What’s Giving Tuesday All About?

what's-giving-tuesday

We’ve survived the rush of Black Friday – even with the hundreds of spammy emails and overwhelming feeling of guilt that we missed out if we didn’t get up at 3am for the greatest deal. We’ve even made it through the stress of crunching in credit card numbers and searching the web for deals on Cyber Monday. But now there’s more?! Don’t worry, we’re about to answer a common question: “What’s Giving Tuesday?” We’ll show you why it’s such a good day for nonprofits and communities.

According to a John Templeton Foundation study, 93% of respondents knew what Black Friday was, whereas only 18% knew about Giving Tuesday.

What’s #GivingTuesday?

Unlike the two big shopping days, #GivingTuesday is a day for charity. Rather than thinking about saving money on the best gifts possible, we think about giving money to the best cause possible. Rather than feeling the stress and chaos of the holidays, we feel the peace and joy that comes from contributing to a good cause.

What’s Giving Tuesday’s origin?

Over in the Big Apple, circa 2012, a group of individuals with the group 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation gathered to launch Giving Tuesday. It brings together nonprofits and talents from around the world in order to max out donations and bring awareness to charitable giving and nonprofits as a whole. The day focuses not only on promoting giving, but also on improving each community’s well-being.

We know this day as #GivingTuesday as it mostly relies on social media as a driver of engagement.

As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another. – GivingTuesday.org

Success so far

2012 = $10.1 million

2013 = $19.2 million (+90% from first year)

2014 = 26.1 million (+159% from first year)

on social media: 32.7 million Twitter impressions and 750,000+ hashtag mentions; 15.4 billion global impressions in print and social media- About Giving Tuesday

What You Can Do

The Giving Tuesday organization provides a list of events here, but you can also follow the movement on Twitter with the hashtag #GivingTuesday and donate to your favorite nonprofit. Read more about prepping for Giving Tuesday in 7 Steps, and following-up with donors.

Google Featured Snippets for Nonprofits

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You may have noticed on a Google Search Results page, that often times the first answer is in a rectangular box (as seen below). This is what the folks over at Google call a “Featured Snippet.” Read on to learn how Google featured snippets for nonprofits work and the way you might receive this placement.

google-featured-snippet-for-nonprofits

But first, do you even want one??

Marketers have questioned the benefits of being a featured snippet due to how it makes it so users might not click through to the site itself (and positively impact the site’s SEO rankings) if they gather all the information they need right on the results page.

It’s hard to know exactly how featured snippets affect SEO, but we can look at an example for some insight. A client of ArcStone’s has a featured snippet and saw a corresponding spike in traffic that has continued since. It appears that viewers clicked through to their site in order to read more beyond the information within the featured snippet.

google-featured-snippet-for-nonprofits-seo

ArcStone’s conclusion? 

It’s still up in the air as to whether the data points to click-throughs increasing or flatlining due to having a featured snippet, but in my opinion, having your site/brand up there in that spot in front of all the eyeballs is worth it, even if it means people simply looking for that answer don’t click through. – Joli Skow, Marketing Manager at ArcStone

This being said…

How do you get your nonprofit’s content on a featured snippet?

Joli points us to some ways that we can increase the likelihood our content could be featured on Google.

1. Pay attention to what search queries your nonprofit could answer. For example, if you work with the elderly, put yourself in the position of their family members: what questions are they asking? What help is the family seeking for their loved one?

2. Once you have these questions, search for the answers on Google yourself. How are other organizations answering them? What keywords do you see throughout the first page?

3. Form content that answers those questions and incorporate those keywords. This could be a series of blogposts that incorporate related long-tail keywords, an ebook, Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter posts, etc.

4. Optimize your content. Promote it on your social media pages, be extra mindful of your SEO, and make sure to optimize your photos with tags.

If you want industry experts to help you in pursuit of featured snippets for nonprofits, contact ArcStone today. If you want to stay in-the-know with features like these snippets, sign up for our newsletter.

Increasing Donor Retention: How To Follow-Up After Donations

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Research shows that up to 70% of donors don’t make a second donation largely due to a lack of outreach post-donation (bloomerang.co and classy.org). This also results in a low donor retention rate.

“…without follow-up on the part of recipient agencies, [donating] doesn’t create a lasting, sustainable relationship necessary for growth.” – Richard Freedlund, Founder of Greater Good Fundraising

Giving Tuesday and the Giving Season can result in huge success for your nonprofit, with impressive stats like 12% of donations coming in the last 3 days of the year (Network for Good) and half of the nonprofits surveyed saying they receive the majority of their donations in the last 3 months of the year (GuideStar).

However, does this mean you put all of your effort into drawing in these donations? Or should you take time to follow-up with the donors and work to build a longer-lasting relationship with them?

The answer to this question may sound obvious, but you should ask yourself if you are following up in a way that really makes a difference in the eyes’ of your donors. Let’s take a look at how to improve your donor retention by treating your donors less like customers and more like friends.

Increasing Donor Retention: Five Ways To Follow-Up After Donations

1. Say Thank You. If your friend did you a favor, you wouldn’t hesitate to immediately say thank you and maybe even send a note. Take a look at the tips in “Follow-Up Ideas for Nonprofits” for ideas on saying a stand-out thank you to donors.

2. Call Them Up. If you were able to gather donors’ phone numbers, you are not limited to email, following up with spammy emails like a salesperson from Gap. You’re not a vendor, you are a friend: if the donor chose your nonprofit out of all the others out there, they likely have an affinity for your organization. A personal follow-up to ask them how the donation process went might feel like a friendly outreach and encourage them to continue this relationship down the road.

3. Extend an Invite. Since your donor / friend gave you a gift, consider giving one back. Sending a literal gift might be out of the question budget-wise, but hosting a thank you dinner or inviting them to a guided tour of your nonprofit’s offices is more doable. This invite could aide in changing the way they view your nonprofit: you’re not just an organization they gave money to online, but instead is a group of people with whom they had a positive experience.

4. Keep Them in the Loop. Lindsay J.K. Nichols from GuideStar put it best: “Nonprofits can use #GivingTuesday to signal to people that give wisely (as in they give with their heads as well as their hearts – the only way to go!) that your organization “gets it”… Make sure you talk about your outcomes, not just your outputs, when asking for donations – remember no stories without data, and no data without stories!”

This is also a good time to ask if they want to subscribe to your newsletter to stay updated. Similarly, you could start a member-only Facebook Group that they could join to check up on the latest events, campaigns and news, targeted around donors specifically.

5. Ask Them! In any or all of your outreach, ask your donors what would keep them involved. Would they consider volunteering? Would they want to automate their giving? Would they enjoy sponsoring one individual or giving to a bigger overall cause? Once you’ve gathered some answers, you can see if there’s a trend amongst donors and if there’s something you can change to keep them in your circle.

For more ideas on improving donor retention, take a look at Double the Donation or subscribe to our Newsletter today.

Authentic Nonprofit Marketing – Avoid “Guilt” Marketing and Inspire Engagement

…if your content doesn’t speak to your constituents they won’t engage. They won’t answer your call to action. They won’t advocate on your behalf or share your content with their friends. – Claire Axelrad

So what is engaging content anyway? What gets people to take action?

Our answer: authenticity.

We searched through the content of a few successful nonprofits with popular content and found five qualities that are common throughout. All in all, they create authentic content.

Five aspects of authentic nonprofit marketing

*First, you should note: As nonprofit marketing phenom charity: water put it in an article by the Content Marketing Institute, you don’t want to use what they call “guilt marketing” to get people to take action with your nonprofit. Guilt marketing isn’t inspirational, it just makes people feel obligated. You want volunteers and donors that come to your nonprofit because they feel inspired to help – these will be the people that care a lot and keep coming back to give what they can.

1. Highlighting smiles: One photo can say a lot, but it doesn’t have to be a puppy with sad eyes or a photo from the latest catastrophe. Simply including images of your volunteers or the face of a smiling recipient of your nonprofit’s work can be enough to excite potential volunteers and donors. Study about the ways to optimize photos with Four Photo Optimization Tips.

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2. Telling stories: You don’t have to get all gimmicky or involve a bunch of numbers in order to increase engagement on your social posts. Your nonprofit’s story in itself is worth listening to, but make sure you’re telling it authentically. Read more in  “How to Tell Your Nonprofit’s Story.”

3. Showing stories: To enhance your stories, say more and show more with video, Read more about free resources, ideas to try out, and the benefits you could see in YouTube for Nonprofits. Watch an example – charity: water video.

4. Not limiting them to a check: Does your nonprofit provide a way for people to get involved financially without necessarily giving you a personal donation? Another reason charity: water stands out is because they provide a way for people to fundraise on their own. Similarly, GiveMN provided all the materials a nonprofit could need to fundraise for the Give to the Max Day.

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5. Emphasizing progress: Facebook’s latest update for nonprofits includes a progress bar at the top of the page, showing exactly where the donations are currently at, and highlighting progress. Don’t think that you have to only emphasize your need – you can point to the positives as well!

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For more ideas, contact ArcStone today to talk with the marketing team and figure out where you can increase your engagement without relying on guilt.

 

Facebook Update: Fundraiser Pages for Nonprofit Donations

The newest feature to Facebook (as of Wednesday): dedicated donation pages called “Fundraisers.”

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image: Facebook

Defining Facebook’s Fundraiser Pages:

These fundraiser pages for nonprofit donations will not only encourage donations, but also will see them through in just a few clicks. This comes just a couple months after launching the Social Good team (the leaders of Facebook’s nonprofit and charity efforts) as well as promoting their feature for nonprofits’ Facebook pages, the “Donate Now” call to action.

These function similarly to event pages in that they revolve around one specific event, and in this case, a fundraiser. The nonprofit can describe their campaign and then donors can give their money right on that page. Like event pages, the nonprofit and Facebook users can invite people to join the cause.

Other exciting features:

  • The page includes a progress bar on the top, emphasizing the progress thus far.
  • If a donor or other user shares this page on the Facebook News Feed, the new Donate CTA button will be included, making it even easier to join the cause right from the shared post.
  • The page can be easily updated, providing the nonprofit a space to post new photos and videos, update donors, and spur engaging discussions – all of which are focused on the one campaign.
Facebook-donation-pages
image: Facebook

For more on the details of this feature, you can select “request more info” on Charitable Giving on Facebook.

Nonprofits that are testing the feature:

Partner organizations Mercy Corps, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and World Wildlife Fund have live pages (since Wednesday). This will expand to 37 more Facebook partner organizations as we approach the Holiday Season including charity: water, (RED), and Water.org.

Reasoning behind the feature:

When asked about the focus on nonprofits and the debut of this feature, head of the Social Good team Naomi Gleit pointed to how they have “seen from our community that when people take action, lives are changed. We know we can do more to enable these connections” (Mashable.com).

For advice on how to best set up your next campaign and optimize your page, contact ArcStone!

2016 Nonprofit Marketing: Blueprint Your Content Strategy

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A major issue with digital marketing?

When putting all your nonprofit’s energy into pushing out new content and improving SEO, it can be a challenge to see the bigger picture. Unlike with easily-measurable factors like your nonprofit budget or numbers of volunteers and donors, with digital marketing it can be hard to measure how much your nonprofit’s online efforts are contributing to your nonprofit’s success. When your assessment tools are limited to number of social media “likes” or blog views, it means there aren’t as many means to measure your ROI.

The temptation is to just keep pushing out more and more content until you see a major improvement. However, you don’t want to keep moving forward without knowing what the work is contributing to.

Take our piece of advice for 2016 Nonprofit Marketing: fully assess your marketing efforts now, so you can more fully focus your efforts. There may not be as many ways to get a concrete number for your digital marketing success, but there are more ways than you think to assessing your efforts.

Where should you start? With what we call a Marketing “Blueprint.”

At ArcStone we call a marketing assessment a blueprint, as it works to provide a map of your next campaigns. Initial steps might include:

  • Determine your audiences – who are you trying to reach? Map out these into specific segments (donors, volunteers, those in need), then build a audience personas for each.
  • Question what these audiences would think of your current efforts. Do they like what you’re doing? Is your content actually helping them? One way we process this is by interviewing audiences.
  • Analyze your data regarding how these audiences are interacting with your content. Rather than just looking at a couple of the numbers on your Google AdWords or Analytics account once a month, take time to create an overview of the numbers from the entire year. Dive deeper with Essential Analytics: Event Tracking & Virtual Page Views.
  • Sit down with your team and talk through what steps each of your audiences would ideally take. Since it’s a new year, you can dream bigger than last year. Just make sure you have actionable steps to take towards making these goals happen.

If you’d like a professional to do this with you, give ArcStone a call for a consultation.

 

A Review of Great WordPress Plugins for Nonprofits

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Using a WordPress platform for your nonprofit’s website often makes for a more user-friendly experience for all of us non-techie website administrators out there (to read about the benefits of WordPress check out WordPress Infographic). WordPress plugins for nonprofits can help in several website functionalities such as gathering information about website users, boosting SEO, and linking to other social sites. However all these options (plus the numerous ways to use each) can result in WordPress feeling quite overwhelming.

So how do you know which WordPress Plugins will help your site’s functionality and which once could hinder it?

Thankfully, the website developers at ArcStone can help. They’ve reviewed three WordPress plugins that are frequently used by ArcStone. Read on to learn the basics of Gravity Forms, Yoast SEO and Simple Share Buttons Plus, and discover how you can optimize each for your nonprofit.

P.S. We recently partnered with Idealware to publish “The Landscape of WordPress for Nonprofits: A Report on the Current Marketplace for Plugins” – download it now!

gravity forms

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You may be aware that forms (in the form of an email subscription, quiz or survey) can be a great way to both gather information about your web visitors and to interact with them online. Gravity Forms is a WordPress plugin that helps you build out and manage such forms. You can…

1. Customize the title and description people see on the form, the information you want to gather from each visitor, and the message they receive after they’ve filled out the form. The information you can gather includes visitor attributes like their name, address, email address, website URL, pricing information, and file uploads.

How can your nonprofit use this information? Overall, forms help you get to know your nonprofit’s new potential supporters. This may help in determining whether someone is interested in donating, volunteering, or receiving your nonprofit’s services. It can also help you gather emails and addresses to send out information promoting your next fundraiser or big event. With the visitors’ permission, you could even add them to your nonprofit’s newsletter contact list, in hopes that as they get to know you, they would go from stranger to a friend of your nonprofit.

2. Connect to your email and Mailchimp account to more easily manage any marketing campaigns you run. You simply link a MailChimp list to your Gravity form and any new contacts will automatically be added to your MailChimp list. Another benefit of connecting your email is so you can receive email alerts once the forms are filled out and then quickly reach out to new visitors.

3. Get specific with each marketing campaign by limiting the form’s use according to a designated time range. In this way, you can collect emails during a certain donation period. You can also limit the amount of people that can fill out the form, just in case you have enough contacts already, such as with an event that can only take a certain amount of guests.

Cost? $39/year for use on a single site (no access to add-ons) or $99/year to use on three sites (includes access to add-ons).

Yoast SEO

We run into many nonprofits who understand the necessity of quality SEO, but do not have the time or budget to closely monitor it. If you fall in this category or you simply want to make SEO easier, Yoast SEO may be your favorite new plugin.

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1. Craft your blog posts around SEO by using the Yoast meta box. This allows you to enter the keyword phrase you are writing your posts or other content about. Then it helps you to craft your page title, descriptions, alt. tags and the like in order to fully optimize your rankings.

2. Get a visual of the search results page by using the preview section as seen in the image above. The “snippet preview” helps you see what gets bolded in your title and meta description text on the search results page when your blog matches a searcher’s query.

3. Easily access other technical features behind SEO as it automatically keeps XML sitemap up to date and allows you to edit robots.txt and .htaccess files.

Cost? Free. Unless you want to get extra tricky with the paid version – ArcStone hasn’t found the need to.

Simple Share Buttons Plus

It can be challenging to get people on your nonprofit’s site in the first place so once they are there, you want to make it easy for them to share your content. To add these icons, we’d recommend Simple Share Buttons Plus.

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1. Create social sharing buttons that allow visitors to share your content on their social media pages. This is especially useful for nonprofits who have blog posts regarding recaps of fundraisers and events or that show the successes of donations; people typically like to promote the blog posts to show how they contributed to a good cause.

2. Design these icons around the existing style attributes on your site so that the icons appear more natural next to everything else.

3. Monitor the number of times your blogs are shared to study how much your website visitors like your site’s content. This can also help you to understand your visitors’ social media preferences – for example, you can see if they use Facebook vs. Twitter more for sharing and then determine which channel might be most useful for you to focus your social media efforts on.

Cost? $10 / year for use on one site. License keys need to be renewed after a year but you get 25% off the second time around.

If you need help designing a WordPress site, setting up your plugins, or even just choosing the right options for your nonprofit, reach out to ArcStone and we will connect you with our developers and designers.

Follow-Up Ideas for Nonprofits: Saying a Proper Thank You to Your Donors

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With each new campaign, you put countless hours into rallying the support of volunteers and donors and in order to gather donations. Usually, it pays off in financial gifts from your newly excited donors. Now what? You’re tired and you’ve just seen the great ROI, so now is time to take a break. Amiright?

We’d like to point out that the time following your big fundraising campaign is one of the most important times NOT to take a break. Why?

“Sixty-five percent of first-time donors don’t make a second gift.”

but if a proper thank you was received from the nonprofit to the donor,

“Eighty percent of donors say that would convince them to make the second gift.”

— Penelope Burk, fundraising blogger

Even just from the quote above, we can conclude that:

a) Thank you’s are necessary.

and,

b) Thank you’s are worth your investment. 

We will also add that c) Thank you’s can be fun and show your nonprofit’s personality.

So how can you thank donors authentically and efficiently?

Here are a few follow-up ideas for nonprofits with recent fundraising campaigns.

1) Video: Make one heart-felt video and send it out to your donors. You don’t have to make hundreds of personalized videos to show that you are grateful for their individual efforts. The videos below were sent out to multiple different donors, but were done in a way that illustrates real gratitude and how every donor was necessary in making a difference.

– Wounded Warrior Project

– OneJustice

Don’t have time for such a lengthy video? Even just a phone camera could be a tool! Use it to send brief video clips thanking the donor by name – maybe just do the highest donors or just the first-time donors.

2) Photos: If you don’t have the technical chops to produce your own video nor the budget to keep it high quality, you can pull ideas from the examples above but use simple photos instead. You can simply include some images of the people your nonprofit works with, or if possible, you can gather a few of these people and take photos of them holding a thank you card. Nonprofit Develop Africa does this effectively, as seen below:

thank-you-photo-for-nonprofits

3) Written notes: Request that your volunteers or board members each write a few hand-written thank you cards. Most people’s email inboxes get filled every day, but their mailboxes, less so. In “The Power of a Handwritten Note,” there’s a quote drawn from the U.S. Postal Service survey, revealing that “the average home only received a personal letter once every seven weeks in 2010, down from once every two weeks in 1987.”

If you can have 10 board members and 20 volunteers to write 2 thank you notes per day for a week, you’ve got over 400 thank you’s already.

4) Phone call: have volunteers sign up for a few names to call on a list. You could call donors right after their donation for a quick thanks, or possibly down the road when you can share what their donations did. You could even make it extra personal and call on their birthday week to wish them a happy birthday.

5) Blog posts: A really targeted blog post that walks through the steps of how a donation helped, can illustrate the effectiveness of each donor’s contributions. If you send them a personal email that both thanks them and then emphasizes that they contributed to the work shown in the blog post, it can be the best of both worlds: efficient/informative AND personal.

For these posts, you can give them a “feel good” flair, underlining how much the donor impacted individuals. By also including more technical info, like how a certain dollar amount makes a specific difference, you can also target donors who are more oriented around the numbers.

If you’d like help with generating ideas, shooting a photos or video or creating content, contact ArcStone and plan out your next campaign.

Get Visitors to Stay on Your Website – Nonprofit SEO Tips

We probably all know that part of improving your nonprofit’s SEO includes keeping visitors on your website and getting them to come back. However, many nonprofits still struggle to know how to do this. If you want visitors to find you, and then to keep coming back for longer sessions, your site needs to become more of a resource center.

This means your site is not designed ONLY around getting people to click on your “donate now” CTA’s or to volunteer for an event: When people aren’t searching Google for volunteer or donation opportunities, they might just be interested in reading a story, watching an inspirational video or reading about the recent news around your cause. If your site is a resource center for all of these things, chances are you’ll get visitors to stay on your website or come back for future learning. If you do this, your rankings on their search browser can increase, and when they are looking for an opportunity for volunteering, you’ll be the first on their results page.

Why is this?

A few years back Google launched Search, Plus Your World, Venice and Google Now. Google’s search algorithm no longer calculates search rankings by solely looking at how many keywords in your site’s content match up with a search query – it takes into account the individual searcher.

Google tries to get to know the user of the browser and what results that specific individual wants; in a sense, they want to understand the user’s intent more so than to just match what the user entered in their search query. They calculate this intent more accurately by looking at the searcher’s behavior – what sites do they spend time on, where do they live, what are their preferences?

Simply put, Google interprets that the more time an individual spends on your nonprofit’s site means that the content is relevant to the user and that Google should deliver more of it.

More on how to become a resource

1. First, map out your content with an audience persona in mind. Make sure that the flow through your site jives well with them – this includes your use of language, imagery, and content. In this way, they’ll be more likely to stay on your site since it feels familiar and comfortable to them.

2. Next, make sure your content is engaging so that users won’t just skim over it quickly, but will take time to dive in. This can include a nonprofit blog with more in-depth information on your nonprofit or an interesting story about a person your nonprofit had an effect on.

*This is a good place to utilize video and imagery seeing as: people stay on a site with text-based information at a 10% retention rate vs. 65% for video (SocialMedia Today) and the average user spends 88% more time on a website with video (Mist Media). Read more about homepage video.

3. Then, include links within your content that will open up another tab for further information. The more a user can get from one visit to your site, the more they will see you as a resource, and the longer they will keep referring back to your page as a home base. Some of the most successful nonprofit websites are those that include updates from the field and many articles regarding useful information for visitors.

*Wateraid.org shows an example of using statistics and news updates to engage a viewer.

nonprofit-searcher-behavior

They highlight important stats with large/bolded numbers, making the news more digestible and incentivizing viewers to dive in for more information.

wateraid-nonprofit-news-page

All in all, the more visitors seek answers from your nonprofit, the more Google will lead them there. It’s not as simple as matching keywords to searches – it involves making your site resourceful enough to get viewers to stay and to come back.

Ideas for Nonprofit Fundraising – From Give to the Max Day, 2015

Final ‪#‎GTMD15‬ Stats! $18,063,598 raised. 121,095 gifts. 62,740 donors. Benefitting 5,694 nonprofits and schools. Thank you, Minnesota!

The quote above comes from the Facebook post GiveMN published after their day of success. They were able to rally the community behind a day of BIG giving, that goes on to benefit the community’s nonprofits. People love to know that they’ve made a difference and Give to the Max Day showed them that they could. Read on to glean ideas for nonprofit fundraising.

give-to-the-max-day-banner

How Give to the Max Day works

GiveMN sponsors a day of giving, encouraging nonprofits, businesses and other organizations to partake as GiveMN Administrators and put their efforts into maximizing donations on Give to the Max Day.

Starting in the summer, they have a Trainings page which walks participants through marketing strategy and setup for fundraising efforts. They also have webinars and training events to gear people for the day. Next they provide a Toolkit which includes logos, strategies for engaging businesses, and other such documents. To continue their follow up with participants, they send out monthly emails with updates leading up to the day.

Ideas for your nonprofit: Sponsor fundraisers in which proceeds go to your cause, but the actual fundraisers are done by volunteers. Then focus your nonprofit’s efforts on providing these volunteers with abundant assistance – a toolkit with materials they can send out to their friends and family and emails with updates and ideas to keep their campaign strong. Like GiveMN, give your participants ample time to get this going – with months leading up to a grand finale.

In the end, make it a celebration, telling them how much money was raised and what a difference they made. Spread awareness on social media and the local news, not only to promote donations, but also to allow the fundraisers/participants see that the cause they are working towards is bigger than their single event.

Incentives for Participation

Besides the donations that the nonprofit pools during the fundraising for this day, there are even more incentives for both the organization’s participation, and for donors to donate. The largest donations are rewarded, as seen below. They also have drawings for the “golden tickets” which are taken from a $1,000-$10,000 in prizes for an organization.

give-to-the-max-day

Ideas for your nonprofit: If possible, seek out a larger sponsor who is willing to reward donations by contributing to that participant’s fund. Keep in mind that people will be more encouraged to fundraise if they see that their work could be amplified.

Events

The GiveMN spread of events is diverse and exciting – their events get the whole community involved. Examples include:

  • Give to the Max Day Happy Hour – at a local brewery with games, appetizers and beer. Encourages people to pledge for monthly giving.
  • Improve Theater – an “Improvathon” that includes 125 local improvisors and 28 hours of improvisation.
  • “Sweat to the Max” – CrossFit gyms pledge $1 for every burpee completed.
  • High School Pep Rally – cheerleaders and teams encourage each parent that drives past the school to donate
  • “Raising Dough” – pre-order holiday baked goods and part of the proceeds go to a nonprofit
  • MN Timberwolves game – $20 ticket and people wearing green to spread awareness.

Ideas for your nonprofit: Rally every type of donor. GiveMN encouraged creativity from multiple types of organizations. This doesn’t have to be events that solely revolve around donations, but can also include events that simply raise awareness for your nonprofit.

Case in point: don’t feel like your team at your nonprofit has to plan out every event and promote the cause all on your own. People want to help and they can be wonderfully creative when given the incentive. As you plan 2016’s fundraising events, keep this in mind.