Open your doors to your donors.

by Stacey Diffin-Lafleur

How would your friends visit your home if you didn’t have a door? They might circle around once or twice to find a way in, and then leave for somewhere else. The same thing happens to donors when you don’t have  online doors to your charity. You donors may be interested in your charity, have visited your site, know about you, receive your mailings and are ready, even wanting to give to your cause, but increasingly fewer of them are going to pull out a cheque book, and mail you their money. If they are ready to give, be ready to accept their money and thank them. Optimize your website so that donors can give immediately, no matter what type of screen they are looking at, it could be a workstation, a tablet, a phone and soon even a watch.

shutterstock_72801499I’m not just talking about having an online donation widget on your site. I’m talking about Content Marketing.

Content Marketing sounds new, and at first blush it sounds like it might be difficult and time consuming. It’s not. If it is done well, following a plan, it can be simplified. Content Marketing doesn’t mean pages of type (that’s not content, that’s text) explaining every nut and bolt in your organization.

It means telling a story, that’s what donors care about, how their money makes a difference in someone’s life. It means pictures, infographics videos and stories. It also means that you segment your donor lists, find out what drives your donors, and deliver that to them.

The old adage of ‘spray and pray’ no longer works because it can’t. Donors are well educated about what problems they’d like to solve and where they’ll invest their money. You need an integrated plan, one that will maximize your return, while talking directly to your donors. If you have always been successful with direct mail, make sure you twin it up with online marketing too. Develop a program that you can track and analyze so that you can focus your messages even more tightly. Invest in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program  so that your can build and mine your data.

Online fundraising is the now. Open all your doors to your donors; integrate everything into your social media, your content marketing, your volunteers, recruiting and your fundraising events. Reap the rewards. Get with it, or you may get lost.

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