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7 Steps to Follow for a Successful Fundraising Event

Section: Blog

When preparing for your upcoming event, follow these 7 steps to ensure and well-planned and successful fundraising event:

7 Steps to Follow for a Successful Fundraising Event

Two Goals – Every fundraising event should have two goals: purpose and amount. Before you start, determine what the purpose of you event is. Is it truly to put on a fundraising event or do you have another goal in mind like publicity or reaching new donors. The second, is decide what the amount of money is that you want to fundaise. The amount you choose should be the amount after expenses are deducted. Everything in your event planning stage will be determined based off of how much money you think you will fundraise, and how much money it will actually cost to put on the event. Both figures are important.

Budget – Every event should have a budget listing every single expense as well as the time spent. This includes, but is not limited to, staff, printed materials, event rental, catering, entertainment, security, utilities (?), support staff or third party staff, thank you, and even your time. By budgeting out expense and your time, you can ensure that you stay on budget, have no surprises, maximize money saving potential, and leave room for unforeseen costs.

Leadership – Pick your committees wisely. The “Host committee” is not responsible for actually running the event, but are instead the people you lean on to help you fundraise dollars. These people are usually well-connected and wealthy donors or business leaders that are responsible for encouraging their friends, family, and connections to help support the event financially. Be sure to pick a wide-range of people from different communities to increase your reach.

Marketing – Be creative and aggressive in your marketing strategy. Draw up a plan that gets the word out via multiple channels. including: word of mouth, printed and mailed materials, phone calls, online registration or event websites, social media, and your host committee. Build steam and momentum as the event draws near and capitalize on the excitement that comes along with the increase marketing efforts.

Sales – Make sure you have a procedure in place to accept donations and purchases, as well as track attendees. By using an event site and company, all information can be tracked through a shopping cart and reports can be exported to keep all information in one easy-to-use place.

Delegate – Plan and make sure everyone knows their job before the day of your event. Everyone should have a job and a good understanding of everyone’s job as well. This is essential so that everyone understands how it all comes together.

Thank yous – Don’t ever not say thank you. One of the most important parts of your event is saying thank you after. Make sure you thank your donors but also your volunteers, committee, vendors, and anyone else who made an impact or helped. By thanking people, you ensure that you keep a healthy relationship and give them reason to help in the future.

To find out how Event Journal can help with your marketing and sales efforts (and make your event even more successful), check out our site for complete information:

14 Must-Know Stats About Fundraising, Social Media, and All Things Mobile

Section: Blog

14 Must-Know Stats About Fundraising, Social Media, and All Things Mobile

With the end of Spring comes the season of reports and the nonprofit sector has released new data this year with an emerging theme of rapidly rising online fundraising, especially on mobile devices. This new data is very enticing and if nonprofits haven’t yet decided to adopt a mobile-friendly strategy, this data should be able to convince executive staff and board members. Below are 14 takeaways from the new data released that shows how important online and mobile channels are for fundraising success.

1. Responsive design doubles giving on mobile devices.

mobile design doubles mobile givingSource: DonorDrive

2. Facebook refers 29.4% of traffic to donation pages
on #GivingTuesday.

GIVING TUES FacebookSource: Artez Interactive

3. Fifty-five percent of those who engage with nonprofits via social media have been inspired to take further action.

donors-with-social-media (1)Source: Waggener Edstrom

4. For every 1,000 fundraising emails sent
a nonprofit raises $17.

Benchmark InfographicSource: M+R and NTEN

5. Monthly donors give 42% more in one-year than
one-time donors.

monthly giving inforgraphicSource: Network for Good

6. Sixty-four percent of Millennials prefer to fundraise through walk/run/cycling event.

MCON nonprofits fundraising

Source: Millennial Impact

7. Walk/run/cycling event fundraisers who send more than 15 emails raise 76% more than non-email senders.

super emails senders

Source: Blackbaud

8. The average nonprofit crowdfunding campaign
raises $9,237.55.

crowdfunding nonprofit

Source: craigconnects

9. Online giving grew 13.5% in 2013.

Online Giving Large 2013

Source: Blackbaud

10. Ten percent of annual giving occurs on the last
three days of the year.

ten percent of all giving

Source: Network for Good Digital Giving Index

11. Custom-branded donate pages nested inside a nonprofit’s website raise 6X more money.


Source: Network for Good Digital Giving Index

12. Sixty-four percent of donations are made by women.

Women donate more

Source: Everyday Hero

13. Nonprofits share a daily average of 1.2 updates on Facebook and 5.3 tweets.

average facebook posts facebook nonprofits

Source: M+R and NTEN

14. Thirty percent of nonprofits are experimenting
with Instagram.

experimenting with instagram

Source: Nonprofit Marketing Guide

To view the article in its entirety, check out 14 Must-Know Stats About Fundraising, Social Media, and Mobile Technology via Nonprofit Tech for Good

5 Ways to Leverage Social Media for Fundraising

Section: Blog

Five ways to leverage social media for fundraising

Whether you’re raising funds for a specific event or simply trying to keep the donations flowing over the long term, your nonprofit can benefit from social media use if you…

  1. Engage often. You probably don’t have endless hours each day to spend on social media activities (see caveat at the end of this post), but if you want to get a reasonable ROI on your social efforts you need to engage daily if possible. And don’t dismiss Twitter; even though some people find Twitter frustrating because of the character limit per tweet, it’s actually a very useful little tool for brief updates, links to pictures and expanded content (not to mention the donation landing page). Twitter is an easy way to provide live continuous updates during a fundraising event such as an auction, bake sale, marathon, or telethon – letting donors know that they truly are making a difference.
  2. Post your wish lists. Sometimes the direct approach works best. You can use sites such as Facebook and Pinterest to post specific items your nonprofit needs, and to provide instructions on how to donate those items. Most groups can always use cash donations, but many need other items as well. For instance, an animal rescue organization may ask for donations of cat and dog food. A homeless shelter might need blankets and coats. Don’t be shy; tell the people what you need.
  3. Consider crowdfunding. Most people think of Kickstarter as the go-to site for artists, filmmakers and other creative types who need funding for a creative project. But nonprofits can use Kickstarter too. If you need to raise a certain amount for a specific purpose, with a set deadline, set up an account on Kickstarter or a similar site.  The presence you create there will provide a way to publicize the event or project while offering an effortless way for people to donate funds. Of course you should use your social media sites to publicize the Kickstarter effort and to share progress reports. You can also utilize apps for Facebook such as the crowdfunding tool FundRazr, and you can share the app via Facebook, Twitter, email, your web site, your blog, or all of the above.
  4. Link your social sites with your other online sites. As powerful and effective as it can be, social is just one part of a solid online presence. For maximum effectiveness your social media sites should work in concert with your other efforts: your main web site, blog, online newsletter, and email campaigns. Make sure all of your social sites provide easy access to your organization’s web site, which should be well-designed and inviting. As a nonprofit, you need a web site that gives people an incentive to visit frequently (and hopefully be inspired to donate).
  5. Make sure that all-important link to your “Donate Now” landing page is visible on every page of every site you maintain. You don’t want to hit people in the face with it – okay, well you sort of do, though gently – but you do want to make it as easy as possible for them to donate. Of course you also want to make sure your donation site is secure. For more information about best practices regarding donations, see this article by Nonprofit Tech for Good.

Time is precious, and most volunteers and staff don’t have a whole lot of it to spend on any one task or site, so be sure to manage your social media time wisely.  Fifteen minutes to a half-hour per day on each site should be adequate, unless you can afford to hire a full time social media manager.  However you structure responsibilities, make sure that someone is always in charge and that everybody handling your social media content accurately represents your organization’s mission and vision. The preceding is a post by Rebecca Gray, who writes for She welcomes your comments at her email id: [email protected].

7 Best Tips for Event Speakers

Section: Blog

actices for Event Speakers

Springtime equals fundraising events time, and with events comes event speakers. If you have been picked as ‘the chosen one’ then you know you must give a speech that inspires people to give to your organization. Shorter is sweeter and Lori Jacobwith of believes that under seven minutes is best to keep your audience’s attention. She also wholeheartedly believes that one must be authentic to be believable and inspiring. Don’t just talk about what you think donors want to hear, speak from your heart and not directly from a piece of paper. As she notes, “You can have a fabulous outline but if you are not authentic and you read from a script with your head down. . . you’ll have wasted an opportunity to generate support.”

To help all of you out, Lori has come up with her seven best practices for event speakers that lead to success and inspiration:

  1. Gain audience attention & interest
  2. Establish your own credibility & approachability
  3. Share three main concepts
  4. Make it easy to follow along
  5. Transitions are key
  6. General guidelines for inserting stories/impact examples
  7. My biggest pet peeve: Do not use the phrase “In closing…”

To read how best to incorporate her seven best practices, check out her a

Seven Best Practices for Fundraising Event Speakers by Lori Jacobwith via

Why Nonprofits Should Market Like Big Brands

Section: Blog

Do you spend a lot of time talking about your organization and your work and less about your donors needs? If so, it’s time to start thinking about changing your fundraising strategy. Angie Moore of Eleventy marketing Group explains that in fundraising, it is all about the “donors, members and volunteers and how they are changing, especially the changes by brands much, much bigger than nonprofits”. Marketing has changed the way consumers purchase and donate. They react much more to outward-focused marketing, much more than inward-focused marketing tactics. Outward-focused marketing, she explains, “is focused primarily on identifying the needs of the customers and matching the products and services to the consumer need”. Donors have been trained to react to outward-focused marketing as determined long ago by big brands.

So how does this affect nonprofits and their fundraising tactics? Nonprofits now need to review their marketing and fundraising strategies and determine if they are focusing the majority of their efforts on themselves. Think about what your donors needs and expectations are, and spend less time talking about yourself and your organization. Don’t spend time solely ‘presenting yourself’ to donors but instead think about what your donors want you to be for them. If you start to focus less on yourself and more on your donors, you’ll see the positive changes in the support and engagement from your supporters.

To read the entire article by Angie Moore and all of her thoughts on Dr. Susan Raymond’s thought on inward vs. outward marketing click here: Are You Marketing and Raising Funds the Right Way for Today’s Donors?

To see how Event Journal can help you market like a big brand, view our ejMarketing solution.

Donations Must Grow from Empathy

Section: Blog

When asking people to give, we must remember that giving starts with empathy. “The desire, and ability, to understand and share the feelings of another.” Too often we reward giving, we give someone something in exchange for their gift or donation. However, when you can empathize, you can give, volunteer, care, learn… really make a change. As John Lepp states, we need “empathy first, and giving second”. He goes on to tell a story about the time he lost a friend to Leukemia at 14 and how he helped fundraise for the cause. He decided to make some changes to his school’s already established annual bike-a-thon and focused less on prizes and more on the actual children with cancer, the feelings evoked by their families, and how he could really connect with donors. The results were outstanding. Donations rose from $2,000 to $14,000 that year. He had transformed the way people cared and donated at his school. His entire story is inspiring and there are some modern takeaways to be learned from how he made such drastic changes that turned into success. As he states:

Maybe the call to action isn’t even money – maybe it’s writing cards to cancer patients, maybe it’s singing at a senior’s home, maybe it’s playing video games with kids in the hospital, maybe it’s planting a tree. It isn’t the money that matters – it’s the desire to help. The money will come later.

We always need to ask “why am I doing this” […] It’s to create a world where people look outside themselves, and try to understand, help, support and care for one another.

To read the entire story, read John Lepp’s inspiring article here: E is for Empathy

The Glass Ceiling in the Nonprofit Sector

Section: Blog

A poll, commissioned by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and New York University’s George H. Heyman Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising, found that “Nonprofits, especially the largest ones, are missing out on donations from women and hurting their missions by not putting more females in board and leadership jobs”. The article touches on the idea that the little attention given to women as donors is proving to be a huge mistake. Women tend to be “much more loyal donors than men and often better at asking their networks of women for donations and other resources”.  The below infographic highlights the idea of a “glass ceiling in the nonprofit sector” due to the biases against women in nonprofit fundraising.

Women In Philanthropy Infographic

Read the entire article here: The Lack of Women in Top Roles Hinders Nonprofits, Female Nonprofit Workers Say

Three Ways to Give Your Fundraising Strategy a Digital Edge

Section: Blog

Technology has become a way of life and has impacted the way we communicate with each other. Nonprofits now have more means to engage potential donors and supporters and must constantly stay on-trend and reinvent themselves. Technology has changes the way we strategize fundraising and nonprofits must keep up if they want to succeed. So, the challenge now becomes, how do we stay effective but also stay efficient?

Third Sector Today has come up with five ways to “effectively leverage technology in your fundraising strategy”. We have picked our top three tips to stay on-trend without spending too much time planning your technology endeavors.

1. Be a Social Media Strategist – Social media is the main gateway to a huge and growing network of potential supporters. Great content will catapult you towards success and ‘sharing’ is your best bet for transporting your message across the internet. Write blogs, post content to social media channels, participate in LinkedIn conversations. The possibilities are endless and the amount of people you can reach online via social media is tremendous.

2. Enhance Accessibility With a Responsive Website Design – “The key to tapping into the mobile community can only mean one thing: go mobile.” Making sure your site is mobile compatible will allow for optimal viewing across all smartphones and tablet devices. There is nothing more off-putting than a site that doesn’t load properly. Potential donors will give up on your site if they can’t maneuver appropriately through the channels.

3. Make Sure Your Fundraising Campaigns are MOBILE – Making sure you designs are “user-friendly” is becoming more and more a necessity and having social media sharing options via mobile is of utmost importance to keep momentum building.

To read about all 5 ways to upgrade your digital fundraising strategy, click here:5 Ways to Give Your Fundraising Strategy an Upgrade

To find out how Event Journal can help you go digital with your next fundraising event, check out our Four Solutions.

AFP International Conference: Top Tips via Tweets

Section: Blog

The 2014 Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference recently wrapped up in San Antonio. With the move towards digital, the attendees were tweeting up a storm and Fired Up Fundraising has compiled the top tweets from the conference and you can view them all here: 39 Provocative Tips From #AFPICON That Will Make You A Smarter Fundraiser in 2014. The below infographic, created by Gail Perry, showcases the top tips from #AFPICON that will make you a better fundraisier in 2014… brought to you in the form of tweets.

AFP International Conference: Top Tips via Tweets


To follow Event Journal and stay up-to-date on all our industry tweets, follow us on Twitter: Event Journal Twitter

5 Stories Every Nonprofit Needs To Be Telling

Section: Blog

We’re sure you’ve heard by now that 2014 is the year of nonprofit storytelling. This ‘new’ form of content marketing has received a lot of press lately for being an effective way of engaging potential and current donors via social media channels. If you’re having trouble at storytelling or feel uncomfortable talking about yourself, don’t be! It’s important to tell your stories. So, here are 5 stories that you should be telling because sharing the great work you do everyday, is important to your current, and potential donors. Brought to you by J Campbell Social Marketing here are “5 Stories Nonprofits Should Be Telling On Social Media”.

1. Values & Ethics Stories

In these stories you should tell your donors all about the core values and ethics of your organization.. Value stories “will help people identify with your organization” and are one of the main reasons people connect and donate to nonprofits. A great example of value storytelling can be found on the Environmental defense fund’s website.

2. Social Proof Stories

Here is where you tell all about who is helping along side with you and how you’re both making an impact together. Show and tell how these supporters of your organization are making a philanthropic difference in the community. Give credit where credit is due to continue their support of your organization and entice other organizations to help support your cause.

3. Founder Stories

Inspire potential donors with the story of why you’re all here. How did your organization begin? What were the main reasons you wanted to help? Who are these amazing people and what were the initial struggles of getting everything started? Why do they still need support and help to continue their mission? Answers these questions and you’ll be ‘storytelling’ supporters everything they need to know to make informed decisions.

4. Continuous Improvement Stories

These stories show how your organization is adapting and learning. Explain the twists and turns, the hurdles and maybes the large steps forward or backward. People want to feel connected to all parts of your mission and want to know where and how they can help.

5. Impact Stories

These are the most fun and the most important stories your organization can tell. These are the stories that explain exactly how you’re making the world a better place and why you organization needs to continue its good work. Show how your organization is making an impact and why the world needs still people like you.

Want to see some great examples of nonprofits storytelling these 5 stories? Check out the full article, complete with videos, here: 5 Stories Nonprofits Should Be Telling On Social Media

Want to know how our clients are making a difference? Check out the samples of our client’s site and the good they’re doing in the world: Event Journal’s Clients “OUR WORK: