Most of us moved our clocks forward this weekend for daylight savings time. Now while we are enjoying an extra hour of light, lets get inspired to spring forward our fundraising. During the spring I enjoy working with nonprofits to use multi-channel campaigns to cultivate and grow their donor base, especially their email lists.
Email continues to grow as an important solicitation tool, especially for acquiring new donors online. The Blackbaud 2011 Multichannel Fundraising Report showed that all donor age groups from 25-64 were giving online first (view full infographic). Higher income donors were also more likely to give online. Even though direct mail giving may still be prominent in your organization, we have seen that an email series at the same time of a direct mail campaign increases direct mail donations by providing ongoing reminders and more opportunities to strengthen the case to donate.
By implementing a Spring Forward Campaign, by the end-of-year your organization will be in position to maximize individual donations. Think of it as planting the seeds for the rest of the year.
Spring Forward Campaign Ideas:
- Create a give-away contest to acquire emails from social media followers. Finding a great prize helps provide incentive, but remember to create messaging with benefits for joining your email list. Check out this cool Facebook App we created for National 4-H using Campaign Builder.
- Send a postcard to past and lapsed donors thanking them again for their support and letting them know about an upcoming event or new project you are launching. This is also a great opportunity to let donors know how you are putting their dollars to work. Ask for updated contact information and to join the email list.
- Create opportunities for people to sign-up for your email list at events. Don’t just passively set out a list for sign-ups, actively ask people as they arrive and remind of the benefits of learning more. Remember your supporters often invite guests who might not know much about your organization – this is the perfect time to make a personal introduction and get them on your subscriber list.
Once you have built a great email list, make sure you create a welcome series of 3-4 messages that tells more about the organization and provides calls to action that get the subscribers more engaged.
Do you have any successful strategies for building your email list? Share in the comments.