Feed aggregator

I got you babe: Introducing the Recurring Giving Challenge

Groundhog DayIn the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character famously wakes up each day only to realize he is living the same day over and over. The same encounters, the same groundhog, the same Sonny and Cher on the same clock radio singing the same “I Got You Babe”. The hijinks that ensue have made this movie an all-time favorite for many.

But what if your nonprofit could have its own amazing fundraising version of Groundhog Day—one with less groundhog and more donations.

Wouldn’t it be great if you woke up to a repeated stream of donations from the same loyal donors again and again?

Investing in an effective recurring giving program can be a smart strategy for small shops looking to increase their stream of funds and boost donor retention. Here’s why:

Why It’s Time to Get Over ‘Slacktivism’

Clicks. Likes. Shares.

Cone Communications Digital Activism Study

Image: Cone Communications

It’s easy to write off the small online actions of “slacktivists” as passive behavior that won’t make much of a difference, but digital activists can turn into donors, advocates, and major supporters over time. Late last year, Cone Communications released their Digital Activism Study which reveals insights on digital consumer behavior when it comes to supporting causes online. A few nuggets:

  • 58% of Americans believe sharing information about a cause online is an effective form of advocacy.

  • 52% use social media to discuss issues they care about and believe their online activity makes a meaningful difference.

  • Of those surveyed who made a donation in the last 12 months, more people gave online (27%) than regular mail (23%).

  • Americans are most willing to take online actions that have a direct impact on an issue – such as voting (71%), signing petitions (70%) and learning about changes they can make in their everyday lives (70%).


But do all of these micro-actions really add up to anything meaningful for your cause or do they simply replace more significant contributions?

Change.org founder Ben Rattray recently challenged organizations to look to results before dismissing online activity as slacktivism.

Nonprofit Link Round Up

Another week has come and gone, and hopefully it’s been a good one for you. Here are the stories and resources that caught our eye in the world of nonprofit marketing and fundraising this week:

Link Round Up -- YeeHaw!

Our Common Challenges

Yesterday Network for Good was honored to host a group of delegates from 10 countries as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The group included the Executive Director of the Icelandic Youth Council, the Program Director for the Russian Red Cross, the Community Manager from the Office of the Mayor of Athens, and a grassroots organizer from Saudi Arabia, among others who work with local governments and community groups to mobilize volunteers and social giving around the world.

So honored to host @StateDept IVLP guests in a discussion on nonprofits + tech. Thx to @caryn74 for moderating! pic.twitter.com/oxcC9ZN3Bd

— Network for Good (@Network4Good) January 27, 2015

As we gathered to talk about leveraging online technology to mobilize volunteers, raise funds, and communicate with supporters, it was clear that the challenges these international organizations face are nearly identical to those of nonprofits here in the United States. Here are a few themes that rose to the top during our time together:

The Ultimate Donation Page Guide Sneak Peek

The Ultimate Donation Page Guide

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.

Link Round Up

We love reading amazing content from across the sector. Here are a few nonprofit marketing and fundraising resources that stood out this week:

Quick Takeaways from the Pew Social Media Report

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.

Pew Social Media Report Site Usage

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.

Next Frontier of Storytelling in the Nonprofit Sector

Vanessa Chase HeadshotEditor’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.

2014 Year-End Giving Results in Big Win Online for Nonprofits

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:

  • The total number of donations also grew year over year. In December 2014, 22% more donations were made to charities through Network for Good compared to December 2013.

  • As expected, #GivingTuesday was a big driver of December donations on the Network for Good platform in 2014, with over $4.5M raised on December 2. This represented a 148% increase over total donation volume on #GivingTuesday 2013.

  • December giving also accounted for 30% of all online donations made to nonprofits through Network for Good in 2014, with 10% of all annual giving happening on the last three days of the year. This stat has remained consistent for the last 5 years, underscoring the significance of year-end giving on overall fundraising results.

  • The average gift size for the month of December also increased by 6.5% compared to 2013.


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!

A Familiar Face on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List

In the 2014 Forbes 30 Under 30 list there was a familiar face on the list: Julie Carney from Gardens for Health International.
Julie

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.

Donor Love Part Two: Get Clued into Stronger Donor Relationships—Recommit to Your Privacy Policy

Donor Love

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:

  • Can’t see how your organization’s privacy policy relates to donor loyalty.
  • Rely on your tech colleagues to handle everything related to your privacy policy.
  • Are done! You know your organization dealt with its privacy policy way back when as you launched your first website and bulk emails. What’s to talk about?
Get a clue!

Here’s why recommitting to your privacy policy is an important step to stronger donor relationships:

10 Thank Yous That Delight Donors

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:

MLK Day: The Girl in the Picture

Serve.gov - Wed, 2015-01-07 17:32

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.

Donor Love Part One: 7 Ways to Keep Donors Committed to Your Cause

Donor Love

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.

MLK Day 2014: Start a Year of Citizen Action

Serve.gov - Sat, 2015-01-03 15:50

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.

Blogging Lessons from Make-a-Wish America

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.

The Secret Sauce of Donor Retention: Gratitude + Great Communication

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.

Syndicate content
HR