Online Fundraising in Tough Times

Mark Rovner of Sea Change Strategies offers these Tips To Boost Your Online Fundraising Program in 2009

  • Don’t stop asking. Their gifts might be smaller, but those who are loyal to your cause will continue to support you. Continue to focus your messaging and asks on the things that are vital to your mission, rather than the need for funds due to decreased giving
  • Cultivate supporters. Focus your energy on those who have supported you in the past, and share with them how you are getting through these tough times and what you’re accomplishing.
  • Reproject online income. Rovner says many organizations made income projections in better times and have not adjusted them to match the floundering economy. Give your staff a little breathing room, and set attainable goals.
  • Focus. Take this lull as an opportunity to review things that might need fine-tuning, e.g., your core messages, mission, founding story and the words you use to describe what you do.
  • Rely on evergreen fundraising tactics. Emergency appeals, donor match drives and other strategies that work in better times will still work now, just with more moderate results. Rovner suggests experimenting with a closed-ended sustainer drive in an attempt to get donors to commit to giving monthly for a year.
  • Plan for success. The economy will turn around, and when it does, you’ll need to communicate changes to donors. Come up with ways to recognize and thank donors who helped you through the tough times. One idea Rovner suggests is empowering supporters now to be ambassadors for your cause when economic times improve.

tip to Allyson Kapin of Care2’s blog frogloop.