In addition to spending many hours online, I still do read books. Recently I finished Wendy Smith’s Give a Little – How Small Donations Are Changing the World. If you ever think that only large contributions make a difference, this book will change your mind, showing how small gifts make up the bulk of many nonprofits’ revenues. In addition, I was introduced to many wonderful nonprofits that I wasn’t already familiar with – a complete list is available here. My favorite quote – “giving changes you as well as the world.”
Your small gift can also help these very worthwhile causes:
Idealist is asking for help so it can continue to be a resource for the nonprofit community
If you missed the recent PBS Frontline presentation of Digital Nation, you can watch it (and comment) online. It is very thought provoking, and may provide a reminder that multitasking is not always the best way to get things done. Also see this report from Pew Internet on Social Media and Young Adults.
Depending on how you interpret the 2009 statistics, online giving is the greatest thing since sliced bread or is over-hyped and still represents a small piece of overall donations. Today’s Agitator.net post challenges us to think beyond the numbers. Some major points:
Are new online donors simply moving over from other channels, or are they really ‘new’?
What’s getting in the way of some nonprofits that are not seeing increases in online giving?
If your organization has experienced a jump in online donations, do you understand why?
Are you taking advantage of integrated strategies to coordinate your online and offline appeals?
Can new online donors be ultimately upgraded to higher levels of engagement – as you would normally want for offline supporters?
If some donors are contributing because their friends or family asked, can you expect them to have a relationship with your nonprofit directly to encourage future support?
Are you doing enough testing of online messaging, as carefully as you would do for offline?
Online fundraising isn’t a magic bullet, as those who simply add a donation button to their web site without any further effort soon learn. Similarly, if you send out regular email marketing messages but don’t analyze who’s opening and actually reading them (and who unsubscribe), you’re missing the boat. Regardless of your 2009 online numbers, you can probably do better in 2010 by taking the time to answer some of these questions.