Dominican Friars Province of St. Joseph
The key to successful digital fundraising is building a large email list. It’s that simple. The failure to that explains why digital still lags behind other sources when it comes to acquiring new donors.
The key principle behind building a large email list is also simple: “Every non-profit must be a publisher.” Site visitors won’t return to a website that’s static – what some call “brochureware,” the derogatory term for a website that’s not interactive. Brochures can be very beautiful, but when was the last time you read a brochure a second time? It happens, but not very often.
People develop relationships with content creators who produce on a regular basis. If a website is to be more than an interesting but irrelevant cost center, a non-profit has to publish fresh, compelling content every day, or close to it. This will attract repeat visitors who will sign up for email newsletters to stay informed on news, events and commentary about the organization’s mission. Ideally, the site will also let visitors add comments and discuss content, and network with others.
A website that’s interactive in this way is no longer a cost center, but a database-driven, revenue-generating, mission-enhancing engine for attracting future donors and volunteers.
Developing a web publishing mindset can be difficult, but it’s what smart organizations like the Province of St. Joseph have done. After taking over management of their website in early 2009, Matera & Co. was able to help the Province — which is part of the worldwide Order of Preachers — adapt their Dominican charism to the web. We built a technology platform that made it easy to publish blogs, video, and on-demand radio programming, which could then be picked up via RSS feeds by parishes and other communities in their territory, helping to adapt the Dominican call to preach the Gospel to the needs of digital audiences.