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News from the Community: Nonprofits Rebounding from the Recession?

How are nonprofit organizations recovering from the recession of 2008? We hear every day about how the financial sector is breaking records. ?While the stock market has recovered, the psychology of giving has not,? says Mark Medin, chief fundraiser at UUJA-Federation of New York, as quoted in an article on philanthropy.com. Since the economic downturn, charitable…

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Smart Giving: How Can Your Nonprofit Benefit from Pinterest?


How Can Your Nonprofit Benefit from Pinterest?

Today nonprofits have so many social media tools at their fingertips ? it can be quite overwhelming to determine which social media platforms are worth using or which ones will most effectively reach a desired audience. Pinterest is a growing social network medium for nonprofits and companies because of its visual storytelling format that showcases products, news and ideas. It can also serve as a library of sorts, providing a place to store articles and ideas that you would like to explore when you have more time. There are a variety of different ways nonprofits can utilize Pinterest to create a picture driven collection of information in hope of spreading their value and mission.

Pinterest Boards can be created for any and every topic. Check out Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden?s pinterest profile below. This nonprofit has created boards for flower pictures, events, weddings at their venue, Richmond news, gardening ideas, classes offered, etc.

How can your nonprofit use different boards to showcase your mission and values? More examples include animal rescue organizations creating a board for animals waiting to be adopted, art centers creating a board to show recent work, community organizations creating a board with holiday potluck recipes?the possibilities are endless!

Idea Boards: The Pinterest board below is from the HandsOn Greater Richmond profile and serves as a space for the team to collect volunteer appreciation gift ideas. Pinterest boards can be used as a storehouse for lesson plans, gift ideas, recipes, blog post ideas?anything that could be useful to a specific nonprofit organization. Use idea boards for internal purposes or direct clients to a particular board to share ideas and helpful information. The Spark Mill consulting firm has created numerous boards that share tips on how to be more creative, strategic, efficient and more. The whole idea is to showcase information, tutorials and stories. GiveRichmond plans to continue producing ?How To? articles like this one and post them to Pinterest for your future reference. *Important tip: Install the Pin button on your internet browser so that you can immediately pin something you come across on the internet. Several people can be added to the same board to collect ideas in one location.

Product boards can be used to display items available the Pinterest. When an individual ?pins? a picture of a product, the image is seen by all of the individual?s followers ? this rapidly increases the exposure of a particular item as friends ?share? pictures of products with each other. The Richmond Sports Backers have a Pinterest board exclusively for their products, and each picture links to the Sports Backers online store. This way, the user is immediately directed to the online store after clicking the picture and is prompted to purchase the item or view similar products.

Want more tips on social media for your nonprofit?  Come to ConnectVA’s Social Media for Nonprofits Conference on 3/19 @ WCVE/Community Ideas Station – featuring Heather Mansfield of Nonprofit Tech for Good!

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GiveRichmond/GiveSouthsideVA is a program of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia (TCF). As strategic partners with ConnectVA, TCF and GiveRichmond/GiveSouthsdeVA encourage smart giving by identifying trends and success stories in local philanthropy through their Smart Giving blog series. If you have ideas about topics you would like to have covered, please comment below!

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Giving Smart: Giving Cards – A Gift Paid Forward

This holiday season, you may want to consider a gift that keeps giving.  A Giving Card provides an opportunity for inspiration.  The recipient will designate a charity of their choice and your gift will go on to support the work of the charity and the people they serve.  Your gift has made a difference three-fold.…

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#GivingTuesday: A Special Offer from The Community Foundation

To celebrate Giving Tuesday, The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia will cover all credit card processing fees for donations up to $500 made through GiveRichmond.org on December 2nd.  This offer, which extends to Giving Cards, is designed to kick off the giving season with a strong show of support for the many nonprofit organizations that…

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Giving Smart: The Tricks and Treats of Year-End Fundraising


It is the biggest quarter of the year for many nonprofits.  As organizations embark on year-end fundraising campaigns, how can they maximize their efforts?  A post on SalsaLab?s blog, ?How to Create Your Own Year-End Fundraising Fairy Tale,? offers insight into how to approach a year-end campaign.

Organizations can raise as much as 40% of their individual donations in the month of December.

December is the month when charitable giving gets the most attention.  In order to capitalize on this, it is best to formulate a plan and execute it. 

 Timeline – Pick a strategy and utilize your calendar.  You can be flexible with the timeline as things fall into place, but having it at the start will contribute to a smoother campaign.

 Set Goals – This is how you know if your campaign is successful.  More donations are sure to be a goal, but you may decide that gaining new donors, increasing awareness for your cause or specific calls to action are important measures for your organization.

 Extend your reach – Social media can greatly increase exposure for your organization.  The message should be tailored to each platform, but share an overall cohesiveness that ties back to your organization and campaign?s branding.

Data shows more dollars are donated online in the last five days of December than in the other three weeks combined.

This was true on GiveRichmond in 2013.  December saw six times the donations of any other month.

  46% of all donations through GiveRichmond came in December

  54% of December donations came in the last week of the month

  38% of the donations made in the last week of December were made on New Year?s Eve

This is why SalsaLab suggests sending multiple emails during the month of December, including the very important ask on New Year?s Eve.

85% of organizations raise more money by sending more than one email.

 The first step to a successful email campaign is a clean email list.  An effective email ask will not work if it does not reach the intended audience. 

  An informative email about your impact, mission or goals combats the fatigue of continual asks.  It?s important to remind donors that, although you are in need of their support, their past contributions have made a difference by highlighting some key accomplishments.

  Personalization is great, but individualization is better.  Segmenting your email list allows you to individualize your outreach to the different roles people play for your organization.  This post from SalsaLabs has some useful tips for email segmentation.

In January, when the fury of year-end fundraising has subsided, hold a debrief session where successes and failures are assessed.  Focus on what would be most helpful for next year?s planning.  As always, thank your supporters and let them know how they have helped you carry out your mission.

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GiveRichmond/GiveSouthsideVA is a program of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia (TCF). As strategic partners with ConnectVA, TCF and GiveRichmond/GiveSouthsdeVA encourage smart giving by identifying trends and success stories in local philanthropy through their Giving Smart blog series. If you have ideas about topics you would like to have covered, please comment below!

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Amazing Raise 2014 Closeup: Greater Richmond

The Amazing Raise, A 36-hour giving marathon for Central Virginia's nonprofits, kicks off Wednesday morning September 17th at 6am and runs through 6pm on Thursday September 18th. Here?s what second year participants, Project Yoga Richmond has planned for this year: - A 36-hr. YogaThon ? anyone is invited to stop by the studio and experience the many benefits…

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