VONVO: Converting followers into Donors and Volunteers Through Video Conferencing

I attended another great HandsOn Tech seminar to educate non-profit communications professionals in new media. Unlike their seminars at Google Headquarters in NYC, this one I attended via the online webinar service, VONVO.

VONVO is more than a webinar  too, however. It’s a service for non-profits, allowing them to bring together and engage people who are passionate about a cause.  Unlike other webinar services, it features a “donate” button on the right, providing crowd funding properties.

Throughout the video conference, users learn about an organization that serves a cause that they are passionate about; two thirds are converted into donors and volunteers. It has applications for organizations from the United Nations, to non-profits, including non-profit journalism organizations.

A site covering Syrian news, for example, could draw attention to the issue by hosting a discussion, and raise coverage to the challenges of their coverage, even showing the crisis in the background. A site looking for medical volunteers for the crisis could likewise raise funds.

Staffing needs for non-profit journalism organizations

Non-profit journalism organizations when surveyed, show their greatest need is in business, advertising and fundraising. Likewise, surveys for organizations addressing hunger, namely soup kitchens and food pantries, also show the highest need for skilled volunteers, such as those who can build an online presence, or aid with these same needs.

While it is impossible to avoid processing fees (2.5 cents), Vonvo only takes 2 cents on the dollar, Affordably priced, seminars either come with a monthly subscription, or cost $100 (or they will work with your organizations budget and size). When one considers this could eliminate the cost of a gala fundraising event, not to mention pushing planning from up to nine months down to 2-4 weeks. this could be an advantage.

Most of the turnover time is spent in marketing. VONVO promotes the event to their network onFacebok, and also works with one key person at an organization to personally plan an effort. It works with EventBrite, and so one could couple it with techniques from HandsOn Tech’s EventBrite seminar, about how to use the tool with social networks to maintain a sustained interest up to an event. A celebrity promotion could also drive numbers through the roof.  The seminars are then posted on YouTube afterwards, allowing organizations to continue to share the content.

6 Newsletter Ideas to Help Retain Donors

By Mike Snuz, npEngage

Chuck Longfield recently presented and wrote about the difficulty of finding and retaining donors, describing how 3 out of every 4 new donors are not retained.

While nonprofits are challenged with retaining donors, one overlooked cultivation tool may be the Enewsletter.

Many nonprofits send one on a regular basis. And although the enewsletter can present challenges of it’s own – time commitment, content creation – the right type of enewsletter content can help strengthen donor relationships.

And that will help when it comes time for their next ask.

Here are 6 enewsletter ideas to help cultivate and retain donors:

  1. Report back on the impact of donations

    Too often, nonprofits aren’t sure what to write. Too often, donors don’t hear about the outcome of their gifts. Hmmm.

    Regularly include how donations were used. You’ll be “reporting back” to donors. You’ll also show non-donors that gifts are well-spent, which may help get their first gift.

  2. Include more stories

    Skip the bio of your new staff member and your executive director’s intro, and include more success stories. Stories bring your mission to life. They help people better understand why donations are needed.

    Don’t assume subscribers saw your Facebook post or have read the stories on your website. Include them in your enewsletter.

  3. Use dynamic content for different audiences

    Each enewsletter is an opportunity to again thank and cultivate important audiences. Acknowledge recent donors again. Tell event attendees “we couldn’t have done it without you!” Deliver personalized messages to different audiences.

    Email tools that are integrated with your CRM, like Blackbaud NetCommunity, will let you dynamically alter content for different audiences. I’ve also seen nonprofits have great success tailoring the introductory story by audience.

  4. Understand what your subscribers are telling you

    Review your enewsletter stats to see what links subscribers clicked on the most. This may be a good indicator of what topics your subscribers want to hear more about. And if your subscribers feel your content is relevant to them, they’ll read your enewsletter more often.

  5. Better social media cross-promotion

    To engage subscribers on another channel, do more than just include social media links. Briefly tell them what they’ll find valuable or why they should care. For example:

    • Facebook: latest photos & stories
    • Twitter: announcements, related news
    • YouTube: event & program videos
  6. Put your sidebar on the right

Unless you’re using responsive design or a very narrow width, Android phones are cutting off about one-third your newsletter on the right side.  So if you use a left sidebar, people will likely have to scroll horizontally on each line to read your story. Which they won’t do for long.

Use a right sidebar instead. Since people also read email newsletters left-to-right, your stories will catch their attention instead of the sidebar items.