National Adoption Month. #FlipTheScript

blog_title_image_national_adoption_month

Honoring and listening to the most underserved  voices in adoption and foster care.

About the author: Katie Stickles-Wynen, MSW, a Colombian adoptee, has a Masters in Social Work. After college, Katie worked at Hyde School in CT where she helped design a program for adopted youth and parents. Katie studied under Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao in Boston before moving to California and joining the Pact staff where she leads groups, works with tweens and teens and provides psycho-educational counseling to pre-adoptive parents.

adoption_month1November is National Adoption Awareness Month. This month originally started as a week in the state of Massachusetts to promote the need of adoptive families for children in foster care and was eventually expanded to a month by President Bill Clinton. The month now recognizes all adoptions, but does continue with a focus on children in the foster care system.

The adoption narrative/discussion is often lead by adoptive parents; the triad member most directly served in the adoption process. The voices of birth/first parents and adoptees is ignored; the triad members most directly affected by the adoption process. Fed up with the shiny, happy, lucky, narrative of adoption, The Lost Daughters began a movement in November 2014 called “Flip The Script.” This movement features the voices of adult adoptees who have lived experience. They share the struggles, complications, loss and trauma of adoption and their personal journeys.

While adoptee voices are becoming louder, the voices of birth/first parents are still being silenced. Birth/first parents are often painted in a negative light as parents who “threw away” their children. If birth/first parent voices were honored as much as adoptive parent voices, the public would know that each journey is different, that the media representation of birth family is not accurate and that the voices of birth/first parents are essential to understanding the adoption process and supporting adoptees.

Adoption is complicated. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. All voices of the adoption constellation need to be heard and honored, especially those of adoptees, foster care youth/alums and birth/first parents.

Check out these 3 non-profit organizations that support the underserved members of the adoption and foster care communities and learn how you can help:

slm-for-web-e1432840609939Silver Linings Mentoring is a non-profit in Massachusetts that empowers youth in foster care to flourish through committed mentoring relationships and the development of essential life skills. If you live in MA learn how you can become a mentor. If you live out-of-state your donation will help provide services for foster youth. Donate Now »

On Your Feet Foundation empowers, unites, and supports women who have placed a child for adoption.oyff-logo OYFF provides critical services to support and empower birth parents who currently live in California or who have placed a child for adoption in California. Academic and counseling grants are offered to birth parents in addition to Birth Mother Retreats three times a year to provide birth mothers with a unique opportunity to share common experiences, participate in therapeutic workshops and build community. Donate Now »

pact-logoPact, An Adoption Alliance serves adopted children of color by providing not only adoptive placement, but lifelong education, support and community for adoptees and their families on matters of adoption and race. Pact’s adoption placement program serves families of color seeking to adopt, as parents of color are greatly underserved in adoption. Pact also leads support groups for adult adoptees and foster alum of color, birth/first parents of color and hosts two, week long camps that provide support, community, education and empowerment to adopted youth of color and their families. Donate Now »

#FlipTheScript, get involved and donate to these and other organizations whose mission is to serve the underserved in the adoption community.

Katie Stickles-Wynen, MSW
Pact, An Adoption Alliance

Featured Nonprofit FAQ: Customizing your donation button

blog_faq_featured_title_image_npo_button

Question

Can I customize my donation button for specific programs, amounts or for recurring?

Answer

Yes, you can add specific text to your donation button link so that program, amount, or recurring options are prefilled when your donor arrives art your page. Here are some examples using the sample donation button link https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=94-3331010.

Program designation

If your organization is running a campaign, has multipleprogram chapters, or is a fiscal sponsor, customizing your donation button link with a specific program ensures donations are easily and correctly designated. To specify what program is selected when the donor arrives at your donation page, add “&designation=Program+Name” to the end of your donation link.

Example: https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=94-3331010&designation=Children’s+Literacy

Custom amount

To ask for a particular amount for events or programs, prefilling the amount for your donor adds convenience and ensures accuracy. Add “&amount=x” where x = the dollar amount to the end of your donation link to prefill a specific donation amount.

Example: https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=94-3331010&amount=50

Recurring donations

Make it easy for donors to support your cause monthly by including a custom button link with the recurring donation option preselected on your website, recurringsocial media, and in email communications. To prefill the recurring donation checkbox, add “&isRecurring=true” to the end of your donation link. They can uncheck it if they prefer not to make their donation recurring.

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

Multiple items

The above appends can be combined to prefill more than item. For example, if you want to encourage donors to set up a recurring, $20 donation, you would set up the donation link like this:

https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=94-3331010&isRecurring=true&amount=20

Perfect for ongoing programs, you can even combine all three customizations to ask for recurring donations of a specific amount for a specific program:

https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=94-3331010&isRecurring=true&amount=20&designation=Urban+Homelessness

When your donor visits a link like the one above, they will see the amount, recurring and program designation prefilled as in the highlighted screenshot below:

custom-link-example

Note: If your organization is using a custom shortcut url like https://npo.justgive.org/justgive, the first symbol of the appends above should be changed from “&” to “?”. For example:

To preselect the recurring option, add “?isRecurring=true”: https://npo.justgive.org/justgive?isRecurring=true

The offer donors a recurring, $20 donation link, add “?isRecurring=true&amount=20”: https://npo.justgive.org/justgive?isRecurring=true&amount=20

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

Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

Featured Nonprofit FAQ: Personalized Donation Receipt

featured_faq

Question

Can We Customize Our Donation Receipt?

Answer

Your donation receipt can be customized with your organization’s logo. If you uploaded a logo when you customized your donation page, that same logo will be used in your donors’ email receipts. To upload your logo and customize your donation page, visit our nonprofit resources: Edit your Donation Page

Below is an example of a donation receipt email.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-9-53-25-am

All donations made to your Organization through the Donation Site are processed and disbursed through JustGive’s DAF. If goods or services are provided, you shall provide the donor with the estimated value of goods or services provided in return for their donation.

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

Andrea Lloyd
Business Development Director

#GivingTuesday Tips for Success

tips-for-success

Less than 4 weeks to go until #GivingTuesday. Here’s what you need to know.

GivingTuesday, the global day of giving, is November 29th. It offers a huge opportunity to increase awareness for your cause and support for your organization while reaching out to new and current donors. There are many ways to get your staff and the community involved in your #GivingTuesday. The three areas of focus we’re highlighting are fundraising, collaboration and communication.
Fundraisescreen-shot-2016-11-01-at-12-39-37-pm
Launching a #GivingTuesday campaign helps kick off your year-end fundraising campaign and creates awareness within your community. Customize your donation page and take advantage of our free Donate Now button features. 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.

Join our webinar: “An introduction to JustGive’s Donate Now button” on Wednesday, November 9 at 2pm ET. We’ll show you how to customize your Donate Now button so you can raise more donations and reduce fundraising fees.

Collaborate
Rally your community and get others involved. Reach out to local businesses for support or collaborate with other local nonprofits and present a united front to the local merchants association. Offering a good word may be enough for a local business to invest in a community board announcing #GivingTuesday and give 10% of net proceeds from sales on the day or offer a matching gift.

Set a goal and ask a board member or corporate sponsor to match donations for the day. You can use this to incentivize new or larger donations during your campaign.

Communicate
Social media is the key to making sure your message is received and shared to new audiences. Build momentum with your supporters in advance and communicate a consistent message across several channels, including email. Starting with your email list, get the word out about #GivingTuesday and don’t forget to encourage your #GivingTuesdayaudience to share.

Make your posts compelling and share-worthy. Give donors a clear message and encourage them to tweet, post, snap and share.

For more tips and tools, #GivingTuesday offers free toolkits, sample messages, promos, and more.

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

Andrea Lloyd
Business Development Director

Are you taking advantage of JustGive’s free nonprofit services?

blog_npo_title_image_free_services

Increase online giving, support your mission and increase donor outreach with our free, self-service donation services.

Through your free nonprofit account at www.justgive.org/nonprofits, you have immediate access to a Donate Now button, a mobile-optimized customizable donation page, secure donation processing, and a simple online experience for your donors.

What makes JustGive’s Donate Now button different?

We provide a cost-effective way to collect online donations that includes free sign up, no monthly or annual fees and a low 4.5% processing fee. Since JustGive waives the $0.35 flat charge for each donation made from your Donate Now button, you automatically save when donors give through the button.

What are the key features of the Donate Now button and how can my organization benefit from it?

slack-for-ios-upload

  • Branding and personalized messaging – Add your logo and personal message on your page, giving your supporters a smooth user experience as they transition from your website.
  • Support for monthly recurring donations – Make it easy for donors to increase their impact with monthly giving while only providing their payment information once.
  • Custom donation amounts and program impact statements – Connect donors to your organization’s needs by providing custom donation amounts and program impact statements on your donation page. In our 15+ years of online giving, we’ve found this is key to securing funding.
  • Donor paid fees – Let your donors cover the processing fees and receive 100% of their intended donations. When this option is given, over 80% of donors opt to cover the fees.

How do I get started?

  1. Log in to or create your Nonprofit Resources account – be sure to subscribe to our nonprofit newsletter to stay up-to-date on news and trends.capture
  2. Select the Edit Your Donation Page link to easily update your custom donation page with your organization’s logo, custom donation amounts and more (Check out 5 ways to customize your Donation Page.)
  3. Click the Donate Buttons link to add the Donate Now button to your website, email signature, e-newsletters and social media campaigns and start collecting online contributions today!

– Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

 

JustGive and JustGiving join forces: what this means for you

blog_title_image_jg_jg

We at JustGive are excited to announce we have joined JustGiving, the world’s largest social giving platform.  JustGiving operates the website www.JustGiving.com.

Both organizations were founded at about the same time over 15 years ago, with an identical goal: to grow charitable giving by connecting people with the charities and causes they care most about.

Headquartered in London, UK, JustGiving has helped 27m people in 165 countries raise $4bn for NPOs and grassroots projects since its launch in 2001. The company has built a solid reputation for its commitment to technology innovation and the early use of advanced analytics to grow charitable giving.

kendallOur CEO Kendall Webb said: “In the US, JustGiving is one of the non-profit world’s best kept secrets. Our new collaboration aims to change that. We are proud to be joining forces to grow our positive social impact by combining JustGive’s unique experience and knowledge with JustGiving’s ground-breaking platform.”

zarine

Zarine Kharas, co-founder of JustGiving said, “Our belief is that giving is global, and we cannot wait to grow our community of users, NPOs and corporations in the USA, and help them raise more money together for the causes they are passionate about.”

What will change for donors?

Nothing about the website or donor accounts will change, apart from the changes to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. www.justgive.org will still be the place for donors to make contributions to their favorite charities, and to search for and donate to over 2 million U.S. charities. JustGive.org will also continue to offer charity gift cards, charity fundraisers (including wedding fundraisers), and all the other helpful features that make it easy to donate to charity.

What will change for the Nonprofits that use JustGive’s services?

Nothing at all will change, apart from the changes to our NPO Terms of Use, Donor Terms of Service, and Privacy Policy. In particular, our fees are not changing.  If you are an NPO you will continue to receive donations through JustGive.org, your npo.JustGive.org donation page (if you have set one up), and our various other partner programs. When a donation is made to your organization we’ll still send you a check on the 10th of the following month for the donations that were made in the previous month.

Please take a moment to review our updated terms which reflect the fact that your JustGive service will now be provided by JG US, Inc, JustGiving’s US subsidiary: You can find our updated terms here:

We are excited for this new chapter for JustGive, and continuing our mission to increase charitable giving by connecting people with the charities and causes they care most about.

Kendall Webb
Founder and CEO
www.justgive.org

For an effective #GivingTuesday: 10 Nonprofit Tips & Strategies

blog_npo_title_image_givingtuesday

We’re just weeks away from #GivingTuesday, a 24-hour global movement on December 1 when charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

#GivingTuesday is a great online fundraising opportunity for your nonprofit, but how you manage communications to promote the day determines your success.

2015-Save-the-Date_blue-PROFILE-image-sizeIn case you don’t yet have a game plan or haven’t customized your Donation Page to make the most of #GivingTuesday, check out our previous blog and recent webinar with DonorPath to get things rolling.

We’ve assembled 10 valuable tips and strategies to make your outreach for #GivingTuesday as effective as possible. (Find more at http://givingtuesday.org)

Get others involved

Ask a board member or sponsor to match gifts for the day or for certain hours during the day. You can use this to incentivize new or larger donations during your #GivingTuesday campaign.

localRally your community. Talk to small businesses in your area to see if they will team up to support your organization on #GivingTuesday. Suggest a percentage or proceeds from sales that day or ask if they’ll collect donations on your behalf at their place of business. They might also want sponsor a matching gift. If you have a print shop nearby, recruit their help to produce flyers you can distribute (be sure to include your website address or QR code for donations).

Communication Tips

Many donors work at companies that double the donations made by employees. In your communications, encourage your donors to submit matching gift requests for their #GivingTuesday donations.

Email

Build momentum with your supporters in advance and communicate a consistent message across several channels, including email.

  • Send an email a week before December 1, describing #GivingTuesday, announcing your participation, and telling supporters how they can help. Ask them to watch for more information and updates on your social media channels—and suggest they forward the email to friends to spread the word.
  • Email supporters again on #GivingTuesday with a specific appeal for donations. Convey your sense of urgency for these 24 hours. And point them to social media for posts throughout the day about your progress.

Social Media

7600374992_e91bb097bf_mYour social media posts are key to raising money and driving supporters to take action on #GivingTuesday. Use your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram accounts to raise awareness of #GivingTuesday and motivate supporters and prospects to participate by donating to your organization. Make your posts compelling and share-worthy. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Start promoting #GivingTuesday at least a week before Dec. 1 on your social media. That gets supporters excited and prepared for the big day. Tease any creative or unique campaign you have planned.
  • Use photos to be as engaging as possible and turn up the fun. Encourage your supporters to post “unselfies” showing how they’re participating in #GivingTuesday or how they feel when they support charity. Or post pics of your team demonstrating lots of #GivingTuesday spirit.
  • Throughout #GivingTuesday, keep followers apprised of how donations are coming in for your overall goal. It’s as easy as checking your real-time, online Donation Report on JustGive. Donors love watching a campaign in progress and knowing they can help you reach your goal.
  • Thank your donors in your posts and let them know how they’re making a difference. Example: “Thanks to Robin T. for her generous donation on this #GivingTuesday. It will fund summer camp for 5 of our kids!”
  • Follow up the next day to share your results with supporters and say thank you again.

For more helpful tips, download the logos, graphics and free Toolkits from givingtuesday.org, including ones for social media, press releases, PR and email.

– 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

Oct 8 Nonprofit Webinar: Leveraging #GivingTuesday

gtheader

It’s only October, but you’re probably already strategizing how to make the most of the all-important fourth quarter of the year when nonprofits receive the majority of their donations (source: Guidestar).

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 is #GivingTuesday, which falls right in the midst of year-end giving. Giving Tuesday is a global movement where charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Since GivingTuesday’ was started in 2012, there’s been an estimated 470% increase in online donations on this Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

You may be asking, “What’s the best way to take advantage of this global event to boost our fundraising?”

Free webinar offers tips, tools and more

On October 8th at 10 a.m. PST, DonorPath and JustGive are hosting a free webinar, Leveraging #GivingTuesday to Boost Year-end Fundraising. It will outline #GivingTuesday best practices and focus on cost-effective strategies to integrate the campaign into your year-end plans.

register

We’ll also present the tools, support, and guidance that we’re making available to you before, during, and after #GivingTuesday.

Key takeaways from the free webinar include:

  • Establishing non-revenue/soft goals for your #GivingTuesday campaign.
  • Leveraging social media (even if your current social media presence is lacking) for a successful #GivingTuesday.
  • Retaining #GivingTuesday donors through Retention Wednesday.
  • Incorporating #GivingTuesday into your current marketing collateral, event invites, and annual appeals.

Register Now and then tune in on October 8 at 10 a.m. PST to participate. If you can’t attend, be sure to register so we can send you the archived presentation after the event.

#GivingTuesday here we come!

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product