A little care and feeding

August 17th, 2009   •   Comments Off on A little care and feeding   

No one wants or needs me to describe how the economy has beaten the stuffing out of some charities’ revenue streams. Not being a novel topic of conversation any more, its just not that interesting.

But what is interesting is watching how grassroots fundraising is once again on the rise, thanks to technology and the “new connectedness.” In vast numbers, regular, ordinary everyday folk like you and I can make (modest) donations instantly, and reach out to our networks of friends to follow our lead.

Charities are scrambling to find a way to access these legions of friends and potential supporters in the wired world. The question is not, “can we?” but rather “how can we?”

There are lots of ways to attract financial support, and boost public awareness of a charity’s work, through social networking. The key? It all boils down to care and feeding (which is probably not what you want to hear if you are looking for a quick fix).

Regardless of whether you are looking for a quick fix or long term solutions, build some common sense principles into your stakeholder communications and you will inevitably yield increased financial returns in fundraising. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Including people in a genuine two-way conversation about your organization’s worthwhile work is the most effective way to engage their long term (and financial) involvement;
  • Donors want to hear from you more frequently than when its time to ask for another gift;
  • Donors really never get tired of hearing you say “thank you” for their support (and advocacy);
  • People want to know, specifically, how they can help. Large monetary contributions may not be what they have in mind;
  • People expect to be able to tell you how, and through what channels, and with what information, you should communicate with them;
  • You need to make that act of helping (giving, volunteering, advocating) a swift and simple process that provides them with instant gratification.

Keep those principles in mind as you move ahead in stakeholder engagement and you can’t lose.

Share this article

Comments are closed.