Thursday, July 19, 2007

The New El Dorado: Online Fundraising

There is no need to be a fundraising blog nerd like me . . . truly, it is at best a way to learn about all the ways that you could be bringing in the big bucks if you were doing something besides reading blogs.

But, if you were an unfortunate creature such as this, you might have noticed a peculiar spike in the number of blogs recently on the topic of "online fundraising." In fact, according to Technorati, there was a surge in posts containing the term Online Fundraising at the end of June.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

What could be causing this trend? We are in the throws of another summer, and everyone's coffers are rapidly depleting ... hoping to reap the harvest in the fall and early winter. "O, bountiful December, please rain checks on me!"

In the interim, it appears there is a resurgence in interest in online fundraising. Perhaps driven by recent reports on various politicos' success in such ventures, the blogosphere has been alight with stories of online fundraising successes, failures and how-to's. Are development directors looking at the prospects of higher than average gifts as their new El Dorado, and a free email as their jet-powered conquistador craft?

Here are some of the blogs that I found the most beneficial:

  • FundRaising Success presents an article called "The Great Debate: Direct Mail vs. Online Acquisition," which provides some facts to drive your decisions about where to spend your time, energy and resources dedicated to donor acquisition and cultivation.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy's Give and Take Blog comments on an excellent article on the Donor Power Blog about how non-profit Web sites have eight seconds to rope readers in before they are abandoned.
  • Katya's Non-Profit Marketing Blog presents the top ten "take-aways" from the American Marketing Association (AMA) Foundation Conference's seminar, "10 things to engage constituents online"

What are your thoughts on these articles? What is in the future for online fundraising?