From the RightOnline conference over the weekend, here are a few quick points for organizations to keep in mind about how the Internet affects their fundraising and marketing:
Adrienne Royer, Leadership Institute:
1. Online fundraising, just like traditional fundraising, is about relationships.
2. Online techniques are a supplement to, not a replacement for, traditional fundraising. The two realms of fundraising need to be integrated: When communicating with donors offline, tell them about online giving options. When communicating with donors online, tell them about offline giving options.
3. Best practices in online fundraising are largely the same as those in traditional fundraising. For instance, you still need to follow-up gifts with a “thank you” letter. And transparency should be an important part of your online effort; make sure your IRS 990 is accessible online.
4. But, one way that online fundraising is different than traditional fundraising is that social media (Twitter, Facebook) makes it easier to target “the influentials”—people who will take your message and communicate it to others in their circle of influence.
5. Also, social media compresses the development cycle because it creates more instantaneous feedback from donors. Organizations should take advantage of the opportunity to have mass two-way conversations with their donors.
Todd Thurman, The Heritage Foundation:
1. Twitter and Facebook allow organizations to engage people they might not otherwise reach.
2. Interaction is key on Twitter: Reply to comments. Use hash tags.
3. All non-profits should take advantage of Google Grants, which provides $10,000 worth of advertising on Google searches.
4. Paid ads on Google can also drive traffic on hot topics.
5. We don’t know what the next big thing in social media will be, but mastering today’s platforms will help you transition to whatever comes next.