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Giving Tuesday: Celebrating the Spirit of Giving

By Bridget Mayer

The holiday season is a whirl of activity. For many, it “officially” kicks off with the shopping, deal-focused frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday events.

Five years ago, two enterprising organizations – New York City’s 92nd Street Y community and cultural center and the United Nations Foundation – joined forces to create an event to kick off the charitable giving season and Giving Tuesday was born. Since then, Giving Tuesday has been celebrating philanthropy and charitable giving. Last year, this widely supported and nationally recognized day of giving raised an estimated $117 million, according to Reuters.

Giving Tuesday 2016 will take place on Tuesday, November 29th. Now’s the time to plan how your nonprofit can be part of the action on this national day of giving. While many of you may already be in the thick of appeals or about to launch other holiday campaigns, Giving Tuesday is a great day to bolster (or even kick-off) your campaign and help increase support. Leverage the built-in awareness of this popular day to your advantage!

At GiveCentral we support and share the sentiment behind Giving Tuesday so we’ve developed a handy guide to help your organization capitalize on the excitement and rally your donors.

1. Create Your Campaign

For every fundraising campaign, It’s crucial to know your audience and their key values to tailor your pitch. Create a theme for your campaign (what are you raising money for) that will resonate with donors. Most importantly, ensure you have personal anecdotes and stories to bring your campaign to life. Be specific about how donated funds will be used and build a case as to why it’s important. Tap into select donors to help tell your story and reinforce why the campaign is important. Donors are more likely to give if they can relate to where their dollars are going and “buy in” to the need. Once themes and storyline proof points are set, use the buzz around Giving Tuesday to not only celebrate philanthropy but also encourage support of your cause. The goal of your messaging should always be to effectively get your donor base to believe in your mission.

2. Layer Your Communications

With the campaign creative and messaging set, it’s time to spread the word! Whether it’s a note in your newsletter, email, flyer, text message or social posts and videos, be sure to maximize all of your communication platforms to share details about your campaign. Educate your audience on what Giving Tuesday is and how they can get involved to make Giving Tuesday a successful kick-off for your organization’s holiday season charitable giving campaign.

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Don’t forget to say thank you! A personalized thank you for a donation is an effective way to turn a one-time donor into a lifelong supporter. GiveCentral makes it easy for organizations by sending automatically customized thank you notes after each donation.

3. Engage Your Resources

It takes a village! Don’t go at your campaign alone. Create a committee of individuals who are energized and excited to make your fundraising campaign a success for your organization. Leverage these individuals to be key communicators of your campaign through word of mouth, social media and more!

Be sure to tap into Giving Tuesday’s extensive resource center. They offer a plethora of free resources – tool kits, logos, ideas and more – to make your campaign sizzle.

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Take advantage of the smartphone phenomenon and directly connect to your donors through GiveCentral’s Text-To-Connect platform. Texts are sent to your custom cell phone number to collect information and donations to take your Giving Tuesday campaign to the next level.

4. Get Social

#GivingTuesday expertly leverages social media as a catalyst to build momentum for the movement and drive charitable giving across the world. Be part of the conversation and share your story. Create tailored Facebook posts, Tweets and Instagram images to remind your followers of #GivingTuesday and your mission while gaining new followers.

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Create a personalized hashtag for your Giving Tuesday campaign for donors to easily tag, track and share!

With these tips, your organization will be well on its way to helping members celebrate Giving Tuesday and get into the holiday giving spirit!  Click here for a downloadable GivingTuesday planning guide featuring these helpful tips.  

Thank you

That’s A Wrap

By Bridget Mayer

October got off to a busy start with two important industry conferences.  GiveCentral was proud to participate in both the International Catholic Stewardship Conference (ICSC) and the National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC).  We greatly enjoyed connecting with so many of you and appreciate you taking the time to learn how GiveCentral can be a cost-effective fundraising partner.  

Each year these conferences offer a plethora of valuable information for attendees as well as exhibitors.  We hope you found the meetings informative and were able to capture some helpful takeaways!

Congrats Are in Order

We’d like to congratulate our iPad giveaway promotion winners who visited our booth during the conferences.  We’re grateful for the opportunity to have demonstrated the state-of-the-art GiveCentral online giving system and look forward to partnering with you to help you raise more:

  • Mariann Gilbride, Associate Director of Development Major and Planned Gifts, Diocese of Trenton (ICSC winner)
  • Valerie Sperka, Director of Development, Catholic Charities Indianapolis (NCDC winner)

Didn’t get a chance to stop by or are curious to learn more…give us a call.  We’d love to show you how effective GiveCentral can be as a fundraising too and showcase all we can do to help you optimize giving.

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GiveCentral Proud to Participate in DFMC Conference

The Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference (DFMC) is underway in beautiful San Diego.  Diocesan fiscal leaders from across the country are once again gathering for the four-day conference where they will collaborate with colleagues and participate in a variety of fiscal-management focused educational seminars, work sessions and exhibits.

As a partner committed to helping Dioceses across the nation grow their giving, GiveCentral is honored to once again participate in this annual event.  This year, GiveCentral hosted breakfast on Monday, September 19th for all attendees.  We were happy to see so many of you and look forward to a great conference!

With its focus on continued education, DFMC offers attendees the chance to hear from organizations who can help them achieve their mission.  Our GiveCentral team will be on hand throughout the conference to demonstrate our turn-key, online donation service.  Though GiveCentral’s full suite of integrated capabilities, we have successfully helped many Dioceses and Archdioceses across the country raise more while simultaneously reducing staff time spent on administrative work, freeing them up to spread their mission (and who can’t use more time in their day?).

“GiveCentral is taking the Diocese’s fundraising operation in the right direction. In our first year of using GiveCentral for the Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal, we not only met our goal, but exceeded it by over $1.1M! I appreciate the detailed, real time reports, and I know our donors appreciate how easy it is to use. I recommend GiveCentral to any organization that is serious about fundraising.”

 

  • Tony Brandolino – Director of Stewardship and Development

If you are headed to San Diego for the conference,  we’d love to connect and show you how we can help you grow your giving!

GiveCentral Survey Report: 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving

The Times, They are a Changin’ – New Survey Report on Technology and Nonprofit Giving

by Bridget Mayer

New Nonprofit Giving Survey: 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving

Communication and Technology Adoption Key to the Future of Donor Management

front cover of the GiveCentral 2015 "Predictions for Nonprofit Giving" Survey ReportChange is practically synonymous with a new year and this rings true for nonprofit organizations in 2015. The next few weeks and months are a time for fresh fundraising strategies and an overall penchant to shake things up.Technology is one area in particular that is driving forward change within nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the industry. Here at GiveCentral, we’re constantly striving to learn more about technology’s transformative effect on donor giving and how organizations are responding to the digital age’s influence. Whether it be how mobile technology is mixing things up or how donor management tools have changed, it’s important to us to stay on top of the latest trends.We recently conducted a proprietary survey among more than 80 nonprofit senior executives, including senior religious leaders, Chief Executives, Chief Financial Officers and development managers across a wide range of nonprofit organizations. We wanted to identify the best donor management practices and understand the biggest giving-related challenges and opportunities that nonprofits will face in 2015.You can download the full report here.What we found in our inaugural report, 2015 Predictions for NonprofiGiving, was both enlightening and encouraging. Senior executives of nonprofits recognize there are many challenges ahead—from the increasing level of competition for donors to the pressure of technological change. The good news, however, is that they are preparing for the future.A few statistics in particular stuck out to us as we dove into the data, including the importance of effective donor communication to engage with donors, how donors are becoming more comfortable with online giving and the need for increased technology education. Below, I’ve outlined these findings.To ensure your organization is positioned to increase its donations in 2015, please check out the full report for a comprehensive look at the current nonprofit giving environment.

Lack of Communication Puts Donor Relations at Risk

Many nonprofit executives reveal that the greatest barrier to donor engagement and giving is a lack of communication.

  • Despite 84 percent of respondents reporting their organization embraces technology change, more than one-quarter (27 percent) do not have a formal email communication schedule in place and only 10 percent send weekly donor emails.
  • One-quarter (26 percent) still rely on weekly printed newsletters. As a result, nonprofit senior executives are leaving many opportunities on the table to communicate and engage with donors to build stronger relationships and increase giving.

Donor Fear of Technology Diminishing

Nonprofit senior executives said that although they still face some hesitation from donors when it comes to technology, more and more are becoming comfortable with digital channels.

  • 84 percent of nonprofits recognize the importance of catering to a new generation of donors and embrace technology change.
  • Only one-in-ten nonprofits retain fully manual donation processing, demonstrating the prevalence of technological advances in giving programs.

Donor Education is Key to Embracing Technology Change

While donors are becoming more comfortable with the idea of technology change, increased education is needed to close the gap. At the same time, organizations are confident their donors can move past the perceived complexity of online giving programs.

  • Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents said their donors don’t understand online giving.
  • Yet, only 12 percent of respondents say online giving technology is too complex for their organization to use.

As you usher in 2015’s changes and begin to prepare for the years down the road, we’re hopeful that the donor giving information in this survey from nonprofit leaders is valuable to your organization. Whether it’s gaining a small piece of insight, finding comfort that you’re on track for technology’s demands or even realizing you are behind the digital curve when it comes to nonprofit giving, please let us know what you thought of the survey results in the comments below.Wait, there’s more!To confirm you are positioned to increase your donations in 2015, please contact me at bridget@givecentral.org to schedule an analysis of your donor management practices.

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Infographic – How Online Giving Can Revitalize Your Annual Campaign

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Online Giving Best Practices

Recently, we shared our new white paper on best practices for rejuvenating your annual campaign with online strategies. Because everything is more fun with pictures, we’ve taken our tips to the next level in our latest infographic.Make your way around the “8” to get additional perspective on how to bring a fresh approach to your organization’s annual campaign.INFOGRAPHIC: Rejuvenate your annual campaign with online giving: 8 best practices for success!

a large crowd of cheering businesspeople, seen from above

What’s New? GiveCentral’s Website!

New Features to Enhance Fundraising

You may have noticed that some things look a little different around here since the last time you visited. That’s because we’ve re-launched our website to empower you, our nonprofits, to enhance the fundraising experience in innovative and exciting ways.In addition to a fresh look and feel, the GiveCentral team has been hard at work based on feedback from our clients to ensure that superior functionality, improved site design and new ways to give are at the forefront of the user experience.You may be wondering, what exactly does this mean? It means that GiveCentral’s website now offers:

  • Mobile Responsive Design: In an increasingly mobile world, smartphones, tablets and other devices are how users want opportunities to donate. GiveCentral’s new site is completely mobile responsive so donors and nonprofits can easily access their accounts no matter where they are.
  • Online Profiles: Nonprofits with GiveCentral accounts can now create completely customizable online profile pages to manage all the information about their organization — from the latest giving opportunities, to social media activity, to photos and videos.
  • No Expiration Dates: With GiveCentral’s new website, donors don’t have to set an expiration date on a recurring donation to a nonprofit of their choice. In the past, end dates were required and could cause challenges when users wanted to continue giving. This is a very important feature for nonprofits as well, as on average, recurring donors give 42 percent more per year than one-time donors.

Giving today is about being flexible, creating connections, and promoting greater transparency. We want donors to be able to give in any way that is convenient for them — via text, via mobile, via swipe, via desktop, during the day, late at night, and in multiple languages.Tell us what you think about our new website in the comments or on social media. We’d love to get your feedback!