D.C. Nonprofit Conference Roundup: How to Effectively Engage Donors Online
Donahue said that Tiller's murder is a story arc that NARAL continued throughout the year, “which is important because people who come in during a tragedy often don't stay.” She also noted that in this situation, it was important to get back to donors as quickly as possible for second gifts using the same language they initially responded to.
Vinnie Wishrad, vice president, community and membership, The Jane Goodall Insitute, presented a case study on his organization's online activities, noting that the institute has a limited online budget. The organization has found success honoring milestones and events that are of importance to its constituency.
For example, when Gregoire, the oldest-known chimpanzee living in Africa, died in December 2008, JGI responded with an online condolence card, which produced about 11,000 signatures and 7,000 new e-mail subscribers for the organization. Additionally, those who signed the card then were delivered to a donation page with a soft ask, which generated approximately $70,000 for a fund JGI created to honor Gregoire.
Similarly, an online birthday card to honor Jane Goodall's 75th birthday generated about 15,000 signatures, 11,000 new e-mail subscribers and $65,000 in revenue over a six-week period.
JGI also has found success on Twitter (@JaneGoodallInst) after a staff member interested in engaging on the site volunteered to post daily on the organization's behalf.
“Get one person motivated to do it,” Wishrad said, noting that JGI devotes about a half hour each day to the site. Its Twitter site currently has more than 5,000 followers and capitalizes on its strong catalog of images with a “Chimp Photo of the Week” posting each Monday, which has proven popular, he said.