cause marketing

5 Podcasts for Charity Fundraising Advice

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As a nonprofit professional (or professional volunteer), hosting a charity fundraiser is a lot of work. It requires organizing, marketing, event planning, sales, people management, and so much more. As fundraisers, we are always looking for improved methods for making our events more cost-effective and profitable. Here are 5 podcasts to help make the efforts of a nonprofit event planner a little easier, or more effective. These podcasts are in no particular order and range from 30 minutes to over an hour in length per episode. It can be great to fit in these helpful tips during a lunch break, long drive, or even during a daily workout routine.

1. The Classy Podcast

This weekly podcast has stories from leading founders and executives in the social sector who hope to inspire the next generation seeking to drive change. 

2. Events with Benefits

Hosted by three longtime event fundraising professionals with 50+ years of combined experience, this podcast seeks to help nonprofits achieve greater success in their fundraising events with less effort. The episodes feature special guests from all different sectors of the nonprofit industry who share their biggest lessons learned, including nonprofit attorneys, directors of events that raise over $1 million or more, benefit auctioneers, and technology companies.

3. CauseTalk Radio: The Cause Marketing Podcast

This weekly podcast, hosted by Joe Waters and Megan Strand, keeps you up to date on the world of cause marketing.  The podcast covers trends, tactics and news related to cause marketing and corporate-nonprofit partnerships.

4. Driving Participation Podcast

This podcast talks with marketers, fundraisers and consultants in order to explore what’s been successful for schools, nonprofits, and associations, in order to attract the right people, maintain their excitement, and encourage them to give back.  

5. Raise and Engage

This podcast if for nonprofit professionals and covers the latest trends and hot topics.  With people speaking from the social good community, it’s designed to help listeners in doing more for their cause.  

The New & Improved DonationMatch is Here!

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By Renee Zau, CEO of DonationMatch

After a year of gathering feedback from current members, supporters, UX experts, mentors, partners, and more members, we are excited to announce that the new and improved DonationMatch platform is here! We hope you're having a great start to 2016, and this makes it better.

There were quite a few ideas which were weren't able to squeeze in (Rick and Tim especially, thanks for your invaluable input), so keep an eye out for even more bonuses to be released over the next year.

For now, here are some highlights of what's new:

 

A New Look

Our new design hails from switching our CMS (content management system), which meant selecting a new template, framework, and our ever-hardworking CTO Darryl rewriting the entire site from scratch.

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Menus are now on the left of the dashboard. These should look familiar (companies will see "Find Events" and "My Items" in lieu of Find Donations and My Events, respectively); general workflows are the same.

The dashboard remains your starting point, with messages and other to-do's now organized into highlighted sections, and with activity stats (and *new* organization totals, too) below.

No More Usernames

Log in with just your email address and password--easy peasy! All profiles using with the same email address will be accessible with the same login information. This means you can...

Switch Between Profiles Easily

Once logged in, you'll see the dashboard of the last "organization" (nonprofit or company) you managed. If you represent more than one organization, switching between them takes just a click in the upper right corner (name/arrow) and selecting the profile you want to manage next.

Adding organizations to represent = no extra logins! (Verification process still applies.)

See All Unread Messages In One Place

Inbox too full? There's now an easier way to handle private messages. In addition to message previews on your dashboard, you can also click "See New Messages" in your To-Do area to see matches with unread messages on one easy, sortable list. Also new is that each is timestamped with date/time sent.

 
New showcase pages

New showcase pages

 

Show Off Your Good Work

Every organization now gets a showcase page to publicly share with others. It includes links to your website, social media accounts, and the most popular information from your profile. Use this promotional page to boost awareness about your charitable activity--it's even one-click shareable!

How do you find your showcase page URL? Click on "My Profile" to see your page. Copy the "https://..." link address from the navigation bar and share it--and your praiseworthy work --with others!

(For Nonprofits) Add Referral Codes Provided by Companies

Given a DonationMatch referral code by a charitable company? You can now add codes yourself through "My Account" to ensure you reap the benefits of being their direct referral.

What's on YOUR wish list for a web-based donation system? Tell us in the comments below, and come to www.donationmatch.com (or register if you're new) to see how these our platform's new features can knock even more time off the event planning process!

Top 3 Things Donating Can Do for You and Your Business

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How can donating help you in your business?

Large or small, businesses want give back to their communities. They want to find a way to get involved. Should they? Absolutely! Nonprofits are always looking for more donations to help them attain their charitable goals. Giving to these organizations can really benefit your business, too. You know that your company’s success isn’t related to just one thing. It includes a myriad of ideas and network of professional relationships. It also includes loyal customers who wear many hats and could easily be a part of local nonprofits and charities.

So, what are these Top 3 reasons?

Customer Loyalty

Giving back to your community will help you connect with your customers. It will help you gain traction and trust. A study done in 2014 revealed that 85 percent of consumers had a more positive outlook on businesses that gave back to a charity that they cared about. This means that giving to more than one charity is the most beneficial way to go. Participating in programs and giving back to more than one organization shows your customers that you really do care about your local community. After all, actions do speak louder than words.

Tax Deductions

We all know that you can claim volunteer hours and contributions on your income taxes. By itemizing your deductions you can write off any time your business spent volunteering and you can add monetary value to any donations given as well and claim them, too. The types of donations that are tax-deductible are cash donations, donations of inventory or services, volunteering, sponsorships of charities, and events. You will of course need to ensure that you are working with an organization that is approved by the IRS.

Earned Promotion and Publicity

Sponsoring one or more different nonprofits or volunteering your time is a great way to raise awareness about something you care about but it is also a fantastic way to promote your business! You can get the word out about the event by posting it on your social media platforms and on your website. Often, the nonprofit or charity you are working with will also be doing the same. Now, you have two media outlets and twice the attention, all because you care about giving back to your local community.

However, picking a charity or charities isn’t as easy as it seems. You need to set aside time to research them, make sure they fit your company’s culture and values. Then, you have to think about your customers and who they might support. Finally, you have to take time to think about your frequency of donation and how you will get your donation to the charity in a timely fashion. To that we say, “Don’t get discouraged!”

How do you begin?

www.donationmatch.com  We can handle it all. You tell us who, when, and what you want to donate and we do the rest. We even confirm applicants belong to a real nonprofit organization and get you all of the information you will need to get any deductions you deserve.

All you have to do is click, “Approve.” What is easier than that? Try it today! It’s FREE to sign up and start donating and building relationships!

Market Research Results: Comparing Community Involvement of Large and Small Companies

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Guest post by Shabnam Eghbali, Student at Wharton School of Business

Recently, I conducted some market research on the community involvement programs of large and small businesses. Prior to this research, I had never known that large and small businesses alike do their part to serve the community. This is surprising considering that 70% of my fellow Millennials have purchased a product that supports a cause. Just log onto any company’s website and you'll find the “Community” tab that we often overlook. Speaking to marketing and community outreach representatives from these companies highlighted for me the different approaches companies take to serve their communities. Some view community involvement as their duty and part of their mission, while others participate to improve their image and business.

I asked three questions:

(1) Could you please describe your community involvement program?

(2) What are some challenges you have faced with your community involvement program?

(3) What do you and your company hope to gain from the community involvement program?

I spoke to businesses of all types—restaurants, theme parks, museums, etc.—via telephone and email. Their responses demonstrated that, when it comes to community involvement, large and small companies are more alike than different.

Many community involvement programs revolved around product donations to nonprofits and having employees volunteer at fundraisers. Some, like The Cheesecake Factory, told me they gave on a first-come, first-serve basis while others, like Barona Casino, had strict guidelines as to which nonprofits would receive their donations.

Regarding challenges they face, 50% of respondents stated that having enough resources (time or inventory) and dealing with demand was their biggest challenge. Still 33% stated that good communication with nonprofits is their biggest challenge because of the difficulty in making expectations clear and in having proper information submitted in a timely fashion.

On the flip side, the goal companies said they most wanted (83%) was to serve the community that has been supportive of them. The gap between desire and ability and was clearly a source of pain.

What this tells me is that companies need greater support in serving their community. The intentions are there, but there are clear challenges in executing those plans. Research uncovered online platforms such as DonationMatch, Versaic, DonationX, and AIRS (Bidding for Good) that can help with managing donation requests and ensuring that their donations are going to groups that champion causes they truly care about.

As a potential customer, I feel that at the end of the day, businesses--small or large--should be answering this question: "How have I helped someone today?" Service to society, whether it is for profit or not, should be a top priority for businesses because Millennials—our ultimate consumers—are deeply passionate about social and/or environmental causes and 79% of them are more likely to purchase from companies that support such causes. Even if it means spending a little money, companies should know that there are now easy solutions to mitigate the challenges they face and make their community activity more streamlined and known. To me and my generation, this is a worthwhile investment.

Infographic - Where Are We Now?

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If you saw our original infographic on Pinterest, you'll notice it was released in 2012, when DonationMatch was just over a year old. Apparently the statistics and data are still appealing, as it continues to be our most popular pin, but the numbers are frankly a bit outdated. So, it's with great pleasure that we share updated results. Congratulations to the schools, charities, businesses, and brands who made these win-win connections!  

 
DonationMatch Impact Infographic 2014

Many thanks to Bella Vidaña for contributing to this infographic's creation.

Cause Marketing & March's Cause Conference

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Results of Philanthropy

By Renee Zau, Co-founder, DonationMatchThe American Marketing Association's Cause Marketing Conference returns on March 20th. I'll be there bright and early to get a front seat for this year's keynote speaker, the "mother of cause marketing" herself, Carol Cone, whom PR Week called “arguably the most powerful and visible figure in the world of cause branding.”

Besides the speakers who always leave you with notebooks full of must-do's, another great feature of the conference is the Parker Pike Nonprofit Marketing Scholarship, awarded to a San Diego County college student. It's not too late to apply (deadline is Friday, February 22nd)!

If you're not fortunate enough to visit us in San Diego next month, here are some experts I follow year-round:

Joe Waters of Selfish Giving: After watching the cause-related Super Bowl ads he posted on his blog, you really should check out his Pinterest boards. They're one of the largest collections of cause marketing campaigns and ideas I've seen.

Susan Hyatt, author of Strategy for Good: Susan looks at working with nonprofits from the angle of Corporate Social Responsbility (CSR) and corporate philanthropy. Incidentally, she is putting on her own Strategy for Good Summit from February 25 - March 1, 2013 that is available as a phone or web cast. No travel necessary!

David Hessekiel of Cause Marketing Forum: The Knowledge Center of the Cause Marketing Forum website is THE place to start finding stats and develop a thorough basic knowledge of cause marketing. And his Annual CMF Conference, held in Chicago May 29-30, is on my bucket list (no joke!).

Which cause marketing thought leaders do you follow?

What's Happening: DonationMatch Behind the Scenes

By Renee Zau, Co-founder, DonationMatch [Updated 2/24/14: We are in the process of creating a new poster, as we have now surpassed getting $2.69 Million in goods to 1,000+ schools and nonprofit events. Learn more about receiving these benefits for the organization your support at DonationMatch.com}

If you didn't know, we at DonationMatch are known as a bootstrapped startup. This means we are self-funded, a fairly new company, and believe SO MUCH in the need for our tools and solutions that we currently work for no pay. Our mission classifies us a social enterprise. We've also been called disruptive (not good if you're a student, but great in business) because we're making non-cash marketing easily available to any size business and bringing non-cash donation procurement for nonprofit events online.

We've been a 1.5-person show for almost two years. Starting on Monday, October 15th, it will be two (both) of us working on DonationMatch full-time, and we're as excited as can be!

How's it going so far? We measure our success by the value we bring to our DonationMatch members and our total impact. Take a look and tell us what you think:

"It's a no-brainer."

"This is an amazing tool to get your business out there."

"We have had so many donation matches already. Every single one achieved so quickly and at the mere click of a button."

"Our name, our brand and our products have been introduced to 1000’s of potential customers that may have never known we existed. And... we barely lifted a finger!”

What are our next steps? In a nutshell: getting down to business and learning. Figuring out what features make the most difference to you. What problems can we solve? What can we improve? How do you make your decisions? What companies (small, big, and in-between) do you want to refer to DonationMatch? We'd also love to expand beyond the San Diego market. Members, look for your phones to ring!

So, if you notice it getting quiet for a while on this blog, it's because we're focused on improving your experience and results. But please call or email us if you want to talk - we're here to listen and learn from you. And  be sure to look for new members the next time you're on DonationMatch--we love seeing new win-win exchanges happening!

Coming Soon: A Fresh Look and Features for DonationMatch

By Renee Zau, Co-founder, DonationMatch You've told us how easy DonationMatch makes getting more customers and event donors, how much time we've saved you, and how great it feels to both give and receive.  We've taken your feedback and are excited to announce that added features and a new look are COMING SOON! Why are we letting you know BEFORE we do the upgrade?  Our site will be unavailable during this transition, and we want you to be able to plan any important DonationMatch account activity around it.  The exact date/time isn't set yet, but it could happen as early as this Friday evening, May 11th, and we'll announce it as soon as we know with an email, on Facebook, on Twitter, AND here on our blog.

Thanks for all your support, and we look forward to seeing you online at DonationMatch!

Sneak peek of new DonationMatch site

In-Kind Partnerships with Nonprofits, Part 2

By Renee Zau, Co-founder, DonationMatch My last post on this topic focused on opportunities tied to nonprofit events. Although these typically offer the most immediate exposure, they are often seasonal. Here are some ideas for in-kind charitable partnerships year-round:

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  1. Be a venue for gatherings. You don't have to be a hotel or restaurant to have a desirable place. Spa Gregorie's Del Mar offers a board room for small get-togethers and meetings. Curves women's fitness centers often host meetings for Chambers of Commerce, Zumba fundraisers, and members' clubs. The Microsoft Store has raised the retail bar for community outreach with store space and free group trainings. Invite a nonprofit over and show them you're friendly!
  2. Give tools and support. PopChips started snacking habits in offices all over town with case giveaways. Microsoft Store free trainings make sure their software is used well. DonationMatch co-hosted a fundraising auction workshop with Red Apple Auctions to help nonprofits run better fundraising events. Though not "flashy," free assistance can put you at the top of a nonprofit's go-to list.
  3. Offer services or samples for a donation. By cross-promoting with nonprofits, Aveda sets up their store, complete with signage, to give mini treatments in exchange for a 100% charitable donation.
  4. A portion of sales helps, too.Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes advertises FunRaisers that donate 15% of related receipts on given nights to nonprofit groups. Macy's gives $1 for every stamped letter to Santa deposited in special letter boxes in their stores to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Even if you can't give something outright, a percentage can be enough.
  5. Offer your expertise. Nonprofits small and large are always looking for specific professional talent in their volunteers. It's become so popular that websites like CatchaFire and VolunteerMatch (not affiliated with DonationMatch) were created to make better volunteer connections.
  6. Not a lot of time? Even simply recognizing synergy within your own circles of friends and making introductions can lead to phenomenal results.

What are your success stories?  Please share about the positive impact that charitable partnering has made on your business!

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