Tips for Using the Web, E-mail and Social Networking to Net 'Wired Wealthy' Donors
He recommended organizations go through the following 10-point online check-up:
- Is your URL guessable?
- Do you publish your URL on every communication, both online and offline?
- Do you use Web site design strategically?
- Do you provide relevant content? (Marketing plus journalism)
- Do you tell your story through pictures, videos or podcasts?
- Can you collect e-mail addresses on your Web site?
- Do you use e-mail marketing and search marketing to drive traffic back to your Web site?
- Can you accept online donations on your Web site?
- Do you have a blog?
- Can people find your Web site in search engines?
Some online giving requirements he noted include:
- State registration: More than 40-plus states require you to be registered
- Donor registration: Are an ID and password required?
- Support for recurring and anonymous donations
- Automatic tax receipts
- Tell-a-friend, customer questions and e-mail sign-up
- Tributes and program designations
- Branding and customization
- Thank-you gifts and premiums
Smith also discussed the role social media (tools like blogs and video, and sites like Facebook and Twitter) can play in online fundraising, but noted that social media is not a silver bullet for online fundraising. He suggested the following five questions to answer before starting with social media:
Who is our audience? Build personas that include gender, age, race, marital status, children, geography, education, occupation and interests.
- Where are they online? Do research.
- What do they want to do; what are they currently doing online? Observe and participate
- What do we want them to do? Ladder of engagement. "Success is measured by moving potential supporters through progressively more involved stages in the relationship," Smith said.
- How will we measure success? Set quantifiable goals
"Touchpoints drive donors closer — or push them away — as they engage with you through the donor-relationship lifecycle," Smith said, referring to a diagram highlighting the touchpoints organizations should be using throughout the cycle.