Sunday, January 27, 2008

Oh, that Seth Godin

This post actually confirms everything I've ever observed about online giving in the seven or so years I've been doing it. Simply put, well-placed online giving forms are merely a convenience for the donor. In the main, by the time folks get to your website they have already made the decision to give, and, if all has gone right, you've accommodated them by making your "give now" button super-beyond-easy to find.

But this isn't how it has to be, my friends in non-profit land. I think that it's possible to engage the un-engaged through web magic. I firmly believe that it is possible to design a web experience that effectively nabs the donor who is seeking a meaningful involvement with what it is you're doing before s/he pulls the trigger on their bank account. The secret is to look critically at what you're doing that really, really has an impact, and figure out how to get folks to get into those things online.

Maybe you're looking to raise the sights of your annual donors: then you need to give them highly personalized (e.g. specific to the particular donors -- yes, they may have to log in) ways to see the impact that their modest gifts have had, and then show them how great things could be if they gave a little (or a lot) more.

Maybe you're trying to get people to give in the first place: this can be a question of giving them something highly focused and compelling to feel, along with an easy-to-complete giving opportunity that is closely tied to whatever brought them to you in the first place. Implied in this is search engine optimization so that your compelling pages turn up when they search for "sad, but cute puppies" or whatever your highly-worthy cause is.

There is a lot of opportunity around crafting online experiences that deepen your donors' emotional and financial involvement with what you're doing.

Don't you think?

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