Brown Blog

Brown Blog

Category: Fundraising

26 Jul

Communication Plans – Get Started!

Communication plans take on many forms within our businesses and organizations – sticky notes, pop up reminders, spreadsheets, and 30-page manuals, and some, are even invisible – but whatever form your plan takes, is it really working FOR you?

Many of us, who are tasked with creating a communications plan, ask, is the work to develop one really worth it? The answer in short is YES, because it helps to:

  • Set priorities
  • Give your daily work focus
  • Avoid last-minute demands – although, do we ever really ditch those!
  • Provide order and control, so the task at hand is not so overwhelming; and, of course,
  • Give your strategic plan the support it needs!
Creating a plan can be as simple, or as complicated, as you make it; but we suggest the following as a way to kickstart the process:

1.     Write down every way, verbal or written, that you communicate externally (internal communications, like reports to Board, etc can be added in as well).

2.     Now, assign next to each the timing of that communication. Is it daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly?

3.     Taking that list then plot it against an appropriate calendar.

4.     To make things easier, next to each, brainstorm and write down ideas for the communication – tweet topics, resources to share, blog post ideas, announcements.

5.     You have created a plan!

Now, be sure to include ALL avenues of communication! Yes, that time spent on Facebook, is communicating, and social media should most definitely be part of an all-inclusive communications plan.  Meet your constituents where they are, and your plan will begin to work for you!

06 Jun

Nonprofits! Do your online donations match up?

Target Analytics, a Blackbaud company, has released their 2011 donorCentricsTM Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report and its companion, Improving Overall Giving Through a Multichannel Approach.  It sounds weighty, but this 22 page report (and its three page companion) is an easy read and a must for those of you trying to figure out if your online giving strategy is matching up and if grabbing donors online is worth the effort.

Well, while direct mail campaigns aren’t dead – far from it, finding and courting donors (new donors) online is important to the long-term relationship, especially if after that effort, you give them alternative ways to interact with your organization.

Key findings of the 2011 report include:

  • New donors usually give their first gift online.
  • In aggregate, online-acquired donors have much higher cumulative value over the long term than traditional mail-acquired donors.
  • Every year, large proportions of online-acquired donors switch from online giving to offline sources – primarily to direct mail.
  • Without the ability to become multichannel givers by renewing support via direct mail, online donors would be worth far less.

Even though the data to generate this report relies on just 28 major national nonprofit organizations, it is a narrative that can help any size organization focus on their online giving results and efforts to reach out to their internet audience through multiple channels.  Your donate button, and how you use it, is just part of the strategy!

If you are a nonprofit without a way to gather information from your online visitors, or are frustrated with your donate button, let us help!  Brown Dog Creative has solutions available for any size budget, contact us and begin developing your online audience into long-term supporters.