How to use Twitter for fundraising

 Things you’ll need

  • A twitter account
  • A Just Giving account or an alternative way of receiving funds.

Some ideas about how to ask for and receive donations via Twitter. Please add others you’ve tried.

1

Think about your ‘asks’

Just being on brilliant on Twitter and having lots of followers doesn’t necessarily mean they will give you money. Depending on what type of organisation you are, you will need to ask and remind people how they can give.

Writing your ‘ask’

Think about how to craft your 140 character tweet so it influences people to give. These may be around a current campaign so an ‘ask’ tweet is a natural part of this. It can be difficult to get the message of your campaign across in 140 characters so make sure you factor in enough time to work on these. Remember that you can be more informal on Twitter than on your website.

For cold ‘asks’, do some analysis to find out what words work best for your audience. The first few words of a tweet are important as people skim read so it’s worth doing some testing to see whether your followers respond to the words donate / help / give etc at the start of your message. If they don’t, spend some time finding a method which does work.

One way of asking is by thanking people (EG Thanks to everyone who signed up to direct debits in the last month to fund our work. Here’s how you can too – <link>). Facts can also help (EG It’s costs £10 a month to XX, could you help? <link>) as can an indication of success (EG So far, 30 amazing people have pledged their support. Please join them <link>) or need (EG We just need another £56 to reach our target. Please help <link>).

Remember to say please and thank you.

Sending your ‘ask’

Think about the best time of day to send your tweet. Try and find some data about when you followers respond to you most (ie when they retweet (RT) your messages, mention you or follow links in your tweets).

If your followers are professional or leisure twitter users they may respond during the day or in the evening / weekends respectively. Use Hootsuite or similar twitter tools to schedule in messages if you don’t want to manually send them at 10pm.

If there are big things happening in the real world related to your cause, then take advantage of people talking or thinking about them. This might be a news story, a TV programme or an event. Capitalise on this by sending an ask or general message with link to your website using thehashtag (#) people are using.

Think about frequency. How often is right for you to send an ‘ask’ tweet? Too few won’t generate much income and too many will annoy people. Try to get the balance right.

2

Text giving

Text Giving is an ideal way to ask directly for small donations. Either include this in your profile or send it as a message now and again. There is a separate how to guide on how to set up a text giving account and how to maximise text donations.

3

Giv2.it donations

Invite people to tweet a donation using giv2. This is powered by JustGiving, you just need to sign up and start letting people know what to do. More information from the giv2it website.

4

Your website

Think about the link you include in your tweets. Are you directing people to your homepage and expecting them to click from there or pushing directly to your donation page? Think about the link that is right for your tweet. If you get more value from direct debits than the average donation, prioritise these. If you want people to know about your scheme making money from mobile phones send them there.

It is worth using http://bit.ly or similar to shorten and customise your links as you can get data about click rates from it to analyse effectiveness

What’s Hot and What’s Not in Fundraising

Written by Sarah Hoddinott

charitymash-whats-hot-in-fundraising

The fundraising landscape is always changing-forcing nonprofits to work even harder to keep up with what’s hot in the market.  Keeping track of new trends can be a full time job in its own right, and knowing how to change development plans can be a daunting task.  Achieving success in this ever-changing landscape can seem impossible, but it’s not.

What’s Hot

Despite the Internet bursting into the scene more than 15 years ago, organizations are still learning how to incorporate a Web strategy to help meet their overall goals, especially that of improving donor retention and loyalty.  However, the following hot new tools have begun to enter fundraisers’ vocabulary over the past few years.

1. Major Event Fundraising

Nonprofits have always included events in their development strategies.  They are a great way of bringing the most loyal donors together, and make giving a fun, community function.  The introduction of the Internet and peer-to-peer event management tools has made it easier to host larger, broader-based events, such as country-wide walk-a-thons.  These technologies have not only made it easier to host these events but also allowed nonprofits to be more effective with outreach efforts.  By taking your major event online, you can achieve greater reach-and ultimately raise more money and awareness for your organization.

To be successful with a major event, make sure you plan in advance.  Coordinate different locations and host multiple events on a single day, while promoting these efforts under a single brand.  Build your online registration and peer-to-peer fundraising tool early, and put it in the hands of your most loyal donors.  Offer incentives for fundraising in lieu of charging a registration fee.  And, don’t forget the value of strong Web site content and the power of the Internet; build a microsite for your event, and promote it on social networking sites like Facebook.

2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Your most loyal donors and the people you serve are your best ambassadors.  Peer-to-peer fundraising makes it easy for people to reach out to their friends and family, especially when the time is right for them-but requires your guidance to ensure success.  Nonprofits can start to build a culture for peer-to-peer fundraising by integrating simple features into their Web sites.  Remember that your organization’s core messages need to be included with every personal appeal sent to donors.  Also build your brand when you introduce peer-to-peer tools; you can then begin to build a new donor pool.

3. Social Networking

Social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, bring together your supporters in new ways and offer new tools for non-profits.  You can lead the way in making the most of social networking by using these sites’ group pages to recruit new supporters and publicize the needs and services of your organization.

Some key steps fundraisers should take including building a group and promoting their organizations’ Donate Now pages on that group.  Encourage donors and members to join; people will find you on their own, as well.  Once you’ve done that, it all comes down to communication.  Highlight your organization’s appeals, initiatives and needs, and use social networking to maximize volunteer recruitment.

4. Micro-Campaigning

Nonprofits’ main Web sites should always focus on maintaining a clean image.  Use simple graphics that highlight who you are and what you do.  Over time, organizations’ Web sites often become cluttered and try to fill too many needs at one time.  Micro-campaign pages are a good solution for when this happens; they can help keep your main Web site focused and allow you to develop a sub-brand or new program for target audiences.

Today, content management systems offer more features to enable nonprofits to build such sites.  As with all fundraising initiatives, a micro-campaign site should be carefully thought out and planned.  Know your audience and goals.  Also be sure to think about ways of promoting the Web page’s existence and role on your main site.

What’s Not

 

1. The Recession

 

The recession is the biggest challenge we’re all facing.  Rising unemployment is causing everyone to re-evaluate their spending, including their philanthropic contributions.  Organizations are coming to grips with the impact that the economy is having and looking for less expensive ways to raise funds and keep their donors engaged.

To grow, despite the challenges the economy is creating, look to some of the less expensive online tools that are available.  Now is the time to develop a social networking strategy and stay focused on building your community; your loyal donors will continue to support you.

2. Ignoring Key Performance Indicators

It’s important to never forget the basics.  Know what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are, monitor them closely, and adjust your development plan to protect what’s important.  It’s never wrong to focus on donor retention, but during hard economic times, it’s probably the biggest goal we all need to work to protect.

3. Static Web Site Content

Think about the Web sites you enjoy and visit regularly.  Are any of these pages filled with static content, or do they have dynamic graphics and messaging that make you want to look for what’s coming next?  Web site content is easy to build and personalize.  Get creative, and think about your audience.  If you serve children, find a way to use your content to appeal to them; perhaps you can add online games and puzzles.  Remember to keep changing such content out, so visitors will want to come back again.

4. Manual Process Management

In this day and age, nonprofits shouldn’t have to use pen and paper and spend lot of time to manage communication and other processes.  Organizations should be able to look to their fundraising database systems to support all of its activities, especially those that are unique to it and its donors.  Find out what your software offers you to give you the time to focus on building new Web sites and social networking strategies.

Saying Thank You to your online Community.

With the yearly celebration of giving thanks upon us, I figure that now is as good a time as any to cover how you can say thank you to your online community.

Thank you can go a loooong way!

In an era where marketing coordinator has started to mean community cultivator, we need to learn to give back to those that have made us successful online. Building a community of fans that all know, like, and trust us is not an easy task. It takes work, and we need always remember to thank the ones that got us there in the first place.

This list is not full of gimmicky things that you can do just because it is Thanksgiving. These are the regular, every-day, steps that will show your community that you care, and keep them singing your praises.

1. Say Thank You

Let’s start of with a simple one. Saying thank you when a customer posts on your Facebook wall, or RT’s your blog post can go a long way in the social economy. It has been said that silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. Being polite lets your fans know that you appreciate them, and that you don’t take what they do for granted.

2. Shower Praise

You community will never know what you think about them unless you tell them. For some (like me), showering praise on other people doesn’t come naturally, but it is a very important part of building community. We need to lather our community in praise for the things that they do for us, and in general. Always be willing to give someone praise for their successes. They will value your attention, and your generous words.

3. Stay Positive

In the world of social, I suppose we should call this sentiment, but the key here is to keep a smile on your face as you type. A positive tone on your Twitter feed will help set the tone for the consumer interactions that take place each and every day. When you are positive, the members of your community are far more likely to be positive as well. No one likes a party pooper, so keep things on the up and up.

4. Give Selflessly

So much of online marketing and social media is about giving things away. Great brands and community curators have learned that if they give away a little bit of what they do best, their community will reward them with their business. Social media is a share-driven economy. So, say thank you to your community by giving them something to take, give, and share.

5. Be Authentic

There are many reasons why consumers follow brands and companies that they care about, but a big one is the authenticity that these accounts usually provide. In today’s age of the customer, corporate transparency and honesty go a long way. As brand evangelists, your community deserves true honesty and authentic information. Giving them the real you each and every day is an amazing way to say thank you, and to build trust.

6. Follow Back

If someone has taken an interest in your brand, and your business, don’t you think it would be worth your time to invest some of yourself back into them? The thing is, most brands don’t care who their followers are as long as they have some. Pay attention to what they say. When they celebrate, come along with them. When they ask a question, chime in. There is no reason that brands and businesses can’t reach out in the realm of social media engagement.

This Thanksgiving, don’t take your community for granted. What are you going to do to say thank you to your social media audience?

by Garrett Moon – Social Media today.

10 tips to good fundraising.

Guest post by George Wooden
Founder & CEO, BW Unlimited

With so many fundraising campaigns taking place online these days, nonprofits have fewer chances to interact with their supporters face to face. And while fundraising events may no longer be the most important component of your organization’s fundraising strategy, it’s still a good idea to host an event for your supporters and take the opportunity to interact with your community.

Here are 10 key pointers to help you make your next fundraising event an extraordinary one.

1Pick the right venue. Your guests should be treated to a wonderful venue with an expert staff. As your guests enter your event, even in the parking lot, the appearance of the venue is vitally important to their overall experience.

2Plan as if you are a guest. When planning your event, examine it during the planning stages from the perspective of a guest and not as the organizer. This includes meal selection, items for your Live and Silent action (if applicable), as well as presentation length.

3Plan to plan.  Well before your event, meet with your event committee and discuss all aspects of the event. Go over your event time line over and over so that everyone is familiar with the flow. Ensure that everyone understands their duties and what they are responsible for.

4Meal should match the ticket price.  When reviewing meal choices for your guests, do not pick what you like or what is economical, pick the meal that your guests will truly enjoy. A fantastic meal is the cornerstone of a great event; a bad meal will ruin their experience.

5No lengthy speeches. When someone has a speech or some type of presentation, do not make it lengthy. No one is attending your event to listen to speeches, they are attending to have a good time, see their friends and enjoy a night out. Limit any speeches or presentations to a specified amount of time.

6Offer multiple ways to donate. Donations are just as important as attendance. Without the seats full, you will be unable to raise the funds you need. Diversify the ways that you solicit donations, such as holding a Live and Silent Auction, or holding a Raffle.

7Account for all donor levels. A successful fundraising event comes from several well planned fundraising platforms, such as a Live Auction. But remember, not everyone attending can bid on your items in the Live Auction. Account for lower bidders as well as those who would enjoy an entertaining raffle.

8Auction items that “wow” the crowd. As with any fundraising event, your guests will bid on items or trips that will excite them. Local donations are fantastic but larger more exciting items, such as “No Risk Auction Items,” are needed to urge on higher bids.

9Provide entertainment. While entertainment options seem like they cut into your event’s net proceeds, they can be productive investments. Background music provided by live bands can break up the time, as well as fill dead space. Furthermore, an entertaining Master of Ceremonies is a very valuable asset. Your guests will enjoy someone who is not afraid of speaking in front of crowd and can create excitement.

10Cover event sticking points. There are two sticking points during an event – Check In and Check Out. Ensure your registration table is adequately staffed to prevent your guests from having to stand in line when they arrive. As guests are leaving, ensure again that your check-out table is staffed so that your guests can pay for the items they purchased quickly. Make sure your staff understands their duties and that there are staff members assisting your guests in retrieving their items.

George Wooden is founder and CEO of event management consultancy BW Unlimited. Follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeWooden. This post originally appeared on Vivanista and is republished with permission. Follow @Vivanista on Twitter and register for the Vivanista Fundraising Summit.

5 Tips to Keep Your Content Sticky and Your Bounce Rate Low – B2B Marketing

5 Tips to Keep Your Content Sticky and Your Bounce Rate Low – B2B Marketing.

11 Ways to Leverage the Power of Social Media for the 2011 Holiday Season

  |  November 3, 2011   |  2 comments

Click here to find out more!

You can never be too prepared for the holiday season and one of the great benefits about social media is that it allows consumers as well as brands to react in real time to changes. Therefore, with the holiday season fast approaching, here are 11 ways marketers can be better prepared for the 2011 holiday season and leverage the power of social media to amplify their existing marketing programs.

  1. Timing is everything. One of the most effective tactics a brand can implement is strategically planning the roll-out of critical communications during the holiday season. To do this, take the time to analyze critical response patterns including what day/time of day your consumers are most likely to engage with your social media posts and build your social posts accordingly.
  2. Integrate and coordinate. Support promotional efforts across multiple channels – and coordinate your social posts with direct mail drops, email communications, and banner activities – to maximize sales. Test the effectiveness of sequencing these efforts to better optimize overall conversion and response rates.
  3. Tag and track. Add tracking codes to all social media efforts. Measure your social media’s impact to lift overall response rates as well as each channel’s conversion contribution and impact on sales. Tag marketing programs with social addresses in order to engage consumers further.
  4. Listen, respond, and remind. Monitor conversations and sentiment to identify and understand who might be talking about your brand, promotions, products, or services and what they are saying. Staff up and respond in real time. Go beyond offering holiday gift suggestions and be prepared to answer a range of inquires via social media you may not normally be accustomed to; such as questions around product availability, return policies, pricing, complaints, and more. Take the time to prepare and train all front-line personnel to properly address consumer questions. Remind users of critical deadlines and dates such as the last day to order online to receive by Christmas and offer last-minute ideas such as e-certificates.
  5. Localize and alert. Use social media to update consumers about local events, extended store hours, price changes, and even product deliveries at local locations – particularly as it relates to hot products. Using the geo-targeted posts on platforms like Facebook can help optimize sales both online and in-store at the local level.
  6. Promote unique events. Develop unique programs such as gift registries, holiday countdowns, pricing alerts, and store events and use social media to help spread the word and add opt-in and registration opportunities via your social networks: i.e., Facebook tabs. These are not only valued programs that drive engagement, but they also allow you to grow the database and continue the conversation across channels after the holidays.
  7. Reward participation and loyalty. Create exclusive offers and events for loyalty and social community members. Reward consumers for their help in spreading the word and engagement. Be conscious of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines governing social media endorsements.
  8. F-commerce. Extend the ability to purchase directly from your Facebook page. F-commerce is expected to increase six fold and reach $30 billion worldwide by 2015. Add the ability for consumers to purchase directly from your Facebook page and experiment with creating social events around big commerce events – i.e., “Chat with the designer.”
  9. Socialize key touch points. Socialize key touch points like your brand’s website and email communications. Implement Facebook Connect to give users the ability to “like” and share products and holiday wish lists on your website. Incorporate share-to-social capabilities within email promotions and alerts.
  10. Experiment and partner. Test new ideas and consider developing joint programs with retail partners. Foursquare check-in specials with custom badges can be shared across linked social networks to help increase visibility. Develop joint brand promotions with partners and cross-promote via @mentions and posts to increase awareness of your promotional efforts. And remember to inform front-line personnel of any promotions (see “Check In Before Users Check Out“).
  11. Unleash the power of the crowd and solicit feedback. Use collaborative filtering and data to highlight popular items by category, geographic region, or user segment and share it across your various communities. Solicit feedback by asking visitors to submit holiday and promotional ideas they’d like to see from your brand.

While the economic conditions have left many marketers struggling to do more with less, social media is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does social media help marketers amplify their marketing efforts and increase marketing success, but if leveraged properly, it can be a true differentiator – enabling better planning, increased visibility/reach, greater selling efficiency, and improved customer satisfaction through real-time interactions.

Facebook Comments Appear In Google Search Indices

Facebook Comments Appear In Google Search Indices.

By being really careful how we word comments and status updates, we should be able to ensure that our facebook page keeps high in the search indices and if everything is linked, your website remains high.

Twitter Notes

 Background 

 Twitter is the #1 micro-blogging service in the world (microblog -shorter and usually more immediate version of a blog) Allows for short, inspirational, timely, valuable, messages

 200 million users

 1 million people view tweets about customer service each week

 140 characters limit; forces you to write efficiently + effectively.

 Love/hate relationship; people find it cumbersome/fearful because they don’t understand it

 Twitter is like learning math-listen to the instructor and you’re in the fog. Then you do the exercise and you get it (Gitomer)

 Majority of users are 30-49 years old

 Brands/businesses forced to use it because their customers have created some kind of uproar; but it’s made them better for it as a result of it

 Twitter is wide-open – people can see it and you can see theirs (unless blocked)

 Terminology 

 Mention – Once you’ve signed up and chosen a Twitter username, you and others can mention an account in your Tweets by preceding it with the @symbol

 Retweet (RT) – When you see a Tweet by another user that you want to share, click Retweet below it to forward it to your followers instantly.

 A re-tweet is like a referral, only better. (Gitomer)

 Direct Message – If you want to privately Tweet to a particular user who’s already following you, send a direct message (DM) which is the Twitter equivalent to e-mail.

 Hashtag – The pound sign or “#” sign. Used to categorize content and allow you to join a community based on common interests. For example: #loyalty – anyone searching for it will stumble on your screen. Popular for events.

o Hashtags.org – allows you to search for all the hashtags

o Hashtags and Chats–chats http://bit.ly/rnyJrL

 Listed – Being listed by a follower ensures that they will not miss a tweet and is powerful

Getting Started 

 Go to Twitter.com and create a username

 Username (twitter handle) should include real name for search engine indexing

 Always add a photo of yourself. Go to be social and be visible.

 Add a snappy bio that explains your expertise and what you care about

 If in doubt, put in keywords about you and your business to boost your Google rankings

 Start tweeting – try to keep it at 120 so there is plenty of room for people to re-tweet

 The shorter they are, the more likely they will be re-tweeted

 Tweet value messages

How to build a following 

 Email everyone you are connected to and follow them and invite them to connect with you on Twitter – offer them a value message typical of what you are going to be telling them

 Follow the tweets in your industry who offer valuable advice; many will follow-back

 Follow people you acknowledge

 Participate in chats

 Tweet HIGH VALUE messages – something your customers perceive as high value

Apps 

 Over 1 million Tweet applications

 Tweetbig

 Tweetdeck

 Over 1 million Tweet applications

Tips/Info 

 As your followers grow, your influence and your reputation grow

 URL shorteners are not necessary, Twitter does it for you

 Twitpic for pictures

 Best time to tweet: 9 am, lunchtime, 4 pm and 7 pm

 4 pm EST is the best time to get re-tweeted

 Monday and Tuesday are the highest tweet days of the week

 Put your most powerful tweet on the back of your business card (Gitomer)

Best Practices 

 Do not start with “Ben Franklin said.” Say what YOU want to say! (Gitomer)

 DO NOT use Auto-Dm’s “Thanks for following me… please follow me on Facebook.” – Waste of an opportunity to connect one-one-one with someone

 Use DM appropriately to transition a follower to a business friend

 Being listed and DM are two of the most powerful tools you have for Twitter

From a lovely lady Rachel Strella

 http://www.centralpawebster.com 

Social Media is here to stay

For those of you who think that they can keep their heads down and not consider Social Media or Social Networking because it is just a fad and will pass soon, you need to get your head up.     This fad is not going to pass, it is going to get bigger and a greater challenge to find your way around.     Many groups and organisations that have limited resources see this new technology as a drain on their already meagre staff time and on their funding.    They consider it as something the kids do, or something that wastes time.   Here is a list of some of the things people say to justify why they do not want to get involved:

  • It takes to long
  • You need dedicated staff
  • I don’t know how to do it
  • We cannot afford it
  • It is for kids
  • We do not want to put our information out there in that way
  • It is not private
  • The people we talk to do not use Social Media

Not sure where to start.

So here are some answers to these reasons:

It takes to long:-   If you create your own strategy and plan, it will take as long as you want to give it.    It is your resource and should work for you, not you for it.

You need dedicated staff:-   You need staff who are able to share information and spread the word.   People who understand engagement and this could be anyone.

I don’t know how to do it:-   Then learn.   It is easier than you think and by using the social media you find easier then you will pick it up in no time.    If you can type and press a button you can do social media.

We cannot afford it:-   Most Social Media platforms are free.   Many tools to support your campaigns are free.  It is the most cost effective way of getting your message out to many people at once.

It is for kids:-   Many older people now use Social Media to connect with people.    Professionals, Mothers, Older people are all getting into the act and posting status online.    You just need the right platform.

We do not want to put our information out there in that way:-   So where do you want to put your information.   We all need to market our organisation and our services so this is an ideal way to do it.

It is not private:-   All Social Media platforms have privacy settings.   All you need to do is get help in setting them.

The people we talk too, do not use Social Media:-   How do you know.   Have you asked them.

 

So, rethink your thinking, come up with a strategy, watch some of the videos on this site and get going.

Facebook

Facebook.