I’m excited to announce that we’ve just published our most comprehensive resource featuring all of our best practices and helpful tips for building successful online donation pages. The Ultimate Donation Page Guide is 27 pages of helpful tips and best practices that guide you through the process of building a fantastic online donation page (or refining an existing page) that gets donors to give, give big, and give again.
We love reading amazing content from across the sector. Here are a few nonprofit marketing and fundraising resources that stood out this week:
The folks at the Pew Research Center recently published updates to their Social Media Report. Here are a few highlights:
Facebook still reigns supreme. It comes as no surprise that 71% of all online adults are on Facebook, which also sees 70% of users engaging with the site at least daily.
More older adults adopting social networks. But they’re mostly on Facebook. 56% of all online adults 65 and older now use Facebook, which equals 31% of all seniors. That said, all networks featured in the report saw significant jumps in the number of 65+ users.
Visual platforms continue to emerge as key networks, especially with younger users. Over half of young adults (ages 18-29) online use Instagram. Nearly half of all Instagram users use the site daily.
You can download the full report from the Pew website.So what does this mean for your nonprofit marketing plans?
Know your audience.
Take the time to define the audience you’re trying to reach and understand where they’re spending their time. If your goal is to activate Boomers, assess your Facebook outreach and create content that appeals to their sense of identity and need for transparency. If you’re looking to mobilize younger supporters, consider documenting your work and the impact of donors via Instagram photos.
Editor’s note: This post was written by Vanessa Chase, founder of The Storytelling Non-Profit. You can check out more thoughts on storytelling on her blog. Or, if you’re in the mood to watch a webinar on storytelling, you can download the archived version of her Nonprofit911 webinar.
Storytelling is quickly becoming part of the everyday fabric of nonprofit fundraising and communications. While some might suggest that storytelling is simply the latest and greatest trend, much evidence suggests that it’s a fundamental type of human communication working its way into organizational communications. We are entering a new era where organizational communication will no longer be sterile, dry, and boring. Instead, it will sound human. This is the new standard that storytelling and narrative communications are bringing to our sector.
As we hit the ground running in 2015, I anticipate seeing a greater volume of storytelling from nonprofits. This probably comes as no surprise to you. More organizations of varying sizes and causes will hop on the storytelling bus. They will find unique ways to talk about their impact, great staff, and amazing donors. We will hear these stories through the written word, photos, videos, and more. A great many stories will be told online because of the range of formats available to tell them. Many online story platforms are considered to be more interesting and engaging than print.
What else can we expect to see in 2015? Here are two emerging trends that will likely come to the forefront this year.
It’s no secret that year-end giving is an important source of donation dollars for most nonprofits. Last year was no exception and we saw a lot of “generous procrastinators” giving big online in December 2014. When we looked at organizations who received donations on the Network for Good platform in both December 2013 and December 2014, we saw an 18% increase in total donation volume year over year. A few other important notes about year-end giving results:
Want more insight on how online giving is growing? Stay tuned! In February, we’ll release our Digital Giving Index, which will take a closer look at online giving trends. We’ll share where, how, and how much donors gave across our digital channels in 2014.
How did your year-end fundraising campaigns perform? Chime in with your experiences in the comments and let us know what you plan to build on—or change—in 2015!
Julie, and two other young women, co-founded Gardens for Health International in 2010 to promote agriculture as part of the solution to large-scale public health challenges. Since then, they’ve helped over 2,000 Rwandan families and partnered with 18 health centers to combat chronic childhood malnutrition.
We’re a big fan of Julie and Gardens for Health because of the important, life-changing work they do. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know this organization and their mission because they are one of our DonateNow customers. We’re such big fans, we even wrote a case study about their success as stellar fundraisers.
Congratulations Julie! And to the Gardens for Health team: keep up the good work! We can’t want to see what you accomplish this year.
Got 2 minutes? Please tell us what you're doing to strengthen donor relationships, and/or what's in your way. Thanks!
Let me guess! You:
Year-end is over! Now what? First, take a deep breath and give yourself a few moments of calm. Second, start showing those donors some love with a thank you.
A basic thank you letter is a perfectly acceptable way to show a donor some gratitude. But if you want to go above and beyond and add some creative flair to wow your donors, go for it!
To help get the creative juices flowing, I collected some favorite thank yous that I’ve personally received and some submissions that our nonprofit friends have sent us. All of these thank yous share a few things in common that you should apply to your messages of gratitude:
By Greg Tucker
Ruby Bridges’ walk to school became a symbol of the Civil Rights struggle
In 1960, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges’ daily walk to class took her past an angry mob and into Civil Rights history when she became the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.
Got 2 minutes? Please tell us what you're doing to strengthen donor relationships, and/or what's in your way. Thanks!
Honoring your donors—and prospects—is, hands-down, the most effective approach to building strong and lasting relationships with the folks whose help you need so very much.
It’s no surprise that donor retention is an absolute priority (again) for 2015. Yet the specific how-tos of donor retention success remain elusive for many organizations. This should help...
Here’s my recommended path to donor retention recommendation in 2015: Simply R-E-S-P-E-C-T your way to strong and long-lasting donor relationships.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to improving the world in which he lived—and challenged the rest of us to do the same. He not only championed the equal rights but also equal access to economic opportunity for all Americans. This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service will honor his legacy as hundreds of thousands of Americans pay tribute by serving their communities on Monday, Jan. 20.
Wish Nation is the official blog for Make-a-Wish America. Justin Schmid and Jennifer Parsons, Wish Nation collaborators, have learned a lot since starting the blog over a year ago. I had the chance to chat with them about the success of Wish Nation and what they’ve learned since the launch. If you’re interested in launching a blog for your nonprofit, check out the highlights from our conversation and some actionable tips to help you get the blog process started at your organization.
If your organization is like most nonprofits, you concentrate your fundraising efforts on donor acquisition. That’s understandable! Donors are your organization’s lifeblood, and they need to be inspired each year to support your good work.
The dirty little secret of development is that only 27% of donors in a given year will give again the next year. So, 73% of your hard-won donors love you one year and leave you the next.
Here at Network for Good, we’re reflecting on 2014 and planning for the upcoming year. We’re locking down webinar topics and presenters for next year, putting the finishing touches on some incredible—and free!—fundraising eGuides, getting posts queued up for this blog, and brainstorming ways to help nonprofits raise more money online (because that’s what we’re here for!).
But before we dive into 2015, we want to share with you our top blog posts from 2014. Drumroll, please…
I’ve always admired The Salvation Army bell ringers. In addition to donating their time and ringing their signature bell in all sorts of terrible weather, the program raises a sack of money that rivals Santa’s. Last year, kettle bells raised $136 million nationally for The Salvation Army’s mission, which includes food, shelter, addiction recovery assistance, after-school programs and many other services for the needy.
The secret to The Salvation Army’s success isn’t a secret at all—or a complicated fundraising strategy. They have an iconic brand that resonates with people during the holidays, and they work their butts off in December to raise as much money as possible with kettle bells. If you’re a nonprofit and want to stop reading now you should remember that brand and hustle matter. But bell ringers can teach you a lot if you’ll only take a moment to stop and learn instead of hurrying by.
Network for Good hosted a special #GivingTuesday campaign, N4G Gives, focused on equipping nonprofits with the tools and knowledge for #GivingTuesday success. The N4G Gives campaign provided free #GivingTuesday resources to the entire nonprofit community and special training and matching funds to nonprofits using DonateNow, our online giving platform. In addition to matching funds, we also recognized the leaders in 10 fundraising categories with special awards. Read about seven special award winners below and learn more about the top three winners in a previous post.
Honorable Mention Most Dollars Raised: The Sikh Coalition
The Sikh Coalition was founded by volunteers on the night of September 11, 2001 in response to a torrent of violent attacks against Sikh Americans throughout the United States. The Sikh Coalition is the largest Sikh American advocacy and community development organization in the United States. Today, the Sikh Coalition works toward the realization of civil and human rights for all people.
The Sikh Coalition built their #GivingTuesday campaign around a core tenet of Sikhism focused on the obligation to be generous. They “love #GivingTuesday because of the urgency created around a one-day campaign and the ability to inspire donors to give earlier in December.”
#GivingTuesday has arrived
On December 2, nonprofits and donors came together in an inspiring day of generosity. Millions of dollars were raised to fuel the good work of nonprofits all over the world.
Network for Good hosted a special campaign, N4G Gives, focused on equipping nonprofits with the tools and knowledge for #GivingTuesday success. The N4G Gives campaign provided free #GivingTuesday resources to the entire nonprofit community and special training and matching funds to nonprofits using DonateNow, our online giving platform. In addition to matching funds, we also recognized the leaders in 10 fundraising categories with special awards.
The most exciting validation of the value of #GivingTuesday is reflected in the experience of the “winners” of Network for Good’s N4G Gives campaign. They are large and small. Some planned for months, and some started the day before. Some have large staff teams, and some are staffed exclusively by volunteers.
When I saw this Facebook post from the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless (ECHH), my smile spread like wildfire.
You see, we’ve been working with the ECHH team on year-end fundraising campaigns for a few years, and among the countless things I was surprised to learn when we started is just how many of the individuals and families they serve are working full-time (or more, holding multiple jobs) but still can’t make ends meet—68%!