Convio Report: Four Trends You Must Know
In its whitepaper "How Do You Measure Up?," Convio shares four online trends every fundraiser should know to make the most of his or her organization's online presence and to stay engaged and foster relationships with constituents.
The trends, along with tips for how to capitalize on them, are:
1. Online fundraising continues to generate positive growth year over year while direct-mail results continue to decline. The key to success with online fundraising is growing your e-mail file and Web site traffic and giving constituents reasons to engage and take action.
Ways to grow your e-mail file and online traffic suggested in the whitepaper are:
- Gather e-mail addresses offline through renewal appeals, membership drives, event invitations and at events where you interact with a large number of constituents. Promote the benefits of e-mail communication when asking constituents for e-mail addresses, namely that communications are more timely and will save your organization money and administrative work, allowing you to better serve your mission.
- Gather e-mail addresses online, via your Web site.
- Harness Web site traffic by constantly featuring new content, helpful reports, special campaigns and appeals.
- Include your URL wherever you list phone numbers, mailing addresses and other contact information (in brochures, ads, staff e-mail signatures, voice messages, phone hold or intro messages, and business cards).
- Feature specific calls to action only available online.
- Put online-generated content into offline communications (publish poll and survey results or choose reader responses or quotes to feature in a newsletter or direct-mail package).
- Use story continuations to drive cross-over traffic.
- Encourage Web visitors to register at your site when they arrive.
- Run a welcome series for new Web site registrants to get them to convert to donors within the first 45 to 60 days.
2. Nonprofit online revenue grew during the fourth quarter of 2008, despite economic challenges.
To continue growing revenue despite the floundering economy, Convio suggests continuing to reach out to donors, show your appreciation for them and communicate their value to your organization.
- Coordinate outreach efforts. Use a constituent relationship management system to integrate each point of contact with constituents into a coordinated effort.
- Offer alternatives to monetary gifts, such as volunteering, advocacy, donating supplies or forwarding your communications on to their family and friends.
- Show your appreciation. Send handwritten notes, make thank-you calls, send personalized communications to select donors, and/or add a members-only section to your Web site that offers previews of upcoming content or reports. The paper also suggests offering major donors VIP status for events and inviting them to conference calls with your organization's leadership.
- Give constituents a voice through online surveys, polls and petitions.
3. Nonprofits received a larger number of gifts in the fourth quarter of 2008, which increased online fundraising revenue. Adding new donors and increasing giving frequency is key to offsetting lower gift amounts.