Fundraising and volunteerism: The power of reviews

blog_corp_npo_title_image_power_reviews
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.

JustGive

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.

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

blog_faq_featured_title_image_recurring

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.

dummyreport

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.

Year in review: A look back at 2016

blog_title_image_year_review_2016

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:

jg_donate_now_button_2016_purplejg_donate_now_button_2016_white2jg_donate_now_button_2016_yellow_purplejg_donate_now_button_2016_green

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.

2016-review-infographic-1

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.

Fundraising Professionals: Tools, Tips & Services

blog_npo_title_image_fundraising_professionals

Borrowing from a familiar saying: the proof is in the pudding. As a development/fundraising professional, you know all too well that’s how your work is evaluated. For each client or organization you work with, you’re expected to produce tangible results—after identifying the best fundraising channels and crafting messages, executing campaigns, and improving efforts based on results. Your effectiveness is measured by how well you attract and build supporters, and raise more money for the organization.

JustGive offers several valuable resources to help you generate fundraising results that pass the pudding test.

Donor Acquisition

You want the best tools to recommend to nonprofit and foundation clients. Are there ways fundraising can be done for less—saving money or lightening the administrative load for you or an organization’s staff? The simple answer: Yes. Here are a few from JustGive:

FREE Donate Now buttons. Collect donations online cost-effectively, with a low 4.5 processing fee.  No programming required, and no monthly or annual fees. It’s a button you can easily use in emails too. If an organization already has a donation button, comparing what it costs with what JustGive provides may instantly reduce fundraising expenses.

GLT

Click to view larger.

Mobile-Optimized, Brandable Donation Pages. Here’s a sample of the page which can be customized with a logo, list of programs, donation amounts and information about what gifts accomplish. Since the page is already mobile-optimized, it allows organizations to accept donations anytime, from any device (snagging those millennial donors). And it includes an ongoing monthly donation option which offers the opportunity to promote year-round giving and build a base of steady donations. (Check out 5 ways to customize your Donation Page.)

pp_page

Click to view larger.

Fundraising Pages for Specific Campaigns. You can conduct any number of timed, special Fundraising Campaigns online with this tool, whether or not you’re using JustGive’s other services. Works well for capital campaigns, short fundraising drives to fill a program need, GivingTuesday campaigns, and more. Last year, JustGive improved the fundraising product to make it better and easier to use.

If you’re looking for planning tips, want to know best practices for fundraising efforts like emails, check out the JustGive Nonprofit Blog. Better yet, subscribe, and we’ll send an email every time a new one is posted. And for more news and insights, follow the latest from JustGive on LinkedIn.

Donor Database & Management

JustGive’s detailed Donation Reports are accessible 24/7 and track the complete donation activity for an organization. They’re easy-to-integrate into an existing CRM system, and downloadable in Excel, CSV, PDF or XML files. These updated-in-real-time reports supply information that helps you expand an organization or client’s database by capturing donor names, emails and mailing addresses. Here’s a Sample Report.

donation report

Tip: You can mine these Donation Reports to better understand supporters and build stronger relationships. For example: When the reports show donors who consistently give for a specific program, you know what they’re most interested in. You can put this information to work for an organization by communicating more with them about that program, and considering other ways to engage them in it.

Measuring Fundraising Success

With JustGive’s Donation Reports, you have stats that quantify the results of your fundraising efforts for any organization or client.  Reports give you numbers that quantify outcomes: changes in the donor ranks and size of gifts, increases in monthly donors, and data about how engaged supporters were for a particular fundraising campaign.  So you can say: Here’s the proof!

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Fundraising Campaigns for Nonprofits

blog_FAQ_featured_title_image_npo_fundraising

FEATURED NONPROFIT FAQ:
Fundraising Campaigns for Nonprofits

Question
What are the best tips for running a short-term or special fundraising campaign for our nonprofit through JustGive?

Answer
JustGive offers a couple of different ways for your nonprofit to raise funds for a short-term or special fundraising campaign.

CREATE A SPECIAL FUNDRAISER PAGE

Late last year, we introduced our new online fundraisers which make it quick, easy and simple for your organization to raise money.

JustGive’s fundraisers allow you to add customizations like theme colors, photo or video, fundraising goal and tracking, custom thank you message for donors, designations, a custom URL, and much more.

As always, any donations you receive through your fundraiser page are tracked and displayed in your online donations report in your JustGive nonprofit account.

To get started, visit the Fundraisers pageNote that you’ll need to create an additional donor account to use fundraisers but rest assured the data from your fundraiser donations will appear in your usual online donation report.

fundraiserexample

CUSTOMIZE YOUR DONATION PAGE

Your custom donation page on JustGive doesn’t have to stay the same all the time! Use the built-in, customization features to make your donation page reflect your fundraising campaign.

To make any changes to your JustGive donation page, just login to your nonprofit account and click the ‘Edit Donation Page’ link.

Here are 4 ways to change your JustGive donation page for a fundraising campaign:

1) Add a fundraiser-themed image

imagesSwitch out your normal logo or image on your donation page to one that reflects your fundraising theme. The recommended size for your header image is 950px wide by 100px high, and it can be a jpg, gif or png (max size 512k).

2) Update your mission/description to mention your fundraiser

You can customize your mission statement on your donation page, so make sure it includes any timely information about your fundraiser such as an explanation of the fundraiser, what dates it runs, and your goal. This will let your supporters know that a special fundraising effort is underway and help drive a sense of urgency for donations.

Picture13) Customize your Donation Amounts

Associating a tangible value with a donation amount can help your donors better understand how their donation will be used, and often motivate them to give more. If you are channeling donations towards a specific fundraising goal, let donors know about that. For example, “$50.00 – Provides literacy tutoring for  month”.

4) Update your Program Designations

If you are running a special fundraising campaign, make sure the programs listed on your donation page match. For example, if you’re running a “Spring 2016 Campaign”, make sure that is an available program that donors can choose from on your donation page. That way they can be assured that their donation counts towards your fundraising goal.

To make any changes to your JustGive donation page, just login to your nonprofit account and click the ‘Edit Donation Page’ link.

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

Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Year in Review: A Look Back at 2015

blog_title_image_2015_review

Thanks to your giving and support, JustGive sent more than $30 million to charity in 2015!

Our charity gift cards continued to be popular in 2015, showing a 300%+ increase thanks in part to a much-improved process for companies and individuals to order gift cards in bulk through the JustGive website.

This year, we redesigned our Fundraisers product, making it easier to raise funds for charity through a nonprofit campaign or for a special occasion or cause, an upcoming wedding, or in memory of a loved one.

We also improved the Nonprofit Services section of our website to make it simpler for our member charities to use JustGive’s online donation tools to collect and track their donations.

And we’re proud to have helped our many partners by developing and supporting corporate giving programs as part of their social responsibility efforts.

Here’s a glimpse of our impact—and what we accomplished together— in 2015.

Infographic_2015.jpg

We’re working hard in 2016 to do more good, and continue fulfilling our mission to make charitable giving a part of everyday life.

Thank you for giving!

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

team_thank_you.jpg

Fundraisers: Put Charity on Your Holiday Wish List

blog_title_image_holiday_fundraiser

I’m very lucky. Every holiday season my mother asks me, “What’s on your Christmas list this year?” To her frustration, I never have a good answer, so she just grumbles that I’m really hard to shop for. Love you, Mom! 🙂

6319712130_7c3283a6b5_mBut this year, I do. I’ll let her know that donations to my favorite charities are on my wish list.

Then I’ll tell her about a new product we launched here at JustGive: fundraisers. Now, I can create an online fundraising page to raise money for charities I care about during the holidays (or any time of year). So in lieu of other gifts from friends and family, they can come to my fundraising page and make a donation instead. That’s what I really want.

Here’s the inside scoop

Creating a fundraising page just takes a few minutes, and you can create one for any cause or occasion, including a memorial fundraiser for a departed loved one, or one for your upcoming wedding.

SarahsFundraiser

My favorite part about JustGive fundraisers is how you can customize them. You describe your fundraiser, select a color scheme, add a photo or video to it, choose the charity or charities you want to fundraise for (built-in search tools help too), and you’re done. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have a link to share with friends, inviting them to contribute.

You can even write a custom thank you message that gets sent to your donors, set a fundraising goal, and add an end date to drive immediate action. As the date draws closer and your donations tally increases, it may surprise you to see which friends and family members rally to get you to the finish. And you can log in anytime to see your online donations report and know who has given to your fundraiser.

New JustGive Guide offers recommended charities

As part of the Fundraisers launch, we also revamped our JustGive Charity Guide.

CharityGuideThe new JustGive Guide contains around 150 recommended charities organized by cause. These charities are nationally-based and meet IRS standards, address today’s key issues, and receive the most support from our donors. With about a dozen charities for each cause, the guide makes it easier and faster to find the organizations you want to help.

When it comes to selecting charities for your fundraiser, you‘ll find the new JustGive Guide under the “Browse by Cause” tab. It includes cause categories for Animals, Children, Education, Global Aid, Hunger and more.

Create a fundraiser today

mapI hope you’ll join me and set up a fundraiser this holiday season to support your favorite charities. You can raise money for organizations that fight hunger and homelessness, or help a neighborhood charity that’s making a difference for your community.

Whatever cause you want to support, our fundraisers make it simple for you, and fun for your donors.

You’ll also make your Mom and friends happy, since they’ll know how to give you a gift this holiday that’s just what you want! And you’ll be spreading the spirit of the season around, making wishes come true for your favorite charities too.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

NEW Fundraisers: Ideal for Short-Term Campaigns

blog_npo_title_image_new_fundraisers

We’re pleased to announce our new and improved fundraisers product. JustGive has offered online charity registries for a long time, but we recently overhauled the product, made it easier to use, gave it a fresh look and feel, and rebranded it.

Fundraisers are a great way for individuals to raise money for their favorite charities . . . and they’re also a creative, compelling way for your nonprofit to engage supporters in a short-term giving campaign.

Our fundraisers include many customization features: custom colors, photo or video, campaign fundraising goal and real-time progress tracking, a custom thank you message for donors, program designations, custom URL, and much more.2015-Save-the-Date_blue-PROFILE-image-size

#GivingTuesday is coming up on December 1, and creating a Fundraising page is a perfect way to raise money for the global giving day event. Actually, these Fundraising pages would work well for any holiday-specific campaigns you have planned.

Check out this example we created—using one of JustGive’s nonprofit members, Pathways PA—to see the new Fundraising page features:

pp_page

To get started, visit the Fundraisers page. It’s only takes a few minutes to set one up! Note: You’ll need to create a regular donor account to use the new fundraisers, but rest assured any donations you receive through your Fundraising page are tracked and displayed in the Donation Report in your nonprofit account.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Getting ready for #GivingTuesday

blog_corp_npo_title_image_givingtuesday

We recently teamed up with DonorPath for a #GivingTuesday nonprofit webinar: 6 Weeks to Increase Engagement and Revenue. The webinar offered helpful strategies for making the most of this global giving day on December 1.

#GivingTuesday has quickly become a worldwide phenomenon. In 2014, 30,000+ charities, nonprofits, corporations, community groups, and government agencies participated.

How do you best prepare for this 24-hour fundraising event, which falls right in the middle of your year-end giving initiatives?

To find out, download the free presentation from our recent webinar here, and check out the valuable tips below.

Create Your Game Plan

While #GivingTuesday is only 1 day long, to maximize results, give yourself time to plan a thorough strategy for reaching your supporters. Line up your resources, train your staff, organize your social media accounts, update email lists, and set your fundraising goal. (You can use information in your JustGive Donation Reports to build your lists.)

DonorPath’s best advice? Identify your advocates. These are highly engaged supporters—both online and offline—that will help you, through their networks, drive donations on #GivingTuesday.

Set Up Your Online Donation Page

As a JustGive nonprofit, you can easily customize your online Donation Page for #GivingTuesday. Add a #GivingTuesday top graphic and message on your page, customize your donation amounts and descriptions, and include a special program designation for #GivingTuesday. The more your donors feel connected to the #GivingTuesday theme and tie-in, the more likely they are to participate in the movement.

Or you can use JustGive’s new Fundraiser pages: they’re perfect for short-term campaigns like #GivingTuesday. You can quickly create and easily motivate donors through a campaign-specific page with compelling content like photos or video, customize colors, your goal and deadline.

Note: You’ll need to set up a regular donor account on JustGive to use a fundraising page, but rest assured the donations will show up in your nonprofit report.

PathWays_Example

Plan and Pace Your Communication

#GivingTuesday only lasts 24 hours so it’s important to make the most of your communications. Build momentum and awareness with messages you send to supporters and social media posts leading up to the day. Then email your supporters early in the morning on #GivingTuesday, asking them to donate through your JustGive link, and encouraging them to follow your progress on your social media channels.

Throughout the day, log into your JustGive Donation Report to see how much you’re raising . .  . and use this information to update supporters through social media, and even a follow-up email later in the day. Let them know how close you are to meeting your goal—and encourage them to spread the word and continue giving to reach it.

Be sure to consistently use the #GivingTuesday hashtag in all your online communication. And make it easy on yourself with ready-to-use materials: visit the #GivingTuesday website for free toolkits, sample messages, logos, and more.

#Retention Wednesday

While GivingTuesday officially ends at midnight on December 1, DonorPath recommends you take advantage of the day after to say thanks and retain the support you received. Organize a “thank-a-thon” with your staff and board members to thank your #GivingTuesday supporters, communicate how much you raised, and share where the funds will go. Donors like knowing they made a difference.

Here’s to planning for a successful #GivingTuesday!

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

DonorPath Delivers Fundraising Results

blog_npo_title_image_donorpath

Fundraising is the instant answer from any director of a nonprofit who’s asked about the hardest part of their job. Your mission is to support a great cause and generate social change, and money is the only way to make that possible. Keeping a nonprofit funded is a never-ending challenge.

Our partner, DonorPath, is an organization that matches nonprofits with experts to support their fundraising efforts. Think of it as getting a fundraising consultant that can help you with strategies, tactics, tracking and campaigns. DonorPath’s experts have a minimum of 10 years experience and have worked for at least three nonprofits in a professional capacity.

Getting started is easy – just visit DonorPath.org, create a profile and select from a list of matching experts to begin building your virtual fundraising team.

The first 30 days with DonorPath is free. During that time, you’ll connect with a fundraising expert and gain access to two important products that they offer:

  1. An analytics tool that helps look at your organization’s existing data, identify trends and make recommendations. (It syncs with your existing fundraising software.)
  2. A library of DonorPath guides, templates and checklists to help manage fundraising. This covers more than just raising money online.

If you decide to continue your DonorPath subscription, the cost is $239 a month for a variety of support services including solution sessions, direct communications with your expert, and building a 12-month fundraising road map. Ongoing reporting and customer service are part of it too.

“We’ve helped nonprofits increase fundraising results by as much as 61% over 12 months when they fully leverage the coaching, tools and insights in a DonorPath subscription,” says CEO and Founder Brian Lauterbach, who’s also a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).

“We created a technology and a community that allows small and mid-sized nonprofits access to best practices and ongoing coaching in raising money. Traditionally, only the upper 25 percent of the 1.8 million nonprofits in the United States have the budget to afford these things.”

Check out the video to hear firsthand from a nonprofit that’s used DonorPath.

To find out more about DonorPath, visit DonorPath.org.

For more valuable tips, tools and resources—subscribe to our blog today.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product