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.

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.

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

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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?

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  • 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

 

Customizing Your Donation Page: 5 Ways

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FEATURED NONPROFIT FAQ:
Customizing Your Donation Page

You want your organization’s Donation Page to be as compelling and effective as possible, making it easy to give. It needs to work seamlessly with your existing site and include your branding to create a familiar, comfortable experience for donors.  And it will generate donations most successfully when it echoes your key fundraising messages and needs. JustGive’s Donation Page design offers you choices to do just that.

Question
Can we customize our Donation Page?

Answer
Yes, in several valuable ways.  Here are five items you can quickly change so your Donation Page produces better results:

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Logo
Upload a logo for your organization in .jpg, .jpeg or .png file format. The maximum file size is 512k and recommended size is 950 pixels wide by 100 pixels high.

Mission Statement
Add your mission statement (maximum 400 characters). This will appear beneath your organization’s name and logo at the top of your Donation Page, reminding donors why you exist.

Donation amounts
You can create up to 10 unique donation amounts with optional descriptions to show donors what their gifts can do (example: $25 – provide basics for a sheltered mom in need). A list that’s specific for your nonprofit is a great way to reinforce your case for giving. It can persuade donors and build trust, since they want to know the impact of their donations. Graphic example.

In the list of JustGive donation options, “Other,” where donors can enter their own amount, is always included.

If you don’t enter custom amounts, the default amounts are $25, $50, $75, and $100.

Tip: For holiday giving, consider increasing the donation amounts listed to obtain larger gifts, since you know it’s the prime season for generosity.

Program Designations
GLT2When making a donation, your donor can specify which program they’d like to support. The default programs listed on your donation page are “General Fund” and “Other.” You can edit them and add other program names to the list at any time (unlimited). You can also reorder the list – to highlight programs that most need of support at the top of the list.  Graphic example.

These options give you a great way to drive donations to new, popular or seasonal programs too (like an adopt-a-family program for the holidays).

JustGive Donation Page Address
You can simplify your JustGive Donation Page website address so it’s easy to remember, track, and use in other marketing and fundraising efforts too. Just enter a custom ending to your URL.

For example, the nonprofit Save The Golden Lion Tamarin’s donation page is located at https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=20-2874701, and they’ve also customized it to be https://npo.justgive.org/SavetheGoldenLionTamarin.

Both your original URL and your custom address will work for donors.

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Getting started

To customize your organization’s Donation Page, just log in and click on Edit Donation Page.

And just in case you’ve forgotten, JustGive’s Donation Pages are mobile-optimized so your donors can give from their smartphones, ipads or tablets—anywhere, anytime.

Taking the time to customize your Donation Page can yield great results. Here’s to creating a more effective, personalized page that generates more donations for your work!

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

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