by Beth Johnson, Communication Manager, Salsa
Sadly for us, Steph, one of our summer interns and author of the previous blogs in this series, has left to start her senior year at Virginia Tech. I’ll be walking you through the last four strategies and hope to be as informative as she was!
Today’s lesson is on getting your offline supporters online. Depending on your supporter demographics, this could go either way- it could be a really easy transition for you (lots of young supporters just waiting for you to start an online program), or possibly very challenging (older supporters who are not as comfortable sharing their information online).
But it’s important- getting your supporters online makes them easier to communicate with and ultimately, easier to engage. And as online fundraising has been on the rise in the last few years, it could be the catalyst you need to garner more donations.
Moving Offline Supporters Online
The biggest step to moving your supporters online is to include a call to action in all of your print and direct mail materials. Ask them to share their email address with you, or encourage them to sign up for your e-newsletter on your website. Be sure to include your social media handles too- you know young supporters are on social media (nearly 90%) but older supporters are adopting social media at a rapid pace (almost 43% of Americans over 65 use at least one site)*. And don’t just ask once- add your website, email and social media to all of your materials from here on out.
It’s not just hard copy elements that you’ll want to think about. As you hold events or host volunteers, ask supporters to share their email with you when they check in or before they leave so you can be in touch about future opportunities.
Crossing Platforms Helps Too
Beyond moving offline supporters online, try moving online supporters across platforms. Encourage your supporters on your email list to join the conversations on your Facebook or Twitter pages. For social media followers, challenge them to take action with your cause by signing a petition or making a donation (an added bonus is that you’ll capture their contact information in the process).
Moving supporters online and across platform gives you more opportunities to interact with them a much more cost-effective manner. Plus, you’ll be able to use your CRM to segment them with targeted messages, resulting in higher quality results for your campaigns and outreach efforts.
*Source:Pew Research Center via Mashable
To learn more download our free ebook, The Essential Guide to Growing Your Online Support for Nonprofits. This new guide helps you connect and engage with current donors, volunteers and activists, and tells you how to reach out to new supporters using the online tools and content you’ve probably already got in place. It covers things like storytelling and choosing the best message for each medium, but also goes into things you might not know a lot about yet, like SEO, SEM and leveraging text messaging.