The next generation of donors are serious about change

first_imgA report on wealthy Next Gen donors from 21/64 and the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy finds that surveying 310 major donors including in-depth interviews with 30 high-net-worth Generation X and Millennial individuals care about impact and want to feel personally tied to the causes they support. Family heavily influences their choices of causes. They are similar to other donors in these ways – but distinct in how serious they are about making real change and how heavily they use technology to engage with causes.The study found:• Next generation donors want meaningful, hands-on engagement with the causes that they care about and want to develop close relationships with the organizations they give to, giving their time and talent as well as their treasure.• Next generation donors are highly networked with their peers, learning about causes from trusted friends and sharing philanthropic experiences with peer networks.• Next generation donors seek to maintain the difficult balance of respecting the legacy of previous generations and revolutionizing philanthropy for greater impact, aiming to use new, innovative, even risky strategies to make their giving more effective.• For next generation donors, philanthropy is a part of who they are; it is not just something they do. They start developing their philanthropic identity from an early age by learning through hands-on experiences looking to older generations, and they are eager for new personal experiences that will help them learn to be better philanthropists. The results were based on a survey of 310 major donors including in-depth interviews with 30 high-net-worth Generation X and Millennial individuals. I find the results quite consistent with other studies I’ve reviewed here, which makes me put stock in them. You can review the whole report here.last_img read more

What you need to know about mobile: My (free) webinar on Tuesday

first_imgThere are more than 1 billion smartphones on the planet. That means one in seven people on the earth have the ability to do so many things at their fingertips. Here we have an unprecedented opportunity to unleash generosity through technology and make what people want to do, easier and more compelling.Join me and my friend at PayPal (the leading mobile payments solution), Tanya Urschel, for a discussion of where mobile stands in 2013, why your organization needs to have a sound mobile strategy and how to make it happen. Plus I’ll talk about how Network for Good has wrestled with mobile and what we decided to do.We will cover:Why is it so imperative that my cause be experienced through a smartphone or tablet?What are the benefits of using mobile for deeper engagement?How can I optimize my organization’s mobile website for giving and pledging?Register here.last_img read more

Social media study: What drives digital support for causes

first_imgGeorgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide just released a new study that delves into the perceptions, behavior and motivations for cause support (locally and globally) among digitally engaged American adults.Here are some of the most interesting findings.Passion and pride drive people to post on causes: People who talk about causes online mostly (76%) do so to recruit others to their passion. Looking like a nice or smart person were distant seconds to the desire to influence others in general, but when it came to Facebook users (see bottom of this post), the desire to publicly display support of a cause came in first.Conversations about causes are occurring primarily online, whether people choose to support the cause online or off. Social media is a go-to source of cause information, especially for global and faith-based causes. More than 8 in 10 respondents agreed that social media is effective in getting people talking about causes and issues. Animals and children topped the list of popular causes on social media (of course – puppies and babies win every time!).People are compelled to action by social media – but nonprofits shouldn’t ask for too much. More than half of survey respondents (55%) who engaged with causes via social media have been inspired to take further action. The most common next steps are: donating money (68%), donating personal items or food (52%), attending or participating in an event (43%), and volunteering (53%). But before you plaster your Facebook wall with constant requests for help, keep in mind that leading reasons people stop liking a charity on Facebook are the charity posts too often or only asks for money. As usual, good stories are your best case for support. What does work for charity is when people read a story that makes them want to do more. The majority of respondents said that factor most influenced them.People are skeptical about causes, so instill trust. The biggest barrier to nonprofits realizing the full potential of social media is the skepticism people reported feeling about the legitimacy of causes they discover online. Most people verify the legitimacy of a cause by researching online – which goes to show how critical it is for your cause to build a trustworthy, transparent web presence that details how you use support and your impact on the world.For the full study, go here. For a post I did on another part of the study profiling personality types who support causes online, go here.last_img read more

New Study: Online giving is up; Email response is down

first_imgM+R Strategic Services & NTEN just released their annual online benchmark study for nonprofits, and they found online fundraising continues to grow – as does the social network reach of nonprofits. (The study is based on analysis of 55 large nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, Sierra Club, American Lung Association, AARP and Human Rights Campaign.) That’s the good news. The bad news is that email response rates are declining. Possible explanations are that electoral campaigns or (for international organizations) a lack of a major international humanitarian crisis in the news may have hurt response rates. But the cause also could be our own fundraising practices. The study notes: “The lower response rates are also part of a long-term trend: in the years we have produced this study, we have never seen fundraising response rates increase from year to year. This long-term trend may be driven in part by a practice common to many email fundraising programs: continuing to send fundraising messages to unresponsive email addresses over long periods.”What does all this mean to your organization? I posed that question to Will Valverde, Vice President of Creative Development at M+R Strategic Services and co-author of this year’s Benchmarks study. He said:“Email remains a critically important piece of the puzzle for most nonprofits, but declines in fundraising email response rates show the importance of connecting with donors through more than one channel. Successful nonprofits are responding to this reality by securing more and more revenue from monthly donors, and by rapidly expanding their audiences not just for email, but on social media as well.”Key findings of the study shared by M+R are:● A 21 percent increase in online revenue overall from 2011, with only International groups seeing a decline in online giving.● A sharp decline in certain key email metrics – such as a 14 percent decline in click-through rates for advocacy messages and 27 percent decline for fundraising messages. This trend was driven mostly by the decline in click-through rates among Rights and International groups. Advocacy messages sent on behalf of Environmental groups performed best.● Since 2011, online monthly giving grew by 43 percent – more than twice as fast as one-time giving. Although still a small percentage of overall giving, sustaining gifts now account for 18 percent of revenue for International groups.● Email list sizes continue to grow for all sectors and sizes, up 15 percent in 2012. This trend was greatest for Wildlife and Animal Welfare groups, which grew their email lists by 32 percent from 2011.● The growth of social media audiences outpaced email lists in 2012, growing an average of 46 percent on Facebook and 264 percent on Twitter. However, Facebook continues to be king for connecting with supporters on social media, reaching 149 Facebook fans for every 1,000 email subscribers.You can review the full study here.If you have trouble viewing the above infographic, go here.last_img read more

Nonprofit blog carnival: Your 25 pieces of best advice

first_imgFor the month of April, I’m hosting the nonprofit blog carnival. A carnival is a mix of contributions from bloggers and readers on a shared theme, and I chose the theme, “best advice.”I asked you the following question: What was the one, best piece of professional advice you ever got and why? How has it transformed your work? I also invited readers’ best single piece of advice for people who work at nonprofits. There was an incredible response. Here are your answers! 1. Don’t show your underwear. Sue Edison-Swift nails the metaphor! “When asked to create a unit brochure or report on the latest reorganization or when expected to communicate the inner workings of the central office, I find it helpful to note that the organization of an organization–its unit structure, its regional geography, its reporting hierarchy, its carefully crafted strategic plan–provides the foundation for getting things done. Another word for foundation is underwear, and while the support and structure of underwear is important, it’s best not to show your underwear in public. Communicating about the organization of the organization to insiders answers their who-what-when-where-how questions. Communicating about the organization of the organization to outsiders–AKA constituents, clients, volunteers, donors–does little to answer their questions: So what? Why should I care? How do I get what I need? What difference do you make? Organization = Foundation = Underwear. Keep it on the inside.”2. You have to ask to get the donation. Kirt Manecke, author of Smile, says, “The one best piece of professional advice I ever got was from my late Uncle Gene. My uncle, Gene Balogh, was a professional speaker and salesman who traveled across the country giving seminars teaching the construction industry how to sell. I work in sales and he always reminded me, “You have to ask for the sale.” When I became passionate about helping good causes raise funds, he’d say, ‘You have to ask for the donation.’” He notes, “Instead of thinking of what you’re doing as fundraising, think of it as helping people invest in what they care about. After all, if they were not interested, they wouldn’t be talking with you in the first place.”3. Get to know your donors on a deeper level. Pamela Grow of The Grow Report recounts a huge fundraising challenge and how it proved the importance of getting “into” the hearts and minds of donors. “Make it a point, whether through surveys, phone conversations, in-person meetings, email, intimate events, and social media, to figure out what makes them tick,” is her sound advice. “Translated simply: ‘getting’ donor-centricity is the groundwork for sustainable fundraising, period.”4. Don’t take it personally. Tanya Cothran of Spirit in Action tells us, ” Emotion can be my greatest enemy. When fundraising for our organization, saying the “ask” out loud is a daunting task for me. I usually know the person I was talking to quite well and it is hard to come right out and talk about money, even more so to ask for it. But most of the difficulty in asking is because my emotions are all tied up in the question. If someone says no to donating, are they saying no to me? Is it because of something I said? Probably not! Most likely, the reason someone says “no” has nothing to do with me personally, but because of their particular situation or because the work of our organization as a whole doesn’t fit their giving priorities.” Great counsel for fundraisers. (Jennifer R. Bosk emailed with the same thought.)5. Remember you get the board you build. Dani Robbins of Non Profit Evolution says in a refreshingly personal and honest post, “The best advice I ever got as a nonprofit CEO was “you will get the board you build.” Up until that day, which I will never forget, I thought that since I reported to the Board, I should stay out of it. Boy, was I wrong! In addition to giving up the power to influence who would become the future leaders of my organizations, and as such, my future bosses, I also passed on the chance to educate my board about their governance responsibilities. I failed to use my position to strengthen the board and through them to strengthen my agency. Up until that moment, I didn’t understand that building the board was my job.” She goes on to share how to do that.6. Connect with African American donors. Akira Barclay of Giving in LA explains how to do it: “Cultivating relationships with African-American donors requires strong and sustained institutional commitment. Particularly if your institution is overcoming a previous lack of commitment to actively pursue African-American donors the connection will not happen overnight. But those willing to make a long-term sincere effort will realize a healthy African-American donor base, the results of a history of relationships, trust and experience as an honest partner.”7. Be bold. Elaine Fogel of Totally Uncorked on Marketing says, “Strive to be a game changer. Be the change agent the organization needs. Don’t be afraid to make recommendations that can help the nonprofit move forward in ‘living’ its mission. Yes, do it gingerly. Do it gently, but as Nike says, Just Do it!”8. Be polite. Incredibly, Shari Ilsen of the VolunteerMatch blog had David Mamet as a high school instructor. He was full of wisdom on writing, but she tells a surprising story of his best advice: “He said, ‘If you take nothing else away from this class, remember this one thing forever.’ And then he wrote on the chalkboard in big, underlined letters: ‘Be polite!’” Shari recounts all the ways this has worked in her career.9. Ask for help. Cindi Phallen of Create Possibility says, “A brilliant mentor of mine once told me that the only competent people he ever saw fail, were the ones who didn’t ask for help. I was at the beginning of my career as a nonprofit leader, and thought I understood what he meant. But as the years went on, I realized how critical that point really is in the complex nonprofit world. I’m not talking about making a repair with duct tape and rubber bands. I am referring to the real stuff – like how to increase earned revenue, or suggestions for managing a difficult staff situation, or what are effective innovation strategies.”10. Be your authentic self. Jenifer Snyder, Executive Director of The mGive Foundation, has a strong post on why to avoid the pressure to be a certain kind of leader. She notes: “We live in a world now where conformity – gender or otherwise – is valued less and authenticity is prized more. Be authentic. Be yourself. The world awaits.”11. Effort makes the difference. Vanessa Chase of Philanthropy for All writes, “My wonderful dad, David Chase, told me that, “Good things rarely happen by accident,” back when I was in University. I’ve had this quote from him on a post note at every desk and in every planner I’ve owned for many years now. What I love about his words of wisdom is that they apply to so many situations in our lives and it reaffirms my belief that a solid work ethic will carry you through any tough situations; many of which have been while working as a fundraiser.”12. Work smart, not hard. Jeanette Russell of Salsa Labs advises, “Working smart, not hard, is not a statement about how many hours you should work, but rather how to get the best impact from your most important resource – your time. I can’t think of one nonprofit who has the time and staff to achieve their mission. Time for many groups, is actually more scarce than funding and must be used with the greatest respect.”13. Network. Empish Thomas of the Center for the Visually Impaired notes, “In today’s workforce, who you know is just as important as what you know. I feel that for people like me who are visually impaired, it is even more essential to network and build strong working relationships that can help lead to career success. Employment opportunities and career advancement for the blind and visually impaired are pretty low with only 30% of us working and I have been able to maintain my employment over the years primarily through my connections.”14. Write talking points. Joanne Fritz of for Nonprofits notes talking points are typically thought of as soundbites for media, but taking the time to prepare your key messages is vital for many professional situations, including board meetings and job interviews! “Talking points. I never leave home (or office) without them,” she tells us. I totally agree.15. Just write. Jake Seliger of Grant Writing Confidential says, “Something can be edited. Write something.” As a writer I appreciate this advice: “Taking an infinite number of workshops is not going to make the blank page any easier. Having something, anything, on the blank page is better than having nothing.”16. Done is better than perfect. Tom Peterson of Thunderhead Works notes, “Not surprisingly, if we’re doing nothing because we’re not sure what to do, if we’re waiting for it to be perfect, our results will be nothing. People who make a difference, who find ways to tackle social problems, usually draw upon many years of struggling with an issue before they break through.”17. Know your purpose and care passionately. Claire Axelrad of Clairification says you should never go on autopilot and keep asking “why” – “If you’ve lost your passion, can’t get it back, or never had it, consider doing something different. You’re not doing yourself (or other people, or your community, or the planet) any favors if you’re merely phoning it in. Life’s too short. Do it differently, or do something else.”18. Know relationships are the key. Terri Holland says, “Yes, people is where it’s all it in the non profit fundraising pool. You MUST develop relationships with anyone and everyone. Do not discount anyone out of that pool of people… relationships are golden and having those relationships with donors, potential, past or present is where the pot of gold lies at the end of the fundraising rainbow.”19. Integrity matters most. Lori Halley of Wild Apricot asked her colleagues for advice and got many answers, including this one: “Never trade your integrity for a paycheck. You can get more money later, but you’ll never be able to buy your integrity back.” She shares more in her post.20. Volunteer. Greg Albright of the Right Hook Blog says, “The reality is volunteering is just as much for you, your career, and your business. As a long-time volunteer and volunteer recruiter, I can honestly say volunteering has done as much or more for my career, my business, and my quality of life, as it has for the organizations I have been involved with.”21. Finally, some readers shared some wisdom in emails. Beth Kling says do less, focus more. Paul Miller is on the same page: ““You will get pulled a thousand different ways working for a non-profit. As a development director, if anything you are asked to do does not further development efforts, don’t do it. Stay focused on development.” 22. Amy Kusek says someone once told her, “‘If you are not getting no 50% of the time, you are not asking enough.’ It has been helpful in so many ways including helping me not dwell on the “no” and to stay positive about getting back out to make an ask. It also helps you be gracious when you get a “no” which I think helps long term.” 23. Claudia Herrold emailed with good writing advice: “This is a piece of advice that is applicable to many communications channels, not just for blogging: write for your least engaged member, not your most engaged (we’re a statewide membership association of those engaged in philanthropy). Following this piece of advice means that I: stay away from use of jargon and acronyms; make sure to give background links and context; keep it short; and talk about what it means/how it applies to their work.”24. For those of you looking for a job in the environmental field, Lori Whalen lays out a list of ideas on her blog.25. Last but NOT least, Deacon Lesley-Ann Drake wrote me with a great closing piece of advice: “Start where you can start.” She says, “This was given to me by Bishop Frank Allen (retired) of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. Without that simple statement I would probably still be wondering if I should step off the cliff into the non-profit world, or not. The problems of this world are enormous and we can choose to be overwhelmed and frozen, or we can take that first small step and do something.” Amen to that.Next month’s carnival is hosted by Erik Anderson at Donor Dreams blog. To participate, check out his announcement here. He is welcoming answers to the question, “If you could write an anonymous letter to a nonprofit board about something they do that drives you crazy, what would that letter look like and what suggested solutions would you include?” Should be a fun topic.last_img read more

Let your donors see the real you

first_imgSmart cookie Alia McKee of Sea Change Strategies shared some brilliant ideas on “breaking the fourth wall” for your donors. Here are her suggestions for sharing more personality and giving supporters a new perspective:— Create a candid “making of” video for a campaign you are launching.— Take a tip from Wikipedia and live broadcast the results of your campaigns and decisions you are making based on those results.— Develop a “Why I Do This Work” video series that shows why your staff have dedicated their lives the cause.— Create a fun photo board of staff desks — including those in both exotic and not-so-exotic locations.Showing supporters what’s behind the scenes of your organization reinforces trust and transparency, helping them to feel good about giving to your cause. An insider’s view lets donors become part of the team. Give them something more than the standard lines and form-letter appeals to make your organization stand out. How are you breaking the fourth wall for your audience?last_img read more

The secrets to making your message spread

first_imgWould you love for your message to reach more people, both online and off, this year? You’re in luck.Jonah Berger, author of the bestselling book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, will join us tomorrow for the first Nonprofit 911 webinar of the year. As a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Jonah has studied how products, ideas, and behaviors catch on and become popular. He’ll be on hand to answer your questions and will share the secrets to making your nonprofit’s message catch on with your audience. Don’t miss this special opportunity to understand the science behind recent viral hits and learn how you can apply the same principles to your messages to make your outreach more successful.Free Webinar: How to Make Your Cause Go ViralTuesday, January 14 2014 at 1 pm ESTRegister Now(Can’t make it for the live session? Register and we’ll send you the recording and slides for you to review at your convenience.)last_img read more

Major Gift Fundraising for Small Shops: An Interview with Amy Eisenstein

first_imgPursuing major gifts: it’s one of those things we know we should do, but for some organizations it may seem too overwhelming—or even impossible. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. Amy Eisenstein of Tri Point Fundraising has demystified major gift programs for small and medium-sized organizations. I asked Amy to share a little bit about her latest book, Major Gift Fundraising for Small Shops.What prompted you to write Major Gift Fundraising for Small Shops?Amy: I wrote Major Gift Fundraising for Small Shops because it seems to me that most nonprofits are too reliant on the “hamster wheel” of fundraising—grant writing, event planning, and bulk mail. But given that as few as the top ten percent of donors give up to ninety percent of an organization’s gifts, I know that most small nonprofit organizations would raise significantly more money if they invested time and resources in raising major gifts from individual supporters. One of my main goals is to help all nonprofits raise more money so they can change and save more lives—this book will help small and medium-sized organizations that haven’t yet started soliciting major gifts to do just that.What is the biggest hurdle for small nonprofits who are trying to implement a successful major gifts program?Amy: There are actually two large hurdles: time and knowledge. Given that professional fundraising training is a relatively new thing, most fundraising professionals working today (particularly in small shops) have never been taught how to ask for four, five, or higher-figure gifts. Major Gifts Fundraising for Small Shops tackles both issues with an easy to follow, step-by-step approach that teaches everything readers need to know.How do major gifts fit in with other kinds of fundraising an organization may be pursuing? Is there a magic formula for determining how much time/effort you spend on each funding stream?Amy: Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula. It would be wonderful to have one, wouldn’t it? However, it is well known that major gifts (and planned giving) are the least expensive types of fundraising (events are typically the most expensive). In the book, I recommend that readers commit five hours per week to raising major gifts, which leaves them thirty-five hours or more for their other efforts. As their major gifts program becomes successful and fruitful, they will naturally want to spend more time in this arena. Success is a great incentive!Do you have some examples of small orgs who have a great major gifts program in place? Amy: Many organizations that participated in the Major Gifts Challenge on my blog (which was the foundation for this book) are starting to have increasing success with major gifts. I’ve heard back from readers whose organizations are receiving their first $10,000 gifts and from others that are asking for and receiving major gifts on a more regular basis.In the book, you talk about building deeper relationships with major gifts prospects. How does this approach differ (if at all) from cultivating other types of donors?Amy: We all know that fundraising is about creating and building relationships. Cultivating major donors is the same thing, but at a much deeper, more meaningful level. Most organizations build those relationships with lower-level donors by inviting them to a large event and/or sending them newsletters. With major gift donors, the cultivation process is all about in-person, one-on-one meetings—and more overall personalized approach.Amy has a special offer for those of you who buy the book online today. Check out the details and keep us posted on how your major gift efforts are going at your organization.Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE, is an author, speaker, coach and fundraising consultant who’s dedicated to making nonprofit development simple for you and your board. In addition to Major Gift Fundraising for Small Shops, she’s also the author of 50 A$ks in 50 Weeks and Raising More with Less.last_img read more

Nonprofit Spotlight: July

first_imgWe love taking a little time to celebrate the amazing things our nonprofit partners are accomplishing in their communities. Our Nonprofit of the Week series lets us spread the word far and wide about the great things the organizations we’re working with are doing to improve their corner of the world. In July we celebrated a New York charter school that boasts a dedicated alumni network, a community center that provides unified support for the people of the San Gabriel Valley, and Georgia’s oldest nonprofit childcare center. Take a look at the great things these organizations are doing and join us in celebrating their work!Bronx Science Endowment Fund brings together a network of extremely dedicated alumni to support their alma mater’s commitment to the highest quality education, facilities and extracurricular activities. Since its founding in 1938, Bronx Science has produced an impressive list of notable alumni, boasted high graduation rates and a reputation for strong academics and performing arts. Their network for fundraising alumni is a vibrant part of continuing the school’s legacy.Foothill Unity Center is the primary provider of food, case management, crisis help and health care resources for neighbors in need in the San Gabriel Valley. Through collaborative efforts with social workers, educational institutions and healthcare providers, Foothill Unity Center aims to provide vital support services that ensure dignity and respect for their community members. The Sheltering Arms early education and family center in Atlanta was founded in 1888 by a group of women determined to provide care for children in need. Since then they’ve expanded their services to include early childhood education, family services and child care for all of Atlanta’s families regardless of income. Join us in thanking these amazing causes and keep up with the latest Nonprofit of the Week by following us on Facebook or Twitter.last_img read more

How to Launch Your #GivingTuesday Team!

first_imgThe Best Year-End EverFor the past several weeks, we’ve focused on making this the best December ever, beginning with the launch of the giving season on #GivingTuesday, and running straight through year-end.In our first two posts, we shared thoughts on preparing for the giving season and whether to participate in #GivingTuesday.Beginning today, we’re digging into the tactics for a successful December, with #GivingTuesday as the launchpad. First up: Building your #GivingTuesday TeamEnthusiasm + Planning + Execution = Success!Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”The most pivotal person on #GivingTuesday is the leader of your team – the Envoy of Enthusiasm.Who is that passionate, committed, ORGANIZED, individual who can quarterback your #GivingTuesday team?Perhaps it’s you, or your development director, or a young, enthusiastic staff member. Enthusiasm with tactical experience is a plus, but if you have to pick one key characteristic – focus on enthusiasm. Your leader is the starting point for your successful year-end campaign.Next, focus on engaging the key team members – and loudest voices – among five key groups:StaffBoardClients, participants, or alumniVolunteersCommitted Donors and other potential AmbassadorsKey individuals from each of these groups will form the heart of your Giving Day team – and will largely determine your success. Be sure that they are willing to spend an hour or two a week on the campaign, particularly as you get close to the big day.Encourage Team Members to Play to their StrengthsEngaging team members works best when they are asked to bring their talents or networks to the table. There are lots of talents needed for a successful campaign, so there should be a job for everyone who wants to participate.Consider each of these roles as you build out your team:Giving moneyDirect donatingChallenge giftsMatching fundsRaising moneyPersonal fundraisers launched on your behalfOutreach to friends and familySkill sharingMarketingDesignPRWritingTechnologyVideographyPhotographySocial AmbassadorsSharing through social channelsOnline or offline eventsPlanningGoal settingCampaign managementDatabase managementNetworkingOutreach to community partnersIn-kind supportCorporate supportVolunteer recruitmentFill key positions with the best talentCreate a team structure that makes sense based on your organization’s size and structure. Once roles are defined, slot people into the position that best matches his/her interest and capabilities.Then create a map that clearly lays out who is doing what, so everyone can understand how they fit into the overall campaign. This will build the sense of team, reinforce accountability, and will create a common understanding about the key contribution each team member is making.And hopefully, it creates a visual depiction of the ways that all these small tasks roll up into big impact for the organization.This is a simple example for a small organization:Click to view larger. Like a great party, it’s an opportunity, not an obligation!Perhaps the hardest part of building your team is asking people to get involved in one more thing. But, think of #GivingTuesday as a virtual party for your cause, and it creates a spark for building your team.The excitement about #GivingTuesday is for good reason – when done well, it has the energy and engagement of a great party, while attracting new donors and building awareness and donations for your cause.And like a great party, #GivingTuesday depends on good planning and a little magic. Not to overstate the analogy, but these are a few parallels to consider…Timing is key: everyone understands the importance of year-end to nonprofitsA unifying theme like #GivingTuesday creates excitement and engagementKey people need to show up to make the party greatIt’s got to be fun – games and activities can make a big differenceThe execution details matter: flow, decorations, musicParty favors (rewards) can be an unexpected delight. Think about small, feel good items, like team t-shirts, wristbands or funny hats.Sharing memories – stories, pictures – after the party keeps the good feeling going, and makes everyone want to attend next year.We all want to matterAt its core, #GivingTuesday is about making people feel like they are part of something that is bigger than themselves.We all want to feel like we matter, so keep letting teammates know that the goal can’t be reached without them. And life-changing goals are at the core of your campaign, whether they focus on feeding the hungry, housing the poor, healing the sick, educating the young, or caring for our environment.Doing good makes us feels good. And when we do good together, the feelings are magnified.That’s something we all want to be part of.last_img read more