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Fundraising via Email: 2014 Benchmarks Study Results

Section: Blog

M+R and Nonprofit Technology Network have all the data you need on nonprofit fundraising. The infographic created with data from the 2014 Benchmarks Study gives insight into fundraising via email and its related campaign stats. Complete with stats on open rates, click-through rates, increase in online gifts, increase in individual gift size, increase in social media followers, etc. are all included in the infographic for easy understanding of the importance of email lists and campaigns.

To download the complete study: 2014 M+R Benchmarks Study

2014 M+R Benchmarks Infographic

Plan Now: End of Year Online Fundraising

Section: Blog

The below infographic via Salsa shows how important end of the year online fundraising is for total donations acquired. The last three months of the year comprised about 46% of the year’s total donations received and proves to be the most important time of the year for nonprofit to hit their yearly goals.

Key Facts:

– The number of donations in December is 136% more than the average monthly online donation
– 30% of the last quarter’s total donations comes from the LAST week in December
– Quarter 4 makes up almost half of the year’s total donations
– Not only do donors want to give this time of year, they tend to want to give more

End of Year Fundraising Infographic via Salsa

To visit Salsa’s site and learn more about End of Year Online Fundraising: Salsa Labs Blog

The Science Behind Emotions and Actions (& Its Importance in Fundraising)

Section: Blog

An article in the MIT Technology Review excerpts an interview with neuroscientist Antonio Demasio. He found that “consciousness… emerges from emotions and feelings.” Damazio’s insight into the brain’s reactionary functions are controlled by the emotional responses. “His insight, dating back to the early 1990s, stemmed from the clinical study of brain lesions in patients unable to make good decisions because their emotions were impaired, but whose reason was otherwise unaffected.” Damasio found that patients with brain lesions that made them unable to experience emotions, with no other impairment, were not able to make appropriate or ‘good’ decisions. Without emotions, patients found it hard to act at all.

As Damasio explains, “This is the world of life regulation – homeostasis – that I am so interested in, and it covers a wide range of body states. There is an action program of thirst that leads you to seek water when you are dehydrated, but also an action program of fear when you are threatened. Once the action program is deployed and the brain has the possibility of mapping what has happened in the body, then that leads to the emergence of the mental state. During the action program of fear, a collection of things happen in my body that change me and make me behave in a certain way whether I want to or not. As that is happening to me, I have a mental representation of that body state as much as I have a mental representation of what frightened me.” Humans have a special way of dealing with feelings that most animals do not – we have an intellect around those feelings and we can make use of those feelings. That ‘use’ is action.

In fundraising, we’ve know to focus on emotions when trying to reach our to prospective or current donors for the ‘ask’… and know you know why. Human emotions rule our actions and there is now scientific proof to back up that statement. If our goal, as fundraisers, is to move people into action – either donating or volunteering – we must focus on triggering their emotions in order to see the results we seek.

To read the entire Q+A with neuroscientist Anotnio Demasio, check out the article in the MIT Technology Review: Q+A Antonio Damasio

 

How Does Your Fundraising Event Stack Up Against the Competition?

Section: Blog

Do you often wonder how your fundraising event stacks up against other nonprofits’? Recently, Blackbaud released a version of the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Benchmark Report that gives event fundraisers the data they need to compare their events against other similar events in the industry. While the data was pulled from 2012, the results and conclusions are still relevant to today. npENGAGE came up with a great infographic to break it all down for us and show us just how our events are stacking up. This infographic gives insight into fundraising events like walk and runs that have become a staple in event registration site. Check out Event Journal’s ejEventSites to learn more about how we can help you raise more with your next fundraising event.

2012 P2P Benchmark Infographic How does your Fundraising Event Measure Up?  [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Your Nonprofit Can Gain Exposure Through Social Media

Section: Blog

Jenn Maffeo, for Fundraising Success, came up with 5 Ways Nonprofits Can Gain Exposure Through Social Media to read her entire article, click here.

Identify and connect with people related to your cause – Just starting out? Follow all complimentary nonprofit and partnership organizations. Add them to your list and interact. Respond to their content and give helpful insight. Develop relationships and keep up-to-date with what is going on with items related to your cause.

Use  visual and compelling ways to tell your story – Social media is all about the visual. You need to get your message out quickly and with purpose. Using photos is the best way to get content re-tweeted or re-posted and users are more apt to share visually stimulating photos rather than just text.

Don’t let you content marketing strategy get stale – Create infographics, take personal photos of your nonprofit in action, use inspirational quotes, etc. Don’t just rely on the same type of content. To keep current donors and gain new ones, staying fresh will keep people intrigued.

Don’t forget to reach out (and always say please and thank you!) – ‘Asking’ isn’t just for donations. Ask supporters to support you on social media. Ask for re-tweets, shares, likes, or re-posts to create a supportive community. It will create awareness that you just couldn’t create on your own and “your next donation could be a social post away!”.

Promote everything by using #hashtags – Using hashtags enable you to engage and track content related to your cause or event. Use your hashtag across all your marketing strategies – even in print – and encourage others to engage and share.

As Jenn points out: ” Gaining traction on social media takes time. Remember that social media in essence is social, so it should be constructed as conversational and friendly outreach. Try new things, and have fun engaging with your supporters.”

10 Tips to Make More Money & Have More Fun

Section: Blog

By now, most of the spring events have passed and we’re all gearing up for the large events for fall and the holiday season. It’s never too early to start planning and Gail Perry of Fired Up Fundraising has come up with 10 tips to help you make more money, all while having a lot more fun!

BEFORE THE EVENT

1. Put together a fun, diverse committee – Your committee is what Perry calls your “social branding” for the party. They will be the people reaching out on the organization’s behalf to invite people to attend, sponsor, donate, and support your event. Make sure you put together a group of different professions, ages, and types of people, from all over, to help spread the news.

2. Get your sponsorships – Sponsorships are the #1 factor in making more money. It takes plenty of lead time to develop a relationship and close the deal. Start close to the heart of the organization and branch out from there.

3. Give VIPs special encouragement to come – Make sure your VIPs are enticed to come to your event. Give them a special table, tell them you want to make them an introduction, etc. Make it easy for your VIPs to attend and give them something special they just can’t turn down.

AT THE EVENT

1. Right sized venue – There is nothing worse than a venue that is too large; it makes it seem not enough people showed up. It is always better to caution on the smaller size. When the room is crowded, “it feels like something is really happening”.

2. Turn down the lights – No one looks good in glaring fluorescent lights. By turning down the lights, you can create a better mood and atmosphere… and everyone looks much better too!

3. Abundant food and drink – Don’t ever run out of food. There is nothing worse than hungry, irritable guests. Make sure there is an abundant amount of food, with an attractive looking spread.

4. Cute young people – A large range of ages and people will keep your event some depth. Older and younger people alike, enjoy meeting, chatting. and sharing stories. By mixing the old and young you can forge new relationships and give your party some interest and glamour.

5. Welcoming attitude – Have your board members act as hosts. Make sure every guest is welcomed as if they are incredibly special.

6. Try a raffle – Raffles add a fun element to an event and you would be surprised at how much cash a raffle can attribute towards your fundraising goal.

7. Next year’s chair – Find next year’s chair at this year’s event. They will be in the middle of a fun party atmosphere, which makes it easier for them to say ‘yes’ to next year’s party.

AFTER THE EVENT

1. Thank everyone – your sponsors, top purchasers of auction items, lead volunteers, major donors, etc.

For more information on how make more money and have more fun, check out Gail Perry’s article, in it’s entirety, here: Top 10 Tips to Make More Money, Have More Fun at Your Fundraising Event

For information on how Event Journal can help you raise more money with your fundraising event, check out our customizable Four Solutions

How to Create a Hashtag to Build Engagement for Your Event

Section: Blog

What is a hashtag?

A Hashtag is a word or an un-spaced phrase directly following a number sign (#). It is a form of a metadata tag that turns your phrase or word into a searchable link. This allows people to organize content and track discussions based on those particular keywords.

Why should I use a hashtag for my event?

By using a hashtag in promotions, comments, and all other marketing strategies, you can make it easy for attendees and supporters to interact with you, your event, and other people involved.

Kristen Curtiss of Constant Contact has come up with some great tips for hashtags, from picking out the best one for your event, to implementing it before, during, and after. Follow her advice via Social Media Today to get the most out of your hashtag marketing efforts.

How do I choose a hashtag?

Make sure you research your hashtag first. If it has been used recently, pick another hashtag. Keep the hashtag short too – Twitter only allows for 140 characters and you want to allow people to get their message across without having your hashtag take up too many characters. Lastly, make it memorable! You want your supporters to be able to remember the hashtag associated with your event without them having to look it up every time they want to talk about your event.

How will anyone know about my hashtag?

  • Before your event – Build awareness and include your hashtag in all social media promotions of your event. Track your hashtag and thank people who are using your hashtag. Make sure to include your hashtag on all registration and print materials as well.
  • During your event – Create conversations and entice others to use your hashtag at the event. Programs like tweetbeam.com will show your hashtag and user tweets in real-time on a screens using a projection. Ask your speakers and honorees to use your hashtag and get the conversations going. And, don’t forget to join in yourself!
  • After your event – Keep the conversation going by writing digital thank yous or by following up with great takeaways from the event. Post pictures from the event using the hashtag and tag supporters in them so that others stay involved too.

How do I manage my event hashtag?

Make sure you periodically look up your hashtag and moderate its use. If someone asks a question, you want to be there to answer.

For more information regarding hashtags and event promotion, read Curtiss’ full article: Creating a Hashtag to Build Engagement at Your Event

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: eventjournal.com

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.

oNLINE

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 Backgroundchecks.org. She welcomes your comments at her email id: [email protected].