Meanwhile, back in the real world…

The latest crop of up and comers in cybertopia share an interesting quality – they use technology to make our real lives better. Anyone who has witnessed the Soviet bread line of a taxi queue at Union Station in DC will have a special affection for Uber. And AirBnB has made everyone’s spare bedroom into a potential moneymaker.

Great article on the “reality trend” here.

What does this have to do with fundraising or advocacy? Pretty much everything.

It’s pretty clear that cyber connections can’t replace face-to-face in establishing healthy donor or activist relationships. I’d wager they never will. What they can do however is cement and amplify real world connections and help real communities of folks get more done.

When Sea Change helped National Audubon Society develop the Mississippi Flyway Action Network, it began with an in-person training weekend for Audubonners from Minnesota, Louisiana and everywhere in between. Having made the real world connection, keeping the group intact and in touch required only a simple listserv. As network members sought support for the RESTORE Act (which directs BP penalties to damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon blowout), they shared successes, offered pep talks when there were setbacks, and celebrated the final passage of RESTORE.

But it all depended on that initial flesh and blood connection. The technology to sustain it was in fact pretty minimal.

Reality. Now there’s a concept!