The Downturn Guide to Online Fundraising & Marketing

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Do you need more visitors to your nonprofit website? …

Do you need more visitors to your nonprofit website?
Does your "Donate now" button need more clicks?
Are you tring to make sense of social networks like Facebook?

It's time to boost your online fundraising results with proven strategies and tactics for success. Join Jono Smith as he covers the basics of an effective online fundraising and martering startegy and answers your questions. You will leave this session armed with practical tips for making email and the web part of your fundraising program -- even during this down economy. If you are curious about social networking tools, you will learn how organizations are successfully embracing Web 2.0 social media to get concrete results. If you're a procrastinator and are only just revving up your holiday fundraising plan, this is a seminar you do not want to miss!

After this session participants will understand:

* How to cultivate donors online
* How to get results from social networking
* How to maximize end-of-year fundraising

More in: Business , Technology
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  • 1. The Beginner's December Downturn! Guide to Online Fundraising & Marketing Jono Smith | Event 360 National Philanthropy Day | November 12, 2009 The Brandywine Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals © Event 360 | Page 1
  • 2. Agenda & Key Takeaways • The business case for online fundraising • Why December is the most important month for online fundraising • 11 rules for online marketing & fundraising success • Bottom line: A few good ideas to try at the office © Event 360 | Page 2
  • 3. Download the slides tomorrow morning from www.event360.com or leave your business card and I will email you a copy. © Event 360 | Page 3
  • 4. © Event 360 | Page 4
  • 5. Rumors Facts • Offline donors do not • 50% of offline donors donate online research their gift online • Online fundraising is for • Online donors are small gifts only generous – ($163 avg); • Middle and major donors • Internet is a favored way don’t want to hear from for middle and major you online donors to engage © Event 360 | Page 5 Source: The Young & the Generous and Wired Wealthy
  • 6. Who is Giving Online? • Greatest + Silent • Baby Boomers • Generation X Generations (1901- (1946-1962) (1963-1980) 1945) • Multi-channel donors • The web generation • Direct mail & • Account for 52% of • Generally not telemarketing donors online giving* responsive to direct • Account for less than • Active web users at mail or telemarketing 15% of online giving* home and at work • Account for about • Occasionally visiting 30% of online giving* your website and reading your emails © Event 360 | Page 6 ** 2006 donorCentrics™ Internet Giving Benchmarking Analysis
  • 7. Why Are They Giving Online?* • It’s easier than writing a check • It’s a fast way to provide disaster relief • It can be anonymous • They like recurring donations • Easy way to convert impulse to action © Event 360 | Page 7 *Network for Good Study, “The Young and Generous”
  • 8. How much can a small nonprofit raise? • Budget: under $250,000 • 910 nonprofits • $9.3 million raised • Monthly average: $858 • Annual average: $10,296 Source: Network for Good’s Custom DonateNow (April 2008-April 2009) © Event 360 | Page 8
  • 9. Why December Is So Important • Over 45% of annual giving via Network for Good’s donation processing system is during December; this percentage of annual giving has remained consistent within 5% since 2003. • In December, nearly half of the donations for the month are in the last 6 days, when nearly each day NFG is processing $1 million or more in donations. • Average donation is higher in December; in 2007 it was $189 versus $135 the rest of the year. © Event 360 | Page 9
  • 10. 10-Point Online Check-Up 1. Is your URL guessable? 2. Do your publish your URL on every communication, both online and offline? 3. Do you use website design strategically? 4. Do you provide relevant content? (Marketing + Journalism!) 5. Do you tell your story through pictures, videos, or podcasts? 6. Can you collect email addresses on your website? 7. Do you use email marketing & search marketing to drive traffic back to your website? 8. Can you accept online donations on your website? 9. Do you have a blog? 10. Can people find your website in search engines? © Event 360 | Page 10
  • 11. © Event 360 | Page 11
  • 12. Rule #1: Online Strategies vs. 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. • Your website, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Facebook, etc. are all tactics that can be used to accomplish that end. © Event 360 | Page 12
  • 13. Sample Online Strategic Plan • Strategies:  Expand online giving opportunities on our website  Grow our database of emails, including collecting email addresses for current donors • Tactics:  Optimize our website & donation page for success  Monitor our online reputation  Increase our ‘findability’ on search engines with great content and Google Grants  Use email marketing to build relationships and drive traffic back to our website  Analyze & measure, revise tactics, and optimize strategies © Event 360 | Page 13
  • 14. Online Fundraising & Marketing Framework Audience Objectives Strategy Tactics Email Video / Website Marketing Blog Search Pictures Measurement © Event 360 | Page 14
  • 15. Downturn Strategy: Maximize Net Revenue Before you spend another dollar on your existing marketing or fundraising programs, I would ask three questions: 1. Does it increase donations? 2. Does it boost net revenue? 3. Does it protect an existing revenue stream? Some nonprofits don't measure net, they measure gross. And so they may be thinking they're producing a lot of money, but they're actually losing money. © Event 360 | Page 15
  • 16. Rule #2: Focus on the Donor Experience What kills online donations? • Usability is the ‘donation killer’ • Turn-off factors:  2 in 10 people can’t find where to donate  4 in 10 people don’t donate because of poor design, cluttered pages and unintuitive layouts.  4 in 10 people can’t find the information they need or find the website content unclear. © Event 360 | Page 16 Source: Donation Usability: Increasing Online Giving to Non-Profits and Charities
  • 17. Rate the Donor Experience © Event 360 | Page 17
  • 18. © Event 360 | Page 18
  • 19. Rule #3: Optimize Your Donation Page in 10 Steps 1. Does your donation page look like your website? 2. Do you offer support for one time & recurring gifts? 3. Can donors make anonymous donations? 4. Do you provide both online & email tax receipts? 5. Do you offer tell-a-friend? 6. Can you ask custom questions? 7. Do you offer an email opt-in? 8. Can supporters make tributes or memorial gifts? 9. Can your supporters designate specific programs? 10. Can you offer thank you gifts & premiums? © Event 360 | Page 19
  • 20. Rule #4: Make your Donate button obvious. © Event 360 | Page 20
  • 21. © Event 360 | Page 21
  • 22. Rule #5: Listen to Understand Tools to find supporters & monitor them © Event 360 | Page 22
  • 23. Rule #6: Break the Outlook Habit Still sending your newsletter from Microsoft Outlook? Six reasons you need an email service provider 1. Your emails may look terrible. 2. You may get blacklisted 3. Say hello to your recipients spam, junk or bulk mail folder. 4. Send emails to thousands of recipients, and you'll get all the bounce-backs and auto-replies from them. So much for free time! 5. You might be breaking the law. According to the CAN-SPAM law, if someone requests to be removed from your list, you must do so within 10 business days. 6. You won't know if anyone is reading your emails. © Event 360 | Page 23
  • 24. © Event 360 | Page 24
  • 25. Rule #7: Grow your Email List with Tell-A-Friend © Event 360 | Page 25
  • 26. Rule #8: Get serious about email outreach What makes a good email campaign? • Get serious about the subject line  June Newsletter  5 Tips to Fight Global Warming • Focus “above the fold”  Most people use a preview pane when perusing their inbox, so it’s important when laying out your email’s content to put a lot of attention on the top four inches and use that prime real estate to the best of your abilities. © Event 360 | Page 26
  • 27. December 26-31 Send your donors a fundraising email the day after Christmas. Test two different versions. The growth in online giving is especially notable in the last week of December, when online giving’s advantages of convenience and immediacy are crucial. Nearly 45% of annual giving via Network for Good’s donation processing system is during December. Nearly half of the amount processed December 2007, which was $20M, was donated in the last 5 days of the year. © Event 360 | Page 27
  • 28. December Strategy • In addition to your core mailings your have planned in December, be sure to send out an extra appeal between the 26th and the 31st. • The last week in the year is always hectic which means your message should be short and simple; reminding people how easy it is to make their year-end gift online in the last few days of the month. © Event 360 | Page 28
  • 29. December Strategy • Many organization’s top performing mailing is sent on the 30th with a short and simple reminder, “Still Time to Donate in 2009!” • This year especially, when people may have less money, remember to highlight monthly donations as a way to afford the same level of giving spread out over time. © Event 360 | Page 29
  • 30. Rapid Donor Cultivation (RDC) • In the online retail industry, savvy retailers noticed that online prospect affinity is typically highest for the first 30 days after the visitor opts in to the retailer’s email list. • This honeymoon period—the high-affinity phase—is characterized by higher email open, click, and conversion rates. © Event 360 | Page 30
  • 31. Rapid Donor Cultivation (RDC) • It turns out that this behavior is also demonstrated by new nonprofit e- subscribers. • You can capitalize on this high affinity period by sending a stream of carefully crafted emails with select content and calls-to-action to the new subscriber over the first 30 days. • TIP: Test a 5 or 10-email stream, ending with a targeted fundraising ask. © Event 360 | Page 31
  • 32. Sample RDC Campaign Issue Call-to-action 1. Welcome Read article on website 2. Elephants Visit blog 3. Elephants Petition 4. Whales Quiz 5. Whales Survey 6. Eagles Photo Contest 7. Eagles Audio 8. Puppy Mills Video 9. Puppy Mills Donate 10. Puppy Mills Donate © Event 360 | Page 32
  • 33. RDC Results • The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was one organization to explore this innovative concept of Rapid Donor Cultivation  The time to first gift decreased by 17 days  Rate of conversion of subscribers to donors increased by 83%  Rate of conversion of subscribers to activists increased by 110%  Average value of first gift increased by 15% © Event 360 | Page 33
  • 34. Rule #9: Make your organization easy to find Sponsored Organic © Event 360 | Page 34
  • 35. © Event 360 | Page 35
  • 36. Rule #10: Put yourself in your donor’s shoes. • The biggest mistake you can make is making it about you. It’s about the audience. • Online marketing is not a monologue. • You are not the target audience The Mission Megaphone • Marketing is about looking at the world from the point of view of our audience rather than our own. © Event 360 | Page 36
  • 37. Rule #10: Put yourself in your donor’s shoes. “Alopecia Areata Society” • Disease: makes your hair fall out • Support group: makes you feel ok about it • Benefit: Self-esteem • Awareness: Bald + women does not always equal cancer. © Event 360 | Page 37
  • 38. © Event 360 | Page 38
  • 39. Rule #11 Social media is not a silver bullet for online fundraising. © Event 360 | Page 39
  • 40. What is Social Media? Social media includes tools (like blogs & video) and websites (like Facebook & Twitter) to share content and have conversations online. © Event 360 | Page 40
  • 41. Shiny Object Syndrome: “Don’t Be Another Fool With A Tool” © Event 360 | Page 41
  • 42. 5 Steps to Social Media Success Questions to Answer Before You Start 1. Who is our audience? Build personas 2. Where are they online? Do your research 3. What do they want to do; what are they currently doing online? Observe and participate 4. What do we want them to do? Test different calls-to- action 5. How will we measure success? Set quantifiable goals © Event 360 | Page 42
  • 43. © Event 360 | Page 43
  • 44. How A Blog Helped Save the 4th of July • The Celebrate Kirkland team had a daunting task: to raise at least $30,000 in just a few months. • Without donations, Kirkland, Washington, wouldn't put on its annual Fourth of July celebration. © Event 360 | Page 44
  • 45. Blog Strategy - www.celebratekirkland.blogspot.com • Fundraising widget with current donation total • YouTube video of a previous fireworks show • Slideshow of Fourth of July photos • Badge linking to the Facebook page • Link to the Twitter page • Poll of how many times viewers have attended a 4th in Kirkland • Brief bio on Celebrate Kirkland • A link to celebratekirkland.org © Event 360 | Page 45
  • 46. Blog Strategy - www.celebratekirkland.blogspot.com • Notifying past, current and potential supporters to follow • Searching for other relevant blogs to request info • Commenting on local or regional blogs that would have an interest in our blog and campaign • Notifying Media about the blogs • Pushed out through all of out other communications channels © Event 360 | Page 46
  • 47. To blog? 1. Are you listening to your online community? 2. Do you have something unique to say? 3. Are you willing and able to say it? 4. Are you willing to be challenged and criticized? 5. Are you willing and able to dedicate the resources to succeed? Source: Matt Dickman, Techno//Marketer blog: http://technomarketer.typepad.com/ © Event 360 | Page 47
  • 48. Causes on Facebook The Causes application for Facebook adds the ability to solicit and make donations from within Facebook. © Event 360 | Page 48
  • 49. © Event 360 | Page 49
  • 50. What’s Working? Contests © Event 360 | Page 50
  • 51. 11 Rules for Online Fundraising & Marketing 1. Understand Online Strategies vs. Tactics 2. Focus on the Donor Experience 3. Optimize Your Donation Page in 10 Steps 4. Make your Donate button obvious 5. Listen to Understand 6. Break the Outlook Habit 7. Grow your Email List with Tell-A-Friend 8. Get serious about email outreach 9. Make your organization easy to find 10. Put yourself in your donor’s shoes 11. Social media is not a silver bullet © Event 360 | Page 51
  • 52. CONTACT JONO SMITH VP, Sales & Marketing Washington, DC jsmith@event360.com 773.247.5360 x130 www.event360.com © Event 360 | Page 52
  • 53. APPENDIX: Event 360 Case Studies • Global Race for the Cure Case Study • Florida AIDS Walk Case Study • Memory Walk Case Study © Event 360 | Page 53
  • 54. GLOBAL RACE FOR THE CURE CASE STUDY Unleashing the power of e-Communication Challenges • Increase fundraising • Add value to sponsorships • Revitalize the event Solutions • Utilize Convio to segment participants and developed an e-communications plan based on those segments • Re-engineer the event itself to tailor different experiences for walkers and runners; ensure participants finish in the sponsor marketplace Results • Increased overall fundraising 20% • Greater visibility added value for sponsors • $4.3 million raised for Susan G. Komen for the Cure • Client feedback: “Event 360 knocked it out of the park” © Event 360 | Page 54
  • 55. AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION CASE STUDY Delivering results while reducing costs Challenges • Increase fundraising • Increase day-to-day ownership of the event • Reduce costs and streamline production Solutions • Provide production oversight while training staff to better manage more aspects of the planning • Refine vendor needs • Revisit event costs and eliminate waste Results • Increased net profit for the 2008 event by 130% over 2007 • Nearly tripled the amount raised per walker nearly tripled from 2007 to 2008 • 8% increase in donations per walker over 2008 • Further decreased costs by $15,000 from 2008 to 2009 © Event 360 | Page 55
  • 56. MEMORY WALK CASE STUDY Consulting to uncover inefficiencies Challenges • Unify and maximize the performance of over 600 events held by more than 80 individual chapters • Improve link between events and mission • Increase fundraising Solutions • One-on-one interviews with key stakeholders • In depth quantitative analysis of fundraising performance • Benchmarks were set and goals were established Results • Chapter participation has shown amazing new strength • Total dollars raised increased by 15% in the first year alone • 25% of walks grew by 25% or more © Event 360 | Page 56
  • 57. © Event 360 | Page 57