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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

AFPICONtweets_infographic2-01-945x1024

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:

10 Best Practices to Get Your Emails Noticed

Section: Blog

Did you know some 122,500,453,020 emails are sent every hour? This incredible stat, brought to us by MarketingProfs, proves just how hard it is to get your emails noticed in a sea of billions of emails. To get seen, and opened, emails must be optimized for the email receiver. Personalization, taking time to crafe subject lines, and the use of punctuation have all become an art that marketers must master. To help with this, Madison Logic has come up with the top ten best email practices to get your emails noticed (and opened!).

Find out the top ten best email practices in the following infographic from Madison Logic:

Ten Best Email Practices

Find out how Event Journal can create your next special event e-blast and our other e-marketing solutions here: Event Journal Solutions

Spring Clean Your Social Media Accounts

Section: Blog

Spring is finally here and with spring comes spring cleaning. This idea usually conjures up ideas of cleaning your house or maybe even detoxing yourself, but this year let’s think about spring cleaning in terms of your nonprofit’s social media platforms. When was the last time you checked to see if you information was up-to-date?  Social media isn’t just about posts and tweets and sharing photos, you also have to focus on routine maintenance. Kelly Wrather over at Search Engine Watch has come up with a complete spring cleaning checklist for your social media platforms.

1. Revisit Goals and Assess Performance – Start with your basic goals and go from there. Did you meet last year’s goal and have your goals changes over time? Look at your analytic reports and find where your audience is, the demographics, and the performance of different post types.

2. Audit current Accounts – Revive your presence and if you don’t put any effort into certain accounts, shut them down. You don’t want potential supporters visiting your accounts that you haven’t updated in years. People want to see lively nonprofits that are still making a difference.

3. Explore New Options – Have you looked into some of the newer social media platforms yet? visually-driven platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine are great for displaying photos that tell stories or attention-grabbing artwork. Look beyond Facebook and Twitter and see what other audience you can reach.

4. Make Maintenance Part of the Regular Routine – Now that you’ve spring-cleaned your social media accounts, don’t wait until next spring again. Spend a few hours, every month or maybe every couple months, to stay up-to-date and make sure you’re making a good, strong impression.

Read the complete article and find out all the spring cleaning tips here: The Complete Social Media Spring Cleaning Checklist

And while you’re spring cleaning your social media, connect with us via our social media buttons too!

Podcast: How to Connect with Older Supporters via Social Media

Section: Blog

The “Social Good” audio podcast channel by The Chronicle of Philanthropy gives monthly insight into how “charities and foundations can more effectively use social-media tools to spread their messages and raise money”. These free podcasts cover a wide variety of topics and host, Allison Fine, gives nonprofits the knowledge to use social media to make a large impact and expand their organization’s reach.

This month, Alejandra Owens, who handles the social media over at AARP, explains the best approaches to reaching people over age 50 and how nonprofits organization can encourage digital use and increase online platform understanding.

Listen to the full podcast here.

Check out the entire Social Good audio podcast channel by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Making the ‘Ask’ Easier

Section: Blog

Asking: sometimes one of the most nerve-racking things for a fundraiser to do, ironically. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you but My mouth goes dry, my lungs collapse and I feel faint.” Gail Perry over at Fired Up Fundraising have touched on an important underlying fear of some fundraisers. Sometimes simply asking can be the most daunting talk in fundraising. Luck for us, Perry has put together 5 insights into how you can be “far more effective, more strategic, and happier when you are asking”.

Five Insightful Ideas That Make the ‘Ask’ So Much Easier (and less scary!)

1. Asking is a process, not a one-time transaction – There are a lot of steps that go into asking. Don’t view it as a one-time thing. Instead, think of it as a multi-step process that focusing on building a solid relationship with the potential donor.

2. People will give you money to change or save lives – To be successful, you must understand why people donate. People donate to make a change, so be transparent in how their support will in fact make a change in someone’s life or in the community.

3. It’s NEVER about money – Don’t get trapped in the idea that money=success. Focusing on building long-lasting relationships will engage your supporters for much longer than a one time donation. Instead, think about who you are helping and focus on accomplishing these goals. The money will come in due time.

4. It’s not about you – It’s all about the donor. Listen to them and let them lead the way to a successful partnership. Find out what means the most to them and then capitalize on how you can assist each other. How can you accomplish their needs and yours, all at the same time.

5. People give to an exciting opportunity and BIG IDEAS – When you solicit donations, you much “talk in the largest possible terms”. Focus on the highest potential and the big picture. People want to feel like their making a big difference, explain to them how this is a possibility with their help.

For detailed information on these 5 insights, visit Gail Perry’s full blog posting here: Five Ideas That Will Make Asking Much Easier and More Successful

To find out how Event Journal can help you make a BIG impact with your next event, visit our solutions page: Event Journal Solutions

14 Conversations to Have With Your Donors

Section: Blog

As fundraisers, it is important to keep donors, and get potentials donors, engaged. By doing so, you increase the odds of an everlasting relationship and continued support for the organization. Donor engagement is sustained by daily conversations and reaching out. We talk to our donors in person and on the phone, but in this new word of technology, they are not the only ways to converse with donors.

The people over at Fundraising Authority point out that everything we do now is a conversation, “[from] the events we hold, the newsletters we send out, the items we post on our website… each of these tells a story and engages our donors in conversation. Starting a conversation can be daunting for those of us that aren’t exactly sure what to say. Luckily the Fundraising Authority has come up with 14 easy talking points to get the conversations started.

14 Conversations to Have With Your Donors

  1. Outcomes
  2. Clients
  3. Founding
  4. Donors
  5. Communities
  6. Volunteers
  7. Case for Support
  8. Fiscal Stewardship
  9. Staff
  10. Programs
  11. The Problem
  12. Events
  13. Thought Leadership
  14. Ask for Advice

Need more information on how to get the conversation flowing? Check out the entire article: 14 Conversations to Have With Your Donors

How to: Build Your Nonprofit Brand’s Buzzability

Section: Blog

As the people over at Nonprofit Hub like to say: “People like to talk. Give them something to talk about.” To increase the exposure of your nonprofit’s organization, you must increase the ‘buzz’ around your organization. One of the best, and cheapest, ways to increase the buzz is to get people talking about your organization. Word of mouth marketing is a highly effective way of getting the awareness level up, and there is no better marketing than the words of a dedicated supporter. The big question Nonprofit Hub looks to answer is: How do you get people chatting? Answer: You must give people something that’s worth talking about.

Here are five ways to get people talking and increase the ‘buzzability’ of your nonprofit organization:

1. Create and Promote Stories that Your Donors Want to Share – People like to talk about other people and nothing generates more buzz than stories, especially the life-changing, awe-inspiring, or heart-wrenching. Keep your stories focused on the people or things you’re helping and less on your organization to make sure they don’t come off as ‘marketing pitches’.

2. Recruit a Group of Volunteers Who Are Willing to Share via Social Media – Post your organization’s engaging material and then make sure it’s shareable content. Use calls-to-action to drive traffic to your website and ask for people to share. Sometimes just a little asking and/or nudging can be all it takes to get someone to click ‘share’.

3. Take Ten Minutes a Day to Build Your Own Brand – Be a presence on social media. Share your favorite blog posts and be active in discussions. Tweet articles, share photos, and setup your Google Authorship so Google can recognize you as a credible author.

4. Build Your Street Cred – Create a group of your top supporters and volunteers and give them a swag bag. Include the do’s and don’ts for speaking about the organization, a little background on the organization, a directory, a list of all the services your offer, calender of events, etc. Set them up for success and give them the tools to generate buzz around the organization.

5. Get Your Board on Board – Board in engagement is a must. Keep your board members in ‘know’, empower them to make connections, and get them talking about why they’re involved in the organization. Board members have power and influence over a great range of people, so ignite that power and let them do the rest.

Want to know all the details on increasing the ‘buzzability’ of your nonprofit organization? Check out the full article here: Five Ways to Build Your Nonprofit Brand’s Buzzability

10 Tips to Secure the Gift

Section: Blog

One of the biggest questions and issues on every fundraiser’s mind is “How do I secure the gift?” Fundraising is all about making the connections and “asks” stick to produce beneficial numbers. However, that is easier said than done. Securing the gift can be tough in this economy but Gail Perry has some insider knowledge from of the industry’s greats, Jerry Panas. Panas sat down with Gail for an interview and gave his 10 tips on how to secure the gift.

How to Secure the Gift: 10 Priceless Tips from Jerry Panas

  1. Getting the visit is the toughest part – Jerry thinks that “if you get the visit, you’re 85% of the way to getting the gift” Send a letter before you call. Give people details and don’t blindside them with new information. Give them enough to intrigue then allow them time to do some reading and researching on their own.
  2. Be willing to fail – You win some, you lose some. You won’t win 100% of the time in everything, especially fundraising. Knowing this, give it your best anyway and make the asks. If you don’t play, you’ll never get the chance to win.
  3. Enthusiasm is contagious – Jerry believes in the Three E’s: Empathy, Energy, and Enthusiasm.
  4. Keep your antenna alert – Be aware of your donor’s reactions. Body language and facial expressions can tell you a lot about what people are thinking.
  5. Talk only 25% of the time – Listen more than you talk. Find out what your donor needs first, then figure out a way to connect the dots to what your organization needs.
  6. Donors give to the magic of an idea – Focus on the vision and the mission. Donors give to help ideas, not to fill a financial quota.
  7. You never know until you ask – Don’t be afraid to ask. Try not to sell, simply just ask.
  8. Your materials are not important in an ask – Emotion and storytelling sell a donor, not printed materials. Focus on making your donor feel your mission not see your cause on paper.
  9. Take only 11 minutes to present your case – Don’t spend too long presenting all your information. Use 11 minutes or less to build drama and importance. A little urgency will only help.
  10. I would like you to consider a gift of… – Say exactly what you want and then say nothing. Wait until the donor is done having their own conversation in their head. Don’t interrupt them.

Want to know more about what Jerry Panas has to say and Gail Perry’s take on his 10 tips? Check out her full blog post here: How to Secure the Gift: 10 Priceless Tips from Jerry Panas