Our Blog


Engaging Donors on the Go: 4 Proven Strategies

Posted on . Filed under: Crowdfunding 101, How To.

Since many people seem to be constantly on the go, it can be challenging to engage if you aren’t sure where to start. Today’s featured blogger is Eric Griego, Director of Business Development at @Pay, a simple and secure giving platform that provides donors a seamless way to give on a mobile device, here with advice on engaging more donors on the go. 

 

In this article, we’re going to explore 4 proven ways to use mobile fundraising to engage more donors on the go.

 

For a sneak peek at what we’re covering, check out the table of contents:

#1. Try Out Texting to Donate

#2. Enhance Emailing Strategies

#3. Promote Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

#4. Always, Always Acknowledge!

 

Mobile pic

Mobile by Jeff Turner is licensed under CC by 2.0

#1. Try out Texting to Donate

If you haven’t heard the news, texting to donate is the hottest way for donors to give from anywhere at any time.

 

Your donors can now give to your organization just by texting a designated number (no keyword, trigger word, or shortcodes required!). It’s just like giving online but portable!

How does it work? It can’t possibly be as simple as it sounds, right?

Wrong! It really is as easy as texting a friend–only the friend is a nonprofit organization.

 

To understand how intuitive it is, take a look at the process:

1: A donor sees an ad for your text-to-give campaign.

2: Donor texts the designated number.

3: An automatic response is sent.

4: Donor fills out payment info (the first time only).

5: A confirmation email is sent.

As far as fundraising methods go, texting to donate is spectacular because it’s easy, effective, and efficient.

 

#2. Enhance Emailing Strategies

Email fundraising is a tried and true classic for modern fundraising. It’s as much a staple for most nonprofits as fundraising letters.

 

Since its inception, email fundraising has involved sending out messages to a master list with instructions for donating enclosed within.

Those enclosed instructions always required an extra step, whether it was sending a check through the mail or donating through a separate online donation page.

In either case, the donor would have to exit their inbox to give.

Luckily, that’s no longer an issue. Modern email donation buttons allow donors to give to charity without ever leaving their email inboxes.

All a mobile donor would need to do in order to give would be to click on a donation button, like the one pictured below:

DRF-emailbutton

 

Then they would simply hit “Confirm” in the subsequent follow-up email. And once again, that donor will have given in just 2 clicks!

For more on improving your email strategy, check out this article.

 

#3. Promote Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising, AKA crowdfunding, is yet another wonderful way to engage with your donors on the go.

 

It involves enlisting the help of your existing donors to reach out to their friends, families, and social networks to raise money on behalf of your nonprofit.

In employing peer-to-peer, your organization not only raises significantly more than you might have otherwise, you also have the opportunity to increase your donor base.

Think about it this way: you have your current donors. They have all of the tools at their disposal to raise money for your cause (crowdfunding pages, text-to-give numbers, pre-written copy, etc.).

When they tell their friends and family about your fundraiser, they’re opening new people’s eyes to the good work that you’re doing. Before you know it, those friends of your existing donors become your newest supporters.

It doesn’t get much better than that!

For more actionable advice for starting a peer-to-peer fundraiser, be sure to check out 10 Ways to Create a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign.

 

#4. Always, Always Acknowledge

You already know that it’s important to thank your direct mail supporters, your in-person donors, and your vocal advocates.

 

But you may not have considered how vital it is to engage with your mobile donors in that way.

Just like every other contributor in your donor database, mobile donors deserve your gratitude and acknowledgement.

If not for them, you wouldn’t be able to pull off all of the incredible projects that you’ve been working on. Thank them accordingly.

True though many mobile giving platforms allow nonprofits to program automatic messages of thanks, it’s important that your organization put a little more thought and care into your stewardship.

Yes, you can still have those automatic replies sent out (they’re so convenient!). But you should also add a dash of creativity to your follow-up acknowledgement.

 

Add some visuals.

Shine a spotlight on your mobile donors, and be sure to mention specifics about how their contributions have improved the world.

Let them know that their $20 text donation was able to provide a family with potable water for a week.

Send them a picture of the kitten that their email contribution is helping to foster.

The point is: express your gratitude, and always, always acknowledge your donors’ part in doing good.

 

Thanks so much for reading! We hope that you learned a few things about how to engage with your nonprofit’s donors on the go.
If you’re interested in learning more about mobile giving and how your organization can get started with your own campaign, feel free to check out @Pay’s Mobile Giving Guide.

 

About the Author:

Eric Griego Headshot

Eric Griego is the Director of Business Development at @Pay, a simple and secure giving platform that provides donors a seamless way to give on a mobile device. He has implemented effective fundraising strategies for hundreds of Nonprofit & Church organizations. In his spare time he roots for the Denver Broncos while enjoying a nice craft beer.

Permalink / No Comments



Broadway Shows to see this year!

Posted on . Filed under: Uncategorized.

With so many musical choices, it can be hard to make a decision. Not sure what to see this year? We’re here to help! Here are some the best shows to see:

Broadway

“West Side Story” by Randy Lemoine is licensed under CC by 2.0

Hamilton

Since its opening in fall 2015, Hamilton had immediately been the hottest ticket on Broadway! With a cast of characters including George Washington, King George III and more, Broadway enthusiasts will soon fall in love with the brilliant hip-hop masterpiece and witty writing. The musical traces founding father Alexander Hamilton through the ups and downs within his life, including scandals and triumphs. Sure to be a crowd-pleaser from start to finish!

Aladdin

Sing and dance through the city of Agrabah with this Disney screen-to-stage adaption! With the chance of luck finding an ancient lamp, Aladdin’s life is about to change forever. Tony award-winning Casey Nicholaw, known best for his work on the Book of Mormon, has done it again with this Disney classic movie. You’re invited to join this magic carpet ride so don’t forget your ticket!

Book of Mormon

This Broadway musical is about a pair of mismatched Mormon boys sent on a mission to a place meant to be far, far away from Salt Lake City. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, known for their animated comedy South Park, have truly done wonders with this religious satirical musical. Considered outrageously funny and risqué, this is one show you won’t want to miss!

Matilda

Roald Dahl’s classic novel about an extraordinary child with a gifted talent has finally come to stage! Get to know Matilda as well as her insensitive parents as she tackles the hardship of growing up. After being forced to attend Crunchem Hall and with the help from her school teacher Miss Honey, Matilda’s life is going to change forever. Be prepared to meet the biggest little hero on Broadway!

Wicked

Ever wondered what happened before Dorothy came to Oz? Your questions will soon be answered! Watch an unlikely friendship bloom between the witches of Oz where eventually the world will see one as “good” and the other as “bad”. You’ll learn the un-told story that’s been trying to get out. Defy gravity and go to soaring heights with this magical musical!

Permalink / No Comments



How To Protect Your Garden From Animals

Posted on . Filed under: Nature.

All the fun of having plants is watching them grow! Except, there’s nothing worse than animals intruding into your garden and destroying your precious plants! Protecting your plants is never easy and  can be a hassle so here are some great ways to do just that:

Garden

Use a Fence

While this may seem like a no brainer, it’s not always the first thing that comes to people’s minds. Not to mention, one of the best fences to get that most people normally rule out is a solid fence. By using one, the animals won’t know what’s behind it and will be less likely to cause damage to your garden.

Make Your Garden Less Attractive To Wildlife

Although a major benefit to having a garden is that it spruces up your home and makes it look more appealing, there are ways to do this without ruining the aesthetics of your garden! Some examples include cutting tall grass or eliminating anything that animals can use as a hiding place such as crawl spaces under your porch or deck. Another way is to minimize food sources that can attract animals such as compost piles, bird or food feeders for other animals.

Build Raised Beds for Your Garden

Creating raised beds for your garden is super easy and offers a variety of benefits beyond repelling animals. They can keep your soil warmer to prevent it from becoming compacted. In addition, this will help animals from entering your garden for the fear of being seen and making it harder to enter. Another tip when doing so is to make the distance between beds is as narrow as possible. This will likewise reduce small animals in particular from entering because it will leave them vulnerable as well as be easily seen.

Interplant Different Plants With Each Other

The last way to protect your garden from animals is to interplant different vegetables with each other. You may be wondering how this can help, however, it’s been shown that plants such as garlic, onion, marigolds, chives, and lavender can repel animals such as deer, rabbits, and other animals. You can use these plants to create a perimeter around your more attractive plants to thoroughly protect your garden!

Permalink / No Comments



Top 5 Sushi Restaurants in the United States

Posted on . Filed under: Food.

Sushi is a Japanese cuisine, but Americans love it!  Through the generations, sushi chefs have developed one of the world’s most respected cuisines, and a dexterity of hand and blade that even world class surgeons could only dream of.  Everyone has a sushi restaurant that they consider the “best”.  Check out these top 5 places that made the cut!

"Sushi" by SubtlePanda is licensed under CC by 2.0

Sushi” by SubtlePanda is licensed under CC by 2.0

Masa – Originally in California and currently in the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle, NYC, Masa Takayama redefined America’s view of sushi as not only the only 3 Michelin star American sushi restaurant of its time, but also one of the most expensive restaurants in America, averaging over 600$ a person. This multicourse omakase, a meal consisting of dishes selected by the chef, reflects the changing seasons and a modern take on Edomai style sushi with iconic dishes like toro tartare with caviar.  Although expensive, this restaurant is a once in a lifetime sushi experience!

 

Sushi Nakazawa– Another restaurant proving that New York City is at the forefront of America’s sushi scene, Sushi Nakazawa became known as the senior apprentice in the hit movie, “Jiro dreams of sushi”. The only sushi restaurant of the 5 listed here ranked by the NY Times as 4 star restaurants, Sushi Nakazawa is praised to pinpoint temperature contrasts with laser accuracy. Like Masa, Sushi Nakazawa is one of the most accomplished and influential sushi restaurants.  New York city is definitely the place to be if you’re looking for fantastic sushi!

 

Urasawa– Hiroyuki Urasawa was an understudy of Masa Takayama before opening his namesake restaurant in Beverly hills in 2003. With two michelin stars, this restaurant became the second most expensive restaurant in the world in 2014 with an omakase priced at over 1100$ per person. The hyper seasonal Urasawa is known for his extravagant tribute to kaiseki cuisine, the traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, and his famed use of otoro (fatty tuna belly) and uni (sea urchin).

 

Uchi– On the opposite side of the country in Austin, Texas, away from the scope of the Michelin guide, NY Times and the like, James Beard award winning and Food and Wine’s Best new chef of 2005, Tyson Cole showed us all that you not only don’t have to live in New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles to be a famed chef, but that you also don’t have to be Japanese to be an iconic sushi chef.  This restaurant has high-energy, yet offers a slightly different experience than the ones discussed so far.

 

Nobu Vegas– No objective list would be complete without Nobu Matsuhisa. He is a pioneer of American sushi, and was one of the first sushi magnates that this country has seen, conquering both New York and Las Vegas with his Peruvian (ceviche) influenced sushi.  While critics may not rave about Nobu as they once did years ago (they still do), half of the restaurants on this list wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for him, so be sure to visit!

 

Permalink / No Comments



How to Make Art a Career Out of Art

Posted on . Filed under: DIY.

Making a career out of art is never easy. But if it’s something you’re very passionate about and interested in, where there’s a will there’s a way. Here are some tips that can help you start small or build a foundation for a career in art: 

Paint

Networking

The first and one of the most vital steps to growing a successful career of any kind is to network. Meeting one person can eventually lead to having tens, hundreds, and eventually even thousands of people there to help you reap the benefits of your hard work. However, you have to make sure to start small and then grow your circle. Reach out to people involved locally in the art business. Once you establish a good foundation, then take the opportunity to work your way up to those higher up, where you can learn from their success and follow in their paths of greatness to where you want to be in the future.

Know Your Stuff

One major question you need to ask yourself is, how can anyone take you seriously if you don’t know the field you so desperately want to be part of? When networking and trying to work your way up the ladder, it’s vital you know what you’re talking about and are knowledgeable about the field background as well as those involved. Nothing proves you’re more qualified and prepared to succeed than doing your own personal research.

Use Social Media To Your Advantage

In today’s age, social media is crucial in networking to getting your name out there and in this case work out there. It’s the perfect way to meet new people, share and display your work, or even learn more about others involved in your field. Since our mobile devices follow us wherever we go, your work could be accessed anywhere and at anytime! Overall, social media is a great way to kick start your career and perfect way to build a foundation for future success.

Be Conscious of the Money Involved to Do So

Starting a career is difficult but it’s even more difficult to manage your money so that you can get started and continue to create work. It’s important to be aware of all your future and potential expense of creating your works so that you can plan effectively how much each step of the way will cost you. Being able to plan for future endeavors or even bumps in the road will give you a major advantage for whatever may come your way.

 

Permalink / No Comments



Fun Ideas For Father’s Day Gifts

Posted on . Filed under: Father's Day.

Father’s day is right around the corner once again, which means it’s time to go on the hunt for the perfect Father’s Day gift. Being creative and finding the perfect gift is never easy so let some of these ideas help!

Father and Daughter

Major League Baseball Tickets

What dad doesn’t love baseball? With perfect weather and baseball season in full swing, it’s a great gift idea and one that’s sure to be a hit with the whole family! Not to mention, with tons of options and seating available you’ve the option to purchase tickets without spending a lot of money or spoil your dad and get him top of the line seats.

Pay for Him to Go Golfing 

If there’s anything all men love, it’s golfing. Golfing to men is what spas are to women. It’s their way of having fun and relaxing. While purchasing golf equipment may not be cheap or provide him an unforgettable experience, paying for him to spend the day golfing definitely will! It’s the best way to ensure he has a fun and relaxing Father’s Day that he’ll be sure to remember!

Travel Poker Set

Why go to the casino when you can bring the fun home? This is the perfect gift for any dad who loves playing poker, with some extra added convenience! It’s the perfect way to put a smile on his face while saving both you and him on any extra expenses!

Portable Grill

Although your dad may already have a grill at home, don’t let it stop you from purchasing him a portable grill. This will help bring his sporting events or anything he chooses to life and most importantly bring fun anywhere he goes! It’s the perfect gift for any dad that loves to barbecue and others will be sure to approve!

 

 

Permalink / No Comments



Why You Should Grow Plants In Your Home

Posted on . Filed under: Eco-Friendly.

The reasons to grow plants in your home are endless. We all know growing plants is aesthetically pleasing,  can leave your house smelling great, and they’re fun and easy to plant. However, there may be some unexpected benefits to growing plants in your home which may convince you to do so:

Home Plants

 

Miscellaneous Pots by Jim McDougall is licensed under Creative Commons

Plants Purify The Air

Although we are all aware that plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, plants in your home will do the same. Oxygen affects every part of our welling being, from our mind to our body. Therefore, having cleaner and more purified air is crucial to our well being and highly beneficial.

Provide Fresh Produce

The cost of produce tends to fluctuate greatly and depending on the produce you prefer it can be quite expensive. Why not save yourself the time and money of shopping for produce by making your own! It’s the best and safest form of local produce because you’re planting it yourself while getting to choose what specifically you want to plant as well as how it’s done. Doing so allows you to save money, control the yield, and have some fun planting!

Plants Can Help Fight Colds 

It’s proven that plants are able to reduce cold related illnesses by 30%. They’re able to do so by decreasing dust and increasing humidity levels. Not to mention, plants are able to remove airborne contaminants that can lead to illnesses and cold symptoms.

They Can Help You Work Better

A recent study from the University of Michigan revealed that being around plants has the ability to improve  concentration, memory, and productivity. Furthermore, being around plants can supposedly increase memory retention up to 20%!

 

Permalink / No Comments



How Watching Disney Films Made Me A Better Person

Posted on . Filed under: Inspiration.

If you’re like me, your childhood consisted of watching one Disney film after another. Along with my friends and parents, I continuously watched until I saw all of the classics. Throughout years of watching countless Disney films, this is what I’ve learned and how their lessons have made me a better person:

Disney

 

Disney by Andy Orin is licensed under Creative Commons 

 

Don’t be Plagued by the Opinions of Others

One of the first and most important lessons I’ve learned from Disney films is the importance of staying true to yourself and not letting the opinions of others alter your course. There are countless examples throughout Disney films in which this lesson is applicable, to name a few such as “Mulan”, “The Little Mermaid”, and “Cinderella”. What makes these Disney films so great is that while the same lesson is instilled throughout various movies, the way it’s displayed changes thus so does your understanding and knowledge of it.

Follow Your Heart or Passion

From a young age we typically know what we want no matter how big or small, even if at times it may be misguided or unattainable. That being said, one of the best lessons to learn early on is to follow your heart and to do what you’re passionate about. This is a common theme throughout the majority of Disney films, and for a good reason. Inspiring rather younger generations to do what they love most will never steer them wrong and make sure they live a life that they can be proud of.

Don’t Give Up

Of all the lessons Disney films taught me, this one is the greatest. Throughout every Disney film, there lies an example of the importance of not giving up or giving in. In each film, there’s the distinct image of a character struggling in one way or another. While some situations may be more extreme than others, each time the characters persevere despite their obstacles, they become a force to be reckoned with.

There is Light At the End of the Tunnel

Last but certainly not least, Disney films taught me that no matter how dark or difficult things may seem, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Just as a common theme throughout nearly every Disney film was the lesson to not give up, every Disney film portrays the story of a character facing some difficult situation that they must find their way out of. Although each character and situation is different, Disney films nearly all have a happy ending. But more importantly, what makes each ending so satisfying is beauty in the struggle being pursued. Disney films go to show that while everything may not start off perfect, that doesn’t determine your future or what you are capable of.

 

 

Permalink / Comments Off on How Watching Disney Films Made Me A Better Person



The Value of Greek Life

Posted on . Filed under: College.

Houses in Greek life

Frat Houses at Charleston College by Yugen Deran is licenses under Public Domain

Nationally, 9 million college students are involved in Greek life. 85% of Fortune 500 company executives and 76% of congressman and senators were involved in Greek life, at some point in their lives. While Greek life can be mostly used for the social aspect it provides much more value than people recognize. Here are some ways Greek life can add value to college students:

Leadership

One of the most beneficial aspects of Greek life is that all chapters are entirely student run. Therefore, there are a lot of opportunities for students to hold a leadership position. Positions can range from president, being in charge of philanthropies, community service, or even just a photographer for the chapter to capture its special moments. No matter how big or small the position, it can teach students the importance of vital attributes that will prepare them for leadership roles later in life. These include teamwork, taking initiative, good communication, and most importantly, how to be an effective leader.

Service

One of the best things Greek life partakes in is that each sorority and fraternity not only plans their own philanthropy events, but also participates in each others to raise money for a cause. Each year members of the Greek community raised over $7 million nationally. Not to mention, members of Greek life donate more than 10 million hours annually to community service. Nationally, these philanthropies help raise awareness and money for important issues and foundations. Some foundations include St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Autism Speaks, Make-A- Wish, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Brotherhood/Sisterhood

Arguably, one of the most impactful parts of Greek life are the relationships and bonds created through it. Besides the social element of Greek life, one of the major reasons students join is to create lifelong relationships. Greek life can provide students with a sense of belonging they might not have found otherwise. College is filled with ups and downs, but having a large and strong support system makes going through it much easier.

Scholarship

These days, partying and Greek life are thought of synonymously. However, Greek life does’nt solely consist of social fraternities and sororities. Every school has a variety of service and specific industry Greek organizations. These strictly focus on academics and networking, each in a given field, as well as community service. These allow students to immerse themselves with peers in the same field or with similar interests. However, even in what most would consider “social” Greek organizations, the members strongly support and encourage the academic pursuits of their brothers and sisters.

Permalink / Comments Off on The Value of Greek Life



Wacky Honeymoon Ideas

Posted on . Filed under: Honeymoon, Weddings.

A honeymoon is a very special experience for every couple, but many choose to spend it in the same way – a tropical island, a beach vacation, or maybe a typical touristy spot depending on what the pair’s interests include. Here are some unique ideas for a honeymoon that might seem wacky, but could actually make your honeymoon even more special!

Hiking

Who says you need to be on a beach to have fun? If you’re an outdoorsy couple or just want to try something new, this is a fun option. You can ask for hiking supplies as wedding gifts and registry items, then choose a location either domestic or abroad. You could take a road trip and hike across national parks in several states, or you could travel to Europe and hike in the Swiss Alps. This trip can be as simple or exotic as you want, and you can make it more posh by staying in nice hotels and eating out between hikes.

hike

Hike” by Loren Kerns, found on flickr.com under license CC BY 2.0.

Hot Air Balloon

This might seem crazy – a hot air balloon? Is that a vacation? This will probably fit the needs of a couple who doesn’t have a lot of time for a honeymoon or needs to postpone their main trip and wants to honor their wedding with a short filler. There are many beautiful locations in the USA to hot air balloon, and you could even make this a fun portion of a longer honeymoon in a foreign country. Though unconventional, hot air balloons are fun, adventurous, and romantic!

hot air balloons

DSC03130” by littlemoresunshine, found on flickr.com under license CC BY 2.0.

Disney World

You can celebrate your wedding by acting like kids again! Disney World has so much to offer, and can easily be paired with great restaurants and other day trips in Florida. There are great resorts that can restore the romance, and you will still be sure to enjoy some great weather. You’ll have fun, revert back to your childhood before heading off into married life together, and you’ll get lots of love and warm congratulations from Mickey and Minnie! No need to have a typical and mature honeymoon if you’re really a couple of kids at heart.

Mickey mouse

Mickey at Disney World” by Raymond Brown, found on flickr.com under license CC BY 2.0.

Mission Trip

This idea can combine lots of appealing qualities – travelling abroad, experiencing a new culture, spending time together, and of course, giving back. You can choose your location, your length of trip, and how you’re helping. This could be a great bonding experience that makes you feel good while you’re having fun and saving a lot of money. When else might you go abroad and do community service again? A beach vacation can happen any time, but mission trips are less common.

mission trip

Mission trip” by carasc6, found on flickr.com under license CC BY 2.0.

Let Fate Decide!

This idea might be a little more cliché, but few people actually show up at an airport without a booked flight ticket. There’s no other time ideal for being spontaneous than right after your wedding. You can decide ahead of time how long you’ll stay, and whether you want to go abroad or stay domestic. Pack clothes for all climates and possibilities, and just go wherever the flight attendant says the next two tickets are available! Even if it doesn’t seem like a very glamorous location, the spontaneity and romance will make any trip memorable – and you’ll always have the story to tell. You might discover your new favorite city!

airport plane

Airport traffic – Sony A7R” by Luke Ma, found on flickr.com under license CC BY 2.0.

Permalink / Comments Off on Wacky Honeymoon Ideas