“A.I.D.A. Attention. Interest. Decision. Action.” Alec Baldwin famously said in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). The first step in a transaction is attention. Do you have your donors attention???

Before you put that coffee down, consider this.

According to Forbes, crowdfunding has been doubled each year since 2010, and in 2015 crowdfunding brought in over $34 BILLION. Those donations are captured online. Not by mail.

The phone (also know as “the device” the window to the internet) has your donors attention. If you are not in their phone via Email and Social Media you are losing them. The philanthropic game is changing so fast that it is becoming difficult for traditional fundraisers to keep up with best practices.

What is your digital strategy? The first step is to get their attention. You must earn the right to ask for dollars on social. Otherwise, it is unfriend, unsubscribe, and report spam.

As I write this, it is December 1st, two days after #GivingTuesday 2016. Did your constituents know it was #GivingTuesday at your organization? Or did they wake up to a solicitation in their inbox with no context other than “Hey it’s #GivingTuesday?” (And there are 20+ organizations also looking for your donor’s philanthropic dollars).

Your audience should never be surprised by an ask. They should be well prepared. You have gotten their attention. You have provided them with good content. You have let them know why it is important to support your organization.

But first, build a crowd.

One new way to engage your audience is to let a students, faculty, or alums take over the brands account. This practice puts a face to the organization and most importantly shows an audience the return on investment.

Admission offices at most of the biggest schools in the country are already using social media takeovers, as a way to recruit the next wave of students to campus. Since Admissions and Advancement are most Colleges and Universities primary source of revenue, it only makes sense we use similar marketing techniques.

What the number 1 question gift officers get when they are on the road? “What’s happening on campus/ in my area of study/ with my athletic team/ in my Greek House/ with my favorite faculty member?”

So show them.

Because if it weren’t for the charitable giving of your constituency, some students wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend ________ / major in ________ / play in _________/ debate for __________/ research with __________ .

Recruit volunteers. Find the those on campus that are donors fan favorites and let them take over. Watch your online engagement numbers go up.

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