When my wife and I moved to a smaller home last year, I was faced with the daunting task of reviewing a batch of papers that I had accumulated over the years, many which were articles clipped from magazines or printouts of web postings that relate to online fundraising and marketing. To my surprise, some of these articles are still very much relevant. A sampling is below:
Multi-Channel Fundraising: Tips of the Trade (2007) – David Lawson, then with Kintera (now part of Blackbaud) and now with DonorTrends, offered seven tips in how nonprofits can establish a multi-channel fundraising initiative:
- ask constituents their preferences on how they prefer to be contacted and what they want to be contacted about
- use web analytics to learn what constituents are most interested in and which channels are most utilized
- add communication preferences as another way to segment the database
- set up a social networking page (Most of us have done this by now but still struggling to prove its value)
- create cross-functional campaign integration teams so that multiple departments within an organization are accustomed to working together
- enable incoming multiple-channel communications – give constituents multiple ways to respond – e.g. phone, email, web site etc.
- maintain consistent messaging so that ‘overall message the image the organization would like to convey remains consistent across channels.’
Tips to Energize Your Donor Newsletter (2009) – This article from FundRaising Success Magazine details what many nonprofit enewsletters do wrong:
- focusing too much on organization and not enough on what donors care about, e.g. how did my contributions make a difference?
- not using the word ‘you’ to further focus on the constituent
- lacking emotional triggers
- not making donors feel that they are essential to how you achieve your mission
- including long articles instead of short paragraphs, bulleted lists
- using statistics instead of anecdotes
- lacking a strong headline that will encourage a constituent to read the content
Also provided were 15 ideas on what content to include in a enewsletter (many nonprofits still wait until the last minute and struggle with what to write about).
Accentuate the Positive: How to Bridge the Divide between Fundraising and Marketing Efforts (2007) (only accessible online if you are an AFP member) – As I’ve often suggested, Network for Good‘s CEO Bill Strathmann describes the roles of marketing and fundraising are “complementary,” explaining how in many nonprofits, marketing is fundraising since it exists primarily to encourage support of the organization. Jo Sullivan, now with CDR Fundraising Group, previously managed both functions at ASPCA and described how she successfully build a strong organization brand.
(On the same topic, see Nancy Schwartz’s 2008 post on how to Make Your Communications Planning a Team Effort.)
In an effort to be more ‘green’ – and to avoid the problem of clipping articles that I won’t easily find again – I eventually switched to saving articles on my computer and then to referencing in my blog and social networking sites such as Twitter. This is much more satisfying since not only do I reinforce my personal brand in ephilanthropy, but am also able to share interesting information with my nonprofit colleagues.
Implementing the recommendations above is difficult because it may require us to restructure our organizations and change how we think about developing and implementing online campaigns. Have you been able to do this at your nonprofit?