Embed E-Giving Into Your Organization
May 9, 2006
By Abny Santicola, editor, FS Advisor
The first step to a successful online fundraising strategy is to make e-giving a part of your organization's everyday vernacular, says Ronald Pruitt, president and founder of OpenConsult Inc., a Kennesaw, Ga.-based e-business products and services provider.
"Throughout the organization, whether it's from that front-desk secretary that answers the phone to the CEO to the board of directors, everyone kind of has it on the tip of their tongue that you can go to the Web site and not only learn all about [the organization] but you can also make a donation," he says.
Make your Web address visible on all communications and at every touch point, along with an ask. Something as simple as adding a Web link and tag line asking for donations at the bottom of all e-mails sent by anyone in the organization is one strategy.
Commit to telling donors and the community that online giving is the most efficient, cost-effective way to give to the organization. "When someone makes a donation online, it really does cost less than if they make a phone call to the organization or if they mail in a check, just in terms of the manpower that it takes to process the donation, the speed at which the money is going to get into your [organization's] account, and, across the board, the technology costs are so little now ...," Pruitt adds.
By focusing on online giving, your organization will reach out to new types of donors, particularly donors that are cost aware and more likely to give to an organization online because they see that the organization is going to use their money efficiently, with less going to administrative costs and more going to programs the donor cares about.
An effective Web site that sells your organization's message and brands it in a positive light also is important. You can spend all the time and energy you want getting people to your site, but if you don't have a site that's easy to use and attracts visitors to make a donation, your online fundraising efforts will flop.