Your Website Doesn't Matter! Why Email Still Rules Online Fundraising

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Newsflash: Your website doesn’t matter and your Facebook friends don’t care!

Shocked?

Studies show that when it comes to online fundraising only one thing really matters: the quality and size of your email list.

Email remains the primary driver of online donations. This was true for Obama’s 2008 campaign for President, and remains true for most, if not all, nonprofits raising money online.

Yes, you need a secure, functioning website where you can send people so they can donate money online. But supporters will never go there on their own in numbers enough to move the needle.

While we all love our Facebook friends and Twitter followers, nonprofits are raising very little money via social networks. At the end of the day the most reliable way to increase the amount of money your organization raises online is to maintain and grow a high quality email list. Focus your Facebook and Twitter outreach on building relationships with your followers and fans and listening to their feedback.

About the Speakers:

Lauren Miller, Director Of Email & Online Communications Programs, Blue State Digital: Since joining Blue State Digital in 2005, Lauren has developed online communications, fundraising, advocacy, outreach and social media programs for more than 100 political, nonprofit, cultural, academic and corporate clients, including the Democratic National Committee, Senator Ted Kennedy, Wal-Mart Watch and Americans United for Change. As Director of Email & Online Communications Programs, she currently oversees a team of talented writers and strategists who work with more than 75 active engagements around the world, including the American Red Cross, United Way, Partners in Health, the NAACP, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Prior to BSD, Lauren served as State Volunteer Coordinator for the California Democratic Party and worked in their communications department during the 2004 election cycle. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Middle Eastern & North African Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dionna Humphrey, Senior Email Campaigner, Greenpeace: Dionna recently started as the Senior Email Campaigner with Greenpeace USA. Dionna is responsible for developing and implementing metric-driven, multi-year email strategy to maximize the organization’s fundraising and online advocacy campaigns. Dionna has worked in grassroots advocacy for more than a decade, focusing primarily online fundraising and advocacy strategies for the past 6 years. As an independent consultant she assisted her clients with online fundraising, including both email and web. Prior to branching out on her own, Dionna worked as a Campaign Director with MomsRising and Director of Advocacy with the National Parks Conservation Association, where she was responsible for the online and offline grassroots strategy and capacity building. Dionna graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a BA in Women’s Studies

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Your Website Doesn't Matter! Why Email Still Rules Online Fundraising

  1. 1. <ul><li>  Your Website Doesn ’t Matter! </li></ul><ul><li>Why Email Still Rules Online Fundraising </li></ul>For Audio Call: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785 Presented By: Lauren Miller, Blue State Digital and Dionna Humphrey, Greenpeace Moderated by: Eric Rardin, Care2 May 12, 2011
  2. 2. Using WebEx <ul><li>Chat & raise hand </li></ul><ul><li>If you are having internet audio problems, you can dial in using a landline 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785 </li></ul><ul><li>If you lose your internet connection, reconnect using the link emailed to you. </li></ul><ul><li>WebEx Support: 1-866-229-3239 </li></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  3. 3. This Webinar is being Recorded <ul><li>The webinar will be available on the Frogloop blog at http://www.Frogloop.com </li></ul><ul><li>You will receive a link to this presentation following the webinar. </li></ul><ul><li>Tweeting the webinar? Use the Twitter hashtag: #Care2 </li></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  4. 4. For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785 <ul><li>Nonprofits use Care2 for: </li></ul><ul><li>Online Advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Email list growth </li></ul><ul><li>Donor lead acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Driving traffic to website </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising and branding </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys and research </li></ul><ul><li>Education and outreach </li></ul>What is Care2? <ul><li>Citizens use Care2 for: </li></ul><ul><li>Starting or signing petitions </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>Donating $ </li></ul><ul><li>Spreading news </li></ul><ul><li>Commenting on blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Starting groups (organizing) </li></ul><ul><li>Joining nonprofits </li></ul><ul><li>The largest online community of people “making a difference” </li></ul><ul><li>15 million “do-gooders” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Websites don’t matter? <ul><li>Well, not exactly, but… </li></ul>
  6. 6. … It does if you ’re not these guys. For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  7. 7. So what’s the secret? <ul><li>Grow your list in smart, efficient ways. </li></ul><ul><li>Empower people to take action at key moments. </li></ul><ul><li>It ’s not about the money, it ’ s about getting people involved in the process. </li></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785 ORGANIZATION
  8. 8. How do you grow your email list? For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  9. 9. 1. Smart organic list growth. <ul><ul><li>Plan your calendar to tell a story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take advantage of things you can’t predict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never send an email without an action </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  10. 10. 2. Collect emails offline. <ul><ul><li>Develop a system to get signatures back into your CRM/CMS quickly. </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  11. 11. 3. Partner sends from allies. <ul><ul><li>Joint petitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reciprocal sends </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  12. 12. 4. Social media/SMS <ul><ul><li>Promote actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embed forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertise </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  13. 13. 5. Paid acquisition <ul><ul><li>Care2/cost per acquisition campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media advertising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AdWords </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  14. 14. I ’ve got my list. Now what? For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  15. 15. 1. Segment based on interests. <ul><ul><li>Where do they come from? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they want to do? </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  16. 16. 2. Take advantage of moments. <ul><ul><li>Fundraising deadlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal news: reports, conferences, events, milestones met, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External news: legislation, court rulings, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media: advertisements, commercials, videos, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal stories you can feature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holidays/days of importance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other solicitations: direct mail, phones, events, etc. </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  17. 17. 3. Don ’t ask for a million bucks. <ul><ul><li>1 time donors become repeat donors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeat donors become recurring donors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use donation history to customize the ask. </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  18. 18. 4. (Some) gimmicks work (but don ’t overdo it). <ul><ul><li>Goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Premiums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadlines </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  19. 19. 5. Non-donation emails can be your best donation emails. <ul><ul><li>People like to reward good behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daisy chain non-donation actions to donation pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep the % of emails that directly ask for money low </li></ul></ul>For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785
  20. 20. Email Matters- Dionna Humphrey Senior Email Campaigner
  21. 22. Does your website matter? <ul><li>Yes but ONLY if you drive people to it. </li></ul><ul><li>What happens when they get there? </li></ul><ul><li>How do they get there? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you want them to do? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you get them there? </li></ul>
  22. 23. Quality not quantity is key! <ul><li>Options for building your list: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>list swap </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>paid acquisition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>organic growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>email list appends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>events </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Now what? Cultivate! <ul><li>Give new subscribers something to do </li></ul><ul><li>ask them what ’ s important </li></ul><ul><li>flag their interest </li></ul>
  24. 25. Engagement pathway
  25. 26. Email Matters! <ul><li>Now you ’ ve got a cultivated, motivated list - keep them engaged. - ask for money - report back on your victories - tell your story </li></ul>
  26. 28. Email is key <ul><li>Visuals </li></ul><ul><li>links above the fold </li></ul><ul><li>short paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>reinforce the message </li></ul><ul><li>when appropriate, use deadlines </li></ul>
  27. 30. Where does social media fit in? <ul><li>Usually not a big source of revenue BUT </li></ul><ul><li>continually engaged </li></ul><ul><li>primed to take action and get on your list </li></ul>
  28. 33. Thank you. Questions? For Audio: 1-408-792-6300 Event Number: 666 643 785

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