Illuminating the Four Stages to Online Fundraising
* Be prepared to deal with responses.
Make sure the sender name is consistent and easily recognizable. Weiner advised that organizations shouldn't personalize the subject line but should mention the organization name in it.
"Don't overdo HTML or graphics," he said, and, in order to avoid getting caught in spam filters, organizations should test mailing spam-sensitive accounts and avoid spam "trigger words."
3) Solicitation. Some technical issues that surround online solicitation, according to Weiner, are:
Nonprofits can surmount these technical issues themselves by installing a secure server, designing a donations Web page, transmiting credit card information and entering data into a donor database manually, and issuing receipts manually via e-mail or the Postal Service, Weiner said. Or they can select from a variety of vendors ranging from basic service providers with no set-up or monthly fees but a fixed templated design (e.g., Network for Good) to "donation processors" that charge set-up and/or monthly fees but allow the organization to customize the design of the giving page (e.g., GroundSpring) to "integrated" vendors that charge a fee but often include a donor database, e-mail marketing options, event registration, team fundraiser options, etc. (e.g., GetActive).
4) Stewardship. There are four R's that serve as the key to online stewardship, according to Weiner. They are:
- Reciprocity: Giving thanks and recognition;
- Responsible use: Follow through with what your organization promised when you asked for support;
- Reporting: Follow-up, letting the donor know what happened as a result of her support; and
- Relationship nurturing: Weiner advised organizations to treat donors as partners in the programs they support.
Robert L. Weiner can be reached via http://www.rlweiner.com