Survey those who support your cause.Do they consume the information you provide? Are they subscribing to your newsletter or reading your nonprofit’s blog? Are they engaged with your social media updates? Why or why not?Understand your core supporters.Each audience is different. Once you can identify your cause’s most ardent supporters, you can work on passing them the microphone once in a while. Learn how they got involved with your cause in the first place. Do they have a personal connection? What is that connection? Do a little digging to find out.Pinpoint which stories are most compelling to your current audience.Note any trends or parallels in your current collection of messages. Do one-off appeals work best? Uplifting stories? Harrowing tales?After completing the steps above, take a look at all of your fundraising and marketing messages.Turn the most effective pieces into outward-facing communications aimed at gaining new supporters. Voila! You have vetted material that you know is helpful and worthwhile to those who care.For more social good and cause marketing news, follow Allison on Twitter. 1) Marketing from within can inform your donor retention strategy. 2) This type of marketing will give your audience the tools to communicate your message. 3) Ultimately, this will further your mission by helping you raise more money online. In my recent interview with Jay Baer on his book Youtility, we explored how companies and nonprofits can use social concepts to make their marketing focused more on helping people, and less about hyping a product or cause. Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:AM: One of my favorite parts of the book is when you describe the relationship between the youtility concept and social media. “If [your brand is] interesting and useful and helpful, your supporters and prospects will do more of your marketing for you, helping your organization work less arduously and expensively on interruption marketing in its various guises.” What are some baby steps to help those well versed in push marketing move to more of a listening role? JB: Thank you. Indeed, content (youtility) is fire, and social media is gasoline. The best first step in that process is to make sure that your employees/volunteers/donors fully understand and appreciate your useful content. Almost every organization has their target audiences for content upside down. You should be marketing from the inside out. If your existing volunteers don’t know about and love your useful content, why should brand new people? Why this is relevant for nonprofits: How to do “inside out” marketing:
2. The “Me Me Me”Some causes suffer from nonprofit narcissism. They mean well, but their messages are devoid of one key ingredient: the donor. People who support your work also want to feel like part of your team.How to avoid: Instead of talking only about the work you’re doing, reframe your communications to underscore how the donor is making your work possible. Use the word “you” more than “we”, and highlight the work of individual donors and volunteers to bring these stories to life. According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report, 105% of donors gained by nonprofits were offset by lapsed donors. Let that sink in for a minute: for every 100 new donors that came through the door, 105 walked out. Not exactly the growth most nonprofits are looking for.One of the best ways to improve your donor churn rate is to improve your donor communications.Here are six of the worst donor communication mistakes, and some tips for how to avoid them:1. The “One and Done”Sadly for some donors, the only “communication” they receive from the nonprofits they support is a donation receipt. Others may receive a nice thank you letter, but not much else.How to avoid: Plan a series of ongoing communications with your donors. In addition to your nonprofit newsletter, provide quarterly updates for donors on the impact of their gifts, and show what goes on behind the scenes to make it happen. Create an editorial calendar and include your donor outreach as one key component to track. 3. The “Broken Record”All too often, I see organizations sharing the same updates over and over. This is great … if you want to bore your donors. Unless you’re sharing success story after success story, your donors may wonder if you’re doing anything new or making any progress.How to avoid: This is another way an editorial calendar can help you improve your donor communications. Create a list of stories, events, announcements, and seasonal topics that are relevant to your cause—and your donors—then, plot them out on your calendar to incorporate variety in your newsletters, impact updates, and social media outreach. Stuck for ideas? Ask your donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries for their input. They have a different perspective than you and probably have some fresh suggestions. Another option: tap your board to share a short update or quote for you to use in your next message. 4. The “Word Vomit”Are you guilty of sharing too much information? When it comes to your donor outreach, is “verbose” an understatement? If your messages feel like solid walls of text, your supporters are less likely to bother reading them—and may feel like you don’t respect their time.How to avoid: In most cases, people scan more than they read. This means that short, skimmable text works best, especially online. Use a “tease and link” strategy in your emails if you have longer stories to share. To make your messages even more readable, cut any acronyms, jargon, or insider language that will leave donors scratching their heads. 6. The “Show Me the Money”You know that relative who never calls—except when he needs something from you? Don’t be that guy. When donors only hear from you when you have an appeal, they may start to wonder what happened to the money they already gave you.How to avoid: Implement a “share vs. ask ratio” in your organization’s communication. Plan to send a certain number of cultivation or update messages for every time you send an appeal.(For more donor stewardship ideas, try our checklist.)‘Fess up: are you guilty of any of these mistakes? What would you add to the list? Which communication missteps bug you the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 5. The “Disconnected”Do you ever feel like you’re talking, but no one seems to be listening? Most often, this is because you’re not communicating in a way that reflects what your donor wants to hear. This often happens when organizations aren’t in sync with why their donors give.How to avoid: Talk to your donors to understand why they care about your issue and what prompted them to give. Ask for feedback on your communications and let your donors have a say in how they hear from you. Try segmenting your donors by how they came to your organization, their level of giving, or by the specific programs they support. Then, communicate with them based on these parameters to make your message more relevant.
4. Finally, make the appeal for your causeOnce these women have made the right connections, and have had the right coaching and advice, they often feel a new excitement about what their wealth can accomplish in the world. Speak with them about how they give of their resources—often both time and money—and make the case for why your cause is worth it! Women today make up just under half of the nation’s millionaires. Over the next 20 years, through divorce, the death of a spouse, or inheritance, American women will control some $25 trillion dollars. This shift in wealth creates an incredible opportunity for much good to be done in the world. In my practice, I have seen that most women consider themselves to be philanthropic, and charitable organizations would be well served to provide opportunities for these women to flex their charitable muscles!Here are my tips on how to approach women who are taking the reins of their wealth for the first time, often in a crisis:1. Approach donors with empathyMajor life transitions such as the death of a spouse, divorce, and even retirement, can take a deep emotional toll, often forcing women to take more control of their financial life. Some may be prepared, but many are not. She will need time before she is ready to give to your organization as she learns how much money she has, where it is, and whether she and her family are going to be secure for the long run.2. Show her the good you doThe fact is, women think about money differently than men. As a group, women tend to be more concerned with the ultimate purpose of money rather than with an investing strategy and performance numbers. They first want to know that their money will securely carry themselves and their families through the future. After that, many women want to use their money to effect change in the world. Before you ask for money, show donors how the funds you do have are making an impact and demonstrate the good you’re already achieving.3. Invest time and support to build a long-term partnershipThere is a vast difference between winning a check from a one-time donor and building a long-term relationship with a philanthropist who is going to be dedicated to your cause for years to come. If you want a donor to partner with you over time, you should invest in them and make them feel appreciated, too. Before seeking contributions from women in transition, set your organization apart by encouraging her to seek wise counsel that can help her navigate the decisions of her new life. Charlie Jordan is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner and partner with Brightworth in Atlanta. He advises high-net-worth clients—particularly women—in investment management and tax and estate planning and he works closely with them to establish plans for their charitable giving. He is also on the board of the Georgia Planned Giving Council.
After a monster giving day, you may want to just spend a week recovering from all the work and excitement of the event. That said, the real opportunity lies not just in the donations and new donors acquired on the day itself, but rather in the long-term potential of these supporters. Here are five things to do that will help you harness the momentum of your giving day: 1. Get out the thank you. If you haven’t yet, send that thank you ASAP. 2. Examine donor information and behavior. Do these donors look different than your normal annual fund supporters? Did your existing donors give in new ways? Analyzing these details will help you understand how giving days fit into your overall fundraising strategy.3. Determine which methods resulted in the most support. Look at your promotional efforts and rate how they performed. If you had supporters and volunteers helping to raise funds, pinpoint who had the most influence and be sure to cultivate them as champions of your work.4. Have a special orientation plan for donors you acquired during your giving day. It’s likely that these new donors aren’t as familiar with your organization as other prospects. Create a welcome series to introduce your work and let these new supporters know why your community is so special.5. View this webinar. While vital, perfecting the art of donor relationships isn’t easy. This on-demand webinar presentation features the Donor Relations Guru herself, Lynne Wester, who offers tips that will help you think through your communications and stewardship plans.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is empowering your supporter base to fundraise on your behalf. Peer-to-peer fundraising is also known as social fundraising, P2P, or personal fundraising.Think beyond the walkathonWhen you think of social fundraising, you probably think of a walkathon, dance marathon, or another event that social fundraisers will attend. Although this is the best-known type of social fundraising, you don’t have to have an event to justify launching a social fundraising campaign.Project-focused vs. mission-focused fundraisingThe most successful social fundraising campaigns are project-based campaigns. Project-based campaigns drive support and excitement about a specific initiative. It’s much easier to encourage social fundraisers to reach out to potential donors with a project-based ask than with a broad appeal.More often than not, when you send an appeal to donors, you are asking them to support your mission. You might feature a story about a client or a recent success, but the story is usually directly related to your day-to-day programming and not a specific need. I like to call this mission-focused fundraising. You are asking donors to support what you do every day. Donors’ dollars help you accomplish your mission.Project-focused fundraising asks donors to fund something specific. There’s a fundraising goal in mind and (usually) a deadline. Here’s an example: A food bank needs to upgrade its freezer by the end of the summer. The board has been recruited as social fundraisers to hit a $15,000 goal.How do you recruit social fundraisers?In a traditional fundraising model, you (the nonprofit) send appeals to acquire donors or ask existing donors to give again. In a peer-to-peer fundraising model, you must recruit and motivate supporters to step into the role of fundraiser. Then, you empower these fundraisers to ask their social circle for donations.Your peer fundraising campaign will be the most successful when you find advocates who are excited to serve as fundraisers. Start by reaching out to five to 10 loyal supporters. They could be board members or longtime volunteers. Begin recruiting with people you know and those who know your organization’s mission. Equip these social fundraisers with the tools they need to recruit donors: email templates, a peer fundraising donation page, FAQs, and confidence.When to host a peer fundraising campaignSocial fundraising campaigns see the most success when the campaign has a firm deadline. Without a date for an event (like a walkathon) on the calendar, how do you set a deadline and put pressure on your fundraisers to bring in donations during a defined time period? It’s not that hard, but you need to get creative.Think about the timing of holidays and celebrations throughout the year and how you could easily piggyback on these dates. If your cause has an awareness month, use those 30 days as your social campaign timeline. If your cause works with single mothers, a campaign ending on Mother’s Day would be a good fit.Or think about the nature of your work and any natural timelines that arise. Do you host a summer camp? Organize a social fundraising campaign a month before campers arrive, and announce the total dollars raised during the first meal the campers share together. Does your food bank host a big Thanksgiving meal? Craft a campaign in November that ends on Thanksgiving.Are you ready?Although this is not a new model of fundraising, it is evolving thanks to technology and the new ways we share stories and communicate. Peer-to-peer fundraising might be something your supporters have been waiting for. Are you ready for it? Do you have the right peer-to-peer software to help you succeed?
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 21, 2012June 21, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Earlier this week, the Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA published a new study that estimates the number of women with an unmet need for contraception to be 222 million in 2012, a slight decrease from 2008. 645 million women in the developing world are using modern contraceptive methods, but in the poorest countries, the unmet need actually increased from 2008-2012.In order to meet the unmet need, funding for contraceptives (supplies, program costs, logistical costs, etc.) would, according to the report, need to be doubled:Clearly, closing funding gaps is essential if the necessary multifaceted improvements in contraceptive service provision are to be achieved. This report provides updated estimates of the level of funding that is needed to both improve services for current users and adequately meet the needs of all women who currently need but are not using modern contraceptives. In 2012, the cost of providing contraceptive services and supplies to the 645 million women who are currently using modern methods in the developing world is an estimated $4.0 billion. Providing adequate services for all 867 million women in developing countries who want to avoid a pregnancy in 2012 (both current users and nonusers of modern methods)—a task requiring substantial investment to expand capacity and improve quality of care—would cost $8.1 billion.Read the full report here.Share this:
Posted on July 30, 2013February 16, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)NPR’s Shots recently ran a story, How midwives have become critical in war-zones, that discusses the role of midwives in conflict and post-conflict settings. According to the piece, in addition to the critical role they play in delivering babies, midwives are also key to encouraging exclusive breastfeeding, caring for newborns and promoting kangaroo care, supporting women who have been victims of sexual assault, providing access to family planning, and more.From the story:In a conflict zone, getting the basics — food, water, shelter — is a constant challenge. And it likely involves being on the move.Now imagine pregnancy. There might not be a functioning medical facility for miles. And the environment makes the woman and her baby more susceptible to complications.Aid groups are increasingly relying on conflict midwives to help women in these situations. In dangerous and unstable regions, midwives’ jobs are more than delivering babies: They often have to help women who have experienced sexual violence and have reproductive health issues.Take Emily Slocum, a midwife with Doctors Without Borders who worked with women affected by the violent conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some women traveled days to reach her.The Congo war lasted from 1998 to 2004, but as NPR’s John Burnett has reported, ongoing conflict continues to disrupt daily life. The country has millions of displaced people.Slocum worked at a hospital in South Kivu, where the conflict still lingers, from November 2011 to May 2012. She tells Shots that one of the challenges was keeping underweight newborns warm. Without an incubator, the best practice is to have the mother hold the baby to her skin to keep its body temperature up, she says. She had to teach nurses and mothers to do that when she arrived.“The baby was immediately sort of taken away and assessed by the nurse and sometimes not given back to the mom immediately,” she says. In Syria, an MSF midwife encountered a similar problem, and to improvise, she heated IV fluid bags in the microwave to make small hot water bottles to warm the newborns.Breastfeeding is also critical in situations where potable water and food access is limited and general hygiene is poor, the Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health says.Read the full story on NPR’s Shots.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 10, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)[View the story “Day 2 of the #MNHIntegration technical meeting” on Storify]Share this:
Technical advisors and specialists:Technical Advisor for Community Linkages for MNH, SRH & FP: JHPIEGO (Uganda)Senior Technical Advisor for Malaria in pregnancy: JHPIEGO (Uganda)National Maternal Newborn Child Health and Family Planning Specialist: Path (Bunia, Congo)Provincial Maternal Newborn Child Health and Family Planning Specialist: Path ( Bunia, Congo)mHealth Technical Advisor I: Pathfinder International (Watertown, MA,USA)Global Technical Lead, Universal Health Coverage: Population Services International (Arlington, VA, USA)Senior Technical Advisor: Population Services international (Harare, Zimbabwe)Programs and Projects:Program Assistant, Maternal Health Initiative: Wilson Center (Washington, DC, USA)Sr. Program Officer: JHPIEGO (Baltimore, MD,USA)Program Management Officer: JHPIEGO (Tanzania)Analyst:mHealth Analyst: Pathfinder International (Watertown, MA,USA)Share this: Posted on March 6, 2015August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Featured career opportunity:Photo: Jacaranda HealthChief Operating Officer: Jacaranda Health is expanding, and we are in search of an extraordinary person – a COO to be based in Kenya and help lead our team as we expand nationally. Already, we have launched our second private maternity hospital and are partnering with the Kenyan government to bring our model of quality maternity care to public hospitals.If you want to make a big impact in maternal health by putting your business experience to work. A successful COO could come from any number of backgrounds. Interested individuals should submit a CV and cover letter to email@example.com. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Editor’s note: I always find that it’s easier to get through something a big as #GivingTuesday when you have a post-event reward to look forward to. Give yourself a little motivation boost and sign up for this post-#GivingTuesday webinar: The Procrastinator’s Guide to End-of-Year Fundraising with Pursuant’s Rachel Muir.Year-End CountdownWhether you’ve been planning for months, or you’ve waited until the last minute, #GivingTuesday is a huge opportunity for your nonprofit to build awareness for your mission, expand your reach through new donors, and raise money for your cause.Haven’t started yet? You can still make the most of this day to boost funds for your nonprofit. Here are three things you can do to get ready for the big day:1.Write your appeal and make sure the message is consistent across all channels.Decide on your campaign’s focus and then use your theme and strongest stories to write a standout appeal. Use the appeal as a reference for updating the rest of your communications, social media profiles, and online assets, like your website and donation page.Feature your #GivingTuesday campaign and its main focus on your nonprofit’s home page, “Why Give” page, and donation page. All of your channels should reinforce your core message and also include your campaign branding (such as any special logos or taglines) and story. It helps to pre-write follow-up emails, posts, and tweets to make it easier on the actual day itself.Need help writing your fundraising appeal? We have a step-by-step guide just for you.2. Get your donation page ready and be your donor if you haven’t yet.On #Givingtuesday, you’re going to be sending a lot of people to your donation page. You want to make sure it’s clear, consistent with your campaign, and user friendly. Visit your nonprofit’s website to see how easy (or difficult) it is to make a donation. See if there’s any part of the process that may be confusing or difficult for your donors.Next, have a colleague or a friend visit the page. A second set of eyes is vital, as sometimes we get used to seeing things on our own website and don’t realize how a visitor may experience them. With all of the people you’re hoping to drive to your donation page, it’s important to make sure there’s a seamless donation experience in place.3. Plan your social media blitz.Yes, you should definitely send email appeals to your donors on #GivingTuesday—but don’t stop there. On a day like #GivingTuesday, your social media channels are vital. Facebook and other channels you’re already using will help you communicate updates quickly, create a sense of urgency, and spread your campaign beyond your traditional network.Take some points from your appeal and plan to post then throughout the day, along with fundraising goal updates and stories from the community you’ve served. Ask your most loyal social media fans to help spread the message and share your campaign. If you can, send them pre-made tweets and Facebook posts so they can simply copy, paste, and post.Finally, don’t forget about graphics. Free tools like Canva or PicMonkey are great for creating your own images. Just be sure to use consistent branding throughout your images so it’s obvious that these visuals are supporting the same #GivingTuesday campaign.