The Do's and Don'ts of Online Fundraising and Communications
Between President Barack Obama’s successful 2008 online campaign and the myriad tactics candidates employed this fall, the political sphere has provided many lessons in regard to online fundraising and communications.
During the Care2 webinar “Lessons From Campaign 2010: Innovations in Online Fundraising and Organizing From the Mid-term Elections,” Teddy Goff, associate vice president of strategy at Blue State Digital, and Taryn Rosenkranz, director of marketing and new media for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, discussed three underlying principles of the Obama campaign, and the do’s and don’ts of online fundraising gleaned from 2010.
“The most important thing to keep in mind is the audience and particularly the way the audience has changed,” Goff said.
Supporters and donors have increasingly moved to the digital world when it comes to getting news, gathering information and even donating. And the digital world “gives the opportunity to talk to supporters in a way that activates and unlocks even more passionate support and turns these people into evangelists,” he explained.
It’s important to think about building a long-term program, not a quick money grab. “Success online isn’t about gimmickry,” Goff said. “The goal is to build sustained loyalty and sustained brand equity.”
Three principles behind the 2008 Obama campaign did just that.
1. Authenticity. In 2008, that meant showing the faces behind the organization. In one particular e-mail, Voices for Change, the word Obama didn't even appear. Instead it featured a photo of one of the staffers with her child, lowering the barrier to entry and putting a human face to the cause. Another good example was an e-mail sent by U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s daughter, which kept Franken’s tone and again put a face to the issue.
Goff cautioned about delving too deeply into “checking and noticing that you haven’t yet donated,” etc., because it can feel unauthentic. You don’t want to lose credibility with your supporters.