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19 tips for a successful nonprofit crowdfunding campaign

Tricks and best practices to achieve a desired goal with your crowdfunding campaign.

Crowdfunding is a solution that involves financing a cause by engaging the general public through specialized Internet platforms. To be successful, a crowdfunding campaign requires a great deal of communication and energy, especially if the collection goal is high.

Here are 19 tips for a successful crowdfunding campaign for nonprofits.

TIP 1: Presenting a project like no other

To succeed, you must first present a project as different from others.

To attract attention, even to provoke astonishment or admiration, we need a project like no other, a project that leaves the beaten track because it shifted, new, creative, innovative, artistic, innovative, or even human and visionary.

TIP 2: Presenting a credible project

Innovate, trigger wonder or admiration, certainly. But your project must remain credible. The goal is to raise funds to make the project concrete and viable.

To reassure donors about the credibility of the project, there’s only one solution: pedagogy. The first step is to explain the project with simple words, words that an 8 – year – old child could understand: what is and why, who is, where, and how? Remember that the best ideas are the simplest!

TIP 3: Illustrate your project with photos and videos

Photos and videos are of utmost importance in a crowdfunding operation. The potential donor likes to visualize the concept: to see the project promoters, to understand the issue, to put realities into words.

The photos and videos are all proof of the credibility of the project. They help bring the potential donor directly into the project. Focus on dynamic, rather than static, photos or videos: concrete scenarios are more meaningful than portraits or group photos.

TIP 4: Do not start the campaign too early

Starting a crowdfunding campaign at the very beginning of a project is not a good idea. Indeed, you may not have anything concrete to show and you will not be able to present any proof of your seriousness and ability to move from idea to reality.

It would be ideal to start building a support group before the launch of the campaign, for example by organizing an event, the donations will take off faster.

TIP 5: Choosing the Right Crowdfunding Platform

Choose the crowdfunding platform that best suits your project. For faith based organizations, small nonprofits and educational institutes, platforms like GiveCentral are well adapted.

The most well-known platforms will attract more donations, with more members and the fact that the donor will trust a platform he has already heard about.

Some platforms can also be used to collect donations from different countries in different languages, which can sometimes be interesting.

TIP 6: Do not hesitate to take ‘inspiration’ from the right projects

Survey similar projects on various crowdfunding platforms and note what you like, which catches your eye and piques your curiosity. Find the right hooks, the right arguments. Study how to describe a project. Donate money and study the project from the inside and see how the nonprofits organizations are communicating with their contributors.

TIP 7: Understand the motivations of different types of donors

Donors can be categorized into different categories, with motivations sometimes very remote:

Some donors favor the quality of presentation and project credibility ,

Others are concerned with the spirit or objective of the project and compare them with their own values ​​(humanism, mutual aid, solidarity, education, self-fulfillment, entrepreneurship, innovation);

Others want to understand the approach of project leaders and focus on people, perhaps with the desire to be part of the group,

Others give because they know the project bearers from near or far,

Finally some simply give to get a tax receipt and lower their taxes.

Ask yourself what the typical profile of your donors is based on the nature of your project, and adapt your speech!

TIP 8: Taking into account the importance of social networks

Crowdfunding increases to 90% via the Internet, about 50% of which flows from Facebook. It is therefore essential to be present on the social networks to make take off his campaign of crowdfunding.

First of all, create a Facebook page, invite your friends and feed it like a blog. Interact on the most influential Facebook groups in your city or theme to introduce yourself, ask questions and finally launch and animate the campaign.

TIP 9: Using Press Relays and Bloggers

Here the goal is to find prescribers: journalists or bloggers who will talk about you, write a text or an article on your initiative and especially give their opinion. All this is excellent for your visibility and your credibility, because the more a message is repeated and relayed by people recognized for their status, the better it passes.

TIP 10: Defining a Realistic Gift Objective

The target amount of collection must be realistic. If you set a goal that is too high, your crowdfunding campaign may run low in the second or third week. Set a collection goal that mostly matches your investment in time to liven up the campaign. If you think you can mobilize a large number of relays and activate influencers, if you are surrounded and helped on a daily basis, if you have time to meet journalists, bloggers, institutions and patrons, then set a donation target high!

TIP 11: Defining the right duration and the right period

The duration of the campaign (from 30 to 90 days) is a sensitive issue.

To make a campaign too long is to take the risk of losing interest. To make a campaign too short is to risk missing a number of contributions.

The dates of the beginning and the end of the campaign are also important: attention to the school holidays, parties …

TIP 12: Offer an alternative to online payment

There might be a percentage of people who do not wish to pay on the internet or who are uncomfortable with the “technique” of online payment. Do not miss out on these gifts: give contributors the opportunity to donate by check, wire transfer, or cash. Be clear about the terms and conditions: check sending address, order, etc.

TIP 13: Successfully launch the campaign

At launch, you have to communicate strongly, at a favorable time, that is, a moment when people are at their computers and ready to “listen”. Good communication will first go through an e-mailing and Facebook.

Start by reaching out to your immediate surroundings with personalized emails. That means an e-mail per person, without turning around the bush. Above all, try to turn each of your friends into an active relay.

The goal is to go beyond the limits of its own network.

TIP 14: Communicate, communicate, and communicate

Making a great communication campaign at the launch of crowdfunding is fine. But continuing the communication campaign throughout the operation is better.

You will have to continually provide evidence of the credibility of your project and your motivation. This is how you will convince the hesitant.

Send messages, photos, continue feeding your Facebook page. Give news and joy, even if your campaign stagnates.

Thank the donors, even the small ones. Show them that they are part of the team and they will become your best commercial. Give others the desire to join them.

Set a new intermediate target, a new threshold to be reached.

Adopt a positive communication, show that you will get there!

TIP 15: Suggest suitable counterparties

Crowdfunding most often works as a gift versus gift, that is, with rewards or “counterparts” . The rewards are not going to be of interest to all donors, some will not even claim them. But they may appeal to some small donors, or they may encourage some contributors to donate more.

Take care of the quality of the donations, and adapt them to the spirit of the project: propose surprise gifts for example.

TIP 16: Do not lower your arms

A crowdfunding campaign is an endurance race: the mind counts as much as the legs. You always have to believe, always raise. As long as the deadline is not reached, success is possible. Do not hesitate to reach out to your network more than once.

TIP 17: Managing the last straight

The last three days must be the occasion of a great communication operation: re-launch and motivate for the one last time, all your contacts.

TIP 18: Do not hesitate to complete the donations yourself to achieve the goal

If the goal is not achieved, the trick is to supplement the amount yourself by making a donation. This will validate the success of the operation.

Tip 19: Plan to spend enough time

This is the last advice, but the basic advice, which summarizes everything: if you want to succeed in your crowdfunding campaign you will have to invest a lot of time. So choose a period when you are available to see the project through.

Best Nonprofit Conferences To Attend – September & October

There are 17 nonprofit conferences coming up in September and October and the calendar focuses on issues that matter to you, like:

  • Fundraising and Grants
  • Non-profit management
  • Marketing and communications
  • Non-profit Technology, and More
  1. Annual Non-profit Management Institute | Sep 12-13 | Stanford, CA

Through a mix of insightful interviews, hands-on-workshops, intensive sessions with industry thought leaders, attendees will leave this conference feeling more inspired.

This conference will explore how you can use storytelling techniques to build awareness that leads to action, engage your community to establish successful partnerships, Diversify your funding sources in an age of financial uncertainty, mobilize the power of social movements, and more.

Related: Best Nonprofit Conferences To Attend This July & August

  1. Conference for North Carolina’s Nonprofit | Sep 13-14 | Concord, NC

This conference attracts fundraising professionals from nonprofits, executive directors, and other staff from small to large non-profit foundations and universities across the state of North Carolina.

  1. Rocky Mountain Philanthropy Institute | Sep 14-15 | Breckenridge, CO

This conference will help professional fundraisers to achieve their goals.

Activities planned:

  • Introduction to Fundraising Coursework,
  • Professional Development & Networking Reception,
  • Advanced Practitioner Coursework,
  • Interactive Exhibitor Village,
  • Special content for your Board Members and those new to Fundraising, and
  • Deep dive into Ask Without Fear! authored by keynote speaker Marc Pitman.
  1. Inbound 2017 | Sep 25-28 | Boston, MA

Inbound 2017 is sponsored by Hubspot and dedicated to “fuelling the passion driving most innovative and successful business leaders of our time”.

Topics to be covered are Content Marketing, Leadership, Design and Growth.

  1. ADRP’s Annual International Conference | Sep 26 – 28 | Las Vegas, NV

It is the largest international conference and dedicated to donor relations and stewardship. It provides members with the tools to be successful as a leader and practitioner. It is your opportunity to join donor relations and stewardship professionals around the world.

  1. The Communications Network Annual Conference | Sep 27-29 | Miami Beach, FL

It is the premier global leadership gathering for nonprofit leaders who are committed to build a better world through the smart use of strategic communication. It connects leaders seeking to elevate and advance communication to connect, learn, and share.

  1. The National Catholic Development Conference & Exposition | Sep 27-30 | San Diego, CA

It is the largest conference for catholic fundraisers. The executives, development directors, department directors, and other staff from religious organizations around the US and the world will attend the event. Here, you will learn from industry thought leaders to overcome the challenges and fulfill your organization’s mission.

  1. Maryland Non-profits’ 24th Annual Conference | Oct 3-4 | Baltimore, MD

This conference will help you work smarter, find simple tools and innovative ways to make your job easier, and connect with some really passionate and mission-driven professionals. The foundations, nonprofits, government, and business leaders will join this highly interactive event.

  1. Non-profit Learning Lab Institute | Oct 4 | Los Angeles, CA

This conference will help individuals sharpen their skills in communication, fundraising, event planning, board and volunteer management, organizational leadership, capacity building, and more. By attending the event, nonprofit organizations will be able to do their overall management process more effectively.

  1. 2017 NSPA Conference | Oct 9-11 | Seattle, WA

This conference attracts foundations, non-profit associations, businesses, and other professionals from colleges and universities. Attendees will have the ability to expand their professional network. It will cover areas like encourage professional development, scholarship effective practices. At the event, over 400 scholarship providers from around the US and Canada will come together and share best practices.

  1. 2017 Connect | Oct 15-17 | Denver, CO

Joinees will have opportunities to learn from experts and others in the field in a unique learning environment. This in-depth educational session will bring together the brightest minds from across the world. Topics to be covered are ranging from philanthropic Leadership to foundation management.

  1. Non-profit Learning Lab Institute | Oct 17 | Dallas, TX

This conference will help individuals broaden their perspectives and sharpen their skills in communication, fundraising, event planning, board and volunteer management, organizational leadership, capacity building, and more. It will also help non-profit organizations be more effective in their overall management process.

  1. 2017 National Forum on Family Philanthropy | Oct 18-20 | Washington, DC

It is premier gathering for giving families. Family members, board members and staff, family and community foundation donors, as well as other eligible leaders in the field of family philanthropy must attend this conference. Here, they will get the latest trends in family giving and insights into how these trends will shape the future of the field.

  1. 21/64 Annual Multi-generational Training-NYC | Oct 23-24 | New York, NY

This training will help trainees broaden their ability to relate to family philanthropy and private wealth clients. 21/64 tools will enhance your ability to dive deeper with families, multiple generations, and donors. Following this program, participants will get certified to facilitate 21/64 tools and methodology.

  1. Iowa Nonprofit Summit | Oct 24-25 | Altoona, IA

It is perfect place for renewing energy in your daily good work. At this summit, you can meet and network with people from across the state. This workshop will help attendees build capacity, work together, collaborate with others, volunteer engagement, and overcome the community challenges.

  1. Our common Future | Oct 25-27 | Detroit, MI

This event is designed to share knowledge, build connections, and nurture leadership. Featured events in the conference are: Action-oriented sessions, Immersive experiences, Creative networking events, and more.

  1. Non-profit Learning Lab Institute-Nashville | Oct 26 | Nashville, TN

This conference will help individuals sharpen their skills in communication, fundraising, event planning, board and volunteer management, organizational leadership, capacity building, and more. Nonprofit organizations will be able to do their overall management process more effectively.

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

9 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.


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.


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.


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?

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.

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.

8 Fundraising Email Strategies To Drive High Response Rates

Fundraising Email Strategies

Your non-profit engages in email marketing and the first thing you do is send an email to your supporter and potential donor appealing to them to come forth and donate to your charity. Now you sit and wait for any replies or donations. After several hours when you open your inbox you find that not only there haven’t been any replies but also no donations have been made. What did go wrong?

Besides fundraising events, fundraising emails also provide significant support and steady income source for many non-profits and charities. But not all organisations are similar and you have to think of a way to stand-out form the rest. Without understanding the art and science of email marketing a lot can go wrong. The window of opportunity to convince a donor to make any donation is very narrow.

Here are few fundamentals that if kept in mind will ensure high response to your email fundraising campaign:-

  1. A Compelling Story

It is necessary to draw the attention of your target audience towards your fundraising effort. Create a compelling and engaging story that is relatable and stands true to the cause that the charity supports. The very first step when your mail your supporter is to define the subject line for your mail. It doesn’t necessary needs to explain the content of the mail but should be interesting enough for the recipient to click it open. Have fun with the subject and be provocative. Always keep a clear narrative of your campaign that should be specific to certain segment audience. As long as you understand to treat your target donors with a specific engagement strategy you can be sure that your supporters will always be around to help.

  1. Specific Appeal

Make sure the purpose of the fundraiser is clear to the recipient. Keep it simple, clean and clear. Always make your objective understandable and perceivable to act upon. Your donor will only be interested in donating if he/she can relate to the cause and find your initiative practical and doable. So don’t blabber away in long words about your plans of how your will use their money, but keep it concise and simple and talk only about the executable actions so that the people get motivated to donate to something they understand.

  1. Mobile Phone Adaptability

Most people these days keep their social networking majorly to the phone than to their laptops or desktops. The preference on mobility to their online social life is understandable. So your email format should be adaptable to a mobile phone also. Almost 53% of the emails opened today are on mobile phones. Keep the important graphics and links and minimize texts. Optimize the graphics for mobile phone screen, resize the images and enlarge any buttons you want them to click for donation or any other information related link.

  1. First Things First

Make your appeal to be the first thing visible on your email. The call for support should be featured prominently in your mail, probably the first thing on the email. Don’t push the reader into scrolling further down before they actually understand what you are asking for. Often fundraiser emails can have multiple/conflicting call-to-action. Be careful about what kind of information you are feeding into your email. If you give the recipient too much to consider they will probably think twice before they donate. Just keep it specific and prominent.

  1. Build Relationship

Another important habit is to build trust and relationship with your donor. When asking for donation amount, you can tell what specific amount will help you achieve. If you can include a brief but heartfelt story of the impact you will create with the donated money, it will go on to impress the donor and boost your trustworthiness remarkably. Further ahead in future also keep cultivating your audience by regular feeds of your success stories. People donate because they’re compelled to be part of something bigger, something that will help them make the world a better place. Always convey to your audience that they can ‘help change lives’. The power of empathy and need to help others is one major reason people are always ready to donate.

  1. Be Creative

Remember, an email is not your organisation’s annual report. It is not a letter or request or a short essay of your plans. The only purpose that your email serves is to motivate your community and prompt giving. You don’t have to share your stories in detail but more importantly provide a format that will lead your audience to click just a button to land on your website. So forget about formatting your email in the formal and boring style. Keep it fresh and innovative. You need to entice your audience and not bore them.

  1. Test and Learn

Test every factor related to likeability of your email campaign and use that data to improve in future. Make sure you get the most information out of the campaign. Readers’ preferences and response to specific promotion style should keenly be studied. Constantly research, change, test, calculate again and then change again. It takes time to reach perfect sync with your donor, so invest that time.

  1. Be thankful

Generosity of the donors is one thing that keeps a charity running for years. Philanthropy has greatly helped charities to function efficiently and perform its duties well. Though at its core it is altruistic, it would do no harm to send a thankful note to your donor. This not only generates goodwill but also keeps your supporters’ numbers intact for future.

Electronic mails count for almost one third of the total online fundraising today. Emails have proved to be the most efficient and cost-effective way to raise money for non-profits. The outreach of your brand value to the target audience is enormous and efficient, and the response rate is also quicker. Tapping into this medium can greatly increase your performance as a charitable organisation.

What Makes Givecentral Different From Other Fundraising Apps?

What Makes Givecentral Different From Other Fundraising  Apps?

As a non-profit organization you have three main objectives – raise funds, build lasting relationship with your donors  and do that efficiently. Our GiveCentral Go app provides lasting solutions for your nonprofit!

GiveCentral Go does more than fund collection. Using GiveCentral Go you can collect funds securely and efficiently, generate engagement and donation reports in one place.   GiveCentral uses technology to design innovative solutions that promote online giving for the non profit community.

GiveCentral Fundraising App

Why is GiveCentral App Unique?

On the one hand GiveCentral integrates accounting and communication tools in one convenient place, helping managers and administrators save precious time and effort.  On the other hand it makes it easy for donors to support a cause.

How GiveCentral App Works:

Our robust web-based giving tools lets donors like you contribute from anywhere, at anytime, without installing any software. You can make a one-time donation or recurring gifts, or just allocate funds for 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 can also view or save all information related to their payments. GiveCentral makes giving easy, convenient and quick.

Addressing the most pressing needs of administrators, GiveCentral consolidates all collection, fundraising and communication activities in one place, helping non profit organisations raise more money, in less time. From planning fundraising categories to generating reports, this donor management app helps get a lot done easily, including tracking payments that have been received or the ones that are delayed. Reducing paperwork and improving accounting and data management, GiveCentral makes life easier.

Both GiveCentral, our online donation tool, and GiveCentral Go, the mobile app and card reader, use our distinctive approach to accept electronic donations.

Customize It, Use It, Love It!

Compared to other donor management systems, GiveCentral has some of the most sophisticated capabilities. It enables non profit organisations to create a unique online presence through a customizable donation page on the GiveCentral website. This page can be designed to meet your organisation’s specific needs. Also, independent administrator accounts can be used to manage donor accounts, send out communication or make changes to fundraising events. Marketing materials like email templates, donor signup cards and more are available for free, along with ongoing technical support by phone, email and webinars. Our effort is to ensure long term sustainability of organisations like yours.

Mobile Friendly

GiveCentral Go is a mobile app and card reader that allows the processing of credit card and debit card transactions on mobile devices. It can be used with iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices, for both real-time as well as preauthorised  transactions. It eliminates the use of POS machines and the need to establish separate merchant accounts for each fundraiser, making fundraising a lot more convenient than before.

What makes GiveCentral a truly unique donor management app, is our unending effort to innovate and do better. Unlike most church apps, GiveCentral is continually evolving. Based on feedback from our clients, we keep improving it.

Our app also lets you learn. Our large resource base of blog posts, press releases, articles, webinars and videos help you stay informed, and efficient.

Do all your fundraising, in one

Easily set up giving categories online for a wide range of fundraising activities – from church collections to scholarship funds, from events and fees to merchandise sale.

Access an unmatched donor management system

Our sophisticated donor management system has features that other church apps are unable to match. From ease in setting up to building lasting relations, GiveCentral partners your journey every step of the way. Generate comprehensive reports, review real time analytics and use these to reach out effectively.

Communicate in new and exciting ways

From requesting donations to acknowledging donor gifts, reach out through customised email messages. Manage recipient lists and link back to your website or social media to keep your community engaged.

Ensure security and confidentiality

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 enhance your fundraising, and work with more efficiency and less stress, GiveCentral is the right choice for you. It is a donor management system that is sophisticated yet easy to use. It is further differentiated from other church apps by having the lowest processing fees in the marketplace.

To take advantage of its superior features, all you have to do, is reach out to us.

market research nonoprofit association

Market Research for your Non-Profit Association~the 7 Golden Rules.

Before you start a major marketing campaign for your non-profit association or plan to introduce a new product or service, you need to be sure that your donors want what you are offering. Imagine working hard on a new service for months only to find out that your audience just isn’t ready for it!

Research surveys can help you find the interests of your community, provide a thorough understanding of your existing business and also help explore new opportunities in the marketplace.

Conducting a survey however, can be more difficult than it seems. At least for quality results.

Here are some tips from us at GiveCentral to help you get started.

Set up a survey to probe your non-profit association’s community with these 7 golden rules.

1.     Before getting started ask yourself

The survey must be specific to a target because its nature and the conclusions to be drawn will depend greatly on the target. You can survey your volunteers or employees to make improvements within the organization.

You can also know the satisfaction of your donors and the prospects of their growth.

  • What question are you trying to answer?

Write the problem to which this survey responds. Poll Rule: A survey always answers a question.

2.       How to structure it?

Some tips to increase your response rate:

  • Choose your non-profit survey title and subtitle
  • Consider adding a description where you set the context, explain the issues involved in the survey and why it is important that they complete the survey
  • Give an end date to the survey, and put it forward so as to avoid procrastination. It’s now or never!
  • Start with broad questions and get into the details as you go.

3.      What kind of questions to ask?

Questions should be short. Between 5 and 15 words. The respondent does not want to spend too much time taking questions. Answering your survey should be easy and quick.

Questions must be clear. Use simple and appropriate vocabulary. Even if the questionnaire is aimed at professionals, avoid the use of jargons.

Questions must be relevant. Stick to a subject. The respondent must understand why you are asking a particular question.

Also be careful not to ask personal questions. Even if your survey is anonymous, you would lose in response rate.

4.     What kind of survey response options to use?

There are two formats you can choose from- structured (where the respondent is allowed to select a response from pre-existing choices) or unstructured (open-ended) response formats.

While the structured formats are used for greater efficiency and ease, the unstructured survey response formats are a more popular choice for qualitative research.

Some advantages and disadvantages of the most frequently used survey formats for market research are:

Single choice closed question

+ Fast and simple

– Limit

Closed multiple choice question

+ More open but still easy to strip

– Some proposals are sometimes chosen without real conviction


+ Allows accurate comparisons and results

– Difficult to put in place

Open question

+ Leave a Reply

– Long to answer: may scare the respondent (be sure to leave the answer optional)

– Little response rate

– Long to strip

5.      Who will be your target audience?

Sample and population

  • The population is the number of people who make up the group you want to interview.

For example, if you want to better understand the behaviour of your donors, your population is the number of donors your non-profit association has: 150 for example.

  • The sample is the number of people in this population who responded to your survey.

You send your survey by email to your 150 donors. Only 50 respond: this is the size of your sample.

How large should my sample be compared to my population?

The table below shows you the size of the sample you need to get meaningful results.

Market Research for your Non-Profit Association- the 7 golden rules











Thus, it can be seen that the larger the size of the population, the less the proportion of respondents to be interviewed.

When is a sample representative of my population?

A margin of error of 5% and a confidence level of 95% according to the sample size shown above guarantees good reliability and very significant results.

6.     How to administer the non-profit survey?

There are multiple ways to administer a survey depending on the size of the population and the number of questions you may wish to ask. Each method has its pros and cons.

Face to face:

+ Helps if the questionnaire is complex / long

+ High response rate

– Costly and long

– Long analysis

By email:

Send a questionnaire + a cover letter + return envelope or propose a return by hand

+ Accessible to all: can reach all our members without exception

– Low response rate

– Expensive

– Long analysis

Online survey:

Put your non-profit online survey on the website, and send an invitation to reply by email. You can use solutions like Google Form, Survey Monkey and GiveCentral’s donor management system.

+ Automatic scoring

+ Anonymity of responses if desired

+ Allows some tools to have a graphical view of the results

– Need to have internet to answer: discriminating (less and less however)

The people who respond to the surveys must be randomly selected if our population is to be represented. Be careful, therefore, that administering your online survey does not distort the results. There is a risk of missing out on the representation of elderly people without internet access, those who rarely consult their emails or rarely visit your website.

7.     What to do with the results?

The analysis of the results is an essential step.

The results must make it possible to answer your initial questions and put in place concrete actions.

Be sure to remain objective in your analysis, because some answers can be misinterpreted. To remedy this, you can work with several hypothesis.

It is important to communicate the results of your non-profit survey to the community.

People who have taken time to answer your questionnaire will be delighted to have this information. Your non-profit association can use various communication tools such as, the website, monthly newsletter or email.

Storytelling for nonprofits

What’s Your Narrative? Stories worth telling.

By Patrick Coleman

What’s Your Narrative? Powerful Storytelling for Non Profits.

Humans are literally built to learn through stories.  Storytelling is a fundamental way to communicate, one that pre-dates the earliest pre-historic cave paintings. Since the beginning of humankind stories have been used to share knowledge and have been central to handing down history and traditions.  StorytellingI venture to guess, just about now, you are thinking about the stories of your ancestors you’ve been told along the way.

More than a buzzword for marketers and communicators, storytelling has evolved into one of the most powerful marketing tools for organizations today (both for-profit and non-profit alike). Check out this infographic from OneSpot on the science of storytelling.   

According to OneSpot, Americans consume an average of 100,500 digital words daily and 92% of these consumers want stories.  Storytelling engages the head and the heart and makes the connection personal.

Storytelling for non profits.

Ensuring your organization has an interesting narrative is essential. Well-crafted stories engage donors, raise awareness, demonstrate a need and illustrate the impact you have on your community.  Compelling stories connect people to your organization and your mission.  Remember these topline content guidelines when crafting your stories:

Elicit Emotions.  

Use emotion to connect on a human level.  Facts and figures are important, but stories are memorable. Your stories need to move the reader — make them feel something and ideally propel them to take action.

Appeal to the Senses.  

Use language that paints a picture and enables the reader to experience the story.  If you were writing about food you’d use descriptors that would make the readers’ mouth water.  Apply that same tactic to your writing.  

Focus on Why not What.  

Tell supporters why you do the work you do.  Dimensionalize “the what” by showcasing the outcomes – or the “why” of your work.

How is your organization using storytelling to enhance your fundraising?  What insights and tips can you share?  We love a good story, so be sure to share!