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Giving Tuesday Marketing Schedule & Checklist

fundraising nonprofit Nov 19, 2019

My last post examined four important ways your nonprofit can prepare and plan for Giving Tuesday. This post fast forwards in time to the actual day.It’s Giving Tuesday, do you know where your donors are? (Relax, this is only a test, you still have some time)

I do keep in mind that as you’re reading this, you may be a team of one that is doing the work of “the marketing department.” You may also be on a larger team, specifically involved with digital fundraising. Either way, you likely have a Giving Tuesday plan in place, but things can get thrown off quickly the day-of for a number of reasons. Most organizations will plan the marketing messages and marketing channels in advance, but not actually schedule what to do when this magical day arrives of generous do-gooders showering your organization with money to power your cause. Savvier organizations will schedule social media posts and emails in advance, which is great.

So let’s take some action. Pull up...

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4 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Prepare for Giving Tuesday

fundraising nonprofit Nov 12, 2019

If you work with a nonprofit, then it’s that time of year where you start to feel the nervous nibbling anxiety of Giving Tuesday looming on the horizon. You have more questions than answers, which may look like these:

- Will we be ready?

- What if we don’t raise as much money as last year?

- Is it even worth the time and effort?

- What can we do differently this year?

According to, 2018’s Giving Tuesday resulted in 3.6 million gifts and $400 million raised in the United States alone. So the question is not really should we do it, but how can we prepare for it to be successful? My next couple blog posts will examine what your nonprofit can do the day of and after Giving Tuesday. This one will dive into what your organization can do before Giving Tuesday to be intentionally successful.

1. Set a Goal for this Year

This may sound basic, but most nonprofits won’t take the time to see how much money they raised or how many new donors they acquired...

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Online Fundraising Tools You May be Overlooking, Part 3 (Google Tools)

fundraising nonprofit Oct 23, 2019

The first post of this series examined Amazon’s tools for nonprofits, and part 2 examined what Facebook tools are available. Though Google has a few different services available through its Google for Nonprofits program, this post will focus on Google Ad Grants for nonprofits.

Google Ad Grants Overview

Google is definitely a pioneer in the tech space for nonprofits. It’s Google for Nonprofits program unlocks features through YouTube, Google Ads, and more. This article won’t break down all of the facets of Google for Nonprofits, but will focus on the most widely used feature, which is Google Ad Grants. With Ad grants, your organization can up to $10,000 a month in FREE search engine marketing advertising on Google.

What you need to know:

  • To be eligible for Google for Nonprofits, your organization must hold charity status in your country. Government entities, hospitals/medical groups, schools, academic institutions/universities are not eligible.
  • Set up...
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Online Fundraising Tools You May be Overlooking, Part 2 (Facebook Tools)

fundraising nonprofit Oct 10, 2019

My last post took a look at some of Amazon’s tools that are available for nonprofits. This one is going to dive a bit into Facebook’s capabilities for your nonprofit.

Facebook Charitable Giving

What is it?

Facebook Charitable Giving is essentially the gateway to unlocking all of Facebook’s features exclusive to nonprofits.

What you need to know:

  • Charities in the USA must be a 501(c)3, registered with the IRS, have a tax ID number and bank account.
  • Charities in Europe must provide a VAT number, charity registration number, a charity registration document issued or approved by the government, and a bank account. You can check here to see if your country is available for Facebook donation and fundraising tools.
  • Donation Buttons on Facebook page headers:
  • A Donate button on Facebook page headers that points to pages (URLs) outside of Facebook (i.e. your nonprofit’s website or donation page) is currently available for nonprofits in the USA, UK on-boarded...
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Nonprofit Fundraising Tools You May be Overlooking, Part 1 (Amazon Tools)

fundraising nonprofit Oct 03, 2019

The Q4 giving season is right around the corner and fundraising planning will be filled with talks of direct mail, email, search marketing, and a few other tactics. While these will cover most of individual fundraising, I’m kicking off this three-part blog series to talk about ways you can incrementally grow your online fundraising revenue even more. This series will dive into nonprofit tools available from Amazon, Google, and Facebook. While each of these three can come in handy during Q4, they all provide a way to generate money for your organization year-round.

First up, let’s take a look at how Amazon can help your nonprofit with AmazonSmile and Amazon Pay (for Alexa donations).

Amazon Smile Overview

What is it?

AmazonSmile is a service offered by Amazon that allows nonprofits to generate money when Amazon users purchase goods from the site. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to your organization.

What you need to know:

  • For general...
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Start-Up Nonprofit Marketing Checklist: What to do First Online (Part 2 of 3)

fundraising nonprofit Sep 19, 2019

My last post covered some basics for nonprofits who are just getting started and looking to set up a low-cost option for a website. It’s important that you have your website set up before you branch out into other digital marketing efforts like social media and email. However, once your website is up, I’d recommend tackling social media next. This post will cover those basics.


Setting up your social media presence should happen after you have your website in place. This goes back to establishing authority for your nonprofit. I’ve come across nonprofits that have a Facebook page, but no website. I understand why though. Facebook is free and websites usually cost money, even if it’s not much. Facebook is easy to manage and maintain while a website requires planning and design. However, the perception of donors may be “come back and ask for money when you’re serious about your nonprofit.” In other words, solicit for funds when...

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Start-Up Nonprofit Marketing Checklist: What to do First Online (Part 1 of 3)

Most of the nonprofit marketing I’ve been involved with have come from established nonprofits that have some level of online marketing or fundraising budget. However, I do come across brand new nonprofits from time-to-time that are just getting started from scratch with little to no resources. They just filed their 501(c)(3) paperwork and now are in the mode of determining what comes next in terms of marketing. So, this article is speaking to my newly formed nonprofits:

You have a tremendous passion for a cause and have recently started up a nonprofit. Congratulations are in order to you for taking something meaningful and putting action behind it. You’ve already taken a step that many were too fearful to take. And though the cause lies at the center of your organization, there’s a tremendous effort involved with getting people to know your organization exists. Marketing may not be your forte, much less digital marketing, and it can be intimidating just figuring...

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6 Ways Nonprofits Can Engage Donors Through Live Video on Social Media

fundraising nonprofit Jul 31, 2019

It’s a fun, sick, and fascinating world we live in when it comes to social media. We get to hear rants we didn’t ask for from our friends and public figures. We get to watch funny or heart-warming videos that make our eyes well up with tears. And, thanks to Snapchat filters, we can finally fulfill our childhood dreams of becoming unicorns that throw up rainbows out of our mouths.

As social media has advanced the past few years, it’s been interesting to observe how nonprofits are embracing different features as they become available. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube allow you to connect with your donors in real-time through live-video streaming. The following excerpt from my book, The Digital Fundraising Blueprint, talks a little bit about the benefits of this under-utilized feature and provides 6 use-cases that can help your nonprofit engage with donors:

“One of the newer features available on most social media platforms is the ability to...

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Today, You Woke Up (with video)

Uncategorized May 19, 2019

Today, you woke up. Some people didn’t.

You got dressed, did your normal routine…probably used some means of transportation to get to school or work. The day is regular, status quo.

For you, that status quo may mean happiness, complacency, depression, or somewhere in between the three. But either way, you woke up today. You’re alive. You’re here for a reason.

You see, as you reflect on life, there’s a series of last times that have occurred or will take place. There is a last time you saw or talked to that friend or relative that passed away. A last time you played in the street as a kid with your friends. A last time you finished a grade level and never stepped foot in that school again. A last time you put on that uniform with your teammates or service men and women. A last time you celebrate a holiday.

There will be a last time you exhale air from your lungs. For some, that day will be today.

But today, you woke up. You have this moment. You have...

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Comparing 2018 Digital Fundraising Benchmarks (Blackbaud vs. M+R)

fundraising nonprofit Apr 30, 2019

Nonprofit leaders wear many hats. It’s quite the balance of pleasing many audiences, which includes donors, employees, community leaders, and those needing services (which is why the nonprofit exists in the first place). From a fundraising perspective, it involves keeping an eye on planned giving, major donors, and ROI from all fundraising efforts. Many critical investment decisions have to be made that can enhance or takeaway from the impact your nonprofit can make towards its mission. Every dollar counts. With that, the age old question pops up throughout the year: “How are we doing compared to other nonprofits?”

As a digital fundraiser, two reports I eagerly await each year are the Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report and the M+R Benchmarks Report. Both are available here and here. Both offer a trove of information that are useful in helping gauge your own organization’s digital fundraising efforts. Within the most recent release of each of these reports,...

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