We all have a desire to be connected, to know that what matters to us most is something others also care about. This is especially true in our close relationships, both on a business and personal front.
For those of us passionate about the nonprofit community, being connected, compassionate and caring hold an even deeper meaning. They’re synonymous, and we want those with whom we keep close company, especially our significant others, to selflessly subscribe to our sentiment. What better way of expressing this then when we commune through donating our time and, often more heart-touching, our dollars to those in need.
So, how does this act of caring and sharing apply to you and your organization? Our new research paper, Insights into Integrated Marketing Constituent Behavior, is based on the results of a study Convio conducted with CARE and it reveals that high income, married donors that like dual channels (online and offline) are, indeed, really valuable.
It seems pretty clear to me why you should care. Effectively leveraging integrated, constituent engagement marketing strategies to attract and retain these types of donors pays off, and BIG!
Ask yourself, are you designing and deploying communication efforts that are consciously coordinated, orchestrated and targeted – based on particular audience segments and their individual preferences? Are you engaging in multiple channels, including mobile and social media? Are you actively listening and then clearly responding with what they want to hear?
Because, if you are, imagine all the beautiful music you and your donors can make together. All it takes is perfecting the harmony and keeping rhythm to the same beat.
I don’t know how many of you have bought a car recently, but have you ever noticed that BEFORE you actually buy the car, you don’t really notice how many are on the road? And then once you own it, it seems as though every car that catches your eye is the very same one you thought was so unique? It’s uncanny.
I’ve noticed the same phenomena occurring when it comes to “Integrated Marketing.” It seemed when we kicked off the idea of this board back in October there were lots of people talking about this topic, but the actual number of good case studies and thoughtful research were few and far between. But seemingly overnight every publication I pick up is featuring great content.
But unlike my car example, when you are depressed realizing that every car looks like yours, I view this as a GREAT development, because we all know there’s no cornering the market on a great, innovative idea and you never get tired of seeing more.
This month's Fundraising Success cover story, "Healthy Fundraising,” features two organizations in the health field that have both seen some amazing results with recent multi channel, integrated marketing campaigns. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m proud to say that CaringBridge is a Convio client, so of course I am thrilled to see their work showcased, knowing that Convio has some small part in powering it. The second organization, HealthConnect One (not a Convio client but now they are on my prospect list) provides an interesting twist on the definition of “channel”-- by viewing their Board of Directors as just that— and putting that channel to work.
Read on to see how both these organizations got spectacular results out of both these multi channel, integrated efforts.
“As it happens, a lot of our volunteers are donors,” says Dora Chan. And she should know – she’s what colleagues refer to as the “database whiz” at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. And in fact, her statement is true of the wider nonprofit sector: a recent study by VolunteerMatch and Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund found that 67% of volunteers also give money to the organizations where they invest time and talent. You might be asking: why should I care?
Well, for one thing, could your team answer this: “To what extent does our own volunteer list overlap with our donor list?” Would it be a major time-sink to go compare two or more lists? Is it possible there’s a population where you could be raising 10x what you’re raising now??
(I imagine there are multiple people at your organization who would care about that last one.)
“When people volunteer, their money is not far behind,” says a trusted fundraising friend. That meets the common-sense sniff-test to me personally. In retrospect, I’m certain it was no coincidence that I just made my first donation to my neighborhood YMCA, just weeks after finishing up a 2-month stint as a volunteer basketball coach. I wasn’t thinking about the two types of involvement when I made the gift, but I certainly was picturing my pee-wee players and their parents and siblings when I considered what the Y’s Partners of Youth Campaign could provide my community. Intimate involvement yielded stronger affinity. Pulling out my credit card wasn’t nearly as challenging as getting up and being enthusiastic and nurturing eight Saturday mornings in a row.
Which leads to my next point: who exactly is recruiting your future donors?
In a brief but smart blog post on Volunteer Manager job qualifications, volunteering guru Jayne Cravens wrote that the ideal role is “not merely the purveyor of free labor” but instead might have responsibilities like:
Jayne really takes a long and wide view regarding volunteers and how to cultivate them. She consults internationally regarding recruiting, training, deploying and retaining today’s skilled and successful volunteers – using especially the new online and social techniques consumers have come to expect. And she’s literally writing the book on online volunteering (due out this year).
We’re very excited that Jayne will be our guest speaker at this month’s free Convio webinar: “Volunteer Management: 5 Trends that Can Improve Your Fundraising Bottom Line.” She’ll share the top 5 trends she’s identified at the local, national, and international level, what’s working best with regards to keeping volunteers engaged, and how to set yourself up for success with community involvement in today’s hectic environment, when every volunteer (and prospective donor) is just a click away from another game of “Angry Birds.”
This stuff matters. 44% of volunteers say that - if an organization cannot take advantage of their specific skills - they will go volunteer elsewhere. And now that we know that these folks give 10x what other donors do, that’s a lot of VIP wallets potentially headed out the door. Everyone should care about that.
P.S. Be sure to save your seat: pre-register now for “Volunteer Management: 5 Trends that Can Improve Your Fundraising Bottom Line” on Tuesday, April 24th, at 11 a.m. Central time.
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!
If you're too young to remember where you were when JFK was shot, you might well remember where you were on December 26, 2004 when a massive tsunami caused a deadly natural disaster around the Indian Ocean. I'll remember that day well because I was on call as the manager of the British Red Cross' online donations and messaging platform. Of course the disaster prompted a flurry of activity at the Red Cross which sent aid to the region both directly and through local partners, and mobilised thousands of supporters to donate goods and cash in support of the effort.
One of the reasons that the date is so firmly etched in my memory is that the Red Cross did not use a cloud hosted solution. That meant that physical computers had to be racked and configured in pretty short order just to cope with the surge in demand caused by this significant event.
When looking at their future online platform requirements, I'm finding that the charities we work with are all very interested in what the cloud can offer. This is where the charity sector's specific needs really need to be addressed. There are some general reasons why cloud computing is gaining adoption and is seen by many as "a very good thing", but what I have found is that those charities choosing it aren't always doing so for the reasons that commercial organisations adopt the cloud. In our world, there seem to be three key strengths of the cloud which just can't be matched any other way:
So whatever systems you're considering for online - don't just read the standard stuff which applies to commercial organisations - cloud applications are super-charity-friendly in special ways!
If you're interested - you can read more about my boxing day antics at http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=776182
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