June 28, 2011

Unleash your nonprofit’s fundraising potential

 

CauseVox makes it simple for nonprofits to build successful fundraising campaigns online

Target audience: Nonprofits, social enterprises, foundations, NGOs, cause organizations, community organizations, small businesses.

Shonali BurkeIattended the Nonprofit 2.0 conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, and it was a great gathering of some of the brightest minds in the nonprofit space with plenty of opportunities to strategize for the social good. One of the highlights for me was meeting up with Rob Wu, the founder of CauseVox, particularly because he has a lot of great insights when it comes to helping nonprofits navigate the world of online media.

The more you can get your supporters to spread your story, the easier fundraising becomes

If you don’t know CauseVox, it’s a platform that was designed to make it easier for small and medium-size nonprofits to create dynamic fundraising campaigns without having to develop all the technical know-how. CauseVox’s mission is to take the difficulty and strain out of the fundraising process for nonprofits. Even though they are a startup, the company already has a lot of great success stories of nonprofits that have seen impressive results after conducting their campaigns through CauseVox.

I used my time with Wu at Nonprofit 2.0 to make a video with him that captures what CauseVox is all about and gets Wu dishing his best advice for nonprofits when it comes to creating social media and fundraising campaigns. Check out the video interview above — here’s the link on YouTube.

Rob Wu’s tips for better fundraising campaigns

Rob offered nonprofits these tips:

Tell your stories! According to Wu, a lot of nonprofits make the mistake of not telling their story effectively enough. Typically, organizations will write a whole bunch of text and content on their website and then assume that the visitor knows what they’re trying to do. That doesn’t work. Instead, what nonprofits needs to focus on is how they can tell a compelling story and make it visually engaging online. Continue reading

June 24, 2011

Find the influencers who matter most to you

Traackr helps you keep track of the big kahunas in your sector

Target audience: Nonprofits, social enterprises, foundations, NGOs, cause organizations, brands, small businesses, media professionals

Shonali Burke There’s a lot of discussion these days around influencers. With the proliferation of social media, it’s no longer just about generating the conversations online, but now it’s also about who’s talking about you and what they’re saying. It can be helpful to keep tabs on those influencers so that you can engage with them, as well as get feedback on your work.

This is where Traackr comes in. I received a three-month trial of the system and have been using it to gauge traction for the Blue Key campaign.

Much has already been written about the benefits of Traackr. If you haven’t read them, I’m pointing you to some great posts by Valeria Maltoni and Rick Liebling.

The main reason I’m a huge fan of the service is because with Traackr, it’s not about numbers, or how much you talk to someone on Twitter all day. It’s about context, relevance and therefore potential influence based on that contextual relevance. So you could, for example, have someone who is not very active on Twitter or Facebook but has a blog that is devoted to refugee and humanitarian issues. That’s someone I probably want to keep track of — and that’s the kind of thing Traackr lets me do.

You should know up front that Traackr is not cheap. It costs about $500 if you’re signing up for a list as a new account, and then the prices per list goes down. I was told that the founder may be considering alternative prices for small businesses, nonprofits or indie pros, but no word yet on when that will be.

How to use Traackr

Start out by identifying a particular area or topic that you’re trying to find online influencers in. For example, for the Blue Key campaign, one of my searches focused on refugees and humanitarian issues, i.e. people who are active online and who post frequently to any number of online channels about those issues.

Once you’ve identified these topic areas, make a list of keywords relevant to that topic area. You can set up to 50 keywords per search. As you’re doing so, Traackr will tell you how broad or niche that keyword is. You can also include Twitter hashtags and prioritize keywords. For example, here are the keywords I’d set up for this particular search (refugee and humanitarian issues):

Traackr A-list

Once you’re satisfied with your list of keywords (you can test them as you go; Traackr automatically generates a list based on who in its database is using those keywords most frequently), you can activate your search. Then, Traackr starts crawling the Web based on your keywords.

When it’s had a few days to do so, it will give you an updated list of influencers based not simply on how active they are on Twitter or Facebook, but on how much they use those terms in as many of their digital properties as they’ve been able to identify. If you find that the Traackr database is missing one or more of their digital properties can add a property and once Traackr verifies it, it will be added to that influencer’s profile. Continue reading

February 15, 2011

$100,000 in three days: How #TeamAutism did it

Team-Autism

Guest post by Amy Sample Ward
amysampleward.org

Earlier this month, Samsung Hope for Children, the national philanthropic initiative of the Seoul-based tech company, and the Dan Marino Foundation launched a new social action campaign, “Team Up for Autism,” in conjunction with the first annual WalkAbout for Autism organized by the foundation started by the former Miami Dolphins quarterback. The initiative set about to help raise awareness and funding in support of medical research, services and treatment programs for children with autism.

Samsung pledged to contribute up to $100,000 through this social action challenge, providing a donation of $5 to the Dan Marino Foundation each time someone pledged their support of autism awareness by sharing an infographic with their Facebook friends or sending a tweet with the hashtag #teamautism. And in just 72 hours, they reached their goal of $100,000 through TeamUpForAutism.com.

That’s a whole lot of donations in just three days! So, I connected with Sloane Berrent, founder of The Causemopolitan and a partner in Socialbrite, to learn more about this success story. She’s working with the creative agency JESS3 on this entire campaign. They created the infographic and pulled her in for the overall digital strategy.

Going into the campaign, did you really expect to hit your goal in just three days? What were the goals and expectations you had set for the campaign internally?

Sloane Berrent

Sloane Berrent assisted with the #TeamAutism campaign (photo by JD Lasica)

Sloane Berrent: It was truly a surprise to reach the goal in three days. There was a campaign they did in December with a very similar look and feel. That campaign had an infographic and charity partner and a set amount of money Samsung was donating based on social actions taken online. That campaign reached the goal, but it took a month to do it. Which is still amazing to take your online community and engage them in the process. A big success.

That said, this time around, Samsung, the Dan Marino Foundation and JESS3 were looking for more bite. The goal was $100,000 and we were given a month but were definitely hoping for two weeks. It was absolutely amazing to reach our goal so quickly, and it’s because of all of the hard work we did beforehand that it happened. That and a bit of groundswell.

What kind of post-campaign planning did you do before launching?

Sloane Berrent: We really focused on building our team of advocates before we launched the campaign. I know a lot of campaigns where people feel that you launch and put it out there and then you bring people in and have them share in the experience. But for this campaign we really baked them in early. We contacted autism advocates and let them know this campaign was coming. Continue reading

October 19, 2009

Highlights from new report on online campaigns

Amy Sample WardAs I announced recently, Advocacy Online and Fairsay have jointly produced a benchmark report to examine key e-campaigning performance measures. The benchmark data is derived from the activity of over 2 million supporters from 50 campaigning organizations in the UK, Canada, and several other countries. In addition to the benchmark data, the project also includes an e-campaigning survey that has been carried by Jess Day, an independent e-campaigning consultant. (I also referenced the report in my latest presentation slides about social media use by individuals in nonprofit organizations.)

The report, titled “2009 eCampaigning Review Insights & Benchmarks,” was released this past week at an event in London (and via webcast). I want to share some of the highlights from the launch presentations of Duane Raymond and Jess Day, but if you want to skip ahead to the download, you can scroll to the bottom.

Report highlights

65% of actions reviewed in the report asked people to add their own message (whether this was a petition, or post, etc.). This is great because letting your supporters personalize or otherwise get more involved in your actions will only help build a commitment to the outcome of your campaign or action as well as encourage your supporters to ask their friends or colleagues to participate as well.

Only 43% of actions linked to background information. People may worry that if someone clicks on an action button, say, on your home page, and then you provide them links to more information about the topic of the action, that they will click away and never actually complete the action. Nope. People may want more background information but that’s because they are interested! Most all of the actions reviewed in the report that even those that did link to background information, those pages didn’t link back to the action. That’s why people aren’t completing the action. Remember to link to actions from everywhere on your site that is related to the action! Continue reading