Best Nonprofit Strategies for 2010 and a Look Back at 2009

Care2′s Frogloop surveyed some of our brightest stars to summarize the Best Nonprofit Strategies for 2010.   Network for Good’s  Katya Andresen and Blackbaud’s Steve MacLaughlin provide some early statistics on 2009 online giving.   Convio, which offers a a 2010 Resolutions Guide to help plan online initiatives, recently asked nonprofits what they most want to focus on in the New Year:

  1. Reconnect with donors by giving new options of engagement
  2. Increase fundraising for participant-led events
  3. Use social media to reach the next generation of supporters
  4. Improve multichannel engagement/integration
  5. Evaluate website’s effectiveness

Some of my thoughts:

  1. Despite the recession, online giving continued to be a strong fundraising source.  If you already accept online donations and regularly communicate with your constituents, congratulations.  But if you haven’t worked to optimize your forms and don’t analyze how well your email marketing is working, you’re probably leaving money on the table.
  2. Don’t obsess about the ‘best’ tools to use for online fundraising.  It’s more important that you select a vendor / product that will likely be around for awhile (ask colleagues at other nonprofits for recommendations) and that you consider how it will connect to your other systems.
  3. Social networking is not a fad.  Yes, it’s still better to make sure your web site, database and email marketing strategies are in place first, but don’t overlook tools such as Facebook and Twitter.  Remember that conversations about your cause and organization are going on all the time;  make sure you’re a part of them.
  4. Fundraising is everyone‘s responsibility, not just the development department.  Ideally, marketing/communication and fundraising/development strategies should be planned together since one supports the other.
  5. Still think that your constituents won’t respond to online fundraising initiatives?  Think again;  use all available channels and let your supporter decide which to use – direct mail recipients often choose to respond online.

Just getting started online?  Here’s a helpful online fundraising primer.