Well, we’ve got webinar No. 1 under our belts. I was a nervous wreck, even though my part was very small and, by virtue of the nature of webinars, I didn’t actually have to face anyone as I did it. Nope … it was just me, my hard candy and my stress ball, listening as Robin Riggs, Willis Turner, Steve Maggio and Kimberly Seville educated and entertained our audience.
Thanks to the hand-holding of webinar coordinator Alexis Luciano, it turned out to be a heck of a lot of fun and, I believe, quite useful for the attendees. It took place on a Thursday afternoon, so I doubt anyone “attended” in their PJs or bunny slippers or underwear, but I like that they could have. (If you did, no need to tell me about it, thanks.)
The vibe was cool, like friends discussing strategy around a pitcher of margaritas. So, we’re going to do it again. There are three more webinars planned through the end of the year.
“Plug Into E-fundraising” (Oct. 30) will feature Dick McPherson of McPherson Associates and Convio’s Vinay Bhagat exploring the many facets of e-philanthropy and offering tips on mastering them. “Fundraising 2.0” (Nov. 19) will see Care2’s Clint O’Brien and Merkle/Domain’s Jeff Brooks (along with another yet-to-be-determined speaker) take on advanced Internet strategies, including blogging and engaging donors/converting advocates to donors online. And speakers for “In-your-face Fundraising” (Dec. 15) will take you to the phones, to the streets and to the cutting edge with some nontraditional strategies.
Then, in 2008, we hope to roll out a whole new series of webinars, and I’d really like to hear some of your ideas for potential topics. Our first was on direct mail. Do you want more of that? Or are you aching for more on plugged-in fundraising? Maybe you’d prefer to see a particular arm of the sector — planned giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, etc. — examined in light of a spectrum of strategies. For example, is it possible to use direct mail and the Internet to court estate gifts or nurture major-gifts relationships? Or maybe, how do you plot a multitiered approach — direct mail followed by a phone call and then rounded out with an e-mail, for example — to an annual campaign? Or maybe you’d like a series of in-depth sessions on specific missions?