I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day around an End of Year online campaign and we were discussing the results. I was really intrigued at trying to understand whether or not a mobile text that went out before the campaign had increased the open and donation rates. I kept thinking, surely if I text someone ahead of an email (another Multi-Channel campaign case) I would see a significant increase in open rates and donation rates. However, I was so regretfully disappointed as they didn’t set up their test appropriately for us to really understand the impact.
So, what do you have to do to set up a test RIGHT so that you can read results and have the significance needed to be sure that the results will be the same going forward?
Why is it so important to have a control and statistically significant data to have a result? It is like building or buying a house, but not insuring it. Testing is expensive and has large opportunity cost both positive and negative. So, if you are going to test something, make sure it is worth it and you can after the test is complete, that you have a result. Otherwise, it is just interesting and the test was a fun exercise.
Personally, I'm not running around thinking every nonprofit needs to develop a strategy for Pinterest now. However, I do think it's something to watch and if you have capacity and a organizational mission that fits well with visual content, you might want to try it out. Check out this list of tips (these aren’t specifically nonprofit focused, but still useful) if you are moving into Pinterest land. Here are a few good things to keep in mind if you decide to jump in.
Have you ever found yourself at your organization’s <insert big event> where you 1) find yourself with a camera in hand and 2) hoping that you didn’t miss that perfect photo opp of your mission in action? For the large majority of non-photographers that work or volunteer for a nonprofit - me included - I'm guessing it happens quite often.
Walt Disney said it best “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” This is especially true for your organizations where pictures of your mission are an incredibly valuable asset. There's no better way to show your organization's impact than through a compelling photograph. But, the best part is you don’t have to be an expert or have professional-grade equipment to capture a special moment with a camera.
Let the non-photographers unite and pledge to make out-of-focus, chopped-off heads and poorly lit photo faux pas come to an end! Here’s some simple tips on to get nice shots with a digital point and shoot camera
I'd love to hear more tips from pros and beginners alike, so please leave me comments!
Champagne, flowers, jewelry, fancy dinner out, maybe even a new dress, all potential parts of a really fantastic Valentine’s Day. But we all know that you can’t build a relationship on one day of hearts and roses. You have to put in the work all year round if you and your honey are going to live the good life.
The same is true for donors. So I’ve tapped the Casanovas of Convio for a whole array of ideas for sweeping your donors off their collective feet.
The greatest gift we can give our donor is the gift of being known by us. Make them feel special. No, you don’t have to send two clowns and a wizard to their house on their birthday but if you read and article about a topic you know they are passionate about, share it with them and get their thoughts. Honor and remember the milestones they’ve shared with you, a graduation, a birthday. Know their business and their hobbies and share and celebrate their successes in both. Nominate them for awards. Surprise them and recognize or thank them in a way that’s personally meaningful.
–Rachel Muir, Manager of Go! Program
Using their own personal milestones as an opportunity to thank them, i.e., birthdays: “we’re so glad you were born”, weddings: “finding your soul mate is a once in a lifetime thing, just like curing cancer”, birth of a child: “congratulations on your new little miracle—thank you for letting us make more”…you get the idea…
–Sara Spivey, Chief Marketing Officer
Recognize them! Run appreciation events, give awards or simply start a “shout-out” campaign via social media. Applies to volunteers, advocates and donors (although there might be some privacy issues to understand).
–Jill Ward, Client Marketing Manager
Recognize your donors while engaging your board with a pressure free activity. Hold a telephone thank-a-thon at your office. Find a Board member that will champion the activity and challenge other members to participate. Provide dinner (pizza works), a call sheet, a suggested script and a telephone. I think you’ll be amazed at the results- not only the positive reaction from donors, but the enthusiasm from your Board when they see how easy it is and hear from the donors.
–Danielle Johnson Vermenton, Interactive Consultant, Go! Team
Take the Girly Movie Approach – There is no better hook than video that pulls at the emotional heartstrings of your constituents. Be sure to include a link to your donation form at the end of your video.
Circle Yes or No – Take a peer-to-peer approach by asking your grassroots fundraisers to deliver the love note on behalf of your organization.
Make it personal – Include value propositions next to the giving levels on your donation form. If I was planning on giving $50, then was presented with the information that a $60 gift would buys a month worth of food for a child in Haiti, I’d be happy to give that extra $10.
–Robyn Mendez, TeamRaiser Product Marketing Manager
One donor cultivation tactic that proved successful in my last job was to put together an interoffice raffle basket of items contributed by local merchants and by co-workers. Employees could then buy individual raffle tickets at $1 or a dozen for $10, with all ticket sales going to fund local research into cardiovascular disease prevention. With results of tax credits, name recognition, and most importantly, funds for the nonprofit, the raffle was a win-win for everyone. Bottom line: it was a fun additional touch point with many donors in a short period of time!
–Dan Helfman, Services Bureau Analyst
Seth Godin has written that we find an instant connection with someone (anyone) when we see a reflection of ourselves in their eyes. It is exactly that kind of connection that we need to make with our donors – a connection where they see themselves when they see us. They have a role to fill and they see it clearly. What motivates individuals to give? Is it an invitation to join the fun? Is it the promise of a shiny incentive? Is it this? Is it that? There are so many ways we can think to try and flirt with our donors, pass them the signs, have our friends go and talk to them, send them a secret valentine – but how do we finally get their attention so that we can romance them? They have a hunger to make a connection – they have a hunger to make a connection with you. We need to help them see a reflection of themselves, when they see us. Because when that connection happens… they are looking us in the eye… and they are smiling, and they are donating… They are waving to us. They are waving to themselves.
–Adam Lemmon, Go! Team Lead Consultant
Things nonprofits do that make me feel known & loved by them
Now get out there and fundraise, Romeo!
When I say, “mobile donation” you probably think about text-to-give. I assume that because when I Googled the term*, that’s what most of the articles were about. This post, however, is not about text-to-give. It’s about a mobile-friendly donation form, which I believe is a key component to any nonprofit mobile presence. In fact, I’ll even say that if you want to keep your mobile presence small and simple, you really only need a mobile homepage and a mobile donation form.
Here are some great examples and things to keep in mind when you plan your mobile donation form:
*Funny enough, when I changed my Google to “mobile donation form”, the first result was a page on the Convio Open site where you can download some sample code to build your own mobile-friendly form. Hopefully these examples have inspired you to go there and start planning for your own!
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