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How to get more views on YouTube: 9 tips for nonprofits.

YouTube tips for nonprofits.

YouTube, as a social media, is an incredible tool. Every minute, 100 hours of video are posted on the site. (Source)

It is also the second largest search engine in the world. This implies that your video can easily get lost in the huge YouTube galaxy, but fortunately there are some simple and effective ways to increase YouTube traffic to your videos.

1) Fix yourself a target and a goal

Even before creating your video, it is important to think about your goal and determine what issues are related to your nonprofit, what cause or campaign you want to promote online or services, and how to respond to them in video in the best way possible.

2) Change the name of your video file

Once you have your video, it is imperative to change its name to help search engines find it. Match it to the supposed keyword you think your audience will type on YouTube. The identification of your fundraising video file is much less likely if it is named “V001_009_avi.mp4” rather than “How-to-get-more-views-on-youtube.mp4” …

3) Make a good first impression

The thumbnail image associated with each of your videos is more important than you might think! It is the first thing people see when they research, so it must be worth the effort to click on it. In other words, it must be attractive and engaging.

Click on the video manager to set your thumbnail as shown below. By default YouTube provides you with 3 thumbnail options from your video. If they do not capture the essence of your video, feel free to create a custom version and upload.

Thumbnail

4) The title of your video

The title is one of the most important elements when creating a reference for a video. Your title must be clear and precise – you will be able to say more in the description of your video. It is really important that your title intrigues people but for better search results, it a good practice to include your main keyword in the title.

5) Description of your video

Your description must include your main keyword + your secondary keywords (between 5 and 10 depending on the length of your description). Write a relevant summary of the content of your video in at least 250 words. Feel free to insert a link to your Youtube playlist, to your social networks, as well as to your nonprofit website.
As for writing your description, remember that the content of the description is truncated in the first two lines, so before your audience clicks to read everything, indicate the most important element first, or the one that will always be visible!

6) Add tags (tags / keywords) to your video

It is fundamental to “tag” your videos with relevant keywords, both to bring visitors and for the search engines. This will make it easier for people to go to your videos. These tags tell YouTube what your video will be about.
The title, description and keywords for your video can be edited using the Info & Settings tab under your video manager as shown below.

Descriptionetkeywords

7) Pay attention to the comments

Engage with your audience. Take time to read the comments on your channel, your videos, and reply. Try to get feedback, do not hesitate to ask questions to your audience, either directly in the video or through the annotations.

8) Create playlists

Create playlists of your videos instead of having separate sets of videos. Start with your most popular videos, or your most recent videos that can interest your donors, and make a playlist mixing recent and old videos. Start by creating a playlist of the name of your targeted query / keyword.

9) Use annotations

Annotations are clickable fields that overlay videos. Their goal is to improve user engagement, by posting information, comments, additional links or calls to action. They also offer the opportunity to improve the SEO of videos.

Annotations

Without the use of additional resources, these are small things that can lead to a great result with your non-profit content marketing efforts. And these tricks work. Just try them and see the results. And for your videos, what tricks and techniques do you use?

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

parish_online

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

gc-post

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.

You can download the GiveCentral Go app for your ios here. 

 

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

Graph_education

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.

It’s Almost Time to Go Back To School: Are You Planning Your Supplies Drive?

back to school supplies

It’s almost August.  Which means it’s almost time to welcome your students back to school. You’ve probably started planning and making necessary upgrades to your classrooms.

School supplies are always something both teachers and families plan for. You can never have enough supplies. Especially considering stressed school and family budgets.

Consider organizing a fun and easy back-to-school fundraiser or a supply drive. There are many families who have supplies lying around the house they would love to give away. You will be surprised how many will show up to support your initiative. After all, everyone knows that every penny counts when you have a child at school.

Another way to go about this is to organize a buy from a catalogue, where families can order supplies for their children every month from the catalog provided by the school so that the proceeds go directly to the school. The parents will also appreciate the one-stop shopping experience. Buying from one provider in one store online of offline is always helpful.

Here are few things to keep in mind as you organize a drive for school supplies:

  • First, ask the teachers to note down all of the missing equipment and supplies that the school needs at the moment.
  • Advertise your efforts properly. By handing out flyers about your charitable drive you can inform people to participate and show their support. You need to make your request visible at all the right places like the local mall, at stores and churches.
  • You can also advertise by email to the parents and send them proper invites with dates mentioned and ask them to spread the word among family and friends.
  • Let the world know too. Reach out to the local media for a wider publicity.
  • Use social media to your advantage. Facebook and Twitter might be the best platforms for you to promote your event, reach out to donors. You might even attract and engage new donors who are interested in supporting education. We can help with crowdfunding. Just let us know.
  • Arrange the list of thing you need based on priorities. Not all will be able to provide you with everything so the least you can do is make it clear and understandable to them you essential needs.
  • Be sure that you are accurate about the time, date and venue for the drop-off of the donated supplies. Always keep the queries of the donors satisfied. If you give them good response it will be easier for them to donate.
  • Partner with the right people, those who can provide you with a great location for drop-offs of the donated items, a clean and appropriate collection site. Make sure the boxes are nicely stored and are not mishandled.
  • Keep your volunteers informed about the location of drop off and make use of them cleverly to ensure the proper handling caretaking of the boxes of donated supplies. The volunteers are essential as they will later help you to and deliver the supplies from the collection site to the school and later to classrooms.
  • In the end be thankful to your generous donors. Keep in mind to send out ‘thank you’ notes either on paper or online. You will also need to thank all the volunteers for their help.

Back-to-school fundraiser can go a long way and create a positive educational environment. Don’t let time restrains, assumption that the initiative will be a waist stop you from taking action. An action that not only makes it possible for the school to purchase necessary supplies for the children to have an enriching educational experience but also further strengthen your community. Wait no more. Start planning and reaching out to families.

How to Write a Better Donation Thank You Letter (And Why It Matters)

donation thank you letter

You sure know someone who can get anyone do what they want. An executive to give their limited time, an expert – their ideas, philanthropists  – their financial support. What is the secret? It’s not that hard. You just say “thank you” and “please”. And say it from the bottom of your heart.

As you sit down to write a memorable donation thank you note consider these 10 points:

  1. The timing

According to 2016 Burk Donor Survey direct mail matters. Forty Four percent of the respondents used direct mail for their giving. Your letter should ideally be posted in less than 48 hours because the faster the letter reaches the donor, the better you will be remembered. The letter would confirm that you received the donation. It will also make an impression about the efficiency of your organization and its thoughtfulness.

Many organizations are now acknowledging contributions by email. There is a chance that your email might get lost in a full email box or sent to the junk folder. Selecting a good subject line will help your letter reach the donor.

  1. Originality matters

When writing your letter, be human, be creative. Make your first line matter.  Continue by telling a story.  Perhaps an outcome of a cause you received a gift for.

  1. A delicate, personal touch holds the key

When your letter is personal, it touches the cords of the donor’s heart. A mass email message will just put off the recipient. Fundraising managers can ensure personalization of the letter by at least mentioning the name of the donor and the amount that has been donated.

  1. No need of lengthy lines

Keep it short. Keep it simple. Just as you would in real life. Remember the message is simple – you are grateful.

  1. Human touch is important

Try to give your letter a personal touch. Find your voice and use words that sound like they are on behalf of a living, breathing person, rather than an organization. Your words must express a heartfelt gratitude for the wonderful deed that the donor has done rather than being too formal.

  1. Stay away from being too pretentious

Your thank you letter must express your feelings but at the same time not exaggerate. Being too loud or showy will disengage the reader. Rather, using a positive, uplifting tone and perspective, will make donors feel good and help in your fundraising efforts.

  1. Connect back to the campaign

When you write the letter, mention the cause or the campaign you received the donation for. You can also give a brief description about the things that you plan to do with the money and how it will help the cause. This will reassure the donor that their contribution has been put to good use.

  1. Say no to digital signatures

While we live in a tech savvy world, when it comes to signing the letter, avoid using a digital signature. Instead, get the concerned person or authority to sign the letter personally. This will add sincerity and show that you have taken the time to acknowledge contributions and are genuinely thankful.

  1. Include a tax receipt and invite the donor

You can include a tax receipt along with the letter and also invite the donor to come over and visit your organization. Offer a first-hand experience of how your nonprofit works. While the last thing you want to do is ask for more in your thank you letter, including a reply envelope might do the trick.

A brief and genuine letter appreciating your donor’s contribution can be a lot more than just an acknowledgement. It can open the doors to future gifts.

Why Churches Should Offer E-Giving Solutions

Online giving options are simple no matter what your cause is or who your donors are. Not only is it easier but also secure. Institutions of faith and religion are no exception. While traditional way of collecting offerings at churches still stand, the ability to donate online and through your phone remotely has greatly increased collecting efficiency.

Technology is changing habits. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report, the age group of 18-49 years makes up the major part of the population of our society today, about 63 percent.  And in future, as this generation moves into middle age they will bring along their knowledge of technology to make their life easier. This will have a significant effect on the collection capability of the churches, which for the time being are dependent only on weekly church attendance.

In a survey by the Gallup Organization, based on over 150,000 it was found that only 35 percent of the total attended church weekly. The rest admitted to rarely attending the church and some even agreed to not attending at all for months.  Based on this survey it is hard to agree to the traditional form of donation collection in churches. Right now the attendance to churches is the only guarantee to collecting offerings. Add to that the cost of handling cash, budgeting and lack of collection strategy and giving becomes a challenge.

Here are some of the reasons why your organization should consider e-giving:

Popular consent

The majority of people  use online payment methods for paying bills and other activities. A large majority admitted to writing checks only when donating to a church or any other non-profit which could not offer online payment method. Some churches who adopted online giving saw an increase in the number of donations every year. Though the success of programs likes these depends mostly on how they are introduced and promoted, most people find it more convenient than the traditional method.

Decrease in use of checks

Seldom will you find someone who carries a checkbook to services.  Most of the time rarely do we carry a lot of cash in our wallets. So if the church offers only these two methods of donating, the person will either give nothing or donate as little as he/she has at the given time. We know that with the boom in digital transactions people mostly use their debit or credit cards, or other online transaction methods to manage their finances.

Reliable collection option

Many programs which offer online payments have the feature of Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). Basically, people can transfer funds to the payee on a fixed timeline. How one can use this is by designating the church as the payee and then the payment will happen automatically on a weekly basis or bi-weekly, however, the account holder wants. This makes it very convenient for the church to collect donation throughout the year.  The flow of donation is stable and reliable too. Many churches that have adapted to this trend have seen an incredible increase in donations. Especially families that are traveling during summer vacations like to keep their faith alive and do make the donation even when they are away.  Many people who travel a lot can sometimes feel disconnected to their faith. With this option, it will be easier for such people to make donations from remote locations to their home church and feel connected and faithful to their faith. Time and space become the least concerning factor when using EFT and the church can concentrate on the faith of the congregation any worry less about how to collect donations.

Hike in donations

Online donations gain increased popularity – think of crowdfunding you recently participated in as one example. The ease, convenience and securing are the main three factors.  These will only, in turn, generate more donations.  Churches that offer the option have seen about 40 to 45 percentage of people using their credit card. Donation capability has increased 8 to 10 percent.

Safety

Safety is a major factor in any transactional process. Safety is taken seriously on all levels and are regulated by strict banking guidelines.  Updates and reviews to make sure there are  no loopholes are ongoing. Most importantly banks have necessary guidelines to which a merchant should adhere to. Any software solution you choose has to meet these guidelines in order for any transaction to be made with a bank. So, weather you are making a payment or donating to a church your transaction as well as personal information is treated with utmost security.

Ease of Donation

As mentioned before online transaction gives the great capability to people to donate at their leisure. Many families who can’t schedule their weekly church visit can still schedule their weekly support with electronic fund transfer. They don’t have to be concerned about attending each and every occasion to support their faith. With e-giving, they can donate regardless of their busy schedule. They can also frequently donate as much as it’s affordable to them and predict a budget for their own convenience. Giving the ability to manage how they donate can greatly increase the donations.

Broadening supporter age group

Baby boomers make the majority of donors today. But the younger generation who are also enthusiastic about supporting their faith are large in number. This new age demographic that is tech savvy and uses their mobile devices for most of their finances, will generally be inclined to use online payment methods.  Giving them the option of online payment will only draw them more towards supporting their church.

E-giving is a trend. It is here to stay and will only grow exponentially every year. Church leaders must react to this change in donor behavior and adapt accordingly. Learn more about our online donation management tools  .

Event checklist for easy nonprofit fundraisers.

Event checklist for easy nonprofit fundraisers

When you plan your fundraising year for your non-profit one event a year is a must. Though more demanding than letters, emails, calls or speeches, fundraising events have many unique benefits, including connecting and engaging with your community, getting people to rally for your cause and generating goodwill for your organisation.

The benefits of a fundraising event can be far greater than the challenge of organizing one, if the event is executed correctly. Here is an event checklist for you to get started:

  • Identify Your Target Audience

The first step in organising any fundraising event is easy enough – to know who you would like to reach out to. Would your cause appeal more to men, women or families? Would it be worthwhile targeting teenagers? Or would your cause resonate more with seniors?

Once you have defined your audience, a lot will begin to take shape; simply because the type of events that appeal to seniors are very different from ones that target teenagers.

  • Define your goals

The more focused your goal is, the more successful your fundraiser will be. Would you like to organise a non-ask event that aims to create awareness and build preference? Alternately, if you wish to raise funds, decide on the amount of money you would like to raise. A common practice is to aim to raise at least 10% of what you spend. Either way, make your goals measurable. Ideally, it is good to have one main objective along with multiple secondary ones. For example, while the main objective may be to raise $5000, the secondary objective could be to get 25 people to volunteer for your cause.

  • Plan the day of the event

Start by choosing a suitable date and venue. You will also have to book a speaker and make arrangements for catering and entertainment. When choosing the venue keep in mind the number of attendees, facilities you could use, and accessibility. When finalising the date, you would have to consider the availability of your speaker and catering and entertainment providers. Treat this as an  opportunity to involve other members of your organisation by reaching out to them for their preferences and recommendations.

An essential part of your fundraising event would be the arrangement for attendee registration. Consider creating a form on your website for the visitors to fill out.  Ask your attendees to include information like emails, phone numbers, postal addresses and more. By further building out your list of contacts you are shaping the success of all your future fundraising efforts.

  • Set a budget

Any fundraiser organised to raise money should give your nonprofit return on its investment. To decide how much you need to invest, calculate your overall spend for the event. Amongst others the costs to consider include venue, catering, entertainment and speaker fees, printing & mailing costs, travel expenses, licensing fee & permissions, marketing & advertising and photography.

Once this amount is decided, it is important to not exceed your spend beyond it. Every effort should be made to stay within the budget.

  • Build your team

Organising an event can become overwhelming when left to one or two members of your organisation.

To build an internal event planning team, define the different roles and their respective responsibilities. Start with team leaders and work through, all the way to the volunteers.  Cover roles in hospitality, marketing, guest and public relations and more. Create productive working relationships by establishing clear responsibilities and authority and building trust amongst team members.

Working together will get more done in lesser time. Here are some great tips to find, motivate and engage your volunteers.

  • Look for sponsors

Corporations often support causes as a way to give back to the community or for corporate benefits. Start your search by reaching out to possible sponsors, educating them about your cause and telling them about your fundraising event. Let them know who you plan to target and how you plan to promote the sponsor.

Bringing a corporate sponsor on board will make it easier to raise money through the fundraiser. It will make more funds available to organise a better event, and help you reach a larger number of people.

  • Promote your event

This is one activity that can be undertaken without limits. To promote your event, use all channels of communication – both traditional media like letters, leaflets and print advertisements as well as new media that includes your website, social channels and emailers.  Your event’s target audience will help define whether to focus more on traditional media or new media. For example, if you wish to reach senior citizens, focus more on traditional channels whereas to reach a younger audience, focus more on new media. Deploy an effective content marketing strategy and involve members of your organisation to get the word out. The more you promote, the more attendees will register; resulting in more donations at the fundraiser.

  • Measure your achievements

Once your event is over, it’s time to evaluate your performance. What went well and what didn’t? Did you manage to achieve your goals? What are the press reviews like? Could you have done things differently for better results? What are the learnings? How could you apply them to future fundraising events?

Hopefully, you would also have a fresh list of registrations or donors. Use these lists for future goal setting, planning and acquisition.

  • Follow up after the event

Once your fundraising event is over, it may seem that there is nothing more to be done. However, just by going one step further you could make your next round of fundraising a whole lot easier.

Reach out to all those who were part of your event – attendees, volunteers and sponsors – and get their feedback. What did they think of the event and the preparations? What was it that they liked best or least? This information is sure to help you in the future.

Lastly, even though you would have thanked your donors during the event, follow up after the event with a final, personalised thank you message.

These small efforts go a long way in keeping participants engaged and building lasting relationships.

Use the above checklist to ensure the success of your event and make raising money easier, both during and after your fundraiser.

Best Nonprofit Conferences To Attend This July & August

nonprofit conferences calendar 2017

We all are lifelong learners in one field or another. Learning from peers, thought leaders is an opportunity to see who’s doing what but also to network and stay connected. Below is a list of events and conferences you do not want to miss. Topics range from fundraising and grants to marketing and communications, and nonprofit technology. So, here we go:

  1. AMI Nonprofit Marketing Conference | Jul 10 – 12 | Washington D.C.

At this conference, organizations will learn how to reach a larger audience on a limited budget, and transform their marketing dollars into maximum impact. Attendees will gain insights and expertise from top and brightest minds in the nonprofit sector and learn the best practices and technologies that can make their time and money most effective.

Related: Best Nonprofit Conferences To Attend – September & October

  1. National Urban League Annual Conference | Jul 26 – 29 | St. Louis, MO

It is the nation’s largest civil rights and social justice conference. It will provide participants with unmatched professional, business development, civic engagement, and networking opportunities. During the four power-packed days, attendees will take the advantage of networking events, sessions and workshops led by industry experts. This conference will focus on health, education, justice, business, and the economy.

The purpose of the conference is to engage participants in the discussions of pressing issues facing Americans and solutions to address these challenges. The major issues to be discussed are:

  • Social and economic inequality across America
  • Improving education in disadvantaged communities,
  • Increasing jobs and job training,
  • Health and quality of life issues that threaten the lives of Americans and other minorities,
  • Creating quality affordable housing options and small business opportunities in American communities.
  1. Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference | Aug 2 – 4 | National Harbor, MD

It is the premier conference of, by and for fundraising professionals. It explores the latest, techniques, strategies, and innovations in direct marketing and fundraising. This will bring you and your organization to the next level. This year, above 2,000 fundraising professionals from every sector will gather for three energizing days of workshops, networking, panels, and more.

This conference will cover areas like:

  • Solutions to Your Tactical and Strategic Marketing Challenges,
  • Practical Insights and User-friendly Ideas to Improve ROI,
  1. Netroots Nation 2017 | Aug 10-13 | Atlanta, GA

Online organizers, labour and organizational leaders, grassroots activists, Social justice advocates, independent media makers, and bloggers will join this conference for four days of practical training sessions and networking opportunities.

The conference will feature:

  • 90 panels
  • 45 training sessions
  • Inspiring keynotes
  • Film screenings
  • Tons of networking and social events
  1. YNPN National Conference 2017 | Aug 11-14 | Atlanta, GA

This conference will cover areas like professional development, networking and more. It brings together nonprofit leaders and professionals from across the country. Here, you will grow your own leadership, and learn about new tools to improve your communities.

  1. ASAE Annual Conference & Expo | Aug 12-15 | Toronto, (Int.) Canada

This conference is open to association professionals, consultants, higher education professionals, industry partners, federal government employees, corporate meeting planners, and attorneys. It will fuel your work as leaders with practical ideas and colleague support.

  1. 2017 Chicago Non-profit Conference | Aug 28-30 | Chicago, IL

Avail the opportunity to connect with hundreds of fundraising and marketing professionals. At this conference, industry leaders will exchange innovative, game-changing marketing and fundraising ideas that generate fruitful solutions to help stronger relationship with donors. It will also focus on improving public awareness.