Turning Fundraising on Its Head
It also needed to get its e-mail marketing efforts off the ground to increase both its e-mail database and its monthly e-newsletters subscribers. To coincide with that, Hope began focusing on social media as well — particularly Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — to gain a larger following online.
At the same time, Brown sat down with Direct-Response Director Lynn Storey to work on an integrated strategy. They wanted to ensure that Hope had the same messaging and branding online as it did in the mail in order to keep things consistent. That way, no matter how someone came in contact with the Hope Institute, he or she would get the same message.
Ultimately, the goal was to drive everyone to the new website, where constituents could learn more about the organization, get more involved and donate — ideally on a daily basis.
"I want, ultimately, everyone going to our website every day," Brown says. "It's not going to happen, because obviously I can't expect people to check our website every day. But that's the mentality I have because we know the longer they stay on our website, the more familiar with us they become and the more of a relationship we can build with them."
The backbone of any online strategy is the website, so Brown knew his first task was to get Hope's homepage up to date. The old site wasn't very dynamic, with clunky links and little in the way of engagement. So Brown wiped the website clean and transformed it into a more marketing-driven site with dynamic content, directive links, a Donate Now button and a design that encourages navigation.
Now the first thing you see when you go to TheHopeInstitute.us is a scrolling image of one of the organization's "stories of hope," detailing the stories of children the institute serves. Right away, it brings visitors in with the emotional images and prompts to "click on the story of hope." Immediately to the right of that are four sections visitors can click on: "Stories of Hope," "Donate Now," "Find Support" and "Special Events."