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It’s January, Here’s What You Should Do as a Digital Fundraiser

fundraising nonprofit Jan 14, 2020

It’s January. It doesn’t matter the year because the cycle is the same. Maybe your fiscal year hasn’t ended, but you’ve finished the race to the end in December for fundraising. Maybe you lost a few pounds last month because you didn’t find time to eat while you were hustling up donations. Or maybe you actually gained a few pounds because instead of taking time to eat healthy, you crammed whatever was closest to you into your mouth just to survive (oftentimes chocolate Christmas candy). Either way, you’re ready to exhale a little bit. Well, you can’t.

But wait a minute, you mean to tell me there’s no break for fundraisers? Nope, it’s time to get back on the horse for another lap around the track. It’s January, do you know where your digital fundraising is? Sadly, I can tell you where it might be:

1) You still have banners on your website about your holiday or year-end giving campaigns

2) Your social media still has a...

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5 Secret Weapons for Nonprofit Year-End Fundraising

fundraising nonprofit Dec 17, 2019

There it is. December 31st is in your view. To most industries, it’s just the end of a calendar or fiscal year and a time to close out the books for the year. Things are slowing down. But not you. Not the nonprofit fundraiser that you are. December 31 is a deadline frantically approaching — you’re losing sleep over it, and it’s a date that may be causing some mild anxiety within you. It’s ok, you’ve got support.

According to Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report, 17% of overall giving happens in December, which is almost 2X the second-highest month out of the year. While those direct mail pieces are hitting homes and some of your digital activities are activated, let’s talk about 5 secret weapons to increase your online revenue before the calendar strikes January 1.

1. Search Marketing — I’ve partnered with several nonprofits over the years and helped execute search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns on Google and Bing....

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5 Year-End Search Marketing Tips for Nonprofits

fundraising nonprofit Dec 13, 2019

The finish line of this calendar year is in sight, which means nonprofits are frantically working to secure those year-end gifts. Most are going heavy into direct mail and many are integrating email campaigns with direct mail. There’s also been a pretty big increase the past few years of nonprofits getting into the Facebook Ads game, which is great; however, more competition equals lower ROI for campaigns in many cases. All of these channels are great, but I believe one of the most overlooked channels for year-end fundraising is search engine marketing.

I was digging around in Google’s Keyword Planner in the Google Ads platform to pull some data. I looked at the following keywords for December 2018:

· Donate to charity online

· Donation tax benefit

· Tax deductible donation

· Nonprofit donations

· Charitable donations

· Donation

· End of year donation

Keyword Pricing

Let’s talk a moment about keyword pricing. The...

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9 Ways to Use Facebook Live for Giving Tuesday

fundraising nonprofit Nov 22, 2019

OK, you’ve been hearing a lot about Facebook Live and other live-streaming social media platforms. You’re even toying with doing it this year on Giving Tuesday but are still having some reservations. Maybe it’s because you’ve never done it before and don’t want to mess anything up. Perhaps you have no idea how to even go live on Facebook. Maybe you think it’s a waste of time, that if you go live, nobody will even show up.

Get out of your head with it, and take the plunge. If you mess up, it’s ok, it’s not supposed to be perfect anyways. If you don’t know how to go live, it’s super easy, just Google it. If you’re afraid nobody will show up, do it anyways. Let this be the year you jump into the live game.

When the floodgates of Giving Tuesday open, you have to do more than just participate. You need to stand out. How can you separate yourself from the thousands of other nonprofits asking donors for money the same day as...

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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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