We're all trying to find quicker and quicker ways by which people can make a donation. The impulse donation is as old as the hills and things such as collection tins have been a staple of fundraising for decades. How relevant is this though in an age of digital where smart phones are coming alive with different ways of giving and donation focused apps abound. One area we've been looking at is giving via a QR code.
QR codes have been around now for a few years but very few people are using them to their full potential. They are not just ways to create links to pages. My favourite QR code use is at Edinburgh zoo where in the Tapir exhibit there is a QR code and if you scan it it plays a video of the Tapir you are watching in the exhibit being born! Now that is cool - Not relevant to what I am talking about but cool nonetheless.
The other thing QR codes is good for is prompting actions on people's phones but not just for linking off to websites. It can also create text messages. Now with the recent changes to text giving using the 70x codes and the explosion of text donations if we could combine them both then we could potentially have a winning combination? A QR code which creates a donation text message? Maybe a little like the one on the left hand side here? Try scanning (we won't take a donation)
So imagine if you could get a donation with 2 or 3 clicks of a mobile phone? It's simple, it's easy, it's not complex in any way. Now let's take this to the stage further. What if we could do that and create a regular gift? So your impulse gift becomes a regular gift without the need for complex direct debit processing?
What we need to do with QR codes is take it to the next stage and make it easy to use and sign up for. We (at blackbaud) have just been given permission to take regular SMS donations for higher level amounts (up to £10) this week. So you now have the ability to get people to scan a code and have two or three clicks meaning that they have signed up for a regular £10 gift.
So instead of saying - Please sign up for a direct debit, enter your sort code, enter your account number (which you probably don't know off the top of your head) and then go to our website and give us that gift THEN we need to send you a letter etc etc etc. Change that to click three times on your mobile and you've given us a regular £10 gift which can really help us achieve our goal
Today people expect things to be quick and easy, Amazon has their 1 click ordering system and so many others do too. So why is it not quick and easy to give donations also? Stop asking people to think about things and get that impulse donation by having a good clear message.
The key thing with the impulse gift though is that people are not going to do this unprompted. Are they going to go to the trouble of even taking out their mobile phone if you just ask for the money? Well your core donors might but would the casual? Not likely.
The most important thing when dealing with an impulse donation is to make sure that they have something to prompt the impulse. Successful SMS A giving campaigns have always been where people have been given a reason to give. Text to buy a mosquito net? Give £5 a month to educate a child. Amnesty International recently ran a campaign to buy radios for people in Burma. They texted £10 to buy the radio and were very successful in this campaign. Stating please text Give to 70004 is simply not going to be successful as there is no trigger.
The most important thing is to prompt an impulse gift you need to make it easy but also you need to have a trigger.
First post of the New Year! Hope you had a great holiday period. Back to work now and carrying on my Mobile discussions that we were having before the new year.
So how often have you taken in 650 gifts in the first 20 mins of trialling a new fundraising tool? Would you consider that a success? That happened recently with a new Blackbaud Mobile client (whose name will be revealed when I get permission from them to reveal it!). However success like this is nothing if you can't measure it and measure it in a timely manner where you can actually do something with it.
When we were building the new platform we had taken into account the fact that so many mobile fundraising tools were a little on the poor side when it comes to analytics, data and recording ROI. So we've tried to record everything that goes on with the tool. When does it get shared on social media, How many donations have come in, when, how much are they, where did they come from? Was radio the best tool to use or was it Social media.
The only way to get better at this type of fundraising is to test, test and test again. It's new stuff so there is no silver bullet (although I doubt there ever will be) so you need to work out what is best for your organisation. Do your donors prefer to be solicited on Facebook or local radio or perhaps it's best in the newspaper? All of this has to be taken into account.
Now here is the thing - how quickly do you need this data - For a direct mail campaign you probably would be looking for results in the first 4-6 weeks, for email it's probably nearer the first few hours but with something like Mobile where the contact and the reply are almost instant you need to be quicker than that. We've built the tools so that you can see the results in seconds rather than hours. So if you send out an appeal you can see straight away who has replied back to it, who has checked out your Facebook tab or viral video and be able to tweak in real time.
So let's say you have an event that you are soliciting mobile gifts from. The most powerful way to solicit gifts from your audience is by showing them how much you have raised so far and push them towards a goal - think Comic Relief or Children in Need and their totaliser. Without realtime access to the data you can't do that. In fact having a Totaliser or Totometer there would be a great tool...
Finally when you have a successful night like our client in the first paragraph you want to be able to know who gave, when, how much and if you have a relationship with them already? With integration to your back end database such as the Raiser's Edge you could link both areas together. This way you can take those mobile numbers and contact those who you have had no contact with before, update those you have and ask them all for a Gift Aid declaration (which would be auto sent to them anyway).
So the success of any campaign is based around data and how quickly you can take the data and work out success or failure rate. Make sure you can tweak things on the fly but most of all test and tweak, test and tweak!
So Facebook won't let you take credit card gifts (or even have a secure page) and Twitter has nowhere to even ask for gifts. You've created the greatest viral video in the world but you can't get people to click through to your site and give their credit card details? It's a major issue and one that has dogged social media fundraising for quite some time.
Whilst we have seen an upturn in giving via social media it has yet to reach the potential it clearly has as a medium. So when Blackbaud Mobile was being built we looked at this as an area we could make easier. Take out the credit card, take out the need for a secure webpage, move the processing onto a mobile (with it's built in payment method) and add video straight into the equation. We wanted to make it quick, easy and convenient to give via social media.
So we've built a series of widgets that are auto created when you set up your campaigns within BB Mobile. we have Facebook widgets, Twitter links, Linkedin widgets, Facebook tabs and a pile of other tools that can be used in social media.
So imagine you have a great viral video that people are gladly sharing around Facebook. Instead of having just the video being shared you can encourage people to share the wiidget instead. That widget (shown on the left here) will have info on your campaign, images or video, the option to share across networks AND the ability to donate straight from here!
Your Fan page could have a new tab which is configured for your org and branded as your tab with the ability for you to solicit gifts straight from facebook without having to go anywhere else for it. It's pretty straightforward to add the page too. You get your branding inside BBMobile and then this creates the page for you. Three simple steps gets this into the page (see below).
As with any other area of Blackbauf Mobile you are able to solicit differing values of gifts as you see fit or give the end user the choice of gift. This is very new technology right now and will take some work to get onto the radar of fundraisers but it's something that they can do as part of their social media engagement rather than instead of it.
Peer to peer fundraising, Friends asking friends, events based fundraising, team fundraising - it has lots of names but essentially the biggest area of online fundraising in the UK today is centred around asking your friends to give you money for a cause whilst you run a marathon or climb Kilimanjaro or take a bath in beans (old school). We've done some research in the past around this stuff and there is a compelling arguement that things such as social media help towards this type of fundraising - however it requires effort on the part of the donor - navigate the page, go get credit card, make donation etc.
What I really like about the Events piece of Blackbaud Mobile is that it is so simple to use and can be updated in real time. So your fundraiser will choose a sub keyword which will be off the back of your main campaign. Let's say the charities keyword is Donate then the supporter who is taking part in the event for you has perhaps the word 'Robert' so this supporter asks his friends to text 'Donate Robert' to 70004. These donations are then credited to Robert but all the money flows back to the charity.
The supporter, marathon runner, baked bean guy signs up on the site then is given their own webpage complete with Totometer etc which can be incredibly effective when running an event. Imagine if the donor can see in real time if their friends are donating to them whilst running their race night or quiz evening? If they had access to a large screen or projector they could project the amounts they are getting up onto a screen and within 30 seconds of the text being sent it registers on their totometer? That would be enabling your fundraisers to use cutting edge tools but keeping the process simple, easy and effective?
Putting tools like this in the hands of the fundraisers not only gets them enthusiatic about the technology but also keeps them involved. If we can also use this page for Photo galleries, messages from supporters and a place to house videos etc then we start to get to a place where people have the potential to come back to and give multiple times! Astute personal fundraisers will exploit it in lots of different ways but you've given them the tools! Did I mention it could be shared on social media? It has the 'Spread the Word' section which is great for this type of thing.
Combine this work with the likes of Everyday Hero and you have some exciting prospects for the future of this medium.
Thoughts? Will your fundraisers want to have this tool at their disposal?
Blackbaud Mobile has lots of interesting and cool tools for all sorts of things from social media widgets through to QR codes but one area that is extremely exciting is the concept of Regular Giving via a mobile phone.
How does this work? Well we know that a huge portion of gifts to charity in the UK are giving through regular methods such as Direct debit or to a lesser extent regular credit card gifts but what would be the easiest way for people to give these small gifts? Signing up via a text message is simple and easy and it means the donor has control of their donation on a monthly basis.
A keyword is allocated to your account which is purely used for regular giving and is registered with Phone Pay Plus as a regular donation keyword (it can't be used for anything else for obvious reasons). Then when someone texts 'Regular' (For example) to your shortcode (70004) they will give a gift every month. What is pretty cool about the system though is that the donor gets a text message every month to say the money will come out within the next 24 hrs and they have three choices - leave it and the money comes out, text STOP and stop the regular gift entirely or text SKIP and miss that month's payment on those lean months but resume the next month - flexible and easy!
This is an area that few charities have done anything with yet as it's so new to the market but those orgs who decide to go for it with this system will reap the benefits. When Face to Face fundraising started in 1997 those orgs who took advantage early on were the orgs who are still reaping the benefits of thousands of direct debits coming through. Direct debits did suffer a lull during the worst part of the recssion but is on the up again now.
So what do you think? Is regular giving via a mobile phone a viable concept? Are you going to give it a try for your charity?
So have you heard of Blackbaud Mobile? We launched it a few weeks ago and I'm as excited about it as I have been about anything we've ever done.
We could have just gone for a mobile giving platform which integrates with the Raiser's Edge but we decided to go a step further and create something that spans across the mobile environment. It splits into three distinct areas - Create, Promote and Analyse .
Create - Create your short code and keyword for mobile giving - this is the first stage. People have shown recently that they are willing to give via their mobile £15M in one year from Comic Relief shows that this is important. The mobile phone is the first truly personal medium it has mass penetration and recently I saw it quoted that 25% of people actually sleep with their phone in the bed with them! (not at the side but physically in there usually under the pillow!!). The phone has a built in payment mechanism which lends itself to easy small payments. The second aspect to the mobile is WHO is willing to give - A recent NFP Synergy survey showed that Men aged 25-34 are most likely to give via a mobile phone...interesting as this is the demographic that we tend to find the most difficult to market to! When you create your keyword you can choose whether you want a regular giving keyword or a keyword for an individual to use in an event.
Promote - Built into the platform are a whole host of promotional tools which are built to encourage giving either at events, social media or print media. We have built in social widgets for Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin which incorporates powerful tools like video directly into the system. Imagine if you could get that great viral video to have a built in donation tool which would not require credit cards etc? We've built in pre built QR codes, widgets, totometers and a host of other tools to make it easier to promote your mobile giving.
Analyse - It may not be the sexiest part of Blackbaud mobile but it is absolutely the most important. The platform gives you the ability to analyse your results in real time so you are able to see within 30 secs of the donation/interaction who is giving and how successful are you being. Imagine being able to share that with an audience at an event in real time? We give you configurable totometers so that you can project the donations onto a big screen and see what is happening and use this to encourage people in the room to donate more!
All of this integrated to the Raiser's Edge is why I'm very excited about this. I will be doing a series of short blog posts about the platform over the holiday period as to go into everything that we can do in one post would make for a ridiculously long blog post and it's nearly Christmas!
Howard Lake at UK Fundraising did film our launch and the presentation by yours truly which you can take a look at below or by clicking here.
Did you know that the old iphone (the 3GS) had the same specs as a PC from 2001? So it’s predicted that accessing your website on a mobile device will be the prevalent medium in just 2 short years but are you ready to do this? Recently I went round the country talking to a host of not for profits about their plans for the future online and was scared by the results. Of the roughly 100 orgs I spoke with, barely three of them had any plans for a mobile website with a further one organisation saying they were in the process of building a site. I'm hoping I was talking to the wrong people but if not we've got a real issue.
The big problem right now is that donors/alumni/prospects are not complaining but this is a temporary stay of execution those complaints are in the post. Facebook tracks the following publically on mobile -
• More than 350 million active users currently access Facebook through their mobile devices
• More than 475 mobile operators globally work to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products
Those are big stats. Lots of people doing things on mobile but what is the NFP sector doing? We should be making plans at the very least. However let’s not just jump on the bandwagon just because it is there. The first thing we need to do is justify the work involved so we have to ask ourselves some questions to frame the work.
Question 1 – Are people using your site via a mobile phone? I run a website for a local park group and we have Google Analytics set up on the site. I was surprised to notice that 20% of visitors to the page were actually accessing the page via a mobile device. Google breaks this out very simply and very easily for you. So I’d suggest that is your starting point. This is a new site but is obviously in need of a mobile friendly version. This is the most basic of websites for people who like walks in the park over tech so that is an interesting stats to start with. Take a look at the image on the right for the breakdown of the stats. The park site is in the process of being moved to a wordpress.com site which has an automatic mobile version.
Question 2 – What is a mobile? We are used to thinking that mobile phones are just a step on from our old desktop phones and for a lot of devices that is the case. Non smart phones are still used 70% of the time for making phone calls but when we look at smart phones the breakdown is quite different. The iphone is only used for calls roughly 45% of the time! The rest is data. The mobile phone is no longer just a phone but more a personal media device.
Mobile devices span across a gamut of devices from iPhones to tablets to old Nokia 2110. Do you want to optimise for everything? Probably not so look again at your analytics and work out what people are coming to your site on. These are good as they show the range of devices that are currently accessing your site. Take a look at the example below for some imple details.
Question 3 – How do we create the site?
So there are many questions around this one. Do we create a separate mobile site and have people redirect when they come to via a mobile? Or do you simplify your current content so that it is accesible? There are pros and cons with any method. A simple blog on the subject is here.
Most people are inclined to just employ multiple style sheets on a mobile and thus minimise the disruption when adding content. Have a look at the way we are handling this at Blackbaud with our latest version of Netcommunity. This method means that you only add content once and the style sheet configures it to the medium. What works with this method is that it works wether you are talking about mobile phones or mobile browsers or even just desktop browsers. The difficulties of this method is that you do need to make sure your content will fit with the process.
Question 4 – What next?
Once you have established a mobile website you need to monitor the success. As with anything you need a base value to start from. If you are being successful with your mobile site then you should encourage more mobile traffic so why not take the value you started with in question 1 and use that to base your growth from. That was what you got online with the old site – what now. Also keep monitoring, testing and checking so that you can see if there is a change in your findings over the months that you are live? You need to be ready to adapt to new methods and new devices – it’s not a case of switch it on and forget about it...but you knew that didn’t you?
I got an email from Google the other day telling me that I was being moved over onto the new Beta for Google Analytics and I headed over to have a look at the new features. Firstly they have tidied up the interface to make it easier to navigate around which helps but they've also added some fantastic new features that I'm loving already so i wanted to share.
Our industry still has problems with measuring ROI and engagement across our web presence and whilst it's hard to measure it's going to be hard to implement. Recently I have been doing some straw polls at various charity events on those monitoring Social Engagement or even any web ROI and I'm very sad to say that of the roughly 150 orgs that I have asked this question to less than 10% have said they either have a strategy or even a plan for one. I did speak to 2 orgs who were doing a great job but out fo 150???
So what are these new tools. They cover three really fundamental areas - Social Engagement, Mobile and Visitor flow.
So you've added some cool Facebook tools to your website but how are you measuring what people are doing with them? Likes on facebook, Sharing on twitter, Google +1's. You may have added them all but what is happening with them. This new tool lets you take that data and transfer it into real data and thus helps guide your future use. they break it down by engagement and actions. Are people liking your pages on facebook? Is it working? Now a simple report to validate that is more than welcome.
Some recent Morgan Stanley Research said that come 2014 more of us will be accessing the Internet via mobile devices than via our desktops. With this in mind we need to be more mindful of what we are doing with this. The new mobile stuff will tell you how many people accessed your site via a mobile and also which device! So if you have a bunch of people accessing via the Galaxy do you want to optimise the site for that device? This links in perfectly with our new Netcommunity Mobile stuff and give you a great insight into what people are using.
This is an area i am really excited about. So you know who comes to your site right...but what do they do? Does a particular page prompt a certain action? Yes you could put together complex reports from this before but the new visitor flow stuff in Analytics helps us to properly visualise this stuff! You can filter but country, city, broswers, operating system or most other parameters or you can even create your own parameters and then look at where people are landing on your site and what they do from there. One site I personally run for my local park had an interesting, but insight obvious, thing happen. Most of our US hits were hitting the news page before the home page. Now this is a local park in Cumbernauld so that struck me as strange but not when I realised that that particular page was tweeted on the Cumbernauld House trust account which is mainly US based people. I could have made that assumption but now I can see it.
These tools are really incredibly easy to use and give insights into your website that if you are not monitoring you really should be. They can also be incredibly useful in determining your next steps for your site and for your constituent engagement. Check them out when they are rolled out to everyone. I'd love to hear opinions if you are already using this stuff though.
I've had a lot of enquiries about the new changes to how websites can store cookies which the EU has announced and will be putting into place on the 26th of this month. I wanted to put something up here so that we can help allay fears around use of our Netcommunity product especially.
- Content Comparison
- Suggested Content
- User Login
- Payment part (1 and 2)
- User Networking Manager
- Language Selector
Now the easiest thing to do is obviously not to use any of these parts but that kinda defeats the purpose of buying the product doesn't it ;-). So anyway what you need to know is -
The information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, has this to say on the subject -
The implementation of this new legislation is challenging and involves significant technological considerations. That's why we've already consulted a wide range of stakeholders. But we want to spread the net as wide as we can and would welcome further comments from others who have practical examples to share. This advice is very much a work in progress and doesn't yet provide all of the answers.
Although we are only a few weeks away from this coming into effect it seems like we're not to panic. The Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey also had the following to say on the subject -
"The Government is clear that it will take time for meaningful solutions to be developed, evaluated and rolled out," he said.
So we're not quite there with all options. First thing to consider is the fact that if a client signs up to your site (creates a user name) and has agreed to all of your terms and conditions then this could be one of them. It needs to be an opt in for this as the advice states that you cannot add it to the terms and assume that people have read them. So anything behind the login is fine and compliant under the regulations. So we're just really talking about those who have not received a user name for your site and anonymous users.
Now if someone has a modern browser such as Firefox 4 which allows the user to choose which type of cookies they can use then this will be deemed as express consent but what if someone is using an older browser? What you have to realise at this point is that your org has an obligation to ask for permission from the end users.
So how does this directly affect our BBNC product. Well it's worthwhile looking at the ways we store cookies and how they work/what they store -
- Content Comparison - This area does not store any personal information and is purely used to decide which content is better received. The cookie is there purely to make sure that the user has the same experience each time so could be argued falls under the exception - for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network;
- Suggested Content - Similar to content comparison. No personal details stored just a way to make the experience better. What this cookie does do though is it remembers those who have been on the site from your machine and tries to tailor the content - so nothing about the use just the info on what they have visited. If the user chooses to log in at this point then it once again is no longer valid.
- User Login - Only stores info when asked so fits within the rules.
- Payment part (1 and 2) -Info here is stored purely on a transactional basis and is covered under the exception that states that there is no need to do this if the info stored is ‘strictly necessary’ for a service requested by the user - such as a donation.
- Poll - This cookie records whether someone has taken a poll so that they can't skew results. No personal data again and if the poll is behind the login we're still fine.
- Survey - Same as polls
- User Networking Manager - Need to be logged in to use this area and thus behind the T&C's
- Language Selector - This is another area which could easily come under the 'for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network'. The purpose of this area is to remember which language the person used previously and not make them have to do it again.
I hope this helps to allay the fears people may have around this area and makes it a little clearer for you. I'm sure this is going to change as the government works more on this but I believe this is where we are today.
Feel free to comment on this below and also - I suspect that no-one will need to go to the extremes shown here by Dave Naylor ;-)
This month Blackbaud has teamed up with Charity Insight to provide some snippets of data about UK giving online over the last few months/year. The first post which has just gone online was focussed on giving overall in 2010. These numbers are based on data for the year past and has some interesting snippets - The average gift was £52.87 which is higher than quoted in some other data sets...so why is this the case. Being the Product manager for Blackbaud online I'd love to say that it's because we have excellent products and leave it at that but we all know that's only part of it...No the reason is that the majority of the people using our software right now have a plan for using the software and a strategy (even if it's just in someone's head) for fundraising online - this is a key component to what is happening with these figures.
If we look at the average UK gift to charity (from CAF) it's around the £10-15 mark. The average online gift according to JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving is around the £31-34 mark so this £52 is quite a bit more. What we've been trying to encourage people to do is to look at who they are marketing their website to. Tailor the message - ask for the right amounts. Incorporate ask ladders into the software and watch as the average gift grows from there.
So what are people doing differently in this model?Some really simple and really high level techniques that people are currently using -
1. Choose who you market your pages to - The days of scatter gunning your website and hoping it snares the right people are fast moving into the past. Do you really want to send out the same message to your major donors as you do to your regular givers?
2. Target the ask amount - If someone tends to give you £100 then don't send them to a page which has a top button at £50...because they'll give you what you asked for! The use of ask ladders is especially useful in some circumstances...but beware not everyone takes to these very well.
3. Know your audience - Who is the demographic for your web strategy? Do you know or are you following the myths that only young people use the Internet? Use tools such as Google Analytics on your page and know exactly who your main audience is. Do you have a strong minority on the page who would benefit from their own microsite?
4. Go where your audience is - Are your supporters talking on Facebook but not your website? Does it matter? Make sure that wherever they are - you are.
5. What are your audience interest in? - Talk to them about things that they are interested in. Seems like a no-brainer right? How do you know what they are talking about though unless you can monitor what's being said about you online? So build a good plan for a listening dashboard and listen in to what they are saying and respond where neccesary.
6. Know when to ask - The Charity insight data states that 43% of all giving is done in the Nov-Jan period. Is this because that's when people want to give or is it because that's when you ask - probably a bit of both. However no pattern is the same from charity to charity - you need to work out what works for your supporters. If we looked at Just giving or VMG data we'd probably see peaks in April time around the London marathon too so it's all about knowing when and how to ask.
The most important point around this data is this - the web requires you to know who, what, when and where to ask and how is also important! Because you are bringing a gift online of twice your offline average does that meant you are doing well? ...possibly...
So last week my colleague Chad Norman posted an excellent blog entry around the concept of Slacktivism. He had looked at the wave of Facebook users changing their profile picture to that of a cartoon character in support of child abuse charities including NSPCC. The group was centred around a FB page which was set up by someone completely unrelated to these charities with the goal of trying to increase awareness.
Now there were two things which really struck home during this campaign -
1. People believe their friends before they believe in a faceless entity online
2. There is more to this stuff than we at first would have believed.
So what do I mean here. Well on point number 1 - There was a backlash against this changing of the profile picture stating that it was achieving very little and there was even a report that the group had been set up for very sinister reasons. This seems appauling to contemplate but a lot of people saw friends update their profiles to state that this campaign was actually connected to people behind child abuse! This caused them to update their own profiles. After some digging on my part I found that this seemed to be quite a legitimate group really just trying to do some good. What this really highlighted was that people are going to believe peers over groups everytime. I've seen this type of accusation a few times coming trhough my live feed on facebook (recently a Next baby competition was hijacked by this type of thing) and it is sad that some people get a kick out of degrading this type of thing but equally uplifting that many people didn't fall for the hype and went along anyway with changing their profile picture. This is no criticism of those who updated their profile with the negative idea (although the person who started it may be feeling a little ashamed) but it is interesting that people get their info from friends over news outlets nowadays - which is usually a good thing.
On point 2 the real proof of the pudding is in the eating and NSPCC this week reported the campaign had raised an extra £100,000 pounds for their charity. This is from donations coming straight from the Facebook group! So Social networking being about friendraising over fundraising has been given a bit of a bash here. This may prove the exception that proves the rule but right now the person who set up this page must be sitting back pleased that their 'Slacktivism' has achieved so much in such a small amount of time.
Maybe this will achieve nothing but it's a great story of fundraising coming straight from Social Networking. Which charity couldn't do with an extra £100k at this time of year by doing absolutely no work?
Oh and by the way my picture was Droopy...
So the 2010 SONI survey has been out for a few weeks now and I wanted to pull out a few items which I think bear speaking about. We do this survey every year and the results are always pretty interesting. You can look back at the past 2-3 years survey's here. We've asked a few more Internet related questions this year and I thought the results were quite interesting.
So here are my top 3 items -
- 49% said that Marketing/Comms were responsible for updating their website but 50% said that they used their website for fundraising. Only 14% said that fundraising was responsible for their websites. However 63% of orgs said that Supporters (Donations) were one of the primary groups visiting their website (the single highest group in that part of the survey). So are we focused enough on fundraising or are we still doing that British thing of being afraid to ask?
- Top drivers for donations online - A change this year was that direct mail dropped out of the top three top drivers and we saw emails to new donors taking it's place. More of an online focus? Are we using the tools more effectively now and reducing the costs overall?
- 44% of donors asked to be updated on how their money was spent. Just a few years ago people gave and expected the charity to be able to spend their money wisely but today people are far more demanding (and rightly so). Are we equipped to give people the info they want? Do we have the resources and tools available? If not we probably should be because that number will only rise now. 52% of donors asked to restrict their online donation. People want to give and know what they are giving to.
The Global survey was also very interesting. A few points to pull out of that -
- 64% of the UK audience rated fundraising important online - which was the second lowest percentage on the list with only France at 50% rating it lower on the list of priorities. With 94% saying that marketing was important it shows where we see the internet. It's still not principally a donation driver as it is in other countries - with the likes of India where 89% of orgs rate it as important.
- Social Networking though was on the rise in the UK. 63% of orgs said that they used Social Networking as an online tool (with a further 21% saying they are developing some) which made us second highest in the world behind the US with 71%. So are we focused on friendraising rather than fundraising?
- Only 23% of orgs stated they had a written online strategy but most rated online as an important tool. So why so low? Well we're slowly developing this but maybe a little too slowly. Positively 32% said they were developing a strategy.
- Website analytics - 61% said that they employed or used website analytics (that's still 39% who don't monitor their website!) but that puts us third in the world behind the US (63%) and New Zealand at 80%
These stats are fascinating and the survey is becoming more and more revealing as the years go on. We're learning more about where we're going and what we're doing (or not doing). I admit to being a bit of a stats geek but there is info in these surveys which is useful to all UK orgs both online and offline.
I'd love you opinions on this stuff though so let me know your thoughts in the comments area below.
So I've been a bit quiet lately on the blog front due to a huge number of issues but I attended the IOF Scotland conference yesterday and felt obliged to blog on the topic. It was an excellent day which I think went down well with most people. I always judge these things on what I learned or how inspired I was afterwards and this conference was superb on that front.
So a few highlights of the day -
1. Tony Elischer of Think Consulting was the opening plenary speaker and his session was full of excellent snippets. He talked about his 4 babies which we could take away with us to work with. The piece that really excited me though was some of the new tech he talked about such as -
- QR codes - These guys are excellent and I've seen and used them before but the idea of using them for networking hadn't occured to me. For example download a QR scanner (the apple app store has plenty or google one for your phone). Then scan the image to the right hand side here. Now this just takes you to the Fan page of my charity but it could also embed vcards for my phone or send emails/sms etc. So an easy way to get added to someones address book or sing them up to support you. You could also use it for donation pages...
- Nerd Patches - The idea is that these QRcodes would be put onto clothing patches so that someone could scan you with their phone and instantly friend you on Facebook. You could have this on event staff clothing or even better on event badges?
- NetGranny - What a great idea. A Non profit allowing you to get an item of clothing knitted for you by your own online picked out replacement netgranny.
2. Steve Bridger of Visceralbusiness.com also ran an excellent session on empowering your employees to use social media. Steve talked about the postives of empowering people to tweet or update Facebook on your orgs behalf. It's important to have conversations and to engage with people. A key quote from Steve was - 'Charities are structured for transactions not conversations'. Which is very true. Most orgs are still structured today the way they were before the social media (or in some cases the Internet) revolution happened. Bogs etc have moved us beyong this. He pointed out an excellent video which he used as an example of where people were missing out the mainstream charities and doing things for themselves. Check it out below.
Also attended an excellent twitter case study by Jacqui Obeirne of the Dogs Trust on their use of Twitter as a media to engage their supporters. Lots of good ideas on having people adopt their dogs, conversations and building awareness of the mission of the Trust. Very interesting stuff.
So those were my highlights (unfortunately I missed what seemed like an excellent closing Plenary by Alan Clayton due to other commmitments). A useful conference and great to meet people in the flesh that I'm used to speaking to online!
When you engage with people you make them feel part of the process this automatically creates loyalty and helps with understanding.
“The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, familiar things new.”
William Makepeace Thackery
The Site we’ve been using throughout this example did not get thousands of hits and fans sign up on the first day unlike a certain Cumbernauld old boy Craig Ferguson who had 28k followers after 24 hrs on Twitter recently (now sitting around the 120k). Craig probably played around the house in his youth but was too busy on day one of his twitter account to RT us! Understandably so . We, on the other hand, had only a handful of people sign up initially which meant that when they left a message on the wall or posted a link we could thank them or interact with them personally. This helped to grow the appeal of the event and even helped to create links etc from other peoples pages to the fanpage.
Engaging is vital when running a group like this. Talk to your members and answer their questions. Don’t try to make them think like you as that leads to people rapidly leaving the group but put the views of the group across in a non preachy manner.
Photos and Videos are a great way of engaging. The Cumbernauld House Facebook group posted up loads of photos of the house and the surrounding area and the users quickly jumped on this and started leaving reminiscences and memories from the area. The type of interaction is gold as it presents a warm and welcoming face to the group and links people back to a time that they remember with rose tinted glasses.
Keep people updated on the day to day goings on of the group is also important. The Notes area on Facebook gives you some fairly basic blogging functionality with the ability to create RSS feeds and importantly also import feeds from blogs too. Once again the comments area gives people the ability to discuss your notes and even forward that info onto their own Facebook friends.
If you already have an external blog, as I said, you can also bring that into the group. There is an option when you enter a note to import a blog. In here you have the option to bring in an RSS feed from another blog.
Finally when engaging why not increase your audience by checking out similar group on Facebook, join them and then share info with them. For the ‘save the house’ group we went to people like Historic Scotland and the National Trust in order to gain extra traction.
Once you get them there though – talk to them!
You can also track these interactions on Facebook by using the built in tools for this work. The insights feature on a Fanpage will give you great info on the types of people currently using the page and how they are using this. See the image below for more details of the types of things you can track. This stuff looks at basic demographics. You can see that we have a 59% female following and that 25-44 were the largest age bands regardless of gender. You can also analyse post quality in here so how engaging have the posts been for people. If there are a number of random statements and no-one reacts to it then the quality is lower but if you have a statement and lots of people click to like or even better reply to the statement then the quality goes up.
Remember - everytime they post to the page this goes up on their profile area and all their friends see that they have posted. Let's face it people are by nature nosey so if they see that someone has posted an update and they now that person then they'll often go see what they said...then maybe sign up for the group themselves!
Engaging is the most important aspect of building fans on a page as it creates viral advertising for the page all over Facebook and encourages followers. So by all means post updates but also post questions, statements and anything that will create interactions and keep people engaged. The Cumbernauld page has been running for a month now and has almost 1000 fans on there...and importantly they're talking! Sometimes they disagree, sometimes they get carried away but they are talking and the admins for the page are keeping those conversations flowing.
Don’t spend too much of your time building the page before you publish. Make sure it’s got all the info you need to get your message across and that you’ve made it compelling etc but once you get it out there you need something to keep people coming back. So don’t publish all of your content in the first wave...just enough to whet the appetite and get people engaged but keep the powder relatively dry at the beginning.
A good way to keep interest is by using a Video. Frank Barry did a great blog post on the NetWitsthinktank around using Video online so I won’t try to repeat the benefits or techniques.
You do have an option in the Fanpage to add a video and if you have your own videos this is a great way to embed videos on your site. However there are a number of really useful apps for this too (see part 3 for how to add an app)and countless free videos on YouTube. For the Cumbernauld site we found two perfect videos. One showed the house as it is today and the other was from a few years ago before it had fallen into neglect. This created a nice contrast for the supporters to see.
It’s a powerful tool which gets the message over in an evocative and emotive way.
We also recorded our own video with a good look around the house and a good look at what the campaign was all about. It helps your call to action to have something which shows what you are there for and what you are fighting for.
Another great example of the use of video on Fanpages is from WaterAid. They use video to great effect and get their message across very clearly.
After the page was launched we found a great response from people all over the world. On day 1 we had around 25-30 fans which as a start is reasonable however by the end of the 6th day we had over 300 fans and loads of fan generated content. The first month will be up this coming Friday (5th of March) and we already have over 900 fans by using these really simple techniques.
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