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Proven Thank You Letter Techniques That Work

Why are thank you letters so important? Poorly executed thank you letters can have a negative impact on your organization’s relationships with donors.  Just the same, effective and well written thank you letters can increase donor retention and ensure repeat donations year after year.

Thank you letters are important – you probably don’t need us to tell you that.  The real struggle is finding an effective thank you letter strategy that secures repeat donors.  Where to start?

Thank ALL of Your Donors

Yes, that’s correct, we said thank ALL of them.  Whether they’ve given $5 or $500, donated 1 item or 10 items, they all need to be recognized as having an impact on your organization’s cause.

A lot of nonprofits only send thank you letters to donors who have given above a certain amount. This is the wrong approach as most donors (numbers show as high as 75%) are not giving you as much as they could the first time around. They want to see how you treat them and what you do with their money before committing to a bigger number. A first-time gift of any amount is the beginning of a relationship. Acknowledge that relationship and nurture it. via Nonprofit Thank You Letters – Resources for You

Watch the Clock

You’re aware that thank you letters are important and you know you need to thank all your donors.  What about your timeline? Typically, you want to reach out to your donors with a thank you letter between 48 hours to a week after you have received their donation or gift.  It’s important that your committee sets a timeline that works with your schedules, while still recognizing your donors in a timely manner.  You know your donors better than we do – so you should learn over time what they need from your organization in order to ensure recurring gifts.

Make it Unique

Odds are, your donor is giving a donation to more than just your organization. Donors typically give to between 2 and 3 non-profits annually (via nptechforgood.com). Therefore, your donor would hopefully be receiving between 2 and 3 thank you letters a year.  Donors need to see that their gift is making an impact on your organization and your cause in a unique way.

You have the ability to show your donor why their donations matter, specifically what they go toward, and what impact their donation had on your cause can help ensure a second and even a third donation.  Why wouldn’t you?

 

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.

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Best Way to Utilize your “Donate Now” Button

Donations:

We’ve come across this begging question a few times in the last month and we want to share with you what we have learned about the infamous, Donate Now button on your event website…

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We can all agree that any occassion to make a donation to your cause is considered a favorable time. To make things simpler for our clients, the Donate Now button guarantees a chance to increase donations right on the spot. You can do it at the touch of a button while your alone, or, you can utilize it up on stage in front of your crowd.

What WEDO Suggests’:

Depending on your audience, one of these options may work more than the other. If you choose to use the Donate Now button after a Fund-a-Need portion of your event, you can utilize our user-friendly Donation Thermometer Display to engage the audience in a real-time donation session. By displaying the Thermometer, this can give your guests’ a visual while donations are taking place. If you have a specific goal for funds raised at your event, this is a great option to utilize.

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5 Ways to Promote Your Fundraising Event

Ok. You decided that you are going to put together a fundraising event. You know that you want to raise a lot of money for a great cause and you want a wonderful outcome for attendance, but now you have to make it happen! There are a variety of different stages of planning that need to be completed in order to have a successful fundraiser. From the location to the food & beverage to how to entice people, etc. If you’re new to event planning (or even if you’re not) it can be overwhelming trying to put a big fundraiser together all while raising awareness so people will actually come to the event. Well, not to worry. We have narrowed down the top 5 ways to promote your fundraising event to make sure you have a full house!

Social Media: It’s no secret that social media is taking over the internet in strides. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your Cause/Organization, then making one would be an A+ idea. More and more people are turning to Facebook to send out invitations to events than sending it via mail. Once you have a Facebook page setup, start posting daily reminders and information regarding your event, it will be sure to grab attention and get people talking.

Print Advertising: It’s time to get some coverage! Send out some key information about your fundraiser that you want to get out to the public to your local newspapers and magazines. Think outside of the box on how to cover every important detail of your event. Do you have big name sponsors? What cause does your fundraiser benefit? Be sure to mention these fine points to your audience.

Flyers: If your fundraiser is not invite-only then flyers could be very beneficial to spread the word. It may be 2016, but print advertising is still in style. Post your flyers in popular destinations throughout the area to create a buzz about your event. To really direct attention to your flyer, using bright colors and highlighting what the fundraiser is about would be a good way to start.

Powerful Partnerships: The more connections you make in your efforts to promote your event, the more success you will have with expanding your audience. If you have speakers coming to your event, make sure to let people know! Think locally when finding a partnership that way you can engage your community that much more.

Photography/Video: A photograph says a million words. Well, if that’s true then a video says a billion! Spread the word about your fundraiser by means of photos and videos posted on the web. Photographs can be used to document important details about your event. For videos, think outside of the box. Your videos don’t necessarily have to be professionally done, sometimes a short clip taken with an iPhone will get the same results. Both photos & videos can be a very useful tool if done correctly.

And there you have it! Those are our top 5 ways to best promote your event properly to ensure a grand attendance.

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.

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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Indy WNBA Gets Involved With Nonprofit

Indianapolis WNBA Gets Involved With Nonprofit

Tamika Catchings, the star of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, created the Catch the Stars Foundation in 2004. This foundation empowers the youth to achieve their dreams by incorporating goal-setting programs which promote literacy, fitness, and youth development. Tamika & the Catch the Stars Foundation just recently had their 10th Annual Back to School Celebration this past July and it was a huge success.

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During the Back to School Celebration event, over 500 local youth in Indiana are able to receive backpacks, school supplies, and a fun community fair to participate in. Since most of the children at the event are unfortunately not able to afford the items, such an event is invaluable. Without the help of Tamkia and the Catch the Stars Foundation as well as all the donations, these 500+ kids coming to the event would have much less in their hands today.

Social Media in the Nonprofit Industry

Nonprofit organizations have simply embraced technology and social media. Creativity is key. It’s especially important for nonprofits to get creative on their social sites because there is so much competition within the social media world. Social media will contiue to have grand impacts with the nonprofit industry and should be levereged and utilitzed as a top priority.

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DID YOU KNOW?

59% of people donate after becoming a follower of a nonprofits social netowork.

DID YOU KNOW?

48% of people donated to an organization because of they read a story via social media.

DID YOU KNOW?

49% of nonprofit supporters on social media wanted to do more after seeing a photo.

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WEDO Charity Auctions | Indianapolis Award

We are extremely happy and proud to announce that WEDO Charity Auctions has been selected as the 2015 Best Business of Indianapolis in the category of Auction Houses.

2015 Best Business of Indianapolis | Auction Houses
“The Indianapolis Best Businesses Program is an annual program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Indianapolis area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Indianapolis area a great place to live, work and play.” 

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