Other than response to disasters and political campaigns, situations where new donors tend to find you, most online fundraising success has come from mining existing house e-lists.

But one of these days, one of The Agitator's readers is going to figure out how to successfully prospect for new donors online.

When you do, you'll have two options: 1) lead your nonprofit to dizzying heights of fundraising success; or 2) start your own consulting firm and make millions.

In either case, you'll deserve a raise!

We'll bet that the winning formula will involve learning how to intercept well-targeted prospects as they use search engines. The online equivalent of picking the right mailing lists.

Commercial marketers are getting more and more sophisticated at online targeting, exploiting the digital trail that net users leave as they course through the web. It's called “behavioral marketing” and involves combining old-fashioned demographic data-appending to websites with actual browsing patterns of individual users.

This combination of relevant demographics and actual behavior permits marketers to zero in more precisely on ripe prospects, often with a cost advantage because more obscure — and less expensive — niche websites can be targeted for online ads.

Here's a good article from Behavioral Insider (talk about niche!) that gives a flavor of how the process works.

Roger & Tom

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