Five Lethal Online Fundraising Mistakes
Are your e-philanthropy efforts not working as well as your peers’ but you don’t know why? The problem could be something your organization is, or is not, doing.
In the post, “Five Things That Are Killing Your Online Fundraising” on the Donor Power Blog on April 17, Jeff Brooks listed five things that might negatively impact an organization’s online fundraising and issued some advice to help remedy the problems:
1. You aren’t fundraising online. It’s a no-brainer that if you aren’t fundraising online, you’re leaving money on the table these days. Brooks said some organizations still seem stunted when it comes to advancing online fundraising efforts. These organizations should beware, as online fundraising is growing and more donors are getting comfortable giving online.
“These people aren’t going to sit around, waiting for you to figure it out. Start now,” Brooks advised. “Be there when your donors arrive, wanting to give online.”
2. Geeks are in charge of your online fundraising. Don’t leave your fundraising efforts in the hands of IT professionals who are, no doubt, smart individuals, but don’t understand fundraising.
“If you want to raise funds online, put it in the charge of fundraisers,” Brooks said. “Let the geeks excel in their own areas of expertise.”
3. You aren’t testing. Online fundraising is unknown territory, in a lot of ways. There’s much to be learned about how to motivate donors and build relationships online. Testing is the way you learn — and it’s inexpensive and easy. If you aren’t testing, you aren’t learning, Brooks wrote. Test subject lines, copy and design approaches, links and landing pages constantly.
4. You’re neglecting the details -- details like donation pages that are unrelated to the materials that lead to them (whether it be a Web page or e-mail); the “sender” isn’t the name of a real person representing the organization, but is, instead, a “massive snarl of techno-garble”; the subject line is too long to be readable in a donor’s inbox; and gifts aren’t acknowledged online.
Marketing is marketing, whether it’s through direct mail or the Web. The mediums are different but, as Brooks wrote, “If you have the wherewithal to send out direct mail, you have what it takes to get online marketing right. It’s just a different set of requirements.”
5. You’re afraid of your donors. Don’t be afraid that you’ll make donors mad if you ask them to give online. Donors donate. That’s why they’re on your donor list.
“They are not going to rise up against you and do something terrible if you ask,” Brooks wrote. “So go ahead and ask. Online. You’ll survive.”
For more of Jeff’s insights, visit www.donorpowerblog.com