November 17, 2015
Yesterday I received an infographic showing how digital and social media have transformed communications and fundraising in nonprofits across the country. It was nicely done, so I’m sharing.
The infographic examines ways that new channels are quickly, and dramatically, changing how people engage with nonprofit organizations.
According to MDG Advertising, infographic creators, take-aways are:
- Nonprofits are all-in on digital — 3 of 4 top engagement channels are digital: websites, email campaigns and social media; the only non-digital channel in the top 4 is in-person events.
- Online giving is on the rise — online giving has risen 13% in the past 12 months, with the biggest jump in donations coming from social media fundraising (up +70% compared with last year).
- Facebook is the foundation of social success — 81% of nonprofits say Facebook is the most important social network for their organization; Twitter ranks second.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising is growing fast — 33% of online donations are made through peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, which encourage individuals and teams to rally for a cause.
- Websites are engagement hubs — traffic to nonprofit websites is up 11% on average since 2013, with most organizations now using their sites as hubs to provide information, accept donations and aggregate social posts.
- Email remains a powerful workhorse — nonprofits say email campaigns account for an average of one-third of all revenue raised. Email has the best return on investment of any marketing tactic: $40 for every $1 spent.
- Giving days are big — in Minnesota, Give to the Max Day raised more than $18 million in November 2015. Nationally 2014 Giving Tuesday donations spiked by more than a third compared with 2013; 4,300+ organizations raised more than $26.1 million.
– Susan Stehling, communications and media specialist
April 9, 2014
Yesterday, the Bush Foundation announced it has opened applications for its 2014 Bush Prize for Community Innovation. This prize honors and supports innovative organizations with a track record of making great ideas happen. The Bush Prize provides creative capital for the organizations to use however they choose.
Open to public charities and government entities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and 23 Native nations that share the same geography, selection criteria for the Bush Prize include:
- Does the organization have a pattern of innovative solutions?
- Does the organization have a pattern of using inclusive, collaborative and resourceful processes?
- Does the organizational leadership foster a culture of innovation?
- Is the organization stable and strong in terms of governance and finance?
Applications are due June 5. Finalists will be chosen in July, with site visits in August and September. Winners will be selected in November, with funds dispersed in December.
Prize winners receive a package of recognition, along with a flexible grant of 25% of the organization’s last fiscal year budget, up to $500,000. See the stories of the nine winners from 2013.
Visit the Bush Foundation’s website for all the details and to access the online application. Best of luck to those applying!
January 3, 2014
Is being more productive near the top of your list of New Year’s resolutions? And do you want to make your resolution stick all year long?
If so, take the advice of our friends at Project Streamline, and you’ll soon be saving precious time and money – for you and your grant applicants. Here are three easy changes to make today so you all can focus more energy and resources on your missions:
- Shift to using a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). Why make potential grantees prepare a full grant proposal (and why take time to read it?) when they may not be a fit with your guidelines? Let them pick up the phone or send an email to verify your interest.
- Pull information you need from existing sources. Why ask grantees to reformat and send financial information that’s already available from public sources? For instance, use the wealth of data in their IRS 990s on Guidestar.
- Ask only for information you’ll read and use. And while you’re at it, accept the information in a common grant or common report form.
More Easy-to-Implement Changes
These are just a few of many excellent and doable suggestions from Project Streamline, the collaborative initiative of the Grants Managers Network and other effectiveness-minded organizations in the philanthropic and nonprofit spheres.
For an overview of Project Streamline’s latest Practices that Matter report (pdf), read my colleague Susan Stehling’s Philanthropy Potluck blog post from last summer.
Then check out all the excellent resources on the Project Streamline website, including the four core principles and practices, the grantmaker assessment tool, and the Ask Dr. Streamline blog.
Your Resolution is a Yearlong Gift
Why do we make New Year’s resolutions? Because we want to align our values and our actions. (For MCF members, that means putting our Principles for Grantmakers into practice.)
There’s no better way to fulfill your New Year’s resolution than to adopt Project Streamline’s good grantmaking guidelines.
You’ll lighten the load on yourself and your grant applicants, demonstrate your respect for our hard-working nonprofits, boost your productivity and efficiency, and free up more money for mission throughout 2014 and beyond.
— Wendy Wehr, MCF v.p. of communications and information services
Photo cc BazaarBizarreSF
November 5, 2013
Is your nonprofit organization looking for new ways to engage younger community members as donors and volunteers? If so, you’re certainly not alone, and you’ll want to watch for the fall issue of Giving Forum — in your mailboxes and online later this week.
The fall issue addresses the importance of engaging community members of every age to tackle the unprecedented challenges we face today in Minnesota — from alleviating poverty to closing the educational achievement gap to preparing for record numbers of elderly residents.
For a taste of what’s included, watch this one minute video featuring Robyn Schein, director of donor experience and engagement, The Minneapolis Foundation, and Dominick Washington, communications director, Bush Foundation, addressing the question: What advice would you give to organizations looking to engage younger donors?
August 26, 2013
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