October 20, 2010

How to make your nonprofit video more social

Guest post by Melissa Nelson
Media Production and Outreach Manager, Blackbaud

Video is a great way to engage constituents in your mission. It adds a visual element to what might be an otherwise text heavy email, blog, or website. Supporters react to hearing and seeing real people talking about issues or an organization’s mission coming to life with visual examples.

A video that actually empowers constituents to take action and interact with your organization is key to a conversational video.

First, think through the four basic steps:

  1. Set the tone
  2. Convey real purpose
  3. Define the need
  4. Inspire supporters

Then you can think holistically about the content and how your video can create conversation.

Asking for feedback is a great place to start. In your video, send an invitation for ideas and welcome feedback by asking open ended questions. Bring your viewers closer to your mission by asking them to contribute content or respond to a question. Make it easy for viewers to leave a comment. Take it a step further by interacting yourself; responding to comments makes it even more interactive.

Feedback can also come in the form of video conversations. Invite your constituents to respond with videos of their own, appear directly in your video to offer feedback, or even create their own edited video in response.

Include links back to your website in your video. A video should be a way of giving enough information to entertain and spark interest — while leaving the viewer wanting more. Reference your website graphically — and mention where a viewer can learn more, register to volunteer, or help your organization’s mission financially.

Make your videos clickable. Add interactive annotation layers to videos, and invite others to add them as well. YouTube’s annotation feature is an interactive layer of clickable text boxes. The key is to annotate with a call to action at the end of the video directing viewers to your website. Then, at the conclusion of the video, they’ll find it easy to learn more about your organization and can spend time exploring your site.

Another aspect of YouTube’s annotation feature is the community, which enables constituents to add annotations as well, thus furthering the conversation. Encourage viewers to add their own thoughts and references to your videos via annotations.

Promote your video in a variety of social media channels. If your video lives on YouTube, for example, shorten that link and share it on Facebook and Twitter, then encourage supporters to continue to grow the conversation. Continue reading

May 28, 2010

24 tools for fundraising with social media

GlobalGiving

 

How to raise money to support your favorite cause

Target audience: Nonprofits, social change organizations, cause supporters, businesses

By Vivian Ramirez and J.D. Lasica
Socialbrite staff

In the old days — before 2005, remember? — we would solicit our friends to raise funds through walk-a-thons, cake raffles and similar homespun events. If you were raising money for a favorite cause, you’d look to your immediate friends, family and co-workers.

Today, social media has changed the game. With the surge of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, you can reach a much wider audience to raise money for your cause. The success of such online efforts varies widely: 30,000 runners in the Flora London Marathon raised $7.3 million through the online fundraising platform Justgiving. On a smaller scale, the Trail of Tails Pet Walk and Festival raised $41,000 for the Jacksonville, Fla., Humane Society using social media tools. And New York dancer Amanda Gravel raised $988 using the widget ChipIn for the campaign against breast cancer.

How did it work for them? Social tools now make it easy to solicit donations using fundraising widgets or badges, social networks like Twitter and Causes (part of integrated with Facebook). With Network for Good or PayPal usually handling the transaction, the solicitors can concentrate on sharpening their message and targeting the right recipients. Not all take the same approach: Some let you add advertising to your site, or create personal webpages, as a way to support your cause instead of ponying up dinero.

Depending on the size of your campaign and budget, cause advocates and small nonprofits now have lots of tools to choose from — further down, we’ll tell you about the ones for mid-size and large nonprofits. (See last month’s 10 mobile apps for social good for ideas on how to donate or volunteer using mobile devices.)

Here are 24 tried-and-true tools for online fundraising. Have we used them all? No. But if you’ve used some of these, add your observations. And we know there’s a 25th out there, so tell us your favorites in the comments below.

 
chipin

ChipIn: The easy way to collect money

1ChipIn is the most popular widget used by fundraisers today for distributed fundraising. It’s a simple tool you can place on your website or on a Facebook profile page. It amounts to a donate button that comes with a thermometer that measures the campaign’s progress. If you don’t have a site, you can subscribe to ChipIn and they’ll host your campaign for free. Subscribing to ChipIn is free, but you’ll need to set up a PayPal account to process donations. Every monetary contribution made through ChipIn is charged at a rate beginning at 2.5 percent of the amount donated.

GlobalGiving

GlobalGiving: Donate to grassroots projects

2GlobalGiving is an online marketplace for philanthropy where anyone can post an idea and get it funded. The nonprofit connects donors with community-based projects that need support in the United States and abroad. You select the projects you want to support, make a tax-deductible contribution and get regular progress updates — so you can see your impact. The organization sustains itself with a 15 percent optional fee you can add so that 100 percent of your donation goes directly to the project.

change-org

Change.org: Empowering people to take action

3A social enterprise, Change.org helps to raise awareness about important social causes and to empower people to take action, chiefly through partnerships with leading nonprofits. Actions might range from joining an organization and making a personal pledge to signing an online petition or calling a congressperson’s office about an issue like homelessness or sustainable food. In addition to signing petitions or leaving comments, you can raise funds by creating a page with photos, videos, logos and supporting materials. Change.org’s fundraising pages use donation widgets with progress thermometers that track the amount raised. Basic membership is free; it costs $20 a month for those who want customized pages. Donation processing fee: 4.75 percent for every transaction.

changing-the-present

ChangingThePresent: Make the world a better place

4ChangingThePresent is a nonprofit that connects you with more than 1,500 meaningful if nontraditional charitable gifts — for instance, “stop global warming for $20″ or “adopt a tiger for $40.” Browse by cause or nonprofit to find a gift for friends or for your own charitable giving. The service also encourages donors to make simple donations of any amount through their home pages. A premium profile costs $100 per year. Donation processing fee: 3 percent of each donation plus 30 cents.

Razoo

Razoo: Experience the joy of giving

5Razoo is a new way to donate and raise money online. Whether you want to donate money, run a fundraiser for your favorite nonprofit or raise money as a nonprofit, Razoo offers simple, secure tools to achieve your goals. A nonprofit based in Washington, DC, Razoo helps donors find inspiring giving opportunities and helps nonprofits and volunteers with fundraising pages, social media tools and donation processing.

Causes

Causes: Empowering anyone to impact the world

6Causes is a wonderful way to gain attention for a cause. Co-founded by Sean Parker, an early member of Facebook’s executive team, Causes allows fundraisers to solicit donations from their own contacts and recruit volunteers who want to participate on behalf of a cause. People who use the site as a way to socialize can also participate in fundraising ideas by posting Cause profiles on their Facebook page. Donation processing fee: 4.75 percent through Network for Good; only Facebook members anyone can donate.

Continue reading