Friday, July 30, 2010

Create a GivingFirst Profile that Glistens!

By Dana Rinderknecht, GivingFirst Manager

We all hear it over and over again – you need to craft a clear, concise, compelling message about your organization. At the same time, the Internet is overwhelming with the amount of information that you can find, let alone try to digest. I know that when I am searching for information, if I don’t find it immediately, I am on to the next place. If it is really important to me and I think I’m on the right track, I may click a couple more times, but it has to be something I really need or want. My attention span can be that of an infant or a gnat.

So, my nonprofit friends, as you start to work on your GivingFirst profile for the first time, or if you are looking at it again after some time, put on your donor internet-user glasses. Open up your profile or that of an organization you know and click around. What do you look at first? What catches your eye? What do you wish was included? As a donor, the items I tend to look for most often are: numbers, pictures and videos, programs, and stories.

For me, numbers are key; I am a CSU math major after all! I like to see financial trends, understanding current events and how they affect your numbers, but if there is something I wonder about it is nice to see explanations. Also, I like to see the numbers you serve, how many lives you have touched.

Then I look at the pictures and the videos. Pictures of the people or animals you’re helping are great. The video needs to be to the point, clever, and ask me to do something. If the video is long, I have clicked on something else on my computer while listening to it or I have moved on to another part of your profile.

The Programs tab is the area where you are really talking about who you serve, what you do, where you are making an impact. But, again, numbers are helpful as are bullets to show the impact you are making in an eye-catching way.

The one thing I see missing over and over again as I read profiles are stories. Tell me about someone your program has influenced. You all have the stories, I have heard them, your donors should have heard them, but have you told the GivingFirst audience? Put a picture that is related to that story – visuals can be a huge motivator to give.

Remember, everyone wants something different, and your GivingFirst profile allows you to cater to individual interests by displaying all of your information in one place, in one common format. It’s information that has been reviewed by Community First Foundation, so that they have an increased level of confidence in you!

With Colorado Gives Day coming soon, this is a great time to get someone who is involved with your organization, but may not know you through and through, to review your information. New board members, employee spouses, or friends all are good to ask for help with this task.

Then your final task is to listen to what they say, look at your profile, and update what makes sense for you.

I look forward to reviewing the information - learning what’s new with current participants and learning all about new ones.

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