Simply put, people who are comfortable shopping and paying bills via the Internet are more likely to donate money online to your nonprofit organization, says Michael Johnston, president of Toronto-based nonprofit consultancy Hewitt and Johnston and author of “The Fund Raiser’s Guide to the Internet” and “The Nonprofit Guide to the Internet.”
In April, the United States Fund for UNICEF relaunched its Web site, www.unicefusa.org, to accommodate the recent global rebranding of UNICEF, add user and donor functionality, and increase overall Web visibility.
Partnering with Internet-software and -services firm Kintera, the organization focused on three core elements: fundraising, advocacy and education. Among the many new features, the site now captures member data for a more personalized Web experience, deploys eNews and allows visitors to take immediate action on children’s issues.
Two months from now, President George W. Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will wage their final battle for the White House, capping off an emotionally charged, hard-driving election campaign that has seized American consciousness like no other.
To illustrate, consider that when George H.W. Bush ran for re-election against Bill Clinton in 1992, he didn’t mention him by name until July. And in 1996, Clinton didn’t mention Bob Dole by name until August. This time around, the candidates traded barbs as early as Super Tuesday in March.
Are you making the most of the Internet? If your organization is like many nonprofits, it might be time to rethink your online strategy.
Instead of thinking of the Internet as a sideline area rife with additional expenses and hassles, “all nonprofits should be thinking of it as a core tool,” according to Sheeraz Haji, CEO of GetActive Software in Berkeley, Calif.
When the National Constitution Center broke ground in Philadelphia, one organizational challenge was to get people from around the country to invest in something that they had never seen before, nor could readily conceptualize. At first, the organization was having trouble communicating to the public exactly what this building was all about. Many donors presumably wondered: What is a Constitution Center, anyway?
Almost everyone has something of value crammed in the corner of the attic — an antique lamp, a cuckoo clock or a stack of baseball cards Mom forgot to toss years ago. With the birth of eBay, those dusty throwaways can find new homes. Enter: MissionFish.
Suppose a new or potential donor visits your Web site looking for more information about your organization. She finds an online tool called “My Guide” that promises to give her just what she’s looking for. After spending less than two minutes providing some simple, personal information, she clicks the “Submit” button.
Wasn’t the AFP conference in Seattle something else? So many people, so little ventilation. But no matter … we all got what we went for — oodles of information about how to manage nonprofits and raise the funds to keep them going and further their missions.
There were some fascinating sessions, many so crowded that the fire marshall was none too happy about it. But not every one was jam packed, and that provided insight into the collective mindset of the nonprofit universe.
M.J. Dunion knew she had a mess to clean up six years ago when she was hired as director of development operations at Boston Medical Center, formed when a private academic medical institution and a city hospital merged. Her main task was to combine several departments that had been using different databases in fundraising efforts. She knew this largely was a matter of using the right technology as efficiently as possible.
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.