From Buttons to Blogs
D’Arbeloff and the foundation have partnered with Waltham, Mass.-based e-mail marketing service Constant Contact, which recently surveyed 500 nonprofits, associations and member organizations about the responsiveness of their e-mail campaigns. Fifty-one percent of survey respondents reported higher open rates and click-through rates, and of the nonprofit organizations and associations leveraging e-mail, 81 percent use it for membership newsletters, 73 percent employ event invitations, and 43 percent send membership-meeting announcements.
“The majority of our e-mail communication is newsletter and event-promotion focused,” d’Arbeloff says. “It’s not really direct mail, at least the way I think of it. It’s not, ‘here’s our situation, please click here and make a donation.’ At least in the near future, I don’t see the foundation going in that direction.’”
What’s more, as with most nonprofit organizations, the foundation’s board members are significant individual contributors to programs as well as its public voice, and having e-mail to fundraise and communicate with them has been critical, d’Arbeloff says.
For example, early in 2003, the foundation was closely monitoring proposed legislation that would affect its government funding. Using Constant Contact’s e-mail template, d’Arbeloff informed the board immediately when a piece of legislation was passed or vetoed, explaining what it meant for the budget.
A VIRTUAL ART HOUSE
Art buyers don’t like long lines. That’s why PONCHO (Patrons of Northwest Civic, Cultural and Charitable Organizations), an organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life through charitable support for the arts, shifted its efforts online.
The first order of business was to reduce the lengthy lines at the close of each art auction, where patrons often would leave without paying for, or even picking up, their items. The organization partnered with Auctionpay to establish an online pre-registration process for donors, as well as a payment-processing function at the actual events.