Celebrating the Art of Empowerment
Here, FundRaising Success talks with Paynter about best practices that nonprofit organizations can learn from Care2's tremendous growth.
FundRaising Success: Care2 has helped raise so much money for so many causes. Are there any best practices that nonprofit organizations themselves can glean from Care2 in regard to fundraising?
Randy Paynter: The first thing would be the value of e-mail. We hear a lot of talk about social media, and there seems to be a belief that e-mail is becoming less important, or at least not so important, in terms of acquisition and engagement. That couldn't be further from the truth.
Second would be the importance of simple actions. Always focus on making it as easy as possible for people to take action and be part of the solution and feel good about that. Care2's 20 million members appreciate the opportunity to take action — especially when they are shown appreciation in return for taking that action.
Third, the importance of ongoing education. We have a lot of content on our site aimed at keeping our members informed and educated on the various causes they support. So when they take an action, they're not doing it blindly, but they actually have been informed about the issues and continue to be educated.
The ongoing education keeps them involved and also makes it easier for them to spread awareness of the issue.
For Care2, that increases the loyalty of the people on our site, which in turn creates more valuable donors for our clients.
FS: How important do you feel it is for nonprofits to engage supporters as advocates and as fundraisers rather than as just donors?
RP: It is absolutely critical to success. We love it if a client [organization] doesn't initially go out with an appeal straight out asking for money when someone takes action [through a Care2 petition, etc.]. It's better to really focus on developing a relationship with that individual, so that it's not just a transaction but a lifetime relationship.