The Internet offers a platform and set of communications tools that are valuable to all nonprofit organizations in your fundraising activities. Your donors and potential donors often use the Internet to check up on organizations before they make a commitment. Your Internet communications plan can include multiple points of entry – your website, Facebook page, Blog, email newsletter, registration on various portals, online photo galleries, YouTube and other social media. Using the internet effectively does not mean just sticking on a “DONATE NOW” button. Here are a few strategies to consider:
- Build Credibility: Your website should give people confidence. Make sure that the content is up to date, that there are no bad links, and that the website is attractive and easy to use. The website is your key communications point for the visitor.
- Build Relationships: Through your website, Facebook Page, and your email newsletter keep in touch on a regular basis with people who visit the website. Include specific “Calls to Action” that will encourage people to come back often and interact – sign up for your mailing list, ask a question, make a donation, volunteer, or get involved in some way.
- Build Donations: Include a method for people to donate on your website, for example with a PayPal “Donate” button, or other donation methods. Include different levels of donations so that a person can give a small donation while you are building up the relation and their comfort with your organization. Setup an automatic “Thank You” email – but also follow up with other emails and reports of how donations are being used.
- Build Your List: Your list is a powerful asset for your organization. Use the internet to build your list through having people sign up for your email newsletter, put in their email to request to download a report or article, or sign up for an online webinar or attend an event. Be sure to use non-internet methods to build your list also including adding a “sign up for our newsletter” in your email signature file.
Share your Internet communications plan with the people in your organization. Many of them may be using Facebook or other social media. Ask them to refer potential interested friends and colleagues to the website and invite them to link to you.