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Meet the Event Journal Team: Bill

Section: Blog

The second in a continuing series of team member profiles:

NAME: William Frank
TITLE: Director of Client Services
YEARS AT EVENT JOURNAL: 3 1/2

Faster than a search engine! Cooler than a cucumber! Able to leap over tight deadlines in a single bound! Yes, it’s Bill Frank, who came to Event Journal with powers and abilities far beyond those of mere mortal men. Bill Frank, who can positively change the course of any project, manage complex details with his bare hands, and who, disguised as our mild-mannered Director of Client Services, fights a never-ending battle to help nonprofits raise more and stress less. While he may not flaunt his cape around the office, anyone who has worked with Bill knows he is most definitely a super hero.

In his own words:

WHAT MAKES EVENT JOURNAL UNIQUE: Because fundraising is so important and challenging, we make at least one part of it easier … running a successful fundraiser. Event Journal is more than a solutions provider. We are an invested partner in client success. We cultivate strong partnerships — from discovery meetings to day-to-day support and post-event evaluation. We uncover opportunities that broaden the ways nonprofit organizations meet their objectives. Our unique blend of proven technology and industry expertise helps our clients to streamline work processes and raise more money.

WHAT IS A CHARITY YOU PERSONALLY STAND BEHIND AND WHY? Homelessness is a particular focus because the road back to self-sufficiency is particularly hard and its impact on children is both long-ranging and especially traumatic. I support organizations like NYC Rescue Mission, which offers both spiritual and emotional support, job guidance and recovery, maximizing every dollar they bring in to feed those who seek their care. Working for Event Journal, I am glad that my job allows me to be part of a team that provides support for organizations such as Covenant House who do so much for homeless teens.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PET: I have a cat named Scrambles, a feral cat I rescued one winter out of a polar vortex. She has since up-ended my life and home — and we’re inseparable friends.

50 Fascinating Philanthropy Statistics

Section: Blog

Blackbaud launched a new website compiling 50 of the most up-to-date statistics from the nonprofit sector, including data on giving, fundraising tactics, donor characteristics, platform and device information.

Here are a few salient facts:

• 72% of charitable giving comes from individuals
• 15% of charitable giving comes from foundations
• 5% of charitable giving comes from corporations
• 31% of charitable giving is faith-based
• 68% of nonprofit appeals require three or more clicks to make a donaton
• 73% of nonprofit appeals do not offer a “share” option after an online donation

Click here to view 50 Fascinating Philanthropy Statistics.

Digital Journals a Major Breakthrough for Nonprofits

Section: Blog

Laura Wertkin, a branding and marketing consultant to nonprofit organizations recently shared a blog in praise of the digital ad journal. The blog was a result of an extensive interview with Event Journal founder and president Karen Perry-Weinstat. In her blog, Laura outlines the many benefits the e-journal has over the traditional printed journal, which gets “strewn about on the floor after the event.” Here are some of the benefits she outlines:

1) A digital event journal can stay online for year-round presence, not just during the event. Compare this to the short shelf life of the printed journal.

2) A typical online journal receives 5-10 times more unique viewers than number of guests at the event.

3) Sponsors easily submit ads directly to the digital platform, eliminating the need for someone to receive ads by email and then place them manually by level.

4) The virtual journal can be turned into a presentation to run on the big screen at events, giving sponsors visibility before, during and after the event.

5) The event journal can become the go-to place to find all event information. Online event journals also have the capability for registration and event photo galleries.

6) Sponsors can submit ads right up until the day of the event, which means potentially more money raised.

7) Extensive back-end reports detail information on registered guests, donations and ad submissions.

Event Journal provides fundraising event websites, e-journals and digital marketing solutions to help nonprofits raise more money. Read this article in its entirety on LinkedIn.

Email Subject Lines from Year-End Appeals

Section: Blog

Steve MacLaughlin of NP Engage shared his informal annual review of year-end fundraising subject lines. The list is diverse! Steve reviewed 445 email messages sent from 75 different nonprofits during the month of December. Of the 445 emails, 28% were sent during the last five days of the month.

Words like “gift” and “holiday” were very popular. “GivingTuesday” was referenced in 22 of the email subject lines. #GivingTuesday campaigns continue to grow in email volume each year. In 2014, there were 51 emails sent by 41 different nonprofit organizations on #GivingTuesday. That was a significant increase from 2013. Only 2% of fundraising email subject lines promoted a tax deduction.

A good subject line is just one part of the success equation. Getting the right message to the right people at the right time is still critical. And with more than 50% of all emails now opened on a mobile device it’s vital to be mobile friendly. But, at the end of the day, the main barometer of success is whether or not the email resulted in a donation.

Read the subject lines and learn Steve’s favorites and why on his NP Engage Blog.

Manage Social Media At Your Next Event

Section: Blog

While most non-profits have a presence on social media, are you managing your social media in real time during an event? This is a great opportunity attract attention for your event. According to Martha C. White at BizBash.com, here are eight steps to create a foolproof social media response strategy:

1. Designate and Empower Monitors
Don’t get so busy with event planning that you forget to delegate this task to someone on the team. If your event is big, consider drafting volunteers for live blogging and tweeting, blow-by-blow, akin to a reporter covering the event.

2. Create a Command Center
Your social media hub should be in the middle of the action, with an adequate power supply, the best seats and a vantage point in the house and stage.

3. Define Your Voice
Create a tone, character and persona for monitors to use. This is most important if you plan to have multiple people, especially volunteers, communicating on the group’s behalf.

4. Make it Personal
Communicate as if you are speaking to a friend or family member to avoid sounding like an institution. Be authentic! Respond to people that tweet or comment by name.

5. Expect the Unexpected
Even with the best planning, the unexpected can happen. Imagine possible scenarios—a power outage, bad weather, a shortage of some key item—and craft responses ahead of time.

6. Put Twitter First
Twitter is the best medium for live reporting. This doesn’t mean you should neglect Facebook and Instagram, but tweets are the language of real-time social media conversation.

7. Woo Influencers
A celebrity with a huge following on Twitter or an entrepreneur whose LinkedIn posts are devoured by the business community can add exponentially to your event’s reach.

8. Go Beyond Your Platform
Attendees will talk on their platforms about your event. Monitor social media for mentions. Since some people might mention the event without using its proper name or Twitter handle, run searches on Twitter for your group’s name, the event name, and other similar terms.

Read this article in its entirety at BizBash.com

7 Friends Every Successful Event Planner Needs

Section: Blog

Bethany Smith of Event Manager Blog shares a list: 7 Friends Every Successful Event Planner Needs, which includes a copywriter, a graphic designer and a destination management company. We’d like to add an 8th entry to her list: a digital marketing partner. Working with a team of dedicated, experienced professionals to manage the intricacies of marketing your event, attracting attendees, promoting the event to potential donors can make you look like a rock star.

Event Journal, Inc. provides this marketing guidance to nonprofit organizations for their major fundraising events. Our 13 years’ experience working exclusively with nonprofits has given us the insight and experience to affect a difference in promoting your organization’s events. Our microsites help build excitement months in advance of the event date, serving as a portal for all event information, online purchases, donations and ad reservations.

Our flagship product is the digital e-journal (seen both online and at the event), a perfect vehicle to promote your event to a nationwide contingent of supporters. An e-journal has the potential to greatly expand the scope of your donor base – reaching 5-10 times the audience than the number of actual guests at your event. It adds significant value to your sponsorship packages to ultimately help you raise more funds. At the event, the journal comes to life digitally on presentation screens, giving each sponsor the limelight throughout the night.
See the Event MB website to read this article in its entirety.

Meet the Event Journal Team: Courtney

Section: Blog

The first in a continuing series of team member profiles:

NAME: Courtney Randall, aka Kirby
TITLE: Graphic Artist/Production Specialist
YEARS AT EVENT JOURNAL: 3 years and, 8 months

Kirby is our resident fashion plate and a die-hard Giants fan. As one of our key designers, he remains unflappable in the face of heavy-volume and tight deadlines.

In his own words:

WHAT MAKES EVENT JOURNAL UNIQUE: What I find so unique is how close-knit we are as a group. If someone in the company needs help, we personally extend ourselves. When our Production Manager had major flood damage from Hurricane Sandy, several of us volunteered our free time to help remove damaged items. We also do after work events together like supporting charity events or playing volleyball and billiards.

FUNNY OR INTERESTING STORY ABOUT A CLIENT PROJECT: When I first started working at Event Journal, one of the first projects I worked on was the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – LI Man and Woman of the Year event. Coincidentally, my friend was a candidate to be honored as Man of the Year that very same year. It was just one of those moments in which worlds collide!

TELL US ABOUT A CHARITY OR CAUSE YOU STAND BEHIND AND WHY? For the last 5 years my friend and I have hosted a charity bar crawl in NYC. We raise money from the event t-shirts I design to donate to charity. In the past we have donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, Movember and the American Cancer Society. Our 10th annual “Brody & Kirby Bar Crawl” will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 2pm-1am. We are slated to visit ten bars on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and expect anywhere from 35-45 people. It is free to join us, we just ask that you purchase a t-shirt.

This year we are donating proceeds to the American Brain Tumor Association in memory of our friend Jack Christensen who, at 35, lost his life to complications of a brain tumor. The mission of the American Brain Tumor Association is to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors to improve, extend and save the lives of those impacted.

For those who wish to join our efforts, view our Bar Crawl Map or email me directly.

To learn about the company please visit EventJournal.com.

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.