Three Ways to Boost Online Fundraising
While a nonprofit’s Web site is the first place most people visit to find out more about its organization, less than 5 percent of total funds currently are raised online. Fortunately, as stated in Seven Things Every Nonprofit Professional Should Know Now About Online Fundraising and Marketing— a new whitepaper from Convio, an Austin–based Internet software and services company—online opportunities to fundraise and engage supporters are never better. It quotes a statistic from the Harvard Initiative on Social Enterprise which forecasts that 30 percent of all funds donated to nonprofits will be raised online by 2010.
Here are three ways to bring your nonprofit greater online success:
1. Plan the work, then work the plan.
The most important step in the planning process is defining your organizational strategy. Your online plan will be stronger if it is in support of your organization’s key goals, rather than a plan to, for example, “revamp the Web site” with no specific goals attached to that project.
2. Be creative in collecting e-mail addresses.
E-mail addresses are, of course, the foundation for all e-mail communications. Use your imagination to collect them, such as requiring Web site visitors to provide their e-mail address when they send an e-card or register for an e-mail newsletter. The key is to offer constituents something valuable in exchange for their e-address and let them know how you will be using it.
You also can gather e-mail addresses through your offline initiatives, such as print material referencing your Web site. In addition, to maximize the number of e-mail addresses you collect online, make the registration process simple and quick. You can, instead, build a profile over time rather than bombard registrants with too many questions at step one and see them abandon ship.
3. Don’t tell them what they don’t want to hear: Segment.
When you’re ready to communicate with your target audience online, don’t underestimate the importance of segmenting your constituents. The bottom line is that not everyone wants to hear everything. Your message must be tailored to the recipient, so develop a segmentation strategy that will enable you to communicate effectively with your various groups of supporters.