Creating New Structures in the Digital Age: Why the Pro-Life Movement Must Create a Strong Online Presence
The pro-life movement must endure; its values and members are the salt of the earth.
To last and succeed, the pro-life movement should learn from Big Tech. Pro-life organizations currently utilize technology only to their level of comfort rather than their full potential. That needs to change. Here’s how…
All pro-life groups are at the mercy of ever-changing digital marketing and the evermore hostile Big Tech that happily hamper results. Sticking to the old ways of doing business will not improve the situation: local branding, operating as a stand-alone organization while disregarding the strengths of the rest of the vibrant movement, and adding services without expanding the customer base with new technology.
Relying on a nice website or store front with pleasing fonts and color palettes are not the future.
The future belongs to collaborative initiatives such as common marketing and scheduling, collaborating data, one unified messaging system, leveraging budgets, portal sites to promote all brands, and shared tools to increase results. To achieve these goals, the pro-life movement must begin utilizing economies of scale afforded by digital technology and eliminate the duplication of efforts.
Direct service and marketing organizations should think outside of their brand or bricks-and-mortar and more in terms of leveraging assets and resources digitally.
That means viewing the work not as a product but as a service platform. This conceptual change will permit more robust efficiency within the movement. Developing a true Digital Age ecosystem will make the movement capable of carrying more services and messages that impact more people and organizations. A common strategy that allows for diversity of approaches is a model that we should strive for together.
Working in unison has always been a challenge for the pro-life movement. Independent groups working in their own geographic or brand silo might possibly be a cause for the movement’s durability, but it certainly limits the impact of its efforts. If the basic goal of the movement is to serve more people with life-affirming assistance, then we should seek out strategic weaknesses like fearmongering about legal risk or viewing the struggle through one point on the map – one organization’s budget in one 15-mile radius is nothing compared to the cultural problem the pro-life movement faces. Today technology affords us the ability to harness diverse strategies with big impact while leveraging many budgets aimed at a common goal. We should take advantage of it. By doing so we could assist perhaps millions more people.
Finally, it is true in the nonprofit world that some organizations have more funding than program. That is, they can talk a good program but may lack the results to be more effective. These organizations are sometimes dubbed “a mile wide and an inch deep,” appearing large without achieving lasting results.
If an organization leader feels this dilemma and sees technology as a possible solution, this reality should open the door for merging organizations or at least seeking a deep collaboration. Adapting new technology and its management requires an influx of capital and resources. That capital could be generated by simply merging two similar nonprofits or programs which would allow for the blossoming of more results with the same donor funding. Technology makes this more possible now.
Mergers in the nonprofit world are not as common as in the for-profit arena given in part that the emotion of a nonprofit ministry can be more intense and the vision of the founder possibly overly constricting. The downside is that, if not done correctly, both organizations could suffer lasting harm. The upside is that donors would be energized with a new development and more people would be impacted by the pro-life movement.
Donors should take note. A strategic shift to technology integration is the future. No change takes place in the nonprofit world without visionary donors who possess a drive for efficiency. Pro-life leaders will take heed if you push for efficient results, innovating for the 21st century.
Fear and insecurity mute both our strength (respect for all life) and the delivery system (digital technology). We should not fear change but permit technology to enhance our impact. Our overall mission is bigger than one organization or a small geographic radius. We should seek creative expansion with the tools of the Digital Age.