My Friends Totally Gave More than Your Friends

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 12:58pm

There's nothing like a little peer pressure when you need someone to do something. Combine it with instant gratification and total transparency and you have the fundraising triumvirate!

Google Checkout has a great little campaign going on in honor of Earth Day that gives you all three:

  • You make a donation to an enviro org on someone's behalf.
  • That certain someone gets an email and asks them to do the same.
  • As the donations tally up, you get a personalized map showing all the people you inspired to donate, illustrating your network effect.

So, who wants to see if their friends are more generous then my friends?

It's Easy to Raise Money for a Favorite Cause - So How Do You Tell Your Supporters?

Submitted by Annaliese on Tue, 04/15/2008 - 10:48am

I came across a blog post today that made me smile (and not just because of great vocabulary used across the Pond). It's a simple and straight-forward example of how easy it is for someone to use free, fast, online tools to raise money for his or her favorite cause. Here's an excerpt:

"I've just had a rather intense week of trying to use social media to raise funds and by and large succeeding. Inevitably this story involves blogging and tweeting and people I don't know very well being incredibly generous...."

David Harte, Digital Central project manager at Birmingham City University and contributor to the Birmingham Post's Business Blog, decided to try a spur-of-the-moment fundraising campaign one week before he ran in the London Marathon. He didn't have to raise money for a charity, but he decided he wanted to try to help his favorite, St. Mary's Hospice. His goal was £495, and he ended up raising over £300 (and he's still raising money for his cause online).

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 03/27/2008 - 7:50am

Flickr Photo: booskittyFlickr Photo: booskittyThe late, great Mr. Rogers has been asking us this question for decades now: "Who is in your neighborhood?" Though we have learned a great many lessons from our avuncular, becardiganed friend, the nonprofit sector is still struggling to master this one.

I think we all know, intuitively, that all donors are not the same. They engage with us for extremely personal reasons, and are inspired to continue their engagement for equally personal and diverse reasons.

Technology has come a long way in letting us customize our relationships with donors. Our donors can tell us what issues they care about, and how often they want to be contacted. With social media, we can let super-engaged donors participate in a variety of ways. We can provide financial and other administrative information easily to donors who value transparency and accountability.

But doing all of this, in any way, has always felt like finding that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. If every single donor has unique needs and expectations, how can we possibly keep up?

This week, Convio released a new white paper with Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research that provides a nice tidy framework for thinking about personalizing donor experiences.In " The Wired Wealthy: Using the Internet to Connect with Your Middle and Major Donors," the authors surveyed more than 3,000 donors who gave $1,000 or more in an 18th month period and had valid email addresses.

There are lots of really useful tidbits in the report, but I thought the most interesting piece was the result of the cluster analysis.

45 Minutes to PayPal Donations

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 01/29/2008 - 3:22pm

PayPal has released the PayPal Kit for Non-Profits, with the claim that qualified organizations -- essentially, you have to have 501(C)(3) status -- can set themselves up to accept donations through a PayPal Donate button in just 45 minutes.

They're also offering $50 to the first 1,000 eligible nonprofits that use the kit to generate $500 in donations by March 31st.

The "kit" isn't so much a kit as a page with links to:

  1. Set up your PayPal account
  2. Download the instructions for adding the donate button to your site
  3. Sign up for the $50 challenge

Their aim seems to be to get smaller organizations and individuals who are starting out with online fundraising campaigns started in a fast and simple way.

So, are their claims true? Can someone with just basic computer knowledge set up the donation widget in less than 45 minutes? If you've had the experience, tell us in comments, below.

Of Mutiny and Direct Mail

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 01/14/2008 - 11:56am

Flickr Photo: mwboeckmannThe Chronicle of Philanthropy ran a provocatively titled piece last Friday: Is Direct Mail Dead? Kudos to them for two things:

1. They correctly identify that simply switching to email fundraising isn't much of a strategy shift. Email IS direct mail in all but name and processed trees.

2. They quote Seth Godin in the story.  Seth's one of my favorite daily reads. He hits it out of the park when he says that the times have changed and nonprofits need to rethink how they raise funds:

“It means opening yourself up to volunteers, encouraging them to network, to connect with each other, and yes, even to mutiny. It means giving every one of your professionals a blog and the freedom to use it. It means mixing it up with volunteers, so they have something truly at stake,” Mr. Godin writes. “This is understandably scary for many nonprofits, but I’m not so sure you have a choice.”

Have a Very Google Holiday!

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 12/19/2007 - 6:14pm
I like to hang out where the cool kids are: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. And, of course, the Google Checkout Blog! This is how I learned that Google has put together a nice holiday page for those of you looking to spend a few bucks on a good cause. If you already have a Google account, the giving is that much easier! and Network for Good Team Up

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 12/13/2007 - 5:28pm

Integration. The word comes up again and again when we talk about social media strategies: Your email campaign needs to integrate with your direct mail campaign which needs to integrate with your web site which needs to integrate with your Facebook group.

That's why it's so interesting that the little social networking site that could -- -- and Network for Good are partnering up. Web 2.0 and Web 1.0 will live side by side in perfect harmony.

This could be great for, Network for Good, and the sector at large. Here's why:

America's Giving Challenge: Web 2.0 Philanthropy Style

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 12/12/2007 - 9:44pm

Here's the thing about Web 2. 0 and social media tools: it may all seem like a bunch of hype, but when foundations begin championing the cause, you have to start paying attention.

Today, PARADE magazine and the Case Foundation announced America's Giving Challenge: Get your supporters to install and promote a charity badge for your organization, and you could get $50,000. From the press release:

The program aims to show how anyone and everyone can have greater impact in their community and bring more support to the charities and causes they care about. Participants can choose to use a simple and fun Web 2.0 tool called a “charity badge” to promote their cause and help their charity get $50,000. Or they can simply give to a cause to help it qualify for a $1,000 award. The America’s Giving Challenge runs from 3:00 p.m. EST on December 13, 2007 through 3:00 p.m. EST on January 31, 2008...To sign up for America’s Giving Challenge, beginning 3:00 p.m. EST, December 13, 2007, simply visit

What You Need to Know Monthly Giving

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 12/06/2007 - 5:04pm

Back in October, we mentioned that M+R Strategic Services was running a survey polling nonprofits about online monthly giving programs. Well, they've published the results. Hooray for follow-through!

They surveyed nearly 70 organizations and analyzed the online donor data of eight large nonprofits to get some answers. You can get the full report from their web site.

How to Work with Your Organization's Wired Fundraisers

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 12/04/2007 - 11:46am

With the proliferation of fundraising widgets and social networks, nonprofit professionals are finding that they must share control of their organization's message with individual supporters, a concept that can be difficult to accept.

The most committed "wired fundraisers" or "uber-activists" will often accompany a homegrown fundraising campaign with their own images, video, and text. These personalized accounts of an organization's work present concerns about messaging and accuracy -- but opportunities for collaboration, as well.

Join NTEN and Peter Deitz for the webinar, "Sharing the Message: How to Work Effectively with Your Organization's Wired Fundraisers". We'll explore the impact of person-to-person fundraising on communications strategies and fundraising for nonprofits large and small.

When: Thursday, December 6th, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Cost: $25 NTEN Members, $50 for Non-Members

Presented by: Peter Deitz, Founder of Social Actions

> Register Today

LinkedIn as a Fundraising Tool?

Submitted by Anna on Mon, 12/03/2007 - 12:39pm

Recently, NTEN Member Paul Lamb presented to the NTEN Discuss Affinity Group his LinkedIn fundraising experiment: using the social network as a tool to create dollars for Street Tech students through the LinkedIn Answers feature.

A few Affinity Group members felt this was on the borderline of the LinkedIn user agreement and social network etiquette.

Widget Fundraising

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 11:29am

Nonprofits interested in person-to-person fundraising face a couple of challenges.

The first is to encourage supporters to launch their own fundraising campaigns in support of the organization's work.

The second is to offer these supporters the right combination of fundraising widgets, social networking plugins (like Facebook applications), and hosted fundraising pages in order to produce successful campaigns.

Join Peter Deitz and NTEN for "Selecting and Implementing the Right Combination of Person-to-Person Fundraising Tools" on Tuesday, November 28th. This webinar will guide development, communications, and technology staff through the process of selecting and implementing the best combination of services for their organizations' needs.

The presentation includes side-by-side comparisons of the leading vendors. Special attention will be given to costs associated processing donations, branding the tools and integrating with existing eCRM platforms.

When: Wednesday, November 28th, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Cost: $25 NTEN Members, $50 for Non-Members

> Register Today

How Can Nonprofits Use the Social Web During the Giving Season?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 11/08/2007 - 1:07pm

The folks over at NetSquared have been wondering: How can nonprofits use the social web during this giving season? I can think of dozens of examples. But I think that there's a larger opportunity here than simply starting a widget fundraising campaign or the like.

The big opportunity is this: amplify your authenticity.

In day-to-day fundraising, it's all about building relationships. Unless there is a big news headline, people give to the causes and organizations they have relationships with. And the relationships that work best are the authentic ones, those that are honest and real.

As Simple as Posting a Widget

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 3:26pm

Network for Good has released a new study, "The Wired Fundraiser: How technology is making fundraising 'good to go'" (PDF). Based largely on Network for Good's experience (and data) from offering some of the first charity widgets, the key findings are, in brief:

  • When Wired Fundraisers Talk, People Listen: The messenger matters even more than the message.
  • Not Every Wired Fundraiser Is a Champion: The successful Wired Fundraiser has a relatively rare combination of true passion and a means to lend a sense of urgency to their cause.
  • Technology Makes a Difference: Widgets and social networks make existing personal fundraisers more effective.
  • Smart Charities Embrace the Wired Fundraiser: And they find their own, “inner” Wired Fundraiser.

Two Free Fundraising Webinars

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 11:26am
Tis the season, NTENers: the fundraising season. Join NTEN for two free Product Spotlight Webinars exploring popular fundraising software.

First up, on Tuesday, October 30th, is "Donor Management using Sage Fundraising 50". This demonstration is on the importance of donor management in supporting a development plan, and how Sage Fundraising 50 software fits in. Learn the features and functionality of this popular package, formerly known as Paradigm.

When: Tuesday, October 30th, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Cost: Free!

> Learn More and Register Today

Come back on Thursday, November 1st, for "Maximize Your Fundraising Efforts with the Exceed! Product Suite", a webinar on how to make the most of your fundraising efforts with Exceed! Premier, by Telosa Software. We’ll discuss ways to make the best use of your donor database to facilitate the major gift process. See first-hand how our comprehensive, affordable, and easy-to-use solution can help your development staff organize your donor data, maximize your fundraising efforts and cultivate your relationships with your donors, prospects and other constituents.

When: Thursday, November 1st, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Cost: Free!

> Learn More and Register Today!

How Do Nonprofits Manage Monthly Giving Programs?

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 1:13pm

M+R Strategic Services is running a survey polling nonprofits about online monthly giving programs. If your organization solicits sustainer/recurring donations online, they'd like to hear from you. The survey is only a few pages long, and should take about 5 minutes to complete. You can help them out by taking the survey at:

All individual answers will be kept confidential. Results will be shared in M+R’s upcoming study, which will include the survey results, along with data they've gathered about online monthly giving metrics. They expect to publish the study in early November.

Google Checkout for Non-Profits Launch

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 09/27/2007 - 9:48am

You heard it from NTEN first: Google announced today the launch of Google Checkout for Non-Profits. Qualified nonprofit organizations can now sign up to accept charitable donations through Google Checkout -- for free -- through at least the end of 2008. That’s right: no monthly, set-up, transaction, or gateway fees. This time, "free" actually means, well, free.

Google Checkout has already become a popular way for merchants to process credit card transactions over the Internet because of its low transaction fees, the typically straight-forward interface, and the reliability of the Google brand.

Now, donors will be able to contribute to their favorite charitable organizations using a single login across the web, increasing the potential that they will donate over and over again. Indeed, many of your potential donors may already have a Google Checkout account. It's like a Development Director's fantasy.

Because Google Checkout can be used in parallel with your current online donation system, there’s no reason not to give it a look.

A Different Kind of Fundraising Widget

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 08/27/2007 - 8:35am (the winners of the NetSquared project) have released two new projects today: a fundraising widget that lets you track presidential fundraising; and plans for an API that will let you tap into their vast array of FEC (Federal Elections Commission) data.

According to their press release, we have a lot more to look forward to:

The presidential widget is the first of several more widgets that the organization will release. By September 15, will release a widget for U.S. Congress, showing total campaign contributions for each candidate for Congress. By September30, will release its "Money and Votes" widget, revealing correlations between campaign contributions and votes for any bill in U.S. Congress.

The widget is lots of fun, but it's the API I'm really excited about. I can't wait to see what the community is able to do with that data.

From the Affinity Groups: Recommendations for Online Donation Tools

Submitted by Visitor on Fri, 08/24/2007 - 5:07pm

Many organizations are successfully employing online donation tools. This topic was recently taken up by members of the San Francisco 501 Tech Club. Groundspring received a mixed response with some citing very positive experiences and others quite the opposite. A representive from Groundspring chimed in to highlight upcoming features that may resolve some of the mentioned problems. Paypal also received favorable mentions, as well as a warning of potential complications for nonprofit organizations engaging in long-term use for fundraising. Multiple members recommended Idealware's report on the topic, as well as Affinity Resources' summary matrix and Techsoup's articles.

With over 100 active groups and nearly 5,000 users, NTEN's Affinity Groups platform is an incredible resource for those in the nonprofit tech community. Join for free in order to view more useful and interesting discussions.

Widget Fundraising Gets a Little Bigger

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 07/19/2007 - 5:44pm
Widget fundraising is all rage these days, with some real numbers and case studies making their way into the sector (see our webinar with the talented Peter Dietz for some fascinating stats). Although widget innovation is happening at the fringes, it's no surprise that the larger players in online fundraising are beginning to enter the scene as well. Convio has just announced a new service -- Convio Personal Events -- that allows users to create and RSVP for events, as well as raise money. And, of course, it all integrates with the Convio platform. I'm a woman who hates data silos, so I think this is a nice advancement for Convio users.