Lesson from Obama '08
The fundraising and awareness juggernaut that propelled Barack Obama to the presidency is chock full of fundraising tips for nonprofits, especially in the area of e- and mobile efforts. Here are two of the biggies.
1. Collect e-mail addresses.
Obama’s e-mail list contains more than 13 million of ‘em!. Keep in touch with these people proactively. Don’t just let them sit idle in a dark, lonely database somewhere.
2. Collect cell phone numbers too.
A million people signed up for Obama’s text alerts. If you’ve got passionate constituents, tasty pieces of breaking news can be effectively delivered to supporters’ cell phones. You can leverage these numbers to activate your grassroots efforts — maybe even with mobile phone fundraising (called “text to give”). The Obama campaign even had a handy iPhone application so supporters could be connected to a call center to make a donation at the push of a button.
Sarah Durham is president of Big Duck, a New York City-based branding, marketing and fundraising firm for nonprofits. She serves on the boards of the National Brain Tumor Society and the New York Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).