February 11, 2013

Nonprofits: Focus on donor retention in 2013

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Takeaways from Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report

John HaydonBlackbaud’s just-published 2013 Charitable Giving Report shows that small nonprofits, with annual total fundraising of less than $1 million, grew their fundraising by 7.3 percent compared to 2011.

These small guys blew away the large nonprofits who only grew 0.3 percent!

Five key observations from the 2012 Charitable Giving Report: Continue reading

September 19, 2012

6 simple steps to create a Facebook page that just works

Tips for leveraging the power of Facebook at your nonprofit or school

Target audience: Nonprofits, universities, colleges, associations (including alumni associations), cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, Web publishers — and anyone with a Facebook page.

Guest post by Frank Barry
Director, Professional Services, Blackbaud

We already know that Facebook is crushing it, and that schools have an incredible opportunity to use the platform to deepen relationships with families, students and alumni. But is your school or nonprofit getting the most out of the platform? Are you using Facebook to its full potential?

Based on what I’ve seen I’d say there’s a high likelihood that you’re not.

But there is hope!

Among the countless schools I found using Facebook poorly, there were plenty of shining examples of schools doing a great job of utilizing Facebook to build lasting relationships with families, students and alumni (both university and K-12).

Here are some of the key findings and takeaways from my recent presentation on how schools can leverage Facebook.. Keep in mind that these tips also apply to any nonprofits trying to effectively use Facebook as part of their online strategy. Continue reading

July 16, 2012

4 kinds of online personas your nonprofit needs to deal with

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, brands.

John HaydonBlackbaud recently published a guide called How to Identify and Empower Those Who Can Engage an Entire Community that includes information about four distinct nonprofit social media personas.

To help you better understand these personas, they also published a handy infographic, which I sliced and diced below. Here are the four basic groups of people you need to engage with in social media:

Key influencers

1Key influencers are widely read, and their updates are shared by more people than posts generated by any other group. These folks comprise about 1 percent of your online community. Along with Engagers,  they create about 80 percent of the online content in your community.

Engagers

2Engagers have well-established social networks and are strong influencers of people they know personally. These folks make up about 5 percent of your online community.

Multichannel consumers

3Multichannel consumers enjoy keeping up with social media content and they occasionally participate. They influence to some extent, but their sphere of influence is not a dominant part of their persona. These folks make up perhaps 45 percent of your online community. Continue reading

April 5, 2012

3 keys to nonprofits’ success: Strategy, prioritization, dedicated staff

Results of 2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report, with infographic

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, cause organizations, Web publishers, educators, journalists, general public.

Guest post by Frank Barry
Blackbaud

Blackbaud, the Nonprofit Technology Network and Common Knowledge have just released the fourth annual 2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report.

We learned a lot of things, but one prevailing theme stood out: Despite limited budgets and staffing, nonprofits continue to find great value in their fast-growing social networks.

The report is packed with insights into how nonprofits are leveraging social networks as part of their marketing, communications and fundraising strategies. Have a look at the infographic below, and then download the full report to learn more about important behaviors and trends.

6 key findings from the report

  • 98% of the nonprofits surveyed have a Facebook page with an average community size of over 8,000 fans. (The nonprofits tended toward the mid- and larger size organizations.)
  • Average Facebook and Twitter communities grew by 30% and 81%, respectively.
  • Average value of a Facebook Like is estimated to be $214.81 over 12 months following acquisition.
  • 73% allocate half of a full time employee to managing social networking activities.
  • 43% budget $0 for their social networking activities.
  • The top three factors for success are: strategy, prioritization, dedicated staff.

Continue reading

February 22, 2012

3 secrets to raising big bucks online


Wide use of social media by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

A look at how nonprofits are using social media to fund-raise for social good

Guest post by Frank Barry
Director, Professional Services, Blackbaud

According to a study by Blackbaud, NTEN and Common Knowledge, over 92 percent of nonprofit organizations have a presence on at least one social networking site, but most raise very little money through their social activity.

In fact, 87 percent have raised under $1,000 on Facebook since they began using the platform.

A big part of what holds nonprofit organizations back is the fact that they can’t risk full-fledged social media adoption because they’re short staffed and must focus on creating revenue and running programs — helping real people in the real world.

Yet despite the lack of widespread fundraising success, social media is clearly a hot topic in the nonprofit space. Conferences dedicated to helping nonprofits learn how to leverage social media for social good are popping up. Big social fundraising days coupled with workshops and other training events are taking advantage of the groundswell of social fundraising activity. And large online publications like Mashable are even covering social media for social good.

89% of nonprofits use Facebook while 57% use Twitter — and more than half have no formal budgets for social networks.

According to Darian Rodriguez Heyman, author of “Nonprofit Management 101″ and creator of the Social Media for Nonprofits conference, “In a world where Facebook is the equivalent of the third largest country on the planet, we have to ask ourselves, ‘How can nonprofits leverage the immense word-of-mouth potential that social media makes available to causes both large and small?’ Nonprofit leaders need practical tips and tools for fundraising, marketing, and advocacy if they are to maximize impact online and in general.”

So what is holding nonprofit organizations back and how are the top 1 percent succeeding? It’s clear from the data below that three big things contribute to the lack of fundraising success: 1) lack of budget, 2) lack of staffing, and 3) lack of focus on raising money. Continue reading

March 9, 2011

How to connect online advocacy with fundraising

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John HaydonIf your nonprofit conducts advocacy campaigns, maybe you’ve had a difficult time understanding how those efforts might align with your fundraising efforts. It might be even more difficult if these two efforts are located in different branches of your organizational tree.

But like Karate and Judo, both advocacy and fundraising are simply different ways your constituents fight for your cause.

Advocates are seven times more likely to donate

A new report, Connecting Online Advocacy and Fundraising by Mark Davis of Blackbaud (with help from M+R Strategic Services and Amnesty International USA) outlines how advocacy and fundraising work together.

Included is research by M&R Strategies and Care2 that shows activists are seven times more likely to donate, compared with supporters who did not participate in an advocacy campaign. This confirms what we all already know in our hearts.

A few other takeaways from the report:

Advocacy appeals blow away fundraising appeals

These two graphs from the report says everything you need to know:

How to align online advocacy with fundraising

Mark also offers the following steps to create an advocacy-led fundraising campaign:

  1. Identify a timely issue
  2. Set a goal that uses the issue to move your mission forward
  3. Develop a campaign around the issue that uses emails, social media and your website
  4. Develop a calendar to schedule multiple messages to your constituents over several months
  5. Plan actions that move from easy to hard
  6. Show movement and success
  7. Continue reading