If every action has an equal opposite reaction, what’s your organization’s reaction plan when the media shines a spotlight on your cause? Having a plan in place ensures that your message gets heard, increasing donations and visibility.
During the Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference in National Harbor, Md., Wendy Marinaccio Husman, account director at Donordigital and Whitney Broadwell, senior resource development officer at International Medical Corps, lead a session titled “Use the News: How to Fundraise When the Media Spotlight Shines on Your Organization’s Mission” addressed ideas to help your organization be prepared when it is in the spotlight:
- Your response on digital fundraising channels should be almost immediate. Having media budgets for paid ads and a social media strategy pre-approved streamlines the process and gets your message out first.
- Don’t create everything from scratch each time. Creating template emails, advertisements, and social media posts that can be tweaked for different news stories moves the process along.
- Consider offline direct response strategies, such as a direct mail urgentgram or an agreement with telemarketing vendors with scripts prepared.
- Try tapping into powerful partnerships. In the wake of the Nepal earthquake, International Medical Corps partnered with Facebook to place a donation button directly on member newsfeeds in addition to Facebook’s own donation of $2 million to the cause.
- One of the common pitfalls of nonprofit responsiveness is an approval process that is too long with too much second-guessing.
- Thank donors immediately after they donate and follow up to keep donors updated with news of your efforts on the topic they joined on.