#FUNDRAISING: Causevox Improves Online Outreach & Fundraising To 2.0

Widgets to turn on or off
Easy-to-customize donation pages

We have often sung the praises of the online charity-site platform Causevox. And we do so again as the good folks at Causevox have released a significant series of upgrades and integrations in version 2.0. It moved out of beta last week, allowing any charity or nonprofit to take advantage of the expanding toolbox. This is how the programmers put it last week on the company blog:

We found out that the key to success for online fundraising this decade is easy customization, community engagement, and content marketing. Our existing platform couldn’t accommodate that vision, so we scrapped it and developed, from the ground up, a new and improved CauseVox.

CauseVox 2.0 is our first step to revolutionize online fundraising.

[Read more…]

#PHILANTHROPY: Zuckerberg’s Millions Suggest New Style Of Giving By Young


Mark Zuckerberg gives $500 million
Mark gives big again

Mark Zuckerberg always makes headlines, and few were as stunning as the ones he made in the fall of 2010 when he donated $100 million to the Newark, NJ school system − a system with which he has no personal connections whatsoever. His generosity was intended to help right the ship of one of the statistically worst school districts in the nation. But the shock of such a huge gift was met with as much skepticism as thanks, and within a year parents groups and the ACLU sued the city of Newark to open up its correspondence with the founder of Facebook so they could trace what launched the donation and what the city had been doing with the money.

Mayor Cory Booker and state officials continue to state that no email trail exists (a dangerous defense to mount in this day-and-age if untrue), and the money is being plowed back into the schools. Zuckerberg, though, has felt no qualms about giving other big gifts. Last fall he gave a stunning $500 million to the Silicon Valley Foundation. Two such gifts suggests a pattern, but what kind?

[Read more…]

#FUNDRAISING: Register for Maryland Governor’s Grants Conference

Plenary Speaker of Governor's Grants ConferenceAs the calendar year unfolds and the fiscal year 2013-2014 appears over the horizon, so too does registration begin for the Maryland Governor’s Grants Conference. This year’s conference will be held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus on Thursday, February 21st. The one-day conference − sponsored by such organizations as the National Grant Management Association, the Grant Professionals Association, and Deloitte − offers plenary talks by leaders in the grant-providing and grant-winning fields, as well as breakout sessions allowing networking and specific assistance for your organization’s needs.

[Read more…]

#PHILANTHROPY: #Sundance & A3 Foundation Extend Cooperation for Asian-American Artists

Asian American Artists Foundation
Shot from a film sponsored by the A3 Foundation

Though the Initial Public Offering of Facebook devolved into comic fodder last May, the fact remains that it made many people quite wealthy − especially those who had been working with Zuckerberg’s company from the early days. A number of those who cashed out their stocks and jobs at the social-network giant have since turned toward philanthropic efforts, and we would like to highlight one of those concerns that also is having a big impact on this week’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

The A3 Foundation was founded in 2012 by Philip Fung, Julia Lam, and Franklyn Chien, who were early Facebook employees, and who wanted to encourage both Asian-American artists (thus the ‘A3’) and those working on projects pertinent to the larger Asian-American community. According to their own site, “The A3 Fellows Program is the inaugural program for the foundation placing emerging artists with seasoned artists to learn and grow. The fellowship consists of $10,000-$20,000 in funding, as well as mentorship from more established artists, and the opportunity to build your skillset and network.” A large presence at the Sundance Festival is only the beginning of what they hope to accomplish.

[Read more…]

#INTERVIEW: Paul Jolly of Jump Start Growth Helps Us Plan for the 2013 ‘Ask’

Our interview with Paul Jolly
Paul Jolly, President of Jump Start Growth, Inc.

This past December, Paul Jolly, President of Jump Start Growth, Inc., talked about the spiritual side of fundraising, and how he works with nonprofits to help them appreciate the motives and desires of big donors. Paul’s company has many years of experience to bring to organizations that are trying to improve their success rates with big donors.

Today we are excited to bring you part two of our interview with Paul. We shift directions just a bit in this conversation to talk about the near future of fundraising. What seems to be the lay-of-the-land for 2013? What technological/communications developments should we keep our eye on? What is developing on the Jump Start Growth website for the new year?

[Read more…]

#FUNDRAISING: Paul Jolly of Jumpstart Growth Explores The Spiritual Side Of Donors

Paul Jolly's fundraising organization
The soul of fundraising

Raising money for a nonprofit or charity is tough work. With the focus of the organization on fundraising, it is not surprising that outreach tends to focus on the numbers (the thousands who benefit from the nonprofit’s work, the millions required to keep such work going, the hundreds of people asked to give…). In this first part of our video interview with Paul Jolly, Founder and President of Jump Start Growth Incorporated, we learn that the numbers really should be the last concern of a nonprofit or charity, not the first. For Paul and Jump Start Growth, the first concern is the personal, the spiritual, connection between the donor and the cause she or he wants to support. Where is your organization’s focus?

[Read more…]

#GRANTS: Nominations Open For Awards of $5000 From WLR Automotive

$25000 to be given away in January
Click here to nominate a nonprofit

Have you made a nomination for the “Giveaway For Good”? The giveaway is an initiative of the WLR Automotive Group, who is celebrating twenty-five years of service in the central Maryland/York County PA region. As a part of that celebration, and to give thanks back to the community who have supported the company, its owners have opened up nominations for charitable organizations and nonprofits to win grants of $5000 next January. The nomination process was opened up in mid-November, and anyone can continue to nominate groups through 14 December. Once the nomination process closes (14 December at midnight), the public will vote on the five organizations that they would like to see get a $5000 award from WLR. As of this post, about 25 organizations are up, and your organization certainly can nominate itself.

[Read more…]

#INTERVIEW: Rob Wu of Causevox Tells Us About Developments In Online Fundraising

CauseVox online donor acquisition
Causevox moves to version 2

Rob Wu is co-founder of Causevox, an online social-media and donor-acquisition platform, and he and his team have been working hard over the last number of months moving the online system to 2.0. We had the pleasure of talking with Rob a year or so ago, when Causevox first went live. The focus then was to create a ‘turn key’ website/social-media hub for nonprofits, which allowed them to customize the look and feel of the site to fit their ‘brand’ while also enjoying some advanced features like bulk emailing and email subscription captures.

The success of the platform has been phenomenal, as charities working from Africa and to the southwestern US have gotten connected with Causevox and have raised many tens of thousands of dollars over the last year. But the New-York based staff has not been sitting on its laurels. Let’s hear what Rob has to say in this first interview.

[Read more…]

#PHILANTHROPY: Evidence Of ‘Emerging Charitable Markets’ & How To Tap Into Them

Younger philanthropists want to be reached personallyAn article on yesterday’s E-Jewish Philanthropy caught our eye because the authors did a really interesting bit of research into the top givers in US in this calendar year. The study by Robert I. Evans and Avrum D. Lapin demonstrates how useful a careful parsing of statistics can be for fundraisers, and how that parsing can uncover shifting trends in the philanthropic world.

The ostensible foundation of their work was to try to explain why some 130 of the wealthiest Americans on the famed Forbes 400 list are Jewish, yet only about thirty of them have given gifts that break into the list of top donors as compiled by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. They have discovered not so much a shift in the habits of giving among Jewish donors but demographic and economic shifts that are opening what they call ’emerging charitable markets.’ Who is participating in these markets?

[Read more…]

#PROAGING: Technology Can Encourage Socialization & Longevity

Social contact makes everyone happierPerhaps the greatest gift of life is the ability to share many its aspects with others. We have communication skills and empathies that can enliven mundane tasks and reinforce the greater joys and tragedies of the human experience. As social beings, we seek out these shared experiences from our earliest infancy to our later golden years. For many aging citizens, though, physical limitations and technological impositions can reduce opportunities for socialization, which in turn has been shown to decrease both life quality and life expectancy.

Most aging Americans want to live in their own homes as they age, but that desire also increases the likelihood of growing isolation and falling life quality. How might recent technological innovations keep seniors connected to their peers and their younger family members?

[Read more…]

#FUNDRAISING: Paul Jolly Inspires The Big Ask To Raise Big Money

Nonprofits often ask for too little support
If you ask for less, you'll get less (and work harder on fundraising than on your projects)

We welcome back Paul Jolly, Director of Jump Start Growth, Inc., a nonprofit fundraising and consulting firm in Washington DC. Today, Paul tells about the importance of breaking the sound barrier.

Many good therapists will tell you your achievements are limited only by your attitude.  Organizations, as well as individuals, may have a mindset that limits what they can accomplish. Which means they work harder for less.

[Read more…]

#FUNDRAISING: The Holiday Season For Donations Begins Now. Ready?

Summer is when you plan your holiday fundraisingThe pools are open and busy. The grill has cooled down since the July-4th Picnic. The MLB All-Star Game is tonight. It’s July. One of the traditional/old-fashioned ways to disrupt the heat is to hold a “Christmas in July” party, and your nonprofit or charity should be having one. Why? To celebrate the good work you have been doing for the last six months, and to energize yourselves for the critical holiday season of solicitation and fundraising that should hit its peak in mid-November and continue right through the new year. Yep, the groundwork for a successful holiday season needs to start soon, like tomorrow.

[Read more…]

#FUNDRAISING: Facebook Gives Pages & Apps To Nonprofits (Zuckerberg Gives Cash)

Nonprofits Group Page logoFacebook’s power on the social-networks scene need hardly be introduced, and thousands of nonprofits and charities have tapped into that power to expand and support their good work. But has the company offered any of its billions to those nonprofits and charities? Facebook, like Apple, does not have a philanthropic foundation like some other corporations, like Dell or Intel. Facebook’s CEO, unlike Apple’s, has given a great deal of charity on his own. Zuckerberg has taken the “Giving Pledge” drive initiated by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, and he famously gave $100 million to the Newark (NJ) school system last year.

So if a charitable foundation is not part of the Facebook portfolio at this stage, what does it do to support the work of nonprofits?

[Read more…]

#GRANTS: Sony USA Offers Year-Long Support To Many Types Of Nonprofits

Corporate funding can support fledgling nonprofit projectsNonprofits depend on technology for communication, internal organization, and creative outreach. Many of the tech corporations who design and build the cameras, computers, smartphones, and tablets for nonprofits also offer grants and other avenues of support for those nonprofits and charities. In this post, we turn to Sony USA, which offers numerous outlets where such 501(c)3 organizations can purchase Sony’s products at a notably reduced rate. But more importantly, Sony gives year-long grants to numerous organizations involved in the arts, community outreach and renewal, education, volunteerism, and health and human services.

[Read more…]

#GRANTS: Hewlett-Packard Gives Well Above Its Peers Of Similar Revenue

Let’s face it: HP has had some hard times in the printing and computing world. It has gone some time without a CEO over the last few years, and the board has bought some assets that don’t seem much like assets (Anyone seen a Palm Pilot lately?). And in the upcoming year, some 30,000 jobs will be cut by the corporation. Yet I write this post not to bury HP but to praise it, for Hewlett-Packard has been a major corporate donor and socially-engaged company for some time. In 2011 the company brought in about $127 billion in revenues last year, and it gave over $100 million back out through its “Global Innovation” organization. For comparison, Apple drew in $108 billion in the same year, and invested about $0 in corporate philanthropy.

Could your nonprofit benefit from assistance from Hewlett-Packard?

[Read more…]

#FUNDRAISING: 2011 Was A Good Year For Email Outreach By Nonprofits

NTEN & M+R report their sixth annual report on e-fundraisingWith all the excitement about all the social networks and all the purchases that Facebook has been making lately, it’s worth remembering that not only do more ‘traditional’ media exist but they also can be of greater value than the newest platform that has all the media and investor eyeballs. Such should be especially remembered by nonprofits who might not have the resources to establish a presence on the latest Pinterest trend.

According to the latest eNonprofit Benchmark Study by NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network) and M+R Strategic Services, a substantial email list and a well-crafted email campaign remain the most valuable fundraising tools in your charity’s box. Just how valuable?

[Read more…]

#INTERVIEW with Lori Jacobwith, Communications & Fundraising Coach, & Founder of the Ignited Online Fundraising Community

Lori Jacobwith PhotoLori Jacobwith is a communications and fundraising coach, consultant and blogger. She founded the Ignited Online Fundraising Community and is author of the forthcoming book, Withism’s from Lori: Boldness, Clarity and Wisdom for Fundraising Professionals Making a Difference. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

NPM360: You’ve been a development director, an executive director, a CEO. So why did you shuck off all the power, the glory, the fame, the money and decide to be a trainer or a coach?

LORI: I love affecting change. When I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to help other people. I was able to help people as a development director and as an executive director, but I wanted to be able to help people at a larger scale. I got a taste of seeing what a trainer and a coach does by attending trainings, sitting in the audience, and I realized, I want to help a roomful of people at a time.

[Read more…]

#ENVIRO: CBS/EcoMedia Partnership Expands To Bring Revenues To Green Nonprofits

The alliance between CBS/EcoMedia began just last year in an effort to bring advertising dollars directly to nonprofits, and the success of the program is beyond doubt as five more nationally recognized environmental nonprofits have recently joined the ranks. The effort of the partnership is allow corporate sponsors who buy advertising through the CBS conglomerate to direct some of that money toward the nonprofits themselves. According to the EcoMedia mission statement, “We’ve developed partnerships with cities across America, all of which have environmental projects in need of funding. When companies advertise with us, dollars go directly into these projects, thereby turning traditional television commercials, radio spots, online advertising, and outdoor billboards into EcoAds.” − as this advertisement demonstrates:

[Read more…]

#INTERVIEW: Jeff Brooks, Nonprofit Blogger, Author, and Creative Director

Jeff Brooks PhotoJeff Brooks has been working on behalf of nonprofits for more than 20 years and passionately blogging about fundraising since 2005. He writes the Future Fundraising Now blog and is creative director at TrueSense Marketing. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

MKC: What do you consider to be the greatest challenge of being a good copywriter?

JEFF: What most people who are not professional copywriters get wrong is they don’t differentiate themselves from their audience. That’s why most fundraising is just bad. It doesn’t succeed the way it ought to because they say, I’m going to make this please me, and then it’ll please the others and then it’ll work. Well, that’s just wrong. That’s not how you create quality fundraising. You have to know your audience, and reach out to them, and 99 percent of the time, you’re going to hate it. You may say, I wouldn’t respond to this! And you’re absolutely correct, and it absolutely doesn’t matter.

[Read more…]

#PHILANTHROPY: Google Can Give Time, Resources, & AdWords To Nonprofits

Google gave $100 million and free programming time to charities in 2011Google is the great behemoth of web searching and video hosting. Google.com is default homepage in millions of browsers and YouTube has inspired citizen journalists in war-torn Syria and video mashups of cute kittens in suburbia. Google.org is perhaps not as well known, but its philanthropic outreach is huge, and it offers that money and support numerous ways – some of which your organization can surely take advantage of!

[Read more…]

#PHILANTHROPY: What Might Inspire People To Give To Your Charity?

Charities that sell raffle tickets for fundraising always do wellThe year’s fundraising drives are laid out before you and your colleagues. The sting of the Great Recession still hurst most Americans, even if the stinger is gone. The prospects can look intimidating. Even though your charity or nonprofit does good work and has the track record to prove it, this moment might be a good moment to look at a hard fact of fundraising: what will entice more donations, micro or macro, NOW?

[Read more…]

#INTERVIEW: Christina Attard, Philanthropic Advisor, Blogger, and Development Director

Christina Attard PhotoChristina Attard writes the “Ask Better-Give Smarter” Blog. As a philanthropic adviser, she helps both nonprofits with their development programming and individuals planning tax-smart donations. She has been a Gift Planning Officer at two Canadian universities and is currently the Development Director for a Christian diocese in Regina, Saskatchewan. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

NPM360: How did you manage to get to this place of semi-guruhood from a B.A. in mediaeval studies?

CHRISTINA: How it actually happened is that I was starting university and paying my own way. I had some money saved, but not enough. When I went to see my Dean, a Sister of St. Joseph, she said, how do you plan to pay for your year here? I said, I’ve been praying about that and hoping for an answer soon. She said, that’s very nice, do you have a resume? (Yes.) Go get your resume and go to the financial aid office. I’ll call ahead, go see a woman named Pauline and we’ll see if she can get you through with some cash from a bursary. Pauline saw me and said, we have this bursary and you’ll be eligible for it, it’s still not going to be enough, do you have your resume? (Yes.)

[Read more…]

#FUNDRAISING: Impact Of Mobile Donations To Haiti Two Years On?

Text messaging to the Red Cross to help Haiti

Two years ago this month, Haitians endured a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that destroyed much of the infrastructure in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and killed over 300,000 people. The outpouring of support from numerous nations inspired faith that rebuilding after the tragedy would bring notable improvements to the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.

Unfortunately, two years on, much of the news concerns not the rebuilding of the island nation but the challenge of simply finding where the promised money and resources went. Much of it simply has not shown up as countries have given less (some news sources state as much as half) than first promised. But of what has arrived has often been diverted to non-Haitian companies or to corrupt local officials who overcharge for minimal services.

And yet we also have the data to show how much non-governmental was raised ($43 million) and how.

[Read more…]

#Interview: Howard Adam Levy, Principal of Red Rooster Group

Howard Adam Levy is Principal of Red Rooster Group, a New York City-based branding, marketing and design agency for nonprofits. Howard, who began working with nonprofits as a graphic designer in 1991, founded the agency 10 years ago. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVEnonprofit blog.

NPM360: What is most challenging about branding nonprofits?

HOWARD: Nonprofits face a wide variety of constituents, from clients, referral sources, donors, partner organizations, board members and others. So a lot more is involved in reaching out and developing messages and strategies for each of those audiences.

Businesses, especially small businesses, can make unilateral decisions on their marketing. Nonprofits are typically more consensus oriented. And particularly when it comes to the brand, you really want to get everyone’s input and have a feeling that everyone is contributing to the process of what we’re all about. So you need a process that can build consensus in a politically neutral environment and get everyone feeling really good about the brand and their role as brand ambassadors.

[Read more…]

#Fundraising: How To Apply For A Grant From Intel

Intel Corporate Social Responsibility Blog BannerThis week in our ongoing periodic series on grant providers and how to apply for their support, we look at the tech company that helps build Microsoft and Apple computers: Intel. The corporation is best known for its processors and motherboards and for its 5-note jingle – but its stand on corporate social responsibility is truly impressive. A post on the company’s CSR blog site by Perry Gruber back in 2008 nicely shows the synergies Intel envisions between corporate wealth and nonprofits and charities that do work that also helps those corporations who support them. A (Flash) video about Intel’s more recent philanthropic outreach can be viewed here.

[Read more…]