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Online Giving Statistics for Donors 66 and Older

Section: Blog

According to a U.S. Dunham+Company/Campbell Rinker study, donors 66 and older are now just as likely to make their donations to charity online as younger donors.

Online Giving Statistics:

  • For the first time since the study began, 3 out of 5 donors (60 percent) of all generations have given a gift online.
  • 53 percent of donors said they preferred to give online.
  • In 2014, the preferred method of giving was via mail, and now the 2014 study shows this has reversed to only 36 percent preferring to respond by mail and 53 percent preferring to give online.
  • Of the 66 and older generation in 2010, only 15 percent would give an online gift in response to a letter in the mail. That percentage jumped to 39 percent in 2014.
  • In 2010, 6 percent gave a gift to a charity’s website because of an email. In 2012, it was only 5 percent. Today, that percentage has jumped to 20 percent.

Donor-study-graphic-610w_bottom

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Section: Blog

The Best Facebook Posts for Nonprofits

Section: Blog

Is your company on Facebook? Did you know that: so far in 2014, 95% of nonprofits have used Facebook for marketing and fundraising? Or, that onprofit communicators spend most of their time on e-newsletters and Facebook marketing? How about that fact hat despite studies shoeing that most Facebook Pages reach only 5% of their fans, the world’s largest social network still has incredible value?

Facebook is a marketing tool that nonprofit communicators should stick with invest in to create positive outcomes. Julia Campbell of J Campbell Social Marketing has come up with 5 kinds of Facebook posts that will work for all types of nonprofits.

  1. Interesting and Striking Photos – Don’t post just any old photos, post photos that elicit feelings and motivate people to act and help. You want people to be encouraged to learn more, donate, volunteer, or share with others.
  2. Links to outside websites and articles – Post to articles that have great content and is relevant to your followers. You want to be a source of information but also a trusted source.
  3. Content from other Pages – “The key is to curate thriving, engaging posts on other pages and piggyback on their success.” Share post from other Facebook Pages with your followers that may be useful or informative. This will not only establish trust with your current followers, but may gain you some new ones too.
  4. Questions, Polls, or Posts that entice Feedback – Encourage interaction on your page. Ask questions, take polls, or write an opinion that will elicit responses. This will help you get an idea of what your followers are interested in and help you respond accordingly.
  5. Impact Moments – Show your followers how your organization is making an impact. Whether through outside review, photos or videos, or testimonials, share with your followers how you’re making a difference and how you’re working towards your mission. These moments are special, enticing, and powerful.

 

To learn more about the 5 types of Facebook post that every Nonprofit should be utilizing, check out Julia Campbell’s article 5 Kinds of Facebook Posts That Work for Nonprofits – See more at:

 

Actual Fundraising is More Important Than Brand Awareness

Section: Blog

In a blog post titled Brand awareness is King! Or is it?, Sean Triner discusses why the traditional commercial approach to branding is not the best plan of attack when it comes to fundraising. Throughout his post, he explains how “money spent of brand awareness by a charity with a view to increasing fundraising income is absolutely and completely wasted”. Triner believes that when it comes to money, money should be spent on actual fundraising instead of raising brand awareness. Triner lays out three arguments as to why commercial brands and charities are not the same when it comes to investing money on pure brand awareness exercises.

1. We don’t spend enough – Triner claims that charities spending money on advertising would see its “unprompted awareness score hardly move”.

2. Good public fundraising raises awareness – amongst the right target audience – fundraising asks for money and builds awareness simultaneously while advertising builds awareness then ask for money.

3. The difference between consumers donating and purchasing commercial products is fundamentally different – This is Triner’s most important and developed argument. His main point is the difference is the ‘push-pull’ relationship. He notes that consumer brands spend millions on ‘top of mind’ marketing so that when consumers are faced with a choice, they choose what is always ‘on their mind’ or ‘in front of their face’. Charities, however, are different. Triner says, ‘ statistically speaking, people don’t give without being asked. The only exception is a media disaster story such as an earthquake…” The second part to this argument is the idea that effective fundraising builds brand awareness anyways, and, ” because of the income associated with it, this usually makes it more effective than any non-fundraising awareness activity.

In all, Triner believes actual fundraising is the best use of your budget than trying to raise brand awareness. Effective fundraising will build brand awareness as you fundraise and you’ll be making smarter decisions when it comes to spending your budget.

What do you think?

 

What To Do After Your Fundraising Event

Section: Blog

Ron Lahr, via a LinkedIn article, has come up with a few tips on what you should do right after your fundraising event to make the next one even better. (As noted by Lahr: I consider the event to be over when everyone has received their auction items (if there are any) and the money has been collected.)

So what to do next? Lahr tells us all about the next steps.

1. Information Is Power

Try to gather all the information you can and make sure you keep it safe for next year’s planning. Send your thank yous immediately to all people who donated, donated raffle items, volunteers, and attendees. Make phone calls and ask your board to help you in this task. Call everyone and say more than just ‘thank you’. Tell them about the ‘good’ that is coming from the event or other exciting news. Share with them the amount you raised and how their individual help is going to make a difference for your organization and the people and causes you help. Don’t forget to also analyze your information and data. Find out what didn’t work and what worked surprisingly well. Review everything and make sure you carry this new wealth of knowledge over to your next event.

2. Always Do An After Action Report

Gather the information, present it to your committee and board members, volunteers, and employees, and brainstorm improvements on how you can make the next event even better. What information can you carry over that will help the success rate of your next event? Document everything so that you don’t forget. As Lahr points out: “Institutional memory can be a weakness for any organization. You combat it with documentation.”

3. Relationship Building, As Always

Make a plan and schedule times for reaching out to those who help. You want to try to avoid only contacting people in your time of need, so focus on making periodic contact with donors, volunteers, and attendees. Connect via different methods: phone, email, social media, face-to-face, etc. Have others help you reach out as well. Ask board members or committee members  throughout the year to help you make contact and build these relationships. Make sure to document these contacts so that no one falls through the cracks.

To read Ron Lahr’s entire article and gain in-depth knowledge of exactly what you should be doing post-event, click here: What To Do After An Awesome Fundraising Event

7 Tips for Successful Fundraising Galas (and Events)

Section: Blog

Alison Silcoff, head of Alison Silcoff Events offers us seven tips on her “never to be broken” rules for fundraising galas (and events):

1. Make a respectable profit – “Fundraising is a business, and there are acceptable guidelines for the ratio of expenses to gross revenue. More than 50 percent is unacceptable”

2. Thank everyone – You can never go overboard when it comes to ‘Thank Yous’. Make sure you thank every single person who helped put on the event and who donated.

3. Fundraising is a service business – Treat your donors like stars. We conscious of their needs, wants, and listen to all of their ideas. They should be feel wanted and respected. They’re your lifeline.

4. Ensure all donor benefits are provided – Double-check that the amenities that come with your purchasing options are being followed through. Make sure people are getting what they paid for and their names/company names are spelled correctly.

5. Keep it fun – Aim for a fun and creative event. “Our guests go to many boring fundraising events each year. They are not in need of a free dinner!”

6. Comp tickets cost money – Your event is not a free event. All comped tickets cost money so make sure you are not giving away too many to volunteers, no matter how wonderful they have been throughout the process.

7. Handle volunteers with caution – Appreciate them but make sure they realize that as a volunteer they are here to help, not just party.

To read the full article and Silcoff’s in-depth insight on her 7 tips, visit: 7 Tips for Successful Fundraising Galas

Simple Tips for a Stellar Fundraising Campaign

Section: Blog

We’ve compiled some simple tips to get you on your way towards a stellar fundraising campaign. To maximize time, energy, and create the best possible outcome, follow these steps to success.

1. Plan. Plan. Plan. Planning and writing a campaign can take time and you’ll never accomplish all that you would like if you rush and don’t organize properly. Start by setting measurable goals and determine the best steps and methods for attaining each individual goal.

2. Research. Do your research while you plan. Figure out where you stand with your donors and you community and build your structure from that starting point. First, find out how much your community knows about you cause and why you need the help that you do. Are other organizations fighting the same fight you are? Find out if others are tackling the same issues or concerns, or at the very least, talking about them. Look into current events and see if your cause syncs up with a world event people are already talking about. Think outside of the box for new ways to get people talking, involved, and excited about your cause, message, and work.

3. Craft the Best Message Possible. Formulate a specific, detailed, and emotional message. Find out how to tap into potential donor’s emotions and figure out how to move people to action. Think about using media in a different way to get your message across. Maybe a heart-warming video or a heart-wrenching photo can assist your copy in catching the attention of potential givers. Don’t rely on just words, like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

4. Show Up for Work. Don’t give up. Make sure you see your campaign through to the end. Stellar campaigns require focus, determination, and organization throughout the whole process. Don’t get lazy. While preparation is most definitely important, following through is equally important as well.

SPOTLIGHT: ejMarketing’s Professional Design Services

Section: Blog

Some organizations have the benefit of an in-house designer or a graphic artist volunteer to create event materials, but most nonprofits do not have this luxury. With the shift to visual media both online and in print, the use of creative, consistent design is more and more important.

Design requirements for fundraising events have moved from what worked in print, to themes and colors that work with both formats, print and digital. To stay relevant, nonprofits must employ a digital strategy. Good design is inviting and provides the image of a successful event.

ejMarketing delivers professional graphic and design services that are affordable to nonprofits. Our designers bring solid experience to your project. They have worked in design agencies and marketing departments and have been trained at top educational institutions. Most importantly, our creative team knows fundraising events.

Our capabilities include, but are not limited to, the following: thematic and original designs, invitations, program booklets, event presentations, advertisements, event signage, email marketing, and ad design. With the ejMarketing, you can call us to provide materials for any event; even if you are not using one of our web solutions for that effort. ejMarketing makes Event Journal, Inc. the “go to” resource for all fundraising event marketing materials.

How to Make the Mobile Donation Process Easier for Users

Section: Blog

We have come up with 5 ways to make the mobile donation process easier for users. Follow these 5 easy steps to increase site usability and, in turn, increase donations.

1. Keep it simple. Mobile users like to scan and see things clearly. Remove the extra clutter, don’t make users scroll too much, and minimize the use of graphics so that load time is not too long. Clean design improves use and increases the overall impression of the site. This will boost conversion rates..
2. Keep everything short and sweet. Reduce the amount of copy on each page, and use headings, colors, or fonts to break up the text into sections. Avoid long paragraphs to keep a user’s attention and make sure calls-to-action are clear and prominent.
3. Make it snappy. Keep page load times under 5 seconds. Remove anything that might make pages load slow or fail to load at all.Opt for copy that is short, powerful, and compelling over flashy graphics that may not display appropriately on mobile devices.

4. Minimize data entry. Don’t waste a user’s time by forcing them to type in unnecessary information. This may cause users to abandon the site and you will lose out on donations. Use auto-fills when it is possible or allow for guest users instead of requiring signups (like many business to consumer sites allow).
5. Less Work = more donations. Overall, make it easy for mobile users to scan, scroll, and type within your site. This will make for a more enjoyable experience and a decrease in site abandonment due to things like long load times, long data entry processes, or over-saturation of content.

Fundraising Trends at the Mid-Year Mark

Section: Blog

Where does the data comes from?

The folks over at npENGAGE have compiled the data from The Blackbaud Index, a study on charitable giving, to determine how 2014 is stacking up against 2013. The index provides insights into fundraising trends on an annual basis and is also updated on the first of each month to show year-over-year percent changes. The Blackbaud Index compile fundraising data from more than 4,200 nonprofit organizations in the U.S. which is based on over $13.6 billion in fundraising revenue.

So, how has fundraising performed in 2014 so far?

  • Overall giving was up 1.6% for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same time period in 2013 – See more at: npENGAGE
  • Public and Society Benefit nonprofits and charities have seen the largest year-over-year growth and K-12 Education has actually seen a decrease in overall giving for the first 6 months.

Let’s check out the Online Fundraising trends

The Blackbaud Index measure online giving data separately as well. From over 3,300 nonprofits representing over $1.7 billion in online fundraising, data is analyzed and compared to 2013 statistics.

  • npENGAGE found that online giving was up 8% for the first half of 2014 compared to 2013.
  • Healthcare, Higher Education, and Arts and Culture all saw double-digit increases in giving
  • No category saw a decrease in online fundraising – all categories saw a growth varying from 1.6% to 13.7%

What does all of this ‘fundraising trends’ data means?

A per npENGAGE:

The mid-year trends in both overall and online giving are positive for most nonprofit organizations. The slight increases so far might be a sign of leveling out after two years of solid fundraising recovery. The mid-year trends in 2013 were a bit more positive, but there were several factors at play including the economy, stock market, and domestic natural disasters.

The word “cautious optimism” might be a good way to describe the fundraising outlook for the rest of 2014. So much of it depends on how well nonprofit organizations have learned to focus on building relationships and retaining donors following the recession.

– See more at: npENGAGE