The Do's and Don'ts of Online Fundraising and Communications
2. Transparency. Provide a glimpse into how the organization is funded, who runs it, where it’s headed, where the money is going, what the strategy is — “almost the way you’d give this information to a member of a board on a nonprofit,” Goff said. Use Twitter and/or e-mail to break news so your supporters feel like valued members. You don’t want them to feel like targets of public relations. A great example of this was U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney sending out an e-mail sharing that he had just voted and he hopes "you will too."
3. Participation. Lower the barriers to entry, and give people something to do, Goff said. For example, allow them to create events, watch video, tweet something, etc.
“Continue to think creatively about ways to get people involved and participating as the landscape changes,” he said.
Do’s and Don’ts
“How can we take the Barack Obama phenomenon and make that work for most people?” Rosenkranz asked. “It’s not going to work on the same level for most people. You’re not going to have the budget or persona or the name recognition. What can we take from what we learned there?”
She said the most successful strategy is when you’re able to bring in more grassroots supporters. How do you do that online? Here are some do’s and don’ts.
Do: Have good subject lines. Use one-word subject lines, short, mysterious, vague words — negative words sometimes work best, i.e., absurd, outrageous, despicable. “Don’t give away what you’re doing,” Rosenkranz said.
Don’t: Use the following …
- Contribute before midnight tonight
- Critical fundraising deadline
- Double your donation
- Last chance to give
“No one really wants to do anything that’s difficult or hard. Saying donate now or last chance to donate is a bad idea … you just gave away the joke,” Rosenkranz said. “And there’s never a last chance to give money.”
Do: Write from one person to one person. “When it’s asking them to do anything, people will be more likely to do it when it’s personal,” Rosenkranz said.