The Five I’s of Fundraising in the New Decade

Identification – Used to be asking who you knew, using prospect research, getting lists from your Board, finding new prospects.
The new decade (and the one before) offered us unprecedented access to our current and prospective donors. Through social media we can learn more about those interested in us and visa versa. We need to proactively push messages (as a part of our communications and marketing plans) that engage, inform and inspire. And when we get feedback we need to respond to keep the conversation going. Through social media we can enhance how we identify new volunteers and donors. And in many cases they self-identify by joining a fan page or following us on Twitter.

Information – Used to be static – a brochure, flat website, business card, annual report.
Today, how and where we present information to get interest has changed. Websites need to move from static to interactive. Posting polls, calls to action, truly make them interactive with games and simulations. Make your brochures interactive, put them on your website and send them via email. Use videos instead of photos to tell stories. Albums and movies that engage should be posted instantly.

Used to mean receiving a newsletter, sending an annual report, invite to volunteer. So once they have the information we need to see what interests them and get them interested in your nonprofit.
The new decade ups the ante for the interest meter! Emails and videos can be more interesting using video. Setting up a YouTube channel for your nonprofit means you need to take video to put on it. Ask your friends and followers to send in their thoughts about your organization via video and upload the best. Interview volunteers, donors and clients on video and upload to Facebook, YouTube, your site. People engage with people – get their interest with other people’s thoughts, ideas and experiences with your organization.

Involvement – Used to mean attending an event, real time volunteering, Board service.
Today involvement can be virtual – helping with social media, being your voice on Twitter, engaging others through their social media network, reading an online newsletter. Volunteering in the office between jobs or job search. Long or short-term commitments. Volunteering skills instead of general assistance.

Investment – Used to be making a gift in response to an annual appeal, paying to attend an event, volunteering regularly
Today donors and prospects make 1% of their gifts on line. This means via your donate now button, Facebook Causes page, email solicitation. We are already seeing donors making gifts via text and mobile phones. These numbers will increase and we need to be prepared.

Run a “What if” scenario in your organization – are you preparing, ready or already there to get ahead of your donors gift making?

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