10 Ways to Prevent Crime in Your Community

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We used to keep our porch lights on and open the door when the doorbell rang, even if we didn’t know who was there. We don’t do that in the world we live in now. But there are many ways to take back control and prevent crime in your community. It just takes communication, commitment and time.nno

In honor of National Night Out—an annual community-building campaign held the first Tuesday every August—here are 10 ways to make your neighborhood a safer, better place to live today.

  1. Work with your local public agencies and other organizations (neighborhood-based or community-wide) on solving common problems.
  2. Set up a Neighborhood Watch or a community patrol, working with police. Make sure your streets and homes are well lit.
  3. Report any crime or suspicious activity immediately to the police. There’s even a free app for that: McGruff Mobile, available on iTunes or on the Google Play store. The app is powered by AlertID, a national online and mobile service, and includes a virtual neighborhood watch where you can share photos and info about activity with neighbors, police, and even Homeland Security. (It also shows you an interactive map of crimes and sex offenders in your neighborhood, and you can receive alerts and information via email or mobile device.)
  4. If you own a dog, be a part of your local Dog Walker Watch crime awareness program (sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch), and serve as “extra eyes and ears” for local law enforcement agencies in ongoing crime prevention efforts.nno_FB
  5. Volunteer to help clean up your community. Call your city offices or local waste management company and schedule a dumpster for the event. Then pick up litter together. Show you care about where you live and each other.
  6. Organize to help clean and improve parks in your area. Well-kept play equipment and a clean park can attract enough people to discourage illegal activities. Insist that your local government maintain the parks, immediately repairing vandalism or other damage.
  7. Adopt a school. Help students, faculty, and staff promote a sense of community through your involvement in a wide range of programs and activities. Work with the school to establish drug-free, gun-free zones if they don’t already exist.
  8. Mentor young people who need positive support from adults—through programs like Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
  9. Create a community anti-violence competition. Include speech, dance, painting, drawing, singing, musical instrument acting, and other creative arts. Get young people involved to plan it and suggest prizes. Make it a fun, local celebration. You can hold it in a local park, and even include an old-fashioned potluck.
  10. Support organizations that help make communities safer, like the National Crime Prevention Council.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

What Programs and Products does JustGive Offer for Companies?

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FEATURED FAQ:
JustGive’s Corporate Services

For company giving programs, United Way may pop to mind first. But there are many options and flexible partners, like JustGive, with the experience and expertise to help your business make an impact with philanthropy.

people_jumping_29365278.jpgWhether you’re a large corporation or small business, JustGive offers a variety of products to incorporate charitable giving into your business . . .  and, at the same time, engage employees and customers. Making things better for your company, your community, and the world.

Here’s a short description of what JustGive can do for your company.

Question
What programs and products does JustGive offer for companies?

Answer
JustGive can help your company launch a donation campaign or giving day for a specific charity or cause, or a long-term charitable giving program that encourages philanthropy year round (including matching gifts).

We can also provide donation support and processing if you have an existing giving program or if you’re a new company with a social impact purpose. JustGive takes care of compliance and efficiently distributes donations to charity for you.

woman_casual_business_25401351.jpgJustGive’s charity gift cards are a great way for your company to give employees and customers something extra: the chance to make a difference for a cause they care about. They’re flexible, and ideal as holiday or thank you gifts, traffic-generating tradeshow giveaways, rewards and incentives, or distinctive sales meeting swag. Your recipients can redeem the charity gift cards to donate to any charity they choose (from nearly 2 million in our database).

Get more detail about all our Corporate Services on our site and read our Success Stories to discover how other companies have effectively used JustGive’s charitable giving products.

Don’t miss the latest CSR and philanthropy news and insights: Subscribe to our blog, and follow us on LinkedIn.

-Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Nonprofit Spotlight: Mercy Learning Center

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Mercy Learning Center’s motto says it well: Educate a Woman . . . Educate a Family. The center is all about teaching women the literacy and life skills that empower them to be independent, confident and self-sufficient.

The center operates on the belief that an educated woman not only has a chance to reach her full potential in life, but also become a person who makes a lasting difference for her children and family—leading a fulfilling life.

President Jane Ferreira sees education as key to ending poverty, and a solution to so many other problems. Development Director Nicole Cassidy echoes that, saying, “We realize what a tremendous different education can make in a woman’s life, and her family’s too. We watch women come out of the darkness with education.”

Programs and Services

Every low-income woman who enters the center is helped in a holistic way in a caring, supportive environment. The staff comes up with an individual educational plan for her, knowing she may need help in other areas of life in order to learn.

Mercy Learning Center (MLC) is the only women-based nonprofit in Connecticut offering free adult education and fully-licensed child care. They have three primary programs:

  • mlc3Intensive Study Program – Classroom-based, full-time, 9-month instruction – 20 hours a week plus 5 hours of weekly computer instruction. Five course levels with curricula based in real life scenarios cover math, reading, civic/social studies, science, writing, computer technology and family literacy.
  • Tutoring Program – Part time instruction in English as a second language, adult basic education and General Educational Development (GED) prep, one on one or in small groups for at least 4 hours a week throughout the school year.
  • National External Diploma Program – This alternative to the GED prep program gives women a unique way to use their life and work experience to earn a high school diploma. (MLC was approved as a site for this program in 2008.)

The center’s Support Services provide the additional assistance women need, including on site care for infants, toddlers and preschool children while their mothers are in class; a food pantry; mental health counseling; health consults, citizenship training, career and college counseling; driver’s license assistance; and technology training. There’s even a full time case worker on staff.

“It’s tough to navigate society when you don’t speak the language. It can be completely overwhelming,” explains Cassidy. “To be responsive to issues that crop up, in the last year, we’ve also added workshops for tenant’s rights and responsibilities [we found landlords were not respecting our students’ rights as renters] and school bullying.” In 2014-2015, MLC offered classes, workshops and fairs on 21 life skills topics.

Good Giving Practices

Mercy Learning Center has used JustGive’s nonprofit donation services for the past two years. The center added a JustGive link to its own donation button on the website, and has customized its Donation Page with a photo, description of purpose, and a list of what specific size gift can do—with seven giving levels ranging from $100 to $10,000.mlc

The giving levels reflect the center’s different donor categories and answer the question Cassidy often hears. “People often ask for a concrete answer for what they can support,” she states.

When asked about her experience with JustGive, Cassidy comments, “JustGive is one of the most affordable, and we also appreciate the option for the donor to add in the processing fee so we get the full donation amount.” She adds that JustGive’s online capability makes it easy to integrate the center’s appeal into other communication channels too.

Results

In 1987, Mercy Learning Center started as a one-on-one tutoring program, opening its doors to low-income, undereducated, marginalized women in the Bridgeport community. Since then, the center has educated and empowered more than 10,000 women and their children. In the last five years, student enrollment at the center has increased by 40%.

From July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015, MLC served 1,050 women and children—more than any previous year.

Students have come from 50 different countries of origin, and represent a wide range of races and ethnicities as well as ages. Nearly two-thirds of students are 25-44 years old, and 95% are mothers or primary caregivers of children 18 years old and younger.

A few 2014-2015 MLC student accomplishments:mlc2

  • 24 women earned high school diplomas
  • 65 graduates were enrolled in college or career certificate programs
  • 85 women found new jobs
  • 17 women became United States citizens

Many women who enter Mercy Learning Center with little or no English language ability are leaving, having earned a high school diploma (or equivalent) and able to find a job with a living wage.  Never mind being able to explain their health symptoms clearly to a doctor, count change at a grocery store or stand up for themselves or their children. Talk about making a difference!

MLC student Isabella, sums it up well, saying, “What matters is that Mercy Learning Center teaches us to have confidence and a better education in our life for the future.”

Donate now if you’d like to help Mercy Learning Center educate women and transform lives:
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– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Can Donors Make Recurring Donations?

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Featured Nonprofit FAQ:
Can a donor make a recurring donation to our organization through JustGive?

When it comes to processing donations for nonprofit organizations, one question we’re often asked is if it’s possible for donors to set up a recurring donation using JustGive’s services.

Question
Can a donor make a recurring/ongoing monthly donation to our organization through JustGive?

Answerrecurring screenshot
Yes! When you use JustGive to process your online donations, donors have the option to check a box to make their donation recurring. When they complete the transaction, they are charged for the initial donation and then again each month for the same amount. Donors can modify this recurring donation at any time through their JustGive account.

TIP: Encourage recurring donations and ongoing support from your donors by pre-checking the box on your Donation Page. To do that, just add some text (“&isRecurring=true”) onto your custom JustGive Donation Page website link, like this:

https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=94-3331010&isRecurring=true

When donors click your donation button or link from your website—with that additional text included—they land on your Donation Page with the “Make this a monthly recurring donation” box already checked. (Donors can easily uncheck this box if they do not want to make their donation recurring.)

For more helpful question and answers, visit the JustGive Nonprofit Support Center.

And don’t miss more fundraising tips & tools: Subscribe to our blog today.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Cisco gives back with JustGive’s help

More than 340 Cisco employees donated money and more than 743 hours of time to support the 2014 Global Hunger Relief Campaign in India.

More than 340 Cisco employees donated money and more than 743 hours of time to support the 2014 Global Hunger Relief Campaign in India.

When it comes to corporate social responsibility, Cisco Systems, headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley, takes their role in the community and employee giving seriously.

Since 2009, Cisco has partnered with JustGive to ensure that the donation dollars and volunteer hour donations from their employees reach the charities they care most about.

Donation support and processing

Cisco has more than 70,000 employees worldwide and powers platforms to help them engage in charitable giving. The company invested in a Salesforce platform that enables Cisco employees to donate to charity and request matching for those donations as well as track their volunteer hours with organizations, which the company also matches.

Getting the money to the charities is where JustGive comes in. Using our donation support and processing product, donations made by Cisco employees are received through our Donor Advised Fund (DAF). JustGive then disburses those funds to recipient charities, relieving Cisco of having to create their own nonprofit to process donations.

Volunteer hours matching

Cisco employees also volunteer in their local communities, dedicating many hours to organizations that address poverty, hunger, veterans’ needs and other causes around the world. For every hour an employee spends on volunteer work, Cisco matches it with a donation to the charity. JustGive is a key component to make sure the donations from volunteer hours reach the specific charities for Cisco employees.

“Since we started working with JustGive, we’ve supported over 3,000 U.S.-based schools and charities, and JustGive has helped Cisco employees and the Cisco Foundation provide almost $50M in donations and matching gifts,” said Julie Rose, head of Cisco’s matching gifts program in the United States.

Rewarding service with charity gift cards

Cisco also uses our GiveNow Charity Gift Cards for employee service rewards in the U.S. and Canada. Employees receive a gift card ranging from $50 to $500 as thanks for their years of service to the company. They redeem their gift card on a Cisco-branded website—powered by JustGive—to donate to any charity or school approved for the program.

cisco_logo“Feedback has been great from employees who are able to select a JustGive charity gift card. They appreciate the option to donate to charity instead of receiving a gift for themselves,” said Racquel Stotomas, a Human Resources Manager at Cisco that runs the employee service awards program.

So the next time you see the Cisco logo, know that the people behind those products are also making a difference with charitable giving around the world.

We’re proud to partner with Cisco to help deliver effective and engaging CSR programs so that employees, with the company’s support, can pay it forward in a variety of ways.

Inspired to improve your CSR efforts? We can help you include philanthropy that supports your goals — just contact us.

Don’t miss the latest CSR and philanthropy news and insights: Subscribe to our blog, and follow us on LinkedIn.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Email Best Practices & Tips

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You need your nonprofit’s emails to break through inbox clutter so your supporters will open them and take action. Especially since the 2015 M+R Benchmarks Study shows 22% of all online donations are from emails (and it’s growing).

The best way to do that is to make the emails relevant. Include information your readers care about. Keep them opening your emails by timing them well and sharing information they didn’t have before—so they’re inspired to pay attention whenever your name shows up.

Let’s take a look at three key steps for creating effective emails.

1. Planning

Set a schedule that taps your supporters with the frequency and for the reasons and occasions that strategically match your fundraising approach.

For best supporter retention, pay attention to your ask to thank ratio for emails. Lynne Wester, The Donor Relations Guru, recently wrote a good blog post about this.

Select a dependable, responsive email provider, and take advantage of all its services. JustGive uses the VerticalResponse (VR) platform. VR has a full suite of online tools to manage and track marketing programs, including email. In a special offer for nonprofits, Vertical Response includes 10,000 emails per month for free, and a 15% discount on monthly plans for high-volume senders. It also offers a wealth of email tutorials, webinars and articles to help you.planning_ux-787980_1280

Use a mobile design for your emails to make them a quick read and skimmable. Latest stats show that up to 66% of emails are now opened on a smartphone or tablet.

Build and maintain your email list using your donor database. Ask them to opt in and give permission for emails (either through sign ups on your website or in a direct mail appeal), and include the unsubscribe choice in every email. Lists could be a blog topic by itself . . . but here are a few free guides and more information from Vertical Response. Don’t forget to get donor information from your JustGive Donation Report to keep growing your email list!

2. Writing & Sending

Write content that’s clear, compelling and action-oriented. Short and sweet, with words that speak directly to your reader (use “you” and write as if you’re talking to a real person). A simple rule of thumb for content: around 20% images and no less than 80% text.

Take time to develop attention-getting subject lines and headlines. If you keep the subject line to around 45-50 characters, readers will see all of it on mobile devices. For subject lines, check out this list of 21 words that came from analyzing billions of emails—to get you rolling or help if you’re stuck.  For headlines, you may be surprised to know that Upworthy’s editorial process is to write 25 headlines for each article before selecting one . Twenty five seems extreme to me, but you get the idea.fonts and colors

In your content and design:

  • Limit your overall color scheme to 2-3 colors and use basic fonts to keep the email professional-looking. Colors from your logo work well. For high readability, consider 12 point type, and check out this study about fonts.
  • Use prominent call-to-action buttons. Try different colors, shapes and words in your buttons to see what works best. And hyperlink phrases or sentences for easy clicking from mobile devices.
  • Integrate social media icons to connect with supporters through your other channels.
  • Add Google Analytics links to buttons, images and key phrases to see what gets readers’ attention and most drives action. If you don’t know how, here are get-started instructions. Test and double check those links!

When to send your email? Studies suggest 10 am in a reader’s time zone, Tuesday through Thursday. But the real answer is it all depends. Your best bet: Experiment with different times of the day, chart the performance you get, and see what your audience prefers.

If you’re converting direct mail fundraising appeals to email—Check out these 8 Commandments from Kivi’s Leroux Miller’s Nonprofit Blog.

3.  Measuring Results

analyticsAnalyze your Google Analytics stats and Reports from your email provider to monitor results. Review open rates, click through rates, unsubscribes, and most importantly, conversion.  Nonprofit benchmarks give you a good idea if you’re moving in the right direction.

Drilling down to what links, buttons and visuals draw clicks can also help you create more effective emails.

  • Do some testing (A/B). Split your mailing list randomly to test one change at a time—the subject line, time sent, message or image (positive image vs. “needy”)—and see what generates the best response.
  • Identify what’s working, what’s not, and adjust. On a regular basis. Bottom line: How much did the email generate in donations or bring in new donors?

For more info, check out the Nonprofit Tech for Good’s 10 best practices and the Top Takeaways and Strategies article from the 2015 Marketing Sherpa Email Summit.

Don’t miss out on more fundraising tips and tools: Subscribe to our Nonprofit Blog today.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Kids & Obesity: Two Things Don’t Belong Together

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Truth be told: I was a fat kid. I was called names and made fun of in elementary school. It’s a painful childhood memory.

I don’t remember my parents or doctor talking to me about my weight (they may have). I do remember earning “clean plate club” honors a lot. As I was starting high school, I’d had it with shopping in the Sears section for heavy kids. I was missing out and unhappy about my weight. I didn’t lose it in the best way (I remember Tab and those old Weight Watchers chocolate squares), but did drop 25 pounds before 9th grade.

Yes, those were different times, and salt-laden casseroles and sugary Jell-O were staples at family gatherings and church dinners. At home, Durkee french fried onion rings and shoestring potato sticks in a can were always in the cupboard . . . to top off those casseroles.  They were ready-to-eat bad snacks I grabbed for instant “food.”

As I got older, I learned more about unhealthy habits. Given my experience, I cringed when I read the latest stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: more than one third of U.S. children and teens are overweight or obese, and obesity has doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the last 30 years!

Sadly, a New England Journal of Medicine article says the road to obesity starts before age 5.

Childhood obesity is more upsetting because the extra pounds often start kids on the path to health problems that were once only adult issues, like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And as I know, it can also affect self-esteem.

How can we help our kids?

via KidsHealth.org

via KidsHealth.org

It may come as no surprise that new guidelines published last Monday, June 29, by the American Academy of Pediatrics say we need to focus on prevention.

This starts by understanding when a child is considered obese—when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height, as measured by body mass index (BMI). The standards are:

  • Overweight = BMI-for-age between 85th and 94th percentiles
  • Obese = BMI-for-age 95th percentile or above

(You can use this tool from Kid’s Health to check your children.)

Make better food choices and exercise

vegetablesOne of the best strategies to prevent childhood obesity is to lead by example, improving diet and exercise habits of your whole family.

Most of us know to buy fewer sweetened beverages (sodas, juice and sports drinks) and not stock junk food in the house (or buy it in bulk!). We’ve also heard about First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative stressing physical activity and the recommended 60 minutes of active play time day.

So how do we put good habits into practice? A few practical tips:

  • Don’t ban junk food outright. Instead, limit the number of treats kids are allowed to eat. That way, kids aren’t as tempted to want what they can’t have or overeat when it’s offered by someone else.
  • Keep fresh fruit in reach to grab as a quick snack. Put higher-calorie foods in the back of the frig or pantry. Get good frozen and canned fruits and vegetables (no and no sugar or salt) when fresh isn’t available.
  • via LetsMove.org

    via LetsMove.org

    Make an effort to limit technology time for kids to no more than 2 hours a day, including computers, videos, games, watching TV. Turn off the TV during family meals to prevent distracted eating (and more) – Have you seen Dixie’s Dark for Dinner ads?

  • Plan activities that give everyone exercise, like walking, biking and swimming. Turn a walk after dinner into a family affair.
  • Make sure your kids get enough sleep, since studies suggest there’s a link between obesity and insufficient sleep.

For more: check out these 10 healthy eating tips and take advantage of the thousands of healthy MyPlate recipes on Pinterest.

Physician education

We now know doctors have to get more involved. While weight is an uncomfortable and awkward topic to tackle, physicians need to address it during children’s visits.

kids running 11578647Recent collaborative research between Caroline Shue, associate professor of communication studies at Ball State University and the IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Family Medicine Residency Center found a hesitancy to discuss weight is compounded by a disconnect with the reason for the visit (e.g., an ear infection for a “solid” child) as well as a lack of doctors’ training and consistent clinic practices to calculate BMI and chart discussions with patients.

The research identified several good ways to fix the problems, including:  targeted training programs for doctors; and doctor’s offices documenting patients’ height, weight, and BMI more frequently and regularly.

Support nonprofits making a difference

We can all help charities working to get kids more active and prevent obesity. Here are three with programs designed to do just that, operating across the country:

American Heart Association
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Boys & Girls Clubs of America
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YMCA of the USA
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We’ve come a long way since I was a little girl, and I’m encouraged by all the attention, education and resources that exist now. Let’s step up, so other kids can skip all the bad stuff that comes from carrying too much weight. Here’s to preventing childhood obesity, and raising healthier future generations!

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Disney’s Great CSR Example

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Despite your first thoughts: For The Walt Disney Company, it’s not all about having fun, and creating memories for families and kids. It’s also about acting responsibly, and corporate social responsibility is an integral part of their brand.

mickey“Our efforts to be a good corporate citizen have a direct impact on our financial strength, as well as our reputation as one of the most trusted and admired companies in the world,” commented Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo in the 2014 Disney Citizenship Performance Report.

To Disney, citizenship also means motivating others. The company believes that the example set by its more than 180,000 employees is nothing compared to the impact it can have when it inspires the millions of kids and families it reaches every day to take action and make a difference.

Three guiding CSR principles

Disney works to embed citizenship into all its daily decisions and actions, guided by three core principles:

1. Act and create in an ethical manner and consider the consequences of decisions on people and the planet. This includes not just ethical conduct, but also responsible content, environmental stewardship, respectful workplaces and a responsible supply chain.

  • disneyheroOne recent accomplishment: In 2012, Disney launched Heroes Work Here with an initial goal to hire more than 1,000 veterans by 2015, and then made a commitment to hire an additional 1,000 veterans. As of October 31, 2014, the company had hired more than 3,800 veterans in 31 months.

2. Champion the happiness and well-being of kids, parents and families – Help make healthier living fun and accessible, and strengthen communities around the world through strategic philanthropy.

  • In 2014, Disney gave nearly $87 million in cash donations to nonprofit organizations and schools. It continued its more than 50 years of support for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, adding a new sponsorship for the National Youth of the Year program, and investing in the club’s Great Futures campaign so it can serve more members, more often.
  • Donating 18 million books to organizations for children in need and encouraging story telling was their goal. By the end of 2014, Disney had donated more than 23 million books in two years.
  • mickey_check-iconMickey Check at all their table and quick serve restaurants in domestic parks and resorts, including Disney Cruise Lines, makes it easier to identify nutritious choices. (BTW, Disney was the first major media company to establish nutritional guidelines for its brand and characters in 2006.)

3. Inspire kids and families to make a lasting, positive change in the world. This involves nurturing creative thinking skills for kids as well as connecting them to nature to build lifelong conservation values.

Click to view full size

Click to view full size

  • In 2014, Disney inspired kids and families to take 3.7 million actions, ranging from pledging online to protect the planet and volunteer in local communities, to supporting programs raising thousands of dollars, to unlocking donations to deserving nonprofits around the globe.
  • Disney exceeded its goal to connect 35 million kids and families with nature experiences by 2015. About 26 million of these experiences were through its theme parks and resorts, and the other 12 million came from grants to organizations which get kids and families involved with nature. In two years, Disney connected more than 38 million kids and families with nature.

Setting and measuring results

In 2012, Disney published measurable targets to track its citizenship performance. The company offers detailed reporting on its progress regularly and in its annual Citizenship Performance Summary.

Consistently ranked near the top of the annual list of the World’s Most Reputable Companies, Disney earned the #1 spot last year (sharing top honors with Google). The 2014 list, published by Reputation Institute, a leading reputation management consulting firm, evaluated 130 companies through an online survey with more than 55,000 consumers across 15 markets around the globe.

The Walt Disney Company may be an international and large family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments (media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media), but their commitment and approach set a great example and give any company ideas it can use.

Disney clearly understands how to be a good citizen, and takes pride in doing it right! Read more details in their annual performance summaries, which are great resources for setting CSR goals.

Inspired to improve your citizenship efforts? We can help you include philanthropy that supports your goals—just contact us.

Don’t miss the latest CSR and philanthropy news and insights: Subscribe to our blog, and follow us on Linked In.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Donor Survey: You told us . . .

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We recently sent out a survey to ask JustGive donors how we’re doing and get your opinion on some new potential giving services.

A big thank you! to the 1,356 of you who took the time to complete the survey and give us feedback. The majority of you who responded were female (69%) and Baby Boomers (49%).

Here’s what you shared with us.

Giving habits

Over half of you make a donation at least every few months, and 32% actively give more than once a month. mature_diverse_friends_9897267What prompts you to give is most often the fundraising effort of a friend or family member or an occasion (holiday, birthday, wedding, or memorial).

You use a mix of sites for your giving, but predominantly give through JustGive or websites for specific charities. You’ve given in many different ways—most frequently by donating to causes you care about, for a fundraising campaign, or as a gift or memorial donation (total 73%).

Satisfaction with JustGive services

For the majority (nearly 1,000), the overall donation experience and ease of using the website are what you are most satisfied with (76% and 72%, respectively). More than half of you are also happy with the:

  1. Number of charities you can give to (57%)
  2. Variety of ways to give (52%)
  3. Personal online Giving History (50%)

On the flip side of the coin, only about 4% are not satisfied with the overall donation experience and 3.5% aren’t as happy with the ease of using the website

Generally speaking, Millennials were slightly less satisfied than Baby Boomers with our services. So we’ll continue to work on improving that through refreshed website pages and a better user experience.

From your responses, we also learned we could do a better job talking about all the various giving services, like charity gift cards and recurring monthly donations.overall_donation_exp

Potential new services

What potential new services did you tell us you’d like? The ability to:

  1. Donate to someone else’s fundraiser for a project or cause (54%).
  2. Create a fundraiser for your project or cause (27%).
  3. Donate by text message (18%).

One of the biggest differences of opinion we saw about new services was that the ability to create a fundraiser was more desired by Millennials (born 1979 – 1994) than Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964).

So you know: We’re working on the #1 service for you. Watch for more to come this fall on our improved fundraising product.

Additional feedback 

Many of you took the time to add personal comments at the end of the survey. flower-22656_640-pixabayWe received many keep up the good work, and quick, easy, convenient to use comments about the website. J. Hansen said, “Thanks for all you do to help so many!” We appreciate your confidence and praise for JustGive.

Several of you mentioned our fees. Please know we’ll continue to operate as efficiently as possible to ensure that the most money from every dollar you give goes to your charity.

In your own words

quotes from survey responses

And from D. Kimbro, whose nonprofit uses JustGive to solicit funds: “We love your program.  It is very user friendly and easy to navigate.”

Thank you all for giving us your feedback, which we’ll use to do our best so you can just give—anytime, anywhere, for anyone.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Tips For A Mobile-Friendly Site

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“Mobile first” That’s been the mantra for many tech companies in the last several years. With Google’s recent announcement that it will favor mobile-friendly websites in search results, this mindset is even more important for every organization with a website.

Mobile use and the difference it makes

Stats clearly back up increased mobile use too. According to the 2015 Internet Trends Report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, U.S. adults spend more time using mobile (51%) than desktop devices (42%).

Image via thirteen23.com

Image via thirteen23.com

In fact, a 2014 Mobile Behavior Report from Salesforce says consumers spend an average of 3.3. hours on a smartphone and 3.1 hours on a tablet every day.

And for donations? As DonorDrive reports, responsive design doubles mobile giving. (Download their whitepaper for details.) Here’s some proof: Last year, the United Way Bay Area found that responsive design led to a 34% increase in mobile traffic and 28% growth in online donations.

Top mobile-friendly tips

Thinking mobile first means creating a simplified, usable website experience for your potential donors. No clutter, extra steps or complicated elements that aren’t easily clicked while on the go.

Here are some top tips for being  as mobile-friendly as possible:

  • Make sure your website loads quickly (check all devices). On mobile devices, users are often using a cellular connection which is slower than a typical internet connection. So the faster and more lightweight your pages are, the better. (Check out the JustGive home page on a mobile device to see how quickly it loads.)
  • Make sure your content is accessible when scrolling in an up-down manner on a narrow device (accommodating all size screens). Resist making your users turn their phone to landscape view, and instead, use a mobile responsive template that will resize your content based on the viewing screen size and aspect ratio.
  • Make sure all your buttons—especially your Donate button!—or other action links are highly visible on a mobile screen.

More tools

Google has posted a guide to help ensure that your website is mobile-friendly according to their guidelines. There’s even a handy test you can run to assess the mobile friendliness of your website.

If your website runs on WordPress, there are a hundreds of free, mobile-responsive themes (Google Search) and plug-ins like WPTouch that can quickly make your website more mobile-friendly.

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– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product