Fri, April 10 2015

Nonprofit Link Round Up

Liz Ragland's avatar

Senior Content and Marketing Associate, Network for Good

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Filed under:   Fun stuff •

Happy Friday!

Link Round Up

Here’s what caught our eye in the world of fundraising and nonprofit marketing this week:

National Volunteer Week is coming up! Wild Apricot has ideas for how you can celebrate and resources to help improve your volunteer programs.

We love John Haydon and all his wise words on social media for nonprofits. Here’s another gem from him: 7 Deceptively Simple Ways to Promote a Fundraiser on Facebook.

Joe Garecht from the Fundraising Authority wants you to step out of your comfort zone and ask your donors the most important question you probably aren’t asking.

During the Association for Fundraising Professionals’ international conference last week, the Chronicle of Philanthropy asked fundraising pros to share what they wish they had known when they started a career in fundraising. The video is definitely worth three minutes of your time!

Kivi and Kristina over at have some great tips for you when it comes to leveraging hashtags to promote your cause.

If you’re in the DC area, grab your 3D glasses (they have extras if you’ve misplaced yours) and head over to the M+R event showcasing what they learned from their annual Benchmarks Study. And if you can’t make it to DC, you can still get the highlights from a webinar they’re hosting in May.

I’m a fan of Maeve Strathy’s blog, What Gives Philanthropy? It’s always clever and on point. You must check out a recent post from guest blogger Kimberly Elworthy: 11 Things I Learned About Fundraising/Philanthropy When I Fell into the Field Temporarily. It’s rich with GIFs and will make you chuckle.

That’s all for this week! Have a great weekend and share your best resources in the comments below!

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Thu, April 09 2015

Nonprofit Spotlight: Campus Pride

Annika Pettitt's avatar

Customer Success Manager, Network for Good

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Filed under:   Fun stuff •

Network for Good works with so many amazing nonprofits and we want to introduce you to them and the great work they are doing! We’re rebooting our Nonprofit Spotlight series this week and I want you to meet one of my favorite customers, Campus Pride.

Meet Campus Pride

Nonprofit Spotlight: Campus Pride

In his elevator pitch, Steve Windmeyer, Campus Pride founder and executive director, will tell you that his organization builds future leaders and safer campuses. What won’t make it into the conversation between the first and second floors is all of the dynamic ways Campus Pride does this. Through leadership training, advocacy workshops, on-campus climate studies, and college fairs, Campus Pride is making a tangible difference in the lives of LGBTQ college students.

Their Mission

Their mission to create safer, more inclusive college campuses influenced by LGBTQ students was born in 2001 as an online community. In 2006, after expanding their focus both online and off, they became an independent 501(c)3 and haven’t stopped growing since.

Their Funding Challenge + Fix

Three years ago Campus Pride realized their funding mix wasn’t ideal: 80% of funding was from program fees and 20% was from individual donors. To help balance out their funding mix, they launched a new strategic plan with a focus on individual giving. Fast forward three years and they’ve grown their funding ratio to 50% program fees and 50% from individual donors!

We love seeing organizations embrace individual giving because it provides a stronger, more stable funding stream. Bravo, Campus Pride! Keep up the great work!

As one of our “Spotlight” nonprofits, we encourage you to take a look at the great work they’re doing and spread the love by following them on Twitter and liking them on Facebook.

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Tue, April 07 2015

Must-Read Insight into Millennials: Interview with Kari Saratovsky (Part 1)

Nancy Schwartz's avatar

Nonprofit Marketing Expert

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Filed under:   Big Thoughts on Giving • Crowdfunding •

Read Part Two »

Wow! I’m amazed and delighted by the just-released Millennial Donor Playbook (download your free copy here). We finally have a much-needed guide to engaging these prospects who are influencing change across organizations and generations.

When I finished reading the Playbook, I was thirsting to know even more, so I asked to interview superstar author Kari Saratovsky.

Kari Saratovsky

Nancy Schwartz: Kari, why did you dig into this topic?

Kari Saratovsky: I’ve spent the better part of the past five years trying to understand the complexity of what is now the largest and most diverse generation in our history.

What I’ve learned is that while organizations are on an endless search for the silver bullet to engaging Millennials, there is no magic wand to engage the broad range of Millennial perspectives and backgrounds. Alas!

However, Millennials will be the recipients of a $41 trillion transfer of wealth. This presents nonprofits with a huge opportunity to build relationships today that will deepen over time. When NFG recognized that its community was struggling to engage this younger donor cohort, I jumped on the chance to craft this guide.

Do Millennials really have different expectations when it comes to their philanthropic giving?

Yes and no.

Millennials want what any smart donor wants. They want to know the impact of the dollars they invest in an organization. They want to be thanked and recognized for their efforts. They want to feel like they’re making a tangible difference.

But they’re also impulsive and want to donate easily, whether that’s online, via their phones, or whatever other device is on hand. Plus, because they have limited dollars today, they want to be able to pool their resources with friends and peers for a greater impact. All of this is forcing organizations to get smarter with their outreach to this generation.

Kari Quote

You talk about embracing the “Millennial mindset.” What does that mean, and how do you make it happen?

Embracing the Millennial mindset is an opportunity for organizations to integrate qualities that are important to Millennials—such as openness, transparency, and appreciation of diversity and collaboration—into their culture asap.

This prerequisite to current and future fundraising success applies to donors across all generations—and it’s prompting a shift in organizational culture, from large, national-affiliate organizations to small, community-based ones.

Millennials probably aren’t your most generous donor cohort today, but they are the leading indicator of online trends and where your organization needs to shift its communications and fundraising focus.

But remember: The only way to get there is to share this recommendation, using data and anecdotes, to get buy-in from your peers and leadership. Everyone has to be invested in making this shift, and it won’t happen overnight. So get started now!

Peer-to-peer is big in online giving. What’s the secret of five-star peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns?

Organizations get the greatest response from peer-to-peer campaigns when they equip their existing donor base with the tools to make it easy for them to engage their friends, colleagues, and families. All of a sudden, you can connect with people who may be one or two times removed from your immediate network, and the possibilities to build upon that are endless. That’s exponential reach, at least potentially.

But to open that door, you have to be willing to relinquish some control and trust that your people know what their families and friends care about and want. And you have to remain confident that the most passionate members of your network will be the strongest champions of your cause.

We provide specific how-tos in the Playbook. If you’re still trying to decide if peer-to-peer or social fundraising is right for you, review this list of questions you should be asking.

Download your copy of The Millennial Donor Playbook today.

We’ll be back with Part 2 soon. Thanks so much, Kari!

With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at

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Mon, April 06 2015

Increasing Your Monthly Gifts

Caryn Stein's avatar

VP, Communications and Content, Network for Good

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials • Recurring Giving •

The Recurring Giving Challenge is in full swing and our top contenders are on the leaderboard. Check out the campaigns in the lead to get inspiration for your own monthly giving program. The challenge runs through April 30, so there’s still time to join!

Monthly donors are so valuable because they give more over the course of one year vs. one-time donors, and they’re more loyal, with retention rates of 80% or higher. They’re also more likely to build on their investment once they’ve seen the impact their gift can have. The good news is that by upgrading monthly donors even by just a few dollars per month, you can raise 20-30% more from per sustainer each year.

So, how do you do it? Here are four tips on increasing monthly gift amounts from existing recurring givers:

1.  Have a solid stewardship plan in place. Before you even think about asking a monthly donor to upgrade, you must have regular communications going out to thank your sustainers and tell them how their gift is being used. In addition to a great thank you letter, celebrate your monthly donors in your newsletters and reach out to them to show them how they are helping you accomplish your mission. They need to know their gift is making a difference before they’ll give more.

2.  Illustrate the impact. Be sure to answer the question “What for?” in your upgrade appeal. What more will be accomplished if they increase their contribution? How many more meals can you serve or patients could you treat with the additional contribution? Remember: be specific and show the human impact that will result from the increased amount.

3. Show your social proof. Donors are more inclined to take action if they see that others doing the same. Let your donors know how many others have already upgraded and offer a testimonial from another donor who has increased their gift. You’ll establish a social norm that signals to the donor that the action you want them to take is one that is seen as the right thing to do.

4. Make it incredibly easy to do. Just as with the initial set up of the monthly gift, you want to remove every roadblock that might get in the way of your donor and the path to increasing the monthly contribution. Make it easy for them to upgrade with clear instructions and a system that will allow them to log in and update their monthly amount, as well as any contact or payment details that may have changed. Have a plan to follow up with donors who have indicated interest in upgrading, but have not yet done so. They may just need a little help or personal encouragement.

How soon?

Once your donors have committed to recurring gifts, when should you ask them to up the amount? Here’s what we learned from Erica Waasdorp during one of our Nonprofit 911 webinars:

An upgrade ask between nine and 12 months is ideal. First, make sure payments are coming in regularly and that your communications plan is in place (thank you emails, tax letters, contact plan for things like expired or canceled credit cards, etc.). Then make the ask, and remember even small, incremental increases add up!

Want more tips on creating and maintaining your monthly giving program? Check out the other posts in this series, or download our free Quick-Start Guide to Recurring Giving.

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Fri, April 03 2015

Nonprofit Link Round Up

Caryn Stein's avatar

VP, Communications and Content, Network for Good

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Filed under:   Fun stuff •

Round UpYeehaw! Another Friday, another great round up to finish out the week. Here’s what caught our eye in the world of fundraising and nonprofit marketing:

Network for Good and storytelling rock star Vanessa Chase have teamed up for a look at the state of storytelling in the nonprofit sector. We want you to be a part of it! Please take a few minutes to share your experiences in our quick survey. We’ll share the results with you in our white paper, coming out later this spring.

Participating in a giving day this year? Joanne Fritz shares smart tips in this list of 10 Ways to Make a Giving Day Work for Your Charity. via About

Are you a one-person communications department? Consider an informal nonprofit employee champion program to help you get more out of social media. via Beth’s Blog

The Women Give 2014 study finds non-religiously affiliated younger women give approximately two times larger amounts than their counterparts. via Think Advisor

Oh charity:water, we just can’t quit you. Kivi shared a great example of how sharing campaigns from other peer fundraisers can encourage giving and fundraising from your community at large. via Nonprofit Marketing Guide  (For more crowdfunding ideas, don’t miss our Crowdfunding Craze eBook.)

Are individual fundraising events replacing the traditional races and walks as the new crowdfunding darlings? Catch Peer to Peer Professional Forum’s David Hessekiel on All Things Considered to get the scoop. via NPR

We’re proud to share that our CEO, Bill Strathmann, was recently named one of the Top 100 Real Leaders! via Real Leaders Magazine

Can you run a fundraising campaign from a DeLorean? Lindsey Rose offers some fun Back to the Future-themed questions that will help you decide how and when to adopt the next big thing in fundraising. via Charity Dynamics

Why you really, really need a CRM. Is Excel Making Your Nonprofit Mediocre? via Stanford Social Innovation Review

That’s all for this week! Have a great weekend and share your best resources in the comments below!

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