major gifts

Major Donor Microsites - Personalized Digital for Big Gifts [WEBINAR]

Cultivating prospects in new and effective ways … filling your pipeline with warm prospects and donors … and of most importantly, securing six- and seven-figure gifts…

All of the above are true for Groundwork Digital’s partners thanks to robust, digital major donor engagement strategies. Specifically, the addition of “major donor microsites” to our digital offerings has helped unlock significant giving at every level.

Curious? Great! That’s why we recorded our “Major Donor Microsites - Personalized Digital for Big Gifts” webinar originally delivered on April 18, 2019. Watch the full recording here…

Can we help you build major donor microsites? Email me at justin@groundworkdigital.com or click the button below to send me your contact info …and let’s talk!

Find New Major Donor Prospects Through Online Campaigns

Online ambassador programs continue to prove their value in the leadership and major gifts spaces.

Groundwork client Trinity Health Foundation is enjoying the fruits of a project that finds, engages, then deploys leadership annual giving and major donors through digital campaigns. Watch the video below as Trinity's Beth Marsoun talks about how this online fundraising effort is uncovering new major donor prospects for the hospital:

Here are the numbers for the first (of many) Trinity digital leadership annual giving fundraising campaigns:

  • $15,000+ new money raised in just 72 hours
  • 94 gifts
  • 80 percent new donor acquisition rate
  • Three new major donor prospects uncovered through the mirco campaign

It's simple - the more wealth a person has, the more active they are online (according to a massive and growing number of studies from researchers at places like Fidelity Investments to Accenture).

And wealthy people know other wealthy people. When we empower our leadership and major donors with online campaigns built around their generosity, we not only raise more from the initial donor organizing the online campaign, but we also unlock wealthy prospects within their networks. All the while, feeding the annual fund with exciting new giving opportunties.

Going digital for major donors provides a short-term boost to your operation with small gifts while spreading rocket fuel on your new major donor prospect recruitment efforts. It's a win-win now and next year (and beyond).

And Groundwork knows exactly how to build a program like this for your organization. Click here for our "contact us" form and we'll be in touch to discuss potential strategies for your organization.

Rethinking the Online Giving Day

Online giving days and events like #GivingTuesday are adding hundreds of millions of fundraising dollars to nonprofits every year. And this trend shows no signs of slowing any time soon.

So it makes sense that nonprofits would be feverishly trying to find the best, most significant dates in their calendars to launch an inaugural online giving day. Or maybe improve a long-standing giving day.

But maybe the organizational calendar is the wrong place to look for the right date for your giving day? Instead, shouldn't we be asking our donors - individually, in some cases - which date makes the most sense to them?

Have a look at this astonishing online-ambassador fundraising event conducted by Marquette University...

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The $1 million Challenge launched in 2016 when Marquette alumnus Lemonis offered up a $300,000 match to spur giving at all levels. Using his enormous social media clout, Lemonis led the charge in tandem with the Marquette development team to raise more than $1 million, including Lemonis' matching gift.

Lemonis and Marquette teamed up again in 2017, this time on a $1.5 million matching gift from Lemonis. The result? An additional $1.7 million raised in addition to Lemonis' match for a total of $3.2 million.

Major Donor Online Ambassadors

The key to successful campaigns like Marquette's giving challenges with Marcus Lemonis is in finding your online ambassadors who also have major gift capacity. And they are out there. Right now Groundwork Digital is combining influencer screening with wealth screening to single out the big-time social media users with the capacity to give transformational gifts.

But finding these large-gift-donor ambassadors is only part of the process. Next, work with gift officers and prospect development to enhance solicitation strategies with the newfound digital data on prospects. This step includes merging gift officer knowledge with donor info in the database plus the psychographic info pulled from the social listening data (the data that came about via the influencer scan).

The goal is uncovering digital campaign concepts that match important aspects of a major gift prospect or donor's life. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations - any life event could be leveraged to build an online campaign that has deep personal meaning to the donor or prospect. And that deep personal meaning translates into fervent online ambassador activity from the major gift donor or prospect.

This major-donor-centered digital campaign could be short and intense like a 24-hour giving day or it could be longer duration, like a crowdfunding campaign. Regardless of the specific parameters, building digital fundraising events around a personal milestone or cause of a major donor can both lead to new major gift prospects from the donor's network and a significant boost in small-gift giving in support of the campaign.

How to Build Digital Campaigns Around Major Donor Ambassadors

For a quick recap, here is how Groundwork Digital works with clients to develop major-donor-centered digital campaigns:

  1. Conduct a social media influence screening for your entire database of donors. (In addition to uncovering major donor ambassadors, you can use the larger group of annual fund influencers to build a comprehensive online ambassador program to assist fundraising and communications at all levels)
  2. Segment your influencers based on existing wealth data or conduct a wealth screening on the list of those with significant influence. (Klout scores of 50+, for example, would indicate significant influence)
  3. Meet with gift officers and prospect development to merge existing knowledge with new data from social media and online sources to create enhanced, hyper-targeted solicitation strategies.
  4. Leverage digital campaign opportunities as part of your ask to unlock big gifts from these digitally savvy donors.
Innovative nonprofit Charity:water leverages personal events to build substantial online fundraising campaigns around celebrities and major donors.

Innovative nonprofit Charity:water leverages personal events to build substantial online fundraising campaigns around celebrities and major donors.

To be clear, the traditional online giving day is a tremendously effective fundraising and marketing tool for your organization. The exposure and excitement around broad-based giving days rapidly grow an nonprofit's culture of philanthropy adding new donors and enthusiasm to a development program. 

In addition to the traditional giving day model, consider expanding your digital fundraising by rethinking the giving day and adding a number of major-donor-ambassador-led campaigns throughout the calendar.

Are you interested in finding digitally active major donors and prospects and working with them to launch huge online campaigns in 2018? Groundwork Digital is helping multiple clients do exactly that right now. Click here to send us your email and we'll be in touch on how we can help your organization rethink the giving day in the new year and beyond.

Get to Know Groundwork: Justin Ware

Justin Ware is the Co-Founder and President of Groundwork Digital.  A thought-leader in the nonprofit sector, Justin is a fundraising and content marketing expert.  Justin's work spans nonprofits, higher education, and media. In 2009, Justin was the executive producer on one of the first ever YouTube videos to win an Emmy. The "Science of Watchmen" video has been viewed nearly 2 million times and was also nominated for a Webby. Justin began his career in television before joining the University of Minnesota and then Bentz Whaley Flesser.  After BWF, Justin led digital fundraising strategy at Ruffalo Noel Levitz as well as Product Management for Annual Giving.  Justin has spoken at numerous conferences, and led consulting engagements for universities and nonprofits across the country.  In his spare time, Justin can be found rooting for the Minnesota Vikings and Gophers, skiing, hiking with his dog, and enjoying family time with his wife and two children.

Justin would love to talk digital fundraising from giving days to the major gifts program. Email him at justin@groundworkdigital.com.

Introducing Groundwork Digital

Welcome to Groundwork Digital! We are a strategic consultancy serving nonprofit organizations and institutions. We use digital (online, social media, and video primarily) to help your development operation:

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  • Acquire new donors.
  • Retain current donors.
  • Rethink stewardship, especially of online-acquired donors.
  • Engage new, previously undiscovered segments of major donors.
  • Build a truly multi-channel approach to fundraising.

More than half the planet’s population is online. Two thirds of North America is active on social media. New donors are spending hours online everyday and waiting to be engaged on those platforms. Our firm is focused on strategies and technology that connects you to those future donors and engages them in a way that is meaningful (and data-backed).

For example, did you know online ambassadors can be more powerful for the major gift program than they are for the annual fund? Check out the video below with Co-Founder Justin Ware to see how:

When it comes to acquisition of new donors, giving days and crowdfunding have been the hottest new trends for many years now. And you can’t find a team with more giving day and crowdfunding program experience than Groundwork Digital.

But perhaps more importantly, how do you retain all these unique, first-time online donors? Our team is especially well equipped to help you answer these difficult retention questions as well. Have a look at the following video with Co-Founder Rosa Conrad for more on how we support modern stewardship:

Groundwork Digital’s team has:

  • Co-led the planning for more than three dozen online giving days.
  • Helped establish hundreds of crowdfunding projects.
  • Built more than a dozen successful online ambassador programs.
  • Worked with clients to produce major donor-engaging digital strategies that elevate cultivation, stewardship, and solicitation.

Keep your eyes open for more posts like this with tips and tactics on engaging donors at every level using modern media. To be sure you don’t miss any updates, follow us on…

And always feel free to email us at info@groundworkdigital.com.

We can’t wait to start brainstorming and reinventing philanthropy with you!