Synchronizing Online and Offline Fundraising for Better Results
Some of the best online fundraising campaigns have a strong offline component. Often when people "go digital," they believe they need to direct all of their efforts to the online world. We find this is not always the best way to maximize fundraising revenues.
Great fundraisers and campaigners recognize that individuals fall across a spectrum of preference. While one person’s attention may be best captured through social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, others are more effectively captivated through direct mail and telephone appeals. Picture a Venn diagram in your mind. In one circle are people who love to open their postal mail. In the other circle are people who couldn't go a day without Twitter. The overlap between the two circles may not be large, but it does exist.
Recall the line from the movie "Field of Dreams": "If you build it, they will come." Kevin Costner’s plan worked … they came! Fundraisers are not always so lucky. Given that we're now in 2010, my advice to you is don't spend a lot of money up front for a website. I've seen many fundraising teams spend a lot of money on a website and have nothing left over to market the website. Just because you spend a lot of money constructing a website does not mean that anyone is going to visit it. Don't make that mistake: Online publishing platforms such as WordPress are free and extremely powerful.
Just to make matters super-challenging, there has never been a more difficult time in history to attract someone's attention and get your message across in a cacophony of commercial messages. People are literally bombarded with a myriad of ads and pitches to get you to part with your hard-earned money. In order for anyone to pay attention to you, you have to stand out and be remarkable.