The story so far: charity websites and email Presented at Internet Fundraising & Social Media Conference Institute of Fundraising South West, Bristol 16 June 2009 Howard Lake Fundraising UK Ltd www.fundraising.co.uk [email_address] 01206 579081
since November 1994
www.professionalfundraising.co.uk January 2009 Research by Justgiving Photo: Jim Linwood on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/brighton/2153602543/
Get the basics right
Website planning and design
The use of email by charities
Raising funds through your website
Photo: PhineasH on Flickr.com www.flickr.com/photos/phinworld/1103555003/
Guinness World Record Between 6.16pm on 30 December and 6.16pm on 31 December 2004, the DEC website received 166,936 donations, raising £10,676,836 for the Tsunami Earthquake Appeal. This is the most money ever donated online in 24 hours. Guinness World Records
"New media is a very high-reach, low-cost medium driven by content. The great advantage for charities is that they have a great story to tell… New media allows people to participate, so they're not passive recipients of advertising." Joe Barrell Head of Communications, Save the Children Collecting by Clicks, by Trina Wallace SocietyGuardian.co.uk 17 May 2007
1. Website planning and design
How do you make a successful fundraising website?
Photo: Pink Sherbet on Flickr.com www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/253412963/
Charity’s fundraising objectives?
Your top 3?
Resources: content, time, staff
How to measure results?
How do/would you?
Third party providers e.g. Justgiving, Bmycharity, Virgin Money Giving etc
Gathering visitor data (and using it)
Offer newsletter, alerts?
Giving – print-out forms e.g. direct debit, telephone number, and online credit/debit.
Legal issues e.g. copyright (inc. photos), charity number on every page
Domain name(s) – renewal dates?
Technology: content management system (database)
Make it easier
Ongoing access to skills
Is it accessible?
Building it (2)
Build to be found
Good <TITLE>s, meta tags, use of keywords?
Welcome to “ Home Page” 28 November 2006
Building it (3)
Accept/encourage content from users
Use all easy-win opportunities e.g. RSS, Google Analytics, site map
Benefits of a site map November 2007
Donate now button
Make it prominent and consistent on every page
Button or content?
But… don’t rely on it
Give donors what they want
Test prompted levels of giving www.rednoseday.com 16 March 2007
Testing the website
Test it yourself
Ask friendly volunteers/supporters to test it
Ask people with different (dis)abilities
Check paths to giving
Easy errors Forgetting to update your copyright notice’s year on your website. (US figures for end of January 2007) Source: www.blogbaud.com/2007/02/01/copyright-check-is-your-site-still-in-2006
Photo: russelldavies on Flickr.com www.flickr.com/photos/russelldavies/375434178/
Running and developing it
Timetable for updates – who, when, how?
Adding new features – your ideas, and your users
Continue cross-organisation planning
Watch and learn from other charities/companies/your users…
2. Using email
Basics – legal, responding, signatures
Email is important Repeat after me: "Email is more important than my Web site!" Michael Gilbert The Gilbert E-mail Manifesto April 2001
Email will remain important* While social networking and mobile messaging are catching on with adults, email is still the workhorse of your online fundraising. Rick Christ npadvisors.com 19 February 2009 * for a while, at any rate
Opt-in (or even better, double opt-in) is the key to successful email fundraising
Never spam or send unsolicited commercial email (UCE)
Data Protection Act 1998
Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, in force since 11 December 2003
Does your charity have a policy?
What about people on holiday?
Are messages archived?
Answering e-mails to your charity Photo: humain on Flickr.com www.flickr.com/photos/humain/
Use email signatures
Short – 6-7 lines
Contact details, including web and email
Legally required details
Fundraising call to action, including web link
Change call to action regularly
80% of Guide Dogs' income comes from legacies. They are crucial to maintaining our long-term commitment to meeting the mobility needs of blind and partially sighted people. For more information about how you could help transform peoples lives forever with a gift in your Will, please contact Iain McAndrew on 0118 983 8284 Email: email@example.com or visit us at http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/helpus/legacies.htm
E-mail newsletters for donors The mailing list… is probably the most powerful tool a non-profit has to connect campaigners. Mike Johnston The Fund Raiser’s Guide to the Internet 1999, p.169
Combining media works Response rates to direct mail fundraising appeals may increase 18-20% when mailed to donors who have also signed up to receive e-newsletters from the non-profit. Rick Christ NPAdvisors February 2003
E-mail newsletter lifts giving
Stanford University e-mailed 36,398 alumni in 2000
“ a greater percentage of recipients than non-recipients made a gift”
Reactivated lapsed donors: “among lapsed donors… 32% of recipients made a gift in FY2000 — compared to 22% of non-recipients”
@Stanford and Alumni Giving September 2000
Make it easy for subscribers
Best day to send an email? A recommendation on the best day to mail: today. As soon as you have something that your donors will want to read, get it approved and send it right away. Now is always better than later. Shattering Online Fundraising Myths Rick Christ and Heather Fignar 14 February 2005 www.afpnet.org/ka/ka-3.cfm?folder_id=893&content_item_id=19829
Wood Green Animal Shelters and Dodger The shelter needed £3,000 to pay for an operation to save Dodger. It sent 200 emails to staff and supporters, which raised the money in 48 hours - signing up 84 new donors in the process. Step closer to the holy grail Caspar van Vark, The Guardian 8 November 2006
Use third-party tools
Charity Technology Trust
Gather email addresses
Cultivate your mailing list
Respond to unsubscribe requests
Design to get through spam-traps and firewalls
Avoid certain words, don’t use just graphics, avoid all CAPITALS
Learn from delivery and clickthrough reports
Emails can have viral effect
Other email opportunities
Sell adverts on your email newsletter
‘ Email this to a friend’ on your website
Don’t just ask for money e.g. ask for Gift Aid declaration?
Offer sample text on website for free ads in supporters’ email newsletters
Why fundraise with e-mail? Yes, the Internet can facilitate spamming people with more and more requests for money. But its low cost and high touch aspects can also facilitate treating almost every donor with the care and depth of a major donor. That is a genuine breakthrough with enormous rewards. Michael Gilbert Frictionless Fundraising September 2004
Develop e-mail signature and timescale
Check legality/currency of existing e-mail addresses