Vested ideas (vendor column) – Internet strategies for success

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Most nonprofit organizations are – or should be – using email and the Web as part of their stakeholder communications and fundraising. In addition to building relationships with current donors and stakeholders, your online campaigns will help bring more people to your Web site, grow your email list and increase your visibility and activity in your community.

Building an online presence for a nonprofit is more than creating an online brochure. It’s about using the Internet to build relationships with stakeholders so that your organization can better fulfill and support its mission. Often, this means using the Internet to complement existing programs. In other cases, it means integrating the online medium early on as you plan and budget for future programs.

Beyond brochureware. At first, the Web created a revolution in “brochureware,” allowing nonprofits to reach many new supporters and media with simple Web sites. New online services enable nonprofits with even the smallest budgets to sign up members, take credit cards, sponsor online discussions, offer surveys, put up searchable databases and much more.

Fundraising online. An informative, interactive Web site and an email communications program will help attract new people – especially potential donors – to your organization, so you can begin the relationship-building process. The success of your online fundraising program will be dependent on the combination of your organization’s overall Internet presence as well as your traditional offline activities.

Reinventing nonprofits. It’s never too late to examine or rethink how your Internet strategy can integrate into your organization. The Internet medium is in constant motion, always evolving. It’s important for nonprofits to keep up with it, by dedicating staff time and training to learning how to use effectively.

Integrating online and real-world. A key factor in the success of your online success is integrating the Internet into real-world programs and activities. In your planning and analysis of all your activities and campaigns, consider ways to bridge the real world and the virtual world of your web site and email newsletter.

This article is an excerpt from the Internet Techniques Series, a collection of learning topics published by to assist nonprofit organizations in making effective use of the Internet for fundraising, communications, advocacy and mission fulfillment. To view the entire series, please click here .

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