Here are some thoughts to get your campaign going:
- Create a monthly email newsletter which is a ‘light’ version of your regular newsletter. However, you must remember that the rules for layout of email newsletters are different than for printed ones. People skim read email newsletters and tend to get impatient if they can’t find the main point quickly. A good idea is to provide a concise summary of the key points in a contents list as the first thing the reader sees.
- Create at least 10 different leaflets that can be downloaded from your website. Offer these to supporters free of charge at every opportunity. Try not to make them too cumbersome or over full of pictures and images as not every donor has broadband.
- Create an online ‘supporter survey’. The knack here is to make your questionnaire brief – keep to 5 or 6 key questions rather than 20, or you risk losing the reader’s attention.
- Create a standard format ‘supporter alert’ email to send to supporters telling them that a direct mail appeal is in the post. This can be as simple as two or three lines outlining the main trust of the appeal and why it is vital that the reader responds.
- Create a pre – registration opportunity for supporters to receive an ‘early bird’ copy of your annual report. Annual reports are an under – used asset in fundraising and, if well written, focus the reader’s attention on the ‘big picture’ issues the charity is dealing with. Donors are always more motivated by the charity’s vision than details of projects.
- Allow supporters to subscribe to a ‘newsflash’ email which tells them of any urgent news. Then make sure you have regular newsflashes to send as these will help keep the reader ‘warm’ for the next appeal.
- Allow supporters to subscribe to a ‘Chairman’s Circle’ via which they receive a quarterly letter from the charity’s Chairman or Chairwoman giving ‘inside track’ information on how things are going, from the perspective of the charity’s most senior person.
Before you start celebrating how online video is going to solve all fundraising problems and take us hand-in-hand with super-engaged donors into the future, take note of this study, reported at VidBlog: Abandoned! 20% of Viewers Stop Watching in the First Ten Seconds.
The study looked at around 7 billion online video views found this discouraging pattern:
- 20% of the audience will abandon viewing in the first ten seconds.
- A third leaves in the first 30 seconds.
- 44% have left by the end of the first minute.
Yikes. It looks like online video is very nearly as brutal a medium as direct mail. It’s grab attention immediately or you’re outta contention. Potential watchers are only a click away from funny cats, laughing babies, and gazillions of other more compelling videos.
Really, this just tells us we can’t throw videos onto the web and expect to have an impact. A video needs to be powerful, interesting, arresting — all in the first ten seconds. How many nonprofit-produced videos spend their first minute or so on dull, static set-up stuff? Those videos are pretty much not getting watched, so they aren’t accomplishing their purposes.
Online videos are no different from any other medium. You have to do your homework, you have to be good, you have to know what you’re doing and focus on your audience. No magic, no shortcuts.
Thanks to The Agitator for the tip.
We don’t know the future. For all we know, we’re all going to be brains in jars (with credit cards) surfing the web telepathically.
So the only future predictions that really have a chance of being useful are those the look to the immediate, that part of the future that touches the present.
That’s what Oneicity does at The future of fundraising
Here are a few of points from that post:
- It’s going to be about “them” not you.
- You’re going focus on relationships first.
- Authenticity will beat slick.
- Small will beat big.
- Real relationships will be more valuable than big budgets.
- Analytics will be the secret sauce.
- Brand will mean more, logos will mean less.
- Experiences will drive donor interest.
- You’re still going to wonder how you’ll connect with younger donors.
These things may be the future of fundraising, but they’re also the present. Don’t put off responding to these realities — you’ll have more success if you start right now.