Get Results with Online Fundraising

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A couple of weeks ago I spoke at the Indiana Library Federation Conference in Indianapolis. I was asked to to a 50-minute presentation on how libraries can get results with online fundraising (a huge task!).

Following are the 11 points I discussed in each slide:

  1. Social media stinks for fundraising – All the research says that social media don’t work that well – for fundraising transactions.
  2. A handshake is not the best tool to collect money – You would never go to shake someone’s hand, and then reach around to grab their wallet. A handshake is the wrong tool for that job. Same thing with Facebook.
  3. Facebook is relational, not transactional – Friends are the focus on Facebook. Connections, not commerce.
  4. Phases of engagement – It’s important to understand the various ways people support your cause. They donate, fundraise, share, and influence others to do the same.
  5. Stairway to engagement – Facebook users follow specific paths on their way from awareness to conversion. Understanding this helps you make the right ask, at the right time, in the right place.
  6. Smart email segmentation – Email is one of the best digital channels to convert donors. People are much more comfortable pulling out their credit card when asked in the inbox.
  7. Make it mobile – Your supporters are interacting with your organization with their iPad, iPhone and on their desktop. Your site needs to be easy to use across all touch points.
  8. Pitch projects not funds – Donors want to part of something specific and attainable. Better still if it’s tangible.
  9. Make it personal – Tells stories about real people. Stories that show before and after benefiting from your organization.
  10. Make effective appeals – Donor-centered, jargon-free, emotional stories with a strong call-to-action.
  11. Pick up the phone – A call to say “thanks” increases revenue and retention by 20%. Your mother was right about good manners!
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