Let’s be very clear about one thing first: It’s not digital versus the real world. Digital IS the world now. Our sector is seeing a step change that affects everything from the way that donors expect to be engaged, to the way that funds are delivered on the ground. If your charity isn’t involving all it’s stakeholders in embracing this cultural shift to digital thinking right now, then you risk becoming obsolete very quickly.
That’s why putting together a new digital strategy that will complement your events and campaigns, is problematic. Simply because it can’t be done in a vacuum. If your charity is still thinking about an overall digital strategy as a separate ‘thing’ delivered by a team that sits on its own, then you’re already doing it wrong.
More often than not you need experienced people to come in and start creating a route map to navigate properly. Once you have this in place, then the fundraising element becomes clearer. But again, digital fundraising can’t be a separate part of your overall fundraising strategy, for the same reason we’ve already outlined above. Sorry, we wish it were easier, but that’s how it goes.
Still, when it comes to Digital Fundraising, here are 5 things you need to be thinking:
1. Define your objectives
Once more: not just your digital strategy, but your charity’s overall objectives. It’s this clarity about your overall objectives that really enables a true digital transformation to take place effectively across all departments, including Fundraising.
2. Email, email, email
Email should be the foundation of all of your digital work - it is the way you can turn people into donors and long-term supporters of your charity. I am sure that most of you already have an email strategy in place, but how does it tie in with other digital platforms? Is it given priority in your organisation? Or is it something thrown together last minute to promote a new campaign or event? Unless you know what you’re doing and plan ahead, email will always be wasted in your organisation.
3. Listen to your data
From their age and interests to their donation habits - your data can tell you so much about the people who support you. And by knowing more about the people who support you, you’ll know how to engage them further through other digital platforms, such as landing pages and social media. This isn’t possible when you store your data on excel spreadsheets or only maintain it once a year. It requires good follow-ups, regular maintenance and good sources of data. It can be the difference between increasing your ROIs in a way that builds your profile, or simply wasting an opportunity.
4. Why you shouldn’t be doing everything
From email, SEO and banner placements to numerous social media platforms -the list of digital channels is endless. But is it really worth all of the time and investment? In short the answer is no, especially if you don’t know how to do it properly. Too often we see charities wasting time and costs on doing things in house with no real understanding of why they are doing it. You wouldn’t let your Operations Manager run your Projects Department so why is it any different for your digital marketing? There are experts who know how to make it successful, so invest in them and you will see better results in shorter time.
5. Be patient
If you want to see your ROI overnight, then you definitely need to manage your expectations! Getting digital marketing right takes time, so you must be in it for the long game. But we can promise you this: it’s the best way to take your organisation to the next level; it’s the only way to be abreast, and eventually even one step ahead of the competition.
Need advice on how you can put together your digital strategy in your organisation? Then get in touch today for a chat and to get started.