#zooGood Twitter Chat Week 2: Online fundraising, digital metrics, and bridging the gap between online and offline

The second #zooGood chat was a keeper. World changers gathered online for the second of our weekly Tuesday Twitter chats about raising support for good causes. This week, Jennifer Roccanti, development associate from the DC-based nonprofit Miriam’s Kitchen, joined us to discuss the future of online fundraising and whether causes should consider making making communication fully digital.

Missed this week’s Twitter chat? No worries. Find us at the same time every Tuesday, 9 pm EST—9:30 pm EST. Just follow @Mightycause and the hashtag #zooGood.

In the meantime, here’s a transcript of highlights from this week (highlights from last week were posted earlier on the blog):

Q1: What metrics do you use to measure the effectiveness of your online communication efforts?

@miriamskitchen we use anecdotal evidence to measure our online comm, mixed with stats: how many great people we met, donations.

@cajunjen: Online comms metrics—clicks, conversions to donors/email signups/actions taken, referrals are top.

@miriamskitchen we moved away from metrics like followers, likes, retweets bc it was hard to pinpoint the effect on donations

@cajunjen: We use Google Analytics, & some tracking within @Convio CRM. Various social media tools.

@miriamskitchen: we moved away from metrics like followers, likes, retweets bc was hard to pinpoint effect on $

@miriamskitchen so many of our nearest & dearest friends have come from twitter & become donors, volunteers.

@miriamskitchen we find the best metric is tracking how many ‘online’ friends we can turn into ‘offline’ friends too.

@miriamskitchen we are able to mobilize our comm faster for in-kind donations since turning to email/twitter/facebook.

@cajunjen: & vice versa RT @mightycause: RT @miriamskitchen we find best metric is tracking how many online friends we can turn into offline friends

emotion: apparently @Radian6 has a “mood” tool. to look at negative/positive/neutral posts.

@jpippert: eg politics we work mainly off emotion often & track responses — social media makes that easier via crowdsourcing

@tomjd: None of the sentiment monitoring tools I’ve ever seen are accurate. They are getting better.

@tomjd: But, bigger point, if you are interacting with your online community then you experience their sentiments. Judge ur feelings.

@tomjd: Right — can’t completely replace interaction with a tool

@miriamskitchen: @tomjd #zoogood—agreed! it’s easy for us to judge sentiment b/c we know many of our online friends. not too many haters (knock on wood).

Q2: How do you integrate your online communication & fundraising efforts with your offline efforts?

@cajunjen: Offline + Online: Post events online w/ RSVPs, create welcome series for offline signups. Livestream, etc.

@cajunjen: remind ppl of how their offline efforts can translate: i.e. host an event, and submit $$ to online team!

@geoffliving: Integrate via calls to action! Attend! Sign up for email! SEO to impress journos w/ much blog love, etc.

@miriamskitchen: we struggle with integration of online & offline efforts. hard to get everyone on same calendar. #zoogooders help!

Q3: Should your organization give supporters the option of online only communication & solicitations?

@cajunjen A3Option to receive postal in addition to online is a good one. Postal seems to work best for boomers/high level donors
@tomjd Lots of one-off projects are all digital. Look through kickstarter, pepsi refresh etc.

@mightycause: Yes, we find a ton on Mightycause.com RT @tomjd: Lots of one-off projects are all digital. Look through kickstarter, pepsi refresh etc.

@cajunjen: Agreed w/ @jpippert. Depends on campaign strategy/goals. Sometimes online takes precedence.

@VarshaMightycause: Most #nonprofits are afraid to offer email only appeals but need to look at overall ROI -email is cheaper!

@geoffliving: yeah! Online only! #nocalls

@2feedthesoul: We know that email only just doesnt work anymore most contacts tapped out that way

@cajunjen: Also depends on the ask. Holiday giving, disaster appeals, major campaigns tend to get double hits (online + mail)

@jpippert: Right-sometimes a single ask directly tied to short goal is fine as email only (politics again)

@SynergySays: we prefer our volunteers go online for fundraising and support letters—saves paper, energy, time, $!

@jpippert:  It makes sense that the ultimate strategy will need to use a mix of mediums eventually

@andysternberg: Online only should be default w/ simple one-click opt out. Can’t STAND excessive dead-tree mail (yeah YOU, @KCRW)!

@miriamskitchen: We primarily mail appeals now. But want to respect donor wishes for email only. Worried about decline in giving

@jenniferwindrum: DEFINITELY too many generations to find one size fits all approach. Impossible.

@inspirative: To be in tune w/supporters and use emotion we need to resonate with their higher inspirations

@miriamskitchen: no solicitation calls from us! only thank you calls 🙂

@miriamskitchen: We’d segment—those who want email get email, those who want mail get mail. but is email only an easy way to ignore ask?

@SynergySays: no real decline in giving by going online; some volunteers still prefer pen and paper, some donors love checks

@VarshaMightycause: Consider experimenting w/ smaller campaigns—like A/B testing to find if online only appeals lower giving levels

@cajunjen: And you can’t count on the generations to do what you expect. Boomers email, some kids send checks.

@declauditha: I like email better: click on link & I can donate right then. Snail mail gets set aside ‘til I find my checkbook…

@iheartcharity: worked with charity that considered doing online only by request, found difficult to manage.  Too many generations!?

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