I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a house that really prioritized thank you notes. There were other things that were stressed, but I think writing thank you notes was one of the most important lessons that my mom instilled in us. She made writing thank you notes enjoyable—good note cards, fun pens, festive stamps. And she also saved the particularly nice or well written or beautiful thank you notes she received.
I think there is a great lesson that non-profits can learn from my mom (well, there are many lessons you can learn from her, but this one is particularly fitting). If someone makes a donation of time or money to your organization, you should send a thank you note.
...Well actually they do. But lately, I've noticed an interesting trend: I post something on Facebook that I think is fascinating, hilarious, or some deep revelation into the mysterious world of Miriam Kagan, and my social sphere reacts in...dead silence. Failed in my effort to get instantaneous gratification at my own personal awesomeness through likes and comments, I am subsequently delighted and confused by friends who say things like "your Facebook status the other day made me laugh out loud" or "you know, it seems from your Facebook posts like your coworkers are really funny" a few days later, when we are say having coffee.
While my inner social addict silently pouts—"if you liked my status so much, why didn't you actually 'like' it and show the rest of my social universe how awesome you think I am?”— the fundraiser and strategist in me can't help but think how this kind of behavior and interaction applies to ways nonprofits are trying to engage with their constituents.
Advice abounds about tricks and tips for engaging the social sphere. You should use certain key words. Post your comments in the form of a question. Post photos—people like pretty things. Ask for photos – people think they are good at taking them. Respond to comments. Retweet. Pin things. Pin things in a very specific way. Make videos. Annotate them. Animate them. And all of these are certainly appropriate tactics to be found in the social marketing toolkit for constituent engagement.
The part that's still very tricky for most is measuring the impact of these activities. So we start with the industry-wide best practices: How many people like you on Facebook? How many should? Is 10K enough, too little, too many? Not sure?
Try calculating a ratio of how many people comment and/or like and/or share your posts divided by how many like your page. So maybe that gets you an “engagement” ratio. Similarly, how many retweets? Hashtag mentions? Video views? Clicks on embedded links? Conversions? If your embedded donation form isn't getting traffic, does that mean your FB page has no ROI?
A little trickier, but doable, is calculating your most engaged supporters' social media reach: if they repost your post, how big is their network? If they share your video? Retweet you? What is your followers' average Klout score? Metrics, metrics, metrics.
But there is a different kind of reach that is much harder to calculate: the word of mouth/human network reach. How do you measure the impact of motivating and activating your network offline or via word of mouth and the direct or indirect influence social media efforts are having? How do you value the actual impact of your “inactive” social media connections?
Marketers are certainly working hard to figure this out. Media mix attribution models attempt to measure the relative influence of “supporting” channels to ones where an action or purchase is actually made (maybe I saw the promotion on FB but didn't click on anything, then bought an item from the catalog). Social CRM and social media appends attempt to connect social media with constituent and consumer profiles to track integrated interactions (note: this is mostly only possible for consumers with relatively lax profile settings. As in, if you can't find me on Facebook, you can't connect me to the Miriam you have in your CRM).
While measuring the ways humans chose to spread information and WHY on any given day they chose a specific method to do so may never be a 100% data driven, there are some additional approaches to consider in trying evaluating the indirect influence of your social media efforts:
And PS: not that you asked, but my most popular Facebook post ever (generating over 30 comments and a subsequent 5 hour debate over dinner with some friends), was from a question I remembered a professor asked us during an ethics and values class in college: “If someone handed you an envelope that had your entire future written down in it, would you open it and read it?” Would you?
When the American Diabetes Association made the decision to focus on promoting self donations in their 2011 Tour de Cure fundraising campaign, they increased the number of participants contributing to thier own fundraising efforts from 2% in 2010 to more than 37% in 2011. There is no doubt this strategy contributed to the event’s 19% growth in online donations that year.
How can your organization see this kind of success? Here are four ways to promote self donations in your next Peer to Peer Fundraising campaign on TeamRaiser.
In addition to all of the above mentioned it is important that you include information about self donation opportunities in all communications about fundraising. All fundraising activities should include the importance of kicking off your fundraising with a self donation.
Today's post was prepared by Nancy Palo, a Senior Consultant in Blackbaud's Strategic Services team with an specialty in TeamRaiser and peer-to-peer fundraising. She brings more than 10 years experience in the event fundraising experience, including 8 years with National MS Society where she raised more than $30 million.
I wear my Millennial identity on my sleeve.
I’m a proud member of the American generation born between 1980 and 2000, and thus am slightly fascinated by research done on my peers.
The latest chapter in my Millennial research reading spree came in the form of the third annual Millennial Impact Report. In addition to having a very well formatted website and some catchy social media content, the study itself is useful to nonprofits looking to engage those in their 20s and 30s in advocacy and fundraising.
Here’s a few of the stats from the 2012 report and my take on how they’ll impact your online strategy:
We live in a world of touch. Nonprofits touch lives with their mission and passion in working to solve the world’s crises. Individuals touch lives by taking a stand for something we believe in by walking, or marching or running for a cause. Technology touches us, and we touch technology. On average, Americans spend 2.7 hours a day socializing on their mobile devices. “Touch” technology is all around us.
As mobile phone usage increases and technology advances, it seems we now have the world at our fingertips. Whether I’m sitting in bed and catching up on email, out shopping and comparing the prices with the online store, or trying to register for a 5k run this Saturday, I’m touching technology. Literally. Of the 4 billion mobile phones in use on this planet, over 1 billion of them are smart phones. In a study by Microsoft tag, it is predicted that by 2014, that internet usage on mobile phones and smart devices will exceed that of laptops and desktops. That’s in less than two years. And, the growing number of smart devices that use “touch” technology tells us that it’s time to kick adaptation into high gear. In comes responsive web design. And, in comes responsive web design built into the newest release of Luminate Online. [And the crowd goes wild!]
To state it very, very simply, responsive web design is a principle in which websites are coded in a way so that no matter why type of device you are viewing a site on, that site will look nice. Using an iPhone, tablet, laptop or gigantic monitor to view your favorite website? If the site is coded using responsive design technologies (like HTML5 and CSS), then it doesn’t matter what size device you are using; it will render properly. With responsive web design employed on a site or application, the site or app will adapt to your screen size and input device. While it’s actually very practical in terms of technology, it sure feels like magic!
The Luminate Online team and TeamRaiser product are adapting as well. Our upcoming release will feature a re-designed TeamRaiser event registration process which utilizes the latest and greatest in responsive web design technology. What does this mean for your event participants registering through TeamRaiser? They will experience a much, much smoother registration process and will be able to easily complete registration no matter what device they use. [And the crowd goes wild again!]
Here’s a quick rundown on the key benefits:
Sound fantastic? Current TeamRaiser-using organizations may click here for more information.
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