HFL and Technology: Expanding Communications and Efficiencies
Authored by: David Contorer
At the recent International Association of Hebrew Free Loans (IAJFL) conference in Atlanta, some great technology ideas were shared, and Detroit’s HFL is putting these into action:
• Videos posted on HFL’s website, social media sites and through our Jewish Federation’s e-newsletter and Facebook page, narrating the testimonials and life-changing outcomes of successful loan borrowers.
• ONLINE, interest-free, college/ graduate school loan applications that allow the student and family to provide ongoing data (saved and secured by password log-in), including tax return info and academic transcripts. Then, personal interviews at HFL follow to help the student AND the whole family to address other potential issues (including our referrals to our agencies that can help).
• E-newsletters with brief statistics, blog links and loan success stories/ videos
• Using Facebook and Twitter to send INTERACTIVE information with Q & A and outreach to our Jewish community members. Responsive and interactive social media is so much more effective than static, one-way postings of information.
• Co-branding on different agency’s web sites (like summer camps that have a link to HFL’s web page with our logo visible, to let families know that our interest-free dollars can help send their kids to camp).
Communicating with all of HFL’s stakeholders in the most compelling and interactive ways is critical. HFL’s “My Story” ads in the Detroit Jewish News every two weeks are great for those who see them, but a growing part of our world no longer reads PAPER!
We have limited time and space to “make our case,” so diverse marketing and communications ‘touches’ through many forms of media and technology can make a huge positive difference.
The efficiencies that technology can provide for our loan borrowers (and for prospective borrowers and donors) allow HFL to expand our mission to help others help themselves.