With power play struggling, Sharks may be making small changes

first_imgDENVER — The Sharks, understandably, are staying with the same forward lines and defense pairs for Game 4 of their second round playoff series against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.But with the Sharks’ power play struggling to score, it does appear some adjustments are being made to both the first and second units.In their morning skate Thursday, the Sharks had winger Gus Nyquist on the first unit with Brent Burns, Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl. Timo Meier was on the top …last_img read more

Working for the Greater Good

first_img24 July 2006Want to help charity, give back to your community, donate skills, time and money and generally change the world – but don’t know where to start? South African philanthropy is now just a click of a mouse away, thanks to Greater Good South Africa. Greater Good raises support for the work of South African charities and promotes a culture of philanthropy in the country, with the ultimate aim of “eradicating extreme poverty in our lifetimes”.Through its comprehensive interactive website, the organisation creates innovative ways for businesses and individuals to help the work of non-profit development organisations of their choice.Greater Good fosters a long-term relationship between people and causes, encouraging donations of money, second-hand and surplus goods, skills and time.In return, it provides details on the objectives, activities and performance of charities, including clear information on their needs. The organisation allows donors to “experience the gift of giving” by providing ongoing feedback on how their contributions have made a difference.Greater Good is sponsored by the Shuttleworth Foundation, Noah Financial Innovation, Cadiz, Deutsche Bank, SAA Voyager, eBucks, American Express and Kaehlo.Its website has a well-stocked community noticeboard allowing charities to request money and services, and donors to offer money, goods and time to specific causes and organisations.Greater Good also runs a number of campaigns with innovative ways of helping charities. Recent campaigns include the Giving Exchange, Teachers Dream, Do It Day and Donate-a-Book.The Giving Exchange“The Giving Exchange aims to raise the bar for giving and receiving in South Africa,” says Greater Good on its website. “The challenge is for South Africans enjoying a 21st century lifestyle to effectively get resources to where they are needed most in our communities.”The Giving Exchange allows ordinary people, businesses and charities to meet and come up with new and effective contributions that involve more than money. It allows causes to access the expertise, skills, talents and resources they need.Some 125 charities are selected – by vote – to participate in Giving Exchange expos, held in major centres. The campaign allows donors to compare and select who to support, based on their own criteria.Teachers DreamTeachers Dream, a partnership between Greater Good and the Shuttleworth Foundation, aims to improve education by connecting donors to educators who need grants for projects that improve education in South Africa.More often than not it is teachers who have brilliant ideas of how to make maths and science come alive, how best to demonstrate life skills, how to show children the geography of the land and how to explore the arts.Exciting and worthwhile proposals – projects, outings, and activities – from dedicated teachers are posted on the Greater Good website. Donors may then contribute to fulfil that dream. Most Teachers Dream proposals require grants of less than R5 000 – time and goods can also be donated.“Many great educator ideas could easily come to fruition with support of relatively small grants,” says Greater Good. “In real terms, it actually doesn’t cost that much to take a class of Grade 4 learners to the planetarium or the Grade 10s to an inspiring exhibition.”At its launch, the Teachers Dream initiative received warm praise from Education Miniser Naledi Pandor.“Teachers Dream is inclusive,” she said. “Its reach transcends geographical space, enabling school communities that are remote or rural to be as connected to South African giving communities as their urban counterparts.“This project will give pupils an opportunity to realise their full potential by exposing them to a variety of career prospects.”An important condition of a Teachers Dream donation is that successful educators report back to funders. They are given a disposable camera to record their dream and post it back along with written feedback. Their report is then posted on the Greater Good website.Do It DayDo It Day takes charity beyond money. Greater Good has set aside 28 October 2005 as the day “South Africans will be rolling up their sleeves and assisting causes to achieve specific one-day projects”.The campaign aims to connect causes to volunteers so they can benefit from work and skills not normally available.In July and August development organisations all over South Africa and submitted one-day projects that need volunteers. Do It Day projects range from developing business and marketing plans to building, renovating and gardening. There’s something for everyone.The Do It Day projects are posted on the Greater Good website, and volunteers can sign up individually or as a team.Projects include an action fun day for Aids orphans, planting a tea garden at the Sparrow Skills Centre, developing a marketing and communications strategy for a positive parenting organisation, and both training in bookkeeping and installing windows and doors for the Siyakhula charity.Donate-a-Book“In South Africa, poverty excludes many children from the enrichment that reading brings,” Greater Good says on its website.“A brighter, better future for all South Africans becomes more likely if we are busy now raising generations of thoughtful, independent life-long learners – and reading is the key to that.”Greater Good encourages online donations to buy books, in support of the work of organisations such as READ, Biblionef SA, the South African Children’s Book Forum and the Athlone School for the Blind Braille Production Programme.Donation vouchers range in price from R50, which buys a book for a pre-schooler, to R5 000 – buying a starter library for a poor school.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

6 fascinating lessons for us from the campaign trail

first_imgI recently read a very interesting article from The New York Times about how social science and behavioral economics was used to get out the vote. The article, “Academic Dream Team Helped Obama’s Effort,” details how experts like Robert Cialdini (whom I covered just this past week), formed a consortium that provided research-based ideas on motivating people to take certain actions (especially voting). Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or of any party, the advice the academics provided is very useful to all of us involved in the work of social change. We’re all in the business of compelling people to do things. So I wanted to pass on the most interesting tips.1. People favor candidates – and organizations! – that exhibit a combination of competence and warmth. You want to seem smart but also likable.2. When countering rumors (or myths), it’s a bad idea to repeat them. People may register a denial in the short term, but they only tend to remember the rumor or myth in the long term. Don’t deny or counter something – simply assert your competing notion.3. Use people’s sense of identity to influence behavior. In the election, volunteer canvassers said, “Mr. Jones, we know you’ve voted in the past,” to prompt future voting. We can do the same with volunteers or donors: “Mr. Jones, we know you’ve supported us in the past.” People want to stick to their past behaviors, so this can work well.4. Informal commitments help. Getting people to sign a card promising to vote increases likelihood to vote, for example. Pledging is also useful in fundraising!5. Tell people to make a plan. People are more likely to follow through on a promise if they have a plan, however simple. Ask people to specify when they’ll help you.6. Use social norms. When people were told others in their neighborhood planned to vote, it influenced them. Never forget the power of peer pressure – call out your supporters to inspire others to jump on board.For more fascinating tips on how this worked during the campaign, check out the article here.last_img read more

5 rules for thanking donors

first_imgHere at Network for Good we experienced a busy giving season right up to the final hours of 2013. This is good news for nonprofits, as we saw a 16% increase in dollars donated compared to the year-end fundraising season of 2012. After all of that activity, it can be tempting to take it easy for a few weeks now that January is here. Of course, the reality is that your work with donors is just beginning. Now is your opportunity to begin turning year-end donors into your long-term partners in good. To do so, you need a solid plan to welcome these donors, keep them informed, and build relationships with them throughout the year. The first step is to keep the magic alive with a well-planned donor gratitude strategy. Here are some things to keep in mind:Thank your donors as soon as possible. Ideally, your online donors have already received an automatic thank you and receipt, and offline donors are receiving their thank yous in the mail shortly. Thanking donors promptly is not just common courtesy, it’s positive reinforcement of their decision to support and trust your organization.A receipt is not a thank you. Yes, you must make sure your donors get donation receipts that include information on tax deductibility. That said, if the most interesting line your response to a donor’s gift is “No goods or services were received by the donor as a result of this gift,” you’re doing it wrong. (See also: IRS rules on acknowledging contributions.)One thank you is not enough. You’ve acknowledged all of your year-end donations with a proper thank you. You’re done, right? Not so fast. One great thank you is a good start, but don’t forgo regularly thanking donors to keep them up to date on the impact of their gifts. Don’t leave donors wondering, “Whatever happened to that person/animal/cause in need?”Don’t forget other donation sources. Acknowledge every donation your organization receives, whether they come from your direct mail campaign, your online donation page, or from third-party sources such as employee giving programs, peer-to-peer fundraisers, or online giving portals. Understand all of your donation sources and tailor your notes of appreciation, where necessary. New donors coming in from a peer-to-peer campaign, for example, may need a more formal introduction to your organization than donors you’ve directly solicited.Make sure your thank you is sincere and memorable. You may have a template for your donor thank yous, but if your thank you feels like a form letter, it needs more work. Express authentic gratitude for your donors’ generosity and put them in the middle of the work you do. Use photos, quotes, and even video to help bring these stories to life for your supporters. Give donors a thank you so amazing that they can’t wait to show it off to their friends and family. Need some help with your thank you letters? Here are a few resources from our learning center: How to Treat Your Donor Like Your SuperheroKey Qualities for Amazing Thank You Letters3 Things Your Donor Thank You Should Do6 Keys to Donor RetentionAre you sending an amazing thank you this year? Have you received one? Share your examples in the comments and we’ll feature the best ones in an upcoming post!last_img read more

LUCKY 13: Thirteen weeks to plan for the best giving season ever – starting with #GivingTuesday

first_imgCrunch time!Can it be…Labor Day weekend is really behind us? 2014 is in the home stretch and that means it is crunch time for nonprofits.In fact, 30% of the projected $300 billion in total annual donations to charities are made in December — and 10%, or $30 billion, come during the year’s last 48 hours. (Source: NY Post, December 2013)For most nonprofits, it’s make or break time. And for donors, whether they are motivated by making an impact or by the tax year, December underlines the urgency of giving.Countdown to #GivingTuesdayThe movement that has changed the December giving season since 2012 is #GivingTuesday. It started with a simple idea – to be a counterpoint to the consumerism of Black Friday and CyberMonday. From a couple hundred nonprofits in 2012, #GivingTuesday has grown into an international day of giving with organizations and donors around the globe joining the movement.Traditionally, year-end givers to nonprofits are loyal supporters or those with personal ties to an organization. Now, nonprofits can harness the energy of #GivingTuesday to engage new donors, and to extend and amplify the giving season. We know first hand. Last year we led BMoregivesMore, the campaign to make Baltimore the most generous city in America on #GivingTuesday. Nonprofits that participated in BMoreGivesMore reported that between 20% and 60% of donors on that day were new. And more than 80% who shared their results said that they had a comparable or better December overall!13 Tuesdays to go: We’re here for you.Despite all the excitement and opportunity of #GivingTuesday, your team has a full plate planning for year-end already. So how do you capitalize on #GivingTuesday?Network for Good is launching N4G Gives, a national campaign to launch the giving season on #GivingTuesday.Beginning this week, we’re offering a combination of free and client-only resources to get your team ready. We’re arming ALL nonprofits with the tools, tactics, training and motivation to make this your best December ever.And for Network for Good clients, we’ll also be offering:• Two great platforms: • DonateNow – your customized online giving page to maximize donor conversion• GiveCorps – a cutting-edge giving platform that offers donors a superior online giving experience, plus crowdfunding and peer-to-peer.• Exclusive toolkits, expert webinars, specialized coaching, and communications resources• Matching funds to make your gifts go further• Visibility with Network for Good donors What’s the first step? Start by downloading our comprehensive Giving Days eBook. According to nonprofit thought leader Beth Kanter, it’s a “terrific, free eBook with lots of tips and planning templates to help your organization decide whether to participate.”Then every Tuesday, we’ll bring you new resources to get ready for #GivingTuesday.It’s time to plan for your best December ever!Ready to get started? Our team can help you get your site ready for #GivingTuesday. Set up a time talk with a fundraising consultant today and get a free demo.last_img read more

Lessons from N4G’s top #GivingTuesday performers

first_imgEncouraged donors to give generously and repeatedly through the day when the “win” was in sightSent a thank you email Wednesday morning announcing the win and encouraging those that did not participate to consider giving. This outreach produced their second best day ever.Most Recurring Donors: Wildlife SOSIndia’s wildlife is under severe threat – every animal from the majestic elephant and the tiger, to the shy sloth bear and rare pangolins are being hunted. Wildlife SOS actively works towards protecting Indian wildlife, conserving habitat, studying biodiversity, conducting research, and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for former poacher communities.Wildlife SOS did not focus explicitly on a #GivingTuesday campaign, rather they viewed #GivingTuesday as part of their year-end fundraising. Their success in the N4G Gives campaign is a particularly powerful demonstration of the impact of #GivingTuesday. Donors are inspired be part of the movement and will seek out organizations to support – sometimes, even when they are not asked specifically.What we learned from Wildlife SOS is that the building blocks they put in place all year round pay dividends. One of those building blocks was an emphasis on recurring, or sustaining, givers.Key TacticsWildlife SOS believes in strategies focused on creating lifelong supporters. Year-round they focus on animal sponsorships for monthly donors and feel like this gives people a tangible connection to their donation. Having the building blocks in place and then capitalizing on big events means they’re not scrambling on days like #GivingTuesday and at year-end.Make this #GivingTuesday your best yet! Kick off your year-end fundraising with our tools, training and matching funds. It doesn’t matter if your organization has 2 staff members or 200, you can raise money on #GivingTuesday and we can help.Free #GivingTuesday resources are available to all nonprofits through Network for Good’s All TUEgether campaign. Network for Good customers can leverage matching funds for all donations made on December 1, 2015. Plus, customers have access to expert coaching, new donors, and exclusive resources to help plan a stellar #GivingTuesday campaign.Not a Network for Good customer yet? No problem. Sign up for a demo and find out how easy it is to raise money online. Get ready to have your best giving season ever. Created a visual “badge” for all #GivingTuesday communicationsChanged website header and homepage, and published a post about #GivingTuesdayAsked a corporate supporter to provide a match on first $20k raisedSent their first email on the Monday of Thanksgiving weekLaunched their big push on 12/1:Sent email announcing matching fundsLaunched #GivingTuesday branded donation pageAsked supporters to take #UNselfies and share #GivingTuesday has arrivedOn December 2, nonprofits and donors came together in an inspiring day of generosity. Millions of dollars were raised to fuel the good work of nonprofits all over the world.Network for Good hosted a special campaign, N4G Gives, focused on equipping nonprofits with the tools and knowledge for #GivingTuesday success. The N4G Gives campaign provided free #GivingTuesday resources to the entire nonprofit community and special training and matching funds to nonprofits using DonateNow, our online giving platform. In addition to matching funds, we also recognized the leaders in 10 fundraising categories with special awards.The most exciting validation of the value of #GivingTuesday is reflected in the experience of the “winners” of Network for Good’s N4G Gives campaign. They are large and small. Some planned for months, and some started the day before. Some have large staff teams, and some are staffed exclusively by volunteers.The common thread across all the winners was their determination to activate their passionate supporters and advocates to both give and inspire others, and to create a sense of excitement and urgency under the umbrella of #GivingTuesday.And the winner is…Most Dollars Raised: Alameda County Community Food Bank, Oakland California (ACCFB)Alameda County Community Food Bank is on a mission to end food insecurity in Alameda County, California. In 2014, the Food Bank distributed 25 million meals – more than half of the food was fresh fruits and vegetables.Their big vision can only be realized with strong donor support, and ACCFB inspired people to donate more than $100,000 (online and offline) on #GivingTuesday.Key tacticsAfter watching the progress of the #GivingTuesday movement in 2013, the team at ACCFB decided to go “all out” in 2014. They pursued a multi-channel approach including email, website, digital ads, and social. Planning started about six weeks before #GivingTuesday, but activation went into high gear during Thanksgiving week.Key elements Most Donors: Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society (Electronic Intifada)The Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society’s #GivingTuesday campaign raised funds for The Electronic Intifada, its award-winning online news publication focusing on Palestine, its people, politics, culture, and place in the world. As a nonprofit digital publication, The Electronic Intifada relies on readers and supporters to provide the funding for its investigative journalism, news, and analysis.Key TacticsMECCS used #GivingTuesday as part of its already planned year-end campaign. The campaign’s focus was to activate new donors by emphasizing the N4G Gives matching funds, and the potential to ‘win’ bonus dollars through the N4G Gives special challenges. The friendly competition inspired by the leaderboards was very motivating to their audience.Key ElementsDeployed three emails on #GivingTuesdayFirst email laid out the opportunity to receive bonus and matching fundsSecond and third emails were sent throughout the day to build excitement as they rose up the leaderboard.center_img Added a homepage popup window asking visitors to donate nowPushed social media outreachLaunched #GivingTuesday branded retargeting ads Rallied on #GivingTuesday:last_img read more

No Kitties or Puppies. HELP! (Step Two)

first_imgReview Step One In Step One of this two-part post, I shared my take on why this type of emotional candy works so well to raise money or recruit volunteers. I cited a reliable litmus test for photo impact—would you share it with your own family and friends, and would they “like” or share it? Here are some recommendations, with examples: For policy and intermediary organizations: Connect the dots between your work and the people who are the ultimate beneficiaries. If your organization is not an animal rescue or somehow directly related to puppies, kitties, or babies, these alternatives will be far more effective in helping you forge connections and motivate giving. Most important, they are authentic, relevant expressions, rather than manipulative clickbait. Organizations like yours have it even harder when building relationships and motivating action, be it giving or something else. That’s because your work is indirect. For all causes and organizations: Highlight the similarities between your audiences and your organization’s clients, participants, or beneficiaries. Get detailed and personal in words and/or photos. The close-up (bottom left) of the little girl focused on drawing is compelling! Clearly, we never want anyone to be homeless, much less our own family. The cause has the potential to scare off supporters because of their fear that it could happen to them. Stigma! However, by photographing an older resident (like your grandma or mine) reading to a couple of kids, Hope House busts through and connects us with the residents in a positive way. (I remember when my grandma read to me.) The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation does a great job of this on its Facebook page, as shown in the post above. Here, the foundation makes it easy to make the connection between its work and the individuals who benefit from its grants for a real “aha!” moment.center_img The details are what sticks (or doesn’t) and make your story memorable and more likely to be shared. How do you make your organization’s content compelling—beyond kitties, puppies, or babies? Please share your recommendations in the comments! You’re working on legislation related to a cause or supporting other cause organizations. This makes it challenging for prospects to connect emotionally. It takes your audience time and thought to make the connection between your impact and people, which is always a deterrent. Findlay Hope House does a great job of this on its Facebook page time and time again. Consider the post above, showing kids without homes living in Hope House’s transitional housing. But there is a great method of speeding that vital connection—make the message for your prospects and supporters. Connect the dots between your organization’s work and impact and your ultimate beneficiaries, even if there are layers in between. Okay, your organization is one of many that can’t use kitty or puppy photos to raise money or recruit volunteers. So what can you do to quickly and effectively connect with the emotions of prospects and supporters? Step 2: Make emotional connections and compelling content—if not candy—even without the supercute. Review Step One With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.last_img read more

A New Look for Network for Good

first_imgThis is a blog post I’ve been looking forward to writing for some time now.Today I’m pleased to share the launch of our redesigned Network for Good website featuring a fresh new look that highlights our best resources and pulls them into one central location. You can now visit www.networkforgood.com to access (and search) all of our content, including our webinars, guides and templates, The Nonprofit Marketing Blog, and Fundraising 123 articles. You can also find updated information on Network for Good’s fundraising products and services and learn how to improve your strategy for connecting with individual donors.A big thanks to the amazing team here at Network for Good, who imagined, designed, built, and launched the site in record time. Our appreciation also goes out to our many advisors and testers (including our customers, partners, readers, and sector experts) who helped us refine our approach over the last several weeks.We’re excited about our new site, and we hope you find it easier to navigate and more useful than ever. I’d love to hear what you think—drop me a line and let me know your questions and feedback.last_img read more

How to Use Your Data to Get Closer to Supporters & Prospects

first_imgReach Broader to Fine-Tune Messages, Channels, and TimingDon’t stop with your donor database. Your organization will find equally valuable insights in sources as like your email system, volunteer database, Facebook and Twitter analytics, and online survey findings.These sources provide priceless clues about donor habits. The most reliable way to reach your donors or prospects will always be:Where they already are (For example, in their email inboxes or Facebook accounts).At the times and on the days they tend to be there (when they open or click emails, sign your online petition, or retweet a recent tweet from your organization).You can also use these sources to sharpen your insights into your donors’ passions and values, so you can ensure your campaigns reach and resonate with them. For example, use your volunteer data to find out: How many current or recent donors were volunteers first (and whether they still are or not)? If there’s a significant percentage of donors who entered the organization as volunteers:Consider launching a donor recruitment campaign to current volunteers that features profiles of existing donors who are or were volunteers.If you need to build your volunteer corps, cross-promote those opportunities to similar donors who are not current volunteers.When it comes to data, there’s SO much power in the information that’s already at your fingertips. I can’t wait to hear what you do with it! As a fundraiser, one of the toughest parts of your job is finding (and keeping) loyal donors. This is an especially difficult task in the face of uncertain economic times. Mix in our crazy presidential election ramp up, and you’re left with a foolproof recipe for widespread anxiety and skepticism.I know that these barriers are hard to transcend, but there is a way to build deep and lasting connections with your targeted donors and prospects. And that way is paved with data that you already have. Let me tell you what I mean.Use Giving to Date to Shape Your Future Approach The easiest place to start is with what you already know. Dig into your donor database and focus on donors from the last two years, especially those who are high-ticket givers or have given three or more years in a row.  Retaining these folks is your absolute priority!Don’t have a donor database that can get the job done? Learn more about Network for Good’s newest product for small to mid-sized nonprofits: a donor management system that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Learn more.Next, look for trends or patterns to help you deliver the strongest possible ask to each donor (or, more realistically, to small groups of donors). Here are two questions you can answer with data you’re likely to have on hand:What do your monthly donors look like? Get a clear picture of your monthly donors, especially those who are newly committed to monthly giving. These folks are loyal and most likely to become long-term supporters.See if other prospects share some of the same characteristics, and then launch a campaign to convert them into monthly donors. Who’s made a significantly larger gift than ever before within the last six months?Make a personal thank you calls (a personal note otherwise), and ask what spurred the latest gift. There may be more donors about to experience the same situation and likely to respond to a focused ask. Plus, these folks may be ripe for major gift prospecting.last_img read more