Ready When You Are: Developing an Online Community That’s Primed for Giving

Problem Statement

The average donor retention rate of 43% indicates that there's a significant issue with donor attrition. This session helps fundraisers understand how to develop and nurture long term fruitful donor relationships using technology.

One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is in the stewardship that happens between campaigns. We get so caught up in “the ask” that we forget what it is that really drives people to give in the first place: relationships. And relationships take time. Seems like every day we learn about a new software or mobile app designed to save us time. But knowing which tools will work for us can be daunting. In this most revealing session, you’ll go behind the curtain to see which tools will allow you to manage your online presence, enhance your communications, and master your social media universe.

Join Jay Wilkinson, founder of Firespring and one of America’s top-rated speakers on nonprofit communications, Dana Ostomel, the founder of the crowdfunding website, and Nate Rusch, Director of Technologies and Audience Insights at St. Baldrick’s Foundation, to learn how to use technology to create a loyal and social supporter base that you can grow to be your army of advocates. Here’s what you’ll learn:

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What donor stewardship means in an online world
  • Why a consistent communications plan is essential, and the keys to easy implementation
  • What you can do to establish a brand that your community feels connected to
  • Methods for creating repeat donors
  • How to generate loyal support long past a specific campaign
Jay Wilkinson
Jay Wilkinson is an entrepreneur and innovator who has started 22 corporations, acquired 16 companies, been an angel investor in 25 startups and founded, co-founded or helped start 7 nonprofit organizations. As a philanthropist, Jay has raised millions of dollars for nonprofits. Today, Jay focuses on his role as the founder and CEO of Firespring–a B Corporation based in Lincoln, Nebraska. He also sits on several nonprofit boards and is an avid supporter of programs that provide leadership and enrichment training for America’s youth. Jay has been among the highest ranking speakers at conferences all over the United States for two decades. He has informed and educated more than a million people with his empowering messages to nonprofit professionals and his inspired encouragement of business leaders to adopt a purpose-driven business model. In 2014, Jay led his company, Firespring to become the first B Corporation in Nebraska. His TEDx talk on company culture has more than 1 million views. A graduate of MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program, Jay has appeared on CNN and other national news outlets discussing the important role nonprofits play in the U.S. economy. In his spare time, Jay can be found on adventures with his wife traveling to far-flung destinations on a quest for the perfect scuba diving location.

Dana Ostomel
Vice President, Nonprofit Industry Development
Dana Ostomel is the Vice President of Nonprofit Industry Development at Firespring, a company that provides essential software and beautiful websites for nonprofits. Prior to her role at Firespring, Dana was the founder and CEO of Deposit a Gift, a crowdfunding platform popular with nonprofits that allows users to easily create an online fundraising campaign for any organizational or personal need. Firespring acquired Deposit a Gift in August 2016 with Dana residing as the company’s lead crowdfunding expert. Before launching her own business, Dana spent over a decade as a marketing and branding adviser, developing integrated marketing solutions for nationally-known brands such as Snapple, CENTURY 21, MasterCard and DIRECTV. Dana owns a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from UCLA. She is a leading authority and sought-after speaker on the topics of crowdfunding, online community stewardship and nonprofit marketing.

Nate Rusch
St. Baldrick's Foundation
Director of Technology and Audience Insights
Nate Rusch is the Director of Technology and Audience insights at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation (SBF). He has worked at the Foundation for nearly four years overseeing its full-service website application and the Foundation’s business intelligence efforts. Prior to working at SBF, Nate worked at the American Cancer Society and also as an entertainment publicist. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in Communication Management.