Peer-to-peer fundraising, the technique that has fueled thousands of successful walk-a-thons, has expanded with social media tools. Idealware and Cathexis Partners have created Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Workbook, to help nonprofits plan what can be a complex event. The workbook is available as a free download.
Playing to Their Strengths
Visit The Knowledge Fountain website to find out about our latest course offering online: “Successful Fundraising with Imperfect Boards”, presented LIVE by Paul Jolly, of Jump Start Growth. Here’s a brief overview:
Ask a development director to complete the sentence “My board is –” and 9 out of 10 automatically respond, ” – not engaged enough in fundraising.” Every nonprofit wishes it had a board populated by socialites and corporate heavyweights, who write big checks and enlist their wealthy friends as donors. Sadly, no one has that board. But you can leverage the talents and strengths of the board you do have to make them effective and successful partners in fundraising. [Read more...]
But if both facts were that obvious, you would think people who know the side upon which their bread is buttered would work a little harder to make their websites easier for their primary beneficiaries to use. In Web Usability for Senior Citizens, Jakob Nielsen, the grand guru of computer usability studies, says websites are getting better, but not fast enough – especially with the humongous Baby Boom generation reaching Social Security Age at the rate of 10,000 per day.
Nielsen says too many website designers fail to consider the physical deficits of aging, particularly in vision, physical dexterity, and memory. His study includes scores of specific design recommendations. Blogger Joanne Fritz offers a short summary of the major findings.
Photo Credit: © sima – Fotolia.com
Into Focus, the first-ever benchmark study of how nonprofits use video, was released in June by video producer See 3, the Edelman public relations firm, and the YouTube Nonprofits Program. Bottom line:
- 80% of nonprofit respondents think video is important to their organization today
- 91% believe it will be even more important tomorrow.
- But nearly two-thirds expect no budget increases for video production
- and 76% don’t measure the impact of video, except anecdotally.
Budget and metrics are closely related. It’s hard to justify more money for a project when you can’t prove whether it works. And you can’t prove whether it works if you haven’t set goals to measure against. Fortunately, the study shows how to work through this conundrum with excellent case studies and suggestions.
With video accounting for more than half of all Internet content, and YouTube viewers watching 4 billion hours every month, it’s hard to argue that video is not an essential communications tool.
Some people – elected officials immediately come to mind – experience a magnetic attraction to television cameras. More of us want to run the opposite direction. But when fate points its fickle finger and says it’s your turn under the bright lights, it helps to be prepared. You can’t do much better than this advice-packed two-minute video, “The Esquire Guy’s Guide to Media Interviews.”
Blackbaud’s annual Online Marketing Benchmark Study for Nonprofits finds median online revenue is up 11.5% among the 500 organizations surveyed (all users of the company’s Luminate platform). The growth was driven by recurring and repeat donors; first-time gifts grew only 3%.
That was the good news. The bad news is that response rates on nonprofit appeals fell more than 18%. The average click rate on an online appeal is .7%.
“Declining response rates illustrate a saturated channel with undifferentiated messaging,” say the study authors. To lift your organization above that saturated channel, the authors suggest focusing on donor loyalty, personalized communications, and engagement. You can download a free copy of the report (or, if you prefer, a four-page synopsis with Blackbaud’s suggestions for how to respond).
When you start a new fundraising job – and in the fundraising profession, tbe question is not if but when – where should you focus in your first 90 days? On her blog, Mazarine Treyz, author of The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising, offers a practical blueprint for success that starts with a deep breath and also includes priority setting and key conversations with your boss.