Archive for category: fundraising

Is #GivingTuesday Worth It?

Giving Tuesday. Like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it comes once a year. For some, it’s a breeze and for some, it’s a nightmare.

But does it have to be? Could the #GivingTuesday chaos all be avoided?

To many, Giving Tuesday is a strange concept. While the phenomenon of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is focused on consumerism and getting the best deals you can find, some would consider Giving Tuesday to not be of the same caliber as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Let’s take Engagement, for example.

Department store and website sales do not require long-term engagement. However, for non-profits, long-term engagement is the name of the game. The goal is to obtain donors that last throughout the years and can sustain the non-profit’s mission. While a large, one-day push may help immediate fundraising efforts, there’s no guarantee those donors will become long-term supporters.

 

Now, let’s discuss social media overcrowding.

Social media is all about whatever is trending at the moment. In 2016, there were over 600,000 tweets including the hashtag #GivingTuesday (https://www.givingtuesday.org/sites/default/files/2017-07/Giving-Tuesday-Final-Report.pdf). While we weren’t able to find a statistic about how many organizations had tweets for #GivingTuesday, we’re sure there’s quite a few! Be wary of spending too much time on your social media campaigns as most of the social media timelines will be flushed with #GivingTuesday posts.

 

However, we need to consider the payoff.

One great thing about #GivingTuesday is that it is a day of global giving fueled by social media. With the exception of paid advertising, social media is virtually free. Therefore, you can get the word out about your organization for little to no money at all! If your time is managed well, you could put together a fairly solid #GivingTuesday campaign without spending too much time on it (which we’re all guilty of doing).

 

Manage your time wisely. While #GivingTuesday can be a great asset to increase end-of-year donations, keep in mind that this probably isn’t an event that is going to create new sustainable donors for your cause. Take the day to give in to the hype a little and round up some donations if possible, but just be cautious of how much time you’re allocating to it!

Copyright: christitze / 123RF Stock Photo

How To Attract Donors

When you want to get others involved, and you need them to provide help or donate money, there are a few areas you’ll want to focus in order to succeed.

  • Share Your Story – A compelling story will allow your donors and volunteers to become emotionally connected. By telling them about what you do and why you do it, your story provides an opportunity to arouse their emotion, and to motivate them to act upon those emotions. Therefore, make sure to share your passion, and the moving tales from those who have benefitted from your work.
  • Effective Social Media Usage – Potent, targeted social media can exponentially increase your visibility in order to boost board and volunteer engagement. Social media can be used to advise them of your mission, inspire them to join you, keep them connected, and grow your audience. Additionally, social media can provide an outlet for sharing events and successes, extending opportunities, and for educational purposes.
  • Community Inclusion – Your local community is an essential resource for fundraising and volunteer recruitment. Enlisting small businesses and others within your community to partner with you in your mission can offer them an opportunity to make a significant impact through both donor and volunteer opportunities. In return, these same opportunities can offer small businesses benefits such as increased brand awareness, enhanced public opinion within the community, and employee engagement. A little research can help you and your partners be assured your goals are aligned.
  • PR – Good public relations practices can help you build and maintain your positive public image, so knowing how to communicate your message is vital. Numerous avenues are available, including your website, videos, and the various social media platforms. Use them to offer biographies of your staff, and the stories from volunteers, donors, and those who have derived benefit from your organization. Share major campaigns, events, awareness raising dates, and tie your mission to current events either nationally or within your community.

At WEDO Charity Auctions, we help organizations exceed their fundraising goals. Our team is made up of passionate, dedicated and experienced fundraising professionals, who specialize in simple, insightful and creative fundraising event solutions. WEDO Charity Auctions utilizes technology and expertise to grow your mission.

If you would like more information on how WEDO Charity Auctions can help you raise money, build relationships or celebrate your successes, please call 844-315-1060 or visit us today at www.wedocharityauctions.com.

 

 

Turn Your Volunteers into Fundraisers

It’s no secret that in the world of fundraising, your network is arguably the most important asset you can have. Who you know and how you know them makes a huge difference in your ability to secure a donation, whether it be one time or recurring. Just as your network in fundraising important, many organizations overlook a very important aspect of fundraising – your volunteers and their respective networks.

Contact Us

Volunteers can be easily overlooked, but it’s time to discuss the advantages of incorporating your volunteers and the networks they come with.

Your volunteers already know your organization inside and out and they care about the cause.

Your volunteers have already given their time and effort to your organization, so you know they are passionate about your organization’s mission and what it works to accomplish.  In addition, they have an experience with your organization that others may not. Your volunteers can turn into your best story tellers.  They see your mission in the works and they see the difference it makes in the lives of others.

They have experience with the programs your fundraising events are benefitting.

Odds are, your volunteers already have experience with the programs your events benefit and can tell the story of how your events and organizations have transpired. They’ve seen how the program operates when funds are limited and they’ve (hopefully) seen how it thrives and money isn’t an issue. Your volunteers can tell the story for both sides and stress the importance of funds and how it impacts your organization when those funds are limited.

Making it Happen

1. Solid Technology

Technology can make or break your campaign’s success. Donor experience is a crucial piece of the puzzle when considering your technology.  If they’re going to give money, donating should be as simple as possible. Also, ensure your donation platform is mobile user-friendly. Mobile giving has increased 205% in the last year according to atpay.com

2. Great Instruction

Give your fundraisers a plethora of tools they can use to assist them in their efforts.  More often than not, a new fundraiser may not know where to start and can quickly get overwhelmed. Email templates, pre-made posts for social media, and testimonials are a great place to start!

3. Consistent Recognition

Many volunteers and fundraisers may feel as though their hard work goes unnoticed. Make sure you’re celebrating the milestones with regular updates, social media posts, and stories about how their work is helping.

Let us help you with your fundraising goals.

3 Fundraising Ideas Your Organization Is Overlooking

Fundraising comes in many shapes and sizes.  From good old email marketing to crowdfunding giants, there are many ways to reach your fundraising goals.  With so many options, it can be overwhelming to try to choose the best idea(s) for your organization to ensure you get the job done! In turn, you may overlook some great options for you.

Here are three ideas (among MANY others) you may be overlooking:

  1. Gamify Fundraising: Everyone loves a friendly competition.  I’m sure you’ve heard of penny wars, but there are many other ways to turn fundraising into a game! Creating leaderboards, progress bars, badges, and points are just a handful of ways to increase competition during fundraising.
  2. AmazonSmile: Amazon has 300 million users, so odds are some of those users are your donors! While it’s not a large amount that’s donated back to your organization, if your donors are shopping on amazon anyway, you might as well take advantage of it! 0.5% of the eligible AmazonSmile purchases get donated back to the charitable organizations selected by Amazon customers.
  3. In-Event Content: This is one of the most genuine and successful ways to increase your fundraising. Showing videos or having testimonials given during events is a great way to show the donors that what you’re doing is working and making a difference in the lives of REAL people.  Tugging on the heart strings is one of the most successful ways to get donors to fork over some cash! Try having a video or in-person testimonial right before your live ask or fund-a-need to maximize donations!

If you’re looking to boost your fundraising, we recommend trying out some new techniques in addition to what already works for you!

Copyright: pixelliebe / 123RF Stock Photo

Increasing Donation Opportunities and Where You’re Going Wrong

The opportunity to donate to charities is all around us. The pairing of non-profits and technology makes it easier than ever for donors to give and organizations to receive. Checking out at a local grocer means adding a dollar to your bill to help feed a hungry family. You scroll through a favorite social media page and see posts from far-off friends raising money for an unexpected health crisis. A text message notification reveals its time to pay the utility bill which also features an opportunity to donate to the local animal shelter. But does easier translate into more for non-profits? Is it really that important for a non-profit organization to have an online giving platform and mobile donation app?

Donor Digital Data

Charitable giving studies for 2015 revealed the following data:

  • December was the strongest month of the year for charitable giving. 30% of annual donations were received during December, 2015, with the most revenue generated the last three days of the month.
  • Donors preferred to give on Thursday with Tuesday as runner-up. 20% of donations were made on Thursday, 19% on Tuesday.
  • Thursday’s average donation amount was $151.
  • 97% of charitable gifts were given through a desktop computer.
  • 90% of gifts were a one-time thing.
  • One-time gifts averaged $137 with recurring gifts averaging $52.
  • The most giving times of the day were 10am-11am, 1pm-3pm, traditional work hours. That means the majority of giving took place while people were on the job.

Traditional v. Digital

There is no doubt that statistics reveal giving trends are going digital. While overall charitable activities were up 2% in 2015 as compared to 2014, online giving was up 9%. But, exactly, where are people giving online? Who are these donors?

More than half of online donations are given on a particular branded charitable organization web page. The strongest givers, with a gift size average of $183, were employees donating through employer-sponsored causes. Whether it was payroll deductions, company sponsored charity events, or workplace fundraisers.

E-mail fundraising efforts grew in 2015. On average, 4.4 cents was raised per e-mail. For every 1,000 e-mails delivered to a potential donor’s mailbox, $44 in revenue, on average, was generated. It may not sound like much compared to digital giving that took place directly on a non-profit’s webpage. However, e-mail generated revenue for charitable organizations actually grew by nearly 20% last year. It far outpaced the previous year’s 12% growth.

Every opportunity to digitally connect with donors gives a non-profit the chance to grow. Sharing content and joining a non-profit’s email list is just as important to a non-profit’s growth as a supporter’s donation.

Out of all charitable giving, only 3% was non-digital. For charities dependent on cash or checks, this is bad news. The Salvation Army reported raising nearly $145 million through their holiday season Red Kettle cash donation campaign, which is the backbone of the organization’s annual fundraising. Such numbers simply can’t compare with the amount of money raised for donations online.

The Winning Digital Recipe

What does all this data mean? To take advantage of the obvious generosity of donors, a charitable organization needs all the elements of a winning recipe:

  • Connect with an online giving platform that donors trust.
  • Create a mobile app.
  • Connect with employers interested in sponsoring your non-profit’s cause so that you can tap into the contribution resources of a company’s employees.
  • Create the opportunity for potential donors to share content and sign-up for e-mail notifications.

All In One Place

 Online giving performs strongly for a number of reasons that are all tied to together in the same place:

  • Convenience.
  • Anonymity.
  • No pressure.
  • Opportunity to research the organization before giving.
  • Donors can set-up a recurring donation.

Today’s donors are not just technologically savvy, they are also informed, consumers. While online and considering giving a gift, a supporter has the opportunity to learn about a non-profit’s cause. That is why it is so important for a non-profit to be connected with the right giving platform. Just as a brick and mortar storefront’s success is all about location, location, location, the same can be said for any organization’s cyberworld address. When donors arrive at a site that they know is as reputable as it is easy to navigate, they not only give with confidence, there is a greater chance that they will become a regular benefactor. So, whether you are a non-profit or a donor looking to connect with the right cause, get connected in the right place.

Copyright: brandonkleinvideo / 123RF Stock Photo

5 Tips to Ensure a Successful Golf Outing

With summer quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your organization’s annual golf outing. Summer is a great time to supplement your larger fundraising events, or possibly create a golf outing that becomes your donor’s new favorite way to benefit the cause during the warmer months.

There are many ways to take advantage of a golf outing, but it’s important to make sure you have the ability to maximize its potential. We’re bringing you 5 tips to ensure your next golf outing is a successful one!

Have a flow planned out

Many times, golf outings are day long events. While you only have a few hours to wow your patrons in a charity auction event, impressing your donors at your golf outing is just as important. Not keeping their experience a fantastic one throughout the day can make for a VERY long event. Make sure you have a set schedule that has every moment coordinated with everyone involved to make for an enjoyable day.

Add additional activities

In addition to the golf tournament, you may want to add in additional activities throughout the tournament.  Think about adding in contests for longest drive, longest putt, and drive closest to the pin.  You can even add this in as a different ticket option during registration that allows the golfers to participate in the extra games for a few extra bucks!

  1.  Offer a ticket for dinner only. Be sure to offer a dinner only option for your golf outing.  This can often be overlooked, however, it’s crucial to increase attendance and fundraising opportunities! Offering a dinner only option allows you to include friends or family of the golfers to attend the dinner portion of the evening.
  2. Include an auction.  While the golf outing takes up the majority of the day, it may be beneficial to include an auction during the dinner portion for those that did not participate in the golf outing.  Auctions at a golf outing tend to be a tad smaller than an event based around an auction.  You should be set with 10-25 items up for auction!
  3. Provide merchandise.  Be sure to offer some cause branded merchandise to your golfers for participating. This could also be a great way to showcase your sponsors! Allow your sponsors to offer some merchandise to the participants as well. You could do this for a few bucks or give it out for free!

There are many ways to make sure that your golf outing goes well. Be sure to start your planning early and offer some great options for the golfers, as well as their family or friends!

Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

3 Ways to Boost Your Event’s Ticket Sales

Ticket sales are something that every nonprofit struggles with at some point. Whether your event is in its first year,  or your organization just celebrated 50 years of fundraising – everyone starts somewhere. Overcoming this challenge can be one of the most frustrating obstacles you come across when building your event.  Over the years, we’ve found a few things that can help increase ticket sales at your event, so why not give them a shot!

Pricing Tiers

We know this can be a bit overwhelming at first, but hear us out. Why not add a couple ticket options for your ticket sales? You can offer a VIP option at a higher rate – include a free drink or a free raffle ticket, maybe even early access to the event! In addition, you can also add a lower pricing tier. If you’re doing mobile bidding for your auction, maybe someone just wants to bid off-site and can’t make it to your event! You can easily list a ticket for off-site bidding only and sell it at a lower rate.

Group Discounts

This is becoming more and more common! Instead of only selling single tickets, you can group them together. Pairs, foursomes, you name it! We see this done very commonly when selling tickets based on how many seats are at a table.  If you have an 8 person table, consider selling a pack of 8 tickets at a ‘buy 7 and get 1 free’ type of rate. This way your attendance will increase at a faster pace!

Increase prices

While this is usually a last resort, increasing pricing on tickets is something that should still be considered! Let’s break this down. For example, your event last year sold 300 tickets at $100 apiece. If that was the case, you brought in $30,000 in ticket sales.  Let’s say that this year you decide to increase your pricing by 10% and bump your tickets up to $110 apiece and you sell 300 tickets again. That puts you at $33,000 in ticket sales. So a 10% increase, which in this case is only an extra $10 a person just gave you an extra $3,000!

There are so many ways to increase ticket sales for your event, but we figured these were pretty feasible for everyone! Try these methods out at your next fundraising event. Happy fundraising!

Nonprofits And Technology: Is It Time For You To Rethink Your Technology Strategy?

Converting operations probably seems like a huge leap for nonprofit organizations to make. If you consider the amount of time it could take and the amount of money that will be involved in purchasing new software or changing the entire infrastructure of your operations, it is easy to understand why some nonprofit organizations are hesitant to make changes when it comes to technology.

However, there have been some major advancements in technology that are offering a variety of benefits for nonprofit organizations without causing them any setbacks. With the right technology, nonprofit organizations can look forward to improving the productivity levels of their staff and they can also look forward to streamlining all of their business operations. The right technology will also allow a nonprofit organization to address major issues and give their communities the peace of mind they have been looking for.

We want to provide you with some signs that it is time for your nonprofit organization to rethink its stance on updating its technology.

Contact Us

Collaboration

Collaboration is essential for any type of nonprofit organization, especially once that has operations across the globe. When your nonprofit needs to host meetings, conferences, create fundraisers and campaigns, and create new strategies, it can be difficult to do this when all of your staff members are in different locations.

You need everyone to be on the same page because you need everyone to be able to collaborate and share ideas. When you invest in the right resources and tools, you will be able to find the right software and platforms that will allow everyone to share information and have discussions that include everyone.

Can You Work Remotely?

Is your nonprofit organization filled with workers who are always on the go? There can be various reasons why your workforce is highly mobile. While having meetings and being mobile is necessary for the nonprofit sector, it can certainly cause production levels to slip sometimes, especially when it comes to helping volunteers get acclimated to your organization, creating reports, responding to emails, etc.

When your nonprofit organization uses cloud-based tools, your nonprofit workers will be able to work from any location that has access to a reliable internet connection. When everyone can work remotely, your nonprofit organization will see an immediate boost in productivity which will result in a positive impact on everyone’s work.

Signs Your Nonprofit Needs To Integrate Technology

  • You find yourself spending more time entering data than you do helping the people who need you the most
  • Your staff members have talked to you about upgrading the organization’s technology on more than one occasion
  • You have not been able to keep track of all the donations you receive from people because you use too many spreadsheets
  • You do not have access to all the organization’s data because one of your staff members has the majority of the information on a separate computer
  • Your nonprofit organization is using the cheapest software because you thought it would get the job done for a short period of time
  • It takes a significant amount of time for your new staff members to figure out how to use the technology because no one is properly being trained

If you are worried that your nonprofit organization will suffer this year because it does not have the proper technology and resources, you should not wait any longer to make some changes.

Many nonprofits have trouble making the right investments when it comes to technology. When you are ready to make a change, you should start looking for the best solutions that will help you make positive changes in your nonprofit organization.

Let us help you with your fundraising goals.

Why Auctions Work

From fine art auctioned at Christie’s to a pair of second-hand slippers auctioned on Ebay, the truth is that people love the thrill of bidding. Even though in the end, they have to hand over cold, hard cash for a purchase, their psyche is still celebrating because they “won”. Everyone likes to be a winner and that is why auctions are so successful.

Contact Us

Auctions Today

Today, registered auctioneers report that one-third of the events they host are for charity. That translates to charitable auctions ranking number four in the auction industry today.

Two-thirds of registered auctioneers report that they conduct at least one charity auction on an annual basis.

Bidding Psychology

Interesting things happen when an item is auctioned. More often than not a product sells for a grossly inflated price compared to its actual value. What causes this phenomenon to happen? Economists suggest it is because of the element of competition.

Humans loathe taking risks when it comes to spending their money. However, once another human indicates through a competitive bid that they believe the item has greater value, the other human feels compelled to match and raise the bid. As this matching and raising continues, those survival skills etched into human DNA kick in, motivating a person to stay in the bidding until they win. Winning an event is a proxy to surviving a threat. Auctions are brain-games.

Recipe For Great Auctions

Hallmarks of successful charitable auctions are:

  • Items: Have what donors want as well as interesting, curious and intriguing items that are irresistible.
  • Anticipation: Pre-event marketing should be titillating, with the event promoted far enough in advance to allow interested bidders the opportunity to plan to attend, gather their resources and invite their friends.
  • Sneak Peeks: Without giving too much away, a preview of a few tasty items will seal the deal for those who might have had second thoughts about attending.

Venue With Most Potential

To maximize audience potential, there is no better opportunity than online auctions. With the obvious success of online auction venues like Ebay, there can be no doubt for success for online charity auctions. Creating a stellar event is as easy as six simple steps:

  1. Go live.
  2. Research your audience and deliver the items they want.
  3. Expand your reach with novelty items.
  4. Inspire interest with intriguing introductions about each item.
  5. Price point range should offer items affordable for every donor budget.
  6. Quality images make a difference.

Building An Audience

Without an audience, however, even the most exceptionally prepared online auction will be a flop. Marketing and promotion are a must. Promoting successfully means developing and performing the following:

  • Clear Message: What is the purpose of the fundraiser? How will the donations be used?
  • Organization Introduction: Introduce the non-profit organization behind the fundraiser.
  • Kick-Off: Launch promotion campaign in advance of an auction. 30 days is a typical promotion period.
  • Graduate Intensity: Promotional messages should increase with frequency as the auction date approaches.
  • Versatility: Create several promotional strategies that will appeal to the unique differences of benefactors. Social media promotion, traditional outlets like press releases or radio spots, and formal promotion through local Chamber of Commerce.

Making Auctions Easy

All the necessary details of promoting and hosting a charity auction may seem overwhelming. Some non-profits may lack the right tools to make the auction process go as smoothly as possible.  Mobile bidding software has revolutionized the non-profit sector and made auction events for non-profits a breeze.

Taking your event to the next level and maximizing donations as simple as contacting the correct people and utilizing the right tools. 2017 may be THE year that online charity auctions claim their spot on the non-profit map. This form of fund-raising will grow in popularity not just because it is convenient for everyone involved, but because it retains that competitive element that bidders crave.

Let us help you with your fundraising goals.

Mobile Bidding Is King

Mobile bidding is the future of charity auction fundraising. The pairing of non-profits and technology has crowned mobile bidding apps “king” in the realm of raising money for charities. Not only do people enjoy the excitement of bidding competition but they also can do it conveniently and, in the end, feel good about what they are doing. Here is the psychology low-down on auction bidding and why it works and the future of mobile bidding.

Contact Us

The Psychology Of Bidding

There is no doubt that people love the competitive nature of ascending-bid auction models. Just look at the success of eBay. Non-profits can tap into this human nature to generate success for their own charitable auctions. But why is it that human beings are willing to pay more than an object is worth, which is often the case in auction scenarios?

In studies of auction winners on eBay, it is reported that they do not use the “max bid” feature. Auction winners on eBay will go past the threshold of what might be a logical maximum bid in order to win. This is because of the psychology at play. What happens in the human psyche when another bidder outbids you is that, rather than think that they simply want the object more, the response is akin to how a person feels when they have been robbed. In other words, the bidder goes on the defensive, determined to take back what they perceive to be “theirs”. Being out-bid is offensive, an outrage. How dare such a thing occur! It triggers the deeply conditioned belief that losing at anything, even a bidding war, is shameful. So, in other words, in an auction, often the winner is the most irrational person! Or, at least irrational as the competition is raging.

The Strongest Seller

Time and time again it is the unique travel adventure that raises more money at a charity auction than any other offer. Why might that be? Surely it’s not simply due to a moment of madness overwhelming a person as they compete with other bidders. The dear reader would be correct in that assumption. Temporary bidding madness is only part of the formula. For one thing, bidders see an opportunity to take a vacation they otherwise could not afford. Consider the average price tags of some of the most expensive vacations:

  • A luxury stay in Austria or France can cost about $2,000 per night.
  • To cruise on the Queen Mary 2 will set a person back a minimum of about $4,000
  • A top-rated stay in Switzerland can be accompanied with a $5,000 nightly price tag
  • There are weekly luxury packages to Italy that can cost upwards of $100,000

A charity travel package auction poses the possibility that a more economically minded traveler might be able to snag the trip of a lifetime at a steal. The future of bidding for these luxury travel hopefuls is actually happening now.

The Rise Of Digital Auctions

Digital platforms connecting charities with donors and bidders is happening now. Charity travel auctions are no exception to the worldwide trend of technology users performing virtually every lifestyle task via mobile app. Online auction activity for users makes bidding available anywhere, at any time. No matter what they have going on in their life, with a portable smart device they can take a break and tune in to a live event. Someone who otherwise might not have participated can be drawn into the excitement simply because they logged on during a moment of boredom while experiencing some down time.

Get Connected

The first step to optimize online capabilities for non-profit organizations is to get connected with an online auction platform that makes every detail easier.

Let us help you with your fundraising goals.