Yesterday was #GivingTuesday. It's the holiday season and consumers are in a giving mood. How do fundraisers ensure that mood doesn't melt with the snow? An onboarding strategy could prove the trick. On Monday, The Chronicle of Philanthropy predicted the social media event started in 2012 by the United Nations Foundation and New York's 92nd Street Y would raise $40 million or more for various nonprofits. Tom Held writes that #GivingTuesday works as a hangover cure, meant to "counter the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday with caring and giving." (Shoppers spent tens of billions of dollars between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.) A major problem for fundraisers, though, is many donors only give once.
More than 38,000 unique fundraising emails were received by Who’s Mailing What! between October 2013 and September 2014. These emails had an average word count of 472.9 and 19 percent were personalized.One-fourth of the emails (9,827) were for Social Action (Causes) and more than 2,000 in this category were personalized.
Brand reputation matters. While there are plenty of success stories in this world of fragmented media, there are also plenty of horror stories. The ALS Association learned this all too well during the long Labor Day weekend. Fundraisers and marketers have options for protecting their reputations and three of those tips are detailed below.
Hallmark Channel celebrated the holidays in July, beginning more than a week of themed movies on the Fourth. Many retailers offer "Christmas in July" sales. Fundraisers may think they have a break from preparations until closer to the days when donors feel more empathy for others or a deeper need to find a tax deduction. But they're wrong, according to Blackbaud's "2013 Charitable Giving Report."
Marketers love it when a campaign goes viral. And it's even better if it's for a good cause, right? While there are few who would question that reasoning, Vox does. The site takes a look at statistics showing nearly 600,000 Americans die of heart disease each year and a 2013 campaign raised $54 million to find a cure. But "celebrities and the entertainment value" of the #IceBucketChallenge for ALS drove $23 million in donations for a disease that kills between 5,000 and 6,000 people in the U.S. each year.
On Tuesday afternoon, Target Marketing Publisher Drew James removed his spectacles and donned a T-shirt and shorts in preparation for having a freshly prepared, ice-filled and sloshing bucket of ice water poured over his head for the benefit of the ALS Association. If that sounds familiar, it's because the association reports in a news release titled "Ice Bucket Challenge Still Going Strong" that as of Wednesday, many existing and 637,527 new donors gave $31.5 million to the charity between July 29 and Aug. 20—compared with $1.9 in donations during the same time period in 2013.
So, this week we got iced. DonorPro challenged FundRaising Success with the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge." If you've been living under a rock, this is how it works: Within 24 hours of receiving the challenge, either get a bucket of ice water poured over your head (and post a video of the action online) or donate $100 to ALS. You can catch all our cold wetness in the video below. I opted to be the "dumper" rather than a "dumpee," as age does have its privileges!
Robin Williams was selfish when he committed suicide, because it ruined his day, an acquaintance told me on the train on Monday night. With the news just 90 minutes old on the East Coast, my acquaintance was probably trying to be funny. This acquaintance, though, was no Robin Williams, whose gift for comedy still unites generations. My seatmate, however, did bring up one of the most important ways nonprofits can bring about positive outcomes from this tragedy: education, including correcting misconceptions, and fundraising for suicide prevention.
In early July, Peggy and I attended the Bridge Conference in D.C.—a gathering of the world's leading fundraisers. Passionate professionals described how to save children, clean the environment, eradicate disease and feed the hungry. Thrilling! "Save the SS United States!" The following week, The New York Times ran a story:"Keeping a Historic Ship Afloat." For 10 years, the United States—completely gutted—has turned Philadelphia's waterfront into a slum.