Picture this. Two Development Directors (A & B) each spend $10,000 on a widget that is designed to improve fundraising results. Development Director A doesn’t quite understand how the widget works and rarely uses it. On the other hand, Development Director B educates himself (and even gets help from people who know most) about the widget. He uses it frequently and is constantly finding new ways to improve desired outcomes.
At the end of the year, the Development Directors share the ROI analysis with their Executive Director. Guess how their conversations went?
The belief that ROI isn’t meant to measure technologies, programs, or any isolated part of an organization, could be the reason why 80% of marketers struggle with being able demonstrate the business effectiveness of their marketing spend, campaigns, and activities to top management.
Here are the three things your Executive Director wants to know about Mobile and Social Media ROI, and how you can respond:
- What is the ROI?
There is a tendency to focus on the metrics that are the catalyst to financial impact such as open rates, number of impressions, number of followers, and mobile subscribers, when you report to the ED or board members. These are useful ways to measure performance that contributes to forecasts, but if you can’t link them to financial results then they don’t count.
The ROI of your social media activities can be measured based on tracing the source of fundraising dollars to a campaign using tracking codes. For your mobile program, the amount raised in text donations and mobile pledges are the obvious ways to measure ROI, but should also measure donations that originated from mobile subscribers.
mTip: Use automation to create real-time campaign ROI analysis reports for your campaigns so that you don’t fall asleep behind the wheel, and ensure that top management is in-the-know. If you’re interested in what I’m using to create this, get in touch.
- How do we maximize the ROI?
Now that you have the foundation to measure ROI, it’s easier to maximize it. The simplified way to answer this question is to optimize conversions throughout the donor lifecycle. While it’s great to share other people’s content, you have to weave in your own every once in a while (i.e. blog post, video, etc.), but make sure they have effective calls-to-action on what they should do next.
mTip: Check out our free webinar with a special guest from HubSpot where we go a little more in-depth on ways to optimize conversions.
Note: I’m a believer in humanizing the use of technology and think we should be moving away from using the word conversions, but we’re talking in business terms here.
- How can we use them to increase awareness and advance our mission?
If you’re one of many nonprofits who have built your following on Facebook, and seen your organic reach plummet since last year, this might be a good time to start looking into other ways to reach your supporters.
You can evaluate options for other social media platforms. Or sign the petition for Facebook to offer Ad Grants.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s a well know fact that text messages have open rates of 99% and text donations are the 2nd most preferred method of giving.
Presenting a solid plan that shows how you will use the tools to increase awareness and advance your mission will help answer this question.
mTip: Don’t focus on only the price to have text donation capabilities. Do you really only want to process a small transaction, or acquire an engaged relationship? You really want to look at a holistic solution to meet your needs—especially if you’re new to mobile giving. If you’d like to explore this further, we can help.
Peter Drucker once said, “Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.” There are tremendous opportunities for the effective use of mobile and social media for your nonprofit. The investment of time and resources into tools is only one part of the equation. It’s how we use the tools and the actions that we take that produce fundraising results.
Have thoughts or questions about this? Join the conversation on Google+.