Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Too Early for Christmas? Not If You're a Nonprofit

Most people hate that the end of the year holiday buying season seems to start earlier and earlier. But if you're a small business in the economic downturn OR a small nonprofit, you know that time is not on your side.

I recently found a few articles I thought would be handy information for those of you who haven't firmed up your end-of-year campaigns.

Donor Engagement Throughout the Season

Classy.org's blog makes a very good point. We all know that engagement is the sine qua non, the ingredient most indispensable to social media and fundraising, but how many of us have given any thought to maintaining and supporting engagement throughout an entire season built around your end-of-year-asking strategy? They have, of course. And the advice is great:

  1. Use one theme for the season (Unifies everything and provides continuity.)
  2. Vary your calls to action (Don't ask for exactly the same thing every time. If it were me, I would also include requests for volunteers for specific groups or programs or maybe supplies or something else your small nonprofit needs.)
  3. Tailor your messages to your donor segments (One size does not fit all. And remember that some donors like data and some like visual.)
  4. Steward your donors in between donations (When people donate money, give them a break from asking for a while - they've done a good thing, let them have a moment.)
The blog post elaborates on these ideas; read it here.

Four Things to Know About Christmas Giving

The JustGiving.com blog is giving us four infographics on things we should know about our end-of-year giving. Here's a part of it.

Like the four questions I learned in journalism classes, the infographics ask you to know When? Where? Why? But instead of Who?, they ask How?

1. When do people give?
2. Where are your donors?
3. Why are they giving?
4. How are they giving?

Obviously, their information may not be quite your information (note their amounts are in pounds rather than dollars). But this is data that you can uncover and which might make a difference in how you decide your strategy and select your end-of-year theme as well as how you tailor your message to your donor segments.

See the four infographics together here.

Data Matters

Your small NGO has pressing needs, but don't let your needs shape your strategy and ask. Know your community. When you know your donors, you can ask for what you need in the way most likely to be successful.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Extend Your NGO's Reach With Wikipedia

Since I'm old, I remember the days when school report projects involved trips to the library and waiting and waiting for the volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica I needed to be freed up.

In these internet days, knowledge is just a Google search away, but a lot of people prefer to look up their subject on Wikipedia. Not that it doesn't have its problems: there have been instances where unscrupulous folk have edited entries for their own gain and you have to be careful to look for supporting data and information on any subject, because, you know, some things in the entry might be wrong.

That said, Wikipedia is still a great resource, particularly for people short on time and resources. It can even help your small nonprofit with outreach. How? you ask. Well, let this article on Just Giving tell you.

Three Ways Charities Can Make the Most of Wikipedia

Just Giving provides three ideas. One of them is applying to Wikipedia Foundation for a grant. I'm not going to address that because only you know if your small NGO meets their criteria and should apply. But if you qualify and haven't applied, you might want to reconsider.

To reach more people, they also recommend:

  • Editing an article on your NGO. And I'll add, if there isn't one, you should add one. Besides being available to others who might be referred to it via another article, it's also a good resource for you to be able to point to when you need an easy to access description of the work you do.

  • Edit articles related to your mission. For example, if you serve disabled children, you might want to look up related articles on Wikipedia to see if there are points of information or studies you can add to educate others.

Finally, they advise donating images and videos to Wikipedia Commons. This is a great idea. The images you upload will be available not only for the articles they help to illustrate, but also to the entire internet. With attribution, you can extend your reach on blogs and other writings. Naturally, you don't want to flood Wikipedia Commons with your images - spamming for a good cause is still spamming.

Read the entire article here, which also gives great pointers on avoiding being a spammer as well as appropriately posting images and citing sources. And Wikipedia tells you how to become a Wikipedia editor.