Seth Godin on Innovation, Failure and Why Non-profits Should Stop Operating like Businesses

Seth Godin has some firm beliefs and thoughtful insights when it comes to how non-profits can (and should) change the world.

Back in January of 2008 he told us (the non-profit sector) that we should be looking to use the internet in new and innovative ways to build community and engage our supporters because direct mail, although still a huge revenue source, was beginning to show signs of fatigue.

[Troublesome] Fundraising Stats

  1. First Year Donor Retention is 29.3%
  2. Fundraising Email Response Rate is 0.13%
  3. 67% of donors plan to eliminate or reduce support to nonprofits that over‐solicit
  4. Only 26% of Nonprofits Rated their Websites Very Effective
  5. Recurring Gift Donors only accounted for 10% of all US Donors

You can read more about these stats and find the source studies over at Non-profit Trends. My buddy Steve does a great job keeping us all on our toes by bubbling up useful data points for us to evaluate as we continue to figure out how to use the internet in the non-profit sector.

My Question to You

Taking into account the post from Godin in 2008, his recent interview and the semi-troublesome statistics above … How can we continue to innovate in 2011? How can we continue to push the limits of the internet, social media, online fundraising, email communication, etc?

Or maybe a better way to think about the situation is to surface the things that have worked? The ways non-profits have innovated in the past two years?