Webinar with Stan Yogi
You’ve Got the Gift, Now What?: Practical Ideas for Donor Cultivation
featuring Stan Yogi
March 6th, 2012 10am PST
More information and registration at GIFT
If you Love it, Fund it!
by Kim Klein
I admit that one of my favorite days of the whole year is Valentine’s
Day. It is not just the romantic aspect, although I am so lucky to
have had the perfect Valentine for the last 23 years: my partner,
Stephanie Roth. But I also just love the that there is an international
holiday devoted to telling people you love them—as friends, as lovers,
as parents, as children. At Nonprofits Talking Taxes
we decided to use Valentine’s Day to kick off a month long appreciation
for what taxes do for us. We are calling it, “Love it, Fund It”
and we invite everyone to join us.
As we go about our business, we are driving on roads and walking on
sidewalks paid for by taxes and safely eating at restaurants that must
meet health standards, the development and enforcement of which are paid
for by taxes. Some of us who have children are sending them to schools
supported by taxes.
As people who work in nonprofits, we see how shrinking budgets are
hurting our communities: perhaps you have seen clients struggling, lost
funding for a program, or struggle to raise funds for your
organization. Nonprofits exist in the world to promote the common
good and budget cuts make that harder at every turn.
A healthy budget requires looking at revenues as well as cuts. All our
communities have seen in the past few decades in California are cuts to
things we depend on. But the time has come to say, “We love it, let’s
So we ask you, “What do you love that is paid for by taxes?” Let us know by going to http://nonprofitstalkingtaxes.org/uncategorized/love-it-fund-it/
and posting on Facebook or Twitter. Download a poster and take a
picture of yourself with something you love paid for by taxes.
Join the movement today!
Come on in, the Water's Fine! Jumping into the Social Networking Pool
by Rona Fernandez
In any given fundraising workshop or consulting session that I conduct with a client, I often hear things like:
“If we could just figure out how to raise money through email and Facebook, we’d be set!”
“One of our board members said we should have a Youtube channel. Is that really necessary?”
“We have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, why aren’t we raising more money online?”
Like any fundraising strategy or new technology, an organization’s
ability to raise more money through social media depends on many
factors, and is a long-term strategy in any case. The reality is
that online giving is the fastest growing form of fundraising.
This is due to donors being more comfortable with making gifts online as
much as it is about solicitations being made through email or social
media. (For example, many donors will go to an organization’s
website and make a gift online after receiving a fundraising appeal in
But like any other type of fundraising, online fundraising is all about
relationships. Granted, those relationships can be very ‘shallow’—for
example, you may be Facebook friends with someone you’ve barely spoken
to In Real Life (IRL in Internet lingo)—but they are relationships
nonetheless. The difference with online relationships and how they
affect your group’s ability to fundraise is that you can get information
out to a large number of people very quickly with little expense.
This is the beauty of social networking and social media—they are
SOCIAL. Meaning, their strength lies in their ability to create and / or
strengthen relationships between people by allowing people to quickly
share information with each other.
Many nonprofits that I work with come to the table with a ‘silver
bullet’ mentality when it comes to online fundraising. They’ve heard the
success stories about how a group raised $50,000 in ten minutes through
Causes on Facebook or how Barack Obama raised millions of dollars
online. But the reality is that the main function of social media and
social networking is to create a higher level of ‘buzz’ or awareness
about your group or cause. Your organization is just one blip on the
massive screen of online ‘noise’ (information) that people have access
to everyday. Social networking can help your ‘blip’ get bigger, louder
and more visible, so that it is more likely that people might want to
learn more about you, and ultimately, more likely that they will make a
gift online if asked.
At the same time, though, the more conventional, high-touch methods of
donor cultivation (face-to-face meetings, phone calls, personal notes,
etc.)—which often yield larger percentages of gifts as well as larger
donations overall—are not supplanted but instead are enhanced, and
sometimes speeded up, by online networking. It is faster and cheaper to
send an email blast to 1,000 donors (if you have their email addresses,
that is) than to send a snail mail newsletter. ‘Going viral’ can only
happen online, where a single link to an article or a web page could get
shared by thousands of people within a few hours or even a few
It is also true that even the most interesting online article or
nonprofit web site can sit there without a single view. And this
is where social networking tools can help you get more people into your
universe of potential online donors. Social networking allows your
nonprofit to get ‘in front of’ more people online than if you just had a
static web site with no way for people to find it. So it’s important to
have at least a big toe stuck into the social networking pool. Here are
five tips for getting started:
1. Be real about why online fundraising could be a good choice (or not).
you have a natural base of supporters who is already online a lot, then
you should be figuring out to engage them as donors. If not—or if you
have few email addresses for your donors or prospective donors—then you
may need to re-think what it would take to build an online presence and
what amount of effort you should put into that.
2. Get clear on your expectations.
Don’t expect that
if you launch a Facebook page or a Twitter feed that your online profile
will skyrocket overnight (or even in a month), or that you will raise a
lot of money online right away (or ever). Successful
social networking takes time and patience, but since the tools are free
the main expense is in time (which is not a small thing!). If you
can dedicate staff time or recruit volunteers, experiment with social
networking activities and see what works for your group.
3. Get your ducks in a row.
If you know you could
raise more money online and want to use social networking tools like
Facebook and Twitter to broaden your online presence, make sure all your
Internet interfaces are functioning and ready. You’ll need at the
minimum: a user-friendly, appealing web site where supporters can sign
up to be on your email list as well as donate online; an email broadcast
service provider so that you can send emails out to a large number of
people quickly and easily; and a clear plan for how often you will
refresh content on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc., and more
importantly, WHO in your organization is responsible for doing this. I
recommend refreshing content at least weekly if not daily on Facebook
and Twitter. There is just too much information bombarding people on
those two sites for less-frequent posts to get any kind of visibility.
4. Build your list.
I’m talking about your email list,
your Facebook ‘likes’ and / or your number of Twitter followers.
Remember, all fundraising is about relationships. Even if your group
manages to have an amazing, up-to-date web site, a Facebook page and
interesting Twitter feed, they really don’t mean anything if no one is
checking them out or following you. ‘Ask a Friend’ emails, Facebook page
posts asking people to sign up on your email list via your web site, or
an online campaign via your Twitter feed to see how many people you can
get to make an online donation are some ways that you can build your
For a great resource on how to build your list and raise money via email, check out Madeline Stanionis book on email fundraising
Money for Our Movements: A Social Justice Fundraising Conference
– produced by GIFT
– this 4th
biennial conference is coming up August 10th
If you’ve been to a previous GIFT conference, you know what a great
opportunity it is to learn new fundraising skills in a social justice,
multi-racial setting. If you’ve never been to a GIFT conference,
you won’t want to miss it this year. Early bird registration is now available!
Hidden Talents: Stan Yogi
We decided to add a new feature to our e-newsletter to highlight some
of the amazing talent of the folks who make up Klein & Roth
Consulting. This is a chance to let you know about things about
us, not necessarily related to fundraising or nonprofits. You may
not know that Stan Yogi is an accomplished writer, and is the author of
several books. Most recently, he and Elaine Elinson wrote Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California.
He also co-edited Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California’s Great Central Valley
and Asian American Literature: An Annotated Bibliography
. All of Stan’s books are published by Heyday.