Do Social Media Fundraisers Really Work?

August 15, 2014

14929011085_3d3b3d9fd3_mThat’s the question WCCO sat down to answer with MCF President Trista Harris this week.

The ALS #icebucketchallenge is everywhere right now, with thousands dumping ice water on their heads and millions raised for the ALS Association. So how much fundraising comes from social media, and does it work?

“It’s a small percentage, but it’s a growing percentage,” Trista said in the news clip, adding that she’s sure many others have also tried to create their own funny YouTube campaigns that haven’t attracted notice. “Sometimes you catch the tail of the tiger.”

When they do work, Trista said, the visibility they garner is akin to advertising. “You may hear a commercial 35 times and not do anything, but that 36th time you go, maybe I really do want to go to that place.”

Head to WCCO’s site to read and watch the story!

 

Photo cc ucentralarkansas

What Do the Latest Giving Trends Mean for Minnesota?

May 15, 2014

afpStaff of foundations and nonprofit organizations alike look to the annual Giving USA report for insights on the latest giving trends and what they mean for Minnesota.

Giving USA 2014 will be released on Tuesday, June 17, and the release will be quickly followed by “first look” events in seven cities — including St. Paul — across the nation.

If you’d like to be among the first to hear expert analysis and local perspectives on the 2014 findings, attend First Look: Giving USA 2014  presented by Campbell & Company in conjunction with the Association of Fundraising Professionals Minnesota (AFPMN).

The event in St. Paul will take place on Thursday, June 19, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., at the Town and Country Club, where a presentation of report findings will be followed by a moderated panel of local experts.

Registration is $20 for AFPMN members and $40 for non-members; breakfast is included. See afpminnesota.org/event/first-look-giving-usa-2014/ for details and a link to register.

The report is used by grantmakers and nonprofits to:

  • Benchmark fundraising performance against national data;
  • Plan for the future, based on long-term trends in giving;
  • Educate new staff members and board members in the broad context of philanthropic giving, so they have a better understanding of their organization’s funding patterns; and
  • Strengthen grantmaking and other philanthropic activities.

Giving USA: 2014 was compiled by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University for the Giving USA Foundation.

- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate


Resource-full Nonprofit Revenue Generation

February 3, 2014

resourcefullnesshomebannerToday on the blog we welcome Beth Bird and Kim Hunwardsen of Eide Bailly, to tell us about their organization’s Resourcefullness Award, and the ideas that sprang from it.

What do you get when you offer a $10,000 award for sustainable and creative revenue generation in the nonprofit industry? A flood of inspiring submissions!

Last year, Eide Bailly’s nonprofit services group did something different to encourage conversation and ingenuity around revenue generation – something our clients think about daily. We ended up with 99 submissions for the Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Award, three fantastic winners (video), and a host of creative and sustainable ideas to spark discussion. (Read this article on submission trends.)

Beyond celebrating the winning efforts, we wanted to use the Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Award as a springboard for sharing and collaboration.

The following highlights are from a January seminar that we held in Minneapolis to discuss the best ideas.

Future Trends
Susan Cornell-Wilkes and Brad Brown were judges for the Resourcefullness Award. In January, we asked about the nonprofit revenue generation trends they see gathering strength in the next five years.

- Crowd funding
- Nonprofits creating for-profit entities
- A focus on intergenerational wealth transfer

  • Organizations will be and should be looking for opportunities to involve multiple generations of one family in its endeavors. This will go a long way to creating present buy-in donor stability in the future.

- Moving beyond “Corporate” involvement in campaigns

  • Getting employees involved in the organization, rather than just accepting a corporate donation, will be the key to sustainability in funding from that organization and in growth of individual donors.

- Helping donors “experience” the difference their donations are making

  • Donors, especially younger donors, are looking to “purchase an experience.” They do not just want to hear from nonprofits in letters and email, but rather experience the effects of an organization work.

Our Take-Aways
The Resourcefullness Awards and our January speakers reminded us of two very important things:

  1. Organizations are getting more creative in their approach to revenue generation, but this does not mean an approach must be complex. Sometimes the simplest ideas create the best results.
  2. Well-placed and well-planned partnerships are some of the easiest and most fruitful ventures.

Give To The Max Day Strategies
We also heard from two organizations that employed creative Give to the Max strategies.

Erich Mische, executive director of Spare Key, described its media-grabbing, world-record setting 2012 strategy Pedal to the Max, which had volunteers on a pedal pub for 24 hours. The campaign helped Spare Key reach goals around having fun and grabbing attention while engaging donors, volunteers and partners. Mische said media coverage and social media played a huge role in broadening the reach of the organization’s message. And, Spare Key raised five times its original fundraising goal.

Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery’s development and communications director, Joel Bergstrom, shared its 2013 Give to the Max campaign, which used video and social media to draw attention and generate support. A donation of video production helped the organization create a powerful video that then led to media coverage. The organization used a Facebook contest to draw in visitors and donors, and advocates lobbied hard on social media for donations to Crisis Nursery. As a result, followers of the organization have increased and their messages receive greater exposure.


#GivingTuesday — Giving, Not Shopping, is the Spirit of the Season

November 26, 2013

gtIn America, the next week has, by my count, five named days. Most of them born of our “need” to shop.

Eat
On Thanksgiving, we’ll spend time with family, watch some football, express gratitude for our plenty and eat too much. (We may or may not acknowledge that Native Americans see the day differently than non-natives.)

Shop
Then on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, we’ll spend millions — much of it to buy stuff we don’t need.

Give
That’s why I find #GivingTuesday to be a refreshing change from the three days that proceed it. On #GivingTuesday, we’re asked to share some of our plenty with charitable organizations and nonprofits in our community and across the country. It is a new national fundraising day to remind us that giving — not shopping — is the true spirit of the holiday season.

I’ve just about finished up my 2013 charitable giving — doing much of it on Minnesota’s recent Give to the Max Day. But, that day had its technical difficulties, and maybe you didn’t get around to giving what you had planned. Or maybe you haven’t tried online giving at all. If that’s the case, I urge you to consider participating in #GivingTuesday.

Why #GivingTuesday?
Many Minnesota nonprofits with matching dollars left on the table from Give to the Max Day will make them available on #GivingTuesday. Matching gifts multiply the power of your contribution.

According to The Able Altruist, published by Software Advice, 22% of annual giving to nonprofits comes in on December 30 and 31, which makes nonprofit budgeting awfully difficult. This way you’ll get it done a few weeks before the end of the year.

It’s a well publicized national day of giving with $100,000 in prize grants to the top 50 participating nonprofits from across the country.

And, it’ll be fun — social media will be buzzing with the hashtag #GivingTuesday on Dec. 3.

- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate


AFP on the Future of Philanthropy

November 19, 2013
Andrew Watt

Andrew Watt

Last week, I attended an Association of Fundraising Professionals event called “The Future of Philanthropy and the Impact of AFP.” Andrew Watt, AFP president & CEO, spoke to a packed room at the Wilder Foundation. Some key points I took from his talk:

Public Policy

  • The nonprofit sector represents 10% of the workforce and raises over $300 billion annually. We need to do a better job of raising the public profile of the importance, relevance, and value of nonprofits.
  • The philanthropic sector needs to develop relationships with legislators and encourage more social investment and build more revenue streams.
  • The Charitable Giving Coalition is made up of 60+ organizations and focuses on the charitable tax deduction.

Public-Private Partnerships

  • Businesses are aligning philanthropic goals with business goals. Nonprofits need to think more strategically about relationships. We offer more to the partnership than brand awareness. For example, employee participation / volunteer programs result in an increase in production as shown by the research conducted by Gallup’s Q12 Meta Analysis.

Challenges

  • Nonprofits are operating in a fragmented environment.
  • Funding models have permanently changed.
  • We must think more about generating revenue rather than traditional fundraising.
  • The future is in creativity, vigorous discussion, and questioning.
  • The sector needs more awareness and expertise in business development.
  • There is a great need for more leadership training.
  • The sector needs to change recruiting / human resource practices and parameters in order to increase diversity and inclusivity.
  • The U.S. should move towards a more creative-entrepreneurial approach. The philanthropic sectors in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia are leaders in this avenue.

Thanks to AFP for hosting this insightful event!

- Jennifer Pennington, MCF member services fellow


Wells Fargo Wins Outstanding Philanthropic Organization Award

November 18, 2013

MinnWFHMcoachBoth  MCF and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Minnesota promote giving and organized philanthropy in our state. AFP advances philanthropy by enabling organizations and individuals to practice ethical and effective fundraising while MCF promotes ethical and responsible charitable giving and grantmaking.

In recognition of National Philanthropy Day, every year AFP honors individuals and groups who, through their hard work and dedication, have enhanced philanthropy, their communities and the world.

This year, MCF member Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota will be honored with AFP’s Outstanding Philanthropic Organization award for its exceptional commitment to our state. Other awards will recognize individuals, families and small groups, and all will be presented at AFP’s celebration on Friday, Nov. 22.

$10 Million Plus to Minnesota Nonprofits
In 2012, Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota contributed more than $10 million to 1,200 nonprofits and schools statewide, focusing on core areas of vitality such as community development, education, human services and arts and culture.

In addition to these financial contributions, there is a legacy of direct volunteer engagement by Wells Fargo employees and executives, making their total impact on our community momentous.

Founding Member of Minnesota Keystone Program
A pioneer in the concept that corporations should commit a portion of earnings to the community, Wells Fargo was also one of the founding members of the Minnesota Keystone Program.

Whether through longstanding traditions or new innovations, Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota, under the leadership of Carolyn Roby, has consistently and strategically supported Minnesota nonprofits, substantively engaged its leaders in the community, and continues to enhance its role as a corporate philanthropic leader in the state.

Congratulations Wells Fargo!

- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate


The Future of Combined Giving

August 26, 2013
unitedway

Nonprofits like United Way have a long history of combined-giving campaigns.

Although this year especially, it seems like summer just started, before you know it the kids will be headed back to school and fall combined-giving campaigns will be in full swing.

Combined-giving campaigns — such as United Way, Community Health Charities, Combined Federal Campaign and others — have a long history of nonprofit support. Traditionally, large employers have participated to encourage employee support of nonprofits. But today, with more small businesses and fewer people employed by large companies, campaign pitch meetings and payroll deductions don’t work at the old scale.

However, Steve Boland, financial specialist, Nonprofits Assistance Fund, says combined-giving campaigns aren’t going away anytime soon and believes that with a little creativity they will thrive well into the future.

In the summer issue of Giving Forum, Steve gives examples of where combined-giving has been and where it’s going. Read the full article here.

- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate


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