You and U, V, W, X, Y and Z
For the past several weeks, I have been posturing different things fundraisers should consider, using the letters of the alphabet as a guide. We're now up to the final six letters. (Read about A, B, C, D and E here; click here for F, G, H, I and J; here for K, L, M, N and O; and here for P, Q, R, S and T.)
While none of these ideas in and of themselves will radically alter your fundraising program or results, sometimes the simplest tweaks or slight changes in focus can impact bottom line —assuming you think of them! So check out these final six ideas, and see if there are a few you should implement this week.
U is for unified
The more an organization grows, the harder it seems to be to keep your message unified. One person writes the direct-mail appeal, and another updates the website. Still others are posting to your social media.
It's not enough to assume that one part of your messaging is for baby boomers and another part is for Gen Y. People cheat, and they may read everything they can find about your organization before making a giving decision. Make sure your main copy points are unified, even if the look and feel change by the target audience. It's important to always "have the same face on," no matter where a donor or prospect goes to check you out. You don't have to be boring, just consistent in your messaging.
V is for visible
I'm one of the odd people who (usually) types in a URL when I'm given one, but I know that a lot of people instead just type key words into a search engine. How visible is your organization in a search?
I just searched for a nonprofit school by "school" and the city and state it's in. Nothing on the first page — and honestly, who looks further than that? When I added the name of the organization, it came up, but for most people, this nonprofit is invisible. Try many combinations of words that "average people" might use to see if your nonprofit appears, and if not, it's time to launch a strategy to improve your search engine visibility.
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.