Network for Good (a major hub for non-profit giving that distributes over $350 million in online donations to more than 45,000 different nonprofits organizations) recently shared some great information that I think should help non-profit organizations (small and large) understand what to expect from their donation campaigns this giving season.
The best news is that giving has gone mainstream – in 2001 the average online gift (through Network for Good’s platform) was $226 – today it’s $73. It’s not that people are giving less, but that more people are giving and mostly in smaller amounts than in 2001. For example, today 65% of Americans give online – compared to just 4% of Americans in 2001.
It’s a great time to raise funds for a worthy cause. Here are three articles to get you started on your donation campaigns:
1. Non-profit fundraising – from email to donation form
Four great take-aways for anyone using email to get visitors to give through online donation forms… Read more »
2. How to craft emails and other communication
If you are sending “e-blasts” to your customers or supporters – please, stop doing it now. This outdated style of email marketing has the same results as fax broadcasts of… Read more »
3. Give your donation campaigns the holiday spirit
…come up with cleaver ways to engage your audience, pair your brand with the festivities, and present an opportunity to convert your audience to customers… Read more »
Good luck – and remember to share this resource with your friends!
If you are sending “e-blasts” to your customers or supporters – please, stop doing it now. This outdated style of email marketing has the same results as fax broadcasts of press releases; your message is ending up in your recipient’s trash.
While email marketing is still an effective way to communicate with an audience, the one-way communication style of the “e-blast” is over. Messaging your subscribers today means doing more than sending emails with commands like “buy, buy”, “click, click”, or, “register now!” If you want to communicate with your subscribers effectively, think “engagement”.
Engaging your subscribers means looping them into a two- or multi-way communication versus subjecting them to one-way communication. The fact is, social media have raised the overall expectations of e-communications to this level. The prevalence of social networks and their popularity in comparison to Websites suggests that subscribers are more drawn to engagement and the communication arena where they are able to give feedback and participate.
Here are examples of steps you can take to make these three popular email marketing asks more appealing:
1. Donate. You’ve stated your worthy cause and have asked for a generous donation. Make it engaging by inviting your subscriber to join a community of volunteers, attend a Meetup in their area or present an opportunity for your would-be donors to get up close and personal with a beneficiary or your organization’s leadership. Even if most of your subscribers don’t take up the invitation to engage, the fact that you present this opportunity will help to legitimize your fund-raising effort.
2. Register. You’ve stated the what, where, when and have asked your recipient to “REGISTER NOW!” Make it engaging by inviting your subscribers to also meet other registrants in your organization’s social network on Facebook or elsewhere. Email solicitation for event registration typically have the recipient asking “is this worth my time and money?”, “will I know anyone there?” or “who’s going?”. Creating a social network around your event is a great way to create buzz and a community that will engage your subscribers – and hopefully motive them to register.
3. Buy. You’ve included a nice big picture of your product with an attractive sale price – and a big “Buy Now!” button. Make it engaging by including the opportunity to share or “Like” the product on Facebook and other networks and allow subscribers to share their thoughts, enthusiasm or questions about your product in their network of friends and family. This simple step could help promote your product further than you imagined.
A popular concern for marketers considering a more engaging e-communication strategy is negative feedback. But the best approach to managing negative sentiment is to create the space for it and be a part of the conversation. So say goodbye one-way communication via e-blasts, and hello to engagement and higher conversion rates!
“Should I create a Facebook page or group?” That’s a question interactive marketing professionals hear all the time. Well, Facebook just made answering that question easier by announcing they are archiving all Facebook groups created using the old group format (‘old’ meaning groups created before April 1, 2011). In fact, the company has flatly stated, “If you’ve been using your old group to promote your business, we recommend you create a page instead.”
According to Facebook, the archiving process will involve converting all old groups to the new group format–but without several key functions and content. For example, old groups will lose members and will not show ‘recent news’ or information about the group’s network and branding.
Here are three things you can do to avoid losing your community of supporters to Facebook’s archive:
Step 1. Upgrade to Facebook group 2.0. If your old group had a lot of activity, you should be able to upgrade to the new version of group; a notification above your group’s wall will allow you to activate the upgrade. Alas, if your group had a steady following but lacked activity, the next time you log in you’ll get a notice that says, “This group is scheduled to be archived.”If this happens you can do one of two things:
- Get some activities going in your group – this might help recover the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ and save your group from being archived.
- Jump to steps two and three below.
Step 2. Start the group-to-page migration. If you have been using a Facebook group for your business or organization, you’ll need to create a Facebook Page pronto – and start inviting your old group members to join your page. You won’t be able to interact with your old group members after Facebook archives your old group so you’ll need to act fast!
Step 3. Start a new group. If you have been using a Facebook group to keep up with friends and family, you’ll need to create a new group and re-invite your friends and family from the old group to join the new one. Facebook wants group managers to use this product to communicate with “…small groups of people in your life“, so don’t start a group if you expect a lot of members – start a page instead.
There are lots of cool features in the new Facebook group format; users will be able to post updates, questions, and photos, host group chats, create shared documents and schedule events — plus take advantage of new privacy settings.
Social media is clearly a great tool for promoting a business or organization. But all business leaders have one concern about social media: What to do about the stream of unflattering feedback in such public forums.
Staying away from Twitter, FourSquare or any of the other social networks is not a good way to manage negative sentiments. A better approach is to take control of the conversation by establishing a presence in the networks so that you can monitor and follow up on negative feedback.
Let’s look at Starbucks as an example, this retail giant is celebrating 40 years of business – and lots of negative feedback! In an interview with USA Today, CEO Howard Schultz described one way the company uses Twitter:
“We have a Twitter feed visible in our corporate office that is unfiltered. So we are watching what people are saying about Starbucks. From time to time I go over and look at it, and it’s not always positive. I like that. I can’t answer why people are so emotionally linked to what we do or why they like or don’t like us so much. I do like the fact that they’re talking about us.”
The fact is, you can’t stop people from using social media to say good or bad things about your business or organization, but if you are a part of the conversation you can clarify misconceptions, learn from accurate criticisms, and show off the positive buzz.
There are apps for almost every interest and activity under the sun – apps for products, services, games, tips, guides, and apps for keeping up with social networks. It’s true that app developers are making lots of money selling apps – but business and organizations are doing just as well by giving away free applications they pay to develop.
Three reasons free apps can be great for your business or organization are –
Service. Make your customers or constituents happy by providing apps that meet their needs and they’ll do more than thank you for it. Not sure what that app might be? How about developing an app that reminds customers of appointments, birthdays, events or updates to your Website? You can also browse an app store for ideas.
Branding. Engaging apps are great for branding. Some of the most engaging apps are those that feature a game or enable social networking – or stuff that people spend a lot of time doing. Associating your brand with a game or a network could be a great way to keep customers thinking about your product or services.
Revenue. You can earn revenue from your free app through advertising. Most free apps pay for themselves by running ads from Google, AdMob or other networks. But best of all, a free app can bring customers to your business or engage constituents!
The fact is, people are more likely to try a great free app than one they have to pay for – consult with an interactive marketing expert to see which app could get your brand out there. Also, check out our our webcast of the recent Google Talks event, “The App Economy: How mobile developers attract users, win fans and make money.”
Facebook profiles aren’t the only products getting a makeover. Starting March 2011 all Facebook pages will start looking like personal profiles. If you have a page for our business or organization, you can start enjoying the new layout right away – that’s right, you don’t have to wait till March to test out the new features.
Here are three great improvements to Facebook pages –
1. Who am I, profile or page? You can now choose to use Facebook as under a business persona – or as yourself. For example, when managing your page, you can either post updates and comments under your name or your Page’s name. The new “use Facebook as your page” setting will also allow you to promote your page on other pages through comments, get notifications when fans interact with your page or posts, and see activity from “liked” pages in your newsfeed.
2. Show and tell. You can now show off pictures affiliated with your business or organization. Similar to profiles, if you tag pictures with your business name, they will appear in a photo banner on the business’ page. This is a great way to showcase your brand, products, services or community.
3. Popular vs. latest posts. Users will have two wall filters. You’ll be able to feature the most popular posts on your Facebook page versus the latest posts.
Here’s to making your business (or organization) look great on Facebook!
Check out our webcast of the recent Google Talks event, “The App Economy: How mobile developers attract users, win fans and make money.”
Jon Potter, RPG Strategies
Leon Palm, Developer, Google Public Sector Team
Ken Yarmosh, Analyst, Developer, & Author: App Savvy (O’Reilly Press)
David Smith, Developer, AudioBookShelf
Natalia Luckyanova, Developer, Harbor Master
Robert Sarvis, Developer, Wertago
1. Get a smart phone. This great tip appeared on the New York Times‘ list of “10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology“. Your clients are no longer using phones for conversation only, they are using them to find products and services, get directions, keep track of appointments and goals. Mobile marketing is the next frontier for engaging your clients. In order to understand how your customers are using mobile phones, you need to become a user.
2. Socialize your Website. If referrals are important to your business, you’ll need to make it easy for your current clients to tell their friends about your great products and services. Subscribe to services (such as ‘Add This‘ and ‘Share This’) that allow visitors and clients to share your content with friends in their social networks. After all, your clients (and potential clients) are visiting your Website, but they are spending most of their time in social networks.
3. Form partnerships to promote your business. Although new media marketing delivers clear, track-able results, it can be costly and time consuming for small businesses. Partnering with a business that is not a competitor is one way to over come the cost and time. For example, if you are running a bakery, partner with the shop next door to retweet messages, Facebook statuses and share a marketing budget. Soon you’ll find that you are building and sharing a community of supporters for half the effort.
Care2 hosted a great Webinar today: The Procrastinator’s Guide to 2010 Year End Fundraising. We’ve remixed four great take-aways for organizations using email to get visitors to give through online donation forms:
1. Get to the point
So, you’ve sent your appeal with a nice “click to donate” button. When your readers click that button they should be taken to the donation form – not to another ‘please donate’ pitch. Your email already made the pitch and the donor is ready to give; inserting another pitch before donation form can be distracting and could lower your conversion rate.
2. Keep your donor focused
Suppress your global navigation if you can. This will help your visitor to focus on why they came to your Website: to make a donation. Continue reading “Non-profit fundraising – from email to donation form”