The end of warm and fuzzy non-profit stories

Listened to Jason Saul speak on social innovation recently. Here are excerpts:
Nobody wants warm and fuzzy non-profit stories anymore. (We are all in the same boat!)
The days of selling “feel good,” and “warm and fuzzy,” are over for non-profits.  Corporations who traditionally supported them are asking” “What can we and people get back?” An emerging social capital market is seeking social outcomes that have real, tangible value. Businesses want business results from philanthropy and it is a fact.
Businesses want an economic benefit from philanthropy.
It is OK now to expect an economic benefit from a charitable donation, in simple terms.  Target “Impact buyers,” people who value outcomes and have the ability to pay for srevices. The big impact buyers include:
  1. Upstream consumers
  2. Social Investors
  3. Corporate Partners
  4. Beneficiaries
  5. Service Providers
It’s not about us, it’s about them.
Blackberry wanted an alliance with Free the Children. Sought out their 1 million plus database where Blackberry’s latest smart phone gadgets could get exposure and Free the Children received a benefit- a six million dollar gift. What is the value pricing we are offering? Let’s sell outcomes not programs and translate this into what people understand. 

Search and thou shalt find!

It was interesting listening to Vanessa Fox talk about search, the primary way to navigate the Web. Fox, an expert on this topic wants all of us to solve the searcher’s problem. This is not an easy task as we think differently, confuse ourselves online and sometimes get lost that we need to search ourselves!

We are all lazy, ogle the left side of the page and graphics attract us more than lumps of text. With this common data, why do we still design Web sites that don’t deliver? I think a lot of how we define search depends on the context. In short, we  try to have a semblance of objectivity in a totally subjective topic.

Fox urges us to find out what our audience is looking for and what attracts them to the site. She eloquently said that search is about simplicity and conciseness. Two things we forget amid screaming headlines and overpowering graphics. I personally think the absence of limited space on Web sites unleashes abundant creativity that at times gets confusing.

As we think of search, we may want to focus our efforts on finding out what I call the switch rate. How much times does the user use a particular search term and elect to use another if the earlier one fails. This world of search is mysterious and sometimes confusing but smart designers will think of the commonality that binds us as  human beings. So, let’s exploit our laziness using clever headlines, and keywords that get the maximum out of minimal effort, and keep searching.

Search and thou shalt find!