Books: Using Technology to Mobilize Young People
April 30, 2008

The question isn’t whether or not nonprofits should use new media and technologies to engage new members — but how. Ben Rigby’s new book, “Mobilizing Generation 2.0: A Practical Guide to Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Recruit, Organize and Engage Youth,” provides organizations and campaigns with a how-to on finding and targeting young supporters, volunteers, members and donors. The book, presented by Rock the Vote, briefly touches on fundraising, but primarily focuses on friendraising — using new media to engage young people now in the hopes of making them donors later. Throughout the book, Rigby reviews the most popular Web 2.0

You Too Can 2.0!
April 16, 2008

Facebook and MySpace and Twitter, oh my! While I’m not the yellow brick road to lead you to the Emerald City of social-networking Utopia, I am a real, living, breathing, Facebook-surfing, Gen Y, nonprofit professional. My goal for this column, which will appear bimonthly in FundRaising Success’ Giving 2.0 e-letter, is to help nonprofits understand the who, what and why of Web 2.0. This medium shouldn’t be viewed as a frightening, unknown forest filled with predators, but a world of opportunity to share your message with new demographics in a plethora of innovative, creative ways. By breaking down the world of Web 2.0, I

Blogging the NTEN Conference
April 2, 2008

There was no shortage of cyber chatter surrounding last month’s Nonprofit Technology Conference in New Orleans. Here’s a sampling of some observations from bloggers around the country. For a more comprehensive list of blog entries about the conference, click here. “Observations on the 2008 Nonprofit Technology Conference,” posted March 26 by Kurt Voelker and Andrew Cohen, chief technology officer and project director, respectively, at Forum One Communications’ INfluence blog: Kurt Voelker and I (Andrew Cohen), traveled to New Orleans to participate in the 2008 Nonprofit Technology Conference. This was my fourth conference and the most useful and fulfilling. In addition our volunteering and presenting,

Getting Customers to Opt Out of Opting Out
March 19, 2008

While a recent study by the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council found online retailers do a great job of honoring unsubscribe requests quickly, it also found they could improve their opt-out processes, such as by providing subscribers with alternatives to opting out or at least lowering the barriers to doing so. The study — EEC’s first Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study — examines the opt-out practices of 94 of the largest online retailers tracked via RetailEmail.Blogspot, EEC’s blog that tracks the e-mail marketing campaigns of e-tailers. Chad White, the author of the study and EEC’s director of retail insights, and editor-at-large and

E-mail on Steroids
November 20, 2007

[Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the October 2007 issue of FundRaising Success sister publication Target Marketing, and is written from a for-profit point of view. The solid tips hold equally true for nonprofit mailers.] Do you monitor your competitors’ e-mail programs? If so, you may note some appear to be addicted to frequency and often send several messages a week. Under most circumstances, this is a misguided attempt to keep in front of their e-mail list. Relevance always trumps frequency. Quantity does not equal quality. Successful marketers don’t push their messages. Instead, they strive to understand their subscribers’ needs, preferences and

Grooming Your E-list
July 1, 2007

In my inbox this week was an e-mail advertisement for a new, all-natural approach to dealing with hair loss. Fortunately, that’s one thing I don’t need to worry about.

Tips for Keeping Can-Spam Compliant
April 17, 2007

The last thing any e-mail fundraiser/marketer wants to be associated with is that nasty four-letter word, “spam.” The Can-Spam Act of 2003 regulates unsolicited commercial e-mail if it is an advertisement or promotion and it is unsolicited. Nonprofit organizations can send unsolicited e-mails without violating Can-Spam laws, but there are some key things they should do to ensure that they stay “white-listed.” The article “Staying on the E-mail Up and Up: What Nonprofits Need to Know About CAN-SPAM” by GuideStar’s director of communications and newsletter editor Suzanne Coffman, offers advice to nonprofits about how to keep their e-mails Can-Spam compliant. The article recommends

Five E-mail Design Recommendations
April 17, 2007

The Convio whitepaper “The Basics of E-mail Marketing for Nonprofits: Using E-mail Communications to Build and Strengthen Constituent Relationships Online” is a 19-page, information-rich guide that covers the gamut of e-mail marketing, touching on everything from building an e-mail address file, performing list hygiene, gaining permission, offering opt-out options and executing a successful e-mail campaign. The whitepaper also addresses tips for creating compelling e-mail messages. First off, it stresses the importance the of “message envelope,” i.e., the e-mail header. The message envelope is made up of the “To” and “From” lines, the date and the “Subject” line. * Subject line — should be

Put All E-mails to Work for Your Organization
April 17, 2007

E-mail blasts that ask constituents for donations aren’t the only way organizations can use e-mail to advocate and fundraise. Another, perhaps less obvious, way is by including e-mail signatures in all the e-mails sent by your organization’s staff, a strategy discussed at great length by Nancy E. Schwartz, president of nonprofit marketing and communications firm Nancy Schwartz & Company, in her article “Nonprofits’ Most Missed Marketing Tool -- E-mail Signatures.” An e-mail signature is information that automatically is added to the end of an outgoing e-mail that typically includes the sender’s name, title, company or organization, and contact information. Schwartz calls it an “online

The Young and the Restless
February 1, 2007

Someone 20 years old, or 30 or 40 — even 50 — might never become a direct-mail donor. He or she probably will give online from the beginning. And there’s evidence that online donors might act quite differently than their direct-mail responsive parents and grandparents.