Archive for category: nonprofit

Facebook’s Latest Algorithm Change

Facebook’s Latest Algorithm Change

In our last blog we shared five easy steps you can follow to create a social media strategy. As we all know, the world of social media is ever-changing and evolving. For example, earlier this month, the Co-Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company will be changing its news feed algorithm yet again. The intent of this change according to Zuckerberg is to bring the focus back to “personal moments.”

“But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” said Zuckerberg. “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”

This announcement has many businesses including nonprofits wondering how they are going to share their message and get engagement when they are not at the top of the news feed.

According to research data from M+R, “There are more than 1.5 million nonprofits on Facebook.” Many nonprofits do very well getting their donors and volunteers engaged on Facebook, furthermore, for some it is their only social media channel. In addition, Facebook serves as the main fundraising platform for some of these nonprofits.

Per Sheela Nimishakavi in a recent post via Nonprofit Quarterly, “With less exposure to Facebook users who may be potential donors, nonprofits are facing a tough year ahead.”

Zuckerberg’s announcement does not mean the end for nonprofits when it comes to Facebook. Rather it comes back to the point that social media is always changing. Nonprofits must be willing to adapt and work with the news feed changes. At the same time, he reiterates that public content should “encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Once again, this comes back to our last blog that called for creating content that follows the 80-20 rule – 80 percent should educate your audience whereas 20 percent should directly promote your organization. In the nonprofit world, education is meant to be interactive. So it makes sense that the news feed algorithm change could benefit nonprofits long-term.

Nonprofits have meaningful interactions with constituents every day in real life. Those that can find a way to have these types interactions on Facebook may find success with the new algorithm,” said Nimishakavi.

Let us work with you on your next event to showcase the meaningful interactions and personal moments that shape your world.

Five Easy Steps to Create a Social Media Strategy for 2018

Five Easy Steps to Create a Social Media Strategy for 2018

For someone who doesn’t have experience with social media it can be quite a daunting task to develop a yearly strategy. However, it doesn’t have to be. By following these five easy steps you can put together a social media strategy that will be effective and enticing the entire year.

The first step is to identify what your organizational goals and objectives are for the year. Being the first month of the new year, this is a great time to regroup and redefine. Your social media strategy should be a natural extension of your organization’s goals and objectives. For example, if your goal is to generate “x amount of leads” then you should ask yourself does this post drive followers to take action?

The second step is to determine what your current social media looks like. Furthermore, this means deep diving into who you are currently following and who follows you. You’ll also want to pay attention to who your competitors are following and what they are saying on social media. Oftentimes, this is referred to as a social media listening for the purposes of an audit. A social media audit can provide valuable insight and showcase to you what you could be doing better.

The third step is to create a social media content calendar. Your social media calendar will include the specific dates and times you wish to post content on various platforms. Content should consist of text, images, videos, and links. You can easily create this calendar in a Google doc or sheet. This way you can share it with other members of your team and get their feedback. An easy principal to follow when creating content is the 80-20 rule. Furthermore, 80 percent of content should educate your audience whereas 20 percent should directly promote your organization.

The fourth step is to schedule your messages in advance. Depending how many social accounts you are working with, there are some scheduling products that are free up to a certain number. For example, Buffer allows you to manage three social accounts for free. For only $10 they will allow you to manage and schedule for 10 accounts.

The final step is to test your social media strategy. You can do this through a variety of ways by measuring the success of your strategy. Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to track page visits driven by social media. In addition, there are other social media analytics tools out there that you can utilize to track and measure the reach of your success. Most social platforms nowadays like Facebook have an “Insights” tab that allows you to see who among your audience is the most engaged.

With these five easy steps you can be on your way to creating and executing a social media strategy that aligns with your organizational goals and objectives for 2018.

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.

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

The Importance of Subject Lines

Sending succesful emails is an important part of any industry. But why are email subject lines so important? That is the begging question. Whether you are sending a campaign email to your clients or a one-off party invitation email; the entire message relies on the effectiveness of your subject line.

In this day in age, we are all victims of email overload at some point. The average time that someone looks at a subject line is 1 second before making the decision that they want to continue to read it or not. How can YOU stand out along side of your competitiors to have your message be read and not just thrown in the trash? Here are 3 things you must know about email subject lines:

  1. Keep it simple. The more brief the subject line, the better. To ensure high open-rates, you must first have an attention-grabbing subject line. Don’t be spammy! Look at your own emails, which do you avoid opening & why?
  2. Add value. Being able to not taint your message before opening is an art. Convince the reader that they are opening it for a purpose & will help them or their business in some way or another.
  3. Create trust. Build trust with the reader by containing information in the message that corresponded to the subject line.

Creative School Fundraisers

Winter break is over! Your kids are back in school. Now you want to help give back to that school and help raise some money. Well, here are some of the most successful school fundraiser ideas that we have come up with to help you on your money-making endeavors:

Raffle: Sell those tickets! Take the time to think of a great prize that everyone would be interested in. Whether this is a draw for cash, a school-related item, or a gift basket.

Bake Sale: This one is fun for everyone! Parents can have the opportunity to bond with their children while baking some goodies and the staff can contribute as well.

Pancake Breakfast: Have the students be a part of a delicious one-day breakfast event. They could sell tickets for food and drinks. This makes all the students come together.

Craft Sale: Let’s get crafty! Not only will this promote parents and children to create some fun crafts but it will let the students’ creativity fly. This could be done individually or as a classroom.

Dance-A-Thon: These are very popular! Take pledges based on how long a student will stay on the 24-hour dance floor. And the most important part? Good music to groove to and plenty of drinks & treats throughout the event.

Not only are these all wonderful fundraiser ideas, but you could turn them into something more and have each one of them be utilizing mobile bidding as well.

How Texting Can Increase Engagement During Your Event

In a world where technology is the focal point of any event, it is no wonder why incorporating SMS into your fundraising strategy is an A+ idea. Not only does including text messages raise engagement with the crowd, it also drives more contributions for your great cause. Mass text messaging is a must-have tool for any fundraiser or gala – note to self – Use. Mass. Texting.

You may be asking yourself.. What is the simplest way to have texting become a part of your event? To start, sending out a reminder to donate can be easily done in a texting fashion with the WEDO Charity Auctions platform. Completing this via text message not only is  a simple way to get the message across, but is also a great way to start to raise money for your organization (aka, WEDO’s main priority).

It is very well-known that the less steps that a patron has to take to donate, the happier the camper will be. So, we make it simple for you to include a link that you would like your crowd to be directed to. For example, if you would like to send a link to a website, all you have to do is send it via text in our easy-to-use platform, and they will see it instantly. 

By using this channel and taking the text message route during your mobile bidding war, you will soon begin to see all of the benefits. Open rates, quick responses, building engagement, more donations, & more. Taking advantage of mass messaging for your nonprofit is definitely something that every fundraising event should be taking part of in order to increase participation and raise more money.

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Bid Early; Every Bid Counts! | WEDO Charity Auctions

Bid early; Every bid counts! WEDO makes it easy for your nonprofit to raise money. What’s better than bidding on the day of the event? How about opening the bidding portion up EARLY to get ahead of the curve. By opening up your bidding early for your fundraiser, you are able to get in front of your donors before the day of the event and collect any donations.

Make it a part of your day; get a head start! Before the event even begins, with the click of a button, you could sit back and relax on your couch while watching the big game AND bidding for your favorite charity or cause. You can use your smartphone or even an iPad! WEDO Charity Auctions makes mobile bidding simple. What a great & easy way to help raise additional funds!

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New Years Resolutions; Nonprofit Style

Pop the champagne and write down your reso’s. 2015 is coming to a close, which means it’s a great time for your nonprofit to re-evaluate your year and start planning some goals for 2k16.

Every business (nonprofit or not) needs resolutions, so don’t feel silly for doing so. You’ll be ahead of the curve. Of course, being realistic about those goals is important too. It’s wonderful to aim high, but don’t aim TOO high where you know you will not be able to accomplish anything, but rather, set goals that are more obtainable for your organization.

  1. Bring on a new board member. Looking for a fresh face? Post a job listing and search the web for that perfect-someone. Word of mouth is also a great way to add potential staff to help your cause. Spread the word and see if anyone’s son or daughter is looking to get their foot in the door with the nonprofit industry. Don’t be afraid to use your resourcse! There are plenty of ways to find individuals to be a part of your organization.
  2. Revamp your website. Tired of the same old layout on your website? Time for a clean-up! Take the time to completely redo your website to make it looking more fresh & fun for the new year. You’d be surprised with how much a font or color change can make a difference by appealing to new eyes. A little change goes a long way.
  3. Thank your sponsors and volunteers. Go out of your way to personally thank all volunteers and sponsors within your organization. People want to know that they are doing a good job, they want the attention of a “thank you”. If it’s not a face-to-face communication, then a heartfelt, hand-written note is personable as well.
  4. Stay connected. A lot can happen in a year and it’s easy to forget about a certain achievement or situation. Be sure to stay connected to everyone involved in your organization; from your clients to your cleaning crew. No one gets left behind.
  5. Make a personal goal. Lastly, make a checklist of personal resolutions for yourself. Whether it’s learning more about other organizations or going to more networking events; whatever the case may be, in turn, this will help you grow with yourself and in your nonprofit field.

There is change coming! Get ready for a clean slate and new beginnings. Cheers to mobile bidding!