I was recently invited to Boston to give a talk at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Honor Societies about opportunities to engage members using the Internet.  My friends at The National Society of Collegiate Scholars invited me, and I’m very excited.

I love talking to groups of people who work in industries that are undergoing intense voluntary change.  Change is frequently unpleasant, and for that reason it’s generally avoided.  Once an organization or an industry realizes that changes are necessary, and embraces the changes, it means that the opportunities presenting themselves must be enormous.  And that’s an exciting time.  Right now, it’s a very exciting time to help people modernize their fundraising

We’ve all seen newspaper stories that talk about the disappointing results of online fundraising, but those stories are all about aggregate results. And we’re still at the stage of social media fundraising where lots and lots of people aren’t doing it well, which means aggregate results don’t tell the story.  The individual successes, like the way Charity: Water uses Twitter, or the way ActBlue uses fundraising pages, or even in the private sector when Dell sells $6.5 million in merchandise via Twitter — all of these successes show that there are tremendous opportunities to accomplish your goals using online tools, which makes it a very exciting time to be in this business.

I’m looking forward to speaking in Boston, and seeing what I learn from the audience

PS – Even though I stand by my statement that we’re still at the stage where aggregate numbers don’t tell the full story, the aggregate numbers are beginning to tell a positive story.  For example, in four days, more money was donated to help the Haiti via text message than was donated in all of 2009 by that medium.

Will Marlow co-founded AlumniFidelity to help his clients reposition their fundraising to benefit from Web 2.0 technology and marketing techniques. He’s working with clients such as UVA, the College of William & Mary, the University of Oklahoma, Bowling Green State University, Randolph Macon College, and he loves nothing better than a thorny marketing challenge.  Email him at will@alumnifidelity.com