National Park ServiceU.S. Department of the Interior
Partnership header Roundtable discussion in a conference room setting

The Ten Rules of ePhilanthropy Every Non-Profit Must Know

Rule #1: Don't become invisible
If you build it, they won’t just come. Building an online brand is just as important and just as difficult as building an off-line brand.

Rule #2: It takes “know how” and vision
Your organization's Web site is a marketing and fundraising tool. NOT A TECHNOLOGY TOOL. Fundraisers and marketers need to be driving the content, not the Web developer.

Rule #3: It's all about the donor
Put the donor first! Know your contributors; let them get to know you.

Rule #4: Keep savvy donors; stay fresh & current
Make online giving enjoyable and easy. Give the donor options. Use the latest technology. Show your donor how their funds are being used.

Rule #5: Integrate into everything you do
Your Web site alone will do nothing. Every activity you have should drive traffic to your site.

Rule #6: Don't trade your mission for a shopping mall
Many non-profit Web sites fail to emphasize mission, instead turning themselves into online shopping malls, without even knowing why.

Rule #7: Ethics, privacy and security are not buzzwords
Many donors are just now deciding to make their first online contribution.

Rule #8: It takes the Internet to build a community
Many non-profits (particularly smaller ones) lack the resources to communicate effectively. The Internet offers the opportunity to cost effectively build a community of supporters.

Rule #9: Success online means being targeted
The Web site alone is not enough. You must target your audience and drive their attention to the wealth of information and services offered by your Web site. Permission must be sought before you begin direct communication via the Internet.

Rule #10: ePhilantrhopy is more than just e-money
ePhilanthropy is a tool to be used in your fundraising strategy. IT SHOULD NOT be view as quick money. There are no short cuts to building effective relationships. But the Internet will enhance your efforts.

Reprinted with permission from the ePhilanthropyFoundation.Org (2007)

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