January 7, 2013

7 ways to increase your nonprofit’s donations

Photo by zizzybaloobah on Flickr

Make donating simple, say thank you & showcase your results to keep donations coming

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

John HaydonAcquiring a new donor is more expensive than keeping a current donor.

Most nonprofits know this, but it seems like most of them spend a larger amount of their resources on acquiring new donors instead of keeping their current donors happy.

Plus, the lifetime dollar value of a happy donor is way more than the value of a donor who only gives once. Continue reading

November 27, 2012

Last call for your nonprofit to join #GivingTuesday

Leverage the power of #GivingTuesday to raise awareness & funds

John HaydonToday charities, families, businesses and folks like you will come together to help create #GivingTuesday. This creates an opportunity to join a massive trending conversation on social media that will surely create more awareness for your cause.

How can your nonprofit join #GivingTuesday? After you become a #GivingTuesday partner, create a Partner Page to be featured on the GivingTuesday website.

Then use your existing social channels to tell your people about #GivingTuesday: Continue reading

November 6, 2012

Tips & tools for effective online fundraising

Get the most out of social, but don’t forget to go deep

Second of two parts. Also see:
Why can’t I raise any money with social media?

Guest post by Ehren Foss
Co-founder and CEO, HelpAttack!

Last year I wrote a post for NTEN about four social media fundraising tools. (Socialbrite also ran: Social fundraising tools: Our top 5 picks.)

This year I’m going to take a vertical rather than horizontal approach, and identify several important types of tools you’ll want to consider when raising money online – either through your website or on a social network.

Shareable visual content, like the photo at top, relates to several important facets of social media fundraising: Is it easy to share on social networks? Does it link back to a page with a donation form or other action? Can you track who likes the content in your content relationship management system, if you have one? Continue reading

March 2, 2010

How do I get my nonprofit’s Facebook fans to donate?


John HaydonGetting an army of Facebook fans for your nonprofit is not an easy feat. It takes lots of planning, hard work, and time. But just because you have a lot of Facebook fans doesn’t mean that you’re any closer to meeting your fundraising goals. Especially if you’re unknowingly creating barriers.

When potential donors go to your donation page, is it immediately clear how they can donate and what amount they can donate? Do they have to search around your site? How many mouse clicks does an entire transaction require?

7 things to keep in mind

  1. Show Them Impact – One thing that worked very well during the Tweetsgiving campaign was showing people what their donations would buy. It created a direct line of site between donation and impact.
  2. Make It FunRed Nose Day is a huge hit in the UK, precisely because it’s so much fun! Think of creative ways to make sharing fun for your fans.
  3. Continue reading

January 13, 2010

How to make giving on your site more social

Welcome to the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media. Today guest contributor Frank Barry talks about optimizing donation pages.

Guest post by Frank Barry

CC photo by cambodia4kidsorg

CC photo by cambodia4kidsorg

As the Web becomes more social in nature, people grow to expect more social behavior on your website. Have you thought about how that affects you? Or how it affects the way people give online through your site?

Here are a few things to get you started. Hopefully they’ll give you ideas about how you can make the online giving experience more social for your donors! Once you’ve put some thought into it, I’d love to hear what you’ve decided to do (or please share a link in the comments if you are already doing some of these things).

Follow the rules

There are some well defined guidelines that everyone needs to know, but I’m not going to rehash this because it’s been covered well by the industry leading  Nielsen Norman Group in their study Donation Usability: 58 Design Guidelines for Improving the Donation Process and the Usability of Essential Information on Charity and Non-Profit Websites. You can read more about it on Steve MacLaughlin’s Blog.

For now, here are a few key points you can’t miss when it comes to making the online giving process more social.

  • Explain why someone would be interested in donating.
  • Use real examples of people you have helped and situations you have improved.
  • Provide information about your organization’s presence on social outlets so users can connect with you on them.
  • All this info shouldn’t live right on the page where the donation form is. Just make it easily accessible from the donation form.

Continue reading

October 14, 2009

Bloggers: Please come through again for DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose: open source philanthropy from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Social Media Challenge is a leading example of micro-giving

JD LasicaWhen you think of organizations and nonprofits that have made effective use of Web 2.0 technologies to raise funds for a cause, DonorsChoose.org should be near the top of a very short list.

And October is once again the month when bloggers step up to the plate for the Social Media Challenge, now in its third year. Last year, bloggers big and small raised $270,000 to provide 65,000 students with the resources needed to learn. This year, Twitter has joined the fray.

At Socialbrite, we’d like to call on our readers to support students in public school classrooms in low-income areas. The cool part? You get to decide which projects to support — and you’ll be able to hear directly from the students who received your donation.

Please make a donation on the Socialbrite Giving Page. Some of the donations will have twice the impact because of a matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

And, of course, you can always create your own Giving Page.

Meantime, if you’re not familiar with DonorsChoose, the idea is a simple one: It’s a site where public school teachers could post what materials they were lacking in the classroom. Requests stay up for five months or until they’re fully funded.

Interview with founder Charles Best

I recently buttonholed founder and CEO Charles Best to get a first-hand account of the groundbreaking charity and its model for funding public school projects around the country. Charles thought up the site during a lunch conversation with colleagues at a public high school in the Bronx where he was a social studies teacher for five years, and his students volunteered to help start the organization. They hope individuals will contribute around $17 million this year for books, field trips, art supplies and technology needed by classrooms in low-income areas.

Watch, embed or download the 6-minute video on Vimeo
Watch the video in H.264 on Ourmedia

Some highlights from our chat:

• During the 2007 Blogger Challenge, he said, “we saw that a handful of bloggers who wouldn’t appear on the Technorati top 100 list and don’ have huge readerships were actually capable of raising the most money from their readers because they have a personal relationship with their followers.”

• With micro-giving, “someone with $10 or $25 to give can be a philanthropist. and get the same kind of accountability and vivid feedback that bill gates gets when he gives $1 million,” he said.

• The main reason it works is that you get to see how your donation was spent, you get photos from the classroom, and you get a personal reply from the teacher or students.

• There are 12,000 to 14,000 classroom project requests on the site at a time. About two-thirds get fully funded before they hit their expiration date.

• DonorsChoose is a great target for companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility programs. “Companies have a new ability to empower their customers to be philanthropists, to open source their philanthropy and let their customers or employees participate as grant makers,” he said.

• Long term, DonorsChoose wants raise $100 million a year for public classrooms this way.