Upping Your E-appeal
July 1, 2004

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.

Virtual Fundraising
July 1, 2004

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?

Hook, Line and Sinker
May 1, 2004

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.

Mastering the Virtual Handshake
May 1, 2004

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.

Taking the Plunge
May 1, 2004

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.

Are You Plugged In?
May 1, 2004

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.

E-volving with the Times
March 1, 2004

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.

Ring a Bell or Make a Donation: It's Your Call
March 1, 2004

The Salvation Army rolled out its Online Red Kettle program nationwide this past holiday season, after testing the concept in Atlanta, Dallas and Washington, D.C., in 2002. The way it worked: Volunteers who signed up to be “virtual bell ringers” had their own Web pages from which they could send e-mail messages to family and friends, asking for contributions. The pilot produced $60,000 in online donations during the months of November and December, but when the program was given a national stage a year later, total donations reached only $45,000.

American Lung Association Launches Re-tooled Web Site
January 1, 2004

The American Lung Association currently is in the throes of redesigning, revamping and relaunching its Web site, www.lungusa.com. While the current site provides rich content on a whopping 60,000 pages, the infrastructure is very “last generation,” says Rusty Burwell, assistant vice president of the development division at the ALA.