Digitally preserving your archival materials provides a multitude of benefits. Your history is saved for future generations — pretty important, if you ask us. But digitally preserving an archive also creates an incredibly valuable tool for an organization.
Through the use of a powerful digital preservation software and thoughtful strategy, your archival assets can be transformed into a fully searchable digital museum. The portal to your history, a digital museum allows you to connect your past to the present.
Let’s dive into three tips for using your digital archive to fundraise.
1. Naming Opportunities
Think back to the last time you went to a museum. Every gallery has a name plaque. Every exhibition has a sponsor recognition section. Some museums are even named after a donor. Your digital museum can function in the same capacity.
Consider your pool of potential donors. Some may care deeply about the preservation of your organization’s history. Others — often many others — are dedicated to certain aspects of the organization, such as their chapter, the founders or philanthropic efforts. While they may want to contribute to your campaign, there are a limited number of ways to provide recognition for their contributions. However, your digital museum can function in the same way physical museums do and create a space for that acknowledgement. The ability to see their name displayed next to the content they hold so dear makes the idea of donating at a larger capacity much more appealing.
Digital museums offer multiple donor naming opportunities from the site itself to exhibitions, image galleries or even an individual chapter composite. Additionally, because those naming recognitions live in a digital format, not carved into stone, you can easily develop campaigns on a bi-annual basis to provide new donors a chance for their prominent acknowledgment of their support.
2. Planning Events
Hosting an annual fundraising event? Celebrating an anniversary or other milestone? With a digitally preserved archive that’s searchable via a digital museum, you can easily locate a variety of materials to showcase past events.
Share details from past galas and drives to help your members remember this ongoing tradition and your organization’s dedication to the cause over the past several decades. While photos can spark memories, you can also incorporate past invitations, menus or programs into your promotional materials. Whether it’s a single email that details your longstanding commitment to a cause or your entire campaign is centered around past events, archival materials inspire and motivate others to give.
3. Donor Appeals
When approaching a major donor to request a gift, personal touches make all the difference. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a fully searchable digital archive makes it easy to quickly identify materials relevant to their interests.
Let’s take scholarships for example. Your foundation team can easily hop onto your digital museum to look for materials connected to the specific scholarship you’re fundraising for and download materials to include in a proposal. Your potential donor can then see the faces of those for whom scholarships have made all the difference. They’ll learn the stories of individuals who, thanks to the generosity of others, have gone on to give back to their communities. Perhaps most importantly, they’ll see what kind of legacy their donation can create and how their name will forever be associated with positive outcomes.
These three concepts are just the tip of the iceberg for how your digital museum can help contribute to your organization’s fundraising goals. With a quality digital archive, you’ll regularly discover new ways to enhance fundraising efforts with historical materials.
Learn more about how to get started here, or drop us a line.