The Real Costs of E-philanthropy: There’s No Such Thing as a Free Donation
Even if you’ve had that platform for a while, plan with your existing staff members. Have them write standard operating procedures for everything they do, and then take the time to read each one and ask questions. Keep a directory of these SOPs, and update them regularly.
This goes hand in hand with training. Well, sort of. You have Jim. He’s brilliant at what he does with your Web site, but he still believes that message boards are going to overtake e-mail soon as the preferred method of donor communication.
Do not waste another minute! Sign him up for a Nonprofit Technology Network conference and a couple Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation conferences. Seriously … you must get these people out from behind the screen and get them networking with their peers. Who knows? It might create a little healthy competition both internally and externally.
But don’t stop there. Have them come back from the conferences and lead a development/marketing team meeting to share what they’ve learned.
Do whatever it takes to get your marketing team versed in the cost of bringing on a new donor. Ask what they need to get your site or blog ranking moved up 10 percent to 25 percent — then help them find the investment dollars to make it happen. It will return generously in your future development efforts.
Research and development
Finally, you should consider a cost for the hours you’ll spend learning and growing. The salesperson who has the latest and greatest Web plug-in/feature/tool that promises to revolutionize fundraising as we know it today will come knocking. You’re going to want to peek behind the curtain and see what he’s talking about, so factor in the cost of your time. Do it now by budgeting a few hours a month for R&D time for these new projects. And remember that your time is money!