FirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraising

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FirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraisingFirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraisingFirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraisingFirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraising 

FirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraising

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What are the 5 most important aspects of an online fundraising page?


There’s no question that your brand benefits from the support of individual fundraisers. Their personal fundraising pages help spread cause awareness and gain brand recognition for your nonprofit. It’s important that these fundraisers are not only effective, but correctly represent your brand. So ask yourself this, what are you doing to help fundraisers better represent your organization? What tools and resources are you providing them? This checklist will help guide you in making sure your individual fundraisers are supporting your nonprofit in all the right ways.

1. Heartfelt message

A good fundraising page has an engaging, personal message. No one wants to read generic, uninspired text. Make sure they craft a good, honest story around their desires to fundraise. Fundraisers must communicate the reasons why they’ve embarked on this journey in the first place. Did their father have diabetes? Does their nephew have autism? They need to let supporters and potential donors know why they care about this cause and why others should donate to your nonprofit. Make sure you’re reminding your fundraisers that they need a heartfelt “why.”

2.Organization information

Make sure there is a link to your nonprofit website and additional information on all fundraising pages. Your nonprofit should be represented accurately on personal fundraising pages. All they need is a link and some canned text. It’s the fundraisers job to copy and paste that on their page. It’s your job to provide the link and text.

3. Clear fundraising goals

Fundraisers with clear goals are more likely to reach them than not. Ask your fundraisers to post an aggressive, yet doable goal. This can be done easily with total raised and goal widgets clearly displayed on the personal fundraising page.

4. Captivating pictures and video

Visuals, like images and video, pack a lot of information in a short period of time. With our increasingly busy lives and decreasing attention spans, big picture (literally) information is easier to digest. Details are hard to swallow. Visuals are more attractive to the eye. They break up bodies of text so our eyes tend to gravitate towards them. The more attractive, the more engaging.

5. Email Communication

Email is a critical part of online fundraising. The best fundraising pages are those that use the email tool to connect with their supporters. Make sure your fundraisers remember to segment emails depending on who they’re targeting for an event. It’s important to make each and every supporter and donor feel appreciated so that they participate in more events throughout the year.

Curious about how peer-to-peer fundraising can help your nonprofit raise more money?

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4 problems personal fundraising pages solve for your nonprofit


rubix cube, FirstGiving, personal fundraising pages

photo credit: nicolajervis

Fundraising pages are more important to your nonprofit’s online presence than you might realize. They extend your nonprofit voice farther and create a larger network around your mission. Fundraising pages can also solve a lot of problems that your nonprofit might be running into like:

Lack of engagement on the supporter’s behalf

Fundraising pages are all about engagement. When your fundraiser shares pictures, videos, and their special connection to your mission, it creates an engaging space for giving. Not only that, but it allows for donors to find their own connection to the mission of your nonprofit. Remember, people will give to a passionate loved one before an unknown organization like your nonprofit. By allowing fundraisers to create their own space for networking around your cause, you’ll encourage other supporters and donors to do the same.

Lack of exposure to new networks

We know it’s hard to extend your network past certain barriers. By allowing fundraisers of new kinds to build fundraising pages, you spread your network to people and places you may have never been able to reach before. With the help of shareable widgets for Twitter and Facebook, fundraising pages can be linked to and shared socially with the click of a button.

Not meeting fundraising goals for your nonprofit

Did you know? The average donor gives $50 while the average fundraiser raises about $500?That’s a huge difference. It could mean exceeding your fundraising goal for an entire year. Fundraising pages can help bring in more people through social media and networking that couldn’t be done otherwise. Not only that, it can also attract others to begin raising money on your nonprofit’s behalf as well.

Poor job marketing the brand

Do you ever wish you could improve your online brand marketing? With fundraising pages, this problem can be solved. Effective personal fundraising pages not only link to more information about your nonprofit website and mission, but carry your logo, color scheme, and value statement. So when fundraisers share thier page with friends and family, not only are they raising more money than a donor would, they are also marketing your brand better than before. They help your nonprofit jump that credibility gap.

Personal fundraising pages empower supporters (would be only donors) to contribute to your nonprofit mission and cause in a more meaningful and financial way.

Could your nonprofit benefit from peer-to-peer fundraising?


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Creative fundraising ideas for the new year

[caption id="attachment_6514" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Flickr image courtesy of Horia Varlan"][/caption]

It's the beginning of another season of giving with the start of a new year and new opportunities for making a difference for a cause you care about! Here are our top fundraising ideas for kicking off 2011 with a bang and finding ways to give every month of the year.


Include a fundraising goal in your list of New Year’s resolutions, or keep track of the money you save from drinking less caffeine (or whatever your resolution is--you can do it!) and donate it to a cause that's important to you.


Forget the roses, and make a donation in honor of your significant other for Valentine’s Day.


Use friendly competition for a good cause -- compete for donations to your favorite nonprofit in your March Madness bracket.


Don't let April showers get you down! Celebrate spring by signing up for a run, walk, or ride and use your event as an excuse to raise money online for a great cause.

May and June

Honor Mom and Dad by making donations to their favorite causes for Mother's Day and Father's Day. Or, show them how to set up a FirstGiving page and be the first to make a donation.


Celebrate Independence Day by asking for donations in honor of family or friends who have served in the armed forces.


It's the dog days of summer. . . consider volunteering at a local animal shelter or for any organization that could use your helping hands!


Go back to school! Take some time to learn about a new nonprofit, like one a friend supports.  You might discover a great new cause to give to in the future.


Let your friends and family know that Halloween is SCARY but that raising money doesn't have to be. Recruit one or two of them to raise money with you for a cause close to all of your hearts!


While you sit down to a delicious ThanksGiving dinner, remember that many in our country still struggle with not having enough food.  Donate canned goods to a food bank or help serve dinner at your local homeless shelter.


Bring the Giving Back to your Holidays! Celebrate the true meaning of the season of giving by asking for donations for a great cause, instead of gifts.

Nonprofits, click here: YouTube ads for nonprofit organizations

Because non-profit organizations like yours are doing good work in your communities, they are often in a good position to receive in-kind donations like donated or discounted services for general operations.  Hopefully your organization has benefited from the generosity of your community in this way.

YouTube is one company that provides non-profit organizations with some free and fantastic resources to help them get the word out.  A while ago we posted some information on YouTube's non-profit program, and today, we have an update.  The fine people over at YouTube have just released a feature which allows you to overlay your video with a clickable ad that directs viewers to any webpage, including your Firstgiving start page.  Did we mention that It's free, too?

So, you ask, how effective could this be?  Good question.  To test the new functionality, YouTube put this video on it's homepage with a clickable ad overlay, and after just one day, people had donated $10,000 to

If you're already part of the YouTube non-profit program and haven't heard about the new feature, visit the YouTube site to set it up.  Remember to tell your fundraisers they can add your YouTube video to their fundraising pages!  And post the link to your YouTube channel below; we'd love to see it.

Hat tip to Conor's Fundraising Blog

Fundraising webinars on web marketing and letter writing coming up

If you've been reading this blog for more than a week or so, you probably know that Team Firstgiving presents free fundraising webinars for our clients and the general public.  You can see the full schedule and recordings of past webinars on our webinar page any time, but here's a quick reminder of what's coming up:

Tomorrow! Wednesday, March 25 at 3:30pm Eastern,
Nine ways to promote your personal fundraising page - and 99 online places to do it in which we'll talk all about how individual fundraisers can promote their pages online and offline.  Whether you work at an NPO or are just a regular person who cares about a cause, this session is for you.

New, Premium Webinar series! We've whipped up a trio of specialized webinars for our premium account clients, but blog readers are welcome too.  The first one is on Thursday, April 16 at 3:30pm Eastern and it's called Best practices in website promotion and is all about how nonprofit organizations can promote their Firstgiving pages using web assets already at hand.  The other two sessions, in May and June, will focus on Facebook and Search Engine Optimization.

Writing successful fundraising emails and letters is April's second webinar, on the 22nd at 3:30pm, and you can not only watch it, you can be part of it.   All the fancy design and social media won't matter if your fundraising letter is weark.  Whether it's paper or electronic, there are some things you can do to make your asking letters better. In this webinar, we'll discuss general principles of fundraising letter writing and critque some actual solicitation letters. If you would like your fundraising letter to be considered for discussion during the webinar, send it to - we’ll contact you to discuss the letter if it’s selected before we talk about it on the webinar.

Whether you participate in these webinars or just check out the archvie of over 20 recorded sessions, we hope you enjoy them and maybe learn a thing or two.  Good luck with your fundraising!
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