Jumpstart Your Charity Fundraising in 2017

 
 

The New Year has arrived, and that means it’s time you ramp up your charity fundraising efforts, while donors are still focused on giving. The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are commonly known as “the giving season.” This is the time of year when the most donations are made — both monetary and volunteer-related. Some charity fundraising entities have reported generating as much as half their annual earnings during this brief window.

But, why stop fundraising at midnight on New Year’s Day? Since giving is already high, charities should keep their fundraising efforts rolling! Run out of the gate in 2017, reminding people why your organization is the perfect cause for them to support. Now is the time to revamp social media, hold a small event or start writing a blog.

Here are a few quick (and cost effective) ideas to keep your charity top of mind for donors.

  • • Host an Open House. Have you ever considered opening the doors of your organization so donors can experience your great work for themselves? Well, if not, now is your chance! Open your doors, have some quick grab snacks and coffee, and show your community what you do and how their contributions can be put to use. You may snag some new volunteers who support you throughout the entire year!
  • • Kid-Friendly Nights. During the winter months, many organizations host “wintery” activities, and there’s no need to stop those efforts once the New Year arrives. In most areas of the country it’s still cold, so use that to your advantage! Hold a small, kid-friendly event, such as an ice skating party (if it’s warm in your community, try movie night!), and use it to raise funds and draw attention to your organization.
  • • Adults-Only Nights. After the holiday season, many parents are ready to hire babysitters and get out of the house for a few hours. Hold a dining out event at a local restaurant and discuss your organization’s work in the community. People enjoy knowing about groups that give back directly in their backyards, and worn out parents will appreciate the opportunity for a night off.
  • • Don’t forget about social media! We talk about this a lot – but it’s true! – social media platforms can be a great tool to get your charitable organization’s message out! A quick blog or post about what you did last year and what your charity plans to do in the year ahead is a positive way to kick off the New Year.

“New Year New Me” is a phrase we all hear, as the clock turns from midnight to 12:01 at the end of each year. That goes for your charity fundraising efforts, too! There are new leaves to turn over, new volunteers to bring on board, the new goals to crush. Happy New Year!

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Selecting the Right Charity Volunteer Opportunity for You

 
 

So, you want to volunteer to support a worthy cause or charity organization in your community. Now what? Here are a few tips on volunteering and how to make sure you’re making the most of your (and the nonprofit’s) time.

1) Choose the right organization for you. Most volunteers find that dedicating their time to organizations directly within their communities helps maintain their most productive attention. Be sure to select a cause you’re passionate about. If your passion is children, don’t volunteer at your local animal shelter, volunteer at a children’s center – and vice versa!!

2) Budget your time. Time and time again volunteers will commit to a level of participation that’s simply unrealistic. Don’t fib to organizations about how much time you have in your schedule – most charities appreciate ANY time you can donate! Take a look at your schedule, and budget specific times you can volunteer, and then write those times into your schedule like an appointment, so you can be sure to stay on target

3) Be open and honest. Everyone’s schedules change, and often that’s unavoidable – make sure you’re open with the charity organization and give sufficient notice of any change. The nonprofit will be understanding, and again will appreciate whatever time you can give.

4) Have Fun! Most people forget this part. Have fun and be creative. Don’t waste your own time by volunteering and not making it a fulfilling experience. The more fun you can make it, the more you will enjoy donating your time, which benefits everyone. Positive, fun attitudes are contagious and will pass around to everyone.

With the holiday’s right around the corner, now is the time when many charity organizations are looking for all types of volunteers. Don’t forget when volunteering your time, it’s important to be passionate and keep the drive and fire you have. Everyone involved will benefit from the time and attention given. Remember, you don’t need to give more time than you can handle – any small act of kindness is a larger act in the hands of charities.

 

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Engaging Millennials in Your Charity Fundraising

 
 

Your charity fundraising initiatives are incomplete without considering the growing influence and opportunity afforded by millennials, both today and into the near future. Millennials are defined as individuals born after 1980 who came of age in the early 2000s, and contrary to popular belief, this younger generation is positively increasing the charity donation scale and sharing their wealth.

Today, there are two primary contributions millennials make: The first is by impulse, for example checking out at a grocery store counter and being asked to donate a dollar to a cause. The second is by focusing on domestic and local issues. The big question is how do you engage millennials to donate to your nonprofit now and for years to come?

  1. Focus on your cause instead of your organization. Millennials tend to care more about specific causes than organizations’ defined brands. If your organization raises funds for children, focus on that service when communicating with the younger generation, not only the details about your organization.
  2. Be flexible with your opportunities to contribute. Encourage millennials to donate and volunteer on their own terms. You don’t need to eliminate your entire established framework for accepting volunteers and donations, but loosen the reins a little. Millennials respond better to flexibility than they do to forcibility.
  3. Maintain an active and engaging social media presence. Millennials tweet, post and snap their entire lives. Increase your social media clout, and your millennial supporters will be more likely to share information regarding your good work with their social networks. Highly engaged millennials can be marketing machines for your fundraising ideas!
  4. Encourage volunteering. This may be the best way to attract millennials and hold onto them for the long term. Millennials often prefer getting involved to simply donating money – so accept the donation of their time! This may be the most effective way to reel in their support for the next 10, 20, 30 years.
  5. Millennials are impulsive buyers and donors. They donate quickly when they feel inspired or when they gravitate toward a cause. Try and vamp up your inspiration, by posting pictures and videos of the work you do – make it motivational and inspirational to potential donors and volunteers.
  6. Stay in touch. This goes for all donors, but especially for the younger generations. Millennials want you to remain in contact with them, and that means more than once a year. Think about a monthly e-newsletter that keeps supporters informed and up to date on all the work your organization has been doing.

As millennials grow their influence and financial security, it’s critical charity fundraisers invest the time to develop and implement strategies to engage them for the long term. With a little extra work and some social media, you can tap into this blooming generation. Be creative, be innovative, and last but not least, be focused!

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4 Winter Fundraising Ideas to Warm Up Your Donors This Holiday Season

 
 

Winter fundraising events are a challenge to plan and execute effectively, as the temperatures dip throughout much of the country. The experts at Charity Grow have compiled a brief list of fundraising ideas and tips for hosting events during these long, cold days of winter.

Especially during the holiday season, make your events fun for the whole family. If your event is family-oriented, the natural inclination many of your donors have to be family-focused themselves will lead to much more success for your fundraising.

  1. Throw a Winter Carnival! Who said carnivals can only be in the summer months? Host a winter carnival indoors that will be fun for all ages. You can have games and face painting for the little ones and some great local foods for the adults.
  2. Host an Ice Skating Party! Rent out your local rink for the evening and host a skating party. To keep your guests warm in the rink, serve hot cocoa and coffee, plus other holiday goodies. You can also hold a small silent auction for the grownups while the kids are skating!
  3. Put on a Bake Sale or Cookie Party! Around the holidays, so many of your potential donors are already baking, so why not make it baking for a cause? There are two ways you can accomplish this, either a bake sale, where volunteers sell their baked goods, or a cookie party! Everyone must bring a platter of cookies with them and then charge a small cover ($5-$10). Then, guests can mingle, taste cookies, and at the end, make their own plates of everyone’s cookies to bring home and enjoy.
  4. Organize a Holiday-themed Sale! These include wrapping paper sales, candle sales or poinsettia sales. During the holidays everyone is looking for wrapping paper to wrap presents, candles to give as gifts or poinsettias for their homes, so have a sale of these things to raise money for your organization while also providing supporters with holiday items they already need.

Don’t let the cold weather negatively affect your organization’s fundraising efforts. Know your target community and then cater to some warming events for them. It gives people a reason to get up and out of the house and all for a good cause.

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Charity Grow Leads the Nonprofit Industry in Cutting-Edge Auction Fundraising Technology

 
 

Thousands of charities, schools and other nonprofits are raking in millions in additional fundraising revenue with the help of Charity Grow’s free online auction platform and charity event planning system.

Charity Grow has revolutionized auction fundraising yet again. The organization best known for its diverse offering of charity auction items has entered a new age with its entry into the fundraising technology space. In addition to the organization’s current offerings, Charity Grow now offers online auctions and mobile bidding, as well as turnkey online event planning. What makes these additions truly unique is that the company offers them to all its charity partners as a value-added services. That means Charity Grow’s comprehensive online toolkit is 100% free — no setup fees, no contracts, no commissions.

“The positive response from our charity partners has been overwhelming,” said Marian Amo, online marketing coordinator for Charity  Grow. “The two things I hear most from the event planners we work with are, one, ‘it worked just how you said it was going to,’ and two, ‘I can’t believe this service is free!’ People have a hard time believing we’re giving this technology away, but it’s about giving something back in a realm where many tech-focused companies are charging huge commissions just for passively running an auction. We’re not a tech company, we’re a fundraising company, and we want to change the current model.”

Charity Grow’s exclusive online auction platform gives charity event planners the ability to host their virtual auctions via a simple interface with the assistance of in-house technical and marketing teams. Many early-adopting charities have integrated Charity Grow’s online auction technology with their in-person auctions, utilizing the company’s mobile bidding engine as a tool at their live events, rather than antiquated bidding with paper and pens.

“Not only do the nonprofits we work with get the full benefit of displaying their auction items on a custom, branded domain, they also get the convenience of having the entire site designed and managed for them — all completely free,” Amo said. “That way, planners can shift their focus toward bringing in more donations and making their supporters aware of their online auction. Charity Grow also helps create compelling, response-driven marketing materials for every auction we host. That’s just another thing we hope to take off their plates, so they can focus on engaging their audiences.”

Managing a charity event is made simple with the help of Charity Grow’s online event planning system. Event organizers can book, manage and close out their auction fundraisers all via one user-friendly, Web-based system.

“Accessibility is everything in the online and mobile space,” said Sean Gallagher, director of operations for Charity Grow. “To develop solutions that truly cater to what our charity partners need — not just now, but in the next five, 10, 15 years — we have to be focused on accessibility, and that’s what we’ve done with these latest technology projects. We’ve built systems that are both easy to use and scalable, while vast in their breadth and speed. Charity Grow’s online auction platform was the first step in our larger strategy to deliver technology-driven fundraising solutions to our charity partners for many years to come. Our next step has been the online event planner, but we have much more on the horizon.”

Find out more about Charity Grow at www.CharityGrow.com or contact a charity fundraising specialist at (888) 232-2500 to learn how this cutting-edge organization can help your charity grow.

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