I have a really good piece of advice for you. Send a fundraising e-mail the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Dec. 30 and 31 are the biggest online days of the year, in my experience. All those generous procrastinators are just getting their acts together, so your timing is perfect if you send a last-minute reminder at year’s end.
Step 1 is a no-brainer, but are you doing it?
I want to discuss a troubling digital divide — and it's not the kind you think.
Here are the six lessons I have learned over the years — and find myself learning over and over again — in fundraising and marketing. They are simple but also powerful. And oh-so-easy to forget.
The answers as to why people give and h ow do fundraisers get them to give more come down to several essential fundraising truths.
People go online because they're seeking to connect with other people, with things they like and with causes they love. Technology enables them to forge stronger connections, and people therefore come to nonprofits with high expectations for the way we treat them online.
Here are three of the main ways marketing was turned on its head in 2010, and what that means for fundraisers.
Is the creative well a bit dry? Here are some ideas to boost your fall fundraising efforts.
This month I want to discuss a troubling digital divide — and it's not the kind you think. I'm not talking about the fact that some people are wired while others lack access to technology — though that's certainly true, and it's a real divide. I'm talking about a phenomenon within our own organizations: the fact that the people who do online outreach often are separated from those who do offline fundraising. It's not unusual for online and offline efforts to take place in parallel universes, with virtually no integration.
1. CHANGE TO MAKE:
Get online if you aren't already
It's 2010, and I hope you're online. If you're with the times, you're collecting donations on your website with a well-crafted, compelling and consistently branded donation page. You are using an e-mail campaign tool, not Outlook, to communicate with your community of supporters. You have a social-media strategy and are committing the time you need to achieve your clearly articulated, measurable goals. You continually assess how all of these efforts are performing against your targets. Your online and offline outreach is seamlessly integrated.
For too long, nonprofit marketers and fundraisers have decided how to communicate based on thinking grounded in direct marketing and economics. The problem with this approach is that it assumes people are coolly logical and make their decisions about supporting a cause based on a rational, linear thought process. We've laid out the cases for why our causes matter based on facts and numbers.
I lived in Ukraine a few years ago, and a friend who just returned from there told me a great story that holds the secret to inspiring generosity. Really.
The human mind is like one of those kitchen gadgets featured in late-night infomercials. It beats, twists, separates, slices, dices and otherwise transforms everything that enters it. You gave someone a carrot, but before you know it, she's turned it into a bouquet of julienned strips.
So you've done your homework, and you're convinced that your organization should dabble in social networking. You're not alone — according to ThePort Network, Common Knowledge and NTEN, 74.1 percent of nonprofits have a presence on Facebook, and 30.6 percent have social-networking communities on their own sites.
Ah, the Internet. The easy access. The openness. The freedom. And … the total lack of control. The way anyone can say anything about you and post it anywhere.