Tips for Integrating Channels to Strengthen Your Overall Fundraising
Online and offline fundraising approaches each have their place in an organization’s program, but also can be used to complement one another.
A session at the AFP 44th International Conference on Fundraising in Dallas on Monday presented by Gene Austin, CEO of Convio, and Bobby Heard, associate executive director of the American College of Emergency Physicians, looked at ways organizations can use the Internet strategically to get more from their fundraising programs.
Some of the advantages of online marketing noted by the presenters include low cost to communicate, bidirectional communications, rapid deployment and feedback, and the potential to tell stories visually as well as through text. Online communications also are easy to personalize and easy for constituents to forward to others for a viral effect.
The key, noted presenters, is to merge online programs with other channels to create a multi-channel approach, as online fundraising often depends on offline channels, and online fundraising can enhance offline campaigns.
But how do you know what channel to use when?
The presenters recommended using direct mail, telephone and the television to elicit response and to acknowledge gifts. Face-to-face approaches are best for high-value donor cultivation and solicitation. And the Internet is best for list building/outreach, engagement and advocacy, emergency response, peer to peer solicitation, efficient processing, and to build loyalty/stewardship.
The presenters recommended attendees start doing the following things today to move towards channel integration:
1. Collect e-mail and postal addresses. E-mail addresses can be collected through direct mail, telemarketing, etc. And collect postal mail addresses from online visitors.
2. Cross-promote online/offline mediums. Drive radio, television and telemarketing responses to Web pages. Drive postal mail responses to customized landing pages or micro-sites.
3. View ROI in an integrated and holistic fashion. Don’t look at funds raised according to channel.
Gene Austin can be reached via www.convio.com
Bobby Heard can be reached via www.acep.org