Tomorrow, we will be hosting a gathering of community members for a Salesforce.com Nonprofit Starter Pack Community Sprint, and we couldn’t be more excited! What’s a community sprint? It’s an event where everyone, whether accidental techie or rockstar developer, can collaborate in person to contribute to an open source project. And, oh what a great open source project the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack is! Empowering thousands of nonprofits to manage donor and supporter data, track program metrics, and do just about anything with data they need to through free or deeply discounted tools, we confess we’re massive fans and couldn’t be happier about lending a hand to help make it even better.
We’ll be giving a round up of the day’s events and accomplishments here on our blog after the keyboards are set aside and the dust settles. For now, we’ll just give a massive shout out to the fantastic community members who are giving of their own time and resources to make a contribution for the good of the nonprofit sector!
So, you've got a lot of supporters, and many of them make donations on a regular basis. But not every donor is the same. You need to think about them both as individuals and as different groups of people.
But they all donate money, what's the difference?
It's how much money they contribute. Depending on the amount of money they're willing to give, people have certain expectations for you and your nonprofit.
Like, they want a place on the board? Special privileges? Snacks?
No, not snacks. However, through giving more or less money, donors have different expectations about how they should be treated and what they should have access to. They also have unique ideas on how they receive communications from you regarding your organization. But the behavior varies with the amount of money contributed. This is why you should consider using donor levels. Nonprofit CRM software can help you develop and assign them to new and existing donors.
But how would I set up donor levels? Our donor base varies wildly in terms of what we receive.
There are a lot of methods you can use to set up donor levels. Simple tiers with max limits is one way of doing it. In fact, that yields its own rewards if you have people that aren't entirely sure how to donate. You can create donation incentives at levels based on what donors receive in return as well as based on what the money will do, according to the Nonprofit Hub.
For example, you can set donation tiers on the initial give. If you work for a foundation that provides healthcare to people in third-world countries, you could say that $25 would help vaccinate an entire family against various diseases, $100 could supply the whole village with vaccines, and $300 would supply them with all the medical equipment they need to perform basic care. This has twofold benefits: For one, you can better identify and communicate with your donors based on what they donate. Smaller individual donors will get regular emails and social media communications regarding general information on your cause, while big individual and corporate donors will have a direct line to what you. Two, it incentivizes donors to give a little bit more. They may be wavering on how much to contribute, but if they have a clear idea of where it's going, it'll inspire them to donate more.
Well, the small and big donors are already easy to deal with. What about those in the middle? There are a lot of them, and they donate quite a bit.
You're right. The idea with the middle tier is to give them a sense of distinction from the rest of their donors. As The Non Profit Times suggests, you want to make sure that they feel more prestigious than standard donors while at the same time not giving too much away to the point of alienating your elite sponsors. Giving them a club name, as well as making targeted efforts to get them to auto-renew their donations. These little features you can create using CRM software for nonprofits.
Every nonprofit, including yours, are likely still envious of the ALS Association. Last year's Ice Bucket Challenge campaign not only raised a significant amount of cash for the organization, but brought a huge amount of attention to the condition also known as Lou Gehrig's disease and its overall lack of research funding. Can you imagine what would happen if you could knock out two birds with one stone like that for your cause?
Raising awareness for your cause can be a tricky business. You may have clipboard people on the streets and special ad placements in print and web publications, among other things. What about search, though? There are a lot of people thinking about your organization's mission, either directly or indirectly. These people could become donors, volunteers or supporters very easily. As a result, you should be looking at ways to improve your search engine optimization, or how you're seen and discovered on search engines. By doing that, you'll get more people to look into the projects your nonprofit is working on.
But how do you measure your SEO? Being a nonprofit is quite different from being a media page. You don't have people placing ads on your site, and you're not necessarily looking for page clicks. So here are some tips to get you going in the right direction, using basic analytics tools:
Last week, just outside Washington, D.C., a large group of video game players and fans gathered for a week-long event called Awesome Games Done Quick. It was a marathon streamed live on the Internet that had gamers finish video games as fast as possible using skills and a variety of exploits, a process called "speedrunning." You may think that this event seems ridiculous and unrelated to nonprofits. However, by running it like a telethon, AGDQ raised $1.56 million in donations through various channels in that week for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Such an incredible fundraising drive helps us provide valuable insights on using the Internet as way to hold events and raise money. Here are four lessons you can learn from this experience, especially as it relates to using nonprofit CRM software.
The Coast Guard Foundation made waves when it landed the celebrity endorsement of Sig Hansen, Deadliest Catch star, on the show Celebrity Apprentice. We sit down with Jennifer Fyk, Senior Director of Communications for the Foundation, to ask how nonprofits can leverage celebrity endorsements to further their missions and how using Soapbox for their website empowers them to get the most out of this unique opportunity.
Q: Why did Sig Hansen choose to support the Coast Guard Foundation?
A: As a crab fisherman who makes his living in the rough seas of Alaska, Sig Hansen is personally familiar with the life-saving work that the U.S. Coast Guard does on a daily basis. Once he learned there was a way to give back to the men and women of the Coast Guard by supporting the Coast Guard Foundation, it was a perfect fit.
We couldn’t be happier than to see organizations using Soapbox for their website needs succeed so we could barely contain ourselves to learn that the Coast Guard Foundation reeled in Deadliest Catch star and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Sig Hansen’s nod as his charity of choice on the popular TV competition ruled by Donald Trump and his coif.
When you're sending out an email to your constituents, the idea is that they'll actually see it and open it. But the viewing part can be an assumption. There is a distinct possibility that your messages won't land in the inbox, but the spam folder. In some cases, they may even be blocked. As a nonprofit organization, your online presence and reputation depends on making sure your email gets to people consistently and effectively. As a result, you have to develop a strong strategy for ensuring overall deliverability on any message, whether it's a call to action or just a general newsletter. Here are a few ways of doing this, some of which can be easily managed with nonprofit CRM software.
Now that the New Year's celebrations have come to a close, you should already have a strategy in place to improve your organization's standing this year. You do have one, right?
Of course we do! Why else did you publish that previous post?
That's true. In any event, planning and executing strategies is important to running a nonprofit organization. That includes implementing constituent relationship management software that targets and nurtures your members. But you also have to pay attention to what's around you, especially when it comes to current or new development. Otherwise, you miss small things that lead to big events like that viral "Ice Bucket Challenge" that the ALS Association completed last summer.
Well, nobody saw that coming…
But they were based on trends that were developing at that point: A straightforward silly viral campaign to raise awareness.
Our strategy isn't about raising awareness, though. It's about raising funds.
Well, then, there are trends to look out for there as well. Consider donors: They made a roaring comeback in the last year, according to fundraising expert Gail Perry in her blog. Building up your relationship is now more important than getting more of them. They're becoming more trusting of you and your organization to use their donations for the aim of your organization. Their mentality has changed, however. They are far more cautious with their money. They don't like the idea of donating for the sake of giving so much as they want to make an investment that has a return.