Jul/Aug 2007

Using Cross Channel Marketing to Motivate Donors

by Patrick Hansen, Interactive Consultant, Convio

In the last year, St. Francis House, a nonprofit, nonsectarian day shelter that helps more than 800 poor and homeless men and women a day to establish lives independent of shelters and institutions, has built an exciting, interactive online marketing program that has exceeded its fundraising goal by nearly 500 percent.

Starting with 150 email addresses in its Blackbaud's The Raiser's Edge® database, the largest day shelter in New England now has nearly 2,000 email addresses in its house file. It has raised over $70,000, largely from new donors as well as offline donors who have increased their donations via online giving, and now receives donations from all around the United States.

St. Francis House had a number of challenges:

  • A "brochure" Web site that wasn't interactive,
  • No ability to take online donations or for e-receipting,
  • No ability for volunteers to sign up online,
  • No easy way to update its Web site or post a newsletter,
  • No ability to survey or capture constituent information,
  • No online process for capturing emails or growing its constituent base,
  • No online tracking or reporting capabilities, and
  • No Internet strategy.

Its goals were similar to many nonprofits: grow its email file, increase online presence and fundraising, and streamline online processes and communications. 

In June, 2006, St. Francis House went "live" with Convio's integrated suite of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, including Constituent 360™, Convio Email Marketing and Convio Fundraising.

Leah Bloom, Senior Communications Officer at St. Francis House, is thrilled with the organization's new ability to raise funds online. She says, "We have created customized donation forms for our different appeals, and can track donations quickly and easily. Now we're learning how to segregate our house file to better target different kinds of donors."

In addition, St. Francis House purchased Convio PageBuilder for personalized and conditional content capabilities, Web page management and re-usable components that easily integrate with fundraising. Now, says Bloom, the St. Francis House Web site features interactive components like eCards, as well as photo galleries, news items, guest profiles and more.

New to using the Internet to recruit, engage and retain supporters, St. Francis House worked with Convio's Client Success Services team for creative strategies and tips on best practices to help it succeed in achieving its mission. "We worked together on increasing the visibility of the Web site, and ran several successful 'integrated' fundraising campaigns with both online and direct mail components," says Bloom. As a result of the most recent integrated campaign, she says, "St. Francis House had donors contact us in person, on the phone and online to inquire about giving. We blew our fundraising goal out of the water."

Leah Bloom will be presenting "Successful Cross Channel Marketing: How to Motivate Your Donors to Give Through Multiple Outlets" at the 2007 New York DMA Nonprofit Conference on August 9, 2007.

Using Cross Channel Marketing to Motivate Donors | Convio