Friday, November 14, 2014

Participate in #GivingTuesday with HuTerra

We’ve all heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as days dedicated to spending following Thanksgiving. Despite the bad rap these pseudo holidays receive for encouraging greed immediately after a day of centered entirely around giving thanks, they certainly serve a purpose. The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the busiest and most profitable time of the year, but the kick off of two days dedicated to large scale spending are the most notable.

Similarly, the nonprofit realm receives the most donations of the year during this month, with a dedicated day to start off the season of spending. In 2012, Giving Tuesday was born and became the Black Friday of nonprofits.

Whether your participation in Giving Tuesday is to balance out a 4 a.m. shopping excursion, or because you want to help those in need experience a truly memorable holiday season they may not be able to otherwise have, your donation will make a difference to your favorite charity. Just last year, this dedicated day of giving helped nonprofits raise $27 million. In fact, every year since its inception, Giving Tuesday donation amounts have doubled, which is great news for nonprofits. 

On December 2nd, the hardest part of your participation should be choosing which organization you would like to donate to. HuTerra’s unique platform makes the rest of the process a cinch with an easy and safe donation process. Simply go to HuTerra.com and either login or sign up to create a profile.


Search for your favorite cause through “Find Communities,” to find the charity or through “Find Fundraisers,” to find a specific fundraiser the nonprofit is running.



Click “Donate” to fill out your contact and donation information.



Share your activity on your social networks and encourage your friends and family to participate in Giving Tuesday.



Who will you donate to on December 2nd, 2014? Leave your answer below in the comments!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Increase Awareness for Your Fundraiser

When there is a large fundraising goal to achieve, it can be easy to put all focus into obtaining large donations. While these large contributions are crucial to reaching your goal, smaller-scale donations deserve just as much focus. In order to get these donations, people need to be aware of the fundraiser and its purpose. The following tips will help your fundraiser gain the awareness it needs to be successful.

Partner with a well-known business

Partner your nonprofit with a well-known local business that will offer discounts, with the proceeds supporting your cause. These services could be performed either at a one-day event or long term with coupons or discounts towards specific services or products. This benefits the business with more foot traffic, and your nonprofit with greater awareness and donations.

Partnering with the local business should not stop with the event or discounts. Partner with their social media team to really pool your resources. Put your heads together to create new content to raise awareness and promote the event. Make sure to really interact with each other on different social media platforms. Share, Like, Comment and Retweet posts related to the event. Sharing an audience with your business partner allows for a much greater reach and increases potential for customer interaction.
 
Salon CTI employees and Salon Professional Academy students
pose before the Cut-A-Thon.
Image Credit: on.fb.me/1ndb3Vk 
For example, HuTerra recently partnered with SalonCTI and Salon Professionals Academy - Appleton for a Cut-A-Thon. The Cut-A-Thon offered haircuts at a discounted rate of $15, with the proceeds being donated to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. Collaborating with both the salon and the academy on Facebook and Twitter through tagging the companies in posts and sharing, liking, and retweeting content more than doubled our audience reach and customer interaction.

Develop a specific social media campaign

Collaborating with another company’s social media team is great for the cause and the fundraiser. A higher reach equals far more awareness to the cause. However, without an action plan, this newly gained audience is irrelevant. The first thing to decide is the purpose for the social media push. Are you trying to drive traffic to an event? Are you looking to develop awareness for your cause? Do you want to increase site traffic? Or are you trying to solicit higher donations for your fundraiser?

You will also want to develop unique, shareable and easy to remember content to get recognition. Create relevant hashtags and post pictures to get your audience interested. Reach out to anyone with a large following to share your content or use your hashtag. Good ideas for this are local celebrities and public figures such as radio or TV hosts, athletes and/or their spouses, politicians and big business owners.
 
Salon and Academy owner Josif Wittnik promoting the Cut-A-Thon with
his #OrangeThumbie
In a joint effort with the Cut-A-Thon, we also launched the #OrangeThumbie social media campaign.We challenged people to paint their thumb nail orange (the color for hunger awareness), upload a “thumbie,” a selfie showing off their painted nail, with the hashtag #OrangeThumbie and encouraged them to donate to the Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin fundraiser. The campaign started with HuTerra employees and the owner of Salon CTI. The salon employees and academy’s students posted their “thumbies” to their pages as an event kick-off and our team also had a connection with a local news anchor who joined in on the thumbie fun as traction started growing. 






What kind of awareness have you raised for your cause through partnering with a local business or through a large social media campaign? Share your experience below in the comments!



Monday, September 15, 2014

Keep Your Students Safe with Online Fundraising

Online fundraising offers schools and students alike numerous benefits, with safety at the forefront. At HuTerra, we understand just how important student safety is. Our online fundraising exhibits this in four meaningful ways.
  1. No more door-to-door fundraising
  2. Sharing information via social media
  3. Easier for parents to stay involved
  4. Option to have products delivered individually

Online stores mean that students no longer need to walk up and down their street knocking on neighbors’ doors or entering busy companies asking people to purchase from their fundraiser. This aspect is particularly significant to students who are actively involved with extra-curriculars and don’t have time to fundraise until later in the evening, when it’s often already dark outside.

Eliminating the need for door to door fundraising does not mean that students no longer need to ask for purchases. We provide easy-to-share links and templates for both email and social media platforms. Sharing their fundraiser via social media means students are only asking people they already know, mainly family and friends they and their parents trust.

The times parents feel most uneasy are those when they are not given all of the relevant or essential information. With post templates and easily shareable buttons, parents can see exactly what information their student will be sharing. This also allows the parents to be more actively involved with the opportunity to share the fundraiser on their own pages as well.

An online MarketPlace exhibits safety even through delivery of the products. Some of our stores offer the option to have the products delivered right to the individual purchaser, which eliminates the need for students to drop off the products throughout the neighborhood or city.


To learn more about our online fundraising for schools, or to check out the available stores, visit http://marketplace.huterra.com/

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Use Community Resources to Improve Your Nonprofit

There are so many valuable resources available for nonprofits and small businesses, but they are
often under-utilized. Being aware of and using community resources can not only offer needed solutions to existing concerns, but can also broaden the organization’s reach and build their network. When your nonprofit collaborates with these programs, the consulting organization may give you a shout-out or share your posts on social media. These mentions can easily grow your following or educate people about your cause. To learn what resources are available to you, try searching “Main Street Communities” in your area, or “small business resources” in your city. This may take some digging, but will be worth the effort. Another good place to start is to look through your city or county’s official website. The following organizations offer a glimpse of what is available in the Green Bay area.
Collaborations offer many benefits to small nonprofits
  • Definitely De Pere offers several committees, which focus on economic development and business services, community beautification, design review and enhancement projects and community events, among others. 
  • On Broadway, Inc. brings together businesses in the Broadway District through events and promotions. 
  • Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce caters to both individuals and small businesses. Current for Young Professionals connects young professionals to the business world through education, leadership programs and networking events. Their business programs offer consulting services and assistance in addition to finding ideal locations for businesses. 
  • Green Bay SCORE offers Northeastern Wisconsin entrepreneurs guidance and mentoring and provides workshops and tools for entrepreneurs to succeed.



What community resources have you utilized to improve your small business or nonprofit? Share your experiences below in the comments!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to use social media for your school fundraiser

We all know that social media is easiest and quickest way to access information. But have you considered using social media to support your school’s fundraiser? Using social media for a fundraiser is beneficial to both the organizers and the supporters. By using these tips, you are sure to get the most out of your fundraiser.

Greater Reach

Sharing the fundraiser page on various social media platforms allows both students and the school to expand their reach. When the students share the fundraising page on their social media accounts, they are reaching far more people than they would going door to door or calling extended family members. Anyone who follows their page will have the opportunity to see what the student is selling. Likewise, by the school sharing the fundraiser on its accounts, the school is able to reach and involve more of the community. People often purchase from fundraisers in their school district, even if they don’t have children enrolled, because they want to support the students in their community. Seeing a social media post on their own time also allows supporters flexibility. If they see the fundraiser when they are busy, they can always come back to it, instead of needing to order immediately when a student calls or is at the door.
Using social media allows your fundraiser to reach more people
with far less effort.


Accessibility

Sharing a fundraiser on social media is easy, especially for students who are constantly on their accounts anyway. As long as they have a Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus account, they are able to share the information. It only takes a quick share of a link and a brief description written for all of their followers to see the information they need. As long as the supporters have an account on these sites, it doesn't take them any extra effort to purchase from a fundraiser while they are already scrolling through their newsfeeds.


Higher Engagement


Using social media to promote a school fundraiser allows for much more personalization. Students can make the posts be as fun and creative as they want. If they choose, they can add relevant hashtags or upload pictures to get the post more visibility. This is a chance for them to have a lot of fun with the selling. The more interesting and unique a fundraiser appears to be, the more supporters will interact with them, and ultimately, the more they are likely to purchase.


What success have you had using social media for your school fundraiser? Share your experience in the comments below!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Importance of Writing Donor Thank Yous

It’s no secret how much nonprofits rely on donors. Nonprofits appreciate both the donor and the
donation, but often forget the importance of letting them know. It is easy to get bogged down by deadlines and reaching goals, however, thanking your donors is just as crucial as acquiring funds. Writing a thank you will leave your donors with a strong and lasting impression. If their efforts go unacknowledged, why would they consider future donations?

Appreciation and gratitude

You know what a donation means to your cause, so make sure your supporters know it too. Writing a thank you is an excellent opportunity to show the donor the organization’s appreciation and gratitude. However, simply stating that you appreciate the donation isn’t enough. You need to truly show them the importance. Explain what the funds will be used for and how that impacts the organization. This shows the donor that their contribution, no matter the size, made a difference to the cause. When a supporter feels appreciated and knows what kind of impact their donation made, you are more likely to build a lasting relationship. These relationships can lead to future gifts in addition to volunteer support. Considering how costly and time-consuming acquiring new donors can be, you don’t want to hurt yourself doubly by losing any current donors.

Maintain legitimacy

The importance of thank yous goes even beyond expressing gratitude. It proves your nonprofit is legitimate and organized. Putting forth the effort of a thank you shows supporters the same amount of effort will be exhibited throughout other aspects of running the organization. Not only does it show that you are organized, it keeps you accountable to actually be organized. Thank yous help keep your records clean and up-to-date. This is an easy and effiecient way for your nonprofit to always know who has recently donated.

Content and Details

Taking the time to thank a donor can go a long way.
While half the battle is completing the thank yous, the second half is backing up what you say. Your letters must be sincere and personalized. The very first to-do of your letter is to address the person individually. There is nothing worse than hearing how much of a difference you made when the letter-writers can’t even bother to include your first and last name instead of “Dear Friend.” This shows your donors that he or she, as a person, matters just as much as they money. It is also just as important to send the letters in a timely manner. Within days of receiving the donation, a thank you should be sent. Going too long without acknowledgement shows that you don’t care about the funds received. Donors may also wonder if the donation was received, or even forget
they donated if too long has passed.





What tips do you have for writing donor thank yous? Share your comments below!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Amp Up Your Membership Program

Many nonprofits heavily depend on donations. The easiest way to increase donor loyalty and to keep donations recurring is to implement a membership program. However, creating enough incentive for supporters to pay for a membership may be daunting. The following tips will help you
Offering small gifts with memberships
will keep your donors loyal.
amp up your membership program to be more attractive to your supporters. 

Start with the basics and build up

Before you can create an extravagant membership program with plenty of perks, you need to first create the basics of what a membership to your organization entails. The most important aspects to consider are how long the membership will last, whether it is meant for individual or family use and how much the membership will cost the supporter. Once the basics have been decided, more exciting details can be planned. However, the actual memberships also need to start with the basics and build up. The membership program should have multiple options available, with the benefits growing with the donation amount.

Minimum package level must-haves

This package should start with free admission if your organization (such as a zoo, park or museum) charges guest visits. This will be the best way to get a supporter to continually frequent your organization. The more they interact with what they are supporting, the more important they will view the cause. Chances are, their visits will bring in other guests as well. Since you are encouraging them to visit more often, the membership should also include discounts towards anything else that the venue charges. For example, a percentage off at the gift shop and/or classes or programs offered by the venue. For the minimum membership level, this discount should be around 10-15%.

If your supporter cares enough about your organization or cause to become a member, chances are they will want to be kept up-to-date. Add them to your mail or email newsletter list. It is important that your members are kept in the loop so they know exactly what their support is doing for their cause. If they don’t know what happens with their money, what is the point of their donation? This communication is also a great way for your members to feel connected and truly a part of the organization. When they can tell they are making a difference, they are more likely to stay involved.

Mid-level packages

Mid-level packages should contain everything the minimum-level package does, but with additional benefits. Start by raising any discount prices another 5-10% and include extra communication from the organization. Sending a different picture each month from your venue with a statistic or piece of trivia could go a long way. For example, a zoo could send a picture or postcard of a different exhibit with a fact about the animals living in it. Another option to include in mid-level packages is member-only invites. This could be as formal or casual as fits your organization, from a formal dinner to an outdoor concert to private walking tours. An animal activist may want to get a “meet and greet” to see the animals that their money helped rescue, while a nature enthusiast may appreciate an outdoor concert at the community garden that their donations helped flourish.


Top-level packages

Like the mid-level membership packages, the top-level packages should offer everything the previous packages do, with even more benefits. Discount levels should be raised to a significant amount and extra “freebies” should be offered. At this point, their membership offers should really leave an impression on them. For interactive venues such as museums or zoos, free admission to similar or partner venues around the country could be offered. This is also a good opportunity to send gifts that will really resonate with the member. For example, venue stickers and coloring books could be sent to family memberships. Millennials often appreciate t-shirts and printed or embossed silicone bracelets from their cause. A nature enthusiast may also appreciate seeds or seedlings to plant from an arbor society or botanical garden, while animal supporters may enjoy the chance to name new animals in zoos or shelters.


What special perks do your membership programs offer? Share your ideas in the comments below!