Thursday, September 27, 2007

Using the Tools

It’s always a pleasure to receive an email from your daughter, especially one that has a picture of your adorable grandson. This one was special.

Her family signed up to participate in the Walk for Animals sponsored by MSPCA and Boston’s Angell Memorial Hospital earlier this month. The email included a link to their personal page complete with a picture, personal fund-raising goal and a link to their bulldog group web page. The scrolling list of donors indicated that various people and pets had already contributed.

Sure, I would have made a contribution anyway; they are my kids. But this made it easy for me. Even better, it made it easy for them. It was personal and appealing but very soft sell. Because it was a simple text email it was easy to forward. I did, and my friend’s cat made a contribution also. The system also provided an email template for participants to thank their donors along with the standard email acknowledgement by the MSPCA.

I wasn’t there, but I’m told that people, dogs, and a pair of ferrets had fun. The cats on leashes and the parakeets in birdcages strapped to strollers didn’t look as happy. But, according to the MSCPA, they raised over $330,000 with this event. Every communication provided links to the website and the HTML ones included a lot of the site functionality.

All this was powered by Convio’s TeamRaiser fundraising software. That made it easy to replicate some of the MSPCA home page components on the personal pages. It also interfaced with the MSPCA donor database, capturing new names and updating donor records.

The participants are an integral part of an event like this. Using interactive tools to improve their experience and produce desired results for the organization is a win-win.

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