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Remembering world’s greatest humanitarians on World Humanitarian Day

world's greatest humanitarians on World Humanitarian Day

Every year on August 19th the world celebrates those who give their time, risk their lives, so that others can feel comforted.  World Humanitarian Day (WHD) was officially established to recognize Sergio Vieira de Mello and thousands like him who work every day to make the world a better place for the less fortunate, the underprivileged, and those living in places of war and starvation.

Beyonce and her song “I was here” further galvanized the World Humanitarian Day. You know how it goes:

“I just want them to know

That I gave my all, did my best

Brought someone to happiness

Left this world a little better just because

I was here …”

For WHD 2017 the world community is coming together to reconfirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget.

Famous humanitarians  like Mother Teresa, Mahatama Gandhi are an inspiration to all of us; because humanity is in all of us. We all have a share.

Some of the world’s humanitarians

Mother Teresa

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, Mother Teresa was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. Leaving home at the age of 18 for Ireland she spent 45 years serving others, spending most of this time amongst the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity which works for orphans, people suffering from HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis and leprosy, manages soup kitchens, mobile clinics and more. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and in 2016 she was canonised by the church. She is known in the Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

Mahatama Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, loving called ‘Bapu’ was born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in India. A prominent Indian political leader who led the movement for India’s independence from British rule, he organised the common people to protest against excessive tax and discrimination. As leader of the Indian National Congress, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for various social causes and for self-rule. Followed by a nation and respected by all for his beliefs and practices, Gandhi used nonviolent civil disobedience in his fight for justice. Over the years, he has inspired civil rights movements and the call for freedom across the world.

Martin Luther King

King was an American Baptist minister and leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.  He is remembered for his opposition of racial inequality using nonviolent civil disobedience and his famous speech, “I Have A Dream” which has inspired millions. One of the first to defend Rosa Parks, he fought tirelessly to raise awareness about racial inequalities which lead to significant political change. His non-violent protests and fight for justice led the Civil Rights Movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but gave away the prize money to the movement he championed.

Andrew Carnegie

A Scottish-American industrialist, Carnegie moved to the United States from Scotland at the age of 13. He worked a series of small jobs including some on the railroad, and in due course built the Carnegie Steel Corporation, the largest steel manufacturing company in the world. Often identified as one of the wealthiest people in the world, he eventually sold his business and dedicated himself to philanthropic work. Since then, his wealth has supported almost every cause – from education to the dismantling of nuclear weapons, from the discovery of insulin to the creation of Sesame Street.

Bill Gates

William Henry Gates III is the principal founder of Microsoft, the world’s richest man and a philanthropist. Rising from modest beginnings, Gates dropped out of Harvard and went on to create the world’s foremost software development company. In 2014, he retired from Microsoft and now chairs the world’s largest private charitable foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with his wife Melinda.  The foundation focuses on solving global problems in the area of health, development, advocacy and more.

Warren Buffet

Called the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ for his ability to recognize undervalued assets, Warren Buffet is one of the most successful investors of all time. A student of Economics, he formed a number of partnerships during his early working years. Soon, he acquired a textile firm called Berkshire Hathaway  and built it into one of the world’s largest and most successful holding companies. Today, his net worth is evaluated at over 70 billion, 99.9% of which, he has pledged to give away.

Together, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet founded The Giving Pledge, which asks billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to philanthropy.

How to Let Parishioners Know You’re Fundraising Online

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So you’ve set up an account with GiveCentral—our web-based donation tool that consolidates all collection, fundraising, and communication activities in one place—and you’re feeling pretty good. You’ve got your systems set up, your goals written out, and you’re ready to start accepting electronic donations. There’s just one simple problem. Your parishioners have no idea that you’re doing, well, any of it.

First things first, don’t panic. You’ve done a great thing by hopping on the online fundraising train. Research into charitable giving in 2016 found that giving increased 1% overall last year, but that online giving increased faster than the average, up 7.9% from the year before. If you build it—and let them know about it—they will come. Here’s how to let your parishioners know that you’re online and ready to receive donations.

Turn to social media

First things first, it’s time to craft a social media blast to let the parishioners that follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram know that your GiveCentral platform is ready to roll. No need to agonize about this; think short, informative, and to-the-point. If you’re stuck, try something like this:

Tired of writing paper checks? We’re thrilled to let you know that you can now donate to [your parish’s name here] online! It’s quick, easy, and secure. Click the link below for more information.

Don’t forget about other forms of social media, like YouTube and Pinterest. If your parish already uses them, be sure to advertise your GiveCentral account there, too.

Go old-school

Of course, not all your parishioners are going to be on Twitter. That’s why it’s important to announce your GiveCentral presence in more traditional ways—i.e., on paper. Put a notice in your bulletin, print out an announcement and tack it to your bulletin board, and include a mention in your parish newsletter. By announcing it both online and off, you stand a better chance at catching the attention of all your parishioners.

Make your website donor-friendly

If you hop over to any major non-profit’s website, from the ACLU to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to the St. Raymond de Penafor Parish (a GiveCentral user!), you’ll find that they make it very, very easy for you to donate. Whether it’s a pop-up, a large “Donate” button, clean graphics, or all of the above, it’s immediately clear that donating to their cause is the primary way a website visitor can help.

Draw inspiration from these huge nonprofits and make sure your website directs visitors to your GiveCentral platform. It doesn’t have to be fancy; no pop-ups or .gifs required. Just make sure the information is on your front page—and easy to read.

Use social proof

The concept of “social proof” is a useful one for parishes to remember when they’re working on fundraising. Broadly, social proof is what happens when you buy a product based on your friend’s recommendation, or watch a video because everyone in your Twitter feed is recommending it. When it comes to fundraising, capitalize on the power of social proof by letting potential donors know that other donors are already contributing. Also, consider letting your parishioners know how these donations are being used. This could take the form of a photo posted on social media, a paragraph in your newsletter, or even a tasteful announcement from the pulpit, if that feels appropriate. The idea is to let your community know that people are supporting your cause and that, if they want to do so too, they simply need to hop online.

The good news is that none of these tips and tricks should take you very long, and the payoff is large! The better news is that we’re here to help. If you are looking to improve your fundraising and make the process much more efficient and far less stressful, GiveCentral may just be the product for you. We’ve got the lowest processing fees in the marketplace—and the passion and knowledge to help you exceed your fundraising goals. Ready to hear more? Reach out to us today.

Fundraising Just Got Much Easier: Introducing the GiveCentral Go App

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The work of nonprofit fundraising is about so much more than just raising funds. It’s about building lasting relationships with your donors and, ideally, it’s about working so efficiently that you don’t have to spend all your valuable time hunched over a spreadsheet. At least, that’s the dream. But the reality is often slow, confusing, and overwhelming, and chances are you spend as much time thinking about fundraising as you do actually fundraising. If only there was a way to streamline the process!

That’s exactly where the GiveCentral Go app comes in. As the mobile app and card reader partner to our GiveCentral online donation tool, GiveCentralGo enables you to raise money anywhere, at any time, without slogging through paperwork or having to organize a bunch of volunteers. With its clean, organized interface, you can use GiveCentral Go to collect funds securely and efficiently and generate engagement and donation reports all in one place. The app integrates accounting and communication tools, too, meaning that your managers and administrators will save precious time and increase the accuracy of their record-keeping. It also makes it easy for donors to support your cause. You might call it a win-win; we call it the future of giving.

How GiveCentral works

Our online donation tool GiveCentral has more sophisticated capabilities than any donor management system out there. It enables nonprofit organizations to carve out a unique online presence by creating a customizable donation page on the GiveCentral website. Independent administrator accounts can be used to manage donor accounts, send out communications, or make changes to fundraising events. And if you’re worried about bringing donors to your page, we help with that, too, by providing free customizable marketing materials like email templates, donor signup cards, and more. Plus, we provide you with ongoing technical support by phone, email, or webinar. Our goal is to ensure the long term sustainability of organizations like yours.

Our robust web-based giving tools let donors contribute whenever they want without installing any software. They can make a one-time donation, set up recurring gifts, or simply allocate funds to a chosen category. Payments can be made by all major credit cards or electronic checks, and are secured using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. Donors then receive emails confirming their transactions, and they can also view or save all information related to their payments. It’s easy, convenient, and quick—just like giving should be.

One major pain point that our GiveCentral tool solves on the administrative end is—wait for it—the dreaded paperwork. Most nonprofit organizations are used to spending serious time and energy on paperwork, accounting, and data management—including tracking down delayed payments and updating expired payment methods—but GiveCentral consolidates all of that. When you use our online tool, all of your collection, fundraising, and communication activities are neatly gathered in one place, so that nonprofit organizations like yours can raise more money in less time.

GiveCentral Goes Mobile

We love our online tool and think you will too. But what happens when you’re out and about at a fundraising street fair or a charity dinner? That’s where our app GiveCentral Go comes in. It makes the fundraising process even easier, quicker, and more portable, so fans can turn into donors with the mere swipe of a credit card.

GiveCentral Go is a mobile app and card reader that lets you process credit card and debit card transactions on mobile devices. It can be used with iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices, and you can use it for both real-time and preauthorized transactions. It eliminates the need for POS machines as well as the need to establish separate merchant accounts for each fundraiser, making fundraising more convenient than it’s ever been before. We are constantly innovating, evolving, and adding new features, and we encourage you to grow with us; our large resource base of blog posts, press releases, articles, webinars, and videos will help you stay informed and efficient.

The Nitty-Gritty

Curious what else you can do with GiveCentral and our new mobile app? You can:

  • Easily set up giving categories for a wide range of fundraising activities. Church collections? Scholarship funds? Selling merchandise? Collecting donations at an event? Quickly set up a new category for whatever you need and start raising money.
  • Access the most sophisticated donor management system in the business. With GiveCentral, you can review real-time analytics, generate comprehensive donor reports, and use the information to build effective, lasting relationships with donors.
  • Communicate in new and exciting ways. From requesting donations to acknowledging donor gifts, you can reach out with customizable email messages. You can also manage recipient lists and link back to your website or social media to keep your community engaged.
  • Engage with donors securely and confidentially. With GiveCentral, donor information is never compromised. Personal information is shared with no one other than the recipient organization. Credit card and bank account numbers remain confidential. Our servers are protected, industry standards for online payment security are applied, and information related to transactions is transmitted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. While quarterly audits are performed by an independent third party to ensure the GiveCentral website meets PCI DSS requirements, internal audits are performed at least once every month.

If you are looking to improve your fundraising and make the process much more efficient and far less stressful, GiveCentral and GiveCentral Go are here to help. We’ve got the lowest processing fees in the marketplace—and the passion and knowledge to help you exceed your fundraising goals. Ready to hear more? Reach out to us today.

Philanthropic Giving Towards Education Keeps Growing

Giving to education has a huge gain in the year-round philanthropic giving, per the third edition of The Philanthropy Outlook. The trend suggests the growth will continue in 2017- 2018. Donor behavior seems to be the major factor propagating the trend. How do modern donors give? What motivates them and how does that behavior change how development teams plan their asks?

Donating to higher education has increased in particular via online giving. Both private and public institutions have witnessed successful fundraising campaigns.

In the recent years philanthropists in America have shown a growing interest in supporting education in the country. In fact, education was indicated as a priority for the philanthropic community. More and more charitable contributions are made to better education by training teachers, funding schools, inventive education programs and other likewise initiatives.  Many people find it critical to support higher education, private K-12 schools, libraries and many more educational institutes. In 2014, about 15 per cent of the total charitable donations in America were made to educational organizations. Not only was it an increase in the donation to education but also propelled education sector to be the second largest recipient of charitable giving in America.

The study finds that giving to education includes all cash and non-cash donations from itemizing and non-itemizing U.S. households to U.S. education charities, including institutions of higher education, private K-12 schools, vocational schools, libraries, educational research and policy, and many other types of organizations serving an educational purpose.

According to the report, giving to education will be higher in 2017 and 2018. The current projections predict it to be higher than it has been in the previous ten years. It will still be lower than the previous twenty-five and forty-year average. Giving to education is predicted to increase by 6.3% in 2017 and 6.0% in 2018.

Here are some of the factors that will significantly affect giving to education institutions in the year 2017 and 2018:

  • GDP growing above the average
  • Expenses of education services incurred by the consumer increasing in the coming year
  • Consumer’s expenditure on health

These three factors will be responsible for the majority increase in donating to education in coming years. How a charity grows also depends on the previous growth in specific economic variables. Other factors affecting giving to education in 2017-2018 include recreation services, nonprofit service output, healthcare services and rate of consumption.

With the increase in the giving to education another equally growing phenomenon are fundraising campaigns between the institutions of higher educations that are continuously growing and becoming billion-dollar endeavors. These campaigns provide philanthropists an opportunity to give and in a generous way, which otherwise will be hard to come about. This only means that there is a direct relation between the increase in a number of these fundraising campaigns and increase in donations. If such campaigns continue in 2017 and 2018 it will only give more opportunity for the people to donate to education.

HISTORICAL ANNUALIZED AVERAGES FOR GIVING

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Charitable giving to education is expected to increase as a percentage of total giving, from an estimated 15% in 2014 to 17% in 2018.

These data are drawn from historical giving data found in Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015. Data are adjusted for inflation to 2015 dollars.

Donors these days seek more control of their philanthropic interests. Each and every year donors are getting more intelligent about how and where their money goes to.  Many fundraising campaigns are hence based on donor-centric behavior. Understanding what drives donors today will help improve and build strong sentiments for fundraisers in future.