FirstGiving Fundraising Blog - Ideas, Tips & Insights for Nonprofits http://blog.firstgiving.com For all your online fundraising ideas, advice, and insights Wed, 24 Jul 2013 18:58:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New FirstGiving Blog http://blog.firstgiving.com/weve-moved-to-a-new-blog/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/weve-moved-to-a-new-blog/#comments Wed, 24 Jul 2013 18:54:20 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12362 ]]>

We’ve moved.

Please visit

 http://info.firstgiving.com/blog/.

Thank you.

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April is Autism Awareness Month http://blog.firstgiving.com/april-is-autism-awareness-month-2/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/april-is-autism-awareness-month-2/#comments Wed, 03 Apr 2013 07:00:18 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12343 nonprofit software, peer to peer fundraising, social media for nonprofits, best practices for nonprofits, fundraising event ideasWith the launch of FirstGiving Cares, we’ve committed ourselves to raising awareness for Autism during the month of April. We’re simply doing our part. Did you know?  Autism now affects 1 in 50 children Autism prevalence figures are growing Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. Autism costs a family $60,000 a [...]]]> With the launch of FirstGiving Cares, we’ve committed ourselves to raising awareness for Autism during the month of April. We’re simply doing our part.

Did you know? 

  • Autism now affects 1 in 50 children
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • Boys are nearly 5X more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism

That being said, we’re proud to announce that, last year, nonprofits and individual fundraisers raised over $2,230,000 through FirstGiving. The average dollar amount per donation was $54.91. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be apart of this!

However, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

nonprofit software, peer to peer fundraising, social media for nonprofits, best practices for nonprofits, fundraising event ideas

Photo Courtesy Lance Neilson 2012

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Introducing FirstGiving Cares http://blog.firstgiving.com/introducing-firstgiving-cares/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/introducing-firstgiving-cares/#comments Mon, 01 Apr 2013 07:00:17 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12318 FirstGiving Cares, online fundraising, peer-to-peer fundraisingWe believe in giving back. It’s why we’re proud to introduce FirstGiving Cares. FirstGiving Cares is a new initiative where we adopt a unique national cause every month. We want to do everything we can to raise awareness for the causes our nonprofits and individuals fundraisers feel so passionate about. After all, your cause is [...]]]> FirstGiving Cares, online fundraising, peer-to-peer fundraising

We believe in giving back. It’s why we’re proud to introduce FirstGiving Cares. FirstGiving Cares is a new initiative where we adopt a unique national cause every month. We want to do everything we can to raise awareness for the causes our nonprofits and individuals fundraisers feel so passionate about. After all, your cause is our cause. It’s why we started this journey in the first place.

Autism awareness will be April’s cause. Join us.

We believe in you. We believe in us.

-The FirstGiving Family

 

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Teach your nonprofit supporters how to do anything in 3 simple steps http://blog.firstgiving.com/teach-your-nonprofit-supporters-how-to-do-anything-in-3-simple-steps/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/teach-your-nonprofit-supporters-how-to-do-anything-in-3-simple-steps/#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2013 07:00:37 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12297 nonprofit software, peer to peer fundraising, nonprofit social media, nonprofit best practices, fundraising ideasDo you ever find yourself in a teaching role? Nonprofits are often tasked with teaching their supporters. From event registration, page creation, to sending emails, your supporters often need step-by-step guides. Pedagogy (the theory of teaching) suggests a simple 3 step process – I do, we do, and you do. If followed correctly, you should [...]]]> Do you ever find yourself in a teaching role? Nonprofits are often tasked with teaching their supporters. From event registration, page creation, to sending emails, your supporters often need step-by-step guides.

Pedagogy (the theory of teaching) suggests a simple 3 step process – I do, we do, and you do. If followed correctly, you should be able to teach your supporters any reasonable technical task in 3 simple steps.

1. I do

Show your supporters the task you’d like them to master. If you’re teaching individuals how to ask for donations, you must show them first how to do it and do it well. Consider this the “I do” phase because you, the nonprofit (I), are doing it. Remember the saying, monkey see, monkey do? This is kinda like that. Make sure what your supporters are modeling their actions after is exactly what you want.

Show your supporters a step by step process on how to ask for a donation. Does this mean starting with “why?” Publishing a demo video? An email? Show them.

2. We do

Now you must bring your supporters into the process. You must do the task together. Walk them through the process. This is “guided” learning – a way to ensure they model their actions after yours. Ask for a donation together. This may take a while so you might have to do it 1, 2, maybe 20 times. Please be patient.

3. You do

Now ask your supporters to do the task alone. Request that they ask for a donation. Let them work out the kinks. If they haven’t mastered the task, go back to step 2. Don’t let them go until they can do step 3 all by themselves. Remember the “you” is the supporter.

Simple enough? What will you teach your supporters to do?

nonprofit software, peer to peer fundraising, nonprofit social media, nonprofit best practices, fundraising ideas
Photo Courtesy nathanrussell 2008

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Newsflash: Just because your event is done, doesn’t mean your fundraising is… http://blog.firstgiving.com/newsflash-just-because-your-event-is-done-doesnt-mean-your-fundraising-is/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/newsflash-just-because-your-event-is-done-doesnt-mean-your-fundraising-is/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 07:00:57 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12285 nonprofit best practices, nonprofit resources, online fundraising  Never underestimate the power of post-event donations. You’d be amazed with the numbers we’ve seen come in after an event has passed. The best part? This big change only takes a little push! Send out targeted emails the day after an event to update supporters on your fundraising goal. Remember, you should be thanking [...]]]>  

Never underestimate the power of post-event donations. You’d be amazed with the numbers we’ve seen come in after an event has passed. The best part? This big change only takes a little push! Send out targeted emails the day after an event to update supporters on your fundraising goal. Remember, you should be thanking your supporters every step of the way. However once the event has passed, ask them to continue fundraising Try it! For greatest impact, send these reminder emails 1 week, 2 weeks, and 1 month after the event.

See the difference a little push can make

nonprofit best practices, nonprofit resources, online fundraising

Unsure of what to say? Consider the following message template

Dear (SUPPORT NAME),

Thank you SO much for all of your hard work fundraising for us and for coming out to the race yesterday! Your efforts have led to our most successful fundraising event to date, raising a total of (AMOUNT RAISED)! We all had a great time! Check out our photos and top finishers here (LINK). We have big plans for using this funding, including (DETAILS)…

With that said, we’re hoping to dig a little deeper before the end of the week. You’ve done a truly amazing job fundraising so far with a total of (AMOUNT RAISED) on your fundraising page! We would invite you to send out one more request to friends and family asking for any last donations. If you can hit the $1,000 goal mark on your page, it will get us closer to our overall goal of $150,000. This additional funding will provide:

• Example 1
• Example 2
• Example 3

We cannot thank you enough for all of your efforts and continued support!

Best,

(CONTACT PERSON)

Your supporters may need a little help with messaging as well. Consider crafting a template message for them as well :)

nonprofit software, peer to peer fundraising, nonprofit social media, nonprofit best practices, fundraising ideasPhoto Courtesy rightee 2007

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Empower your nonprofit evangelists – they’ll promote you better than you ever will http://blog.firstgiving.com/empower-your-nonprofit-evangelists-theyll-promote-you-better-than-you-ever-will/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/empower-your-nonprofit-evangelists-theyll-promote-you-better-than-you-ever-will/#comments Wed, 20 Mar 2013 07:00:54 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12278 ]]>  

Your nonprofit is a brand like it or not. And though social media has humanized brands significantly, the fact still stands, your nonprofit is an organization, not an individual. Don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing. Humanizing your brand helps build credibility and ultimately helps your promotional needs. This is marketing. (Remember, marketing and nonprofits aren’t sworn enemies, they’re best buds.)

Your evangelists will promote you better than you ever will – empower them

Who do you think will persuade a potential supporter better, an unknown brand or a best friend? Who will be more credible? Whose recommendation will they take first? The best friend will win 9 out of 10 times. Does this mean you should fire your marketing team? Absolutely not. This means your marketing team should focus on building relationships with your evangelists. Your team should build tools to empower them. How can your marketing team help make these evangelists more effective?

Engagement comes before empowerment

Does this mean sending these evangelists personal emails? Encouraging them to fundraise? Inviting them to a brainstorming breakfast? Engagement comes before empowerment. Once they’re engaged, ask them how you can empower them. They will talk, you should listen.

Photo Courtesy 1000heads 2012

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Be a nonprofit bee – craft sweet n’ sticky content honey http://blog.firstgiving.com/be-a-nonprofit-bee-craft-sweet-n-sticky-content-honey/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/be-a-nonprofit-bee-craft-sweet-n-sticky-content-honey/#comments Mon, 18 Mar 2013 07:00:47 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12273 nonprofit software, peer to peer fundraising, nonprofit social media, nonprofit best practices, fundraising ideasWhat do bees and smart nonprofits have in common? They both craft sweet n’ sticky content. The difference? Bees make honey, you craft engaging content. If your nonprofit is having difficulty retaining supporters, maybe your honey is not as sweet n’ sticky as you thought. Maybe you’re not producing the right flavor of honey to [...]]]> What do bees and smart nonprofits have in common? They both craft sweet n’ sticky content. The difference? Bees make honey, you craft engaging content. If your nonprofit is having difficulty retaining supporters, maybe your honey is not as sweet n’ sticky as you thought. Maybe you’re not producing the right flavor of honey to begin with. Maybe your honey is attracting the wrong crowd.

Smart nonprofits craft engaging content

Engaging content attracts the right audience to your nonprofit. It’s a magnet for qualified, sympathetic listeners. Does your nonprofit want 10 active cause ambassadors or 100 passive listeners? Don’t make honey for the masses, make it for the passionate, active, and engaged.

Captivating content is sweet

Sweetness will attract an audience. How will your honey stand out from the rest of the hive’s product? The better the quality your nonprofit produces, the greater the audience you’ll have. How sweet is your honey?

Engaging content is sticky

Attracting an audience is only half the battle, keeping them engaged is the other. Like honey, your content needs to be sticky. Your sweet honey may have brought 100 tasters to your site but stickiness will keep the active 10 wanting more.

Sweet n’ sticky honey is sharable honey

The 10 active cause ambassadors will want to share your honey. Why wouldn’t they? This feeds the soul. These 10 will eventually bring 100. The 100 will bring 1000 and the base will continue to grow and grow.

The question you have to ask yourself is, would you rather 100 passive listeners or 1000 active cause ambassadors? Be a nonprofit bee – craft sweet n’ sticky content honey!

nonprofit software, peer to peer fundraising, nonprofit social media, nonprofit best practices, fundraising ideas

Photo Courtesy kathryn_rotondo 2008

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Back to basics: With social media, it’s quality over quantity http://blog.firstgiving.com/back-to-basics-with-social-media-its-quality-over-quantity/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/back-to-basics-with-social-media-its-quality-over-quantity/#comments Fri, 15 Mar 2013 07:00:20 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12248 sharing-series-ebook-blog-CTASocial media is a relationship tool. When dealing with relationships, think quality over quantity. It’s about effectiveness, not efficiency. If you’re worried about having a presence on every social media network, stop. It’s better that your nonprofit does well on Facebook than poorly on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+ combined. Only take on more when [...]]]> Social media is a relationship tool. When dealing with relationships, think quality over quantity. It’s about effectiveness, not efficiency. If you’re worried about having a presence on every social media network, stop. It’s better that your nonprofit does well on Facebook than poorly on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+ combined. Only take on more when you’re ready.

Quality rises to the top

There’s a lot of digital noise out there. Only quality will shine through. Just think, you can publish a ton of posts in a week that will never break through the clutter or you can craft a single, perfect post that will cut through and get the attention it deserves. At the end of the week, your nonprofit can have no hits or one great hit.

It’s about finding the right balance between quality and quantity. After all, we’re in an attention economy deficit.

Is your nonprofit new to social media? 

sharing-series-ebook-blog-CTA
Photo Courtesy damian_hunt 2009

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What to consider before creating a content calendar for your nonprofit http://blog.firstgiving.com/what-to-consider-before-creating-a-content-calendar-for-your-nonprofit/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/what-to-consider-before-creating-a-content-calendar-for-your-nonprofit/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 12:39:28 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12241 Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 12.02.45 PMA well oiled content calendar will do wonders for your nonprofit’s communication plan. Like most things, it’s about setting a proper foundation. Here’s how to set up an engaging content calendar for your nonprofit. Figure out what resources you can dedicate to creating content Here’s where you set expectations. How many staff members will be [...]]]> A well oiled content calendar will do wonders for your nonprofit’s communication plan. Like most things, it’s about setting a proper foundation. Here’s how to set up an engaging content calendar for your nonprofit.

Figure out what resources you can dedicate to creating content

Here’s where you set expectations. How many staff members will be contributing to content creation? How often? Do you have visual resources at your disposal? Is your organization social media savvy? How easily can you change your website? Do you know how to schedule emails in advance?

Learn who your audience is. What do they need?

Engaging content is relative. What’s engaging to one person will be boring for another. You must learn who your audience is and craft to their demographics and needs. What problem are you trying to solve? How will you help them? How will you give them value?

Find out where your audience is and how they consume

Part of learning who your audience is means learning where they interact and how they consume. Do they spend time on Facebook? Instagram? Are they weekend readers? Do they prefer video to text? Once you understand their consumption habits, you can craft content. You wouldn’t send out a mailing to a bunch of teenagers would you?

Create a reasonable schedule

Once you have taken a resource inventory and learned your audience, you must set reasonable expectations. Engaging content is quality content. This is a quality over quantity game. Don’t commit to a blog post a day if you can’t deliver on it. It’s better to have one high quality blog post a week than five sub par ones.

Outline content goals

Alright, you know your resources and audience and have created a reasonable schedule, now it’s time to outline some goals. What do you want your content to do? Are you creating a donation campaign? Are you creating awareness push? Is your nonprofit hosting a fun run and you need to keep your fundraisers engaged? What are the goals? If you can attach solid metrics to your goals, the better.

Share your calendar internally

An engaging content calendar takes into consideration organizational wide announcements, investments, and other big moments. It’s about synergy here. Those who are responsible for creating content must know the developments in the nonprofit as well as the audience. The content you create will be the bridge connecting the two.

Here’s a sample of a potential Wednesday

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 12.02.45 PM
This can easily be built out to create a month’s content calendar. Will you send emails once a week? Blog twice a week? Post to Facebook twice everyday? What makes sense for your nonprofit?

give-FG-a-call-CTA-button

Photo Courtesy photosteve101 2010

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FirstGiving is now integrated with Eventbrite http://blog.firstgiving.com/firstgiving-is-now-integrated-with-eventbrite/ http://blog.firstgiving.com/firstgiving-is-now-integrated-with-eventbrite/#comments Tue, 12 Mar 2013 07:00:21 +0000 Dan Fonseca http://blog.firstgiving.com/?p=12218 ]]>
This blog shouldn’t be about us. It should be about you. However every once in awhile we feel as though we need to bring to your attention a new FirstGiving feature we built just for you.

FirstGiving is now integrated with Eventbrite

We’re excited to announce FirstGiving’s integration with Eventbrite. Nonprofits now have access to Eventbrite ticket sales data through their FirstGiving dashboard. Organizations will also be able to import Eventbrite event attendees into their FirstGiving email campaigns.

Nonprofits will now be able to:

  • manage event donations in one place
  • convert attendees to fundraisers
  • consolidate contacts

Eventbrite for Causes also offers reduced rates to 501(c)(3) organizations!

Join Eventbrite on the road!

Eventbrite is putting on a series of free, interactive workshops to help nonprofit’s master social media to maximize their fundraising potential.

There will be a short presentation providing insights on social media, fundraising, and event planning to help make your next event a huge success.  Networking time will also be included.

Locations and dates:


Join  this free, interactive workshop and learn:

  • How to use Facebook, Twitter and other tools to maximize results for nonprofit and fundraising events
  • Practical social media recommendations to implement before, during, and after your event
  • How to use scheduling, analysis, and optimization tools to help you work more efficiently and drive performance
  • How to use Eventbrite to crush your event fundraising goals!

Interested in learning more about FirstGiving’s integration with Eventbrite?

 

 

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