I just finished a webinar with two great special event fundraisers, Lisa Mauti, VP of Communications Arthritis Foundation Mid-Atlantic Region, and Jon Santos, Event Manager AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run. While Lisa works with national non-profit and Jon works with a regional event it’s amazing how similar their success and challenges are. The webinar was a Q&A panel, which meant we got to hear their answers to the most intriguing questions. Here are some of the great take-aways from the webinar.
How do you get executive buy-in for new projects for social and mobile when your executives may not have first hand experience?
Lisa makes sure she’s always showing the example rather than telling. When she’s going into a meeting she’s always got her mobile device so she can show examples of what she’s trying to accomplish. She went so far as to take their executives to lunch at the Verizon store when they wanted to invest in tablets for field work.
How do you staff for these new initiatives?
Jon hit the jackpot with Jeremy. He first met as a top fundraiser, and then found out he knew all about new ways to communicate with their event participants. As he told Jon, “It’s tweeting not tweety.” Like any organization AID Atlanta has limited resources and wants to make sure they invest them wisely. They hired Jeremy as an hourly freelancer. He participates in all their event planning meetings so he knows the details and goals of the event, and then he goes to work with messaging through social media. Jeremy spends about 5-10 hours a week during event season.
How do you manage the constant flow of new ideas and suggestions? It’s great that there’s awareness of what can be done, but how do you assess what to move forward on and handle the internal enthusiasm?
Jon spells out the elements of ROI in terms people can understand. He asks what will it cost, how much work with it require, and what will be the impact. By walking people through the factors, he’s able to help them reach similar conclusions. Jon gave a great example discussing their mobile strategy for 2011. They wanted to make registration and fundraising more mobile friendly. They first considered a mobile application, but realized the cost was going to be too high for their single event. Then they looked at making the site content mobile-ready and turning on the mobile ready forms in Blackbaud’s Friends Asking Friends as a lower cost solution, with him impact.
Lisa looks at the cost, and just as importantly, how much time will it take, and will it compliment or take away from what they do today. Lisa’s example was with Text To Give at events. They tried it with limited results, but realized more importantly it was taking away from other fundraising activity that was working well.
Want to hear the full session? Listen to the recording and check out other on-demand webinars from the popular 5 Questions series at www.blackbaud.com/rwr.