Fundraising Well — October 2011
October 2011

In the busy world of nonprofits, sometimes it’s difficult to know where to focus your time and efforts. Your seemingly endless list of projects can feel crushing, and the outcome of attending an industry conference or seminar — which is supposed to help — can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin.

In this month's issue of Fundraising Well, we boiled down the most practical and important tasks involved in getting your online fundraising and eMarketing on track quickly.

 


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The Top Five Things You Can Do Today to Get Your Online Fundraising and eMarketing on Track Quickly

As you’re reading through the top five tips for improving your online fundraising and eMarketing, remember, it’s important that your organization is prepared and willing to act on these in the near term. Organizations that have been successful in implementing these strategies typically have three things in order:

  1. The members of their leadership teams are engaged and supportive of the efforts and investment.
  2. They have personalized of the top five tips for their organizations.
  3. They have the needed infrastructure to support these efforts.

Integrated Fundraising

To make the most of multi-channel integration, get started with these five steps:

1. Identify and prioritize donors into clusters based on similar behavior. Start with the groups of donors who you communicate with regularly and from whom you ask for a donation. Assign a value to the cluster groups so you learn where to spend the appropriate amount of time and effort.

2. Have an interdepartmental marketing/communications meeting. It’s important to break down
the walls of silos. Bring everyone together to create an annual plan and clearly discuss and agree on
when and what types of communications are to be sent.

3. Develop the message platform. Define the actual message or theme you will use with different groups of supporters by creating it to fit targeted clusters. Your organization may want to create a message platform for your major donors, monthly donors, and/or lapsed donors as examples. Be consistent across channels. Your message should be consistent across the organization no matter what channel is used.

4. Create an annual schedule that includes a test plan. Determine what your organization wants to test such as: “do we want to find out if these donors will give us $5 more for a new program?” or “do we want to find out if these donors will enlist other people?” Think about the questions your organization wants answered from each of your key audience segments.

5. Watch and analyze the competition. Observe and track trends. Donors tend to give to affinity organizations. A donor who gives to one type of organization (i.e. Human rights, shelters, food banks) is likely to give to multiple organizations of the same type.

Effective eMarketing

Follow these five tips and tricks to get "clicks":

1. Audit one of your emails for strong content. Rely on the “four Ps” to build a strong message. Make sure your email describes your “product” in a compelling way — the promise of a warm, fuzzy feeling can be very motivating! Use “place” and “price” effectively so the reader knows exactly what you need and how to take action. And “promote” your mission effectively, so the reader understands what makes you unique and valuable!

2. Plan a single item to test in your next email. The subject line is easy and sometimes has dramatic results. Make an attempt to shorten it and pull keywords to the front of the line.

3. Check your emails in different browsers. At a minimum, your email needs to be tested in Internet Explorer®, Mozilla Firefox®, Safari®, and Google Chrome® before you hit “send” to ensure the majority of your readers are seeing what you intend for them to see.

4. Write (or rewrite) your “Welcome” email. If you’re not sending an acknowledgement to each person who subscribes to your eNewsletter, you’re missing a valuable marketing opportunity. Your “Welcome” letter should offer something interesting (e.g. a report, photos, or interview transcription) to keep the new subscriber thinking of you. It should also motivate a next action — you don’t have to make an overt request at this time, but why not suggest they forward your email to a friend?

5. Create a new segment to test in your next campaign. Now is the time to send a completely unique message to people who’ve given their email address but have never taken action. Don’t be afraid to be creative — you’ve got very little to lose with this group until they become supporters.

Like what you're reading? Read the full white paper to get more tips on social media, impactful peer-to-peer fundraising, and online fundraising.

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