Flowerpetal.com, an online storefront that sells floral arrangements and gifts, is offering nonprofit organizations a service through which it will build them online storefronts that allow them to keep a portion of the proceeds from flower sales.
As we gathered information for last month’s special section on e-philanthropy, we spoke to a number of folks whose comments didn’t make it into print. Following is a sampling of those comments. Some came from our own interviews, while others (marked accordingly) were in response to Katrin Verclas’ request for comments from members of the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network, of which she is the executive director. — M.B.
On reading our February WebWatch featuring the Save the Children Web site, a member of the development staff at Surgical Eye Expeditions International, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based organization that provides medical, surgical and educational services to disadvantaged blind people worldwide, requested that we critique SEE’s site.
I enlisted the help of Sarah Durham, principal and founder of NYC-based communications firm Big Duck, which works exclusively with nonprofits.
Do you need to raise public awareness in order to serve your organization’s mission? Do you need to maintain public funding for your organization? Do you protect or fight for social issues important to your organization?
Are you having fun yet? You should be. As technology takes on an increasingly prominent role in what you do for a living, it offers myriad opportunities for that outside-the-box thinking you’ve been hearing so much about.
But the brave new world of the World Wide Web doesn’t come without its pitfalls, among them the temptation to look before you leap into technologically enhanced development, according to Katrin Verclas, newly appointed executive director of the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network.
When we put together our special section on e-philanthropy last year, the nonprofit world was rushing to gets its Web sites up, playing with the idea of “Donate Now” buttons and wondering why its e-mails were getting gobbled up by spam filters.
Lots of organizations still are figuring these things out. Many finally have embraced the wonders of database-management technology. And still others already are eyeing the fundraising possibilities of text messaging and other innovations.
When it comes to technical phrases such as “data integration” and “on-demand export,” most fundraisers go running for the hills. What many don’t realize, however, is how critical successful database integration can be to their jobs — and that information resulting from integration can make their jobs easier and more effective.
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.
Many organizations have successfully used the Internet for direct-response and special-events fundraising, but few have tapped its potential for major giving. The question nonprofit professionals should ask is whether online marketing and constituent relationship management can support major-donor identification and cultivation.
Historically, major-gift efforts primarily have sourced donors two ways: referrals from key donors and board members; and direct-mail programs.
Imagine a school fundraising letter so personlized that it contains a quote not from just any teacher at the school, but rather from your child’s teacher. Or both your children’s different teachers. A letter that also went to the Joneses down the street, but with quotes from the Jones kids’ teachers.
Variable data imaging allows mailers to create mail pieces with different, often highly personalized text and images; its use so far has been mostly by for-profit mailers for high-value direct-mail campaigns, bills, statements and invoices. But Sarasota, Fla.-based private school The Out-of-Door Academy took a shot with it and found great success.