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Archive for the ‘eFundraising’ Category

esearchMore than 76,000 nonprofits are now using GoodSearch.com and GoodShop.com to earn funds with every search of the web and every purchase! More than 100 new groups are joining daily! Success stories include: – The ASPCA has earned more than $24,000 – The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has earned close to $11,000 – Save Darfur has earned more than $10,000.

Read more about GoodSearch and GoodShop in the NY Times, Oprah Magazine, CNN and more…

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Grassroots.org, www.grassroots.org, a nonprofit technology organization, and SEO.com, www.seo.com, a consulting company in Lehi, Utah, are offering free two-hour telephone consultations to help nonprofit organizations improve their visibility on Internet search-engine listing. For more information: Go to www.grassroots.org.

Why bother improving your online web presence? Because a recent study by Harris Interactive and Mindshare Interactive Campaigns found that nearly 40 percent of people who support nonprofit organizations either as a donor, volunteer, or advocate report that they consult online sources of charity information before making donations. You can read the study’s findings: here.

That’s why!

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy, September 9, 2007

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online-donationThe Nonprofit Times produces an excellent, weekly e-newsletter with practical information on managing your organization. The following appeared in the September 4, 2007 issue. I am pleased to share it with you.

Moses had the 10 Commandments after coming down from Mount Sinai. Katya Andresen, Arlin Wasserman, Jonathon D. Colman and Matthew Degalan did not have any such earthshaking encounter, but they did offer their 10 Rules for Online Engagement Today at a recent national conference on nonprofit marketing.

  1. Engage in online cross-channel promotion. Email your donors before they receive postal mail appeals. On the telephone, offer your donors the option to donate online. Send emails to your best donors.
  2. Make marketing a conversation. It is not a monologue.
  3. Be accessible and easy, encouraging, intimate. Ask, don’t just tell. Respond in kind.
  4. Show accountability. Create an accountability report and include it on your site.
  5. Make it easy for people to find you. Search engines bring in a high percentage of visitors. At least 60 million American adults use search engines each day.
  6. Segment your way to success. Find common groups, analyze their actions and target your messaging.
  7. Test, test, test. You wouldn’t buy a car without taking a look at it, so why would you make a design change to your site or email without testing it? Find the time.
  8. Make your supporters the messengers. Friends and family motivate 76 percent of donors. Donors are experts at knowing how to speak about your cause to friends and family.
  9. Offer recurring giving.
  10. Don’t only ask. Thank and inspire too. Continue the conversation.

I encourage you to sign up for their free, weekly e-newsletter: Use the subscription link here.

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bill-of-rightsAn “E-Donor Bill of Rights” is being created to address concerns and challenges arising from Internet charitable giving.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is working with other philanthropic organizations as well as online service providers to ensure that online donors have greater confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support.

The E-Donor Bill of Rights is intended to relate to AFP’s long-standing Donor Bill of Rights, created in 1993 by AFP in conjunction with other fundraising and nonprofit groups. The document was developed to ensure donor awareness of the responsibilities that a charity has to its donors, and the expectations that donors should have of charities when making a charitable gift. The AFP Donor Bill of Rights lists ten rights that a donor has–ten best practices that all charities and donors should be always aware of.

Since the creation of the Donor Bill of Rights, the philanthropic landscape has changed dramatically. One critical change has been the growing use of technology to facilitate charitable giving, primarily through the Internet. While the Internet holds great potential as a charitable giving tool, it also creates new challenges — both for the donor and the charity. Because the Internet is such a new medium for giving, best practices are just beginning to be identified, and many donors and charities are unsure as to their online rights and responsibilities.

Principles of the E-Donor Bill of Rights

The E-Donor Bill of Rights is intended to complement the original document and provide further and more detailed guidance for the new world of online giving. In addition to the rights outlined in the Donor Bill of Rights, online donors should demand the following of their online solicitors:

  • To be clearly and immediately informed of the organization’s name, identity, nonprofit or for-profit status, its mission, and purpose when first accessing the organization’s website.
  • To have easy and clear access to alternative contact information other than through the website or email.
  • To be assured that all third-party logos, trademarks, trustmarks and other identifying, sponsoring, and/or endorsing symbols displayed on the website are accurate, justified, up-to-date, and clearly explained.
  • To be informed of whether or not a contribution entitles the donor to a tax deduction, and of all limits on such deduction based on applicable laws.
  • To be assured that all online transactions and contributions occur through a safe, private, and secure system that protects the donor’s personal information.
  • To be clearly informed if a contribution goes directly to the intended charity, or is held by or transferred through a third party.
  • To have easy and clear access to an organization’s privacy policy posted on its website and be clearly and unambiguously informed about what information an organization is gathering about the donor and how that information will be used.
  • To be clearly informed of opportunities to opt out of data lists that are sold, shared, rented, or transferred to other organizations.
  • To not receive unsolicited communications or solicitations unless the donor has “opted in” to receive such materials.

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Email is an awesome tool to use in your Holiday and year-end fundraising appeals. Writing good email starts with the basics of writing good copy – you must have a story to tell, offer a compelling reason to give, and use clear and persuasive language. Here are five steps to writing email that will be read:

  1. Your subject line is key to email success: Capture your readers’ attention and convince them that your email should be read. And do this in 1 to 2 seconds. Given the difference in browsers, limit your entire subject line (including spaces) to no more than 50 characters. Here are some examples of great subject lines:
    • Send a blanket to Indonesian flood victims
    • The movie President Bush doesn’t want you to see
    • Before Christmas: It’s beginning to look a lot like justice . . .
  2. Make your email scannable – this means. Write short sentences and short paragraphs. Provide numerous links to your donation page. In addition to copy, use a graphic insert telling your readers what to do. Use bullets. Don’t overuse bold and italics. Don’t use underlying (that’s just for hyperlinks).
  3. Keep it simple and short – this means: Use as few words as possible to state your case; limit your key points to one of two. Avoid the history of your appeal (this isn’t the time for background information)
  4. Be aware of “preview panes” – this means: Most readers won’t get past the part of your email visible there. This first impression is critical to your success. Treat those top few inches of copy and design as precious real estate. Tell your whole story right there.
  5. Keep the medium in mind – this means: Emails tend to be more causal than print. Salutations and closing are typically more relaxed: Hello Bill. Email copywriters tend to use more causal terms than in direct mail. For example:
    • Direct mail: We were truly overwhelmed by the generous response to our request.
    • Email: Wow! You overwhelmed us (and that’s hard to do)!

Remember the key to good writing is: specific, clear and forceful

Contact us for some professional help putting together your year-end fundraising campaign.

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In late 2005, dotOrganize conducted a research effort to map the current state of online technology for the social change sector. Over nine months, researchers gathered input from more than 400 social change groups, technology providers, and nonprofit technology capacity builders. The results of this research were released on September 15, 2006. A significant finding regards the cohesive management of data. Consider the following:

THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM: DATA DISARRAY

  • Inadequate data management is a major impediment to effective organizing. More than half of the respondents report using slips of paper, Excel spreadsheets, and personal address books to manage organizational data.
  • A lack of data integration is another serious problem. “Dueling databases” is a constant problem causing serious errors and time spent on manual data entry and manual synching. Only 7% of respondents report that their current systems share data easily.
  • A comprehensive and flexible list of supporters is seen as an essential tool for organization. Yet this remains drastically underutilized. 55% of respondents report that they don’t keep emails lists at all.
  • 70% of survey respondents stated that data integration was their key obstacle and needed solution to using technology effectively.
  • One of the areas hardest hit by data disarray is contact management. This includes the need to keep track of information about supporters, potential volunteers, and a myriad of stakeholders.
  • Interestingly, large annual budgets have little relationship to the ease of data integration. Organizations with budgets over $4 million were nearly as likely as those with budgets under $100,000 to report maintaining separate systems without easy data integration.
  • When asked how long it would take to assemble a clean list of their constituents, only 34% could do this in under an hour. 47% reported it could take anywhere from 3 to 25 hours to complete their simple task.

Take away: Put all of your contacts into one, online database and segment your list based on relationships (e.g. members, prospects, special event attendees, donors, volunteers, public relations contacts, elected officials, etc.)

Checkout these affordable and robust online data management tools here.

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On the Wilder Side blog posts a great summary of Network for Good’s pointers for Getting More Donations on Line This Holiday. As you plan your year-end fundraising strategies, consider these points:

Make the Gift Real: 
This year, get innovative in how you show the potential impact of your donors’ gifts. If they donate $50, what will happen? Tie donations to results that have a human face. You can also set a campaign dollar goal and communicate it to your donors so they can also see the collective impact at stake.

Make It Easy to Give:
Whenever you communicate with your donors electronically, place a prominent, impossible-to-miss “Donate Now” button in front of them. Consider changing the button image to something festive for the giving season. Put your button all over your web site, in every email and newsletter. It makes giving easy and irresistible!

Ask for Recurring Gifts:
Ask donors to sign up for monthly giving, with automatic credit card payments every month. This will lead to higher total gifts and ensures your charity a more predictable stream of resources in the year to come. It also establishes a recurring touch point with your donor through automated receipts, helping you build a stronger relationship with supporters.

Be Brief:
The holidays are a busy time, and donors don’t want massive amounts of information. Less is more! Ask them for their support simply and succinctly.

Contact us for some professional help putting together your year-end fundraising campaign.

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