Tech Talk: Top of Mind — and Browser
Nonprofit organizations can create customized, multi-lingual community toolbars that supporters can download to their browsers to increase campaign awareness, encourage community participation and drive fundraising.
Toolbars — offered and hosted free of charge by marketing platform Conduit — can include features such as one-click donation buttons, RSS-driven action alerts, news tickers, weather updates, links to community chat rooms and podcasts, and e-mail alerts. Toolbar Web searches are powered by Google and, according to Rena Jadhav, chief marketing officer for Conduit, 50 percent of the revenue Conduit generates through searches goes to the nonprofit.
As of this writing, 125,000 Conduit toolbars have been created by for-profit and nonprofit groups, and they’ve been downloaded by 5 million people in 112 countries. Greenpeace and the International Fund for Animal Welfare are among the nonprofits with toolbars.
Michael Mahoney, creative strategist for online campaigns and marketing for IFAW, says the toolbar gives the organization one more way to connect with its core activists. And it also helps them take action immediately.
IFAW’s toolbar includes a news ticker that’s automatically updated, for instance, when a news story is posted on the organization’s home page, or when posts are made to IFAW’s recently launched Animal Rescue Blog. Other features on its toolbar: a donation button, a tell-a-friend button, a search tool that allows users to search Google or limit the search to IFAW’s Web site, and buttons for Animal Rescue, Take Action and News with drop-down menus listing links to landing pages on IFAW’s site.
On the back end, the toolbars feature a reporting tool that enables organizations to track, by day, the number of toolbar downloads and active users it had, as well as how many searches were done via the toolbar. Jadhav says toolbars typically generate two additional visits to an organization’s site per user, per day.
“The hardest part in what we do is getting people to know when something changes or something happened in the news that we want people to respond to quickly,” Mahoney says.
IFAW recently completed a series of cultivation tests on new supporters acquired through newsletter action alerts or Web site actions and found that the more it engaged them before asking for a donation, the higher the donation. The toolbar is one more way to engage supporters without an overt ask, and one more feature that lets supporters feel like they’re getting a value-add — something Mahoney says makes activists more likely to donate. It’s also a great way to brand the organization and keep it top of mind, he adds.
Jadhav says Con-duit’s toolbars are ideal for small or medium-sized nonprofits, and resource-constrained organizations. Setting up a toolbar, she adds, takes minimal technical know-how.
“Conduit’s community toolbar enables a nonprofit to persistently connect, communicate and engage with their user community or their activist community via the browser,” Jadhav says. “By creating a community toolbar, you basically put your nonprofit activism, the best of your content, your podcasts, your breaking news, your campaigns on your loyal community member’s desktop for unprecedented face time.”
For more information, visit www.conduit.com.