Multi-channel! Multi-channel! Multi-channel! It's all the rage but do you know where how close your organization is to achieving it? We've taken a look at what that journey looks like for an organization and have broken it down into 4 major stages: early, traditional, coordinated and optimized - I know, we deserve bonus points for our naming creativity but hopefully they are at least clear!
I’ll go into a high-level view of each of these stages but if you take a quick little quiz to find out where you’re at, you’ll get some really cool action plans for how to get to the next level!
Early Stage: Integration may be a goal but identifying how to get there can be a challenge.
Traditional: You’ve moved some efforts online but they may not be coordinated with larger fundraising and communication strategies.
Coordinated: You’ve conquered the structural challenges and are seeing results but can’t track cause and effect as well as you need to.
Optimized: You’re pushing the envelope but are always looking for ways to increase engagement with your supporters.
And just remember, small changes can equal BIG IMPACT!
Take the multi-channel quiz here!
As a grown up Girl Scout who also served as a camp counselor, assistant troop leader and staff person, I’m a certified geek for all things girl power.
Imagine my excitement when I read “Women exert new influence on philanthropy” on MSNBC last week. You should read the full article but I’ll share some of my favorite gems here:
Holy guacamole. Look at the first three points and then think about the fourth. Women are doing all that and the real surge isn’t even here yet? Wow.
If you aren’t already purposefully targeting women, it’s probably a good time to start.
I wish the next part of this post was “5 things you can do to woo women donors” but alas, I don’t have a fail-proof plan. Like any segment that is half the population, there’s a lot of variance. However, I can happily offer you more resources for learning. So, here you go:
I recently attended an excellent webinar with Karen McGrane about Mobile Content Strategy. The funny thing is that there is actually no such thing! Karen’s talk encouraged us to think about content in a more holistic way. So, instead of content for desktop computers, mobile devices or iPads, what about creating a single content structure that will allow you to show the SAME content on any device?!
C.O.P.E. = Create Once, Publish Everywhere. This is the acronym Karen uses to describe this approach and I think it’s brilliant. The beauty of C.O.P.E. is that it not only allows your organization to adapt to the burgeoning world of mobile devices but it will also set you up for success with any devices introduced in the future that we may not have even thought of! Browsing the web on a 42” television anyone?
So what does this look like? Karen used NPR as an example so I pulled some screenshots of my own. Check out this Elton John story on the NPR website:
And in their Media Player:
And on their mobile website:
And in their NPR Music app:
The magic here is that an NPR web administrator only had to create this content item one time. As they created it, they specified a series of different length headlines and descriptions and different-sized photos (a.k.a. meta data) and then their CMS determines which pieces to display for each device.
What do you think about the C.O.P.E. approach? Does it make sense for your organization? Do you have a CMS that makes this a viable option or does it seem like something that’s out of your reach? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Meanwhile, I’ll be singing “Daniel” in my head all day thanks to that story :)
I don't know about you, but my colleague Emily Goodstein mentioned that one thing she wishes was that organizations asked her more often about why and how she decided to get involved. Emily is my bellwether for how millennials think and behave. Me, I'm GenX, which might make you think I'm a slacker, but in fact I'm more likely to make a monthly gift to your organization than any other demographic segment. As GenX and millennials increase their giving over time, knowing more about us and better personalizing communication to us will be paramount.
There’s a lot out there about how to convert prospects to donors. Direct mail has it down to a science. Email used to be the wild west, but over the last decade has generated its own list of best practices and golden rules, which are in turn enthusiastically broken by lead-edge innovators. The question is – how can you do it better and more efficiently?
The answer may lie in data. When I speak of data, in my mind I divide it up into two parts. The first is demographic and psychographic data, which is the kind of data you can buy. Think about things like age, sex, income, political affiliation, interests, the type of car you drive. In the long run, if you have good tools and good methodology, you can test different messaging on different segments and find pockets of profitability. Maybe people who drive a Prius who were born prior to 1985 are more likely to become a monthly sustainer, for example.
But that won’t tell you WHY a donor decided to give to your organization. To find out what motivated the donor (or better yet, what will motivate similar prospects), you usually will have to ask. Thanks to online systems and social media, it’s easier than ever to ask questions and collect responses online. Maybe even too easy – as anyone who has collected a lot of data and then had to cull through the results can tell you.
So it’s best to begin at the end. Before you jump in to write the questions and answers and set up the survey, think about how you will use the answers that you collect. Every single question should have an application that will help you better communicate with this potential donor. Otherwise you’re wasting your time and theirs. Don’t collect data that you’re not going to use.
Where can you collect this data? One of the easiest places is via your website in the place where people can join the email list. Best practices recommend that you keep the email signup form brief – if it’s too hard or seems like it will take too long to fill out the form, people might abandon it. But I think that it’s worth testing out including one very simple question. For-profit websites often ask “How did you hear about us?” They’re trying to gauge the effectiveness of their advertising spend. For a mission-driven nonprofit organization who wants to ask this potential supporter to make a gift, the question is a little different, and there are plenty of ways to ask it.
The format of the answer could vary – multiple choice, with “Other” if the person’s reason doesn’t fit one of your pre-written answers. Or just a text box, so they can state the reason in their own words. Or anything else you can dream up. Make sure you actually read the answers, or scan them for keywords, and make a meaningful attempt to understand what the person means. In fact, for essay questions I'd argue that it's worth the time to have a real live human person read every single answer and categorize or tag the person somehow in your CRM system so you can use their answers for segmenting.
Wondering where I got my information about generational giving patterns? You don't have to take my word for it - you can download our study about generational giving. It's a fascinating read, and important to boot, because it's where the future of giving is headed.
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:
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