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New media: integrating new techniques into your traditional fundraising.

Have you ever wondered what a completely integrated online campaign looks like? Ever wonder what it can do for your charity? Speaking at a recent fundraising conference, Michael Johnston maintained that creative, integrated technologies can be the easiest giving experience for any online donor.

"Integration of medium is vital," said Johnston, president of Toronto-based Hewitt & Johnston Consultants (HJC). "A planned marketing mix is more effective than a random selection of distribution channels. "This halo effect, said Johnston, comprises direct response television spots, radio ads and interviews, search engine optimization, emailing to cyber-activists' databases, banners on strategic sites, banners, splash pages and articles on nonprofits' sites, celebrity endorsement, among others.

Johnston introduced the following case studies in which the marketing campaigns entailed integrating multiple channels, and each was tailored to fit the nonprofit organization's objective and to have maximum impact.

Rapidly growing an email file. In the fall of 2003, HJC launched the branded campaign and microsite,, supported by a print-ad campaign. The site was set up to reveal and oppose the National Rifle Association's 19-page blacklist of anti-gun individuals and organizations. It was later linked to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence site. This second site was set up by James S. Brady, press secretary under former President Ronald Reagan who was gravely wounded during the attempt on Reagan's life.

Through the integrated campaign, the microsite experienced a visitor-to-signer conversion rate of 40 percent, and grew its email list from 38,000 addresses to 101,257 addresses in less than three months.

In September, 2004, approximately 33,000 online non-donors were mailed an acquisition package. The response rate was 1.26 percent (overall mailing saw 1.11 percent). The average gift was $24.22, with an overall of $20.52, and the net per acquired donor was -$6.22 (overall, -$15.71). In March 2005, 12,000 non-donors were mailed, with a response rate of 1.07 percent (1.08 percent overall). The average gift was $23.40 (overall, $22.50), and the net per acquired donor was -$12.13 (overall, -$16.29).

The Brady Campaign started with an email list of 38,000 addresses, 16,000 were Brady members, 22,000 were non-donor activists. A call to all online non-donors who had taken one action online since March, 2005, resulted in a total telephone match of approximately 20,000, a pledge rate of 21 percent and an average gift of $27.38.

According to Johnston, the campaign had not only resulted in a more robust donor email file, it had effectively integrated e-constituents into the direct mail efforts.

Renewal and loyalty across channels. During 2002, a Nigerian woman, Safiya Yakubu Hussaini, was condemned to a stoning execution for "adultery" after she'd been violated. Amnesty International Spain (AIS) kicked off a campaign to save Hussaini. The campaign included television, radio, letters to leaders, Internet, email marketing, Prensa (the press), and face-to-face meetings.

Approximately 300,000 "warm" emails were sent out through the viral marketing campaign. According to Johnston, the viral marketing push, or "word of mouse," is a powerful online marketing tool, designed to use friend-get-friend referrals to spread a message. The goal is to bring a stream of new traffic to your organization's Web site, he added, and encourage them to opt-in to your email list. An example of this element is the ecard.

Along with the viral push, AIS sent out approximately 240,000 test emails, half in text-only, half in HTML, said Johnston. The result was 1,022 monthly donors, giving a combined 130,000-plus Euros. Single donors numbering 688 gave an average gift of 50 Euros, said Johnston, adding that HTML had a 50 percent better response rate than the text-only email push.

Because the integrated campaign worked so well, AIS completed a second appeal, garnering another 160,000-plus Euros and 977 additional single donors with an average gift of 44 Euros. More than one million petitions were delivered to the Nigerian Embassy, the Spanish government communicated directly with Nigerian leaders, and AIS found 5,000 new members--both monthly and single gift donors. Through a campaign that sought to build collective emotion, said Johnston, Safiya was saved.

The evolving integrated marketing effort. According to Johnston, most nonprofit organizations could benefit from integrating their traditional fundraising with both new media and leading edge fundraising efforts.

Formerly the Canadian Hunger Foundation, CHF worked with HJC to use radio ads, online banners, rented lists, media interviews and endorsements, and, said Johnston, flat-out humor to raise $40,000 online. Johnston noted the evolution of the campaign in 15 steps:

* Keywords. Or, search engine keyword optimization.

* Banners on well-known sites.

* Banners on the CHF Web site.

* Banner on, a Canadian informational Web site that lists local special events, among other things.

* Email Care2, the largest environmental portal with environmental news.

* Email current online donors.

* Direct mail letter to all current donors.

* Print ad in the National Post.

* Distribute bookmarks in all public libraries in Ottawa, Canada.

* Media releases.

* Interview on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio.

* Interviews on Canadian television local news shows.

* Radio ad on CKCU 93.1, a community-based radio station in Ottawa.

* Promotion through CHF's Global Education program.

* Peer-to-peer emails.

According to Johnston, the interview on CBC radio generated the most new donors, numbering 120. The interview on CTV local news came in second with 80 new donors, followed by the email on Care2, which accrued 48 new donors. The radio ad on CKCU 93.1 brought in 33 new donors, and the keyword optimization garnered 40 new donors.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:DIRECT RESPONSE
Author:Nobles, Marla E.
Publication:The Non-profit Times
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 15, 2007
Previous Article:The campaign for you: getting it together for your next job.
Next Article:Web donor cultivation: getting and using data from online donors.

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