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Fundraising on the Internet: The ePhilanthropyFoundation.Org Guide to Success Online

Fundraising on the Internet: The ePhilanthropyFoundation.Org Guide to Success Online

by Mal Warwick (Editor), Ted Hart (Editor), Nick Allen (Editor)

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In this second edition of the popular Fundraising on the Internet, Mal Warwick, Ted Hart, Nick Allen, and a sterling group of experts in the field have completely rewritten the first-ever hands-on guide for navigating the ever-changing world of fundraising on the Internet. This no-nonsense book gets beyond the hype and hyperbole, and takes into account the new


In this second edition of the popular Fundraising on the Internet, Mal Warwick, Ted Hart, Nick Allen, and a sterling group of experts in the field have completely rewritten the first-ever hands-on guide for navigating the ever-changing world of fundraising on the Internet. This no-nonsense book gets beyond the hype and hyperbole, and takes into account the new realities of the post dot.com crash marketplace to offer solid advice on how to use technology to raise funds.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Wow! Incredibly comprehensive and detailed with both basic and advanced information--a real guide for 'fundraising on the Internet.'" (Maurice R. Levite, CFRE, CAE, vice president of field operations at the American Red Cross)

"This is the greatest collection of fundraising electronics expertise that has ever been brought together. Fundraising on the Internet is full to the brim with ideas, verities, charts, and examples. Whether you're in direct mail, major gifts, planned giving, or the head of your shop, this book is essential if you want to keep ahead of the parade." (Jerold Panas, of Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners)

"Crystal clear, concise and comprehensive. Every conceivable method and concept is discussed in depth. Warwick, Hart and Allen must be commended on their professional approach to online success." (Margaret Guellich, CFRE, director, International Fundraising Partnerships, Catholic Relief Services)

"The key strength of this book is the combination of its high calibre contributors. Innovator sector leaders such as Mal Warwick, Theodore Hart and Nick Allen share their advice, together with over 20 other online fundraisers and suppliers. The result is an extensive compendium of online fundraising, challenging thought, and illustrative case studies." (Howard Lake, UK Fundraising)

"The ePhilanthropyFoundation.org . . . is the first of, hopefully, more organizations tackling the challenge of monitoring and setting e-philanthropy practice standards." (The Kellogg Foundation)

"An 'online classic.'" (Marcelo I?arra Iraegui, fundraising regional manager, Latin America Greenpeace)

"We need this book! The authors bring the best uses of the Internet into the fundraising programs of every nonprofit organization and show how to use them to increase efficiency, effectiveness and profitability." (James M. Greenfield, ACFRE, FAHP, editor of The Nonprofit Handbook: Fund Raising, 3rd Edition)

"...a comprehensive guide...very accessible...I thoroughly recommend this guide to all charities wishing to make the most of fundraising online..." (Professional Fundraising Plus, 15 March 2002)

Product Details

Publication date:
Mal Warwick Fundraising Series , #9
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.96(h) x 0.94(d)

Read an Excerpt

Five Years of
Online Fundraising

"Fundraising on the Internet is a pioneer adventure. There are few experienced guides, the trails are rough and unmarked, and the technology can be as creaky as a wooden wagon wheel." That's what we wrote in 1996 in the first edition of Fundraising on the Internet: Recruiting and Renewing Donors Online. By 2001, there are dozens of experienced guides (and we recruited some of them to write chapters for this book). The trails are better marked, thanks to the experiences of thousands of organizations that have toiled to acquire and cultivate donors online. The ongoing improvement in Internet technology and the creation of many new online service providers have improved the technology itself and made it more widely and cheaply available.

WHAT'S CHANGED MOST DRAMATICALLY, however, is the number of donors around the world who are online-- and who increasingly depend on the Internet to communicate with loved ones and strangers, find information, do business, and deal with the nonprofit organizations that enrich their lives. Twenty to thirty million Americans were online when we edited the first edition of this book; today more than a hundred million Americans (and fifteen million Canadians) are active users of e-mail and the Web. North Americans alone exchange more than eight billion e-mail messages a day!

These numbers mean that the Internet-- the World Wide Web and e-mail-- has the potential to reach more donors than ever. Every organization that has invested in an ambitious presence on the Internet is seeing the number of visitors to its site-- and new donors-- increase month after month. Although this book focuses on fundraising and donor relationship management, the Internet serves many other purposes for organizations: branding, marketing, organizing, advocating, distributing information, selling products, collaborating, and communicating.

Many organizations expected that the Internet would reduce their staff loads by automating information delivery, donation processing, and other tasks. But it turns out that as you communicate with more people (online or off), there's more work. Web site visitors or donors who would seldom take the time to write a letter or call on the phone (even with a toll-free number) think nothing of sharing their opinions in e-mail. The good news is that although these exchanges require staff time (and resource planning), they will certainly increase donor loyalty if properly managed.

A Lag in Achievement

Despite the dramatic rise in Internet use in the last five years, revenue from online fundraising is still a minor contributor even to organizations who have invested millions of dollars in expanding their Internet presence. When we wrote the first edition, the American Red Cross was not yet taking online credit card donations (although 30 percent of the donors calling its toll-free donation number said they found the number on the Web). In fiscal year 1999, the Red Cross raised $2.6 million online from almost 22,000 donors (average gift: $118). That's a lot of money and a lot of donors-- but still less than 2 percent of the $172 million the Red Cross raised for disasters (and its over $800 million in total public support). Before the Internet, these donors would have seen the news about hurricanes or Kosovo but few would have taken the trouble to find the Red Cross's toll-free number or look up its mailing address. Now they just type in www. redcross. org.

Hundreds of national organizations are each bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in online credit card donations-- many from new donors who either haven't received their direct mail or haven't given by mail. To make this happen, these organizations have generally invested in building effective Web presences, building large e-mailing lists to bring supporters (donors and prospects) back to their sites, and actively promoting their sites online and off-line; many have several staff members dedicated to the Internet.

At the same time, only a few smaller organizations have seen comparable increases in their online income. Most have not invested enough in staff or Web and e-mail development; others simply can't offer the compelling case and the urgency that would prompt individual donors-- online or in the mail-- to give. However, some small organizations whose mission is really vital to their supporters have made the Internet work. For example, Cure Autism Now, a Los Ange-les-based organization that offers in-depth information and advocacy options to people with autistic children, raised $60,000 via an end-of-year 2000 e-mail campaign that reached thousands of people.

As Internet use increased, hundreds of for-profit companies were launched-- many with the same venture capital invested in other dot-coms-- to provide fundraising services to nonprofits. As George Irish discusses in Chapter Twenty-Four, some were portals where visitors could go to research and choose a charity, then make a donation on the spot. Others were shopping sites, where you could send your donors to shop online for books or clothes or laptops; your organization would get a small commission. Some enabled you to organize an online auction; others allowed your supporters to download a computer program that would show them banner ads and send you a commission.

The largest category, known as application service providers, or ASPs, enable an organization to "rent" complex applications for such tasks as accepting online credit card contributions or managing sophisticated e-mail programs, while leaving the installation, maintenance, and upgrading to the ASP. The most ambitious ASPs offer plug-and-play platforms where organizations can manage the content of their Web sites (without HTML or programming) and use an integrated suite of services, including donation processing, event registration, e-mail messaging, and donor tracking.

Although the majority of all these new companies have closed, some-- especially the ASPs-- will survive and eventually prosper.

Online Fundraising: Taking It
to the Next Level

As development and communications professionals at thousands of nonprofits added online fundraising to their portfolios, the organizations that bring nonprofits together for learning and policymaking also embraced online fundraising. The national and local conferences of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP, formerly NSFRE) presented dozens of workshops on the topic (as did the Direct Marketing Association's Nonprofit Federation, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education [CASE], and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy [AHP]).

The ePhilanthropyFoundation. Org was established in 2000 by non-profit organizations and for-profit companies to promote ethical online philanthropy and help nonprofits build trust with online donors (see Lisa Aramony, Chapter Two, on ethics and Ted Hart and Michael Johnston, Chapter One, on building trust). At the same time, the U. S. states' attorneys general began to discuss a common standard for regulating online philanthropy (see Michael Johnston, Chapter Six, on regulation) and the Internal Revenue Service, in its request for comment (Announcement 2000Ð 84, IRS Bulletin 2000Ð 42), began a review of how current laws and regulations should be interpreted in relationship to Internet fundraising.

With the crash of many dot-coms in 2001 and the realization that raising money online involves the same rules and relationships as it does off-line, many organizations went back to basics. They learned that raising money online requires building and maintaining a Web site or sites that provide donors and other supporters with information, action, and involvement. Raising money online also demands obtaining the e-mail addresses of everyone-- current mail donors, Web site visitors, and others-- and regularly communicating with them to keep them informed about the organization's work and drive them to its Web site to learn more, take action, or make contributions. After all, acquiring donors is more about building a relationship with someone who cares about a charitable mission and a nonprofit's good work than about sending someone to shop at Amazon. com or buy Britney's sneakers on eBay!

In the five years since the first edition of this book, ePhilanthropy has come a long way. We hope this book and the accompanying Web site will help you take online fundraising to the next level for your organization-- and so provide us with your success stories for the next edition of this book.

Meet the Author

Mal Warwick, consultant, author, and public speaker, is the founder or cofounder of four affiliated companies: Mal Warwick & Associates, Inc.; Share Group, Inc.; donordigital.com LLC; and Response Management Technologies, Inc. These companies provide a wide range of fundraising and marketing services to nonprofit clients throughout North America. Warwick is the author or editor of ten books on the topic of fundraising, including The Five Strategies for Fundraising Success.

Ted Hart is president and CEO of ePhilanthropyFoundation, an organization devoted to fostering secure, private, and ethical online philanthropy. Hart serves on the Association of Fundraisers Professionals' International Board of Directors.

Nick Allen is CEO of donordigital.com LLC, the digital direct marketing company that helps nonprofits use the Internet for fundraising, marketing, advocacy, and e-commerce.
Allen has twenty-five years of experience in building nonprofit organizations, raising money, organizing, and media and public relations. He is the coeditor of the first edition of Fundraising on the Internet (Strathmoor Press, 1996)

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