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Follow-up to Online Fundraising and Social Success Webinar

Below is a follow-up by Katya Andresen, COO and chief strategy officer of Network for Good, to a handful of questions submitted by participants during the May 16, 2012, webinar, “Supersize My Online Savvy: Surefire Steps to Fundraising and Social Success.” To view Katya’s presentation or listen to the recording of the webinar, please click here.

Q: Katya said that you want to lead “slacktivists” down a more involved past, but how do you prevent from annoying them or pushing too much?

Katya Andresen

A: You thank them for their actions, tell them the difference they made with their small action and invite them to do more. If you balance great information on how they’re making a difference with calls to action, you won’t be annoying. More at

Q: How do you get people to write a review or “like” us on Facebook?

A: For liking, you need compelling, fun, helpful content. When people see that, they will like it. For reviews, I’d have a policy that every time any frontlines staff member here’s something positive from a donor or supporter, you ask them to write the review. You want to get people in a moment when they are already positive.

Q: Do people really skim your website and then donate online?

A: Your website alone isn’t going to generate many gifts. It has to be paired with engaging outreach and a good ask that answers for the donor: why me, what for, why now, who says? On the other hand, your website can STOP a gift if it’s not inspiring, confusing or not compelling.

Q: Can you give an example of a great email?

A: I’m not sure what kind of email you mean – fundraising? Thank you? Advocacy? There are a lot of kinds. This might come in handy:

Q: But the people on the travelers experience could be competitors or friends and not good.

A: That’s true, but people generally believe it anyway. Also, those sites are getting good at weeding out inauthentic reviews.

Q: Is #4 the reason Angie’s List is so successful? Does this apply to quotes on your website? Are those still valid?

A: Yes and yes!

Q: When a donor gives a gift through our website, they get an automated thank you generated by our system. Is it necessary to send them another thank you letter via snail mail, even for $5 donors?

A: I would send everyone both a thank you receipt and a follow up on the difference they made. It does not have to be snail mail, though. For more on good stewardship, check out my blog post today. (Note from GuideStar: you can check out Katya’s blog at

Q: Would you suggest “requiring” or encouraging having prominent staff and board members create individual profiles on LinkedIn (or other sites) that reference the nonprofit? Or does this introduce too much risk?

A: All LinkedIn profiles now have a volunteer/board field. Encourage people to use it. It’s not a profile, it’s just an addition to an existing profile and well worth doing. Here’s more on the topic —

Q: How do you feel about using an eCard option to drive donations – using a great photo, of course.

A: I’m not sure what you mean. I think an appeal with a photo is great. An ecard that people have to download or clickthrough to open might lower conversion. I’d test it against a more conventional approach and see what your data tells you!

Q: Thanks again. Taking so many notes. One of the better presentations on this I have seen — and I have been doing this a loooonnngg time. You mentioned that mobile giving is growing faster than online. Can you say a stat on that?

A: Yes – here’s a paper I did on the topic –

Q: You mentioned that mobile giving is growing faster than online. Can you say a stat on that?


Q: Before wrapping up our fiscal year, we have a phone-a-thon coming up to ask for renewal gifts. What is the most compelling opening?

A: Have someone helped by your organization make the call. IRC had great luck with that approach. Or at least tell their story in the opening.

Katya Andresen is COO and chief strategy officer of Network for Good as well as a speaker, author, and blogger about nonprofit marketing, online outreach, social media, and fundraising. In addition, she is an adjunct professor of communications at American University’s Key Certificate Program and serves on the board of NTEN. Katya has trained thousands of causes in effective engagement, and her marketing materials for nonprofits have won national and international awards. She is the author of the book Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes and was featured in the e-book Nine Minds of Marketing.

Topics: Fundraising