Tue, April 21 2015

What Is Social Fundraising Anyway?

Liz Ragland's avatar

Marketing Content Associate, Network for Good

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

Social fundraising is empowering your supporter base to fundraise on your behalf. Social fundraising is also known as peer-to-peer fundraising, P2P, personal fundraising, or crowdfunding. Think beyond the walkathon

When you think of social fundraising, you probably think of a walkathon, dance marathon, or another event that social fundraisers will attend. Although this is the best-known type of social fundraising, you don’t have to have an event to justify launching a social fundraising campaign.

Project-focused vs. mission-focused fundraising

The most successful social fundraising campaigns are project-based campaigns. Project-based campaigns drive support and excitement about a specific initiative. It’s much easier to encourage social fundraisers to reach out to potential donors with a project-based ask than with a broad appeal.

  • More often than not, when you send an appeal to donors, you are asking them to support your mission. You might feature a story about a client or a recent success, but the story is usually directly related to your day-to-day programming and not a specific need. I like to call this mission-focused fundraising. You are asking donors to support what you do every day. Donors’ dollars help you accomplish your mission.

  • Project-focused fundraising asks donors to fund something specific. There’s a fundraising goal in mind and (usually) a deadline. Here’s an example: A food bank needs to upgrade its freezer by the end of the summer. The board has been recruited as social fundraisers to hit a $15,000 goal.

How do you recruit social fundraisers?

In a traditional fundraising model, you (the nonprofit) send appeals to acquire donors or ask existing donors to give again. In a social fundraising model, you must recruit and motivate supporters to step into the role of fundraiser. Then, you empower these fundraisers to ask their social circle for donations.

Your social fundraising campaign will be the most successful when you find advocates who are excited to serve as fundraisers. Start by reaching out to five to 10 loyal supporters. They could be board members or longtime volunteers. Begin recruiting with people you know and those who know your organization’s mission. Equip these social fundraisers with the tools they need to recruit donors: email templates, a social fundraising donation page, FAQs, and confidence.

PFTC Screen Grab

When to host a social fundraising campaign

Social fundraising campaigns see the most success when the campaign has a firm deadline. Without a date for an event (like a walkathon) on the calendar, how do you set a deadline and put pressure on your fundraisers to bring in donations during a defined time period? It’s not that hard, but you need to get creative.

Think about the timing of holidays and celebrations throughout the year and how you could easily piggyback on these dates. If your cause has an awareness month, use those 30 days as your social campaign timeline. If your cause works with single mothers, a campaign ending on Mother’s Day would be a good fit.

Or think about the nature of your work and any natural timelines that arise. Do you host a summer camp? Organize a social fundraising campaign a month before campers arrive, and announce the total dollars raised during the first meal the campers share together. Does your food bank host a big Thanksgiving meal? Craft a campaign in November that ends on Thanksgiving.

Are you ready?

Although this is not a new model of fundraising, it is evolving thanks to technology and the new ways we share stories and communicate. Social fundraising might be something your supporters have been waiting for. Are you ready for it?

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Mon, April 20 2015

Doubling Down on Monthly Giving

Caryn Stein's avatar

VP, Communications and Content, Network for Good

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Filed under:   Recurring Giving •

How much do we believe in monthly giving here at Network for Good?

A whole lot.

Today I’m super jazzed to announce that we’ve DOUBLED the amount of Challenge Rewards we’re giving away as part of our Recurring Giving Challenge. Thanks to a generous grant from the Network for Good Generosity Fund, we’re now awarding a total of $20,000 to Network for Good clients with the most successful, creative, and compelling monthly giving campaigns.

Yep, that’s right: twenty large!

How awesome is that?

The challenge ends on April 30, 2015, but there’s still time to join in to improve your monthly giving programs, get more recurring donors, and grab your share of the Challenge Rewards. First, sign up for the Challenge. Then, if you’re not a Network for Good client, I encourage you to reach out to us today and find out how easy it is to get started with more effective online fundraising software. We even have a free demo tomorrow afternoon so you can get all your questions answered.

Need some more inspiration? Catch up with other posts in our Recurring Giving Challenge Series:

How are you making monthly giving a priority at your organization? Please share your plans and results with us in the comments below. Would love to hear how you’re doing!

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Fri, April 17 2015

Nonprofit Spotlight: Firecracker Foundation

Annika Pettitt's avatar

Senior Communications & Success Specialist, Network for Good

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Filed under:   Fun stuff •

Network for Good works with so many amazing nonprofits and we want to introduce you to them and the great work they are doing! Because May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I want you to meet one of my favorite customers who is doing amazing work helping child sexual abuse survivors heal their whole being.

Meet Firecracker Foundation

Nonprofit Spotlight: Firecracker Foundation

On a day-to-day basis, The Firecracker Foundation works with survivors of childhood sexual trauma through long-term strategies of therapy, arts enrichment, and yoga practice. Their work is focused on healing the whole individual.

On a larger scale, however, The Firecracker Foundation is about community. Tashmica Torok, the founder of Firecracker, has built her organization around the historical idea of community members being charged with keeping the communal fire burning. From their mission to their fundraising strategy, this ethos of the many coming together for a common goal is extremely evident.

Their Model

The Firecracker Foundation challenges their supporters to build a blaze, to be a part of the network that keeps and builds the lively sparks in child survivors. From the adult survivors who serve as mentors to the therapists and yoga instructors who offer their time and expertise, Firecracker truly has built a community of healing around the children survivors they serve. That community isn’t just by happenstance; they’ve consciously made recurring giving the heart of their fundraising strategy as a way to ensure the continued success of their communal work.

Stellar Social Media

Firecracker Foundation takes their emphasis of community involvement and engagement beyond the clients they serve and the advocates they train. They also take that energy to social media. Check out these posts from their social channels:

All that's left on the to do list for 2014. You're $7,000 shy of raising $50,000 and 8 away from 40 firekeepers. A beautiful symbol of a #community invested in the holistic healing of child #survivors of #sexualtrauma #sparkhealing

A photo posted by The Firecracker Foundation (@thefirecrackerfoundation) on

During their year-end campaign Firecracker Foundation’s Instagram feed kept supporters updated on how close they were to hitting their goal.

Meet your very first group of Firecracker Advocates! #trailblazers #volunteermichigan #sparkhealing

A photo posted by The Firecracker Foundation (@thefirecrackerfoundation) on

Social media gives organizations the unique opportunity of giving supporters an inside peek into all the work you do. In addition to their work with sexual abuse survivors, Firecracker Foundation also trains advocates.

We hope to see as many of you there as possible! Help support child abuse prevention, April 23rd! #CAPMonth

Posted by The Firecracker Foundation on Friday, April 17, 2015

Using Facebook to rally attendance at events is a great way to meet supporters where they already are: Facebook.

Due to the sensitive nature of their work, it might not be safe to display the photos of those they serve. However, they embrace that challenge and still share images that show the impact of donors’ gifts, without showing clients’ faces.

Remember those self-care items you donated last month. Well, they were put to some serious use in between yoga classes...

Posted by The Firecracker Foundation on Sunday, April 12, 2015

Don’t worry about constantly generating original content, share content that will resonate with your supporters and promote your mission.

We are honored to serve the Firecracker Foundation as their online donation software provider! You guys are amazing!

As one of our “Spotlight” nonprofits, we encourage you to take a look at the great work they’re doing and spread the love by following them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Fri, April 17 2015

Nonprofit Link Round Up

Liz Ragland's avatar

Marketing Content Associate, Network for Good

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Filed under:   Fun stuff •

I hope you celebrated National Volunteer Week. Did you do something to make your volunteers feel special? I got a sweet card and gift in the mail from an organization I've been volunteering with for many years now. It really did make me feel appreciated. Even if you just send out a personal email to those who volunteer with your organization, I promise your volunteers will never forget it!

Now, let's get to those links!

Link Round Up

Speaking of National Volunteer Week, how much do you think your volunteers are valued per hour? via The Nonprofit Times

Jeff Brooks had a great list of five things you might be doing to weaken your fundraising. Be especially aware of number two.

How often do you send donors handwritten thank you notes? I bet your donors want more of them. via The Donor Relations Guru

How much money do you think you could raise right now if you had the time and resources to go after it? Gail Perry asked a fundraiser this question and got a really shocking response. If you feel like you are trapped in a never ending list of administrative tasks and really need to be talking with major donors, this is a must read for you!

Kivi Leroux Miller has a list of the top 50 Nonprofits you should follow on Instagram. via nonnprofitmarketingguide.com (P.S. Do you love Instagram? We love sharing behind-the-scenes snapshots of life at Network for Good on our Instagram account.)

Have you ever thought: should we be making fundraising more fun for our donors? Joe Garecht from The Fundraising Authority has some ideas on how you can spice up your donor communications.

Finally, don’t miss out on our Nonprofit911 webinar with The Art of Social Media author, Guy Kawasaki. Guy will share social media best practices to help grow your nonprofit’s online presence.

That’s all for this week! Have a great weekend and share your best resources in the comments below!

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Thu, April 16 2015

The Key to More Effective Donor Communication

Caryn Stein's avatar

VP, Communications and Content, Network for Good

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials • Marketing essentials •

To truly connect with donors and inspire them to become a part of the work that you do, you need to speak to them. Really speak to them. This means getting extremely clear on the message you’re trying to send, and making it incredibly relevant to why they care about your mission in the first place.

This is why the key to more effective communication is specificity

When your emails and other communications are specific, they can be more relevant, interesting, and authentic. Your job as a marketer or fundraiser is to definitively answer the question, “Why me?”  You can’t do that with broad and generic messages. Generic messages are not just typically boring; studies have shown that vague statements can introduce skepticism among readers. Definitely not the feeling you want to evoke!

How do you make your message more specific, and in turn, more relevant? Think about the unique stories your donors have when they relate to your cause. Group donors into meaningful categories based on:

  • their giving history/habits.
  • the programs they support.
  • how they came to your organization.
  • their ongoing relationship with your organization.


When you can segment your supporters into specific groups that speak to these qualities, you can tailor your messages just for them. A personalized, relevant message will make it much easier for you to break through and hold their attention.

For best results, your comprehensive communication plan should include:

  • a list of key segments for your organization
  • how your organization defines each segment
  • the historical and projected fundraising results from each group
  • the specific tactics and messages that will help you build relationships with each type of donor

Map out how each segment relates to the rest of your audience and which triggers move someone from one group to another. If you don’t have this data, start by talking with your most loyal donors to find out what has them giving year after year. Then, put a plan in place to regularly collect and track this information. 

How do you make this happen? The right tools can transform your communications approach. A customer relationship management (CRM) system, such as Salesforce, or a donor management solution, like DonorPerfect, can help you organize and track these crucial details about your supporters and enable you to segment and communicate with your donors more effectively, strengthening their relationship with you and improving your fundraising results.

Want to find out how to combine your online fundraising efforts with better donor management? Learn how Network for Good’s platform integrates with the top solutions and see how you can boost individual giving for your nonprofit.

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