Mon, March 03 2014
Filed under: Fun stuff •
We’re really excited to have this year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference right in our back yard here in Washington, DC. If you’ll be in town for the conference, please make sure you stop by and say hi. We’d love to see you!
Here are all the ways you can get in touch with Network for Good while you’re at NTC:
NTC Science Fair: Visit us at booth #235 to meet our team, take a picture in our photo booth, pick up some NFG swag, and learn about how to make the most of Network for Good’s online fundraising tools. Don’t forget, the Science Fair is open to the public. So even if you’re not registered for the conference, come by to say hello!
Breakout Sessions: Join our Director of Content Strategy, Caryn Stein, for two breakout sessions on Friday, March 14, 2014
- 10:30 am: The Amazing Data Show: How Donors Are Giving and How Nonprofits Are Investing in Our Growing Digital Landscape
- 3:30 pm: The Power of Technology and the Millennial Generation
Progressive Party: Come meet the whole Network for Good team and help us celebrate processing $1billion in donations! We’ll be providing food, drinks, and tons of fun on Friday, March 14, 2014 from 9-11pm ET in downtown DC.
We hope to see you at one (or all!) of these events next week.
Wed, February 12 2014
Filed under: Fun stuff •
Today at Network for Good, we’re celebrating a major milestone: 1 BILLION dollars processed for charity since our founding in 2001. We’re incredibly proud of this big achievement and we are even more honored by what it means. This milestone represents an amazing outpouring of generosity from millions of donors to thousands of nonprofits—and an incredible amount of good being done in this world.
Network for Good was founded to make it as easy to give online as it is to shop online. A lot has changed in the world of digital philanthropy since then, and we’re excited to continue to be at the forefront of this revolution.
Of course, this milestone is about much more than the mechanics of processing online donations. It’s about the hard work of nonprofits and the good they do each and every day, the amazing generosity of donors, and the creative thinking of partners who provide innovative opportunities for generosity. Thanks to each and every one of you for being part of this journey and we look forward to working with you to continue unleash generosity. Here’s to the next “Billion for Good” and beyond!
Wed, February 12 2014
As we inch closer to Valentine’s Day, love is in the air. Beyond heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and overpriced bouquets, there’s an even bigger force in play—the kind of love that comes through generosity. Today, the nonprofit community is sharing examples of donor appreciation and tips for expressing gratitude in honor of Donor Love Day. You can follow along with the stream of ideas by checking out the hashtag #donorlove.
Here are three rules to keep in mind when planning your own #donorlove efforts:
Be authentic. Your donor appreciation efforts don’t have to be expensive or flashy, but they need to be genuine. This means connecting with your donors on a personal level. Donor love shouldn’t feel automated or mass produced. Think about the difference between a handmade construction paper Valentine vs. a preprinted stack of cards. Which one feels more sincere?
Be dependable. Of course, your donors should expect to receive a gracious thank you for each gift, and that acknowledgement should include details about their unique relationship with your organization. But that’s not all. They also deserve regular updates on the impact of their donation and how you’re fulfilling the promise of your mission. Can donors count on you for an amazing experience each time they interact with your organization? This is an important, but often overlooked way to honor and respect your supporters.
Be open. One way to show donors your appreciation is to let them know you are open to receiving their support as well as their feedback. This means listening to what your donors are telling you about why they support your cause, how they’d like you to communicate, and what they’d like to see as a result of their donation. Incorporate this knowledge into your outreach.
Need some more inspiration? Here are some more donor appreciation ideas from our learning center:
3 Special Ways to Show Donors Your Love
6 Keys to Donor Retention
How to Treat Your Donor Like a Superhero
How “Wow” Experiences Create Lifetime Donors
How to Combat Donor Fatigue
How Strong Relationships Increase Fundraising Results
Sample Donor Appreciation Certificate
How are you planning to show your love for your donors this year?
Photo credit: Caryn Stein
Thu, February 06 2014
No doubt you’ve seen the string of videos on your Facebook timeline—friends and family sharing their own social media time capsules. Facebook’s “A Look Back” movies offer personalized video montages to celebrate the social network’s 10th birthday. The videos are irresistibly sharable and have even struck a chord with the experts.
Here’s what makes these videos work so well:
They’re not focused on the organization. The folks at Facebook could have created something more focused on their platform and their accomplishments, but they knew that the real way to make us care about their birthday is by talking to us about, well, us.
They tug at our heartstrings. Above all, emotion rules. From the sweet background music to the heavy rotation of photos, the videos capture our attention and pull us in. These videos, while driven by an algorithm, are mirrors of ourselves and heavily feature the things that matter most to us.
They remind us of our progress. In keeping with the birthday theme, the videos allow us to look back and see how far we’ve come, whether we joined Facebook way back when or just last year.
They connect us to something bigger. The shared experience of posting the videos and the highlights they capture help us see how we’re connected to one another. The idea of Mark Zuckerberg and company inviting us to celebrate this big milestone together underscores this feeling of community.
In the process of accomplishing all of these things, these videos endear us more to the whole Facebook experience. Think about how you can emulate these qualities the next time you update your supporters on the progress you’ve made together.
Fri, January 31 2014
Filed under: Fun stuff •
Do you remember the 1993 classic film, Groundhog Day? Bill Murray’s character, Phil, keeps living the same day over and over and over again. Phil tries to break the cycle of endless February 2nds with extreme endeavors including kidnapping the official Groundhog Day groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil.
Can you relate? Does your organization seem to address the same fundraising or marketing challenges each year? To break the cycle of déjà vu, try implementing some of these best practices to solve these four common problems:
1. People continue to unsubscribe from your email list.
What’s your nonprofit’s email strategy? If you don’t have a strategy, you won’t get very far. To reduce the number of unsubscribes, make sure you are setting clear expectations for your supporters before they even join your email list. Let them know the type of content they will see and how often they’ll hear from you. Also, don’t make it only about the ask. Be sure that for every email appeal you write that you send at least four other messages that don’t explicitly ask for a donation. For more email engagement strategies, download our free eBook.
2. Online giving is flat.
Do a quick assessment of your online giving experience:
o How quickly can donors find your donation button on your website?
o Can donors securely make a donation and set recurring donation levels on a clean, branded, donation page?
o Does your online donation page have a compelling image and a clear call to action?
o How do you follow up with donors after they give?
Simple adjustments like placement of the donation button on your home page or refreshing your donation page to include branding, images, and a call to action can help boost online giving. For a more in-depth assessment of your online donation experience, check out The Donation Page Grader. It’s a simple quiz that can help you determine areas for improvement.
3. Social media is on the backburner.
A recent study from Pew found that 73% of U.S. online adults now use social networking sites, so don’t ignore social for one second longer! Short on time? A free tool like TweetDeck or HootSuite can let you schedule your posts and keep an eye on keywords and hashtags. Keep in mind that we always recommend having a good website and a solid donation page before diving into social media. But, if you’re ready to take the plunge, check out our Social Media Mini Guide and start tweeting!
4. I’m scrambling for newsletter content … again.
Quality content can be time consuming to create and too many edits and reviews can kill a piece quickly. The first step to stopping the cycle of the newsletter content crisis is to plan out your messaging. Start by creating an editorial calendar. (This will also help you plan out content for other mediums, such as your blog and social media.) Next: refresh your content. Your messaging should be relevant to your readers, interesting enough to share with a friend, and strategically distributed. Want actionable tips for a content makeover? Register for Network for Good’s next free webinar, all about content for nonprofits. Nonprofit expert, consultant, and author Kivi Leroux Miller will share how to get your content in order.
What are your organization’s “Groundhog Day” problems? How do you plan to break out of the cycle this year? Share your challenges with us in the comments below or chime in on Twitter with the hashtag #groundhogdayproblems.Image credit: Bill Murray and Punxsutawney Phil in Groundhog Day directed by Harold Ramis. Columbia Pictures, 1993.