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How to Get Started:

Basic E-Philanthropy Research

 

Step #1: Analyze Your Organization

The first step in any public relations campaign is to analyze your particular organization and identify its basic needs, its mission statement and its audience (Prospecting, 2002).

In order to do this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your organization trying to accomplish?
  • What is your organization’s cause?
  • Is your organization trying to raise money, solicit volunteers, or build interest in your particular cause?
  • Does your organization have the staff and ability to build and maintain a web site?
  • Who will be in charge of the site?

Though these questions may sound simple, you must thoroughly analyze your organization to make sure you have the capability, desire and need to use the Internet for e-philanthropy.

Step #2: Identifying Your Prospects

Next, your organization must decide who your web site is aimed at, or your target audience. When designing a web site or a public relations campaign, it is very important to keep your target audience in mind during the planning and production stage.

 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What age group is most likely to donate? Who donates now?
  • What is the socioeconomic status of your current donors?
  • What are the gender, racial, and ethnic backgrounds of your current donors?
  • Where do the majority of your donors live? What is their occupation?
  • How do your current donors give and how much?

 

Step#3: Donor Research

Now that you have identified your target audience, you must do more in-depth research on your potential donor base.

Ask yourself the following questions (Prospecting, 2002):

  • Who are your past and current donors?
  • Does your donor base use the Internet?
  • Do you have a way to contact your donors online?
  • Does your organization depend on individual donors—do you have a strong and effective mail or telemarketing operation?
  • Do you have a compelling reason for your donor-base to visit your organization’s site or read your emails on a regular basis?
  • Does your organization ever need to do emergency fundraising for an issue or relief? Does it get significant media coverage, even if only local?

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Copyright ©2003 Cathryn A. Outzen