Podcast: LinkedIn’s Fundraising Power

LinkedIn as a fundraising powerhouse? Um, Yeah.

From finding highly engaged volunteers to donor cultivation to an offering of several NPO specific tools, it’s one of the best social media platforms to support individual giving efforts. I had a blast chatting it up with Taylor Shanklin of Pursuant about, “How to use LinkedIn for Your Nonprofit.”

Take a listen:

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2013 mGive Report Calls Up Social Connection.

The 2013 annual mGive Text Donation Study was recently released and yet again demonstrates that text donations remain an overwhelmingly positive experience for donors. Supporters are increasingly finding out about text donation campaigns through social media. In addition, donors want to get more information about you through text messaging.

Here are some of the key takeaways:  mgive

More donors are hearing about text donation campaigns via social media. Social media is second only to TV or radio as the method by which respondents reported hearing about text campaigns. In fact, social media as a source for text campaign information rose six points to nearly 28 percent from 2012 to 2013. Email as a source of information about text campaigns continues to drop, falling from more than 60 percent in 2011 to 11.5 percent in 2013.

Donor appetite for additional information from nonprofits via text is increasing.  After donation information, respondents were more receptive to receiving other information compared to the 2012 survey, with 17.6 saying they would like to receive information about surveys (a six point increase over 2012); 32.8 percent said information about volunteering (a nine point jump over 2012); and, 18.7 percent said program information (a four point increase over 2012).

Mobile is one of the top three preferred methods of giving. Donors reported they like to contribute online, with live events and mobile donations nearly tied as the second pick.

Donors have positive experiences with text campaigns. Eighty-five percent of respondents rated their experience with text giving as excellent or good.

Donors consistently want to give more money through text. Nearly 85 percent of donors would like to give $25 to $50 through text donations, a slight increase from 82 percent in 2012.

With all of that said, please keep in mind:

1. Use mobile communication for info-sharing, not just solicitation. Text donations are popular and increasingly important not just for donations, but for multiple types of information sharing. The increase in desire to receive information about volunteering, surveys and program information presents an opportunity for nonprofits to increase donor engagement through mobile communication.  Survey says: Say it By Text!

2. Text donations will not undermine traditional giving. The survey also found that an overwhelming 85 percent are inclined to continue donating at larger amounts to a nonprofit via traditional methods after donating by text, clearing up a misconception that text donations can undermine other methods of giving. Donors also strongly favored, by 65 percent, the option to donate $25 via text.  Currently, text donors are limited to gifts of $5 and $10.

Download the full report here.

Have You Heard of Beremedy?

Beremedy is attempting to revolutionize the way you give. Have you heard about it?

It’s an online charity that takes advantage the likes of Facebook and Twitter to spread people`s needs in their community. When you sign, up you will get an email alert or social media post telling you which neighborhood needs your help.

At present, Beremedy is testing the platform  in Atlanta and Oregon.

“It`s a really simple concept. I believe that you would help your neighbor if you knew they needed something. You just don`t know they need it,” said founder Blake Canterbury.

Canterbury and his organization will expand across the nation in a few months, but you can sign up now. Take a look and learn more:

Why I Unsubscribed From Your ENewsletter

As I said a while ago, email is queen AND key to your marketing strategy.

Here’s the thing: creating an email list is vital to driving sales, generating loyalty, and inspiring repeat sales opportunities. But keeping a list of happy subscribers is a perpetual challenge.

Thanks to a new infographic from Skadeedle, we’re getting an in-depth look at why subscribers unsubscribe and what we can do to potentially stop the bleeding once its starts:

Click on me!


Pinterest and Your NPO.

It was just a few years ago that most non-profit professionals had to fight for the right to use social media as part of their marketing strategies. Now, they can seem to get their Executive Directors out of the mix.

First there was Facebook, then Twitter, Youtube, Flicr and the like. These days, more and more attention is being paid to the use of images to inspire, tell a story and raise brand awareness and dollars.

Enter: Pinterest.  pinterest

Like any other social media channel, use of Pinterest, a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies, requires a roadmap.

I hope these tips help you with that:

1. Create Pinterest boards that speak to the causes you promote. For example, the Humane Society might wish to create a board called Save a Dog, or, Report Animal Abuse. The car donation charity, Kars For Kids, may wish to create a board called Green Benefits of Car Donation, or, After School Programs for Latchkey Kids.
2. Follow other nonprofit users. By following other nonprofits, you may get new creative and inspiring ideas for how you might use Pinterest for your own nonprofit. It can also be beneficial for a target audience to see which nonprofits you follow.
3. Engage your followers by following them back. You can choose “follow all” on the person’s profile and then “unfollow” any boards that are, well, boring. You can also engage other Pinterest users by “liking” or “repinning” those pins that speak to you.
4. Highlight a specific project by creating a pinboard just for that purpose. In this way, you can document current work projects. Edit the board so that other people involved in the project can pin items, too. If your organization is engaged in building housing for the homeless, you can pin photos of the builders, the building site, the various tools used, and daily progress on the building. This helps your audience feel involved with you and your project, every step of the way.


I *Heart* Infographics.

More and more information is being released relating to non profit social media marketing and fundraising efforts these days. I’m a data-monger and so it’s all good. However, I will say that I absolutely love it when insights are presented in pretty little infographics.

In my previous post, I shared research from the 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, conducted by M+R Strategic Services and NTEN which crowned email the Queen of fundraising tools.

Below are additional findings including an infographic which speaks volumes (click on it to enlarge). The study showed:

  • A 21% year-over-year increase in online revenue overall, with only International groups recording a decline in online giving.
  • A sharp decline in certain key email metrics, such as a 14% decline in click-through rates for advocacy messages and 27% decline for fundraising messages. Those declines were driven mostly by Rights and International groups, whereas advocacy messages sent on behalf of Environmental groups performed best.
  • Since 2011, online monthly giving grew 43%, or more than twice as fast as one-time giving. Although still a small percentage of overall giving, sustaining gifts for International groups now account for18% of revenue.

Email is Still Queen of Fundraising.

Twitter. Facebook. Pintrest. Instagram. Tumblr. On and on and on. There are millions of social media platforms out there and NPO marketers feel pressure from their peers and Executive Directors to use them all (or not).

I recently spoke before a group of younger NPO volunteers who are tasked with managing social media for their organizations. They all wanted to know, “What is the best social media tool out there for fundraising?”

They all seemed to hold their breath, as they waited for the question of the year to be answered.

“Email,” I said.  And then I heard crickets

"Did you get my email?"

“Did you get my email?”

No matter. I now have the insights to back me up.

Research released last week by M+R Strategic Services and Nonprofit Technology Network showed that email list sizes were up by 15% compared with 2012 totals, and online revenue grew by 21%, with only the international sector showing a decrease. For every 1,000 email subscribers, groups in the study had 149 Facebook fans and 53 Twitter followers.

The report collected data about email messaging, email list size, fundraising, online advocacy, Facebook, Twitter and mobile programs from 55 U.S.-based national nonprofits.

The results were not all positive. Email response rates declined by 21% last year. Click-through rates fell by 27%, resulting in a 21% drop in fundraising response rates. Advocacy response rates fell by 8%, hitting rights and international groups hardest.

Social media fans, no need to worry. Th e number of Twitter followers grew by 264% over the past year, while the number of Facebook fans expanded by 46%.

So, how could a dinosaur like email, still reign in 2013? The answer isn’t concrete. However, I am willing to bet that for most NPOs, email is still the best way to share stories of programmatic success and updates to an audience that has already bought in to the mission. That element, my friends, needs to be woven into every platform that your organization adds to its marketing portfolio.