Unify with your Why

Unify with your Why

unify with your why

Does it feel like you’re saying the same thing time and time again, but the message isn’t getting through? And we’re not talking about those you work with (we’re not gonna get into that) – we are talking about your donors.

unify the message

The thing is, you may be communicating the same message consistently, but is everyone else inside your organization sharing the same message? Studies have shown that people need to see a message at least seven times before it sinks in. (source) 

A donor needs to see your message an average of 7 times for it to resonate with them. 

If your event, print, and digital communications are being created by different people, there’s a good chance your donor is hearing completely different messages, and even worse, not retaining any of it. 

How do you avoid this? Easy. Determine your why.

This one idea gets at the heart of why your organization does what it does. Not you – your organization. Keep that in mind. No matter who is saying it – whether it’s you, the executive director, board member, volunteer coordinator, etc. – everyone is communicating the same why. 

The why is absolutely critical to your communications. Think of it as a theme woven throughout all of your messaging. It motivates your staff, donors, and volunteers. It attracts a person to an organization. 

So how do you determine your why?  Good question. Think about why your organization does what it does. Perhaps a few examples will help. Let’s start with one most everyone will recognize. 

nike

For more than 30 years, just do it  has been Nike’s why. No matter a person’s abilities – or lack thereof – they want you to feel inspired to go for it. Just do it. The beauty of their why is that it extends beyond athletics and into everyday life. 

Preparing to run a marathon at 80 years old? Just do it.
Make the game-winning shot – from your wheelchair? Just do it.
Want to be the first female to coach your team to a Superbowl win? Just do it. 

These moments inspire everyone to just do it. It motivates them to take the next step. To go back to school or quit their dead-end job. This why is what makes Nike’s messaging so successful 30+ years later.  

So let’s bring this to a nonprofit level.

abvi

Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (ABVI) helps those with significant vision loss live their best life. But how do you say that in a way that’s unique and memorable?   

     I lost my sight, not my vision.

It gets at the idea that life isn’t over for someone living with vision loss. A person can still live life to the fullest and achieve their dreams.

70×7 life recovery

70×7 Life Recovery wants men and women to see themselves loved by God after they’re released from jail or prison. Their why?

     Freed for life

Every one of their programs – job training, mentoring, family support, etc. – exist to help a person be freed for life by staying out of incarceration and living in the love of Jesus Christ.

repetition is key

Once you’ve established your why, it needs to be evident in everything you say. It’s the element that unifies your messaging.  Do you have a newsletter? The name of the newsletter can reflect this theme. ABVI named their newsletter Vision.  Make it obvious on the headlines of your webpage. 70×7’s mentoring webpage headline is Freed to Lead

And, YES, it’s okay to use the same content across numerous communication platforms. Remember, a message needs to be seen an average of 7 times before it inspires action. This is exactly the type of consistency that’s needed to unify your messaging so donors actually hear, and more importantly, remember your message. 

So what’s your why?
Not sure? Let’s team up to figure it out.

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Create A Giving Tuesday Campaign That Doesn’t Get Lost

Create A Giving Tuesday Campaign That Doesn’t Get Lost

create a giving tuesday campaign that doesn’t get lost

 

Giving Tuesday is almost upon us again. The official day is Tuesday, December 3rd. The social media-driven movement follows the need to give back after a weekend of consumer binge-shopping and for a lot of nonprofits, is the kickstart to year-end giving. Nearly all nonprofits aim to cash-in on this Tuesday of Giving, which creates a lot of noise out there in the social world. Here are some tips to create a campaign that not only stands out, but will give your board a reason to smile with an influx of donations.

1. Create a week-long strategy

Start your GivingTuesday campaign a week early, on Tuesday, November 26th. That gives you 7 whole days to cultivate excitement and buzz around your organization and will keep you top of mind during those 24 hours. Use countdowns, highlight specific areas of your organization, and never forget to tell your story! Be mindful that during this week, we have Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Get creative and use these in your campaign as well!

2. Be consistent with all platforms

Share the same message across all platforms: Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even Google+ if you still utilize that dinosaur. Make sure to change all of the banner images to graphics that are unique to #GivingTuesday and your campaign.

3. Have a specific goal

Having a specific dollar amount  you want to raise from the campaign will encourage immediate action. Include that goal in your e-blasts and what kind of impact a $10 donation, $50, and $100 donation will have. Consider your audiences for this campaign: Middle-aged women and Millennials. The generation that is driven by the need to see immediate impact. This is also a great opportunity to reach this elusive demographic that traditionally isn’t giving as much as their Boomer parents.

4. Create a specific donation page for Giving Tuesday.

On this page, have a donation-tracking thermometer to show immediate impact. If you use a WordPress site, here is a link to a good thermometer plugin. You should also consider the time it takes to make a donation. It should take a donor no more than 30 seconds to input their data and make a donation. Remember that this is social-media driven and if someone can’t figure out your donation process, they will be quick to go to another cause they care about!

5. E-blasts

You should send  an email a week out from Giving Tuesday to announce your campaign and goal, a follow-up 3 days out, and multiple emails the day of.  One successful campaign last year sent 3 emails on Giving Tuesday: The first at 6am to encourage early donations, the second at 2pm to follow up and track the progress, and the last one at 7pm to encourage last-minute donations. If your email system allows, do not send emails to donors after they have already donated.

6. Engage

Engage with your all platforms all throughout the day. Respond to comments, encourage shares, and give shout-outs for large donation amounts. Users like when they can easily contact the organization they are donated to because it increases transparency. It also shows your involvement with the community!

7. Do Giveaways

Consider having swag-giveaways for the highest donation, the most shares, etc. This could be an internal contest with staff to encourage them to share your campaign, or it could be a contest open to the public. Swag ideas that are popular are t-shirts, mugs, keychains, waterbottles, and even stickers.

8. Partner with Small Businesses

Small Business Saturday is 3 days before Giving Tuesday. Reach out to local small businesses and offer to share their social for Saturday and ask them to share yours on Tuesday. You could take it farther and do Instagram and Facebook stories or takeovers for each day to show support.

9. Reach out to media outlets

Reach out to news and other media outlets to have them feature you for Giving Tuesday.

10. Keep it positive and simple

Research shows that people are more likely to give to a campaign when it has a positive direction as opposed to a negative one. (Read more at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10495142.2018.1452828) In other words, show the benefit of your nonprofit to the community. Another thing to keep in mind with all of the noise on Giving Tuesday is to keep it simple. A user should be able to see a clear graphic and a Call to Action while they are skimming. (Assume all users are skimming through Facebook and not taking time to read every caption) Paragraphs or complex graphics are scrolled over and forgotten.

11. Use video

Engagement on video has historically beat static graphics by landslides. If you have the budget and if it aligns with your campaign, consider creating a 30-60 second video to promote for the week. Remember that a lot of users do not click “turn sound on” for videos, so make sure that the message from the video is clear without sound or audio.

12. #Unselfie

If you haven’t heard of the #unselfie craze, you’re not alone. It is a hashtag that is picking up speed with celebrities and influencers where they take a “seflie” with a sign that explains the cause they care about. The goal of the photo is to raise money or awareness by using the mysterious power of the selfie in an unselfish way. Consider having your staff, board, or volunteers take an #unselfie and tag your page, or create a highlight on your Instagram to showcase them!

 

To wrap up, Giving Tuesday is a wonderful way to reach the younger demographics and get them excited about your cause. It shouldn’t be an afterthought or just a post on the day of, but rather an annual campaign with strategy and goals. If you implement a few of these ideas, your campaign is sure to be a great success and stand out! Happy Giving!

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How to Foster Relationships with Donors

How to Foster Relationships with Donors

how to foster
relationships with donors

 

Think about your own friendships and relationships that you have. How did you get there with that person? What makes the two of you close? The thing that makes my besties my besties is that joke we have about  the song Rumor Has It by Adele, late-night talks about whether gelato is better than ice cream, how to stop world hunger, and just being there after a bad day of work. Basically, it’s sharing quality time together to create those moments. 

In order to foster quality relationships with donors, follow the same recipe as you do with your closest friends: be authentic, be yourself, listen, and share.

Practical things you can do to foster a relationship with a donor:

  1. Prepare. Do some research into who you want to foster a relationship with. Ask a mutual friend some questions first so you are prepared. Looking on Facebook and other social media platforms for interests and hobbies wouldn’t hurt either. Would they have any interest in the mission of your organization? (What if they are passionate about music and not animals?) This would be great to know before meeting so you can use your time and their time well.

     

  2. Spend time with him/her. Developing a friendship/relationship takes time – even years. But they all start somewhere. Start small and invite them to have coffee. As the relationship progresses, invite them to  a concert or have them over for a barbeque to meet the family. Get to know them. These are the moments when memories and inside jokes are created. This is what friendships are made of.

     

  3. Remember important dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, the day they brought their puppy home, or the death of a loved one, are often  brought up in conversation. Take a mental note. Send a card, flowers, or whatever is appropriate according to the relationship you have. You could even send a text or make a call on those days to tell them you are thinking about them.

Tips

  1. Love of the mission. Make sure you are meeting with people for the right reasons: Love of the mission. If you truly are passionate about the mission of your nonprofit, it will show naturally. If you are struggling with the organization’s mission, perhaps you should take time to reflect on why that is and whether or not it is the right fit for you. We are all passionate about something and sometimes discovering it takes time.

     

  2. Be authentic. People are smart. They can smell a fake from a mile away. They know whether or not you are being yourself and truly care about them as a human being. Check yourself before diving into a new relationship. Sometimes this means taking time to reflect on who you are about to meet with, why you love what you do, and putting together some talking point so you are prepared.

     

  3. Hit or miss. There will be moments when your personality doesn’t mesh with a potential donor. It happens. This may be a moment to step aside and introduce them to someone else that may be a better fit to spend time with them. This is a situation you will have to read and be humble enough to make that call. For the good of the mission, right?

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Unify Your Nonprofit Brand with Spanish-Speaking Marketing

unify your nonprofit brand with spanish-speaking marketing

There is nothing more meaningful than speaking in one’s own heart language.

Our heart language is the initial words we hear our parents speak. It’s how we first hear, “I love you.” It’s the language we dream in. We best express our deepest feelings and emotions in our heart language.

Scott Allen Creative can now deliver the heart of your mission to those whose heart language is Spanish. Our services go beyond translating English to Spanish. We can also strategize how to market your services and engage potential new clients and donors.

Speaking your nonprofit voice in both Spanish and English shows respect to an individual’s culture and heritage. You can create positive social change that unifies a community. You also connect more people to your organization in an authentic way. You will expand your brand awareness and support as you reach new clients, community partners, and donors.

Let us know if you need help reaching your Hispanic community, heart to heart. And inspire others to join your cause!

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How to Make Online Donations Easier for Your Donors

How to Make Online Donations Easier for Your Donors

how to make online donations easier for your donors

 

How quickly can your donors make a gift on your website? 

Don’t scare away donors with a lengthy online donation process. Make it easy. Make it an experience. Here are a few main checkpoints before we get into a schpeel about our favorite online donation platform (#notsponsored).

  1. Is your donation page mobile-friendly? 40% of website traffic for nonprofits came from mobile users (Charity Navigator).
  2. Are donors taken away from your website to another site to make a donation? Don’t let that happen!
  3. Is your donation form or link buried by text? Make it obvious.

Just as the strength of the donor-charity relationship heavily influences offline giving, the online giving experience has a significant impact on donor loyalty, retention and gift levels. Small improvements to the online experience can make a big difference in donations.” – (Network for Good).

After testing different platforms, we have found our favorite – Donorbox. Donorbox is a powerful and effective donation form. It’s super simple and easy to set up. What we love most is that you can embed the form directly in your site, so your donors never have to leave your site. Oh yeah, and it’s free (if you collect less than $1,000 in a month – see more about pricing here).

 

Features We Love

Fast Checkout

Apple Pay: Accept both one-time and recurring donations with Apple Pay. Find out how to accept Apple Pay donations.

Google Pay: Accept both one-time and recurring donations with Google Pay. Find out how to accept Google Pay donations.

PayPal Express with One-Touch: Enjoy a faster and more reliable way to accept PayPal donations. One-Touch ensures a smooth checkout process.

Bank Payments: All U.S. based organizations can accept ACH bank transfer payments – a great payment option with very low processing fees.

Complete Customization

Make Donorbox forms your own by customizing them to blend in perfectly with your website.
Customize Donation Form Colors: Donorbox donation forms can be set to match any color scheme so that it coordinates with the look and feel of your website.

Custom CSS: Use Custom CSS to make advanced edits to your donation form design. Add your code segment to the Custom CSS block and watch the magic happen.

Your Own Donation Page: Get your very own donation page for free, customized with your own logo and background – hosted on SSL-enabled servers.

New-Look Donation Page: Choose either standard donation form layout or try out new-look donation pages. You can check them out here.

Increase Donations

Let Donorbox donation platform help you maximize your efforts and collect more donations.
Monthly, Annual, Weekly Recurring Donations: It takes only 1-click to set up a recurring donation. No extra registration screens or info is required.

Donors Cover Fees: Give donors the option to cover the processing fee on their donations. The fee will be added on, so only one donation is processed.

Company Gift Matching: Donors can encourage their employers to match the donation they made, thanks to the Double the Donation integration.

Company Donations: Get other organizations and businesses to donate to your campaign. Donorbox forms support company donations.

Multi-Currency Support: Accept donations from anyone, no matter where they are in the world. Donorbox supports over 20 popular currencies.

Donor Management

Manage your donors and their donations efficiently, with absolutely no hassle.
Donor Profile: Every recurring donor is automatically allocated a Donor Profile, complete with login details and a password. Donors can edit their own recurring donation plans.

Ask Donors Custom Questions: Add up to 10 custom questions to learn more about your donors. Responses can take the form of text, radio buttons, check boxes and drop-down options.

Make Notes About Donations: Add quick Internal Notes to each donor and donation. These notes help you manage your records with a more personal touch.

Collect Address, Phone, Employment: Gather your donors’ contact info easily. Set this info as optional, or compulsory when required (like a political fundraiser).

Safety and Security

Keep your donors and donations protected with Donorbox’s powerful security measures.

Fraud Detection: Uses Radar and anti-fraud wizardry to protect your campaign form against fraud. See our blog for more info on our anti-fraud measures.

SSL / TLS Encryption: All Donorbox donation forms are protected by SSL/TLS Encryption technology. The entire checkout process is exceptionally secure.

Tokenization of Financial Data: Donorbox doesn’t store any card information. All card and bank account data is tokenized before charging.

Check out some of the sites where we have used Donorbox (and if you feel so inclined, make an online donation):

 

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Canva for Nonprofits

Canva for Nonprofits

canva for nonprofits

Did you know nonprofits can use the premium features of Canva for FREE?

The Nonprofit status gives you access to Canva for Work’s premium features for up to 10 people (including you) in your organization for free.

What is included?

  • Magic Resize (our personal favorite – this tool easily resizes your design with one click)
  • Team Folders
  • Transparent Background
  • GIF/Movie Animator
  • Custom Brand-kit
  • Millions of premium stock photos and icons
  • Thousands of premium templates

If you’re not already taking advantage of this, stop what you are doing and sign up now.

Applying is pretty simple.

Check if you are eligible.

Read the eligibility requirements to see if your organization qualifies for Canva’s Nonprofit Program.

Submit application form.

Fill out and submit the application form below with all necessary information and the required documentation that verifies your organization’s eligibility.

Wait for feedback.

Canva will review the application and reach out via the email provided in the form with feedback and status of the application.

Enjoy Canva for Work, free!

Eligible nonprofit organizations are approved and granted nonprofit status that will let you utilize Canva for Work features free for up to 10 members.

By the way, to apply for a Canva nonprofit account you need to have an existing Canva account.

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