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Don't Forget About Engagement!

Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

EngagementRecently I heard a podcast featuring Tom Ahern. He’s a brilliant, experienced direct marketer/fundraiser. On the podcast he said that nonprofits simply need to do just three things:

  1. Ask for a donation
  2. Thank the donor
  3. Report results back to the donor

I disagree. There’s a very important step that must not be neglected: ENGAGEMENT!
Engagement is the glue that ties it all together! And these days you can do it online. Here are some huge benefits of online engagement:

  1. Today you can reach and engage more people with powerful, inspirational, and motivational involvements at their convenience.  
  2. It’s inexpensive (especially compared to setting up and running an event).
  3. You can easily track your prospects’ engagements in order to build “engagement scores“. By doing so, you’ll be employing the ultimate lead qualification instrument. Simply stated… no predictive model or wealth screening can beat the power of real-time tracking and engagement scoring.

Tom is an outstanding direct marketer with tons of experience in direct mail and traditional marketing channels. So I can understand why he didn’t include engagement on his list. Traditional direct marketing is a one-way conversation. Online marketing is a two-way conversation (and sometimes a group or community conversation). He may not be involved in developing online engagement offers very often. In case you’re wondering what I mean by “engagement offers”, here’s a short list of ideas for you:

– Video conferences (or live events)

– Google Hangouts (or Skype chats)

– Calculators

– Quizzes

– Individual or community chats

– Video downloads

– Games

– Widgets

The list is endless!

 
My advice to Tom (and you) is that the list should look like this from now on:
1- Ask for a donation
2- Thank the donor
3- Report results back to the donor
4- Offer an opportunity for engagement (in-person or online)
 

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