Essential Strategies to Succeed with Online Fundraising Campaigns-Pt.1

I’ve written a lot over the past several years about why mastering online social fundraising is critical to nonprofit success (e.g., here and here, just as starters).

A bit later in this article I’ll give you a link to a mini-guide for nonprofit online social fundraising. It really boils down to taking charge of the “customer experience” — which is a huge meme du jour in the for-profit world today.

If you need to persuade someone about why this is important, you can read up about how the digital revolution has changed the way people are influenced to give in Penelope Burk’s Cygnus Research studies from the past several years. Here are some of the indisputable truths:

I could go on and on about the why, but I’m going to assume if you’re reading this article you’re already sold.  You know you need to do this better than you’re doing it now.  You’re just not sure how.

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Fundraising Silent Auctions: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the Easy

Got a silent auction coming up?

After our recent article (Charity Auctions: Providing a Better Donor Experience), I got a number of questions from folks who’d had negative experiences.

These weren’t just poor donor experiences. They were also real drags on staff.

And I feel your pain.

Sadly, I’ve been there.

I’ve worked these painful events. And I’ve been a bidder at them.

Silent auctions are a bit like the story of the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead:

When they are good they are very, very good; when they are bad they are horrid.

The Good

Silent auctions can be a great way to both increase event revenue and entertain your guests.

Don’t rule out the importance of the latter.

The very best events I’ve witnessed are those where

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Charity Auctions: Providing a Better Donor Experience

Event_auction_phone_biddingCharity auctions are an oft-held fundraising event, but even the most seasoned nonprofits often don’t host them well.

Since auctions are multifaceted events that are relatively complicated to organize, many organizations focus too much on getting the logistics in order and not enough on how they can provide an amazing experience for their donors.

Instead of considering how they can leverage their auction to build deeper supporter relationships, they bolt straight to the fundraising finish line: increasing event proceeds. It’s no wonder that event retention is so low!

In this article you’ll receive great advice from Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation, as to how you can make your auction a more positive experience for your donors, focusing specifically on how auction software can help.

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5 Guaranteed Ways to Raise Money Through Storytelling

Storytelling today is ‘hot.’

And why not?  It’s the fundamental human activity – we even talk to ourselves!

We tell ourselves stories all the time to inspire, goad, cheerlead and persuade.

“I’ve been knocked down, but I’ll pick myself up.”

“This cake will be even better than my mother-in-law’s.”

“The deck seems stacked against me, but I’m going to fight; I’m going to win.”

“Tomorrow will be a better day.”

Storytelling is something people naturally gravitate to. We’re wired that way.

Stories connect the dots.

They are the connective tissue that turns otherwise random acts into important sequences. Stories invite us in. When we add our own imagination, stories begin to acquire personal relevance.

Does this sound like something that might be useful for your content marketing strategy?

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5 Proven Content Strategies to Convert More Nonprofit Customers to Donors

Your nonprofit has a variety of different constituencies. You need to devise communication strategies that connect with all of them.

Because, guess what?

All of your ‘customers’ are potential donors.

Which is why you should take mastery of nonprofit content marketing seriously.  It’s not something you should simply delegate to marketing staff.

They need your input. And you need theirs.

Let’s consider your different nonprofit ‘customers’ for a moment.

They begin with actual users of your services… then range to volunteers… social media followers and advocates… community leaders with whom you interact… and philanthropic donors. Then there are your most likely potential ‘customers’ in all of these categories, including

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8 Top Ways to Send Nonprofit Donors Love on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity for donor stewardship!

And you’ve still got time to send a little love your donors’ way.

Why might this be something for you to consider, amidst all the other “to-do’s” on your plate?

If you don’t do a lot more donor loving, you’re going to do a lot more donor losing.

I hope by now you know donor retention is the name of the game. It costs so much more to acquire a new donor than to keep an existing one. Yet too few nonprofits have serious, intentional donor stewardship programs in place. Because of that, on average, nonprofits lose more than 8 out of 10 first-time donors and more than 6 out of 10 ongoing ones.

Don’t be one of those organizations whose donors only hear from you when you want something from them.

Be generous, and show them how much their support means to you. Do this frequently, like it’s part of breathing for you.

They love you, and show you.

You love them, and show them.

You’ll be amazed at how a little love can go a long way.

There are 364 other days each year on which you can fundraise.

This year why not dedicate Valentine’s Day to giving, not asking? Think about those donors for whom you’d like to show some special love, because they showed you some. Show them you noticed! It could be:

  • Major donors.

  • Monthly donors.

  • Donors who’ve given faithfully for five years or more.

  • Donors who increased their giving this year.

  • Donors who also volunteer.

  • Board and committee members.

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5 Simple Ways to Use Video for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Video marketing is taking over the world, and for good reason. Compelling videos are the best way to connect with your audience no matter where they are or what device they’re on.

For nonprofit organizations, video provides the opportunity to strengthen donor engagement and outreach across channels, especially through social networks where the medium continues to grow in popularity.

So how does video relate to peer-to-peer fundraising?

It’s all about getting people involved!

In order to get people passionate about raising money from their personal networks on behalf of your cause you have to show them why they should care.

Video is the perfect platform to help you do just that—in fact, 60% of people prefer watching a video to reading text. And it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here are 5 simple video ideas your organization can use to encourage more participation and donations for your next peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

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Blogs vs. E-Newsletters: What’s Best for Nonprofit Communication?

E-newsletters are dinosaurs.

There, I’ve said it. There are many reasons I favor blogs over e-newsletters for nonprofits. They simply try to accomplish too much at once. As a result, they tend to accomplish very little.

Blogs are best if:

  • You want more control over what your constituents read.
  • You want to spend less time creating content.
  • You want to increase readership of your content
  • You want to increase sharing of your content.

Today I’m going to tell you about just two of the reasons blogs out-perform e-newsletters, but they’re doozies.

And they accomplish all of the points I’ve just bulleted.

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