I was thinking about the telephone campaigns, and the one thing that really struck me was that no one in my generation really uses their phones. The irony is that we carry around these devices that are small computers that dwarf the power of those a generation ago - and we still call them phones but the voice communication part is just a small forgotten part of the phone’s functionality. So that made me think of how this fits into the philanthropic environment. I read that over 80% of those 35 and under prefer texts to phones (and I bet a lot of the 20% is in the older part of the generation - I just barely fit under the cut-off and if I text it is done awkwardly). The benefit of the phone is that you have someone on the spot. There’s a certain immediacy to it, and thankfully a lot of people are too nice to say “No”.

There have been some campaigns where there have been text components. I’m remembering after the Haitian earthquake where people could text to the red cross and the money would come out of their bill. I think some agencies tried to get on that bandwagon, but that would seem to cultivate one time donors who were responsive to a tragedy - not something that is really going to grow your donor base. Our book, so far, doesn’t address the future of fundraising. I’m not sure what it is though, since texts and emails are so easy to dismiss. Is it just sending more out there in the world and accepting a lower response rate? I don’t know.