There’s something like 600,000 non-profits in the Guidestar database, and maybe 5% of them have the resources to launch a full-blown online fundraising program. Or so it seemed before Katya Andresen came along.
Katya is Marketing Director for Network for Good, and she has taken it upon herself to bring the gospel — and know-how — of integrated marketing and online fundraising to the other 95% of non-profits — you know, the ones where the CEO answers the phone and the communications director is also the bookkeeper. And she’s amazing at it.
Katya just released a study outlining best practices that applies to all non-profits. Among her key findings:
1. When Wired Fundraisers Talk, People Listen: Today, the messenger matters even more than the message. That’s because people trust messengers they know, like friends and family. These messengers naturally communicate in the most effective ways – through personal means, in a conversational tone, and with great stories. A promotion from a charity can’t compete with that level of intimacy, authority or authenticity.
2. Not Every Wired Fundraiser Is a Champion: The successful Wired Fundraiser has a relatively rare combination of true passion and a means to lend a sense of urgency to their cause. Not every Six Degrees fundraiser or Facebook Cause is a winner, but a proud few – the superactivists – are very effective, raising $9,000 on average and reaching 150 people.
3. Technology Gives the Wired Fundraiser Special Power: Widgets and social networks make personal fundraisers more effective for four reasons. Widgets – bits of code that enable you to generate and place content anywhere online, including on Facebook pages or blogs – make it possible for personal fundraisers to take their message anywhere they communicate online, including social networks where messages spread very efficiently. They make it possible for the fundraiser to evangelize in their own way, in their own words. Because they make fundraising so easy, widgets attract a new group of fundraisers. Importantly, widgets also make it easy and convenient for friends and family to give instantly, when they feel an impulse to give. That means more donations to more causes.
4. Smart Charities Embrace the Wired Fundraiser: Technology enables anyone to be a fundraiser, anywhere online. The control over the message is in the hands of the Wired Fundraiser. Wise charities see this as something to embrace rather than something to fear. They tap into the opportunity to spread their message further, by new means, via new messengers.