11 Tips to Help Nonprofits Get Started With Social Media

April 16, 2014

1. Pick the Right Social Networks

Don’t let the size of the network be the determining factor.  Smaller networks may be more effective for your organization. It pays to start small, with one to five social networks, and then gradually increase.

2. Find a Social Marketing Expert

Conduct research and find someone who has experience with social networking. It might be a young staffer, an intern, a volunteer. Get that person involved so you won’t waste time figuring out the pros and cons.

3. Extend Your Reach

Select a social network and then create a group to attract more supporters.  You can be a group or an event on Facebook.  For a fee, some social sites will allow you to become an official sponsor of a group or community.

4. Know who is Already Advocating Your Nonprofit Organization

There may be Facebook groups for your organization that you did not set up such as unofficial profiles created by enthusiastic supporters. Be sure to reach out to eh persons who created such a profile. He or she may be a committed supporter who might be willing to promote your content.

5. Make a Good First Impression

Make your profile look good and professional.  Control what your organization will look like on other people’s friend lists–pick a great picture and title that will get noticed.

6. Post Your Creative Content

Social networks work best when people pass content around. Come up with creative  profile names, and use video. If it does not make you think ‘Great!’ then you need to go back to the drawing board. You might do better with a campaign, rather than just a generic page plugging your nonprofit. Also, see what other nonprofits are doing.

7. Discover out which of your supporters are already on social networks

Survey your members and find out who has Facebook accounts, or belong to other social networks. Send them an e-mail inviting them to become your friend or to join your group.

8. Communicate with your Social Network Friends on a Regular Basis

Update your pages with new content. Use MySpace ‘bulletins’ and Facebook ‘notes’ on other users’ profiles to get the word out on important issues and drive people to your page. Don’t be static, but dynamic.

9. Designate a Volunteer to make Your Social Networking Effort a Success

Assign a volunteer to accept friend requests, post comments on other people’s pages, and invite others to become friends. That will yield great social networking results.

10. Activate Your Social Network Supporters

Start turning your ‘friends’ into donors, activists, and volunteers. Make sure your social networking pages always feature lots of opportunities to get involved. Also include donation opportunities on your social networking pages.

11. Think of Social Networking as an Investment

Get into the game now and learn how to use social media because chances are most of your donors and supporters in the future will be young people.

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Karmen A. Booker is an Attorney, Business Consultant and Owner of Compu-Perfect Professional Services, a business consulting firm specializing in Business Entity Formation (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Nonprofit Corporations), Completing 501(c)(3) Federal Tax Exemption Applications, Grant Research and Writing services, and more

Attorney Karmen A. Booker has developed a Report entitled “Fundraising Tips”, which provides information regarding:

  • Developing a Fundraising Plan
  • Writing a Fundraising Letter
  • Specific Fundraising Tips such as selling advertisement space in your newsletter and on your website, and more.

GET YOUR COPY TODAY for Only $5.00 – http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=785511

She is also the author of the “Nonprofit Handbook”, that provides strategies and tips for your Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Organization.  This Handbook is a valuable resource for all Nonprofit Organizations who desire to use effective tools that will undoubtedly yield quality services for their target markets.  GET YOUR COPY TODAY by clicking on the Nonprofit Handbook Cover on the right sidebar of her blogsite – www.howtostartanonprofitorganization.wordpress.com


Nonprofit Seminar

April 11, 2014

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10 Tips for Nonprofit Organizations on Facebook

April 9, 2014

Facebook can be a valuable tool for non-profits worldwide.  However, many nonprofits don’t know how to use social network marketing.  If your non-profit is already on Facebook, or if planning on taking your nonprofit’s message to Facebook, these tips can help you strengthen your social network presence.

Facebook has directly catered to non-profits present on the social network with a resource page, facebook.com/nonprofits, specifically to help them use the site. It includes the latest examples of how many organizations are using Facebook today.  Be sure to go her for valuable information.

1. Create a Facebook Page

First, Pages allow you to publish directly into the news stream where you can engage your fans with a variety of different media, such as videos and updates. Secondly, Pages allow you to analyze how fans are interacting with your page via the Insights Dashboard, giving you instant feedback to help you adjust your method.  Moreover, you can buy advertising on Facebook for your Page to increase your number of fans.

2. Make Your Facebook Page Unique

Create content that is Facebook-specific and build a community there. It’s easy to just point fans back to your web site, but these Pages tend to be less interesting than ones that keep users engaged on the same page with unique content that’s not on your nonprofit’s website.  Depending on what your organization does, creative content can mean anything from sharing fun facts about your nonprofit’s cause to posting pictures of youth you provide tutoring and computer training, to offering a special t-shirt to Facebook fans.

4. Be Active

Use your Page to give Facebook users an idea of what your organization does in real life.  Plug events, fundraisers, and other activities. Publish insightful and interesting information in your status updates.  Ask your fans what they think with polls or when you post videos, photos or other links. Ask your fans to utilize the Share options when you publish to your Wall, so that friends in their networks can also find out about your organization.

5. Talk Back

Building a community on Facebook requires conversation – talking back to fans. You don’t have to answer every question or respond to all your fans’ comments, but an occasional reply gives the impression that an organization is engaged with its fan base and interested in what they have to say. This is extremely important because Facebook is a social network, and communication is at the core of social networks.

6. Create an App, Game, or Quiz

Finding new and creative ways to engage your fans is an important part of fostering an active Facebook community that will want to take their engagement from the virtual to real world by becoming involved in your group physically or fiscally. One way to do this is to create an application, game or quiz that fans can use once or several times. This can include creating fun content that they can post to their Walls so friends in their networks can also learn about your organization.

7.  Add a Donations or Other Boxes

Adding a donations box right on your Facebook Page makes it easier for fans to buy merchandise or give money to your organization. If there’s a Donation’s Box  prominently displayed on your Page, either on your profile page or as a tab, fans don’t have to leave Facebook to support your nonprofit.

There are all types of features you can add to your Page that allow your fans to feel ownership of your organization, like a fan badge. The added bonus of this type of promotion is that, whether it’s published to your fan’s wall or their profile page, it also gets many people to notice your nonprofit.

8. Feedback

It’s important to monitor your Facebook Page to see what’s working and what’s not. Do your video posts get more comments than your blog posts? Are fans checking out your Causes page or your store? Also, as the administrator of a page you can always check the Insights Dashboard for specific information on the age, sex and location of your fans to see what’s working with different groups. Times change, and so does Facebook, so if you are interested in a long-term presence there it’s important for you to notice what’s working for you and adjust what isn’t.

9. Use Other Media

Although you want to create a unique Facebook experience for your fans, you can also use Facebook to branch out into other media to communicate with them and FORGE, a non-profit that works with economic disadvantaged communities in Ghana, is a good example.  Use Facebook to get your fans’ email addresses.  Another way to reach into other media is to sync your Page’s content with other media your organization may use, such as Twitter or a Blog.

10. Buy a Facebook Ad

Facebook ads are displayed on the right-hand side of a user’s Page.  They are an economical and effective way to increase your fan base or visits to your page. The self-serve advertising system allows you to place orders for people (or profiles) that match whatever demographic requirements you may have, and you’re only charged for performance.

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Creating a Successful Gift Program

April 2, 2014

Would you like to reduce your fundraising costs, increase the lifetime value of your donors, while making it as easy for your donors to give on a regular basis? Creating a successful preauthorized gift program, you really can achieve all these benefits for your organization.

What are Preauthorized Gifts?

Preauthorized gifts (also called recurring, sustaining or regular giving) are just pledges for which the donor has authorized your organization to automatically collect a specific amount each month or quarterly. The authorization could be for a specific length of time for an indefinite period, until the donor elects to discontinue it. This means that your donors never have to make another decision whether or not to give.

Preauthorized gifts can be collected by electronic funds transfer (EFT), including payments by credit card or by a direct debit to the donor’s checking or savings account.

Although credit card payments tend to be more popular with donors, bank drafts (often known as ACH transactions because they are processed through the Federal Reserve’s Automated Clearing House (ACH) system) offer their own set of unique advantages, such as lower costs and no expiration dates.

Why Setup a Preauthorized Giving Program?

There are many benefits to developing a preauthorized giving program such as:

* Dramatically increase your annual income

* Build a better relationship with your donors

* Donors will keep giving longer

* Monthly giving revenue is predictable

* Lower your fundraising costs

* Income will grow over time

* Monthly giving is convenient

According to research sponsored by MasterCard International, only 3% of donors report using credit cards to make automatic donations, but 28% say they would probably or definitely consider making recurring donations if it were offered to them by their selected charitable organization.

The untapped potential in offering a preauthorized giving option is demonstrated by the success of organizations that have begun programs.  For example, Peace Action currently processes thousands of preauthorized donations each month, averaging $30,000-$40,000 in gifts.

How to Implement a Recurring Donation Program

Establishing a successful program will require several steps:

* Educating your staff and donors about recurring donations via EFT.

* Developing solicitation methods to recruit recurring donations.

* Ensure you have the technology to easily manage & process recurring gifts.

* Testing of processes and procedures.

The Role of Technology

Perhaps the most important tool in creating and maintaining a successful recurring gift program is having an “efficient and responsive back-end system”. This consists of a donor management system and EFT transaction processing.

Donor Management System

A good donor management system is much more than simply a database of donors and prospects. It must provide you the tools that make it quick and easy to handle the many tasks associated with your preauthorized gift program (as well as your other fundraising efforts) such as:

* Maintain complete donor/constituent information

* Track complete giving history with automatic calculation of gift summary by year

* Solicitation Generation/Tracking

* Gift/Pledge Management

* Reporting

EFT Transaction Processing

Although many nonprofits have begun to accept credit cards for either online or one-time donations, it is important to recognize that preauthorized recurring transactions are typically processed as a batch, and therefore have some unique attributes. You certainly don’t want to waste time and increase the chances of error by entering credit card numbers and amounts into a credit card terminal each month. As we have also noted, you will probably want to offer the option of payments by direct debit (ACH), which require a different type of processing account.

Beware of EFT processing solutions that do not integrate with your donor management system. Although they may allow you to automate the process of generating and collecting the transactions, you will most likely be giving up several important benefits.

Conclusion

A recurring donations program is a great way to increase the lifetime value of your donors while reducing fundraising costs and efforts. Developing an effective recurring donation program requires you to properly educate staff and donors, carefully target and test solicitations to attract participants, and ensure that you have efficient and responsive back-end systems (donor management and transaction processing) to minimize administrative effort.

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Karmen A. Booker is an Attorney, Business Consultant and Owner of Compu-Perfect Professional Services, a business consulting firm specializing in Business Entity Formation (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Nonprofit Corporations), Completing 501(c)(3) Federal Tax Exemption Applications, Grant Research and Writing services, and more.

Attorney Karmen A. Booker has developed an E-book  called “Fundraising for Nonprofits”It  provides Fundraising Tips that include but are not limited to:

  • Developing a Fundraising Plan
  • Writing a Fundraising Letter
  • Over 15 Specific Fundraising Projects, and more.

Get Your Copy NOW – $5.00

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Cultivating Donors

March 26, 2014

1. Strategic

Develop a donor cultivation plan and follow-up. Cultivation planning has two parts: general and specific. General cultivation involves regularly scheduled events and  specific cultivation activities are targeted at special prospects.

2. Systematic

Develop a follow-up plan. Good ways to follow up are adding prospect names to your mailing list and sending thank-you letters. You can also send an  email or personal phone call to patrons.

3. Coordinated

All interaction with prospective or current donors should be reported to a central person (development director, executive director, or board chair). Set up forms that volunteers can fill out and fax to the coordinator. If you have a donor database, enter this information. Make sure that everyone who attends an event leaves it with increased knowledge about your organization. This can be a brief presentation, materials at each table, or a packet given out as attendees leave.

4. May involve personal interaction

Cultivation occurs anytime you communicate with prospects. Your regular newsletter can be very effective as a cultivation tool, but be sure it is communicating the message you most want your readers to receive:

  • Does it communicate the impact and results of your programs, or does it focus on your needs?
  • Does it portray-in words and photos-the kinds of people you serve in your programs?
  • Does it balance volunteer information, donor recognition, and program impact? Or does it overemphasize your special events?

5. Know when to ask

Cultivation ensures the success of your eventual solicitation. Learn the signs that a prospect is open to being asked for a gift. Although cultivation is pleasant, it can easily become a distraction to the ultimate goal – asking for a gift.

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Karmen A. Booker is an Attorney, Business Consultant and Owner of Compu-Perfect Professional Services, a business consulting firm specializing in Business Entity Formation (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Nonprofit Corporations), Completing 501(c)(3) Federal Tax Exemption Applications, Grant Research and Writing services, and more.

Attorney Karmen A. Booker has developed an E-book  called “Fundraising for Nonprofits”. It  provides Fundraising Tips that include but are not limited to:

  • Developing a Fundraising Plan
  • Writing a Fundraising Letter
  • Over 15 Specific Fundraising Projects, and more.

GET YOUR COPY NOW – $5.00  

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How to Get Corporate Sponsorship

March 19, 2014

What is Corporate Sponsorship?

Sponsorship is a two way street between the nonprofit organization and a business. The charity gets help with the expenses of the event; and the business gets exposure and low cost marketing, among other things. The more a nonprofit organization can offer the benefits that motivate companies to sponsor, the more successful it will be in gaining event sponsorships.

How Can a Nonprofit Organization Compete for Corporate Sponsorships?

Big national charities have staff assigned to cause-related marketing, or they may hire consultants who specialize in sponsorship programs.

But don’t despair if your organization is small, local, and your staff is mostly volunteer. You can still get sponsors for your event. Think of concentric circles of influence in your city or town. Start with the people you know well, work out into the neighborhood where you have physical proximity to businesses, and then tackle the larger circle composed of companies that you don’t know personally…yet.

Start with Your Event Budget

Develop a budget for your event. How much will the venue cost? Advertising? Physical set up? Lights, sound equipment? Entertainment? Security? Printing?

What will be the income from the event? Will you charge a per person fee or will the nonprofit foot the bill for the event. Have some donors already pledged support? How much of the income will help support the event and how much will go to your cause?

Once you figure out how much more money you need to raise for the event, you can set up sponsorship levels for the businesses you will solicit. How many sponsorships will you need at each level to reach your goal? Set up several sponsorships at low levels that will attract small businesses, a mid-size sponsorship for a larger company, and a large sponsorship for a lead company.

Don’t forget to compile a list of gifts-in-kind that you can resort to if a company prefers not to give cash. A restaurant chain may want to donate the venue for instance, while your local lumber yard might provide the materials for the stage and backdrop.

Assign to each sponsorship level a list of how you will promote the sponsor before and during the event. These can be logos in the program, significant signage, a corporate table, press releases announcing the sponsorship, or an opportunity for attendees to taste products of the sponsor or receive product samples.  However, leave room to be flexible. Each potential sponsor might have its own marketing needs, or wish to give some cash and some in-kind contributions.

Prepare Your Audience/Sponsor Matching Matrix

Before you ask businesses to sponsor your event, think through the audiences that your event will reach, and  Make a detailed list. Will you reach families? Young children? New mothers, retirees, high income people, grandparents, high school age kids, senior citizens?

Once you have a list of possible audiences, make a list of types of businesses that are also interested in those audiences such as businesses that sell or serve families, Restaurants that depend on family business and that welcome children. Children clothing and shoe stores, fast food restaurants, and entertainment venues such as movie theaters.

Think of all the service businesses that are interested in families, such as auto insurance offices, corporate offices that have employees with children, and corporations that might be looking for volunteer opportunities for their employees. The audience/sponsor matrix will help you identify specific businesses that might be interested in sponsoring your event, and provide a basis for your sales pitch to those companies.

Call, Mail, or Visit?

Some charities think they can just write a letter about their event and sponsorship opportunities, send it out to all the businesses in their community, and sponsorships will roll in.  However, it doesn’t work that way. Businesses get a pile of mail everyday. business gets. Why would it pay much attention to a letter from a nonprofit asking for help? When you send a letter, it must be specific to a particular business and followed up by a phone call or other personal contact.

Don’t be afraid of cold calling. Use phone calls, visits, mail and email interchangeably. Just using one contact method will not work.  Use an integrated approach and be systematic and persistent.

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Karmen A. Booker is an Attorney, Business Consultant and Owner of Compu-Perfect Professional Services, a business consulting firm specializing in Business Entity Formation (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Nonprofit Corporations), Completing 501(c)(3) Federal Tax Exemption Applications, Grant Research and Writing services, and more.

Attorney Karmen A. Booker has developed the “Corporate Sponsorship Guide” where YOU will  Learn:

*  How to Draft a Solicitation Letter

*  What Corporate Sponsors are Looking For in Charitable Events

*  The Best Way to Approach Prospective Sponsors

*  Where to Start

NOTEIncludes an 8 Step Guide and templates and samples of Corporate Sponsorship Solicitation Letters.

Get Your Copy NOW on SALE for only $9.99.

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Survival Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

March 12, 2014

How do you keep your nonprofit financially stable when the economy has taken a dip and donors have cold feet? Weathering a bad economy sharpen your focus and improve your efficiencies.

Here are several suggestions to consider for the economic bad times.

1. Don’t pull back on fundraising during a “Recession?”

Just as companies need to keep advertising during a downturn to keep their names before the public, nonprofits will gain nothing by retreating. Not only should you not retreat, you should become even more focused in your efforts. Look at your lists again, sharpen your case, get more personal, and cultivate your donors within an inch of your life.

2. Let your donors know that those you help are in more need than ever.

No matter how a donor may be hurt by an economic downturn, the disadvantaged are damaged far more and have less opportunity to recover.

3. Find the stories that will touch the hearts of your donors.

Now, more than ever, search out the personal testimonies of your clients and let them speak to your donors in their own words. Don’t sink into begging, but show the shared humanity between donors and those served.

4. Stay in touch with people who have stopped giving.

It is much better to keep in touch with lapsed donors. Keeping up communications will help those donors to resume giving when they can, once again, afford it. They will feel close to those nonprofits with which they have an unbroken relationship.

5. Find new donors in industries that are still thriving.

Recessions don’t affect everyone. Some businesses are fairly recession-proof. Look for money where other organizations are not. Keep up with the business press in order to spot those companies that are still doing well.

6. Take the opportunity to lower fundraising costs.

For instance, eschew an expensive fundraising event and go directly to your donors for their help. Wrap a simple, low-cost mailing around the fact that you are lowering overhead by skipping the event, and ask for a direct gift that will put more services and money into your clients’ lives. Do the same with your publications. Ask donors to help you devote more of their donor dollars to direct service.

7. Cut costs

In tough times, it can be just as important to cut costs as to raise revenue. But don’t cut costs in a way that will impair your organization’s long-term health or ability to achieve its core mission. Take a look at what is working well and what isn’t; what is essential to the mission and what isn’t. Cut the extraneous, the unfocused, and the inefficient.

8. Take a new look at projects you intended to raise money for.

If the project is not “essential,” perhaps it should be postponed. A new building project, while desirable, might not be the best project right now.

Think, rather, about services that go on despite a recession or even intensify. Perhaps scholarships would be an easier thing for donors to support. Books for children in underserved areas and playgrounds in the inner city seem more worthwhile than an endowment fund in uncertain economic times.

Don’t worry about changing course. Let your donors know, and explain why. If your reasoning is good and heartfelt, your donors will come along with you. You will not only do more good, but keep donors engaged until better times come along.

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Karmen A. Booker is an Attorney, Business Consultant and Owner of Compu-Perfect Professional Services, a business consulting firm specializing in Business Entity Formation (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Nonprofit Corporations), Completing 501(c)(3) Federal Tax Exemption Applications, Grant Research and Writing services, and more.

Attorney Karmen A. Booker has developed the  “Nonprofit Sample Templates” e-book that provides templates for the following:

  • Sample Mission Statements
  • Sample Business Plans
  • Sample Donor Solicitation Letter
  • Sample Thank You Donor Letter
  • Sample Press Release
  • Sample Letter of Inquiry
  • Sample Corporate Donation Letter
  • Sample Board Member Application
  • Sample Board Member Agreement
  • Sample Volunteer Application
  • Sample Volunteer Agreement
  • AND MORE

Get  Your Copy NOW on SALE for ONLY $9.99  so you can discover effective tools that will undoubtedly help you acquire funding and provide quality services for your target population.

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