From Buttons to Blogs
“We have [individual] donors and businesses in the community that want to express their commitment to the school district but really haven’t found a unique way to do so,” says Christie Love, executive director of the Lawrence Township School Foundation, whose husband, Jay, is CEO of eTapestry and the driving force behind WishList. “Now they’re picking items out on a monthly basis to support our classrooms.”
According to Christie, the foundation has witnessed teachers increasingly asking for funding of “basic supplies” rather than grants for special programming. WishList requests have ranged from high-ticket items such as a greenhouse, gymnasium air-conditioning and digital cameras, to everyday items such as Post-it notes and plastic bags. One mother recently ordered her daughter’s classroom five magnifying glasses in honor of the teacher’s birthday.
WishList is integrated into eTapestry’s fundraising database, allowing donor data to be stored and employed for future personalized e-mails.
“Since WishList launched, we have found some of our other nonprofit [clients] using the same techniques,” notes Jay Love. “A food bank will allow donors to go online and purchase a fictitious meal with actual food items. It makes donors feel connected without getting into the aspects of having a stocked inventory.”
A PACKAGE DEAL
Animal-welfare organization reorganizes content, streamlines messaging and gives donors what they want — all to establish a no-nonsense Web presence.
When the International Fund for Animal Welfare set out to retool and redesign its Web site, IFAW.org, it focused on four objectives: educate and sensitize the world about animal welfare, expand IFAW’s supporter base by reaching new demographics, provide a powerful advocacy tool, and collect donations worldwide.
And like many nonprofit sites of its kind, IFAW.org initially lacked the functionality, rich content and user-friendliness needed to adequately support the organization’s mission.
“One of the things that we identified when we moved from the old site onto this new platform was segmentation, and really gathering peoples’ interests and being able to package that information and get it back to them,” says Cassandra Koenen, deputy director of online campaigns and marketing for IFAW, which leveraged Kintera’s content-management system software to revamp the Web site. “It takes a lot of work to make sure there’s always something new and fresh on the homepage, that the features are changing on a regular basis, and that we’re bringing people into an online community.”