Today was the second day of the London Fundraising Summit from the Center for Nonprofit Success.  I presented with Jonathan Waddingham, the Charity Champion at, about online engagement and fundraising.  It was a three-hour session and we could have gone all day!  Great attendees, conversations, and learning taking place.

Jonathan’s presentation focused on some great examples of nonprofits using a range of social media tools.  My presentation concentrated on the why and how side of things, including some examples from the e-Nonprofit Benchmarks report.  You can see Jonathan’s slides here.  After our presentations, we had a few rounds of small group activities with short scenarios and prompts calling on the new online engagement and fundraising ideas Jonathan and I talked about.  The groups did an excellent job creating strategies for engaging their fake organizations’ communities.  Thanks so much to everyone who was there!

Here is my presentation:

Here is the PDF version with all my speaker notes:

My main points included:

Conversations = Conversions

  • shouting rarely works!
  • two way conversation empowers your constituents and the larger community to:
    – give you feedback when things are bad
    – give you praise when they are happy
    – ask questions
    – get involved
  • two way conversations also turn your staff into real people.
  • if a conversation is taking place online and you aren’t there to hear it, does it still happen?  YES!
  • by putting yourself and your organization online, you can be part of the conversation that is already taking place.

Management = Messages

  • people are all different, even if they are all interested in your organization.  what they want to do for you, how they want to hear from you, what they plan to say about you and even how they want to support you.
  • comprehensive donor/volunteer/constituent management software will let you track, trace, separate
    and sort your members.
  • better messages means more messages, but not drastically different.  just enough so that your online
    activists have something they can do when they get an email from you, your donors can donate, your
    supporters can spread the word, and your lurkers can keep hanging on.


  • testing can be small scale to large scale – really just depends on your budget, your time, and your staff capacity.
  • start small and in-house and see how much you can learn right away
  • try changing simple things with small groups: subject lines, images, calls to action, etc.

If you were at the session today, what questions did you leave with?  What conversations helped you the most?

Online Engagement: London Fundraising Summit
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  • It’s so true that in order to get fundraising and raise social awareness, you really need to go out into the public and make conversation to give your organization a living voice. I think online is just as important as in person, since a lot of times people go to the website for the organization to check it out or find out what the urgent needs are. One good way is to use online programs or tools that allow instant notifications, like the toolbar from I downloaded the toolbar to help support the American Cancer Society (although you can register it to any charity). What’s great is that there is a live ticker that updates anyone using the toolbar on info for that group.

  • Thanks for stopping by the blog and joining the conversation, Susan. Just to clarify your suggestion though, do you work for Give2Network?

    I agree that notifications are a great way for organizations to keep supporters in the loop with news or campaigns. Especially in times of disaster/crisis, organizations have a great opportunity to elevate their position in the community from service providers to news & information sources.

    Thanks again for your comment!

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