Fundraise Smarter

[QUIZ] Name That Nonprofit Logo

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jul 11, 2016 10:00:00 AM

When people download our nonprofit website guide, I email them and ask them a simple question:

What is your "website wish"?

With this question, I'm looking to understand why people want to improve their websites.

One of the primary reasons I hear? To increase our visibility.

Increasing your org's visibility is important! Your marketing and communications team knows this as branding. Branding gets a bad rap. It feels very buzzword-y, fluffy, and it's hard to measure.

But branding your nonprofit is important. A strong brand not only builds visibility with the general public, but builds trust with your most ardent supporters (think about the fierce loyalty of Apple customers or Prius drivers).

Part of a strong brand is being recognizable. Companies and nonprofits alike work hard to convey a certain message and feeling when the general public sees their material, be it a logo or even a jingle.

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Topics: nonprofit marketing,, branding

Fundraisers, Your Marketing Team WANTS to Help You. Let Them!

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jul 5, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Last week, we published our Marketing/Communications and Fundraising report, called “The Marketing and Fundraising Rift.”

If you missed that, it’s the result of a 300 person survey of fundraisers and nonprofit marketers. Give it a look!

We asked a range of questions in the original survey, but we left a few out from the final report, just because they didn’t quite fit into the point of the article.

But I was interested in the results of one question in particular that we ended up leaving out of the final report.

It caught my eye because it went against what I expected.

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Topics: online fundraising, nonprofit marketing,

7 Tips for Crafting the Perfect Appeal Email for Mobile Donors

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 27, 2016 10:00:00 AM


Over the years, much has been said about the best way to craft a direct mail appeal.

The size of the envelope, the audience, the message on the outside, the message on the inside, the response type, to include a gift or not. All these things and more have been debated ad nauseam.

But as more nonprofits incorporate digital elements into their fundraising campaigns, there is an oft-overlooked channel that provides tremendous amounts of value to those who can pull it off successfully.

It is the humble email.

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Topics: online fundraising, nonprofit marketing,, email fundraising

The Best Nonprofits on Snapchat

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 20, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I gotta say, I’m fully hooked on Snapchat.

Like a lot of people, when I first tried Snapchat, I didn’t quite get it. I wrote it off as something that I must just be too old for (oh God no, it’s finally happening!) and didn’t open it for months after that.

But a few months back, I decided to give it another shake.

Now I can’t put it down.

Naturally, I wanted to see how nonprofits were using it, so I started following every single org I could possibly find.

And after a few months of watching their snaps, I’ve come up with what I think are the absolute best nonprofits on Snapchat.

It’s clear these orgs have a well-defined strategy and goals (as you should before diverting resources to a new social media channel). They’re not just snapping just to snap: they’re really delivering value to their audience.

I didn’t throw anyone on this list willy-nilly. In fact, the list was 8 at first, but then I took a hard look at a few and thought “Are they doing something truly creative?”

Simply put: these are the best of the best. At least that I’ve seen.

Here are my 5 favorites, in no particular order:

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Topics: social media, nonprofit marketing,

Are You Measuring What Matters On Your Nonprofit Website?

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 13, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Can I share a vulnerability with you?

I’m easily influenced by numbers and stats that don’t really matter.

Things like website views, Twitter followers, or Facebook likes.

These are frequently referred to “Vanity Metrics.” They sure look pretty on the outside, but they’re surface level numbers. They don’t necessarily measure what actually matters.

It’s easy to fall into this trap. Vanity metrics are fun! Who doesn’t want lots of people on their website? How could that possibly be a bad thing?

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Topics: nonprofit marketing,, nonprofit websites

5 Brilliant Examples of Engaging Nonprofit Web Content

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 6, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Close your eyes and think about your living room.

Think about your TV. Think about the furniture around your TV.

Do you have a shelf full of DVD’s and Blu-ray discs? Probably movies that you saw once in theaters, loved, then decided you needed to own?

God, I hope it’s not just me…

Actually, I know it’s not just me. Whenever I visit a friend’s apartment, I see the same set up. Shelves full of movies.

But here’s the thing:

Do you ever actually watch them?

Oh sure, there’s one on the shelf that gets a lot of playtime (it’s Stepbrothers, okay? Don’t judge me.) But other than that, they collect a lot of dust.

Same goes for all the books on my shelves. I read them, enjoyed them, and can’t bear to part with them. But how often do I ever re-read them?

Uh...never.

Now my Netflix account, on the other hand, gets more airtime than a Donald Trump rally, and the magazine, blogs, and other periodicals I read get my attention on a regular basis.

So what gives?

What gives is this: I don’t reread books or re-watch movies because I already know what’s there. I’ve seen it. I know it. There’s nothing new.

But I tune into shows and read magazine because there’s always something new. Something I haven’t seen that I might enjoy.

So it is with your nonprofit’s website.

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Topics: nonprofit marketing,, nonprofit websites

5 Ways to Show Your Nonprofit’s Impact on Instagram

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on May 23, 2016 10:00:00 AM

If you’re plugged into the social media world, you know that Instagram has been in the news quite a bit lately.

A few weeks back, they announced major changes to the way posts will be displayed for users. Instagram will now follow a Facebook style algorithm, in that you won’t be shown every post, nor will they be shown to you in chronological order. Rather, an algorithm will decide what you will likely most want to see and show you posts based on that.

Then, just last week, Instagram revealed their new look. A new logo, color scheme, and app design. Reviews were...mixed.

But regardless of your thoughts on their new logo or timeline, Instagram is a force to be reckoned with. Last year they surpassed 400 million users, making it a bigger social network than Twitter. Plus, they have the backing of their parent company, Facebook, so they’re likely to be a force for years to come.

Instagram is getting crowded...

 

The problem with Instagram is that it can be a bit difficult to think of material to post. Instagram is just about the most visual social network there is, so you can’t just throw up some questions or update posts like you might on Facebook or Twitter (although you should absolutely do more than just update posts on those networks).

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Topics: social media, nonprofit marketing,

What President Obama Can Teach Us About Sending Great Email

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on May 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM

You know what I find positively terrifying?

Those photos of presidents comparing how they look their first year in office versus their last year.

Across a span of 8 years, their appearance seems to fast-forward decades. The stress and long hours of the job takes a visible toll on their health. The future of our country is hanging on their decisions that they must make on a daily basis.

Yikes. Makes you wonder why anyone wants to run for office.

Given all that responsibility, the President is forced to be very efficient in their decision-making process.

And there’s a lesson to be learned here for nonprofits when it comes to communicating with donors.

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Topics: nonprofit marketing,, email fundraising

The Silly Thing You’re Doing With Your Nonprofit Newsletter That Keeps Me From Reading It

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on May 2, 2016 10:00:00 AM

There’s a brand new train station in Lower Manhattan. But it’s more than just any transit station.

It’s the “Oculus.”

With wing-like arms that shoot hundreds of feet in the air, it’s bright white structure causes your eyes to squint on a sunny day.

The Oculus is an impressive structure, no one can doubt that. But the project always manages to elicit grumbles from New Yorkers whenever it gets brought up.

That’s because the train station cost $4 billion. That’s nearly $2 billion MORE than it was supposed to originally cost. It also took 12 years to build.

You see, in all the excitement of building something new, beautiful, and impressive, the most important aspect of a train station was forgotten.

 It has to efficiently connect people to trains. You know...it needs to be a train station.

Now before you scratch your head and wonder what the hell has happened to the WeDidIt Fundraising Blog, bear with me a second.

The Oculus station fiasco is not unlike a lot of nonprofit newsletters.

They’re fancy.

They’re beautiful.

They’re big.

But did anyone stop and ask “Hey...are these affecting the behavior of recipients in anyway?”

Too often, the answer to that is no. Or more accurately, it’s “...you know, I have no clue. I just loved this design.”

 

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Topics: online fundraising, nonprofit marketing,, email fundraising

The Nonprofit Website Tweak You'd Be Crazy To Not Try

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jan 25, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The other day, I saw this tweet pop-up on my timeline:

Ah, the age-old debate: should we feature a pop-up ask on our nonprofit website or not? 

I have a problem with this question though. I don’t think it’s the right question to ask.

It’s not whether or not you should have a pop-up ask; it’s what should you be asking for?

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Topics: Nonprofit tech, nonprofit marketing,

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