New Convio Features Expand Giving Options, Increase Average Online Gift and Support New Online Campaigns

AUSTIN, Texas, March 24, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Convio(R) -- the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company serving the nonprofit sector -- today announced new product features that enable organizations to spur giving by offering supporters more ways to donate. The company also announced features that support new types of high impact, online campaigns.

Convio provides Internet software and services that enable nonprofits to more effectively attract, motivate and retain constituents to donate, engage in advocacy, participate in special events and provide other forms of support. With the monthly total continually rising, Convio currently raises more than $1.3 million a month for clients.

Convio's latest tools help nonprofits conduct online promotional code campaigns for motivating specific constituent groups to donate and increase their levels of giving. A nonprofit conducting this type of campaign gives a sequence of letters and/or numbers -- a code -- to targeted constituents who then enter that information in the designated area on the organization's Web site. Entering the information entitles the site visitor to a special benefit if he or she donates in some fashion. The new Convio tools also: support sustainer and sponsorship giving programs; provide enhanced premium support for membership groups; and boost volunteer fundraiser performance through automated communications.

"These are especially challenging times for nonprofits when it comes to fundraising -- today's organizations need any and all tools for maximizing all forms of giving," said Vinay Bhagat, Convio's founder and CEO. "Convio's latest enhancements turbo-charge our market leading fundraising tools and help nonprofits effectively and efficiently attract and retain more donors at increased levels of giving."

Promotional Campaigns

A nonprofit can use Convio's promotional code tools to create special offers for any group within its database -- from prospects to recently acquired, annual or major donors. Using Convio, the fundraiser can segment his organization's database by various criteria, identifying, for example, people who have interacted with the group but never donated or joined. To induce action, or "trial," by these first-timers, the fundraiser then can use Convio to email them information about a special offer or "reward" -- such as a discounted membership fee -- if constituents visit a designated area on the organization's Web site to join with a promotional code. After entering the promotional code, constituents have access to special offers. This allows a development officer or marketer to target "price-sensitive" constituents without extending the offer to everyone.

Special offers could consist of free or discounted tickets, memberships, special event registrations or other benefits. A museum, for example, might sell tickets online to a special exhibit. The organization could give members a special promotional code which, when entered, entitles them to free tickets.

Support for sustainer and sponsorship giving, plus other features

Sustainer giving: Convio now also provides support for sustainer giving programs with tools enabling committed donors to sign up for recurring payments at specified intervals. Through a nonprofit's Convio-powered Web site, a donor could, for example, set up monthly donations of a specific dollar amount, billed to his or her credit card and automatically processed in a secure manner.

Sponsorship giving: Sponsorship giving allows a donor to chose a specific "project" to support, e.g., a child or family requiring food and/or medical assistance in a developing country or an animal that has been abused, neglected or abandoned. After a donor chooses projects to support, the nonprofit's Convio-powered Web site automatically calculates the donation. These appeals are highly emotional, directly linking donors with beneficiaries, and produce higher levels of giving.

Multiple premium support: Convio's tools now let a nonprofit use its Web site to offer multiple premiums, helping drive higher membership and donation levels. One Convio client using this technique is generating an average online gift of more than $160. By providing a full catalog of premiums online, a public television or radio station, for example, can entice new or renewing members to select multiple premiums, resulting in a higher membership level. Organizations with Convio-powered Web sites and email systems can send emails to drive prospects and members to special Web pages where they can "shop" for the item(s) they want. So, for instance, instead of joining or renewing at the lowest level and automatically receiving a station-branded mug, a constituent could opt to additionally receive a coffee table book and join or renew at a higher level of giving.

Automated communications to boost volunteer fundraising: Many nonprofits enlist supporters to directly solicit their friends and family, especially for special events such as walks and runs -- a practice known as volunteer fundraising. These groups can use Convio to automatically schedule a series of "encouragement" emails targeting volunteer fundraisers to help them be more successful. A nonprofit professional can use Convio to schedule automatic emails that alert and encourage volunteer fundraisers at predetermined intervals during a campaign if they have not yet generated expected levels of giving. So, for example, walkathon volunteer team leaders that have not raised at least 25 percent of their goal after the initial four weeks of their campaigns might automatically receive an email thanking them for their efforts to date while also suggesting best practices to drive donations.

About Convio

Convio is the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company serving the nonprofit sector. Convio provides Internet software and services that help organizations attract, motivate and retain constituents for fundraising, advocacy and other forms support. Convio's product suite includes modules for Web content management, email marketing, general fundraising and membership, advocacy, special events, volunteer fundraising and also online directories and surveys. The Convio platform automatically shares data among all product modules and with offline databases, giving nonprofits a unified and more complete view of each constituent so staff can conduct personalized and targeted marketing. Convio also offers consulting services to help nonprofits adopt online marketing best practices.

Convio's clients include Easter Seals, American Diabetes Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, National Trust For Historic Preservation, KCET-Los Angeles Public Television, Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin's alumni association, the Texas Exes. For more information, please visit


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