February 8, 2016

How to Double Online Giving in Six Months

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More and more nonprofit donations take place in today’s digital landscape, but how can causes ensure their online storefront is not only open for business, but optimized?

 

As I explored this critical issue in my new book, Nonprofit Fundraising 101, I interviewed Roderick Campbell, the CEO of nonprofit fundraising platform CommitChange. He shared a few takeaways from their efforts to maximize digital donations for Mercy House, a $3.8M nonprofit that has provided housing and support to California’s homeless since 1989.

 

This simple formula helped Mercy House double online giving in just six months, and I believe it can do the same for your nonprofit, too:

 

  1. Break it Down: CommitChange helped Mercy House break the donation process down into four steps: recurring versus one-time; amount; info; and payment. Instead of asking for the information all at once, they simplified the process, which is especially helpful for digital donors contributing on their mobile device. Another great example of what this looks like is charity: water, also profiled in the book.

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February 1, 2016

Facebook Live Video for Nonprofits

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Caroline Avakian Headshot final

Facebook recently added the ability to livestream (live video) on Facebook, catching up to the explosive popularity of livestreaming apps like Periscope. While Facebook Live was recently only available for celebrities and then some early livestreaming adopters, it has now rolled out this feature to everyone with an iPhone in the US, and plans are that Facebook will roll this out to the rest of the world in the coming weeks. We can only predict that a version for Android will be coming soon as well. Now, the thing is that Facebook Live Video is available only for individual profiles and for verified pages. Verified pages receive those little round, blue checkmarks right next to their names.

So what does all this mean for nonprofits who rely on Facebook to communicate with their Facebook fan communities? Here’s a quick breakdown:

 

The How-To:

  • The most important thing to know is that even if your nonprofit has a Facebook page, it doesn’t mean you can start broadcasting. Your nonprofit’s Facebook page needs to be a verified page (at least for now), in order to use this new feature. Here’s how you can start the verification process for your organization’s page.
  • You can only broadcast from your iPhone, not your PC or desktop. As you’ll see the live video icon will only appear on your Facebook status update bar on your mobile phone.
  • As of this publishing date, Facebook Live Video is available only for US-based iPhone, but a little experimenting with the app over the weekend helped me figure out that your Android-user fans/friends, also get a Facebook notification when you go live and can watch, as do iOS users.
  •  Here’s a photo of where to find it on your status update bar

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January 18, 2016

2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends [INFOGRAPHIC]

Comm Trends

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Are you curious how your nonprofit’s marketing stacks up against your peers? Which marketing channels are most important to your peers? Do you share the same challenges faced by your peers?

All of these questions are answered in the Nonprofit Marketing Guides’ 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report.

Highlights include:

  • Top goals for nonprofit communication directors in 2016: brand awareness & engaging community.
  • Your website is still the most important communications channel.
  • Facebook, Twitter and YouTube remain the top three social media sites for nonprofits.
  • Your peers are posting to Facebook at least once a day.
  • The goals of Executive Directors are more aligned with Development than Communications.
  • 59% of nonprofits will pay for Facebook advertising in 2016.
  • Recipe for nonprofit comm success? More dedicated staff, bigger budgets and more internal cooperation.

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January 4, 2016

5 Nonprofit Predictions for 2016

NONPROFIT PREDICTIONS 2016

Caroline Avakian Headshot final

Predictions are a tricky thing. They’re mostly comprised of strong currents of the present, past habits and a big dose of educated guessing. When it comes to nonprofits, there’s also an element of hopefulness that’s thrown in, at least in my list of predictions for 2016.

2015 has seen much innovation in technology and communication. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were recently approved and organizations and countries have started working towards the newly revamped goals. We’ve also seen the world change dramatically – terrorism in all its new iterations is ever present, and we’ll be seeing how nonprofits and global development and relief organizations respond to the current challenges on and off the ground. Here are my predictions for 2016 that reflect our changing global dynamics and expectations.

Social Media – Both large and small social good organizations will be capitalizing on hashtags in much more proactive and creative ways. We’ll be seeing more organizations use mainstream hashtags that aren’t necessarily exclusive to the nonprofit sector, such as #finance #innovation and #smallbiz to inject themselves into digital conversations that are related to their causes. We’re also going to be seeing the hashtags #globalgoals and #SDGS become increasingly popular unifying hashtags as social good organizations and countries come together to work on the newly approved United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We’re also starting to see nonprofits dip their toes into social livestreaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat, and the capacity it has to take us to places and share experiences largely unseen by supporters and donors.

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December 14, 2015

Asana for Nonprofits: How to Manage your Direct Mail Schedule

ASANA FOR DM

As a nonprofit fundraiser (and communications officer and technologist and…), I’ve developed sharp project management skills – it’s the key to wearing all of the hats!

My favorite project management tool for nonprofits is Asana, a web-based “teamwork without email” platform.

I use Asana to manage our direct mail fundraising and communications processes – a series of critical deadlines involving multiple team members and vendors – with ease.

Here’s how you can manage your nonprofit’s direct mail process with Asana, too:

1. Create a new project for your mailing

Start by setting up a new project in Asana. Write a descriptive title and include the drop date in the title. Using a standard naming convention will make it easier for you to keep track of multiple mailings. For example: Direct mail: Summer newsletter – 6/20/16

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December 11, 2015

A Facebook Donate Button for the News Feed that Might Actually Work!

A-Facebook-Donate-Button-for-The-News-Feed-That-Might-Actually-Work

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Facebook is testing a new fundraising app that just might make giving as “social” as liking, commenting, and sharing.

Called “Fundraisers”, the app will include a set of fundraising features for charities and nonprofits:

 

  • Share fundraising campaigns with Page followers
  • Use photos and video to tell fundraising stories
  • Track progress toward a campaign or project
  • Update supporters when fundraising goals are achieved
  • Customize donation amounts
  • Get donations via credit card or PayPal

But this isn’t the first time Facebook has dabbled with fundraising features:

Facebook Donate Button for Ebola

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