Thu, May 22 2008

Post your ideas, get advice

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fun stuff •

Just wanted to let you know that I’m a guest advisor over at Ideablob this week.  You can post your ideas there anytime and receive advice from folks with a lot of business savvy.

Ideablob.com is an online community where small business owners and social entrepreneurs (including nonprofits!) are sharing business ideas in exchange for feedback, advice and votes from the community. Advanta, one of the nation’s largest credit card issuers (through Advanta Bank Corp.) in the small business market, awards a $10,000 monthly prize to the best eligible idea, as determined by the votes of the ideablob community.

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Wed, May 21 2008

Synching your online & offline marketing

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Here is today’s fundraising and marketing tip from Network for Good!  You can sign up to receive them via email here.

Online fundraising only makes up a portion of your overall marketing plan. It’s not a stand-alone initiative—it’s an integrated part of your communications strategy. Not only is your strategy multi-faceted, but your donors are too!

Below, check out our tips for integrating your offline and online tactics to best reach your donors across all channels in your online plan: 

Offline Mailing Tips:

•Ask your donors their preference. No, we’re not talking about pizza toppings or movie genres. Reach out to your donors and find out what communications and donation options they prefer. You may think the majority of your folks are strictly offline (or exclusively online). Don’t assume! Get to know them!

•Send a cultivation mailer to your lapsed donors inviting them to visit your website. Direct them to a special page on your site that makes an appeal for why they should make another gift. Learn how to make this landing page compelling.

•Use email to boost direct mail response. Remember: Your donors hang out in multiple channels, and you want to give them options. You can email your subscribers telling them to watch the mail, or wait for the call. You can also try following up a special appeal with an email, saying, “We hope you read our recent letter, just click here to make your donation online today. It’s convenient and saves us money.” The first renewal effort might be conducted by email, followed by the usual multi-letter series, and eventually a phone call.

•Develop a program to gradually gather the e-mail addresses of direct-mail donors who want to add email to their communications with you. Test asks in the direct mail (P.S., buckslip, reply device, etc.) and track response to find the most effective and least expensive ways to gather e-mail addresses without depressing gift response.

•Follow up with email. Email is the fastest and cheapest way to let your donors know what happened after they donated. If your donation appeal made the situation seem urgent, your donors will be left scratching their heads if they don’t hear anything else from you about it.

•Create complementary content. Entice donors reading your printed communications to visit your website for “exclusive” content. Not sure what to offer? Maybe you have educational tips (“Download 10 tips for managing your diabetes!”) or other downloads of content people can’t get from a postcard or letter.

Tips for Other Channels to Consider: 

•Events. Having a fundraising walk? Hosting an educational program? Create an email list sign-up sheet to capture in-person email opt-ins.

•Marketing collateral. Craft your call to action on your brochures and handouts—and let that action have an online option! If you’re requesting donations, give potential donors the address/directions to donate online if they so choose. Remember: Include your website on everything you print/produce. 

•Business cards. In a previous article we advised building your email list in a variety of ways, including email opt-in information in your email signature. Next time you order business cards, why not include a small call to action? (Ex: Donate online at…  Or, Visit our website to learn more…)

•Phone calls. Did you just collect a donation over the phone? Does a donor want some follow up? Try this: After you finish a telemarketing call, tell the donor, “We’d like to send you a receipt to acknowledge your gift. The most efficient way is via e-mail - that way we don’t have to waste paper and postage.” (Thanks to the great Madeline Stanionis for this tip!)

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Tue, May 20 2008

What generations are generous?

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

It must be research season - the interesting studies just keep coming!  Here is another:

Donors across all generations tend to give roughly the same amount to philanthropic causes, when controlling for other factors such as income, education and frequency of attendance at religious services, according to “Generational Differences in Charitable Giving and in Motivations for Giving,” a study conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and sponsored by Campbell & Company. 

Key Findings

There are some generational difference in giving, mostly between the “Silent” and Great generations and Boomer and later generations. Giving differs mostly by factors other than generation – educational attainment, frequency of religious attendance and income. To the extent that these differ by generation, they explain the observed difference in giving by people of different generations. Motivations do vary by income, race, education, region of the country and religious attendance but vary little by generation after controls for these other factors. Millennial donors are most likely to be motivated by a desire to make the world a better place. They give consistent with their income, education level, frequency of religious attendance and marital status.

The full study is here.

 

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Tue, May 20 2008

Donor fatigue, skepticism and scale

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

There is an interesting AP story that just went on the wire stating that numerous disasters in a row - like the Burmese cyclone and the Chinese earthquake - create fatigue and depress giving.  But there is more to that story:

1. It’s not simply the numbers of disasters, it’s the numbers themselves.  It’s well documented that people can’t grasp huge statistics or fathom masses of people in need.  We think in terms of individuals, and so the higher the scale, conversely, we feel the effect less immediately.  Says one non-giver:

“If you thought about at this very second the number of people who were suffering and dying, I could dedicate all my resources to that and yet it would be a drop in the bucket.”

2. Donors need to believe they can make a difference.  That’s not the case in Burma, where aid is being blocked by the miltary government.  It’s more the case in China, where we’ve seen much more giving.

3. Personal ties make a difference - especially in faraway countries, where people may feel less immediately connected.

Interestingly, the story notes the Giving USA Foundation says companies are pledging relief funds for China, perhaps because so many do business there. That last fact is important.

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Tue, May 20 2008

What Makes a Great Donation Page

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

Donordigital has a fascinating new study you can access from their home page.  It reveals the results of lots of testing of various donation pages.  They learned:

·      Size DOES Matter: Bigger donate buttons helped convert more donors

·      Color Can Matter Too: Vividly colored donation buttons had varying levels of impact on donation page conversion

·      Less Is More: Removing unnecessary fields from personal information forms significantly increased conversion

·      Remind people (nicely) why they want to donate: Polite header copy yielded better conversion than a more forceful call-to-action

·      Test, Test, Test: Donation page testing can help improve YOUR organization’s online revenue!

Check it out.  It’s definitely worth a read if you’re raising money.

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