FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

Don't Forget About Social Media

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As nonprofit organizations we get focused on appeal and end of year letters, especially during this time of year. However, letters aren’t the only way to reach donors. Quite often you need to get your message to them where and when they are. This means taking advantage of social media.

The main issue with social media is that as an organization you cannot control to whom or how your message is seen. And because someone may not be online when you share your message, it’s possible that you’ll miss your donor all together. So it is important to control the things that you can take control of.

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Ways To Keep In Touch With Your Donors

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In previous blogs we’ve spoken about reaching out to donors and how many times and how often you should contact them. However, it’s important to think about ways to keep in touch. With so many communications options available to your organization, start thinking about moving beyond mailed letters or even emails into different ways to reach out.

One of the important things to keep in mind is that with today’s busy lifestyles, it’s vital to meet your donors where they are. This may mean moving to virtual communication or even using letters (or cards/postcards) sent through the mail for a special touch. Though social media outreach can have pitfalls and requires tending, it is a viable way to communicate with potential donors as well as your existing ones and with the ability for people to share your posts, they can go quickly viral and bring new people to your cause as well.

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Case Study: Parkesburg Point Surges to Success with #GivingTuesday Crowdfunding Campaign

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Parkesburg Point is going for it this year for #GivingTuesday. Although it isn’t even Tuesday yet, they have already succeeded at reaching their goal. Now they are moving with confidence into their total year-end fundraising. “We were involved with GivingTuesday last year, but didn’t have an effective strategy in place,” says Debbie Shupp, development director for The POINT. “We really wanted a strategic approach this year and Sarah has successfully done that. Sarah created a full strategy and social media campaign.” Parkesburg Point offers extensive services to youth in the area with the help of volunteers, many drawn from local churches. They are FundRaiser Select users. 

Sarah Daniels, the new grants and communications manager who joined The POINT in May, says that the most important aspects of this success were:

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Finding the Time for Grassroots Fundraising

Finding the Time for Grassroots Fundraising

Dear Kim,

I have tried to follow the advice in the Grassroots Fundraising Journal and from you, Andy Robinson, Stephanie Roth, and other grassroots fundraising experts. What you all say makes sense. Having said that, I hope you don’t find my question rude: where do you find the time to really implement all this advice? I am a relatively efficient person and I already work my 40 hours and then some every week. Being in touch with more donors, doing research on prospects, keeping our social media presence vibrant? Something is always not getting done. Any tips?

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How to Capture Email Addresses from First Time Online Donors

How to Capture Email Addresses from First Time Online Donors

When someone makes their first online donation to your organization, do you automatically add their name to your email contact list? This is a "Best Practice, for most organizations. Here's why:

First, consider that the reasons for an opt-in or a double opt-in on an email list:

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Why we believe in working at FundRaiser

FundRaiser staff at company meeting
Joshua Shirley, CFO of FundRaiser with Smudge the office cat
Gene Weinbeck and Joey Patten
Smudge the office cat snoozing at company meeting

We believe that what you and your organization do makes a positive impact in the world.... and that makes us happy in the work we do. That's the main understanding we all recently came away with, when the FundRaiser staff met for a year-end mission/company meeting.

FundRaiser staff, left to right, at company meeting: Larry Weaver, Autumn Shirley, Jonathan Smith, Joshua Shirley, Gene Weinbeck, Joey Patten, Mary Lenker

After watching a TED talk together, the FundRaiser staff began to share why we enjoy coming to work at FundRaiser... which we all do. The upshot was that we enjoy working at FundRaiser for a combination of reasons, top among them being the great working environment and the opportunity to use our skills in the service of people like YOU who are working to make a positive difference in the world. Here's a synopsis of what our staff members had to say about why we continue to like working to support nonprofits through our work at FundRaiser.

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FundRaiser users respond: reaching out to donors in times of national tragedy

Look for the Helpers

This has been quite a week for disastrous and heartbreaking events in the news-- first the Boston Marathon bombing, then the explosion of the chemical plant in Waco, Texas. How does your nonprofit organization handle these kinds of events in your social media outreach?

You might have planned to make a post about some event or topic that seems out of step with the reactions that flood the newsfeeds when such well-publicized tragedies occur. Do you stay the course and make the post? Do you pause the post? Do you make a brief comment of condolence, or use the opportunity to offer some help if the crisis relates to your mission?Some FundRaiser users quickly went into action with posts related to their mission. Here's how a few of them handled it:

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New social media expert on staff

Lily BrothertonFundRaiser recently hired an expert in Social Media. This week, she’s starting work creating videos, educating staff about using Twitter, and creating a more lively presence on Facebook.  She’s been actively involved in social media for the last 4 years… since she was 12 years old. Yes, our newest staff member is just 16 and the daughter of Autumn Shirley, CEO of FundRaiser. Her name is Lily Brotherton and she is our social media intern.  

When I interviewed her this morning, our dialog took a slightly different direction than the usual interviews:

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