Friday, May 1, 2009

Campaign to Ban "Online Gifts"

This study has been stuck in my craw for weeks now. Not only does this write up not point to or give us access to the data, but the analysis seems to generalize all activity that happens online to fall under the general category of "Online Fundraising." The term seems to be used interchangeably with "Online Gifts" throughout the piece. No other communication channel has this misunderstanding. I think it is a problem.
I heard it first through Allison Fine and her blog, but I don't think it's original with her. It seems the the idea of the internet was original sold to development officers as a walk up ATM. Insert "Donate Button" here. We are still trying to live that down.
As we try to live it down, I suggest a move toward a small terminology change. There is a difference between Online Gifts, Online Giving and Online Fundraising. Please tell me what you think. Can we make movement towards this fundamental understanding?