JustGive Joins JustGiving

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Growing the world of giving with JustGiving, the world’s #1 social giving platform

JustGive has joined forces with JustGiving, the world’s largest social giving platform, to help you reach more people, raise more money, and change more lives. In our effort to make giving truly global, JustGiving’s ground-breaking platform helps us grow our positive social impact.

Get started with JustGiving

Until the end of May, you will be able to log in to JustGive.org and download your history as usual. After that you will need to create a new JustGiving.com account to take advantage of all of the wonderful new features that are at your disposal.

How will these new features help me?

JustGiving has drawn on more than 15 years-experience helping 27m people in 165 countries raise over $4bn for NGO’s and grassroots project. This experience has helped create a platform that enables quick page creation, unique social sharing, and a mobile-first ideology that gives you the ability to manage your appeal on any device.

The JustGiving community is 20 million strong, meaning your appeal has the chance to reach even more people who care, enabling you to raise more money and help change more lives.

Let’s get started together!

To get started using your new JustGiving account to raise money, click here to create your personal account.

Fundraising and volunteerism: The power of reviews

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A look at how GreatNonprofits reviews can help increase support for your cause and grow your nonprofit’s network.

Why online reviews are a big deal

Smartphones, social media, and increased connectivity have made an incredible amount of information available to us anytime, anywhere. This accessibility has changed the way we make decisions as consumers.josh-felise-55613

Not sure where to go for dinner tonight? Check Yelp. On-the-fence about purchasing that sweater online? Look at its customer reviews. Instead of trusting a marketing department’s description, we want a real person’s opinion before we act.

In fact, a Nielsen study found that online consumer opinions are some of the most trusted sources of brand information, second only to recommendations from family and friends, with 70% of global consumers reporting taking action based on online reviews.

In the same way, donors and volunteers want to hear from real people before deciding to support a new nonprofit. According to GreatNonprofits,

  • 80% of donors say reviews influence their giving
  • 90% of donors say reviews help them better understand a nonprofit’s work

How reviews can benefit your nonprofit

I’ve said it before, but something all successful nonprofits have in common is effective donor engagement. People are more likely to support – and continue supporting – causes and organizations they feel personally connected to.

A great way for a nonprofit to connect with an individual is through honest, compelling stories like the ones supporters tell in online reviews. A review reflects a personal experience with an organization and is written in the reviewer’s own voice, adding a level of relatability that resonates with potential and existing supporters.

You can also use these reviews to create more compelling communications for your nonprofit. Feature a volunteer’s quote on social media to recruit new volunteers. If you have a review written by someone impacted by your work, feature their story on your website or in a newsletter to show donors the difference their support makes.

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How to get started

First: Claim your nonprofit. Take a few minutes to complete your organization profile and provide details of your impact.

sample reviewSecond: Invite reviews through social media, email, SMS or phone. Reach out to donors, board members, volunteers, colleagues and clients.

Third: Share those reviews on your social media channels,thanking your supporters and spreading your message. The site’s built-in sharing options make it simple.

GreatNonprofits reviews are syndicated across dozens of partner sites, like JustGive and Guidestar, extending your nonprofit’s reach and increasing your credibility with real stories from real people.

-Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Don’t miss out on other helpful tips and tools: To automatically receive an email when we post more, subscribe to our Nonprofit Blog.

Volunteers OR Donors? Think Again.

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About the author: Tess Srebro of VolunteerMatch is a Marketing & Language-Crafting Expert with a Master’s of Nonprofit Leadership and a B.A. in Public Relations. You can read more of her work at VolunteerMatch’s blog for nonprofit organizations: Engaging Volunteers.

Volunteer-donor hybrids are more common than you might think. This post looks at why this is the case and how to encourage it, as well as how to avoid some common mistakes.

True or false?

Volunteers donate their time because they are unable or unwilling to donate money.

Sometimes? True. Most of the time? False.

According to research, two thirds of volunteers donate money to the same organizations they volunteer for. Also, volunteers tend to donate much more than non-volunteers.

Surprised? It’s actually pretty simple.

When someone volunteers for your organization, they are likely to feel closely connected to your organization and your mission. This is especially true if you regularly:

  • Show volunteers the impact their work has on the organization and its mission.
  • Keep volunteers in the loop on what’s going on throughout the organization.
  • Involve volunteers in organizational planning by encouraging feedback.

I know that I feel personally invested in the organization I volunteer for. I get excited about the organization’s successes, and I advocate vocally for the mission. And when I was asked to donate as part of a seasonal fundraising campaign – you bet I pulled out my credit card. I knew I was already making an impact, and I saw a chance to make that impact even bigger.

But (yes, there is a but)…

How would a volunteer feel if they received a generic thank you letter for their donation that didn’t acknowledge the other ways in which they contribute? Probably not so great.

How would a donor feel if they started volunteering, and received no acknowledgement of their history with your organization? Again, probably not so great.

This is one of reasons why separating your supporters into volunteers OR donors is a mistake. Does your volunteer manager know when one of their volunteers makes a donation? They should. Make sure these communication procedures are in place.

The ultimate goal is, of course, to make your all your supporters – volunteers, donors, and those who are both – feel like the amazing part of your organization that they are.

Featured FAQ: Can donors make recurring donations through our JustGive donation page?

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Question

Can donors make recurring donations through our JustGive donation page?

Answer

Yes, as long as you are using JustGive’s nonprofit services, your donors have the option to set up a monthly recurring donation to your organization.

How do recurring donations work?

Recurring donations, also known as monthly giving, are donations that are automatically processed on the first business day of each month. Donors are only required to enter their payment information once – upon set up of their recurring donation – which makes this an easy and convenient way for them to increase their impact on charity.

The option to give monthly allows you to break down your total ask, giving donors a practical alternative to a one-time gift that might feel out of reach for their budget (ex: $25/month instead of a one-time gift of $300). This allows them to contribute the same larger amount spread out over several months.

How do donors set up a recurring donation?

Donors can set up a recurring donation by visiting your custom donation page and following the steps below:

  1. Select the amount recurring-checkboxto give monthly
  2. Just below the amount, check the box that says “Make this a monthly recurring donation”
  3. Click Proceed To
    Checkout
    to get to the checkout screen and, under “Monthly Recurring Donations Terms”, select the month and year to begin the recurring donation
  4. Complete the donation

Note that donors are required to create an account on JustGive when they create a recurring donation so that, if needed, they can log in and modify their recurring donation at any time. Donors cannot indicate an end date for their recurring donation.

TIP: Make it even easier for your donors to give monthly by pre-checking the recurring donation box on the donation page for them with a custom donation button link.

When donors click the link, they will 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.

How do I track recurring donations to my organization?

When your organization collects donations through JustGive, we provide detailed reporting for each donation you receive. When you log in to your account and run your donation report you can see recurring donations marked with “Yes” in the Recurring column.

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Click to view larger

Monthly giving is an easy and convenient way for donors to make a difference throughout the year. In addition to providing reliable donation levels, monthly donors don’t need to receive regular appeals. This opens up communications to the real-life impact of their donations, keeping your donors connected and engaged.

-Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Don’t miss out on other helpful tips and tools: To automatically receive an email when we post more, subscribe to our Nonprofit Blog.

Charity gift cards are no longer available on JustGive

As of February 2017, JustGive no longer offers charity gift cards. This means that while we still accept the redemption of existing charity gift cards (see below), JustGive no longer sells charity gift cards through its website.

If you have a JustGive charity gift card whose claim code begins with “JE…”, please visit our website to check the balance or redeem your charity gift card by June 30, 2017.

If you have a gift card whose claim code begins with something other than “JE…”, and you need assistance with redeeming your charity gift card, please contact giftcards@justgive.org.

If you are looking for a charity gift card alternative, check out www.TisBest.org.

If you are still looking for a charity gift for a friend or family member, check out our Gift Donations.

Turn engagement into donations

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We’ve already shown you how to customize your donation page to present a compelling message- check out 5 ways to customize your Donation Page for a refresher – but now take a look at how a donation button can help turn donor engagement into donations.

If there’s one important feature of all successful nonprofit fundraising campaigns, it’s effective donor engagement.  The simple truth is that donors support causes and organizations they feel connected to. As we discussed in our livestream with the Foundation Center, Doubling-Down on Virtual Engagement with Online Donation Platforms, online donation systems offer opportunities for increased engagement through social sharing and easier editing if something isn’t working. Additionally, as people spend more time online, it’s important to provide donors with the tools that allow them to make donations online.

How a donation button can help

Whether it’s Facebook, a website, or email, nearly all nonprofit organizations use at least one digital fundraising channel to tell their story and engage with supporters. By including  a free and easy-to-implement donation button like JustGive’s in these channels, you can provide direct access to your donation page while conserving your resources. This leaves more room in your budget for programs and other mission-based work.

Ways to use a donation button

Versatility is one of a donation button’s greatest assets. Justgive’s Donate Now button is customizable, easily integrates and allows you to maximize donor access to your donation page, setting your organization up to generate more one-time or monthly recurring donations.

  1. Include it on each page of your website – Your website messaging should be clear and compelling, letting donors know where they fit into this story. Once they’ve connected with your story, make it easy for them to show their support.
  2. Add it to your email signaturesignature-button
    – Adding a donation button directly to your email signature opens up the opportunity to engage with your organization and donate to anyone you’re in direct communication with. Whether it’s a previous donor, board member, potential volunteer, or friend, you never know who your next fundraiser or advocate will be.
  3. Include it in e-newsletters or other communications –  Even if it’s not your communication’s main call to action, providing donation access is crucial to increasing online donations. According to a recent M + R benchmark study, 27% of online donations are coming from email appeals.

To maximize the effectiveness of your online fundraising, add a Donate button to all of your virtual communications – the more opportunities a donor has to give, the more likely they are to give.

-Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Don’t miss out on other helpful tips and tools: To automatically receive an email when we post more, subscribe to our Nonprofit Blog.

Year in review: A look back at 2016

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Thanks to your support and dedication to making a difference, JustGive sent $32,494,501 to charity in 2016.

This year $6,828,513 was donated through a Donate Now button – up 13% since 2015. Other nonprofit accomplishments include:

  • a new payment report for nonprofits, making it easier to keep records and donor lists up-to-date by searching check numbers to find corresponding donation details
  • our very first webinar to introduce new nonprofits to our Donate Now button
  • newly designed Donate Now buttons:

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Our support from corporate partners remained strong with 45% of donations coming through social responsibility programs.

Take a look at some of the impact we made together in 2016.

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We look forward to continuing our important work with you and growing the world of giving for an even more impactful 2017!

Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Don’t miss out on other helpful tips and tools: To automatically receive an email when we post more, subscribe to our Nonprofit Blog.

Introducing our NEW “Donate Now” buttons

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Featuring quick, easy implementation, our “Donate Now” buttons are the perfect tool for last-minute year-end fundraising and beyond. With four different color schemes to choose from, our new donation buttons integrate seamlessly with your website and email communications designs.

Donate buttons

Download a “Donate Now” button to use on your website, in emails or in social media to generate more one-time or monthly recurring donations.

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How it works

  1. Right click on a button above and choose “Save Image As…” or “Save Target As…” to download the file to your computer.
  2. Add the image to your website through your site builder tool or your web-developer.
  3. Hyperlink the image with your unique donation page URL found on the Donate Buttons page of your JustGive account

Example:rebuilding

TIP: Want to customize your donation button for particular programs, amounts, or for recurring? Check out our blog that details how to add specific text to your donation button link. These customizations let you pre-populate fields when your donor arrives at your page.

Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Don’t miss out on other helpful tips and tools: To automatically receive an email when we post more, subscribe to our Nonprofit Blog.

Doubling-Down on Virtual Engagement: Livestream Highlights

Last week, our Director of Business Development, Andrea Lloyd, teamed up with Foundation Center to take a look at the relationship between online engagement and online donation systems in a nonprofit livestream: Doubling-Down on Virtual Engagement with Online Donation Platforms. With 2016 quickly coming to a close, now is the perfect time to learn how your organization can benefit from online engagement, storytelling, and specific asks to maximize year-end fundraising.

If you missed the session, you can view a recording of the livestream here: https://youtu.be/h1YIBlMSU7U

Livestream highlights:

Andrea shared her expertise and insight around online engagement to help increase donations and strengthen support for small nonprofits. She discussed the benefits of online donation systems like JustGive, strategies and recommendations for implementing donation tools virtually, and what works and what doesn’t when it comes to maximizing your efforts at year-end.

Why should organizations care about online giving and engagement?

As we’re on our devices more and more, getting in front of a donor at the right time and allowing them to make a donation online is important to create a connection to donors and increase engagement.

How do online engagement and online donation systems work together to benefit nonprofits?

Storytelling is an important part of engaging users and online is a great place to do it. Emails, blogs, social media, whichever medium works best for your donor base and your budget, that’s the right approach to take.

According to a recent Cone report, 48% of donors would give online if given the opportunity, so we have to give them an opportunity. Having a way to donate online is a crucial part of the process.

Of all the online engagement systems and how they work together, email is still #1. A recent M + R benchmark study shows that 27% of online donation care coming from email appeals. Emails are your bread and butter.

How do you suggest one incorporate online giving into a giving portfolio?

No matter what kind of engagement you’re doing, including the link to donate is essential. Email, newsletter, offline or online, make sure there’s a way to donate online. Having an easy-to-remember link to your donation page allows donors to donate anytime, anywhere, from any device.

We offer our nonprofits a shortcut url so it’s easy to share the link online and offline. Learn more about creating a shortcut url for your Donate button: Customize Your JustGive Donation Page Address

How do online giving campaigns compare to more traditional giving campaigns?

Online giving isn’t that much different than traditional direct mail but it’s easier to target the right audience and there is more opportunity through social sharing. It’s also easier to make a change if something isn’t working – modify the content or change your approach.

What are the elements for a successful online giving campaign?

There are four elements to a successful online giving campaign: setting a goal, telling your story, continuing to engage, and measuring success.goals

  1. Set a goal. You need to have a goal to develop your strategy.Be specific in what you’re trying to achieve.
    • Have end dates so you can analyze your success before taking the next step.
    • Create KPIs (key performance indicators) so you can measure success—% increase or # of new givers
    • Set realistic goals.
  1. Tell your story. Make your message clear and compelling. What is your vision, what are trying to achieve? Donors need to understand where they fit into this story.
  1. Continue to engage. Once a donor engages, whether through social media or by making a donation, this is where your work begins to make them a long-term, committed spokesperson.
  1. Measure success. The last element of a successful campaign is to measure your success and learn from your failures. This sets you up for your next campaign.

What are some strategies for increasing online engagement?

likeOnline engagement and donation systems work hand in hand for increasing virtual fundraising efforts. Converting a “like” into a donation is difficult. With so many social networking sites and few resources to spend on them, it’s important to know your audience, understand the social networks they consume and decide which ones fit into your fundraising goals.

Because it’s so hard to get traction with all the noise on social media, it’s important to have a clear message and strong call to action. And that call to action doesn’t always have to be to donate.

Social media should be a two-way conversation so try get a conversation going. Conversations both online and offline help generate word of mouth, the best kind of conversation. That’s how social connections grow.

Do you have strategies or recommendations for implementing online donation tools on nonprofit websites?

The #1 rule for increasing online donations is access. Make sure that every page on your site provides access to a Donate button. Make sure every email that goes out offers an option to donate, even if it’s not your direct call to action.

Final thoughts? 

This is a stressful time for nonprofits as they try to maximize end-of-the-year gifts before the end of the month. It’s important to ask for what you need not what you think donors will give or what they gave last year. Make your message compelling with a clear call to action—Donate.

Learn more about how to implement JustGive’s Donate button on our recent Webinar: An Introduction to JustGive’s Donate Now button

If you missed the session, you can view a recording of the livestream here: https://youtu.be/h1YIBlMSU7U

Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Don’t miss out on other helpful tips and tools: To automatically receive an email when we post more, subscribe to our Nonprofit Blog.

Featured Nonprofit FAQ: Updating your mailing address

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Question

How do we update our organization address on our JustGive account?

Answer

JustGive’s comprehensive database of more than 1.8 million public charities is provided by GuideStar to make it easy for donors to find detailed information about charities that match their interests. JustGive uses the address information listed in GuideStar, making it crucial to keep your GuideStar Nonprofit profile up-to-date to receive donation payments without delay.

To update your address:

  1. Sign in at guidestar.org with your registered email address and password
  2. Once logged in, click “Update Nonprofit Report” in the top bar of the home page
  3. Click on your organization’s name to begin updating your organization’s profile
    • Note: If you don’t see your organization’s name, enter your organization’s EIN and click  the Request Permission button to update your profilegc-ein
  4. Once in your organization’s profile, click “Basic Information” in the task bar on the left side of the page
  5. Update each section of the profile as necessary – be sure to click the Save button at the bottom of each page after you have added or changed information in the form
  6. Once you have completed all required fields on the form, click the Publish changes now button at the bottom of the page to get to “Program Terms”
  7. Click the Finish and Publish button there to complete your updates. Your information will be posted on GuideStar within 48 hours and will automatically update on JustGive.

To further increase visibility and funding opportunities for your organization, see Guidestar’s “5 Steps to a Stellar GuideStar Nonprofit Profile.”

-Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Don’t miss out on other helpful tips and tools: To automatically receive an email when we post more, subscribe to our Nonprofit Blog.