The best nonprofit donors are the people that are most targeted by competing fundraisers, said Herschell Gordon Lewis, direct marketing guru and president of Lewis Enterprises, in his session “Using Mail and E-mail to Boost Nonprofit Response” at the Direct Marketing Association’s 2006 Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco last week. Trends for the 21st century, for marketers and nonprofit organizations alike, are increasingly emphatic persuasion; inclusion of validation; increasing informality; and the promise of fast action. Lewis offered the following tips for boosting response through mail and/or e-mail: 1. Pose questions asking people to donate, bestow or bequeath. Questions are automatically reader
For a few months now, you’ve been hearing about plans by companies such as AOL and Yahoo! to apply a new business model to Internet communications to afford e-mail senders a secure way to communicate with potential customers. Goodmail recently unveiled a certified e-mail program that AOL and Yahoo! plan to make available to e-mail senders that allows them to bypass spam filters for a fee and get guaranteed access to recipients’ inboxes.
Relationships with your constituents are built on respect, trust and communication — qualities realized when you demonstrate that your organization is worthy of supporters’ time, energy and money. As nonprofits embrace the Internet’s power, e-mail is emerging as an increasingly important communication tool. Nonprofits that learn the communication preferences of their donors and prospects will have the advantage when competing with similar organizations for donations.
When you assess the sophistication, innovation and e-commerce prowess of Web sites in the nonprofit sector, it’s hard to accept the fact that e-giving accounts for only 1 percent to 2 percent of all funds raised by U.S. charities.
Not so long ago, online fundraising simply meant being able to accept credit card donations through a Web interface.
Many of today’s nonprofits are struggling with declining memberships, ever-shrinking budgets and a serious slackening of retention rates from their core donors. It’s an increasing dilemma among some of the largest, and smallest, nonprofits in the country. What could be one bright spot in this increasingly dark world of donor prospecting and acquisition is the advantage of permission-based online direct marketing and branding for your organization. These types of campaigns deploy opt-in email to highly targeted donors, which could help keep your retention programs strong, increase donor awareness of what your organization is doing and even develop your own unique nonprofit “gear”
The first step in any effective e-mail marketing strategy is to build an e-mail file — the fuel for your e-mail marketing efforts. Many nonprofit groups discover that, despite their large and detailed constituent databases, they have few supporter e-mail addresses on record. Although the prospect of building a usable e-mail file can seem daunting, you easily can grow your e-mail file using several proven tactics. Gather e-mail addresses offline Even if you’re just starting out with an online presence, you easily can begin developing your e-mail file by integrating e-mail address collection into your existing marketing or fundraising initiatives. Every time you communicate
The costs associated with telefundraising tend to be higher on a per-unit basis than direct mail or e-mail, maintains Joe White, vice president of sales and marketing for the Share Group, a full-service nonprofit agency based in Somerville, Mass. But when it comes to acquiring and upgrading monthly sustainers, the telephone is far and away the most cost effective, he says. White has added telefundraising to the marketing mix for myriad clients as a retention tool and has experienced varying degrees of success. “Increasingly, we have begun building phone-only files,” White says, “by calling direct mail donors who have not made a gift in
In the formative years of online fundraising, nonprofit organizations assumed that if they built a Web site with bells and whistles, rich content and a device to accept donations, donors would come. But to the chagrin of many fundraising pros who defined effective online fundraising as the ability to take credit card transactions through a Web interface, donors came in fits and starts. Charities soon learned that they needed to be just as creative, diligent and engaging in their approach to the Internet as to any offline fundraising medium.