Fundraising Rules Still Apply in Cyberspace

Online philanthropy seems to be the dark, dangerous alley that nonprofits are scared to walk down. There are plenty of unknown factors? What should your organization do? What will it bring to the table? And even worse – what if, after all that work, it doesn’t pan out? Sue Woodward, of Woodward Associates in Potomac, Md., reminded nonprofit executives during a recent conference that the rules of successful philanthropy still apply — even online.

  • Building relationships. Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are all about connecting people and forging new relationships based on interest – let your organization be that link.
  • Understanding people give to people. People want to see the change that their gift is making. Use your Website to equate donation amounts to specific actions – like how much it would cost to feed a child for a week.
  • Creating calls to action. Engage your constituents by adding actions to e-newsletters, like giving donors a chance to sign e-petitions or email legislators.
  • Ensuring ongoing donor cultivation and stewardship. Online communication allows for multiple, low-cost touch points. Make sure your donors know what is happening in the organization and stay on top of events and situations that are pertinent in the mission. The more involved they are in the mission, the more vested interest they will have in seeing that mission continue.

tip to The NonProfit Times