Tue, December 03 2013
Filed under: Nonprofit leadership •
The following is a special #GivingTuesday guest post by Brian Sasscer, Vice President of Strategic Operations at the Case Foundation.
Today, December 3, we will celebrate the second annual #GivingTuesday, a national movement that promotes charitable activities in support of nonprofit organizations. There are high hopes for this year’s campaign, which aims to spark the same enthusiasm to give back to nonprofits as Black Friday and Cyber Monday have done with individuals for shopping for the holidays.
Organized by the UN Foundation and 92nd Street Y, #GivingTuesday united more than 2,500 partners last year, including the Case Foundation, to set a new precedent in giving at the start of the annual holiday season. This year, more than 10,000 partners will unite in a collective effort to give back to their communities. Philanthropy is something that everyone can – and should be – a part of. The advent of micro-donation opportunities, along with new online and mobile platforms, has empowered donors to give how and where they want in real time. Online giving days like #GivingTuesday and Razoo’s Give to the Max Day have been successful mobilizing communities throughout the country and changing the way consumers think of giving.
We have witnessed the momentum of online platforms, including Network for Good, Causes, Crowdrise, and newer organizations like Indiegogo, and their mobilizing power for microdonations. Over the years, the Case Foundation has touted and supported several of these organizations and their collective efforts to make a financial impact for nonprofits. We first began exploring the power of small donations in 2007 through America’s Giving Challenge, a campaign to encourage, empower, and incentivize giving online. Nearly 200,000 people donated online and we raised nearly $4 million for thousands of causes across the United States through our campaign.
#GivingTuesday has capitalized on the power of social media and smaller online donations to nonprofits. It is our hope that giving back is not only amplified on this national day of giving, but continued throughout the holidays and throughout the new year. That’s why the Case Foundation expanded our own #GivingTuesday campaign this year to include ways people can give back all season long. Donations are an important place to start, but we can all make an impact in our communities online and through other ways – from volunteering, to giving gifts that give back, donating warm clothes, and even pledging a resolution to do good.
So this year we encourage everyone to make a list of causes to support and acts of good to share. Together, we can inspire more active and engaged donors all year round – from today moving forward.
Brian Sasscer serves on the Board of Directors for Network for Good. As Vice President of Strategic Operations at the Case Foundation he leads the interactive strategies team as they leverage new technologies in support of the foundation’s core mission – “to invest in people and ideas that can change the world”.
Mon, December 02 2013
Filed under: Fundraising essentials •
(Note: This is an updated version of a post I wrote for our friends at Constant Contact.)
December is here and it’s prime time for fundraisers. Thirty percent of all online giving happens in December, with 10% of the money annually donated online coming in during the last 3 days of the year. Plus, with this week’s #GivingTuesday initiative, you may see even more new donors supporting your cause. Considering all of the time, effort, and money you have put into your year-end fundraising campaigns, make sure your organization will get the most out of your year-end donors with these three tactics:
Showcase recurring giving options.
In your fundraising appeals and on your online donation pages, always include the option to make a recurring gift. Well-positioned recurring gifts give supporters a way to give every month for the next year, instead of just one year-end donation. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved—donors can give more over time and you have a steady stream of dependable funds. Attach giving levels, special perks, and impact descriptions to monthly gift tiers to make recurring giving a more attractive option.
Enable and encourage social sharing.
Make it easy for your donors to share your message and raise money on your behalf by giving them tools to share your message via social media. Include social sharing buttons on your donation confirmation and thank you pages, in your thank you letters, and in follow-up emails. Provide copy and paste or pre-programmed messages to allow your donors to easily spread the word. Since enthusiastic supporters are often your best spokespeople, let their passion create a wave of donations by teaching them how to set up a fundraising campaign with a peer-to-peer fundraising tool, such as CrowdRise.
Have a solid donor stewardship plan.
Turn first-time or casual givers into repeat donors by sending them a warm, timely thank you letter, and then keep them up to date on the impact of their donation. Stay in touch so that they feel like a true part of your community and can relive the helper’s high over and over again. When donors know their gift was appreciated and made a difference, they’ll be more likely to give again. Of course, these efforts will also help you keep your current loyal donors devoted for years to come.
Want more year-end fundraising help? In our next free webinar, I’ll be answering your questions and sharing some key strategies to help you get the most out of these last few weeks of the year.
Free Webinar: Create Amazing Last-Minute Fundraising Appeals
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 1pm EST
(Can’t attend the live session? Register anyway to get the full presentation delivered to your inbox!)
Wed, November 27 2013
Filed under: Fun stuff •
You are the changemakers, the risk takers, the champions, and the power behind great causes that make the world a much better place.
On behalf of the team here at Network for Good, thank you for all the good you do in the world. You amaze and inspire us each day and we are grateful to work alongside you. And for those celebrating in the U.S., have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Tue, November 26 2013
Our next Nonprofit 911 webinar guest, Darian Rodriguez, is a big proponent of leveraging your organization’s year-end momentum to boost individual giving. Promoting your cause on #GivingTuesday is a great start, but you can take this a step further by empowering donors to promote your work on their own all year long. Here’s my true story and three things I learned about donors recruiting donors:
The button that sparked a donation while waiting in line for coffee.
I was standing in line at Starbucks when the customer behind me asked me about a button on my bag that read, “I GAVE. Will You?” The button was intended to drive donations at a conference I attended, but I took this small piece of donor swag to the next level. After I told my fellow customer about the foundation my donation supported (college scholarships and domestic violence prevention), he handed me $20 to donate on his behalf.
Although these types of encounters don’t happen every day, you can prepare your donors to be effective messengers for your mission. Here are three ways your organization can help donors recruit donors:
1. Educate your donors.
Use thank you letters, newsletters, and email appeals as an opportunity to tell donors a little bit more about what your organization does. If donors can’t articulate what you do, how can you expect them to tell someone else about your work? Try segmenting newsletters for new donors vs. recurring donors. New donors are getting to know you and need more basic information about your work. However, a recurring donor might like to learn more about long-term projects and ways to volunteer.
2. Equip your donors.
Give donors a way to show off your nonprofit. Donors don’t necessarily need a button or a tote bag to accomplish this. A social media update or email message they can share with their social circles works, too. If you use a tool like Network for Good’s DonateNow, make sure that you turn on social sharing so that donors can share their love for your organization with a Facebook update or a tweet right after they make a donation.
3. Love your donors.
I get great thank you letters from the foundation I mentioned in my story. Their thank you letters make me feel connected to their mission, and they always show appreciation for my gift. How does the thank you process work for your organization? Ask your board members to call donors and thank them, or have beneficiaries write a handwritten thank you note. Form a positive connection with your donors, and they’ll want to show love back by making another gift or by recruiting more donors.
How are you empowering your donors to become messengers for your nonprofit? Share your ideas and plans in the comments below!
Fri, November 22 2013
Filed under: Fundraising essentials •
The folks at nonprofit research and consulting firm Root Cause have released a new report that sheds more light on the motivation behind a donor’s decision-making process. Reinforcing what we learned from the Money for Good study, Informed Giving: What Donors Want and How Nonprofits can Provide It also offers insights on donor preferences on information by type and presentation while offering tips for nonprofits, as well as donors.
A few highlights:
Giving is personal.
“... charitable giving among donors who regularly or sometimes give to new causes/charities is heavily motivated by affiliation and existing donor knowledge of an organization and is somewhat unresponsive to solicitation. As little as 16 percent of donors would respond to solicitation, while an even smaller percentage—5.8 percent—would be motivated to give to an unaffiliated organization of which the donor had no knowledge.”
What you can do: Don’t try to blast your message to the “general public” and expect successful results. Tailor your outreach for different segments—different audiences will need different messages to be convinced to give to your cause. Use your nonprofit’s marketing efforts and fundraising materials to make the connection between your work and the affiliations and identities your community cares most about.
Donors care about the impact of a potential gift.
“When making a charitable donation to a nonprofit, donors are interested in information beyond metrics of financial stability (such as fundraising and overhead costs). As many as 75 percent of donors use information about the nonprofit’s impact, while 63 percent use information about the social issue the nonprofit addresses.”
What you can do: In your fundraising appeals, make a clear tie between a donor’s gift and what that donation will accomplish. Make it easy for donors to find information about the results of your work on your website with benchmark reports about your issue area, annual reports, and updates on your programs. Once they’ve found this information, make sure it’s simple to use by presenting your results in easy-to-understand formats like one-page summaries, fact sheets, and graphs.
Donors’ research relies on transparency of the nonprofit, peer recommendations, 3rd-party endorsements.
“Donors use multiple sources to gather information instead of relying heavily on one particular source: Donors who frequently or occasionally look for information about nonprofits use the nonprofit itself as the most common source (76 percent), followed by friends or family (69 percent), and then independent third-party organizations (54 percent).”
What you can do: Provide information about your impact in multiple locations and formats. Include third-party ratings, such as a Charity Navigator or GreatNonprofits badges, in your fundraising appeals, on donation pages, and throughout your website. Encourage your supporters to spread your message by providing them with easy ways to share, recommend, and review your organization.
The Informed Giving report also highlights donor preferences on information by type and presentation while offering tips for nonprofits, as well as donors. Get the full report here .