Random Thoughts on Life and Work

October 19, 2006

The Engaged Website

There is a four word phrase that we use as our development philosphy here at work, “Find, Win, Keep, Lift“.  This describes the process of donor relationship development and probably is not unique to our office.  I got to thinking this morning about how this philosophy should be applied to a non-profit’s website and internet strategy.

A Matter of Definition

  1. Find – The process of attracting new constituents to your organization.
  2. Win – Turning visitors into donors.
  3. Keep – Turning one-time donors into regular, periodic givers.
  4. Lift – Regular donors increase their giving and become advocates for the organization. 

The following diagram illustrates the thinking that I have been working on.  While this is far from an exhaustive look at the process, it is a method of applying this philopsophy to each part of the relationship process. 

The Engaging InternetDonors can come into the cycle at any point on the circle.  It is not meant to illustrate a closed loop.  There may be donors who are already on the relationship cycle as a result of ongoing offline activity.  Once a donor is in/on the loop, regardless of how they entered, the website should facilitate the movement of the donor around the circle.   Ultimately, non-profits should desire to have all of the donors in the upper left quarter of the circle where they have become advocates for your organization and are not finding new donors for you. 

Traditionally, a website has been thought of as a tool to find constituents.  Or at least as a way of informing the constituents that are already part of the family about the ongoing activity of the charity.  The process of developing a website with information about the charity is nothing new. 

What is new, is the shift towards using the website as a tool to keep and lift donors into new relationship dynamics with the organization.  Donors that have become advocates for your organization are one of the strongest resources that you will be able to rely on.

Using this model, a non-profit’s website (and ultimately its overall internet strategy) should be evaluated on how well it accomplishes these four criteria.  The website itself does not need to have a lot of fancy bells and whistles but should incorporate those items that are necessary to build a relationship with the charity’s donors and facilitate the mission of the charity.



  1. The best insights are always the ones that make you say “of course!”


    Comment by marc sirkin — October 20, 2006 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  2. […] why all the talk about social media measurement? Well, it’s one thing to have an engaged website, but more and more the action takes place in other places, in existing communities and social […]

    Pingback by nfp 2.0 » Blog Archive » Engagement is (not) made to measure — January 29, 2007 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  3. […] is a catchphrase that seems most relevant to fundraising organisations seeking to ensure donors return frequently to their website, but the general gist of the term is just as relevant to philanthropic funders aiming to share […]

    Pingback by philanthropyOz Blog » IT in the Nonprofit Sector — January 30, 2007 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

  4. As I have been thinking about engagement, a key issue has been how to measure, then adjust, the content of the site (or any media, including interpersonal or WOM). The work I am doing with some clients in the health field was recently described here. If you are not ‘involving’ people in your issue and content, it becomes a black box (for me anyway) as to how you keep and lift them.


    Response: Craig, I agree – the measurement issue is one of the hardest to deal with. The key is engaging your donors in a way that they are communicating with you. They will give you clues to what they want to see on the website. In addition, you should be surveying them periodically to find out if you are delivering information that they value.

    Comment by Craig — February 11, 2007 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

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