Online Fundraising Strategies
30 August 2004 at 1:08 pm
A US Not for Profit that provides information technology solutions for the sector has developed an Online Fundraising Handbook that translates well to the Australian environment.
The Groundspring.org Handbook (which equates to 100 pages of electronic information) discusses Internet strategies for successful fundraising, acquiring and cultivating online donors, new uses for e-mail, developing your website, and online advocacy.
Groundspring.org provides software tools and services, training, and consulting that help organisations raise funds and communicate with their stakeholders online, and manage their operations more effectively. It’s part of the Tides family of organisations–a group of NFP’s linked by a commitment to positive social change, innovation, and environmental sustainability.
While the Handbook does refer to local registration requirements, the information generally addresses the universal workings and options of the Internet. Detailed case studies make for fascinating reading.
The fact sheets are renamed “Idea Hot Sheets” around Internet issues.
For example fundraising ‘best practice’ suggests:
1. Invest in your web site
Your web site is critical to your online fundraising program: keep it useful and current.
2. Use email effectively
Email addresses are like gold – collect them everywhere, then use them for educating, activating, cultivating, and fundraising. Treat them like gold by having a strong commitment to privacy.
3. Cultivate relationships
Email and the Web make it easy to communicate and interact with donors and prospects. Serve their needs and expectations; invite their feedback and respond to it.
4. Promote your site
Even the greatest site won’t realise its potential if it doesn’t get enough visitors – and the right ones.
5. Think integration
Integrate online fundraising with your existing fundraising strategies and your organisation’s overall Internet strategy. Use email and the Web to reach new supporters and to strengthen relationships you’ve made through other channels, such as direct mail, phone, events, or one-on-one visits.
6. Be realistic
Online fundraising often requires a significant up-front investment. For most organisations, the pay-off will not be immediate. Think long-term, and manage the expectations of your staff and board.
If you would like an electronic version just send us an email with Online Fundraising Handbook in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this is a very large file – 2.3mg.