For all of the opportunities that social media brings to fundraisers, the ability to establish and develop long-lasting supporter relationships has not been one of them — at least not yet.
Advanced Solutions International
Crowdsourcing is a new way of consulting your donors and supporters to figure out how to enhance your fundraising and unearth new ideas to achieve your mission.
Fundraisers thrive on information, yet one of the most common complaints from fundraisers goes along the lines of, "I can’t get the information I need from our donor database."
When a donor makes his or her first gift, he or she may not realize it, but you’re hoping it’s the first step of a long journey of support for your cause. It’s your job as a fundraiser to take first-time donors through that journey and present them with opportunities to extend and deepen their support.
One thing you learn in management school is that trust, like respect, is given — not taken. It has to be earned over a long period of time and can be easily eroded by a single mishap. That is equally true of the relationship between fundraiser and donor. The fundraiser communicates the need, and the donor trusts the fundraiser as a representative of the cause to be a responsible steward of the donated money. One slip and the donor’s confidence in the cause’s ability to use the gift wisely may be damaged.
According to a survey ASI conducted around nonprofits’ IT challenges and opportunities in 2010, organizations have faith in social media. And for many, it is faith — that is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” — as opposed to experience.
Technology, properly applied, can be a great enabler. But, having glimpsed the possibilities, the challenges of achieving it can be frustrating to fundraisers, who want to provide their supporters with a smarter online experience.
A June 2009 study from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research found that 89 percent of nonprofits are using some form of social media, and these organizations now are outpacing businesses and even academic institutions in their adoption of social networking tools. With more than 400 Web sites and tools out there, according to research conducted by David Nour, managing partner of consulting firm The Nour Group Inc., how do nonprofits and associations know where to start? How do they to determine what components fit into their social media marketing strategy? This article will offer some information on internal versus external social media tools and how organizations can take advantage of them, to maximize their marketing efforts.
Looking back on the year, 2009 can be characterized as a rollercoaster ride for nonprofits. Fearing the worst, the industry so far has seen an 11 percent decrease in donations, according to a September 2009 report by the Charities Aid Foundation and National Council for Voluntary Organisations. This has been especially hard on small organizations, with many of them getting squeezed out by their larger, more national counterparts. At the same time, many charities with similar missions have come together, creating partnerships or merging in order to survive the economic downturn — and ensure the proper support for their causes. Although this has been a difficult time for nonprofits, 2009 has made organizations aware of how they need to shape up.
The fundraising landscape is always changing and forcing nonprofits to work even harder to keep up with what’s hot in the market. Keeping track of new trends can be a full-time job in its own right, and knowing how to change development plans can be a daunting task. Achieving success in this ever-changing landscape can seem impossible, but it’s not.