Infographics are all the rage, and do we have one for you today! Who doesn't love big bold pictures with bits of trivia and data on online fundraising, advocacy, email and events that you can use to impress your coworkers? This year's 2012 Benchmark infographic condenses 56 pages of fundraising data in one awesome graphic. You're welcome. Pin it up in your cube, present it at your next staff meeting, or fold it in your pocket for the next nonprofit pub quiz. Choices are endless!
Used to be, when it came to giving there were two parties: the donor and the organization.
Now though, with the advent of social fundraising, there are often three parties: the donor, the organization and the unrelated-to-the-organization social fundraising platform. And while we might be tempted to say “two’s company but three’s a crowd,” it doesn’t have to be that way. If your organization embraces social fundraising, it could be the more the merrier.
What is social fundraising?
I like to describe social fundraising as the marriage between peer-to-peer giving and social media.
Many moons ago, we solicited donations from our friends by carrier pigeon, mail, phone or email…the same ways we communicated with them about other things. Today we still use (most) of those methods to communicate but we also increasingly use social media. So it’s really no surprise that our methods of donation solicitation have evolved to include social media too.
The very first thing an organization wanting to use social fundraising should do, is have its own social media presence. You don’t need to be on every platform, but considering your goals and resources, select those you can be successful with. (Read our Social Media Tips & Tricks if you need tips.)
Next, to best harness the enthusiasm of your constituents and power of social fundraising, your organization should be an active participant in choosing the social fundraising tool constituents are encouraged to use. When considering which of the many tools to use, ask yourself these questions:
While these are the first questions your organization should ask, social fundraising, like any campaign, can’t be decided on by reading one 371-word blog post. You need to gather more information about goals, capacity, audience etc.
If you are at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, come to my session tomorrow (10:30a, Market Street room) to learn more and see a case study from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
If you are not at the conference, you can continue learning about social fundraising through our Common Ground Social video.
The sixth annual Convio Online Marketing Benchmark Index Study is now officially released. At a macro-level, we continue to see online engagement growing at a healthy rate. In fact, over the past five or six years, online fundraising has grown at a similar rate to retail e-commerce, good news for nonprofits.
I’m particularly encouraged by a new metric we added this year: growth in monthly giving. As monthly giving typically increases a donor’s lifetime value, this positive trend is very good news for the nonprofit sector and the causes being served.
For a summary of trends seen in the benchmark, watch my video here. For all the trends, including information by vertical, download the full Online Marketing Benchmark.
All roads are heading north! Here at AFP International in the spectacular northwest city of Vancouver, BC, it’s evident from the conference sessions I’ve attended so far that with the economy seemingly back on an upward trajectory, fundraising is also heading in that direction.
Today, the NRC, Nonprofit Research Collaborative, of which Convio is a member, announced the results of our spring survey. In 2011, over half of all the nonprofit organizations surveyed in both the U.S. and Canada saw increases in contributions. In fact, the results indicate that this is the first increase seen in the U.S. in four years. That is indeed great news!
Even better news, more than 70 percent of the organizations surveyed anticipate increases in charitable contributions received in 2012. Still, a third said the economy is the greatest challenge and a looming determinant in what lies ahead.
The sentiment at AFP? I’d say it’s largely optimistic. Yes, nonprofits realize that many of the factors Convio highlights in our 2012 predictions cannot be ignored, but rather embraced: online; mobile; peer-to-peer; and integrated marketing. Scott Harrison from charity: water reinforced that himself in his opening day keynote when he emphasized the need to tell stories and give donors a reason to care about the “why.” Essentially, if you have a compelling story, the money will follow.
Next week is a BIG week for non profit professionals as both AFP and NTEN are holding their annual conferences back to back. For those of us who exhibit and/or sponsor it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s one week of pure mayhem and exhaustion getting people and equipment to both venues seemingly simultaneously. But when it’s over we can breathe for a while as the “BIG” events are under our belts. This year’s conferences promise to bring the best and the brightest from the industry together for 3 (a total of 6 of you count both shows) days of innovation and excellence.
For the first time, AFP is holding their event outside the US in Vancouver, Canada, so everybody coming from the US needs a passport. And for the first time both of them are in the same time zone on the west coast so none of us will have jetlag. I am personally very enthusiastic about both of these developments.
Just for fun, I went to one of those “learn all about the similarities and differences between Canada and the US” websites to see if there were any interesting factoids about the two destinations. Here are a few fun tidbits:
The San Francisco metro area is almost 4 times larger than the Vancouver metro area (almost 7 million in population vs. Vancouver’s slightly over 2 million), so keep that in mind when hailing a cab. Also, despite those long winter nights and all that hockey, the US still outpaces Canada in alcohol consumption per capita, so vacant bar stools in Vancouver might be easier to spot than in San Francisco. Lastly, the US is embarrassingly higher than Canada on virtually every crime statistic, except for one: More people say they’ve been robbed in Canada than in the US (per capita), so you might want to keep your hand on your wallet.
Our good friend and business partner in Canada, Michael Johnston of HJC, also shared some interesting stats about the differences in the nonprofit landscape that I thought I’d pass along. Be on the lookout for the Convio 2012 Benchmark Study (coming soon!) that highlights some of these distinct differences—to whet your appetite here are just two that I found interesting:
Whichever conference you are attending, keep notes on what you notice that’s similar and different and get back to me. Love to hear your observations. And as they say in Vegas “Enjoy the Show!”
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