Power Shift: Succeeding Online in a Donor Centric World
But not all donors want the same thing. Organizations need different offerings for:
- Relationship seekers — People most likely to respond to opportunities to connect emotionally with your organization online.
- All business donors — Not looking for relationships or emotional connections.
- Casual connectors — In between the aforementioned two in terms of attitudes and preferences.
Bhagat pointed to the following seven key success factors:
1. Maximize your Web presence.
Make sure you have a Web presence that really speaks to donors and includes compelling content; storytelling via video; multiple tools to engage (drive e-mail capture); one core feature element and multiple secondary features; reader-oriented tabs; and all content above the fold. He also recommended that organization Web design be respectful of typical readers' Web-browsing habits by keeping content brief and offering a user-friendly design.
2. Rethink your e-mail communications.
Be "donor-centered" by writing content that is of interest and value to the donor. Don't be a slave to your schedule; if you don't have something compelling to communicate, skip sending the e-mail. Pay attention to engagement metrics, e.g., open rates, clickthrough rates. All of these things, along with segmentation and personalization, will lead to more effective e-mail communications and stronger constituent engagement.
3. Make giving opportunities tangible.
For example, Bhagat described the "Fill America's Fridge" campaign in which Feeding America sent e-mail appeals with a specially designed landing page that showed a virtual refrigerator that filled up based on the size of a donor's gift and indicated how many meals the donation would provide.
4. Run integrated, multistep appeals.
"Multiseries campaigns don't have to be fancy," Bhagat said. "If you don't have time to create different messages, simply resend the original e-mail." Just add "Reminder" or some other indicator to the beginning of the subject line, e.g., the subject "Please Renew Your WWF Membership" in the first e-mail can be changed to "Reminder: Renew Your WWF Membership." Integrate appeals across channels, incorporating the images used in direct-mail campaigns into e-mails and coordinating the timing of on- and offline appeals.