Encore: An Innovative Way to Captivate Your Donors

December 10, 2012

11:00 am

How much do you know about the daily struggles and triumphs of the charities you support?  If you’re involved with a nonprofit yourself, how do you engage supporters and share the incredible stories that make your work worthwhile?  Newsletters, more often than not, are deleted from inboxes almost as automatically as spam.  On the rare occasion that they’re opened, how much is the reader actually comprehending in a quick glance?  Simply put, nonprofits put a lot of time and money into a method of communication that is not engaging or successful.  So what’s the alternative?

Encore has created a web solution that allows small- to medium-sized nonprofits share their work with donors in the most engaging way possible: through stories.  They offer a refreshing, innovating, and time-saving solution for nonprofits that are looking to increase their donor retention.

Encore was birthed out of Startup Weekend DC in December 2011 by James Li and several other students from Georgetown University.  They were already in the process of running a consulting company for local nonprofits, so this new venture seemed like a natural progression.   The problem was evident:

“By getting down in the trenches with these charities, we saw how much they struggled to put together and execute effective communications strategies.  We saw how difficult it was to generate great content and stories on a consistent basis, let alone share them with grassroots donors,” says James Li, cofounder.

Their solution was to build a web-based product that helps nonprofits create more meaningful relationships with their supporters.  They knew they wanted the product to be beautiful and easy to use, but also powerful and effective.

The experience they help their clients create has three main components:  There is the story library where staff and volunteers can upload photos, video, and inspiring stories as often as they want.  These are stored permanently for curation and can be edited at any time.  They also provide a campaign-building feature that takes the guesswork out of planning an effective strategy.  Lastly, Encore provides analytics on things like the most popular stories and most successful aspects of a campaign. Everything is neatly formatted, so little technological skill is required.

Encore has several other features that make their system stand out.  Users can add and import email lists from other systems, and enter their organization’s logo, colors, and homepage.   Encore also provides the client with an email address where volunteers and supporters can send their own related stories.  This makes it easier to keep the content in the story library fresh and updated and provides plenty of material for use in email campaigns.  Built-in social media tools and best practices make delivering the message to a wide audience virtually effortless.

Encore provides a beautiful, clean, content-driven system to nonprofits that desperately need an innovative  way to engage their supporters.  If you or someone you know is involved in a nonprofit, and looking for a new way to reach out, check out Encore risk free with a 30-day free trial.

Encore was a DCWEEK winner at Tech Cocktail’s DCWEEK Mixer & Startup Showcase last month.

Guest author Kristin Pryor is a writer interested in startups and entrepreneurship.



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