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    August 6, 2008

    Part II: The Demographic Time Bomb

    (As a P.S. to this blog post, my "legal" advisor has noted that in order to prevent offending anyone at the Lexington airport, I should have been a little kinder with my assessment of what the airport offers to weary travelers. So let me clarify: there are loads of things to do at the Lexington airport. Just not after 7:30 p.m.)

    This blog comes to you from Blue Grass airport in Lexington Kentucky, where I am waiting for the next four hours for co-workers who missed our connection in Charlotte due to "mechanical" problems and there is literally NOTHING else to do at this airport...

    So what better time that now to get to part two of my chat with Greg McHale yesterday, founder of Good2Gether. In my last post, I described the background of how Greg became a nonprofit web platform entrepreneur and how his new venture was going to save all those "Abandoned Do Goods" out there. In this post, I'll try to explain just how Greg plans to do this.

    So here is what he did. Greg noticed that the sites with the highest levels of web traffic on a local level were local news sites. And as we all know, newspapers and news sites in general are real eager to get revenue. Then you have all kinds of brands out there that are eager to be seen as good corporate citizens. And then you've got nonprofits, who want to "get the word out there" but often seem paralyzed by the "getting part."

    So Greg’s solution was to come up with Good2Gether, which brings these three key players together. Nonprofits upload their info-what they are about, events they've got coming up, etc. So when I visit a participating news site and read a story about say, puppies, the article is first routed through Good2Gether which provide "Do Gooding" actionable links in a sponsored box along side the article. Catching on now? Sponsor pays for placement-and gets to look good by being associated with some Do Gooding opportunities, nonprofits get the word out there for ABSOLUTELY FREE, and news sites get revenue from the sponsored placements.

    Ta da! Now as Greg admits, there are still kinks to work out and lots of development to come-like personalized badges, pushes of relevant stuff to Facebook, but this is the main point of Greg's vision: NGO's no longer have to be paralyzed into inaction by the sheer complexity of everything that is out there on the web and web 2.0 and all the way to reach people. They upload info to Good2Gether and wait for contacts, donations, and volunteers to roll-in (at least that's the idea).

    So to give you a concrete example. Say you are the American Heart Association. You go to Good2Gether and upload your organizational info and future Heart walks, volunteer opportunities with the various affiliates etc. Someone living, in say, Cleveland, reads an article on whatever the local news site is about a breakthrough in treatments for heart attacks. And right there, sponsored by your neighborhood Wal-Mart is a box telling you that right in your own city there is a walk planned to help raise money for heart research. Neat huh?

    Now the marketer in me wonders about measurement. How will all this measured and tracked? But I do tend to focus in on the details. Also, I question how many marketing managers will happily relinquish control of their marketing and fundraising efforts online into the cloud that Greg is creating and just be happy to see the results. Some may be more than happy to know nothing about it as long as its doing something for them.

    Greg's vision is ultimately to make this web agnostic-in the sense that it shouldn't matter where you are on the web-your Facebook page, or Yahoo news, or an RSS feed, you should be able to get "Do Gooding" opportunities.

    So what does this have to do with Gen Y. Well as Greg told me, Gen Y is the Demographic time bomb (LOVE THIS PHRASE) waiting to explode in the nonprofit world. I.E.-we are coming, we are interested in Do Gooding, but we are not going to go out of our way to find you. Greg thinks he's figured out a way to find us, and make it really hard for us not to do good, when the opportunities are all around us.

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    I gotta tell you, if I had a nonprofit, I'd definitely try this out, esp if I was really heavy into volunteers and in kind donations. Hopefully, one day I will get Greg to write us a guest post about all he's learned about Gen Y over the years.

    1 comment:

    MaThurrell said...

    Great blog! I found you through Beth Kanter. I'm thoroughly enjoying reading what you have to say. Great stuff. Keep it coming! -Maria