doesn’t work. They’ve made time for mobile and social and are reaping the benefits.

Each year, the importance of a great mobile experience for your donors that are looking for you on their mobile phone rises and there’s a good chance that each year that goes by with no action on your part makes the situation more acute. If your PC site has more than 10% of visits coming from a mobile phone the time is NOW to go mobile.

What I always say to nonprofits I talk to is that you need to decide when your go-mobile-day-one is and set your calendar to it. As time passes and your mobile day one drifts into the future, all the key learnings will be delayed and the development of future-proof mobile and social tactics (they are the proverbial two peas in the pod) is non-existent until you make the time.

For donors, time is a critical element in their engagement with your nonprofit. Put bluntly, how much time are they being asked for if they make the time to volunteer or follow you on social media or make a donation? I do know this much-there are far too many nonprofits relying on their PC site to be their mobile donation page and many studies show this is not the thing to do at all with a donors’ time.

Millennials say, with their actions and responses to research,-“don’t waste my time”. They say “I want to give in the moment” to a mobile-optimized (better than mobile-friendly) website. When they have a poor experience on your PC site with their smartphone because it takes too much of their time to load their reaction speaks volumes-they likely won’t come back. They think you don’t get it and they’re gone. Their time is better spent elsewhere is what they are thinking.

So, in respect to your time, I end with two thoughts. Make time for social and mobile TODAY. Think of your donors and don’t waste their time by being absent from social media and presenting donation pages designed for a PC.

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