November 2, 2011

5 essential Facebook applications for nonprofits

Facebook apps
Image by Thomaspajot for Big Stock

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, brands, marketing professionals, social media managers, individuals.

This is the first part of a two-part series on Facebook apps and resources available to nonprofits.

Guest post by Kim Bale

It’s important to diversify the platforms that nonprofits use to reach supporters, but we know that social media isn’t one size fits all. If you find that your community engages more with your organization on Facebook than it does on Twitter, then put your energy into raising your organization’s profile on Facebook rather than trying to spread yourself too thin.

These five Facebook applications will help boost your social media presence even further and expand your social network. Sign in as the Page administrator, search for the app on Facebook, then follow the steps to install it.

Causes logo

Causes App

1 The Causes Facebook Application allows nonprofits to fundraise via Facebook in a number of ways. Fans can “like” Pages, watch videos, play games or complete a number of other small tasks, and donations will be made to their chosen charities. Followers can also opt to donate directly to campaigns they care about via the Causes Application without ever leaving Facebook. With 2.3 million active monthly users, this free application raises awareness for a cause while donating real money to verified nonprofit organizations.

YouTube app

YouTube App

2 The YouTube application boasts 500,000 active monthly users and gives you complete control of which YouTube videos are displayed on your Facebook Page. Users can watch, share and comment on your videos from the comfort of their Facebook account. Sharing recruitment videos, event coverage and campaign collateral with your fans doesn’t get easier than this.

Involver Twitter app

Involver Twitter App

3 Involver, one of the Web’s most popular social marketing platforms, offers more than 24 applications geared toward Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone to create a distinctive user experience. Each Facebook account is entitled to two of their Basic applications free of charge, which can be swapped out at any time. To access more than two at a time, they offer a professional upgrade. The Twitter application will stream your Twitter feed directly to your Facebook Page, allowing you the freedom to customize its look and feel. Instantly two of your most important handles are accessible from one website, expanding your followers and encouraging conversation across platforms. Continue reading

September 12, 2011

What social fundraising means for your nonprofit

A look at the growing phenomenon of social media fundraising

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, fundraising executives, social media managers, donors.

This article is part of our series on social fundraising.

Debra AskanaseI’ve been looking forward to the promise of “social media+fundraising” for a while now. There are plenty of fundraising solutions that leverage social media, relying on fundraisers to tweet, share, and post their fundraising pages to their social networks. There are also fundraising solutions that fully rely on and live within a social platform, such as a Facebook fundraising application or a fundraising widget you place on your blog. Then there is the newest evolution: fundraising that innately uses social media as a platform.

In the slide presentation above, I review the three categories of social media fundraising and my thoughts about how social media fundraising has finally arrived in a real way.

Sharing is huge

A report from Share This states that sharing generates more than 10% of all internet traffic. In order of frequency, most people click on links shared within Facebook, followed by “other” (blogs, social bookmarking, etc.), email, and Twitter. Facebook is the largest sharing channel, at 38%, which is why so many online fundraising pages are shared and shared again on Facebook.

sharing stats

Social fundraising is growing

By all definitions, online fundraising is growing. Social fundraising is also growing. Network for Good’s online giving study’s quarterly giving index illustrates that, despite the current poor economic outlook, social giving is still rising. In Q1 and Q2 of 2011, social giving increased (though Q1 giving may have been skewed by Japan tsunami relief fundraising). The 2011 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report of US nonprofit social media fundraising reports that Facebook is the social media platform most nonprofits are using if they are participating in social media fundraising, though it is still a very small percentage who have raised significant money using Facebook.

Online giving growth

Social sharing of fundraising pages yields results: Social media fundraising that leverages social networks

When fundraisers share their fundraising pages to their social networks, giving increases. Blackbaud recently issued a report and created an infographic about the power of peer-to-peer sharing. Blackbaud found that Twitter and Facebook posts convert 0.25% of impressions into donations. It also found that Twitter users increased donations nearly 10x more than those who did not use Twitter. FirstGiving found that for every share to Facebook, 5 people returned to a fundraising page. FirstGiving also found that the value of a share to Facebook was worth $10.87 in donations.

Peer to peer online donation solutions (such as FirstGiving, Razoo, Crowdrise, Donors Choose) where a fundraiser creates a fundraising page and shares that page are increasingly being used by nonprofit organizations, and the culture of online donations is growing. Sometimes these solutions are also called social media fundraising, because they rely so heavily on social media for amplification. These solutions are ideal for leveraging an organization’s base, and increasing donations through personal social network sharing. However, it’s just as important that the nonprofit also have a vibrant social media presence to amplify these efforts and engage with fundraisers.

Giving that relies on or lives exclusively within a social network

Social media fundraising can also be defined as fundraising that happens within a social network, rather than shared to the network. Most examples of these fundraising solutions live within Facebook. Examples include Causes, the What Gives or FirstGiving fundraising tabs that you can add to a Facebook page or profile, fundraising applications developed for a Facebook Page. These fundraising solutions rely on Facebook to thrive: You have to connect using Facebook, and they count on fundraisers sharing with their Facebook friends for amplification. Other examples include Google Checkout for nonprofits on YouTube or fundraising widgets placed on a blog. This type of fundraising is growing, but certainly is not mainstream, and best used where you have a fair number of supporters and know you can energize them. Continue reading

May 16, 2011

A new way to show off your nonprofit’s fundraising projects


Project Night Night’s Causes Fundraising Project page.

 

New Facebook tab spotlights impactful projects on Causes

Guest post by Susan Gordon
Causes

Causes has just released a fundraising tab for Facebook Pages, which is great news for nonprofits that have been investing in Facebook but struggling to find the right fundraising solution for that audience. It’s also a huge opportunity to bring your social media community into the inspiring fundraising campaigns you’re running through other channels. So far this year, $3 million has been donated to Causes fundraising projects, and nonprofits of all sizes, budgets and missions are finding they are the most effective way to do online fundraising.

To add the tab to your Facebook page, you can follow the step-by-step instructions on the Causes blog or follow these simple steps:

  • Go to www.facebook.com/causes, log in to Facebook and click “Add to my Page.”
  • Go to your Page and click Causes in the left sidebar.
  • Click the big green “Get Started” button, where you’ll be able to find your nonprofit and add it to your Page. The default tab will look like this:

If your nonprofit would like to customize this tab, add videos/photos, price points, etc., create a Causes Fundraising Project and your tab will look like the one at the top of this article from Project Night Night. (See? If your nonprofit does not have a Causes Fundraising Project, your page will look like this.)

Free, customizable, socially enabled donation pages

In addition to being able to feature a project on your Page, Causes Fundraising Projects are free, customizable and socially enabled donation pages that nonprofits can promote through all their social media channels. Fundraising Projects help nonprofits tell inspiring stories of impactful projects ($10,000 for a school, $2,304 for a scholarship, $54,000 for a rally, etc.) that motivate supporters to donate. After each donation, donors are then asked to promote the project to their networks of friends and family on Facebook. Causes also provides back-end donation tracking and follow-up tools to help you build relationships with donors in the Nonprofit Partner Center. Continue reading

October 4, 2010

9 Web platforms to help you change the world

MicroPlace
MicroPlace: Invest wisely to help alleviate poverty.

 

SocialVest, MicroPlace, Vittana can help you make a difference

Target audience: Social change organizations, nonprofits, NGOs, students, educators, individuals.

Guest post by Shira Lazar

While there might be more noise in the social good space, there are also more tools to make giving easier and more accessible than ever. Many are also calling this a trend toward “democratizing social good.” The fact is, you don’t have to be a billionaire philanthropist to contribute to positive change in the world.

Whether you want to start a movement, do something to give back or just share your story, here are some great platforms that are enabling different ways for people to participate and make a difference.

SocialVest: Support causes through shopping

1Founded by Adam Ross, Socialvest marries shopping and giving together to make it easy for people to support their favorite causes by creating a fundraising channel out of everyday shopping. Then you can choose to donate the money you’ve accumulated to the charities or causes you care about and give the money you’ve earned through your SocialVest “Giving Account.” SocialVest also allows users to promote your cause via social networking and set up give groups and fundraising projects through social tools.

Causes

Causes: Mobilize your Facebook friends

2Co-founded by Joe Green and Facebook’s Sean Parker, Causes is the app inside Facebook that lets people choose specific causes to mobilize their friends for collective action, spread the word and/or raise money. Since 2007, the app has been used by a community of 125 million people and has had more than $22 million donated through the application.

DonorsChoose: Help students in public schools

3DonorsChoose is a platform that connects donors with classrooms in need. Go on the site, choose the project that interests you and donate to a worthy project. The site delivers the materials to the class and in turn the students will send you thank you notes and photos of the impact made.

microplace

MicroPlace: Invest wisely to alleviate poverty

4With MicroPlace, for as little as $20, you can open an investment account, use their search tools to find an investment on their site, pay with PayPal or your bank account and then receive interest payments to make your money back. These socially responsible investments in microfinance can help alleviate global poverty, helping the billion people who live on less than $1 per day.

kiva

Kiva: Micro-loans to entrepreneurs

5Kiva has been a prime of example of online microfinancing, enabling people to give “loans that change lives.” As of Sept. 19, Kiva has distributed $160,822,200 in loans from 757,183 lenders. A total of 220,977 loans have been funded. Make a loan for as little as $25 to one of their deserving entrepreneurs, follow their progress and get your money back over time.

Vittana: Send someone to college for $25

6Vittana co-founder Vishal Cakrabarti was named one of The Huffington Post’s 2009 Gamechangers. With its motto “Students in school, one loan at a time,” Vittana uses person-to-person micro-lending of $1,000 or less to enable students to pay for their college education, highlighting “high-achieving, deserving” students in developing countries on its website in the hope that visitors might be inspired to help out. Continue reading

June 28, 2010

New ways for nonprofits to raise money online

Mobile devices, SMS, social networks are options for online donations

Guest post by Kemper Barkhurst
HiDef

Irecently set up an online donation form for Rio Grande Community Farm, a nonprofit where I serve as board member and volunteer. This PayPal donation form was static and made me wonder about other ways in which nonprofits can raise money with online technologies.

After a little research, I found a few new tricks by which nonprofits can connect and accept donations from their supporters. These methods extend beyond just online payments or joining a social network. Check out the new ways nonprofits can collect donations from a mobile device, a text message campaign (SMS) and even social networks.

Credit card donations with Square

One of those emerging services is Square, a payment system that processes credit cards from a mobile device. This type of system will allow a nonprofit to accept on-the-spot donations. Imagine that your organization is tabling at an event and instead of having to rent a credit card terminal or go through a cumbersome paper-filled process, you grab your smart phone and accept a donation and email the receipt on the spot. There is a low transaction fee associated with each payment and is something that nearly any size, smart phone-equipped nonprofit can get started using fairly quickly once the service is fully launched. The only missing piece would be getting those donors automatically into a mailing list or in a CRM so you can follow up with them of the great work they are supporting (by the way, we can help with that).

SMS donations with mGive

Another way that nonprofits can raise money is through text message donations. A service such as mGive and a well-crafted campaign can open new fundraising opportunities. For a fee, nonprofits can receive text donations in increments of $5 or $10 sent to a designated number. This donation is then charged to the supporter’s cell phone bill, so money can be collected without credit cards or cash payments.

mGive isn’t for all nonprofits, however; service fees range from $400 to $1,500 per month in addition to a fee for each transaction. A free account for contact list building can get a smaller nonprofit started with SMS. This account also allows outgoing messages for a per-message fee. Outside of the free account, it might be difficult to make back the investment without a large media campaign. There are some successes, though, as mGive processed more than $37 million within three weeks after the Haiti earthquake. This is a good testimonial to the power of a well-crafted campaign. Continue reading

March 2, 2010

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

Money

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