Your main website sucks at raising major gifts – and here’s why

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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.

Most nonprofits have very narcissistic websites that promote how great they are and how well suited they are to accomplish their mission.

Sure, it’s true that donors need to have belief and confidence in your organization to help them achieve their philanthropic outcomes. But VIPs don’t want to be beleaguered with how great you and your organization are. They want to know how great they are and how great they can be.

A VIP insider microsite is designed with them in mind.

In Jim Langley’s new book titled The Future of Fundraising, he calls them ‘portals of purpose.’

No matter what you call this space, it should not only show supporters HOW they should become more philanthropic or become legacy society members – it should show them WHY. Never forget that you can’t get to HOW they might give unless you first get past the WHY. Plus, always remember that most supporters spend most of their time in the WHY stage of the consideration process. The time they spend in the HOW stage for a highly considered decision (such as a major gift) is quite fleeting. fundraising donor consideration stages

Anyway, the VIP insider microsite shows supporters what your organization is doing with their money on their behalf. It proves to them that there’s no better place for their hard-earned cash than with you and your organization.

Additionally, it gives them a special place designed for them to get more involved, to educate themselves, to share their story and perhaps volunteer. In other words, it helps them lean in further to a more meaningful relationship with your cause.

It supports their quest for information as they seek support for moving themselves through the consideration process. It allows them to recommend donations instantly from their donor-advised funds. It enables them to ‘forward’ specially written bequest language to their advisors for their estate plans. It helps them explore creative ways to make an impact.

And, above all else, it makes your supporters feel good. It doesn’t whack ’em over the head with how great you are. Rather, it helps them feel like they can be the hero in their own life story. And, as a result, it helps them find meaning in their lives.

Your main website probably doesn’t do all that.

And if it does, the most inspirational and influential pages are probably buried several clicks away. That’s why your VIPs deserve an insider microsite.

Unfortunately, your in-house team may not have the time or know-how to provide one. They’re usually focused on populist fundraising efforts aimed at low-dollar acquisition, events or bragging about how great your organization is.

Everyone can have a hammer.

My dad used to say, anyone can have a hammer. However some people build things with them while others just break stuff. He was very right! Sure, your in-house staff probably has all the tools they need to build a VIP insider microsite. But will they? And will they do it quickly? Plus will they know all the best practices right away? Probably not.

So what do you do?

You can try two things. Both cost nothing.

  1. Give them access to my book so they can use all the ideas I provide for free. You can gain that access for a variety of digital versions and/or the audiobook here.
  2. Get on a demo with my team at MarketSmart. We’ll show you how we do it. Then you can decide if you’d like to take on the challenge or possibly consider hiring us to help.

Related Posts:

>>11 Best Practices for Your Legacy Society Communications
>>How to Understand Your Donor’s Consideration Process So You Generate More Major Gifts

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