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How to use digital tools to make money online

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Nathaniel Ward's presentation to the Leadership Institute's comprehensive fundraising school on September 30, 2013 about online fundraising and digital marketing, including social media and e-mail, with examples drawn from The Heritage Foundation.

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How to use digital tools to make money online

  1. 1. The fun stuff: How to use digital tools to make money online Nathaniel Ward September 30, 2013
  2. 2. Two goals for digital fundraising 1. Building relationships 2. Making money
  3. 3. A few rules • Do things that work, not things that are trendy • Don’t treat your online donors differently • Don’t be afraid to ask. If you don’t ask, they won’t give.
  4. 4. Where to begin 1. Your web site—20% of Heritage online giving 2. E-mail list—80% of Heritage online giving 3. Mobile—13% of Heritage online gifts via phones & tablets 4. Social media—0.1% of Heritage online giving
  5. 5. 1. Make sure people can donate on your web site
  6. 6. Making a donation should be easy • Use a big, obvious button • Avoid vague words like “support”
  7. 7. Offer monthly giving options
  8. 8. Use your website to build relationships and make the case • Show your impact and successes—what does someone’s donation support? • What are you doing to advance the cause your donors care about?
  9. 9. 2. Build an effective e-mail program
  10. 10. Donors with e-mail address are more valuable $78 $79 $116 $207 $0 $50 $100 $150 $200 $250 Online Donor Offline Offline w/ Email Dual Channel Revenue per Donor by Channel of Giving
  11. 11. How to build your e-mail list • Offline • Direct mail reply forms • Events • Online • E-mail signup forms on your site • Surveys, polls, and petitions • Donations
  12. 12. Build relationships with your subscribers with regular updates
  13. 13. Always allow someone to donate
  14. 14. Think in terms of funnels Open an e-mail Click the e-mail Donate on your site Remember, your donors can only give once they get to the donation page.
  15. 15. 1 2 3
  16. 16. Tips to strengthen your fundraising e-mails • Focus on getting someone to click in the e-mail • Send donors to a dedicated landing page, not to your home page • Use similar copy on your landing page and in your e-mail
  17. 17. 3. Make sure you’re mobile-ready
  18. 18. Your donors probably use a mobile device of some kind • 91% of American adults have a cell phone • 56% have a smartphone • 28% own an Android • 25% own an iPhone • 4% own a Blackberry • 34% own a tablet Source: Pew Internet http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/February/Pew-Internet-Mobile.aspx
  19. 19. Mobile traffic on Heritage.org is up 300% in two years 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Jan-11 Apr-11 Jul-11 Oct-11 Jan-12 Apr-12 Jul-12 Oct-12 Jan-13 Apr-13 Jul-13
  20. 20. iOS users give most online gifts • 13% of Heritage online revenue is from mobile • 89% of mobile gifts from iOS • 66% iPad • 23% iPhone
  21. 21. Don’t let this happen to you It’s so small!
  22. 22. Optimize your e-mails for mobile
  23. 23. Optimize your donation pages for mobile
  24. 24. 4. Use social media to build relationships, not to drive gifts
  25. 25. Social media may not be a good target for fundraising • 51% of conservatives use social media weekly • But just 39% of those 65+, a key demographic • Just 14% of social media users say they want to donate from social media • 27%+ would sign a petition • 18%+ would contact their lawmakers
  26. 26. Facebook is where the action is Where social media users say they go weekly • 71% Facebook • 19% Google+ • 18% Twitter • 12% LinkedIn
  27. 27. This is our most successful social media fundraising post of the year It brought it just 26 gifts.
  28. 28. How to build an online campaign that really makes money
  29. 29. Set deadlines to add urgency
  30. 30. Establish clear goals to show how each gift makes a difference
  31. 31. Use a matching gift to inspire additional donations
  32. 32. Use all your channels together to build a single campaign Overall goal Mail Online Phone
  33. 33. Remember to ask for money • All else being equal, more e-mails means more revenue • Don’t base your e-mail schedule on what you think you’d like to receive • Ask all your donors for money, even those acquired offline
  34. 34. To recap . . . • Do things that work, not things that are trendy • Don’t treat your online donors differently • If you don’t ask, they won’t give
  35. 35. And the number one trick to being a great online fundraiser?
  36. 36. Assume you have no idea what actually works. But more about that in the next session.
  37. 37. Questions? @nathanielward

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