Online and offline fundraising approaches each have their place in an organization’s program, but also can be used to complement one another. A session at the AFP 44th International Conference on Fundraising in Dallas on Monday presented by Gene Austin, CEO of Convio, and Bobby Heard, associate executive director of the American College of Emergency Physicians, looked at ways organizations can use the Internet strategically to get more from their fundraising programs. Some of the advantages of online marketing noted by the presenters include low cost to communicate, bidirectional communications, rapid deployment and feedback, and the potential to tell stories visually as well
Fundraising programs that promote interaction between communication channels — primarily phone, mail and Web — yield higher-value donors. This was the topic at another session on channel integration at the DMA Nonprofit Federation conference in Washington last month, which featured the unveiling of the study “Integrating Online Marketing (eCRM) With Direct Mail Fundraising,” co-authored by Convio and StrategicOne. A case study analyzing the effect of eCRM on donor behavior for the SPCA of Texas, the study found that donors touched through multiple communication channels have a higher long-term value, retention and lifetime value, whether they start as direct-mail-only donors or as online-only donors.
AUSTIN, TEXAS (January 17, 2007) Convio, Inc. – a leading provider of online constituent relationship management solutions (eCRM) for nonprofit organizations – today announced that it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire GetActive Software, Inc. Convio and GetActive are widely recognized as the two foremost eCRM software and services vendors within the nonprofit sector. The acquisition is expected to significantly strengthen Convio’s ability to provide the most innovative Internet solutions that help nonprofit organizations build high-impact fundraising, marketing and advocacy campaigns. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of
Online social networks allow people to come together around shared interests or causes, such as making friends, dating, business networking, hobbies, interests and political discourse. The number of visitors to online social networks has grown exponentially in recent years. In June 2006 alone, MySpace.com had an estimated 55 million visitors. While most social networks attract a very young demographic (the primary age group for MySpace.com is 14 to 34), there are several networks geared toward older individuals; among them is Gather.com, which appeals to audiences such as public radio listeners.
In August 2005, New Orleans’ Audubon Nature Institute was on the verge of beginning a $100 million capital campaign. Philadelphia-based development, marketing and management consultants Schultz & Williams had just finished a feasibility study for the organization, and all signs were “go.”
Individuals in today’s workplace, whether nonprofit or for-profit, often make two common errors when thinking about privacy and information security. First, people tend to think of information security as a technology problem — making it all about firewalls and encryption. Designing a truly secure information-handling system instead requires a holistic approach that uses technology components but that first must address business processes, policies and, most importantly, people. Many serious and successful hacking attempts begin with what hackers refer to as “social engineering” — they compromise the human components of the information system rather than the electronic ones. Second, people often think of information
The growth in recent years of online contributions to disaster-relief organizations clearly illustrates that Web fundraising has come of age. Consider the online giving that the American Red Cross has generated following major disasters: $64 million related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (2001); $140 million in the wake of the Southeast Asia tsunami (2004); and $479 million after Hurricane Katrina (2005). Also telling is that the percentage of individual donor funds raised online (excluding corporate contributions) grew from 29 percent for Sept. 11 to 55 percent for the tsunami, illustrating that donors have become increasingly comfortable giving over the Internet.
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.
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.
For the most part, fundraisers no longer believe online marketing is competitive with offline marketing. Most understand that you need to incorporate both into your marketing strategy and that they should be coordinated in order to realize synergies. Many fundraisers, however, struggle with determining how much to focus on and invest in online marketing, and how to drive coordination between online and offline channels.