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Make Online Giving Second Nature for Regular Donors

Make Online Giving Second Nature for Regular Donors

Your regular donors are the lifeblood of your nonprofit. Major donations often make a big splash, but it is those monthly or quarterly donations that not only consistently further your cause, but keep the lights on at the office.

You want to cultivate more regular donors. Your nonprofit wants to make it easier for your existing regular donors to give. The best way to do this is to encourage them to give online.

What? You are not setup for online giving? What are you waiting for? Your competition — the entire nonprofit world — has been, and actively is, adopting online giving at a rapid pace. Don’t get left behind!

Online giving makes life easier for your regular donors, in that they don’t need to write a check and mail it every month. Giving online also greatly appeals to young people, many of whom have never written a check in their lives — and likely won’t. They pay for everything digitally. Why shouldn’t they be able to GIVE digitally?

Okay, we have made the case. You are probably onboard, or at least interested. What now?

First, you need to set your website up to be able to take online donations. At DonorLynk, we have done this for many nonprofits so it’s second nature. Contact us about it!

However, that’s the simple part. There’s a lot more that goes into it.

  • For example, you absolutely want to encourage and enable people to make recurring donations (weekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly), using any payment method they’d like. Think of it as a subscription, instead of automatically giving $10 a month to Netflix, they’re instead giving it to your nonprofit.
  • Your online giving should be mobile device-friendly. This is especially important since people spend so much time on their phones today. Is the online giving function on your website EXTREMELY easy to use on a mobile device?
  • Speaking of your website and mobile site (and if you have an Apple or Google app for online giving, kudos!)… it could maybe use a refresh around the online giving function. Does that page have interesting facts, videos of people you’ve helped, and other content that will entice people to give? Do you explain where the money will go, and how it will be sent?
  • Get social! More and more people are first exposed to nonprofits, not through their websites, but through social media. Promote and link to your online giving pages. Make it as easy as possible for your social media friends to click “Donate.”

We’ve got lots of ideas about how to integrate online giving with your nonprofit. Just ask!

 

Making the Most of the Holidays: Preparing for Seasonal Giving

Making the Most of the Holidays: Preparing for Seasonal Giving

Starting with Giving Tuesday, which falls on November 28 this year, the holiday season is the time of year when many nonprofits receive their highest level of donations. Are you actively planning for this season, or are you just going to wait for the donations to (hopefully) roll in. We think it should be the former.

What are some ideas for reaching donors during the holiday season? Glad you asked.

Get your website and social media accounts in the holiday spirit

Once Thanksgiving hits, lots of people are in the mindset to give, and your website and social media accounts should be encouraging them to give to your nonprofit for the holidays. Also, keep in mind that mobile giving is crucial to meeting your donors where they are at. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Use your website to create several landing pages for some different holiday opportunities. Have one page for volunteer shifts in the two weeks leading up to Christmas and the two weeks after. Have one page that does holiday themed giving like giving toward a Christmas event for your nonprofit’s clients. Have one page of your website be focused on spotlight stories of how constituent’s have made a difference over the last year and what involvement opportunities are upcoming. After all, information is power. Give the gift of information to your constituents this holiday season.

Be ready for online giving

Has it begun to sink in over the last few years that online giving is here to stay? Around the holidays, specifically, it is emphasized that your nonprofit direct donor traffic to online giving in order to create the optimum experience. Does your website, and even social media content, allow donors to instantly give with the click of a button? It is possible, and you should make it available to the public. People spend a lot of time on their computers and phones during the holidays, doing research and trying to think up gift ideas — and a lot of them want to give too. Meet them where they are.

 

Get ready for the most giving time of the year with DonorLynk!

 

Building an Email Campaign: Appealing to All

Building an Email Campaign: Appealing to All

Are you regularly emailing your donors and other constituents? If not, you should be. Not just to solicit donations, but to recognize a great opportunity to share new content you have generated, such as success stories and other news about your nonprofit. These emails can help keep your nonprofit engaged and in the forefront of your constituents’ minds. It’s an invaluable tool for your cause.

That doesn’t mean you should send the same email out to everyone in your database. You should develop different campaigns for different types of people on your list.

This is where a CRM, like Salesforce, comes in. Once you have entered data on each of your donors, volunteers, and sponsors, you can segment them according to any attributes you want, and send emails that accurately reflect what each of these people would most want to hear from you.

Some examples:

Local and Regional Events

If your nonprofit has a national footprint, as many do, you are likely running different events around the country. Should you alert your entire database about each event? Probably not. Someone in Maine probably won’t be able to attend a fundraiser in Phoenix, and both you and that person don’t really have much to gain from that person learning about it. With Salesforce, you can create an email that JUST goes out to people in your database who live in Arizona.

Micro-Donors

Your nonprofit may receive large gifts from time to time, but the lifeblood of your charity are those small donations that keep rolling in. Say you came up with an email to encourage those small donors to sign up for a recurring credit card payment. The donor who just bequeathed you $10,000 probably doesn’t need to hear a pitch for small recurring donations; in fact, that person might be insulted by the request. With Salesforce, you can segment your donors based on how much they’ve given, and send an email to those who have donated, say, $100 and under total over the years.

Volunteers

You probably have a core group of volunteers who help your nonprofit on the regular. These people are truly extensions of your nonprofit, and soldiers in your struggle. You probably want to communicate with these people on a regular basis, but not in the same way you would to a donor. Hopefully you’ve entered all of your volunteers’ information into Salesforce. Now you can create and send emails just for — and to — them, and no one else.

These are just a few examples. You’ll probably have a lot of other ideas for segmented email campaigns for your specific nonprofit. Think about what you can say that will effectively appeal to different types of people, create the content, and build campaigns. With Salesforce, it’s super-simple to do it.

 

Want some help coming up with ideas? Talk to us about it!
Joe Paone is a content strategist at DonorLynk who loves informing nonprofits.

Emphasizing User Adoption

Emphasizing User Adoption

You finally have your new software up and running. (Hopefully, it’s a fully functioning Salesforce implementation from DonorLynk!). You are ready to integrate the software into your workflow. It could change the whole ballgame for your nonprofit.

One problem though: What if everyone does not actually use it?

Organizational inertia can be a tough thing to overcome. People can get set in their ways, in their old systems. People who are comfortable using spreadsheets to track donors, for example, might be put off by a system like Salesforce, and just decide to “go with what they know.”

How do you make sure that everyone in your organization actually uses your new software?

You are not alone. Here is some advice on how to emphasize user adoption at your nonprofit.

Communicate the Value

In order to convince people to use new software, you need to convince them why it is important to do so. Communicate clearly the benefits and functionality of the software, focusing especially on how it will make employees’ work lives easier and more productive. Basically, treat this just like you would treat any other big event, because that’s what it is.

Train, Train, Train

That new software is great, but it’s just going to sit there on your network unless your people truly understand how to use it. Hold a series of hands-on training events, utilize developed manuals and other documentation, take advantage of software vendors’ online and video training materials, and above all, answer all the questions people may have about the software.

Support is Vital

Once the software is in use, make sure you support your users when they have problems or confusion. Be kind and patient, as some people pick up on new software more slowly than others. Do not let users stay in the dark about the software when it gives them difficulties, because they will just grow discouraged and go back to “the old ways.”

Have some questions about implementing new software? We’ve done it countless times for nonprofits all over the country. Contact us and we’ll give you some great advice!
Joe Paone is a content strategist at DonorLynk who loves informing nonprofits.

Observations on Outlook: Details of the Sync to Salesforce

Observations on Outlook: Details of the Sync to Salesforce

Syncing your Outlook email and calendar system with Salesforce used to be a tricky proposition, but it has been made easier and more effective in recent years. In the past, people used to have to copy and paste or BCC their email information into Salesforce. Those days, which involved people wasting a lot of time that could be otherwise spent productively, are thankfully gone.

The benefits of integrating Salesforce and Outlook are obvious. A lot of business is conducted via Outlook, and the problem is that information can stay locked into Outlook and not be brought into the Salesforce system. That means that when a member of your staff looks at a Salesforce contact record, all of the relevant information that’s in Outlook – about that donor might not be there — corporate sponsor proposals, appointments, or just a stated interest in donating, to name a few..

The solution is to sync your Outlook emails with Salesforce. DonorLynk can sync emails, events, and contacts between Salesforce and Outlook. Once this integration is complete, your emails are automatically attached to their corresponding Salesforce record. It also goes the other way around: you’ll be able to see a person’s information from Salesforce while you’re communicating with that person on Outlook.

We can explain all of the ins and outs of integrating Outlook with Salesforce. Start this conversation today, and learn even more about how DonorLynk can make Salesforce a powerful tool for your nonprofit.
Joe Paone is a content strategist at DonorLynk who loves informing nonprofits.