Strategic Social Networking for Fundraising


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Learn how to improve the return on investment from your social media campaign after incorporating a complete communications plan.

- Understand the background of social media in fundraising.
- Discover whether a strategic social media campaign is right for your organization.
- Answer the seven most important questions before starting your plan.
- Learn which initiatives to focus resources on as well as which to avoid.
- Find out whether email is still a viable communication and how to use it.
- Identify when is the time to upgrade to a new online platform.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Strategic Social Networking for Fundraising

  1. 1. Strategic Social Networking for Fundraising Eric Horner October 18, 2011A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  2. 2. Protecting and Preserving the Institutional Memories of Nonprofits Since 1993 (866) 598-0430 info@cjwconsulting.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  3. 3. Affordable collaborative data management in the cloud.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  4. 4. Today’s Speaker Eric Horner Chief Development Officer, Echo FundraisingAssisting with chat questions: Hosting:April Hunt, Nonprofit Webinars Cheryl J Weissman, JW Consulting & Services, Inc.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  5. 5. 5 Strategic Social Media for Fundraising How to improve the return on investment from a social media campaign by incorporating a complete communications plan Eric Horner
  6. 6. Eric Horner’s Background6  10+ years as a Frontline Fundraiser – Alumni Reunions, Non-Profit Boards, & Peer-to-peer Donors – Built strategic partnerships with best firms in social media – University of Chicago • 2008 Alumni & Friends Web Community- the largest project in higher ed – Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago • 2010 SkyRise Chicago fundraiser >$1MM online  What I do as Fundraising Consultant – Helping clients create a strategy for their Online Giving and Social Media – Improving Social Media outreach when it is not achieving desired results – Explaining the importance of Social Media to stakeholders
  7. 7. Critical Components7 A Social Networking Strategy is enhances Online Giving and begins with Annual Fund/Direct Response & these pre-requisite items:  Organizational Website  Online Credit Card processor  Donor Database  Broadcast Email  Policy open to the use of Social Media tools
  8. 8. Why Online Giving is important to NPOs?8  Since 2005, every successful public donor outreach campaign raising over $100 million has utilized an online giving platform. Early adoption of online tools is the key component to acquiring new donors and successfully closing a campaign on schedule.  Your website is the first point of entry for acquiring the majority of new donors and is indispensable to expand beyond a regional-specific market to a larger national and international appeal.  Adding an Online Giving approach maximizes potential new philanthropic support, builds higher donor loyalty from our current audience, and adds virtual infrastructure that assists the front-line fundraising staff‟s engagement.  Starting soon is critical to the success in reaching short term annual goals as well as long term capital campaign targets because it takes several months to build and grow into an online campaign successfully.
  9. 9. World events changed Online Giving attitudes9  2005 Tsunami response by Red Cross raised $9.6M in 12 months; average gift = $121 and $100k an hour reported online at a high point  2006 Katrina response grew online fundraising 40% from „05; total giving to humanitarian and religious NGO‟s totaled $4.25B with almost half raised online  2008 Presidential Campaigns – Over $1.3B raised from over one million people; average gift around $100 – More than 50% of funds raised online for first time ever – Demonstrated how to utilize social network fundraising for multiple gifts – Strategy of consolidating traditional “fundraising bundlers” defeated 2:1 by open online platforms that accept all networking groups – Volunteers participate in the campaign structure remotely from any location  US Postal Service reports 29% less mail volume 2007 compared to 1998 due to increase in email and electronic traffic. In 2010, USPS posts loss of $7B and estimates volume will continue to decline citing increased use of web/email *Tsunami and Katrina reports from Charity Navigator – “Where did my money go?” 2006 *2008 Presidential figures from *USPS figures from Area Mail Process Report 2010
  10. 10. Online Giving is a major part of Overall Philanthropy10  For many donors, the website and emails will be how they know & trust you. They may use your website to research you. Some donors never set foot in an organization. – Make it easy to donate, find out about more about you, and get involved – The quality of your information needs to convey the best about you quickly and pleasantly. – An opportunity to show them how sophisticated, professional, and compassionate your organization is.  Strategic Communication includes the acquisition, development, involvement, and stewardship of donor relationships in support of your campaign – must also include Online Giving – Email & Website content is 100% linked and need to be considered together
  11. 11. Online Giving is a Process; not just a Web Product11  Cost-effective means of maximizing the reach of development – Quickest way to expand donor pool and attract new donors – Web enabled tools are available 24/7 for professionals and volunteers alike – Improves message delivery avoiding SPAM violation and rejection – Automated follow up can improve stewardship and inform new donor interests – Opens outreach to audiences that are not currently serviced by development officer visits including International donors; in fact it creates new leads – Customized micro-sites can promote specific appeals within networks  Increased investment enhances credibility with potential donors – Makes it easy for interested parties to learn about you and donate – Grabs their attention and states “value proposition” clearly & succinctly – Improves customer service responsiveness to frequently asked questions – Provides efficiency, security, and higher satisfaction for donor experience
  12. 12. Online Giving is a Process; not just a Web Product12 Online giving contains the main elements of direct response (target, ask, follow up) with distinct advantages over mail or phone solicitation – 100% measurable– tracks all response actions both pro & con – Personalization tools remove impersonal messages; – Records all history and tracks actions for follow up – Segmentation tools customize emails and web information to the particular interests and cultivation plan of each donor – Information readily available; allows donors to self-identify interests – Viral marketing – donors passing information to new contacts – Provides a conduit for listening to comments and testing messages – Communication can be adapted quickly in response to latest news – By analyzing campaign performance, we learn from successes and each wave of communication improves on the efficiency from the last
  13. 13. Nonprofits increased ROI with Online Giving13 Source: Blackbaud
  14. 14. Capacity of Online Gifts increasing each year14
  15. 15. Facts about Capacity & Online Donors15  Survey of 3,443 donors from a national sampling who contributed more than $1000 per year (online & off line) to 23 major US nonprofit organizations as of March 2008 reveals many similarities among donors who gave online. (Convio’s report- The Wired Wealthy, March 24, 2008)  Demographic breakdowns:  High household incomes. 57% report >$100,000; 27% report >$200,000  Younger baby boomers represented the demographic center of gravity. Mean = 51 yrs old; Median = 50 yrs old; 63% under 55 yrs old.  Highly educated: 51% have grad. degrees; 87% have 4-year degrees  Internet proficiency self-reported:  On average have been active online for 12 years  Majority use email both at work as well as at home  Spend between 14-18 hours a week online  Are increasingly utilizing in mobile web devices- Blackberry, iPhone, etc.
  16. 16. Facts about Online Donors (cont.)16  Online Donors also have these activities in common:  90% make purchases online (58% regularly)  78% bank and pay bills online  65% read the news online (36% regularly)  51% have taken political action online  43% download or listen to music online (18% regularly)  39% view videos online (11% regularly)  25% read blogs (9% regularly)  20% use SMS (text messaging) (10% regularly)  8% post comments on a blog (2% regularly) *from The Wired Wealthy 3/24/08
  17. 17. Most donors who give more than $10k/year…give online17 *from The Wired Wealthy 3/24/08
  18. 18. Reasons wealthy donors cite for preferring online giving involve speed, efficiency, and instant gratification.18  72% believe Online Giving is more efficient and helps charities reduce their administrative costs.  70% say Online Giving lets them donate immediately while they are thinking about it, otherwise they might forget.  68% agree that Online Giving lets charities respond more quickly to crisis or emergency situations.  53% prefer to Give Online because they like the benefit of credit card rewards, frequent flyer miles, and points.  48% consider Online Gifts easier to track overtime.  28% get a feeling of immediate satisfaction with Online Giving as opposed to direct mail. *from The Wired Wealthy 3/24/08
  19. 19. Online Giving > Social Media19 Technology is always changing and the lines are blurring between Website and Email, Bulletin Board and Profile, Personal and Professional, Office and Mobile…  Community  Connections  Content  Calculating metrics Social Media is a broad term encompassing the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. Do you know your audience’s tendencies toward Social Media?
  20. 20. 73% of US Population Active on the Internet in 200920
  21. 21. Social Media Facts21 Nielson, Global Faces and Networked Places, 2009  2/3 of the global internet population visit social networks  Visiting social sites is now the fourth most popular online activity, ahead of personal email  Time spent on social networks is growing at 3x the overall internet rate, accounting for ~10% of all internet time  “Technology is shifting the power away from the editors, the publishers, the establishment, the media elite. Now it‟s the people that are in control.” - Rupert Murdoch, Global Media Entrepreneur
  22. 22. Social Media Facts (cont.)22  Twitter users increased 1,382% from 2009 to 2010  There is an average of 3,000,000 tweets per day on Twitter  People spend 5 Billion minutes on Facebook each day  People share 1 Billion pieces of content each week on Facebook  If Facebook were a country, it would be the 8th most populated in the world, ahead of Japan  YouTube is now the 2nd most popular online search engine, behind Google  100 Million YouTube video‟s viewed per day  In 2009, 3.6 Billion photos were archived on
  23. 23. Basics of Social Media Strategy23 Ultimately, the goal of social media is to build awareness, increase exposure, encourage participation and interaction, and become a resource to your community. It is most effective for philanthropy as an enhancement to your overall Online Giving plan.  Create a Plan  Monitor & Listen  Measure  Engage  Adapt quickly
  24. 24. Social Media Strategy: Create a Plan24 Every organization is unique, but still needs to ask some common questions:  What are we trying to accomplish?  Why are we using social media to do this?  How will we encourage participation? – More than just setting profiles – you need to encourage participation by promoting social media sites through offline activities and reminders such as displaying links in headers, email signatures, business cards and print advertising.  Who will maintain our social media presence?  Do we have the resources to keep this up? – Social media is only effective as long as it is engaging the audience  How does social media integrate into our overall marketing/communications strategy?  What will we do less of if we are spending resources on social media?
  25. 25. Social Media Strategy: Monitor & Listen25  Where does your donor audience currently communicate? – Facebook is the largest network statistically, but you may find your audience is more active on LinkedIN or Twitter, or YouTube. – Conduct a basic census of your people in each network  What is my audience discussing? – You need to join the groups and find out what the topics are. – If you find that there is a lively discussion going around one subject, encourage it instead of trying to control it. Participation of any kind is building bonds with your organization. – Create some Google Alerts about your key words so that you can find out where they are talking about you.  When do you moderate? – You need to establish some basic rules of use which can be different depending on the size and age of the audience. Start with very basic rules – most communities do a good job of self policing. Profanity is not acceptable, for example, nor is it okay to utilize the group for solicitations. – Often times, organizations want to steer the communication, however in social media that tends to push your audience away. Try not to dictate the discussion. The content you provide is sufficient to create topics.
  26. 26. Social Media Strategy: Measuring26  All social networking activity can be tracked. Basic metrics for social media include referrals, page views, unique visitors, visitor loyalty, comment count, members, etc. Custom key performance indicators include buzz index and engagement scores. – Google Alerts – Google Analytics – Open rates & click thrus – Engagement scores  You need to start getting in the practice of regularly tracking your metrics – even it if your metrics are basic at first.
  27. 27. Basic Tracking Example27
  28. 28. Social Media Strategy: Engaging28  Establish your profiles –  Feed new content regularly “build embassies” – Use syndication tools – Facebook – Twitter  Track the progress – LinkedIN – LMAIS baseline averages: – YouTube • Facebook 88% use it – Others - depends on audience – (496 followers);  Find volunteers who love it • Twitter 59% use it – (99 followers); – Empower them as your • LinkedIN 65% use it agents to work on your behalf – (97 followers) – Listen to their suggestions – Be prepared to run with new ideas as they are developed
  29. 29. Syndication of Content29  RSS  Links to the bigger story  Gathering and responding to comments  Hootsuite, Tweetdec, Seesmic, and What? <- Graphic by B. Liedke
  30. 30. What results to expect from your social network30 In any online community, you are always going to have the majority of people acting as dead-weight most of the time. Reasonable success is getting people to graduate up one rung of the ladder. – .5% = Superstars – you wish you had 100‟s of these because they do things that impress you – 5-10% = Evangelists – these people spread your message and connect with the community for you – 10-15% = Donors/Online Participants/Volunteers – you count on them to come through for you when you need them – 10-20% = Responders – sometimes they can be involved, sometimes not – 40-50% = Affiliates – they like what you do, and more importantly like being connected with you – 20% = Free Loaders – they are always there, but you get nothing
  31. 31. Best Practices31  Tell a story using short blurbs that point to something bigger  Organize your data into segmentation groups  Use the “Spaghetti Factor” (throw everything and see what sticks), but you must test quickly and adapt  Let the data set your course – it‟s not always what you thought would happen when you planned (donor-centric model)  Take “little people” seriously; listen to all ideas  Be ready to deal with both good and bad luck –you will get both  Communication must be positioned appropriately in your leadership in order to succeed- less than 3 people‟s approval
  32. 32. An Email – Explained32 “Email has rules as a genre that need to be respected.” -T. Gensemer, Blue State Digital  Email is an action-oriented writing style; it‟s not a flyer  Emails should be less than 250 words. Can link to larger articles on web  Email is never ANONYMOUS – must always have a person sign it – what personality, tone, and style is conveyed?  Schedule your delivery of emails when the timing is right for the recipients (usually Tuesday-Thursday between 9 AM – 5 PM)  Donors are also Activists – give them something to talk about and they will  Your audience will ask three questions every time they read your email: – Why am I on this recipient list? – What does this email want from me? – What do I do next?  Know the rules – regulations like CAN-SPAM, HIPAA, FERPA as well as etiquette
  33. 33. Know what to look for on a website for donors33 Basic Marketing Website is: •Marketed to general public •Not oriented to donors interests •Passive interaction – no email or donor acquisition tools •One-way communication device •Giving tool sits on a deeper level page that is not obvious on top level •Giving page not designed to handle high volume of transactions securely
  34. 34. Better Online Giving Website Example34 Pro- Online Giving Website has: •Multiple giving opportunities •Donor needs to be able to find the GIVE button and make a gift in less than 30 seconds •Shows where funds are going •Designed to handle high volume of transactions securely •Fully usable on multiple browsers and accessible to mobile devices; Check your site out with IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and mobile – from home as well as the office
  35. 35. Donor-Centric Website Example35 Donor-Centric Website has: •A separate donor-centric web community from hospital business •Asks you for info, involvement •Two-way communication portal with content from other donors •Multiple paths to get involved •Use of video and social networking links. •Allows users to make suggestions for new ideas.
  36. 36. Email Examples36 Email Standards •Email is incorporated into website •Donors email/web actions tracked •Learns your interests and encourages related topics •Responsive to user preferences for email volume and type •Conforms to CAN-SPAM •What about the rules… •To/From someone? •<250 words? •Action oriented?
  37. 37. Discussing Advanced Strategy37 Is it time to launch a new online platform?  Categorize the current online situation – content & community  Conduct a needs analysis; be reasonable about your scale  Define your audience  Rally your stakeholders  Prepare a multi-year budget  Introduce RFP’s or design specs  Meet the Consultants & Vendors  Rate the Products and their users  Integration with the rest of your community
  38. 38. 5 Phases of Online Platform Introduction38  Planning & Assessment- outlining the building blocks for the conception, ideation and planning of your online donor community.  Design & Build - includes detailed design and implementation planning.  Launch & Rollout - outlines the marketing activities our platform & team can employ to attract, encourage, sign up and retain donors.  Manage & Sustain - involves the ongoing execution of the plan to achieve our goals and objectives for revenue.  Grow - includes the process by which you create, implement, manage and monitor sustainability over the short & long term.
  39. 39. Eric Horner, Echo Fundraising39   773-329-3609 Eric Horner is a front-line fundraiser with ten years of experience in traditional development operations who also believes in the importance of leveraging web technology and social media to reach an emerging audience. He understands how to enhance an organization‟s annual fund by adding to the overall online giving plan and email solicitation practice while staying consistent with a donor relationship model. Through his career in strategic communications and fundraising, Eric has helped higher education, health care, and community non-profit organizations build stronger solicitation programs that both acquire new donors as well as enhance relationships with existing supporters.
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