Random Thoughts on Life and Work

September 11, 2006

ePhilanthropy 101

Here are 10 points to consider as you start to formulate the strategy for your on-line interactions with your constituency.  I put these together for a ministry I work with about a year and half ago and many of them have been confirmed in recent postings by others far more knowledgeable than me. 

These are not profound (or in any particular order) but I hope you will find them helpful as you walk this road.

  1. ePhilanthropy requires a cohesive “mission statement” for all web-based organizational activity.  The mission statement should provide a framework for the web-site and its purpose.
  2. ePhilanthropy is more than just the page of the web-site that accepts donations.  It includes e-mail communication, on-line donations, links from other websites, interactive functions on your website, postings to social sites like Wikipedia, etc.
  3. A non-profit web-site should provide current information about the various organizational activities and invite participation and interaction.
  4. A non-profit web-site should provide enough information so that a donor or other constituent would feel comfortable transacting “business” on the web-site.  A privacy and security statement should be provided.
  5. During times of crisis response may require new thinking about how quickly information is updated, the type of information that is provided, and who can/will provide content.  Be flexible with previously stated targets.
  6. ePhilanthropy activity should incorporate the ability to track response rates, click through rates, etc.  Measure performance.
  7. All communication should provide the website address as a location for updated, current information.
  8. The web-site should not be a “step-child” of the communications matrix, but an integral part of the voice of the non-profit.  While communication through various channels should be coordinated, the web-site and e-mail should not be just a re-casting of the printed mail.
  9. Regular interaction between the web-team (programmer/webmaster) and the various stakeholders in the organization should be required.  This allows ownership of the content throughout the organization.  The web team should not be the sole deciders of what updates are urgent or important.
  10. The web-site should provide resources and opportunities for individuals who desire to promote the ministry within their local sphere of influence.

Again, I hope these help provide some thoughts to consider.

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