Checklist e book 5.16.11


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Checklist e book 5.16.11

  1. 1. Online Fundraiser’s Checklist 2.0: Covering the Basics to Ensure Success Across Online Fundraising, Email Outreach and Event Management A free eBook from your friends at Network for Good
  2. 2. This eBook was written by your friends at Network for GoodAbout Network for GoodThe Home of Easy & Affordable Online FundraisingAt Network for Good, we don’t just give you a DonateNow button—we help you makesure people click on it. And we don’t just give you EmailNow—we help you run greatemail campaigns. We help you become an online fundraising and marketing superherowithout superhuman effort or a big budget.Here are a few of the ways how we can help nonprofits succeed online:1 Easy, affordable fundraising solutions: Get donations on your website with DonateNow2 Email campaign and newsletter tools: EmailNow powered by Emma for sending and tracking mass emails and telling you which messages work best3 Online event management: EventsNow powered by givezooks! for accepting donations, registrations and ticket purchases online4 Free weekly fundraising and marketing tips: Sign up here for great advice delivered to your inbox each week5 Our free online learning center is filled with ideas and best practices on what it takes to be an online fundraising superhero.We’re biased, but we think there are many good reasons to work with us:☑ Kinship. We understand you because we’re a nonprofit too☑ Value. We handle the tough parts of online fundraising for you☑ ROI. Our customers raise $25 for every dollar they spend☑ Support. We provide lots of training and support via, phone, email and chatnetwork for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 2
  3. 3. SPECIAL OFFER FOR READERS OF THIS GUIDE! 4 INTRODUCTION: Why Checklists Rock 5 CHECKLIST ONE: $50 off set-up Website Home Page 6 CHECKLIST T WO: Donation Form and Tools for DonateNow for online donation processing 7 CHECKLIST THREE: Online Outreach Writing –OR– 8 CHECKLIST FOUR: Email Outreach list $100 off set-up 9 CHECKLIST FIVE: Email Marketing when you subscribe to both DonateNow and EmailNow together11 CHECKLIST SIX: Thanking Donors Visit and use one of the discount codes below to get12 CHECKLIST SEVEN: Planning an Event started, or call 888.284.7978 x1 to speak with one of our fundraising specialists who can provide more information.13 CHECKLIST EIGHT: Event Invitations • When you subscribe to DonateNow for online donation processing with the discount code14 CHECKLIST NINE: Marketing an Event CHECKLIST50 before May 31, 2011, youll get 25% off your set-up fees — an instant $50 savings!15 CHECKLIST TEN: Event Follow-up • When you subscribe to both DonateNow AND EmailNow for your email outreach with the discount code CHECKLIST100 before May 31, 2011, you’ll save 50% off your DonateNow set-up fees—an instant $100 savings!network for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 3
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION:Why Checklists RockA year ago we released the original “Online We’ve got 10 checklists that cover the essentialFundraiser’s Checklist” to our nonprofit audience in basics of online fundraising: your website homeorder for all our readers and trainees to have bite- page, donation form, writing style, email lists, emailsized, easy-to-use, practical tips to be successful using campaigns, thank-you programs, and creating andthe Web. marketing your next event.Now we’re even more excited to share this 2.0 version, Check the boxes on these worksheets, and if you don’twhich covers not only online fundraising basics (like score well, use the helpful (and free!) resources listedWeb design and donation form etiquette) and email on the bottom of the page to improve your onlineout reach to-dos (subject line tips, anyone?), but also fundraising practices. You can always find great freeincludes the third leg of your online fundraising stool: resources at management. (And, if you need the online tools themselves, we’ve gotEven though social media and social networks you covered there, too! Find more information atare shiny and enticing to try, these three areas of, email and events are the bread andbutter of any successful nonprofit campaign to do Here’s to big success in the months ahead!good (and do it well) for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 4
  5. 5. CHECKLIST ONE:Website Home PageLet’s face it: People have short attention ☐ Do you have links to events and otherspans. Especially when it comes to the opportunities for engagement?Internet. Your nonprofit home pageneeds to share just the right amount of ☐ Do you have a clear third-partyinformation effectively and quickly. endorsement on the pages? (For example: ratings from GuideStar and☐ Can a stranger identify what your Charity Navigator, or a testimonial organization does and why they should from someone else regarding your care within two seconds of opening nonprofit’s services) your home page? ☐ Does your website give you and your☐ Do you have a big, emotionally potential donor the opportunity to affecting image or statement on the take the first step in forming a home page that connects on a relationship with you if they aren’t personal level? ready to give now?☐ Can you find your donate button in ☐ Do you list where else donors can find 1-2 seconds? you online, like Twitter and Facebook?☐ Is your donation button framed in ☐ Are you sure you don’t have too a compelling way? What personally much? Is the page clean, simple relevant, tangible change will result if and easy to use? someone gives now? Additional Resource☐ Is your donate button above the fold, big and colorful? • Speed Consulting: Nonprofit Websites Webinar☐ Is it clear where the money goes? To directly which activities or people?☐ Is there a sense of immediacy around your donate button? A reason to give right now?network for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 5
  6. 6. CHECKLIST T WO:Donation Form and ToolsLook over your donation form and makesure it’s the best it can be! Do you have allof the following? ☐ Limited navigation—avoids giving☐ An easy way to get to the form: a BIG users lots of ways to easily detour from donate button that is colorful the page before completing the action☐ One clear call to action on your form ☐ Automatic email tax receipts once the (donate! ) gift is made via the donation form☐ Compelling yet brief copy on the ☐ Opt-in for hearing from you again or an donation form that emphasizes your email sign-up form mission is critical ☐ The ability to configure your form—☐ Copy in a font that is easy for people so you can test different versions over the age of 50 to read ☐ The ability to place web analytics on☐ A look consistent with your brand your form so you know what people do☐ Short donation forms—the more fields when they’re there to fill out, the higher the abandon rate ☐ The ability to set and test different☐ One-page donation forms (not donation amounts mulitiple pages!) ☐ The ability to offer thank-you gifts☐ The ability to make the donation in ☐ Options to accept recurring gifts someone’s name Additional Resource • Sign up for a small group webinar on how to upgrade your page with Network for Goodnetwork for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 6
  7. 7. CHECKLIST THREE:Online Outreach WritingBefore you send or post anything, ask ☐ For longer pieces of writing, do you useyourself the following questions: sub-headings?The Basics ☐ Are all (or most) of your headings links?☐ Is it clear who the audience for your Readability text is? ☐ Are big blocks of text broken ito☐ Is all of your online outreach consistent bulleted lists? in terms of tone and style? ☐ Is the text written in the “inverted-Quality Control pyramid” style?☐ Have you checked spelling and ☐ Are all paragraphs limited to one idea grammar? per paragraph?☐ Is your text readable? (Hint: White text Design on a color background and small font ☐ Does your writing incorporate size are not easy on the eyes.) graphics?☐ Have you checked for wordiness? (i.e. ☐ Do you use sans serif fonts? (ex: Arial, have you whittled down as much as Verdana versus Times New Roman and possible?) Georgia)☐ Did you print out your text and read it ☐ Is all of your text at least 10-point font? aloud? All of it? ☐ Is there negative (white) space?☐ When you want to make edits, do you keep changes in one tracked-changes document for easy updating? Additional ResourcesHeadings • 9 Tips to Improve Your Small-places ☐ Do you limit your use of italics to Writing Webinar captions or phrases? • Big Impact in Small Places eBooknetwork for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 7
  8. 8. CHECKLIST FOUR:Building an Email ListHow are you growing your email list?Website Search Engine Marketing☐ Is the sign-up form “above the fold”? ☐ Have you tried sending click-throughs to a sign-up form (rather than your☐ Can people sign up on any page on home page or an event page)? your website? ☐ Have you signed up for keywords☐ Is there an immediate offering of what related to your topic and the they’ll get in return? content your organization can provide via email?☐ Does your sign-up form and the text around it make a promise about what Offline Capture to expect (frequency, privacy, etc.)? ☐ Have all people who answer the☐ Have you thought about whether you phone been instructed to ask for should use a single- or double-opt-in email addresses? policy? ☐ Do you promote e-newslettersEmail Marketing and online content in your print newsletters?☐ Are “Forward to a Friend” and social sharing links in every message? ☐ Do you promote e-newsletters and online content in your direct mail?☐ Have you reviewed your content to make it worth sharing? ☐ Have you begun to request opt-ins at all events?☐ Is there a link to the sign-up form in your personal email signature? ☐ Will you mention our online communications in the next mediaSocial Networking mention you have?☐ Does your organization’s social Additional Resources networking presence encourage “friends” and “followers” to visit your • It’s All about the List! How to Grow home page and/or sign-up form? and Cultivate Your Most Valuable ☐ Do your promotional mentions show Online Asset exclusivity? (i.e. If I Tweet about joining our enewsletter list, have I clearly • Growing Your List Audience with shown why that’s special?) EmailNownetwork for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 8
  9. 9. CHECKLIST FIVE:Email MarketingGetting ready to hit send on your latest ☐ Does this email have a personal touch?email marketing masterpiece? Whether it’s with a personalized greeting, warm tone or specializedHere are 9 points to review before you do: content, make sure your email feels like☐ Does your subject line entice readers to a conversation with people who know open? They’re the most important 8-10 you, not a “blast” to a list. words in your campaign. Make sure ☐ Are you being CAN-SPAM compliant? yours is a clear, concise introduction It’s important to manage your that entices your readers to take a online reputation by following best look inside. practices (and, you know, the law).☐ Are you making the most of the Follow the basics by including your preview pane? At first glance, many of physical address at the bottom of your recipients will see just the first few your campaign and from which you’ll inches of your campaign, so make your respond. (Those “donotreply@soandso. point – and your brand – stand org” addresses are a no-no!) out there. ☐ Do you have permission to email☐ Is your email easy on the eyes? With everyone on your contact list? simple, intentional font and style Permission-based email outreach is the choices, you’ll help grab and keep your way to stay in your supporters’ good readers’ attention. graces. Having “permission” means☐ Does the message come through, even someone on your list is a member if the images don’t? Since many email or subscriber of your organization, clients don’t automatically display has signed up or otherwise asked to images, balance yours with text that receive your emails or has participated will help you make your point in any (perhaps donated or attended a special display possibility. event) in your organization within the past 18 for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 9
  10. 10. ☐ Are you incorporating what you Additional Resources learned from your last email campaign? • Bring Your e-Newsletter from There’s no such thing as a perfect email, Snoring to Soaring but you can certainly work to improve open, click-through and response rates • 7 Steps to Better Email Fundraising & by paying attention to the results of Communications your previous campaign(s). • Four Principles for Making Your ☐ Have you tested any part of your email Newsletter a Powerful Fundraising message? It might not be realistic to Tool test your subject line (i.e. send out a • The Nonprofit Email Marketing couple of versions of your campaign Guide eBook prior to the larger send to see which performs better) or lead article every time you send a message, but even an informal poll around the office may give you perspective on what will be most for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 10
  11. 11. CHECKLIST SIX:Thanking Donors☐ Do you send receipts and a ☐ Do you make it extremely clear to personalized thank-you immediately donors what you’re doing with their upon receiving a donation? investments?☐ Do you thank donors again later in the ☐ In your thank-yous, do you tell one year, reporting on the impact of their specific story of how your donor’s gift is donation? making a difference?☐ Do you thank three times for every ☐ Do you let your volunteers, service one time you ask for more money? Do recipients, other donors speak for you? you give the donors the credit for the Don’t be the only one thanking your impact? (Remember, it’s about what the donors! donor achieved, not just how great you are!) Additional Resources☐ Do you personalize your thank- yous with atleast the donor name • Thanks a Million: How to Thank Your and a signature of someone at your Donors So They’ll Come Back and organization? Give More☐ When thanking donors, do you tie the • The Number One Reason Donors gift back to the appeal – thanking the Stop Giving donor for the specific reason you asked for money?☐ Do you experiment with occasional handwritten notes, phone calls, children’s drawings, volunteer-written letters or other “wow” factor notes from time to time?network for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 11
  12. 12. CHECKLIST SEVEN:Planning an Event☐ Set your grand plan: your brand and mission, you goal, your budget, your available time, your ☐ Who is my audience? expertise, your staff and/or volunteer ☐ What do I want them to do? Am availability and competencies. I trying to educate people? Am I ☐ Did you set a time and place and get seeking actions supportive of my the logistical planning underway? cause? Do I want to raise money? ☐ Have you secured corporate sponsors? ☐ Is an event the best way to get my audience to take the action I desire? ☐ Is your event a dynamic, engaging experience from start to finish? Make ☐ Is an event an ideal complement it so by focusing on the experience to my organziation’s other of the invitees and putting together engagement efforts? a full communications plan for them ☐ What’s the key theme or message (not only including a great invitation for the event that will prompt but also cover a fun acknowledgement the audience to take the desired process and a dynamite series of actions? interactions at the event). ☐ What should be the stated purpose of the event? Additional Resources ☐ Where is the best place to stage the event given the audience and • Six Steps to a Better Event purpose? • What You Need to Remember When ☐ Have you determined the event’s Planning an Event overarching goal? • Maximizing Event Fundraising ☐ Have you set a budget? Success with Corporate Sponsors Webinar☐ Have you chosen the right type of event? Choose the right type of event that best aligns with your audience,network for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 12
  13. 13. CHECKLIST EIGHT:Event InvitationsThe key to a successful event? Attendees! ☐ Do you collect everything that’s key toHere are a few invitation tips to keep in know from attendees (shirt size, foodmind: preference) without overwhelming them with questions?☐ Does your invitation compellingly and emotionally remind people of why they ☐ Have you made it incredibly easy to should care about your organization? RSVP and buy a ticket or register? With online invites, you can convey ☐ Is there a chance to add a donation to this with photos and video very the transaction – or a way for people inexpensively! who can’t attend the event to donate?☐ Does it makes a clear case for why the ☐ Does it give invitees a way to spread event is worth the invitees’ time? the word if they want to let others☐ Is it clearly branded to your know about the event? For example, organization? this could be through social networks, links, badges and buttons.☐ Does it show what impact the event will have on something important?☐ Is it personal? Additional Resources☐ Is it clear? The critical elements of price, • Handling the Challenge of Holding time, place, attire, etc. should be easy Events to find. • How to Revolutionize Your Special ☐ Do the price tiers make sense for the Events audience? Is there an incentive to buy now (early bird specials, etc.)?network for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 13
  14. 14. CHECKLIST NINE:Marketing an EventTo whom should you market your event? What channels will be most effective inspreading the word and increasing registrations? Make sure you have all of these basicscovered:☐ Outreach to local media (especially if you have something mediagenic to offer!)☐ Calls to influential supporters☐ Flyers or posters in key places☐ Everywhere online— o Your website o Your email o Your sponsors’ websites o Your e-newsletters o Your social media outposts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn)☐ Your corporate sponsors—work with them on ways to engage their employees☐ Your biggest fans—ask your most loyal supporters to spread the word to their networks on your behalfAdditional Resources• How to Write a Human Interest Story• Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits Webinar• How to Increase Attendance & Fundraising Results for Your Next Event Webinarnetwork for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 14
  15. 15. CHECKLIST TEN:Event Follow-up☐ Have you used your reporting tools o Find out if there’s anyone else they from your event management system think might be interested in getting and feedback from staff, sponsors and involved or attending a future event. attendees to assess what worked – and (Notice that none of these steps involve what didn’t? Record and share this asking for money— this part is about information within your organization trying to develop a relationship with a so you can follow up on any loose ends, person, not an ATM!) smooth any ruffled feathers, celebrate any successes and define what to ☐ Do you have a plan to reach out to the repeat or change next time. new people who became part of your prospect list? They came in as part of☐ Have you re-engaged with everyone the event or the post-event calls. Share who participated – from sponsors to photos or results from the event and volunteers to attendees to staff and invite them to the next one (or to be on donors? Share photos or results and the list for the next one). give them the credit for the impact you had. ☐ In a few months, report back to everyone the impact of the event on☐ Have you called every attendee and your key issue and goal. If a shelter was started a dialogue? Using these 5 tips built or a life was saved, they need to from Terry Axelrod of Benevon®: know about it! o Thank them genuinely for attending. ☐ Have you worked with your corporate o Ask them what they thought of the sponsors to develop ways to engage event—and be quiet and let them their employees? talk. ☐ Have you reached out to your biggest o Listen and identify their “hot fans? Ask your most loyal supporters to buttons.” spread the word to their networks on your behalf. o Ask if there’s any way they could see themselves becoming involved with Additional Resource your organization in the future. • The Big Event eBooknetwork for good online fundraiser ’s checklist 2.0 15