Building online support for your charity

The basic rules of fundraising haven’t changed – but the channels certainly have! 

Social networking and peer-to-peer fundraising are the fastest growing methods of fundraising today.  Fundraisers should be asking themselves one of two questions:

1)        How are we communicating to donors and potential donors?

2)        Could this be done better?

Social Media

Social media can be used for a variety of fundraising initiatives: appeals, campaigns, events, direct mail (mailshots), networking, sourcing partners, and much more…

In the past few years, social media has taken off in a major way.  It has been defined as a way of using media for social interactions, which can often be done in a familiar, non-threatening way (Wikipedia).

In an age of the Internet, Facebook and Twitter, it is much harder to present different messages to different audiences, particularly around fundraising. Now, organisationally, we have to have one consistent message suited to a variety of audiences, if we are to earn, secure and retain their loyal support through fundraising.

At a recent conference I attended, entitled Funding Christian Charities and Churches, hosted by Action Planning, I was fortunate to speak with Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Media Trust, who delivered a delightful presentation on how to use social media and the web to raise awareness, build a supporter base and secure donations.

 

Premier New Media Centre of Excellence

Premier Radio was launched as a Christian station in London on 10th June 1995. Since then, Premier has come a long way, and now prides itself on being a multimedia organisation, incorporating magazine publishing and a suite of websites.

Their aim is to inspire, equip and connect the Christian community to take advantage of New Media. They have acquired several accolades and awards for their efforts over the years, which include:

–       Resources website

–       Awards for conference

–       Regional training days – www.nmce.org.uk

Safety-Net-logo
Premier also hosts New Media awards, to celebrate the people and projects that are demonstrating excellence online. One of their recent projects is Safety Net: Protecting Innocence Online.

Every day, children and young people are exposed to pornographic and offensive images online. For more information on this campaign, visit www.safetynet.org.uk

Peter offered many tips and insights into what it takes to be a leader in the field of New Media, and I have endeavoured to encapsulate the salient points below:

Your website:

  • Ensure that you make online giving simple, and make it easy to donate
  • Your website should have relevant, recognisable branding
  • Use your website to promote offline achievements and successes
  • Ensure your donation page is free from distractions, and doesn’t send mixed messages
  • Endeavour to reach out to your donor at a point  when they are at their most committed on their online journey
  • If your website is the church website, ensure that the community work is well promoted within the website, and is easily accessible

            Key facts:

  • Text messaging is the next big area
  • Outside of direct mail (mailshots), email is the most effective online tool to fundraise
  • Throughout the sector, £11bn was given through charitable donations
  • 7% of that (£770m) was online – UK Giving 2011
  • 20% of web browsing is now done on a mobile device – Chitika May 2012
  • The most common age group of income online donors is 25-44
  • 13% of all male donors and 12% of all female donors within this age group are online
  • Apparently, 95% people surveyed are not interested in Christianity
  • Social media is useful for building community and brand loyalty
  • Giving online is no longer an alien concept

 

Funding Focus for your Ministry

Women’s World Day of Prayer (NCWWDPEWN)

The National Committee of the Women’s World Day of Prayer for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (NCWWDPEWN) is a trust, which makes grants to charitable Christian educational projects and Christian organisations publishing literature and audio-visual material designed to advance the Christian faith.

The main object of the Trust is to unite Christians in prayer, focused in particular on a day of prayer in March each year. The Trust’s income is mainly from donations collected at this event. After the Trust’s expenses, including the costs of running the Day of Prayer, the income can be used for grant making.

Visit www.wwdp-natcomm.org for more details, or email e@wwdp-natcomm.org.  Applications need to be made in writing to the correspondent before the end of June. Grant awards are made in November.

 

Date for your Diaries

 

Event:                         Evaluating Salesforce as a Fundraising Platform

Date:                           7th March 2013

Venue:                        31 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AT

Time:                          1.30pm – 4.30pm

Cost:                           Free (First come first served basis)

Description:

Participants will learn how using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, such as Salesforce, can help create change in an organisation’s fundraising efforts. Participants will learn best practices on selecting and implementing Salesforce; how non-profit organisations can benefit from free licences; license costs, and how you can track grant applications through the grant cycle, individual donors and specific donations, and group them into campaigns.

Bookings can be made online, email: info@thirdsectorit.org or call 020 7022 2023

Lara Rufus BA,MSc, is Managing Director of Crowne Consultancy and former Chair of the Black Fundraisers’ Network; email  info@crowneconsultancy.co.uk or see www.crowneconsultancy.co.uk  for help with fundraising and project building.

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