Focus On: E-philanthropy: E-volving with the Times
“We talk about what JNF is, what JNF does, why JNF is important, but we don’t provide a specific ask [in our e-mail newsletters],” Horowitz says. “We are obviously trying to solicit donations, but we like to let [members] decide how much they want to give.”
In 2003, JNF eclipsed $1 million in online donations. Of the 19,100 donors that gave online, nearly 60 people contributed more than $1,000 each, including three who gave $5,000 each and one who donated $10,000. JNF’s e-mail database of addresses — gathered strictly from its Web site and at various fundraising events — increased by 106 percent in 2003 to more than 100,000. What’s more, 28 percent of all people who gave to JNF online in 2003 were new to the organization, proof of the powerful pass-along effect.
“E-mail is at the forefront of any marketing strategy that we put together,” Horowitz affirms. “The direct mail that we do and the money we bring in online netted at about the same amount in 2003, which is something nobody ever believed would happen. E-mail may even pass direct mail this year.”
‘Stream’ lining info
Until April 2003, The Humane Society of the United States’ Internet and e-mail fundraising program had been virtually flat. Then, online communications provider Exciting New Technologies entered the fray and persuaded HSUS to e-mail a broad, untapped market: pet owners who are not ready to receive donor appeals but want tips on how to care for their animals. Once the audience was clearly defined, HSUS and ENT opted to create a streaming video e-newsletter.
“We have a strong in-house video department, and we have used these assets to some success on television but hadn’t had a good way to use them on the Web,” says Joe Mann, senior advisor to HSUS’ e-community department.