Nonprofit organizations should invest in donation management software to improve their communications with constituents. In an age when social media often reigns as the supreme method of contacting and recruiting donors, organizations should not undervalue the power of a great website and engaging email content.
As Getting Attention pointed out, a nonprofit's website is the hub for all of the charity's activities. Users can read about upcoming events, donate to current fundraisers, create profiles, learn about the group's mission and much more. Ignoring this important element and focusing too much on sites like Facebook and Twitter can hinder an organization's impact on society.
In terms of email, composition and timing is everything. A report released by SimpleRelevance revealed that the most successful marketing emails sent to consumers are personalized and distributed between 9a.m. and 10a.m. Of the 17 companies included in the report, four sent emails to consumers in that early morning time period. All four experienced higher click-through rates than the other companies.
Be wary of sending too many emails in general, especially over the course of a single day. The report stated that 70 percent of U.S. residents with active email accounts unsubscribe from an organization's mailing list if they receive too many promotional emails.
If your website and email messages do not already, they should:
- Immediately grab the reader's attention. A strong subject line will guarantee that a reader opens an email message. SimpleRelevance encourages short, straightforward phrases. Clue the reader in on what the message might contain when they open it.
- Be accessible to all users, no matter who they are or how they access the Internet. Making sure the site and messages are available on tablets and smartphones is crucial. If a donor receives an email on the way to work in the morning, they will delete it if it's impossible to read. In addition, it should not necessarily target a specific type of donor, unless it is a specialized campaign.
- Tell the organization's story in a variety of ways. The homepage should have a condensed version of why the nonprofit exists and its primary goal in a prominent spot. Then, on another page, this story can be told in more lyrical and detailed terms.
- Demonstrate the power of the work that has already been done. Share with new visitors what they can expect if they join an organization. Show them past fundraising results and figures representing significant and meaningful progress the organization has garnered thus far.
- Let potential donors know where their funding will go. Providing options for ways in which donors can get involved gives them a sense of flexibility and will likely increase their willingness to help. If they choose to send monetary assistance, define the recipients or causes that will receive funding. If volunteer work is available, outline commitment dates and locations.
Social media can – and should – be used for growing an organization's email list. Social Media Examiner suggests posting small prizes or incentives as offers for current followers to win if they share with friends or re-post an article about the charity. This appeal should engage both emotion and logic. This way, any new fans or followers can get connected to a nonprofit and current members feel more involved. Keep in mind, an engaging and well-built website is more likely to impress any new potential donors than a neglected one. There are even Facebook applications that facilitate interaction between donors and nonprofits, making connections and the exchange of contact information practically instantaneous.
Using a donation management software can help nonprofits track, categorize and retain their many donors. Email list creation and donor registration becomes as easy as a click of the mouse.