Net Gain: ‘Major’ in Online Relationships
Identification: finding the prospects with the propensity and capacity to make a major gift.
Example: A local artist was identified through prospect screening — she owns a highly successful gallery, is a long-time donor to the annual fund and regularly attends openings at the museum.
Qualification: gaining a deeper knowledge of the needs and interests of prospects.
Example: The prospect’s Web activity indicated that she spent the majority of her time viewing the educational programs pages.
Cultivation: strengthening the prospects’ sense of connection and involvement.
Example: When the prospect visited the Web site, news and links from the educational-services department were displayed on a personalized Web page, and customized e-mails were sent to her listing upcoming classes and workshops.
Solicitation: developing a “shared” vision of the gift and making the ask.
Example: The museum adjusted its solicitation strategy to focus on educational programs, rather than exhibitions, and currently is discussing the establishment of an endowment.
Stewardship: saying “thank you” and demonstrating return on investment.
Example: Once the gift is secured, the museum can extend special benefits and customize the patron’s home page to show how the funds and assets are being used.
By communicating on a personal level on the Web, organizations can build long-term, meaningful relationships that, over time, may lead to major gifts. A personalized Web site enriches visitors’ experiences and can increase the frequency and the duration of their visits.
If you’re thinking about making some changes to your Web site to better serve your major donors and prospects, here are some techniques to get you started:
Online registration/member sign-in. Having Web visitors log in does much more than just welcome them by name — it allows your organization to collect invaluable information on prospect interests and online activity, which then can be used to provide personalized content and targeted features.