What’s Your Point?
Many nonprofit organizations define online success by its effectiveness in augmenting their offline fundraising. Certainly a level of praise is justified for such efforts, but to truly realize the full potential of the Internet we must go beyond mere integration of marketing.
A new perspective is needed … we must move the Internet from after- to forethought in our minds. Imagine if the Internet was your only way to communicate with donors. Suddenly, you would need to transform financial transactions into altruistic experiences.
In order to design the most compelling online experiences, you must understand the donor context. Good marketers know what works online, but great ones understand why things work.
Many nonprofits simply are placing a bright-red “donate now” button on their Web sites and hoping for the best. But that’s not the best strategy, nor what donors desire. Contextual Fundraising™ is a strategy that meets the objectives of a donor and organization simultaneously. It’s the process of designing experiences around four classifications of donors to inspire giving:
“Do Good” donors are people who are inspired to contribute to your organization once in response to an urgent need but their hearts are with another cause. The chances of these people developing a significant relationship with your organization is unlikely. These donors best respond to banner ads for “urgent” needs that are placed on your home page and/or associated with keywords on search engines.
“Make a Difference” donors are highly motivated by results. They’re looking for experiences and are open to a world of possibilities. These donors want specifics on how their resources are being used effectively. Furthermore, they will become your organization’s strongest advocates, if you allow them to be, by giving them a megabyte or two. Create a space on your Web site for a “social network” that’s centered around your cause to grow.