Tips for Using the Web, E-mail and Social Networking to Net 'Wired Wealthy' DonorsJune 23, 2009 By Abny Santicola
Used strategically, the Web offers myriad opportunities to raise funds from wealthy donors.
In the session "Taking Leadership Online: What's Hype and What Works in Online Fundraising" at Fund Raising Day in New York 2009 presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater New York Chapter in early June, presenters Nancy Haitch, deputy vice president of development for International Rescue Committee; Alia McKee Scott, principal at Sea Change Strategies; and Jono Smith, vice president of nonprofit marketing at Network for Good, discussed management strategies that trail-blazing organizations have followed in using the Internet to begin, sustain and enrich relationships with top donors, prospects and volunteers.
Citing the "Wired Wealthy" study recently conducted by Convio, Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research that surveyed 3,443 top donors, the speakers dispelled a few rumors, namely that offline donors do not donate online; online fundraising is for small gifts; and middle and major donors don't want to hear from organization online.
The study grouped the wired wealthy into three donor clusters:
- Relationship seekers (29 percent of those surveyed). Most likely to respond to opportunities to connect emotionally with your organization online.
- Casual connector (41 percent).
- All business (30 percent). Not looking for a relationship or emotional connection.
What this means for organizations is:
- It's not demographics that define donors; it's their behavior.
- Each donor cluster requires a customized, targeted marketing approach to capitalize on their giving.
- Understanding proclivities of a donor base creates huge opportunities to customize a fundraising strategy.
For his part of the presentation, Smith outlined the difference between an online strategy and tactics. An online strategy is a plan of action for using the Internet and other digital mediums to achieve a goal or set of goals, while Web site, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, e-mail marketing, SEO, banner ads, etc., are all tactics that can be used to accomplish that strategy.
He recommended organizations go through the following 10-point online check-up:
- Is your URL guessable?
- Do you publish your URL on every communication, both online and offline?
- Do you use Web site design strategically?
- Do you provide relevant content? (Marketing plus journalism)
- Do you tell your story through pictures, videos or podcasts?
- Can you collect e-mail addresses on your Web site?
- Do you use e-mail marketing and search marketing to drive traffic back to your Web site?
- Can you accept online donations on your Web site?
- Do you have a blog?
- Can people find your Web site in search engines?
Some online giving requirements he noted include: