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.
I am super excited to bring you a special podcast interview on the Connection Café this month. While my favorite thing about doing these audio interviews is getting to know Convio coworkers and let you meet some of our staff that you may not otherwise run into, I think most people familiar with Convio will know how important Vinay Bhagat is to our company and the nonprofit sector. Vinay founded Convio in 1999 and since then has established himself as an innovative researcher, thinker, and leader across our market. I personally credit him as being an inspiration for me to continue to focus my career on nonprofit technology and constituent engagement; I’m sure many others do as well.
I thought now would be perfect time to sit down with Vinay and reflect on this history of the company, the future of nonprofit communications, and learn a little more about Vinay’s personal interests and passions. You’ll hear us talk a little about his work style, approach for tackling challenges and data, and stories about how Convio got to be where it is today.
Connection Cafe Podcast 7 - Vinay Bhagat
Download audio file
Editor's Note: While this podcast has been on the editorial calendar for weeks, we're very pleased that it just happens to align with Vinay's nomination for Care2's Impact Prize. You can read more and vote for him on the NTEN website.
In part 1 of Mobilize Those Mobile Eyes, I wrote about the different facets of the mobile channel that your organization can use to engage your constituents.
In part 2, I will wrap-up my takeaways from the Nonprofit Mobile Day event I recently attended, presented by the Direct Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Federation(DMANF). Here, I’ll cover who the players are you can to bring to the table, and share a couple of thoughts about creating a plan for mobile.
Know the players
If you decide to go the mobile route, there are a number of capabilities that you will need to have in-house or (more likely) bring partners to the table for.
Know your plan
The question of “where to begin?” was answered in a recent Connection Café post by Katya Andresen, as well as this mobile post from Michael Sabat, but let me add some things I gleaned from the Mobile Day event that might also help inform your thinking on mobile engagement:
Watt Hamlett is Lead Solutions Engineer with Convio. He loves working with nonprofit organizations to help them access the strategies, software, and services they need to achieve their goals.
Subscribe to receive posts via email:
Get answers to product questions, join "Birds of a Feather" discussions and more. Join the Online Community
Alltop - Nonprofit
A Small Change
Bob Ottenhoff's Blog
Donor Power Blog
Future Leaders in Philanthropy
Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog
Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog
Nonprofit Law Prof
Pamela’s Grant Blog
Sea Change Strategies
Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology