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Philanthropic Giving by Men Versus Women

Section: Blog

Men and women both give, but to different types of organizations and with different motivating factors. Marketers have traditionally looked at philanthropic giving by household unit. But a new study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, delves into how gender differences in the household and by income affect where people give and who supports causes aimed at women and girls. A few salient points were noted in an article in The Non Profit Times:

  • High Net Worth (HNW) single women are more likely to give to causes related to arts and the environment. HNW single men are more likely to give to multi-faceted organizations, such as The United Way.
  • HNW female-deciding households are more likely to give to youth and family services and religious causes. Male-deciding households have a lower likelihood of giving to basic needs organizations, and give lower amounts to these organizations.
  • Single women spread out their giving across a broader range of charities versus single men.

Click here to read this article in its entirety.

Content Marketing Helps Non-Profits Connect

Section: Blog

Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to gain recognition and acquire / retain donors. Great content is powerful and can help people personally connect with your cause or organization. Most successful non-profit organizations employ content marketing as a strategic piece of their overall marketing plan.

Here are a few suggestions from Frank Barry to help your non-profit make the most of the power of content marketing:

Leverage Video to Tell Your Story
Figure out how to turn the unique ways your organization is changing the world into content that can be used online. It’s no secret that the combined impact of video and social media is huge.

Use a Multi-Dimensional Approach
By blogging, creating compelling video for YouTube or Periscope, sharing stories on Facebook, pushing updates on Twitter and supporting user generated content, you can successfully create a content strategy that supports your core mission, while engaging multiple contingents.

Harness the Power of User-Generated Content
Encourage supporters to interact with your organization and share content. Mobilize people who are passionate about your cause with fun and engaging opportunities — such as a game or related photo creation tool — which they can share online with their networks.

Empower Your Staff to be Creative
Give your staff the freedom to publish content that connects them to your supporters, such as a thank you video starring your organization’s employees or volunteers.

Read more at Mashable.com

Seven Most Costly Sins of Donation Forms

Section: Blog

Donation forms have but one purpose: to capture a charitable gift. However “best practices” are not always followed, yielding lost donation opportunities. Brandon Granger of npEngage.com shares his Seven Most Costly Sins of Donation Forms:

1) No Mobile Experience: Many nonprofit sites still aren’t “mobile-ready,” even though nearly 10% of donors are coming to forms via mobile technology. Don’t lose them just when they’re ready to donate.

2) Poor Accessibility: Many people have trouble viewing web pages, even with reading glasses. Low contrast colors, small text, and tiny fields are a few of the culprits. Make sure your form is accessible to all.

3) Requiring a Log In: Requiring a log in is the kiss of death for donation forms. Stop asking for user names and passwords.

4) Too Many Fields: Don’t spook your donors with too many questions. Remember, this is a donation form, not a survey. Removing fields like title and phone number can make your form easier to navigate and increase your donation rates.

5) Too Many Steps: Multiple steps are frustrating for users. Make your form as simple as possible or you will lose donors along the way.

6) Using Captcha on All Transactions: While it is important to avoid credit card fraud, using captcha on all transactions can result in a significant loss of donations.

7) Unbranded Checkouts: Keep donors feeling safe by designing your checkout page to existing brand standards. Unbranded, third-party checkouts erode trust and yield a 41% higher abandonment rate versus branded checkouts.

Event Journal provides clients with secure, user-friendly, branded forms for all transactions. We go the extra mile to ensure you get the most out of your fundraising events. To read more of this article, visit npEngage.

Make the Most of Facebook’s “Donate Now” Fundraising Button

Section: Blog

While a strong social following on Facebook is already an immense advantage for nonprofits in their fundraising efforts, followers can now be even more valuable. With Facebook’s “Donate Now” button, it’s easier than ever for nonprofits to turn online engagement into meaningful monetary contributions.

In her Hubspot blog, Juliana Nicholson shares some tips as to how fundraisers can make the most of this new feature:

Point the Way
Having the button on your Facebook page does not ensure it will get notice or used. Reference this new feature in your communications and give users visual clues, such as photos direction their attention to the “Donate Now” button.

Run Highly-Targeted Campaigns
If you’re advertising a specific campaign on Facebook, make sure you spend your ad dollars wisely by researching the appropriate audience and segmenting your efforts.

Keep Content Balanced
Just because asking for donations on Facebook is easy, it doesn’t mean you should neglect the primary reason most users connect with you to begin with. Facebook is about “Friendraising” — not fundraising. So, remember that content comes first, and that creating a personal connection with your fans will pave the road for longer, more valuable long-term relationships.

Read Juliana Nicholson’s blog in its entirety on Hubspot.

Target “Low-Hanging Fruit” to Raise More at Next Event

Section: Blog

Looking to squeeze an additional 5% or 10% out of an existing fundraising event? There are little tweaks you can make that may easily give you those gains you desire.

Joe Garecht of The Fundraising Authority, offers the following strategies.

1. UPGRADE LAST YEAR’S SPONSORS:
Make sure to relationship-build between events by reaching out personally to sponsors — then ask if they will upgrade. They will not upgrade unless you ask!

2. ENCOURAGE PREVIOUS ATTENDEES TO INVITE A FRIEND
Send a letter before your invitations go out explaining why the event is so important. Ask guests to consider another person or couple they could invite this year. You can even try offering a discount on a second attendee for a single year to boost event attendance.

3. ADD ADDITIONAL REVENUE STREAMS
Consider adding new revenue streams to your event — things like silent auctions, raffles or e-Journals. These vehicles can boost your bottom line without adding new expenses. Add only one new revenue stream per year. If the return from the new stream isn’t worth the time and stress, drop it the following year and try something new.

Read the article in its entirety at Joe Garecht’s The Fundraising Authority.

Dedicated Micro-Sites Take Event Marketing to the Next Level

Section: Blog

Add significant exposure to your gala or golf outing with a dedicated event website that is separate and distinct from your organization’s main website. A dedicated “micro”-site provides viewers with all the information they need to be more readily converted into donors and attendees.

The article cited below features expert tips from Karen Perry, President of Event Journal, Inc., a company that offers event micro-sites and related services for fundraising events:

Here are some of her suggested strategies:

1. Unique Domain — Use an easily remembered URL for marketing and promoting site traffic. Integrate the URL into all event materials, as well as by making it easy to link to it from your main website.

2. Up-to-Date Info — Keep the website current. When people return, they should see fresh information.

3. Post-Event Photo Gallery — Posting photos gives people a chance to see the success of the event. Promote this at the event, including a message on table cards or on the back of the program to check the event website to view the photos. This will keep your donor pool digitally engaged with your organization.

4. Corresponding E-mail Campaign — Plan in three waves: save the date, call to action and post-event follow-up. All e-mails should link to the site, taking supporters to the appropriate landing page to register, make purchases, donate, etc.

5. Social Media Promotion — Build social media interfaces into the website. Your event committee can help you reach exponentially more supporters by sharing posts with their own friends and contacts.

Read the complete article at Special-Events Galore event journal, a website offering practical tips and techniques to help you plan, organize and manage events.

How to Promote Your Event Using Social Media

Section: Blog

Kimberly Reynolds from Social-Media-Examiner.com shares creative ways to use social media to promote event:

  • Create one unified hash tag (“#”) for use across all social channels

This is very important because it will help streamline all of the mentions regarding the event. This hash tag should be event-specific and used in ALL marketing collateral.

  • Share behind-the-scenes visual content

Give viewers an inside look at what goes on while planning the event. This engages the reader and makes you more relatable. For example, share bloopers, fun things to do in the area, event signage, goodie bags, etc.

  • Use photos of attendees in social updates

This is great for annual events. Include people in the picture who will most likely comment on the photo and share it with others.

  • Create a highlight reel from prior events

There is nothing like video to help convey the excitement and fun of your event and attract new participants.

  • Empower affiliates, fans and attendees with shareable assets

Make it easy to share your event. Provide a web page with branded downloadable resources that fit any platform. For example, capitalize on the excitement of attendees by providing a button that allows them to immediately share a tweet or post after registering for your event.

Read Kimberly Reynold’s full article 16 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Event

Marketing & Fundraising = Successful Partnership

Section: Blog

Although the marketing and fundraising departments of an organization may be separate, it is important for them to work together in order to be successful.

According to Nancy E. Schwartz of GettingAttention.org, there are 4 simple ways to make this partnership come to fruition:

1. START AT THE TOP

Find a way to bridge the marketing-fundraising gap. If the organization does not currently have this goal in mind, then get them on the right path by finding ways that the marketing and fundraising staff can work together.

2. SHARED PRIORITIES

While each team has specific responsibilities, they should work together to advance their shared priorities. There should be one common agenda that allows both departments to become effective partners. For example, one goal could be to build and strengthen relationships with key supporters (partners, donors). This will lead to a greater impact.

3. IDENTIFY WHAT’S WORKING FROM EACH “SIDE” AND DO MORE OF IT

Ask marketing team to identify top 3 successes from fundraising team and to integrate those approaches into its own work and vice versa. Also identify what isn’t working and do less of it. This method allows each team to focus on what is most important to them and helps to create an encouraging partnership.

4. BUILD ON REAL, COMPELLING SUCCESS STORIES

If the same strong stories are used by both the marketing and fundraising teams, it will increase awareness, build engagement and boost positive responses and actions for the organization as a whole. This will ultimately create a powerful approach and prove to be a successful collaboration.

Nancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing. Nancy and her team provide marketing planning and implementation services to nonprofit organizations and foundations nationwide. To read this article in full: 4 Steps to a Powerful Marketing-Fundraising Partnership- Better Together

Nonprofit Digital Trends and Strategies in 2015

Section: Blog

Surprisingly, many nonprofits have not become fully integrated with digital outreach. As a result, three industry leaders, Care2, hjc, and NTEN launched to get a better understanding of digital trends and strategies for nonprofit success in 2015.

Ernie Smith from Associations-Now.com, shared highlights from the 2015 Digital Outlook Report:

Time Limitations for Staff:
Even though organizations understand that they need to focus more on digital, they are faced with two challenges: staff shortages and budget restraints.

  • About 43% of organizations have staff dedicated to their digital and online strategies

 

Videos, Photos and Info Graphics
There is a large shift towards heavily visual and marketing media and strategy. Below are the three main tactics that will be increased in 2015:

  • 70% of nonprofits plan to put more focus on creating videos and images
  • 63% of nonprofits plan to focus on images
  • 58% of nonprofits plan to improve their info graphics

 

E-Mail Marketing Vs. Social Media

  • 94% of nonprofits rely on e-mail marketing
  • 88% of nonprofits rely on Facebook
  • 79% of nonprofits rely on Twitter
  • 64% of nonprofits use direct mail
  • 23% of nonprofits use telemarketing

 

Lead Generation
Some of the biggest obstacles for successful lead generation are a lack of quality data and effective lead generation strategies.

  • 60% of nonprofits will use a ‘content marketing strategy’
  • 23% of nonprofits will test an ‘inbound marketing strategy’

 

Take a look at the full ‘2015 Digital Outlook Report’ and read Ernie Smith’s article ‘Report: How Nonprofits are Using Digital Platforms’

How to Digitally Reach and Engage Older Donors

Section: Blog

Recently, there have been many high-profile digital and viral campaigns, including the worldwide ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. However, these campaigns have not been able to successfully engage the older generation, who are known for giving the largest yearly donations.

Himanshu Sareen of Philanthropy News Digest shares 5 ways to reach older donors via digital strategy:

1. Older donors are much more tech-savvy than many give them credit for.

About 3 out of 5 donors age 66 and older make donations via the web because they are becoming adapted with today’s new technologies. The important part is to create a digital experience that caters to this audience, while still appealing to the younger generation.

2. Make sure your site is more accessible to older donors:

Make sure that the site is both visually appealing and user-friendly. Consider enlarging the font size and creating simple page navigation. Be sure not to change the site itself frequently, because older users tend to become frustrated with that. Make sure that a “donate” button is visible and clear on every page of the website.

3. Take advantage of design trends that are friendly even to older users:

No matter what age you are catering to, the design must be a top priority. The best combination is to create a simple, user-friendly site that older donors can use, but appealing enough for younger donors.

4. Don’t be afraid to reach out via social networking:

About 70% of boomers have created a Facebook page, and 40% of them use it on a regular basis. This demographic tends to stay away from Twitter and Instagram, so focus your campaign on Facebook along with stories and a lot of images.

5. Don’t forget about mobile:

From 2012 to 2013, mobile usage among Americans over the age of 65 more than tripled and is still growing. Older donors tend to use online browsing and e-mail instead of apps, so be sure to make a responsive website that they can easily view on their mobile device.

Read Himanshu Sareen’s full article: Five Ways to Improve Your Digital Strategy for Older Donors