GreatNonprofits’ NEW Giving Basket

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About the author: Aimen Barma of GreatNonprofits, has more than 25 years experience in product management and marketing executive. She has served in CXO,VP or consulting roles for Fortune 500 brands and Innovative technology start ups, such as Microsoft, eBay, PayPal,and many others.

By now, you’ve fought the crowds on Black Friday and worked your fingers to the bone on Cyber Monday, sneakily ordering holiday presents while your boss wasn’t looking. But there are still others hoping to receive a gift from you, one that will enable them to continue their great work of improving people’s lives.

Since 2012, the giving season for nonprofits that runs through the holidays until the end of the year has officially kicked off on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—Giving Tuesday. Perhaps you were one of the donors whose generosity contributed to the $168 million raised this past Nov. 29, a 44 percent increase over last year’s Giving Tuesday total. But if you haven’t made your contributions yet—or you have and still want to do more—GreatNonprofits has worked hard to make your experience as easy as possible.

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Since 2008, GreatNonprofits has been the leading platform for community-sourced stories about nonprofits, stories submitted by those who know the nonprofit best—clients, donors, and volunteers. And our team of graphic designers and engineers are constantly striving to make the user experience as fun as possible.

And with that in mind we’ve recently launched a brand-new, more visually appealing page layout that’s sure to help a nonprofit’s profile capture attention. If a picture truly says a thousand words, then nonprofits will be able to tell a much more compelling story with the now-larger photos prominently displayed at the top of the profile.

Our reviews are also now in easy-to-read columns and displayed in their entirety—no longer just a snippet and needing to click a “read more” link to see the whole story. And it’s easy to start the process of leaving your own thoughts with the “Share Your Story” button at the top of the page.

These change are of course made with our ultimate goal in mind: To make sure that all the great nonprofits out there receive the attention—and donations—they deserve.

And on that note, we are proud to announce that we’ve streamlined the donation process with our new easy-to-use Giving Basket feature. After researching which organizations you’d like to contribute to, simply locate the large aqua blue “Donate” button conveniently located at the top of the page, as well as in the right nav. Upon clicking, you’ll see an overlay with the option to donate $25, $50, $100, $250, or “other.”

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Upon choosing the amount, simply click the “Add to Giving Basket” button to either give at that moment. . .

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. . . Or add additional nonprofits to your basket if you are feeling particularly generous that day!

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In the past, GreatNonprofits users would have to make a separate transaction for each nonprofit they wished to contribute to. But with the Giving Basket, you can donate to multiple organizations in one easy transaction!

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Thanks to the Giving Basket, making the world a better place has never been easier! It’s quick, efficient, and, best of all, simple to use, so log in right now and make this holiday season—and beyond­—a great one for your favorite organizations!

Get ready for #GivingTuesday 2016

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With six weeks to go until #GivingTuesday, here’s what you need to know.

What is #GivingTuesday?

11-29-2016#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that takes place on November 29th. Created in 2012, #GivingTuesday was started by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact team at the 92nd Street Y to celebrate and support giving during the holidays. In contrast to the commercial shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday that immediately precede it, #GivingTuesday encourages individuals to participate in a charitable act.

Entering its fifth year, #GivingTuesday has become a global movement. Last year, 700,000 donors across 71 countries joined forces to raise $116.7M in online donations.

What’s in it for my charity?

As a global day of giving, #GivingTuesday offers a huge opportunity to increase awareness of your cause and support for your organization while reaching out to new and current donors.

How do I get started?

Form a plan – Start preparations early to ensure your #GivingTuesday goes off without a hitch. Set your fundraising goals, train your employees and volunteers, prepare your donor outreach list, and schedule promotional communications leading up to the big day.  giving-tuesday-with-heartTake advantage of ready-to-use materials from the #GivingTuesday website that include a free toolkits, sample messages, logos, and more.

Set up your online donation pageLog in to your free JustGive nonprofit account to customize your existing donation page. Add #GivingTuesday as a program designation option, incorporate a #GivingTuesday graphic and messaging, custom donation amounts and special descriptions to remind your donors of the impact of their participation on this global giving day. (Check out 5 ways to customize your Donation Page.)

Tip: Once your page is customized, add our Donate Now button to your website, email signature, campaign emails and social media to link donors directly to your custom page.

Reach out to your network – Spread the word about your campaign through email communications and social media posts in the weeks leading up to #GivingTuesday – be sure to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag in all your online communication! Raising awareness early will give you momentum heading into the big day. (See our 10 Nonprofit Tips & Strategies to make your outreach as effective as possible)

97ddcf2f4b6125e3f1c7fe834ec12830On #GivingTuesday, share your page with your donors in the morning and keep them updated on your progress via social media and email throughout the day. You can even encourage your most engaged supporters to share these updates with their networks to drive donations!

Follow up with donors – While many of your #GivingTuesday donations may come from your regular donors, it’s also a likely that you’ll see new donors showing their support. Once #GivingTuesday is done, take the time to thank your donors, share the final total raised, and communicate the impact their donations will have. This is a great opportunity to engage regular supporters and turn new donors who are passionate about your cause into long-term supporters.

Amanda Chun
Account Development Manager

For an effective #GivingTuesday: 10 Nonprofit Tips & Strategies

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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

Oct 8 Nonprofit Webinar: Leveraging #GivingTuesday

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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.

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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

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?

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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

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.

Subscribe to our blog to keep getting helpful tips and tools for raising more money.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

The Community Corps: Free Tech Help for Your Nonprofit

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As a nonprofit organization, you’re often stretched thin, scrimping and saving to cover costs and get the help you need with a variety of tasks. For your technology projects, The Community Corps (TCC) is a great, no-cost resource to bridge the digital divide.

twitter-292994_1280_pixabayOur partner, The Community Corps connects nonprofits to experienced tech volunteers from top companies who can assist with technical training, resources and programming—throughout the country.

Since its start, TCC has matched thousands of volunteers to nonprofits, with a large focus on the advancement of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and fostering the development of women in technology.

Kelli Antonucci, TCC’s Nonprofit Outreach Manager, tells us this is a great time for nonprofits to get tech help.

“We’ve had a huge surge in volunteer interest and are barely keeping up with getting enough projects for them,” Antonucci said.

“This is a wonderful time for nonprofits to post projectsas soon as they are posted, we have volunteers signing up.”

The type of tech help TCC volunteers can provide ranges from training on software platforms like Excel and Salesforce to updating websites to adding enhancements like a calendar or a blog.

macbook-624707_640_pixabayTCC volunteers can also advise nonprofits considering a large software or hardware purchase.

When you post a project on TCC, there are 10 major categories for assistance: technology planning and assessments, STEM career development, website, Microsoft Office, infrastructure, STEM events, Social Media, STEM program design, The Cloud, and data.

Best of all, tech help from The Community Corps is free.  To get started, just create your TCC account and post your request or project to attract volunteers.

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

P.S. Don’t miss out on other valuable resources you can use. Subscribe to our blog for more tips and tools! 

2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference Highlights

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Image Source: Flickr

I remember attending an annual NTEN conference for the first time, in San Francisco. The sharing between very large companies like Blackbaud through individual IT consultants working for a cause demonstrated the tremendous resources offered—not just for nonprofit organizations (NPOs), but to the broad community serving them.

Launched in 2000, NTEN, The Nonprofit Technology Network, aspires to a world where all nonprofit organizations use technology skillfully and confidently to meet community needs and fulfill their missions. The organization serves scores of volunteers, tech workers, IT managers, “progressive geeks” – all resourceful individuals striving to keep philanthropic operations viable.

It’s fair to say that in 2015, we are reliant on IT resources for operations and outreach more than ever. NTEN’s impact in galvanizing our essential, cause-based community as we seek ways to integrate the best technology for our organizations is immeasurable.

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Image Source: NTEN

NTEN held its 15th annual conference in Austin recently. Featuring a roster of collaborative workshops and information, session tracks included Communications, Fundraising, Leadership, IT, Product Demos, and more.

If you weren’t able to make it to the conference this year, or would like a recap from a few valuable sessions, here are three highlights.

Leadership. The Challenge of Making your CEO’s Visions an IT Reality – Read thoughts from the CEO and IT decision makers and get an Executive Director’s perspective.  (More about the session and panel of presenters here.)

Communications. Is it Worth it for Nonprofits to Build Branded Apps? Notes from this session detail what it takes to build and promote a successful app from scratch.  (More about the session and panel of presenters here.)

Fundraising. 50 Fascinating Nonprofit Statistics – See all the stats, covering everything from a global nonprofit perspective to giving trends, including a wide variety of stats about mobile giving, retention rates and more. (More about the session and Blackbaud Director of Analytics presenter here.)

To read more about the wide variety of topics covered in discussions, take a look at the entire 15NTC Community library here.

NTEN, like JustGive, is celebrating 15 years of dedication to its mission this year. Congratulations NTEN! If you’re not a member yet and would like to join visit their site to sign up.

– Roxanne Gentile

Director of Technology