The standard nonprofit process of building a digital strategy — or a standalone campaign — can often be a shot in the dark. Organizations spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on a theory that users will click or donate or share or engage, and success is by no means guaranteed. To borrow a phrase, the accepted model is “build it and they’ll come.”
We suggest that a better model, following lean thinking principles, is to prototype and test relentlessly. Organizations will have more success with an iterative approach, deploying new components as we validate that they will yield the results we’re after.
The roots of lean thinking are decades old, but the simple philosophy is as applicable today as ever. Lean manufacturing, first pioneered by Toyota manufacturing in the mid-20th century, aims to focus a nimble supply chain around real (rather than estimated) customer demand.
Nonprofit organizations don’t always love to admit it, but we’re selling products, too. Ries defines a product as “anything a customer experiences from their interaction with a company.” By that definition, each advocacy campaign you launch, each membership package you sell, and each social service you offer is a product. And anyone who seeks innovation with those products, even in large organizations, is an entrepreneur.
When you decide to launch a new digital campaign, or add a feature to your website or app, we suggest that you approach it with the framework of the lean startup.
Click here to visit frogloop’s website and learn about the steps to a successful lean campaign!