Using 4 Online Tools to Inspire Volunteers and Donors, Part 1
[Editor's note: This is part one of a three-part series on the session, "Get Heard: Using Online Tools to Inspire Volunteers and Donors," held at the Nonprofit Technology Conference.]
There are four major online communications tools that every fundraiser should take advantage of — event marketing, social-media marketing, e-mail marketing and online surveys — according to Erik Mintz, director of event marketing at nonprofit software provider Constant Contact.
During his session, "Get Heard: Using Online Tools to Inspire Volunteers and Donors," at the Nonprofit Technology Conference last week in Washington, D.C., Mintz broke down why fundraisers should use all of these online tools.
"These tools help you create a meaningful online experience about your organization and deliver it to your audience," he said. "As you use them in parallel, there's a lot of synergy. It's a real ecosystem, and the ROI is greater than the sum of the four parts."
Further, Mintz pointed out, these tools are exceedingly affordable in today's market. But the tools themselves aren't nearly as important as how you use them.
"The way you connect with people is through effective communications," he said. "What's not important is the tools themselves; it's what the tools do for you and how you use that to communicate with your audience."
The first step is knowing who to communicate with. In order to grow your donor database, you want to spend your time prospecting, and then reinforce why you should spend more time with your current donors and key influencers. These new tools have changed the game in moving people through the donor life cycle from prospect to donor to influencer, Mintz said. In traditional marketing, there is a funnel approach: You blast out acquisition messages to a large audience, convert some of them into donors and then keep some of those new donors for the long haul — a trickle-down effect. With engagement marketing via these online tools, it's more of a bottom-up approach, spending most of your time targeting your key influencers and repeat donors because they generate the most revenue for the organization — and can bring new donors on board for you.