2014 Washington Nonprofit Conference: Digital Fundraising 101
It's often the punch line of jokes, the way the D.C. area handles snow — and it's true that sometimes even the mere threat of snow is enough to cause much of the region to shut down. But when snowstorm "Pax" hit the area the night before the DMA Nonprofit Federation's Washington Nonprofit Conference, event planners decided the show would go on. And let me tell you something you may already know: Fundraisers are hardy souls! Our breakout session, "Digital Fundraising 101," took place early the next morning, and not only was the room mostly full … it was full of folks who were engaged and ready to take in everything the conference had to offer.
Presented by Mikaela King, vice president of integrated marketing at Defenders of Wildlife; Sean Powell, director of The Engage Group; and me, Heather Marsh, director of digital marketing at ABD Direct, it was designed to be an everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-ever-changing-world-of-digital session — specifically covering best practices for email, websites, online acquisition, social media, testing, integration, retargeting, responsive design and mobile optimization.
That said, I bet you might be wondering: Can an entire channel of fundraising be covered in an hour? No. OK, well, maybe, but not in the depth we had planned, and certainly not with an audience full of great questions, comments and experiences to share. (And, so, we'd like to apologize to the attendees for our inability to get through all of our planned content!)
The session kicked off with our tl;dr (too long; didn't read) summary of digital fundraising basics: The only things that matter are your website, your email list and your messaging.
Make your website work for you by having a sign-up ask on every page. Instead of using basic "Sign up for our eNewsletter" language, focus on copy that provides a compelling reason for the user to participate.