How to Use the Web to Build Donations
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How to Use the Web to Build Donations

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This presentation will show you how to use your website, social media and inexpensive online marketing tools to increase awareness, expand your donor base and cultivate life‐long donor relationships ...

This presentation will show you how to use your website, social media and inexpensive online marketing tools to increase awareness, expand your donor base and cultivate life‐long donor relationships through the creation of a brand community.

Be sure to check out the notes section for the bulk of the content and the accompanying video will be added soon.

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  • 04/29/10
  • While it would be tempting to look at social media as a way to fundraise, it’s more effective and sustainable as a development tool Connect with fans Share your message Update about recent efforts Facilitate recommendations 04/29/10
  • Our presentation today is about how to think strategically about donor cultivation through the development of online brand communities rather than how to use Facebook or Twitter to raise funds. The web now gives organizations a much better donor cultivation tool than we’ve had up until now. It gives us the ability to forge stronger relationships more quickly and with less resources than was necessary before. 04/29/10
  • The relationship between organizations and their constituents is no longer about once a year events and occasional newsletters about what’s going on. Relationships aren’t built by just telling donors and others what your mission is and who you serve. They are built when a dialog happens that encourages close engagement with an organization and its work. They are built when the community and donors get to interact in meaningful ways with the organization and help it fulfill its mission (and not just through monetary donations). People want to feel connected to the organization they give money to and if they don’t feel connected, they won’t tell their friends to give money to you too. This relationship is looking more like a community where you, your employees, your partners and your donors engage in conversations and interactions that move the organization closer to fulfilling its mission.
  • We like to refer to our brand equity pyramid that measures the level of brand equity you have with your stakeholders on a -5 to +5 scale (there is a shadow to this pyramid as well). The goal in building a brand community is to drive your constituents up the brand equity pyramid from awareness to connection. Once they feel engaged and part of the community, that bond is hard to break and their donations either increase or become more regular. Organizations that have a major share of their stakeholders in the connection area of the pyramid enjoy a few things like: Greater security through more funding sources Larger overall donation Greater word of mouth A safety net in bad times A solid model for sustainability because their community becomes a primary source of revenue while their costs can decrease for marketing and development, etc.
  • So what do donors want from organizations? Alignment of values, transparency and a conversation. They want to be spoken to as if more than just their money matters, they want to feel like the organization shares their values and want to connect on both a head and heart level. They also want to feel included—asked how they want to be able to engage with the organization and given opportunities to be on the “inside” and see the real work of the organization and how it is impacting the lives of the people it serves. At the very least, they want to know where their money is going and the good it is doing, right? Whatever level of connection a donor wants, your website and entire online presence can help you provide that more easily. 04/29/10
  • A social brand is one that is shaped by all of its constituents and therefore dynamic, always relevant and consistently engaging. This means opening the kimono a little and sharing more to get more. It means things like empowering employees to interact with donors and potential donors on Twitter and Facebook. It also means using your website as the hub for all donor and community engagement—building a site that gives visitors many paths to interact with the organization, stay informed, share your mission with others and connect in personal ways (sharing their stories with you, offering their expertise to help, getting to know your staff and other donors).
  • Your brand community is being formed online (whether you know it or not). It is where genuine conversations and interactions are happening around causes people care about and how they get involved with them. It brings together both the organization and the individual to shape conversations around shared values and activities. It is where donors and potential donors find community around their values. This is the future of fundraising and where you net out will depend on how you harness these online experiences to build your brand community. To do this well, requires a strategy. 04/29/10
  • And, social media or online discussions aren’t just for the young. Even if your major donors come from older demographic groups, you will find them online. Social media power users of both the new 30-49 age brackets and the over 50 bracket have used social media to discuss philanthropy. In fact, 84 percent of the social media savvy aged 30-49 and 55 percent of those older than 50 used conversational media for these purposes. This confirms social media is a potential growth area through which major donors can be cultivated. 04/29/10
  • The web makes it easy to connect with organizations and their work. It is instant (on my own time), in the context of what I care about (self-directed), and allows me to connect on any level I want to. But, to leverage the web effectively as a non profit, you must have a strategy—one that starts with your brand promise and your target audiences’ needs, motives and behaviors to meet them where they are at and take them to where you want them to be. 04/29/10
  • A web strategy is a blueprint. It helps you orchestrate the experience your website will deliver and how you will use social media to drive people to your site to connect with you. We recommend thinking about the online brand experience you want to deliver and crafting a strategy that maps out that experience so you can both manage it and measure it. It becomes your blueprint for the design of your site and social media presence and for what types of content and communications you use to create that connection with your community. It also helps align your staff and partners so they can help you deliver that experience and build your brand community. 04/29/10
  • How do you do this? We’ve created a road map to help organizations develop their web strategy with the end result of engaging donors to care and give. It all starts with your brand: what you do and how you do it uniquely, framed in a way that is compelling to your donors. Your brand really informs and shapes who you choose to focus on as your audiences—who are the people that will value you most. By identifying your brand first, you are identifying the right people to focus on and what is your most and highest value specifically for them. Once you have defined this, it is about understanding your audiences implicitly through research—who they are, what they care about, what communities they associate themselves with and what they do online—so that you can be where they are and provide relevant ways for them to get involved and stay involved with your organization. You can do this by talking to them, surveying them or going online and searching Google, Twitter or Facebook for keywords around your mission to see who is talking about it, where they are and what kinds of conversations they are having. Then, when you know more about them, you can segment them into like minded groups and create personas for them—archetypes of individuals, not amorphous groups of demographics. Personas help you put yourself in the shoes of your audience to understand their goals so that you know the best ways to engage with them. Personas aren’t just good for website development, they are also good for fundraising planning, marketing and donor relations work. Then you can start mapping out the experience you want them to have with you on the Web. How will they most likely find you (searching on Google or hearing about you through friends and family, see you on Facebook, or seeing advertising about you)? Once they hear about you, what will they do (visit your site, check you out on Facebook…)? When they do that, what will they want to see? What information will they need to take the next step? How will they want to follow up with you? When you map out a scenario for each persona, you see what content you should provide to ensure they accomplish their goals and experience your difference. Experience mapping also helps you understand where you need to be online to find your audiences and how those online places work together to create a consistent experience. We call this system mapping—figuring out what systems you need to create in order to reach your audiences and deliver that experience. For instance, right now it makes sense that your website is your central information hub for your organization. But, might you also want to be on Facebook so that you can bring your mission closer to where people learn about new things from their friends? Might you also try using Twitter to publicize events or news about your organization? Maybe your organization would benefit from creating a wiki site where all kinds of stakeholders from your organization can work together to further your mission? And, if you are using all of these “systems”, how do they work together and complement each other so that your audiences can engage with you in many ways? Then, we get to the fun part. Remember the blueprint concept? Similar to sketching out design plans for a home, we do something called wireframing. This is when we plan out what your website pages will look like: what content they will have on them, how that content is organized on the page (how much real estate it takes up to show what’s most important), how people will navigate through the site, etc. You could also do something similar to this when creating a Facebook fan page. This is an important step because it clearly lays out how people will be able to interact with you on each page. This informs the design of your site. 04/29/10
  • What should a web strategy contain? Let’s run through this by way of example, using one of our clients, The Wilderness Society, who engaged us to help them define the brand experience of the North Cascades so they could create a community to connect with and support federal protection of the wilderness areas therein. We started by defining the brand promise for the North Cascades (A hidden asset: a recreational, economic and environmental treasure worth preserving), then looking at how each of their audiences might value that uniquely to get a sense of who their audiences were (recreational enthusiasts, conservationalists, and local area community stakeholders), what they were looking for and how the North Cascades might fulfill their needs (help them connect to the area in any way they relate to most and help them understand the benefits of wilderness in each of those ways). Then, we looked at ways we could engage each of those audiences in an experience online and offline that would connect them to the area. Then, we outlined what tools and vehicles we would use online to make that experience come alive (i.e. what kinds of content and functionality their site would use, how they would use other social media tools to drive people to their site, etc.) 04/29/10
  • Their site really needed to bring the experience of the North Cascades to people so they could see why they should care about preserving it. They did this through personal stories, wonderful imagery, a map to help people understand the full extent of the area, organizing content on the site around recreation, conservation and local communities—giving each audience a way in that reflects their interests and draws them in to connect. 04/29/10
  • They then carried this through to their Facebook page, where they were able to connect people to what’s going on with the initiative, what’s going on in the local communities and to each other to share their personal stories. They use Facebook to start conversations and then drive people to their website to experience the area for themselves or learn more. Facebook is a good place for this since it is THE online conversation medium. It is also a great place because their audiences are there already talking about recreation, conservation and the environment—and they can be a part of those conversations that are already happening. 04/29/10
  • Facebook may seem like just another channel you have to manage, but there are really easy ways to repurpose content you post on your site for Facebook and FB gives you the ability to start discussions around that content. For instance, when The Wilderness Society posts a new picture on their site or to Flickr, it can automatically be posted to their Facebook page where they can then post a comment about it and ask others what they think. 04/29/10
  • By also using Flickr, they can increase their reach beyond Facebook to connect with people who love the scenery of the North Cascades, thereby drawing more people in and getting them to care. 04/29/10
  • Then, they repurpose all of that content from their site, Facebook and Flickr to create a monthly newsletter they email to their subscribers to keep them engaged, bring them back to the site periodically and remind them about the cause and why they should stay involved. 04/29/10
  • The practice of building personas is a little bit science (informed by data) and a little bit art (creative writing). They require you to step outside yourself and put on someone else’s shoes so that you can get to know them and their motivations. Take one of your primary audiences who would use your website and think about them as a person. Look at what you know about them through real data or anecdotally and make up their story. Who are they, what do they do for a living, what do they like to do in their spare time, what kinds of things do they do online, what are their life goals, and as a result, how would they engage with your organization to fulfill those? We will go through an example and then have you fill out the worksheet to get a start on one of your user personas. You will want to do a persona for each of your primary audiences, however your organization segments them (by role, or by demographics, etc.). 04/29/10

How to Use the Web to Build Donations Presentation Transcript

  • 1. HOW TO USE THE WEB TO CULTIVATE DONORS
  • 2. WHO WE ARE WHO WE ARE
  • 3. THE WEB AS FUNDRAISING TOOL?
  • 4. OR AS DONOR CULTIVATION TOOL?
  • 5. DONOR RELATIONSHIPS ARE SHIFTING
  • 6.  
  • 7.  
  • 8.
    • Alignment of values
    • Authentic and transparent interactions
    • Opportunities for real engagement, both online and offline
    • Connection
  • 9.
    • That your organization become a social brand —one that creates an open culture where employees, board members, partners and donors are invited to actively participate in fulfilling the mission.
    • THIS REQUIRES…
  • 10.
  • 11. Source: http://mashable.com/2009/03/26/social-media-nonprofit-study/
  • 12.
    • THE WEB FACILITATES ONLINE COMMUNITY
  • 13.
    • A Web strategy provides the blueprint for your entire online brand experience—outlining how you will use all facets of the Web to build your social brand.
    • THINK IN TERMS OF WEB STRATEGY RATHER THAN TACTICS
  • 14.
  • 15.
    • NORTH CASCADES WEB STRATEGY CONTENTS
  • 16.
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21.
    • Exercise: Donor personas
    • Think about the types of donors and potential donors who do or will visit your site.
      • Who are they, what are their roles in life, what are their life goals, why do they seek you out, what information do they need in order to connect with you?
      • What could you do to get your donors more engaged?
    • GETTING STARTED: PERSONAS
  • 22. Donor: Wanda Smith 41, married, college education. • Two teenage kids—Sally, 12 and Tim, 14. • Works for the school district; husband is an engineer. • Enjoys hiking and camping with her family. Life Goals: • To give back, now that she is in a good financial place to do so. • To be more involved with helping her local community and looks for opportunities to involve her children in doing so, to teach them about her values. • To meet new people and network. • To have an experience that will allow her to practice her leadership stills.
  • 23. Donor: Wanda Smith Online Experience Goals: • To learn more about local organizations she can get involved with and to see if she connects with their mission. • To find new ways to give back, other than just donating money, that give her opportunities to involve her kids. • To feel comfortable with the organization’s financial position and know that they aren’t fly by night. • Ability to see the real impact the organization has on the community. • Contact the organization. • Donate online and feel confident that it is secure. Online Communities: • Facebook: uses to stay in touch with friends and family, share vacation and family photos, learn about what people are doing • WA Trails Association: visits to find new hikes and hiking vacations for family, read reviews on trails Email: uses daily for work, to communicate with close friends and family Flickr: uses to post vacation and family photos and share with family and friends
  • 24.
    • Twitter.com/parkerlepla
    • Parker LePla on Facebook and LinkedIn
    • Integratedbrand.com
    • www.onlinebrandex.com
    • QUESTIONS?