The way we fundraise is changing dramatically. In the last few years we’ve seen a shift from analog methods (like phone and mail) to Social Fundraising with the capability of handling registration, donation and communication entirely online. As you can guess, this new method is a cost saver, but it’s also proving to be how a growing number of donors want to interact with their non-profits. Many executive directors find themselves working for a great cause, but feel severely hindered by an executive board or organization heirarchy with antiquated notions on fundraising. And that out-dated thinking is starting to have a negative effect on the bottom line.
We recently posted a four-part series with Todd Levy and Paul Ghiz, Managing Partners of DonorDrive, on convincing your organization to upgrade to social fundraising. It’s now available as a PDF.
For those who would prefer a quick read of the series, we’ve also created a list of the key points below.
15 key takeaways from “Can Social Fundraising save your non-profit?”
On those disappearing dollars:
- “Most non-profits that have relied on grants or foundations to give them dollars have probably realized in the last three years that grant money isn’t always going to be there. Your board should already be well aware that if they want the organization to be around tomorrow and beyond, they’ve got to change.”
On the advantages of Social Fundraising:
- “What social fundraising does is give an organization the ability to look at that $50 donor and see that person has a network of $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 in donations. It’s more about their network than their wallet.”
- “We have new organizations on DonorDrive that are less than five years old that are getting 90% or more of their donations electronically. That is a huge cost savings to the organization.”
- “The true danger of not using social fundraising is that there are discussions and interactions that you’re missing out on. It’s a matter of change or perish.”
- “We have very specific metrics that show that people who link their Facebook and Twitter with DonorDrive deliver more dollars than those who don’t. Some clients are seeing increases of 400% for Facebook alone.”
- “One person in an organization can leverage online fundraising tools that can generate millions of dollars. The old traditional model is that you need an army of people to do that. Social fundraising provides a direct benefit to the back office savings.”
On the new breed of donor:
- “People don’t just want to write the check. They want to feel they’re truly making a difference. Donors are taking a genuine interest and putting some blood, sweat and tears into this in addition to making a donation.”
- “Why not ask those in your constituent base how they want to communicate? And it may be social media. It can have a big impact, especially from a retention perspective.”
- “Today you should state ask amounts. And then show what each amount does. Tell them ‘if you give this amount it will help us pay for a child to stay in an ICU for a day.’”
On talking to your board:
- “A good way to get better cooperation from an executive board is to change the focus: Get them to see that it’s not about what’s good for them, it’s about what’s good for the mission of your organization.”
- “You also have to deal with these members respectfully. You present data in a way that doesn’t threaten, but instead makes them ultimately look like the hero.”
- “If your cause is to grow, I think you need to identify where you’re going to get your dollars from tomorrow. I suggest that reluctant board members should own the responsibility of maintaining the traditional donation channels while the organization builds social fundraising to bring new constituents and dollars in.”
- “It’s incumbent on any board to deal with the question of succession. ‘What’s your role in bringing on the next generation?’ So actually assign them the responsibility to replace themselves so that they leave the cause in good hands. ”
- “The idea of succession may really hit home with these board members since succession is such a respected tradition on most long-established boards.”
The surprising conclusion:
- “We may assume a board is not ready to hear the message that the organization must get into social fundraising. But it’s possible that’s what they’ve been waiting to hear.”
You can read the series on the blog starting here.