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Technology

#GivingTuesday: November 27, 2018

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Current Events/News, Fundraising, Insights, News You Can Use, Nonprofit Marketing, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

Heather Ehlert
Chief Operating Officer

Social media + celebration = global giving = #GivingTuesday. In 2017, #GivingTuesday raised more than $300 million online through 2.5 million gifts in more than 150 countries around the world.  And for the seventh year in a row, Lamar Advertising is collaborating with JB+A to support this global day of giving, by generously providing pro bono digital billboards throughout the Greater Kansas City Metro.

How will you participate in #GivingTuesday?  It’s not too late to make a plan.  Download your JB+A #GivingTuesday Guide here.

Celebrating its 7th anniversary, #GivingTuesday falls on November 27th this year. November may seem like a long way away with countless other deadlines in between for you and your organization, but there are three important steps you can take now for a successful #GivingTuesday this fall:

  1. Identify your #GivingTuesday Program/Theme Focus

Highlight a specific program or immediate need to create your communications talking points and grab donors’ attention. Setting a fundraising goal that is attainable and clearly ties back to what it will help your organization accomplish increases excitement and participation.

  1. Create your #Hashtag

Identify your unique #hashtag for your #GivingTuesday campaign based on the program or theme you have selected. Be sure to make it short and relevant to your organization and something easy for people to remember.

  1. Alert donors, volunteers and other constituents

Let folks know via email and your website (and in any already scheduled correspondence in your communications plan) about your #GivingTuesday plans and educate them about the social media channels your organization will be using.  Don’t forget to arm them with your #hashtag.

For more tips about ways you can participate in #GivingTuesday, visit https://www.givingtuesday.org/.

You Can Change Board Conversations Around Philanthropy By Using the Fundraising Fitness Test

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Boards + Leadership, Campaign Planning + Management, Capacity Building, Database Management, Donor Cultivation, Education, Fiscal Management, Fundraising, Insights, News You Can Use, Organizational + Personal Development, Stewardship, Technology | No Comments

Erik Daubert, MBA, ACFRE

Chair of the Growth in Giving Initiative and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, Faculty at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, LaGrange College, and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Originally posted on Nonprofit Connect

I have worked with hundreds of nonprofit organizations who have used the Fundraising Fitness Test (FFT) and I am often asked, “How should I use the Fundraising Fitness Test with my board?” (Available for FREE at www.afpfep.org)

The answer is, “Effectively!”

At the Growth in Giving Initiative and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, our goal is for fundraising to be more effective, and this is just as true with your board of directors as it is with your overall development program.

So, how can you be most effective at using information from the Fundraising Fitness Test with your board?

The first thing to decide is, “Which data points are right for our organization to share?”  While this answer is not always clear at the onset, you should begin by analyzing your test results.

Once you have run the Fundraising Fitness Test and reviewed your results, you should ask some key questions:

  • What opportunities stand out in our analysis as areas of opportunity?  Some examples of this may be findings related to new donor acquisition, specific donor group retention strategies, Pareto Principle analysis and comprehension, Gain/Loss indicators and more.  Having a good understanding of the information found in the report empowers you to have and lead strategic conversations about how to improve development performance going forward.
  • What does leadership think about how things are going, based on information appropriately shared from the FFT?  One of my favorite quotes in fundraising is, “The best idea is someone else’s!”  By this, I mean, when a board chair or a CEO thinks something such as, “We need more major donors” or “We need to broaden our base of support of donors”, I almost always say, “You are right!” Because these ideas are “theirs”, you don’t have to do the heavy lifting of convincing them to embark on these efforts…that part of the work is already done!  The FFT reveals all kinds of information in the results, and will, perhaps, spark important ideas for your Board on where to spend their energy!  For example, by seeing your organization’s major donor acquisition, upgrades, retention rates, and more, you can have strategic conversations about how to best make more, good results happen in your future fundraising efforts.  You can use your past performance as your “baseline” while also using information available at www.afpfep.org/reports to see what is happening in the broader nonprofit sector.  Nonprofit organizations can compare against themselves (By comparing against previous year’s past performance) and also against other nonprofits in their sector and  region of the country.
  • What is the best use of board member engagement and/or development committee engagement at this time?  If having board members do critical development work like solicitation, recognition, cultivation, stewardship or other activities is the goal, you can use results from the FFT to share why this is a good idea.  By leveraging key data points such as “We are behind the national average for Human Services organizations on repeat donor retention” you can help to shape and guide key conversations around development program improvement.

So, how should you use your FFT with your board?

  • Determine which points you should highlight.  Share some points to celebrate (they are there!) and also points to work on and improve.
  • Share these findings with key leaders such as your CEO, Board Chair, Financial Development Committee Chair, or other key leader as appropriate to your organization.  Have conversations about what is working and what can be improved.  Talk strategically about what you might do to make the results better for next year.
  • Mutually decide which points should be shared with the overall board.  Be transparent both in the celebration of great work, and recognition of the work yet to be accomplished.
  • Remember that while the Fundraising Effectiveness Project has information on how other nonprofits are doing with regard to these metrics, the best comparison of all is against your own organization!  Look at how you did last year, two years ago and beyond, and look at what is working and what is not.  These findings can be used as a basis for well- informed conversations – about personnel, budget, strategy, tactics, focus and more – to create a better future for your nonprofit organization and your financial development efforts.

For more information about how to engage your board with data and the Fundraising Fitness Test, check out the tools and resources available at www.afpfep.org.  There you can find tutorials on how to run the Fundraising Fitness Test in addition to key resources and reports outlining findings by our senior research and data compilation teams.

We hope you will find these resources helpful and thank you for raising more funds to make the world a better place!

Written by Erik J. Daubert, MBA, ACFRE Chair, Growth in Giving Initiative/Fundraising Effectiveness Project Work Group.  Erik serves as Faculty at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, LaGrange College, and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in their various philanthropy programs, in addition to serving as an Affiliated Scholar with the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.  He also works as the Director of Financial Development Education at the YMCA of the USA.  Erik may be reached via email at daubert.erik@gmail.com

The Growth in Giving Initiative’s work to date is often recognized by our work on the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) which includes tools like the Fundraising Fitness Test.  The FEP was launched in 2006 to help nonprofit organizations measure, compare, and maximize their annual growth in giving.  The FEP is focused on “effectiveness” (maximizing growth in giving) rather than “efficiency” (minimizing costs).   Check out FREE resources at www.afpfep.org

Nonprofit Staff Development: Not a Nicety, A Necessity

By | All Posts, Commentary, Insights, News You Can Use, Nonprofit Marketing, Organizational + Personal Development, Stewardship, Strategic Planning, Technology, Uncategorized, Volunteers | No Comments

Katie Lord
Vice President

Between technological advances, the rise of the “gig” economy and the transition to a majority millennial workforce, it should come as no surprise that change is happening across all sectors and it is happening faster than we are able to accommodate. This can be especially true when it comes to the nonprofit sector, where I consider our adaptability to change similar to turning the Titanic. While our industry may be a bit slower to adapt than most due to constraints of resources, the best and most sacred resources most of us have is our staff. Our staff has the ability to lead the charge for change within our organization.

We have all seen the classic business quote below of the fabled conversation between a nameless corporate CEO and the CFO:

CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”

CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”

This is just as true for nonprofits, especially when it comes to development and volunteer management staff. Nonprofits are known to have one of the highest turnover rates in staff with an estimated 19% annually. According to The Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey by Nonprofit HR, 81% of nonprofits said that their nonprofit organization had no employee retention plan. That is astonishing, especially when you consider how much more cost effective it is to keep your high performing development staff than it is to replace them. How can you keep your top talent engaged and decrease your turnover rate? The answer is simple. Invest in your staff through personal and professional development.

Another finding of The Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey states, “Less than 1% of nonprofit funding has historically gone toward supporting nonprofit talent and only 0.03% ($450M) of the sector’s $1.5 trillion annual spending has been allocated to leadership development.” Let that sink in for a minute. The nonprofit sector accounts for 10% of the GDP and is the third largest employment sector behind retail and manufacturing, yet we don’t invest in our biggest asset of all, our workforce!

Investing in professional development for nonprofit staff is no longer a nicety. It is a necessity, especially when you factor in the traditionally lower salaries that sector employees make compared to their corporate counterparts.  According to a study by Execu-Search, 76% of millennial employees (who are the largest generation in the current workforce) think that professional development is one of the most important aspects of a company’s culture. Below are a few suggestion of how you can offer professional development to your high performing staff that won’t break the budget:

  • Choose a business or career development book and read as an office
  • Bring in a local speaker to talk with your employees about a relevant topic to your mission
  • Reimburse or pay for membership in a professional development association
  • Allow staff to take a webinar or attend a seminar once a quarter
  • Have staff select one conference every other year to attend (many provide financial assistance or scholarship opportunities)
  • Encourage your staff to volunteer to serve on boards (Believe me, it gives your staff member an invaluable perspective to be on the other side of the table) and allow flex time for your staff to do so
  • Hire a coach for first time managers or for those you see with leadership potential

It is important for us as a sector to not shy away from investing in our staff’s development. It is our staff who run our programs and who work tirelessly to fill the gaps in our society left by both the public and private sector.  By not providing employees with professional development, we risk continuing to be slow to adapt as a sector and thereby losing our most promising talent and future change makers to others who will allow them to grow.

Fundraising Big Data with DonorPerfect Online

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Capacity Building, Database Management, Fundraising, News You Can Use, Prospect Research, Technology | No Comments

Jennifer Studebaker
Coordinator of Administration + Consulting

DonorPerfect Online (DPO) Vice President Jon Biedermann and Dr. Nathan Dietz, a published scholar and experienced practitioner of quantitative and qualitative social science research, recently led a webinar analyzing the results of 2.24 million transactions and 427,000 donors over a period of years. So what did these numbers reveal about fundraising behavior?

Demographic data showed most 2017 gifts were to human services at 23%, followed by health and religious organizations. Offline donations remained the most common way to give, though online donations have increased from 4% in 2014 to almost 8% in 2017. First time givers declined from 2015-2017, but Jon noted that the recent declines in first time donors points to increased donor retention.

Not all of these findings may be surprising for the experienced nonprofit professional. However, one of the key parts of data-based decision making is allowing the data to speak. Your assumptions may be correct, but actually testing your assumptions is vital.

The most compelling insights were around the importance of thanking donors and multichannel giving. The DPO data showed only 48.5% of the donors in the data reviewed were thanked for their gifts. Over half of donors in 2017 were not thanked! The impact of thanking showed in the transaction data. While they waited longer to give again, their donations ($50 on average) were higher than non-thanked donors ($35 on average).

Here are some key steps to turn this insight into action:

  1. If you do not currently have a standard protocol for thanking donors within 72 hours of receipt, establish one now.
  2. If you have an acknowledgement process, review any messages that donors receive through your website or other channels, since this may be an opportunity to improve the impact of your messaging through customization. Ensure that the thank you message, whether mailed or email, is properly addressed and matches the campaign or fund to which they are donating.

Multichannel donors gave over twice as much as other donors over the course of their lifetime, and their annual giving average was $325, opposed to $75 offline only and $100 online only. Multichannel includes solicitation via direct mail, telephone, email, face to face, text, social media, events, flyers and newsletters. Knowing this, consider the following:

  1. Donors want to give, so make it as easy as possible for them to donate. I know from my user experience research that hard to navigate websites or poorly organized information will result in people abandoning their efforts, even when highly motivated. If you are able, invite a volunteer to do a test run of completing your donation form or donating online. Ask for their feedback, but while they complete the task, observe where they hesitate or take more time than expected. This combination of feedback and observation will help you identify the pain points your donors may be experiencing. Removing those will help guarantee that giving to your organization is a positive experience that donors will wish to repeat.

Also think about the value of wealth screening in prospecting major donors and cultivating monthly donors.

Click here to view the full webinar.

Fundraising Trends in 2018

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Capacity Building, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, News You Can Use, Nonprofit Marketing, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

 

Veronica Gerrity
Coordinator of Administration and Consulting

Don’t let your organization miss out on fundraising opportunities in our ever-evolving field. This month we are looking at five small-scale strategies that can be achieved through embracing technology.

  1. AmazonSmile – Make sure your organization is registered to accept gifts from your Amazon-friendly supporters. This program allows a portion of all Amazon purchases to be donated to the user’s preferred nonprofit organization, thanks to the AmazonSmile Foundation. Inform your donors of this easy way to support your organization while buying the things they need. You can register your organization here. While you are there, don’t forget to make a Wish List for your organization. Having a Wish List allows those who want to help get the best possible products for your organization’s needs. Donors can add your preselected items of need to their cart and they will be delivered to your door with no extra hassle to your donor. Advertise your Wish List and AmazonSmile profile on your website and remind donors around Black Friday and other holidays when they will be buying more things online.
  2. Crowdfunding and Giving Days – Crowdfunding projects are becoming more successful because they combine a specific fundraising goal with an urgent deadline. Campaigns in this manner have elements of fun and social sharing that create a mix with the potential to raise serious money. Social circle fundraising is becoming more common as donors who are beginning their giving are deciding where their money goes. Your organization can capitalize on social circle funding by meeting a new donor base. Don’t have a specific project to crowdfund at this time? Host a giving day for your organization and get a flood of new volunteers and first-time donors. Make sure to capture these new donors and send personalized thanks following the day of giving to reinforce your organization’s connection with them. Small and mid-sized nonprofits can have bigger impacts with less monetary commitment with these campaigns – all you need is a little social media “know-how.” Be sure to check out JB+A’s post on crowdfunding.
  3. Facebook Live and YouTube – According to Cisco, by 2019, video content will be responsible for 85% of all U.S. internet traffic. Videos allow nonprofits to have stronger connections with their donors by showing the personal side of your organization. Videos are easy to digest by the viewer and can be shared in your donors’ networks through their social platforms. Showcase your organization and what makes you different and separate from others in your community. Try hosting a YouTube or Facebook Live video to reach your donors as a thank you or progress report. Make sure to showcase your organization’s impact and unique personality. Check out additional tips for using Facebook Live.
  4. Digital Transactions – Here is another way Facebook and YouTube can help your organization fundraise. Digital payments on Social Networks, Facebook Fundraising Tools, Periscope Coins and YouTube Donation Cards are all new ways to make it easier for donors to connect and donate to your organization. With an increasingly large donor base who primarily donates via technology, now is the time to consider accepting these newer methods of payment.
  5. Let your Organization Speak – Be “in the moment” with your donors using communication via Twitter. Twitter can allow organizations to be more transparent with donors by communicating what your organization is doing day-to-day. Having your CEO or President send a message or sharing a client testimonial can help your donors feel informed and like they have an “in” to your community. Add up-to-date progress on campaigns and events to make donors feel more included and involved. Have a gala or special event occurring? Send live in-the-moment updates as your event takes place.

These trends will never replace more traditional methods of fundraising but as competition for donor attention and investment in your organization becomes more difficult, having multiple and varied ways to reach donors and allow them to interact with your organization is becoming more important. The above listed trends have many benefits – including the fact that they require minimal front-end cost and can have an added impact to your already scheduled development plans.

It’s #GivingTuesday! Have you joined the movement?

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, Social Media, Stewardship, Technology | No Comments

#GivingTuesday 2017 is finally here!

#GivingTuesday unites:  individuals, communities and organizations around the world come together to celebrate and encourage giving.

Anyone, anywhere can get involved in #GivingTuesday.  And no matter who you are – individual, family, nonprofit, business – JB+A wants YOU to join the movement:  spread the word, support a cause, make a gift, share your story.

How will you participate?  Looking for ways to get involved?

Visit #GivingTuesday’s online directory to find organizations, charities, events and more!

And a special thanks to Lamar Advertising, for its continued partnership in support of #GivingTuesday!

The largest provider of outdoor advertising in Kansas City again collaborated with JB+A to support #GivingTuesday. Since the inception of #GivingTuesday in 2012, Lamar has generously provided pro bono digital billboards throughout the Greater Kansas City area to promote this global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. This year, Lamar donated eight boards over a two-week period, for an estimated 2,786,382 viewing impressions!

#GivingTuesday: Behold…Billboards!

By | Current Events/News, News You Can Use, Social Media, Technology, Volunteers | No Comments

The largest provider of outdoor advertising in Kansas City is again collaborating with JB+A to support #GivingTuesday. Since the inception of #GivingTuesday in 2012, Lamar has generously provided pro bono digital billboards throughout the Greater Kansas City area to promote this global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. This year, Lamar is donating eight boards over a two-week period, for an estimated 2,786,382 viewing impressions!

Dave Halpin, Sales Manager for Lamar in Kansas City, shared his thoughts on the importance of #GivingTuesday: “As the largest provider for outdoor advertising in Kansas City, Lamar embraces this opportunity to support #GivingTuesday for the fifth consecutive year.  We are committed to doing anything we can to make this community stronger while demonstrating the giving spirit embraced by all of our employees.”

Thank you, Lamar Advertising, for this continued partnership in support of #GivingTuesday!

 #GivingTuesday 2017 is a week away!  (Nov. 28) Every year since its inception, the #GivingTuesday movement has had increasing success.  Last year, 98 countries participated through 2.4 million social media impressions and 1.64 million gifts to raise $177 million online.  What will 2017 bring?

Anyone, anywhere can get involved in #GivingTuesday. And no matter who you are – individual, family, nonprofit, business – JB+A wants YOU to join the movement:  spread the word, support a cause, make a gift, share your story.

Check out the JB+A #GivingTuesday Guide here.

#GivingTuesday Is Right Around the Corner

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, News You Can Use, Nonprofit Marketing, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

A little more than a month away, #GivingTuesday falls on November 28th this year. In 2016, #GivingTuesday raised more than $177 million through $1.64 million gifts in 98 countries around the world. Be sure to watch for #GivingTuesday billboards throughout Kansas City: for the sixth year in a row, Lamar Advertising  is collaborating with JB+A to support this global day of giving, by generously providing pro bono digital billboards throughout the Greater Kansas City Metro.

Here are three important steps to take now for a successful #GivingTuesday this fall:

  1. Identify your #GivingTuesday Program/Theme Focus
    Highlight a specific program or immediate need to create your communications talking points and grab donors’ attention. Setting a fundraising goal that is attainable and clearly ties back to what it will help your organization accomplish increases excitement and participation.
  2. Create your #Hashtag
    Identify your unique #hashtag for your #GivingTuesday campaign based on the program or theme you have selected. Be sure to make it short and relevant to your organization and something easy for people to remember.
  3. Alert donors, volunteers and other constituents
    Let folks know via email and your website (and in any already scheduled correspondence) about your #GivingTuesday plans and educate them about the social media channels your organization will be using.  Don’t forget to arm them with your #hashtag.

For more tips about creating a solid #GivingTuesday campaign, download your own “JB+A #GivingTuesday Guide.”

Community Crowdfunding: Together, We Can Do More

By | All Posts, Commentary, Fundraising, News You Can Use, Technology | One Comment

sharon-greenCommunity Crowdfunding: Together, We Can Do More
Sharon Green, Chief Development Officer for WonderWe

Editor’s Note:  We are pleased to introduce Sharon Green as a guest contributor to this month’s issue of News You Can Use. Sharon is the Chief Development Officer at WonderWe, a multi-campaign, crowdfunding social network that enables individuals, nonprofits and faith-based organizations to raise funds and awareness. Sharon is passionate about helping organizations grow to serve the community, and has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, including Hannah & Friends, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults with special needs and 3rd & Goal – Veterans Home Aid, which assists veterans facing homelessness and requiring home improvements in order to make their lives more accessible.

When we act as a community, goodness flows.  WonderWe, a free fundraising company located in Kansas City, Missouri, is committed to using technology for the good of communities around the world, knowing a community can consist of an individual, a handful of individuals, or dozens of handfuls (even dozens of dozens.) Size doesn’t matter.  Goodness does.  WonderWe supports those who do good, wherever and however that goodness is shared.

Crowdfunding is a contemporary, click-away opportunity to learn about the needs of organizations and individuals around your neighborhood, your city and our collective world. If an issue tugs at your heartstrings, it will take you only a moment to make a meaningful difference. WonderWe elevates crowdfunding technology to a fresh new level with exclusive design and inspired patent-pending features, including the We#code—a unique code assigned to every campaign. The We#code makes it easier to give—and manage giving—to any campaign WonderWe supports. Because WonderWe embraces a pricing model that relies on the goodwill of the donor, WonderWe is free to everyone.

Other distinctive features of the WonderWe crowdfunding platform include team fundraising, built in social networking and other communication options, the We#Code for sharing and promoting and a mobile video ask for peer-to-peer viral, personal fundraising requests. The app is mobile-ready with native and responsive products.

When we contribute our resources as a group—as a community—we can do more.  Consider a truck.  A four-wheeled vehicle doesn’t usually inspire an emotional sigh.  However, when the truck is used to deliver food to children of abused women, to clear parking lots for women seeking shelter from violence, to take in donations for families who left home with only the clothes on their back, the truck becomes a lifeline.  Hope House, Missouri’s largest domestic violence shelter, needs $50,000 to replace a 15-year old truck. Repairs have been made, and made again. Soon the truck will no longer serve any useful purpose.  When we—together—start thinking of a truck as a lifeline for food, donations, supplies and safety, it somehow becomes more than a four-wheeled vehicle. It becomes an essential part of a caring community. However, Hope House, like so many nonprofits serving community need, has more pressing priorities and a new truck, though necessary, falls to the bottom of the priority list.  With WonderWe, tapping into the power of group sharing, it’s just possible the funds for that essential, yet essentially dull and boring, truck can become reality.

When you tap into the influence of a crowdfunding resource such as WonderWe, you can browse the site for background, testimonials and endorsements. You can take your time as you tease out that particular need that sparks your personal passion—whether for a domestic violence shelter, a softball team of motivated young girls, or a hospital tucked into the jungles of Ecuador.

It’s easy to give. It’s easy to create opportunities to give. And it’s free.  Click here  to walk through the steps. Then talk to your friends. Talk to your family. Encourage them to join a community.  When ten people share a little, the gifts multiply.  When 100 share what they have, goodness grows beyond measure. Clearly we’re a community of individuals, yet together, how much more we become.  Communities matter.  You matter.  Believe in the wonder of the “we” who can do more.

Help your nonprofit make the most of #GivingTuesday 2016: 501 (c) Success with Asha Curran – September 15, 2016

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, Events, Fundraising, News You Can Use, Technology | No Comments

Lessons Learned in Nonprofit Innovation
Thursday, September 15, 2016
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center

Reserve your spot and register today.

Lessons Learned in Nonprofit Innovation with Asha Curran is a program of the 2016 501(c)Success National Speaker Series. Make sure to attend, and help your nonprofit make the most of #GivingTuesday 2016 and other powerful innovations.

Asha CurranAsha Curran is the Director of the Center for Innovation & Social Impact with the 92nd Street Y in New York. In her role with one of the most respected and historic cultural institutions in New York, she leads initiatives that have garnered national and global attention, most notably, #GivingTuesday.

You won’t want to miss Asha as she shares her expertise and lessons learned in embracing innovation – working in the paradigm of the entrepreneurial world to increase social good.

Check out this recent article by Asha Curran and Henry Tims (Executive Director of the 92Y) in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. “Five Lessons on Innovation and the Institution” outlines solid principles for nonprofits to follow as they re-define how they will remain relevant and impactful in an ever-changing world.