Creating a Multichannel Fundraising Campaign
At the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in San Francisco this year many nonprofits and consultants were discussing Multichannel Fundraising and how to incorporate social media into fundraising campaigns. Everyone seems to be wondering what this means to their organization, and how to incorporate these latest trends.
The more avenues that you have to connect with your donors, the bigger the return will be. Historically most nonprofit organizations have managed their fundraising offline, and have used mailed materials, premiums, personal relationships, and phone calls to increase donations. While these are all effective ways to increase donations, adding a few online components can greatly increase the impact and return of any fundraising campaign.
A recent study by NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network) and M+R Strategic Services found that multi-channel fundraising efforts increased the overall quantity of online donations by 19% in 2011, and recurring donations are on the rise. Social media use has also been increasing at a “phenomenal” pace according to the study.
When we talk about social media we are referring to the social software platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and other similar sharing tools. These are very effective in spreading messages in a “viral” way, and getting more people interested in your fundraising campaigns. Even if they do not donate immediately, you are still able to capture more prospective donors and reach more people with your mission. People want to feel a part of your mission, and social media can help.
Next time you create a fundraising plan, try to incorporate more ways to capture prospects and reach donors. Never stop doing what has worked in the past, but try adding a new channel to your next campaign. Here are some examples of channels that can be used to increase fundraising efforts:
- Create a donation page on your website that is optimized for your campaign:
- Add a video or compelling picture on the page to get the attention of your prospects
- Use suggested giving levels with descriptive titles/labels that target a variety of donors with the option for a self defined amount
- Generate a customized response email/receipt with a picture that your donors will take to heart and appreciate
- Add a recurring donation option so one-time donors can easily become life-time supporters
- Add social media links on the completion page so people can share the donation page and follow your organization
- Put together an Event and/or Auction along with your next campaign. Allowing your supporters to meet your staff and each other can greatly increase the sense of community. Local businesses are usually more than willing to provide free products, services, and locations that can be used to raise money with a live auction.
- Consider creating a Membership program. This is another way to create a strong base of recurring donors. Provide members with access to special information & benefits and they will feel a stronger connection to your organization.
- Create a Facebook page and begin posting content related to your campaign. Adding a link to your donation page on these will enable prospects to easily donate wherever the posts and pages are shared.
- Schedule Twitter posts throughout your campaign with a link to your donation form. Since “Twitter” limits you to only 160 characters per message, you may want to shorten your donation page URL using a bit.ly or goo.gl URL shortening tool.
- Craft a series of emails to be sent out throughout the campaign. Make sure to set an end date for your campaign so that people know there is urgency, and add a progress thermometer.
- Create a Survey, Petition or informational gathering page. Building up a list of prospects almost as important as getting donations for the campaign. Make sure to have options for capturing people’s information even if they are not ready to give today. Let them know you are listening and find out more about your supporters.
- Consider offering t-shirts, wristbands, and/or other product sales to help raise funds for your organization and allow your supporters to show off their support.
- Try reaching out to the local and/or national media organizations to create more interest in your campaign. Reporters are always looking for a good story and can help to increase the impact of your efforts. Do not be intimidated and just reach out.
Try something new along with your next campaign based on the resources you have, and see what works. Multichannel fundraising does not need to be expensive, and it just takes some time to try something new. Multichannel fundraising puts your organization in front of your donors more often, and provides you with more avenues to raise money. Our customers at Z2 Systems are able to combine and compare all of these channels in the NEON CRM.