Wondering about the future of fundraising? Check out this week’s links!
Social and Mobile
Click-It: Nine reasons why social and mobile are the future of fundraising. I bring this to you because there’s been debate going on, instigated by our provocative friends at The Agitator. Tom Belford wrote a post — Crafting vs. Producing… Writing Songs vs. Jingles — somewhat dissing email appeals in favor of traditional mail appeals. Why? Supposedly a more rewarding, bonding emotional experience to ‘open’ rather than ‘click.’ I don’t buy it. I’ve seen plenty of moving email appeals. They’ve inspired me to give; I’ve seen others inspired to give. Sure there are too many that are dry as dust. But there are dull, flat snail mail appeals as well. Good email appeals work. Heck, there’s no one right channel for all people anymore. Far from it.
As fundraising professionals it’s up to us to meet folks where they are. And there are plenty of folks online. Plenty. What this article reveals is that online donors share more than offline donors… thus attracting more potential donors.
If you need any evidence that it’s time to retire the old donor pyramid model in favor of a vortex – where people swirl in and out engaged in a myriad of actions, and donors in the middle who are engaged may be even more valuable than major donors who do nothing but make a single annual gift – look no further. I quote from Jonathan Waddingham of ‘Nine Reasons’: Everyone wants more donors, for sure. But donors who share are even more valuable. One in five donation shares results in another donation and one in ten shares results in another share.
And would you believe mobile users share twice as much as desktop users? Mail appeal donors just don’t do this. Brave new world.
Click-It: Listening Your Way to a Gift. Very good advice from Jeff Jowdy in Fundraising Success. Jeff challenges you to test yourself this week: Try to purposefully talk less and to ask more questions. Take the time to discern key questions that will help deepen a relationship. See how it changes how you interact with others — and especially your donors and potential donors. My son always tells me I talk too much — I’m going to try this!
Autoresponders for Email
Click it: Autoresponders are a Fundraiser’s Best Friend. One of the most important things you can do is grow your email list. Vanessa Chase of Philanthropy For All reminds us that you’ve got to take care of your subscribers if you want to turn them into donors. Getting them to subscribe is just the beginning.
Your Nonprofit Website
Click-It: Three Ways the Role of Your Website Has Changed. Is Your Nonprofit Keeping Up? This is a thought provoking article by Colleen Dilenschneider who works in the area of predictive market intelligence. She suggests that most nonprofits have it backwards, looking at their website’s success through an after-the-fact analytics perspective rather than through use of forward-looking, front-end evaluation tools (e.g., A-B testing). I love this cartoon she shares.
WIIFM Corporate Sponsorships
Click-It: False Hopes and Bad Advice This is the third of a three-part series by Gail Bower of the Sponsorship Strategist. It clearly explains the difference between partnering with a business in a manner that aligns around their, your and your constituent’s interests (often tapping into their large marketing budgets) vs. merely ‘selling’ a package of gold, silver or bronze level sponsorships that may generate a relatively paltry return. Take a look!
Finally… here’s another link to the free how to get more corporate sponsorships for your next event webinar by Shanon Doolittle from the folks at 501 videos and Movie Mondays. This is so much more time-effective – not to mention less expensive – than attending a class or conference. You owe it to yourself to check these valuable free resources out.
Photo: Flickr, Isaac Torronterra