Doubling-Down on Virtual Engagement: Livestream Highlights

Last week, our Director of Business Development, Andrea Lloyd, teamed up with Foundation Center to take a look at the relationship between online engagement and online donation systems in a nonprofit livestream: Doubling-Down on Virtual Engagement with Online Donation Platforms. With 2016 quickly coming to a close, now is the perfect time to learn how your organization can benefit from online engagement, storytelling, and specific asks to maximize year-end fundraising.

If you missed the session, you can view a recording of the livestream here: https://youtu.be/h1YIBlMSU7U

Livestream highlights:

Andrea shared her expertise and insight around online engagement to help increase donations and strengthen support for small nonprofits. She discussed the benefits of online donation systems like JustGive, strategies and recommendations for implementing donation tools virtually, and what works and what doesn’t when it comes to maximizing your efforts at year-end.

Why should organizations care about online giving and engagement?

As we’re on our devices more and more, getting in front of a donor at the right time and allowing them to make a donation online is important to create a connection to donors and increase engagement.

How do online engagement and online donation systems work together to benefit nonprofits?

Storytelling is an important part of engaging users and online is a great place to do it. Emails, blogs, social media, whichever medium works best for your donor base and your budget, that’s the right approach to take.

According to a recent Cone report, 48% of donors would give online if given the opportunity, so we have to give them an opportunity. Having a way to donate online is a crucial part of the process.

Of all the online engagement systems and how they work together, email is still #1. A recent M + R benchmark study shows that 27% of online donation care coming from email appeals. Emails are your bread and butter.

How do you suggest one incorporate online giving into a giving portfolio?

No matter what kind of engagement you’re doing, including the link to donate is essential. Email, newsletter, offline or online, make sure there’s a way to donate online. Having an easy-to-remember link to your donation page allows donors to donate anytime, anywhere, from any device.

We offer our nonprofits a shortcut url so it’s easy to share the link online and offline. Learn more about creating a shortcut url for your Donate button: Customize Your JustGive Donation Page Address

How do online giving campaigns compare to more traditional giving campaigns?

Online giving isn’t that much different than traditional direct mail but it’s easier to target the right audience and there is more opportunity through social sharing. It’s also easier to make a change if something isn’t working – modify the content or change your approach.

What are the elements for a successful online giving campaign?

There are four elements to a successful online giving campaign: setting a goal, telling your story, continuing to engage, and measuring success.goals

  1. Set a goal. You need to have a goal to develop your strategy.Be specific in what you’re trying to achieve.
    • Have end dates so you can analyze your success before taking the next step.
    • Create KPIs (key performance indicators) so you can measure success—% increase or # of new givers
    • Set realistic goals.
  1. Tell your story. Make your message clear and compelling. What is your vision, what are trying to achieve? Donors need to understand where they fit into this story.
  1. Continue to engage. Once a donor engages, whether through social media or by making a donation, this is where your work begins to make them a long-term, committed spokesperson.
  1. Measure success. The last element of a successful campaign is to measure your success and learn from your failures. This sets you up for your next campaign.

What are some strategies for increasing online engagement?

likeOnline engagement and donation systems work hand in hand for increasing virtual fundraising efforts. Converting a “like” into a donation is difficult. With so many social networking sites and few resources to spend on them, it’s important to know your audience, understand the social networks they consume and decide which ones fit into your fundraising goals.

Because it’s so hard to get traction with all the noise on social media, it’s important to have a clear message and strong call to action. And that call to action doesn’t always have to be to donate.

Social media should be a two-way conversation so try get a conversation going. Conversations both online and offline help generate word of mouth, the best kind of conversation. That’s how social connections grow.

Do you have strategies or recommendations for implementing online donation tools on nonprofit websites?

The #1 rule for increasing online donations is access. Make sure that every page on your site provides access to a Donate button. Make sure every email that goes out offers an option to donate, even if it’s not your direct call to action.

Final thoughts? 

This is a stressful time for nonprofits as they try to maximize end-of-the-year gifts before the end of the month. It’s important to ask for what you need not what you think donors will give or what they gave last year. Make your message compelling with a clear call to action—Donate.

Learn more about how to implement JustGive’s Donate button on our recent Webinar: An Introduction to JustGive’s Donate Now button

If you missed the session, you can view a recording of the livestream here: https://youtu.be/h1YIBlMSU7U

Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

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