Category Archives: Fundraising

#GivingTuesday Essentials: Thunderclap.it

Have you ever posted a funny and informative tweet that you thought deserved more attention? As a marketer, there’s nothing more frustrating than creating great content but nobody seeing it. Thunderclap aims to change that.

Screenshot of Thunderclap.it website

Screenshot of Thunderclap.it website

I’m sorry… Thunder what?

Thunderclap.it is a new crowd-sourcing website that lets supporters of a cause pledge to share a message at a certain time, thereby boosting the audience of the message by substantially. Users can opt to share the predetermined message on their personal Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr accounts.  It’s been described as an “online flash mob” as it allows you to reach users that you wouldn’t usually be able to. It’s important to note that when you sign up to use Thunderclap, you’re authorising the app to share a single message on your behalf. After the campaign is over, Thunderclap promises that they won’t post again from your account.

Thunderclap is open to use for non profits, government agencies, individuals, and anything in between. The British Labour Party has already taken advantage of it, and reported that thanks to Thunderclap their message reached the feed of 4.5 million people. And they’re not the only ones taking advantage of this awesome new tool.

How do I use Thunderclap.it?

Set up Thunderclap CampaignIn order to create a Thunderclap account you need a Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account to connect it with. When you log in, you’ll be directed to a dashboard that will give you an overview of your scheduled Thunderclaps. To start a new Thunderclap go to the top right hand corner of the screen and click “Start a new Thunderclap.” That will direct you to the next screen where you’ll be able to fill out a name, category, message, and photo. The “message” is what your followers are going to tweet out, so I would suggest using a few hashtags and keeping it short incase anyone wants to add a message before the tweet. You can see what your message looks like in the top right hand corner (red circle) and personalise it to make sure it looks just right.

Thunderclap.it Set Up

You also might want to personalise the picture you use, the way that #AIDSFreeGen did on their Thunderclap.it profile, and share the same picture across multiple social media platforms to add some consistency to your campaign. To get an idea of what sort of message you should use, take a look at some of these successful campaigns that are running right now:

Campaigns are typically authorised between 1-3 days, the entire website is free (unless you want to use Thunderclap.it Pro for $500 per campaign) and it’s really easy to use. If you haven’t already set up a campaign for #GivingTuesday, I would highly suggest doing so.

Update Your Cause

Taken from Thunderclap.it blog

Another really cool part of Thunderclap is the option to create updates for your followers. You can do in the “Project Update” tab under the “My Thunderclaps” section of your admin page. Supporters love staying up to date and to see how they’re making a difference in your campaign, every before it’s over. Also, saying “thank you” never hurt anyone! Thank your supporters for their support up until this point, or thank them after the campaign is over.

How do I market Thunderclap?

You’re in luck: Thunderclap.it has a guide on how to promote and run a successful Thunderclap campaign. The guide includes how to optimise your campaign, marketing templates, and much more. Here’s a quick summary of the guide:

  • Keep your message short and sweet (I support meaningful volunteer experiences #teamunitedplanet)
  • Set a deadline of 2-3 weeks.
  • Thunderclap suggest promoting through email, embedded website, twitter, Facebook, tumblr, and youtube.
    • Make sure to have a clear call to action and to specify that you want them to join through Thunderclap (not just “like” your Facebook status)
  • Use “Updates” to rally support for your campaign and/or to update supporters on your campaign’s progress.

If I had some suggestions it would be to advertise on Pinterest, possibly have a countdown going on your Instagram, and to blog about what Thunderclap is so that your supporters know what’s going on. I know the Thunderclap guide mentioned that in your email marketing you should include a brief paragraph about what the website is, but I would personally link to a blog post that goes into detail about the site. It generally makes people uncomfortable to “link” their personal accounts to outside sources, and the idea of a new website posting on “their behalf” is a bit scary. I’m always terrified that a service is going to take advantage of my Twitter account and post crazy spam messages!

Conclusion

Honestly, I think this is a fantastic idea. I’m not surprised at how many companies have already sign on to this, but I am surprised that I’ve yet to see a Thunderclap message on my Twitter feed. The United Nations Beyonce campaign reached 1 billion people and yet I don’t remember seeing anything about it. But maybe I’m just getting old and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be!

It’s simple, and I think it’s largely symbolic of the what the modern political activist is turning into. This is a “lazy” but powerful way to spread a message. All I have to do is sign up, authorise my accounts, and Thunderclap does the rest. It makes me feel like I’ve contributed to something, and it gives your campaign the coverage that it needs. What more could I want?

More Articles on Thunderclap

Read more about Thunderclap:

Remember to follow me on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on my efforts.

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What’s all the buzz about? Amazon Smile.

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If you’re active on social media, and I pray to George Clooney that you are, you’ve probably seen a few tweets or posts about Amazon Smile this week. If you haven’t had the time to Google it, Amazon Smile is a new initiative where Amazon will donate 0.5% of your (the customer) total purchase to a non profit of your choice. It’s easy donating, a great way to give back this holiday season, and it’s going to be an excellent way for your non profit to boost its profits this holiday season. Cool, right? You wanna sign up, right? How do we get those donations, right?

Let me show you.

Amazon Smile for Customers

Categories for shopping with Amazon

Amazon Smile is exactly the same as Amazon. The only difference is that instead of shopping at “www.amazon.com,” you’re shopping at “smile.amazon.com.” Apart from that it’s the same prices, same products, same payment method, etc. All Amazon has done is said “we’ll donate 0.5% of your total to a charity of your choice.” You, the customer, just have to choose a product that is “eligible for Amazon Smile.” There are over one million charities on Amazon Smile that you can choose from, which is pretty cool for the consumer, and apparently tens of millions of eligible products. Oh! And if you’re signed up for Amazon Prime it still applies. Which is awesome, because nobody wants to wait more than two days for new stuff. You use the same Amazon account that you use for your regular purchases and it’s just as quick and seamless as the original website.

Some things to note: you have to choose your organisation before making a purchase and because the donation is made through Amazon you are not eligible for a tax deduction. This is important for you to know, as social media marketers, because I’m sure that most people will be weary about using something new.

Amazon Smile for Non Profits

According to the FAQ, in order to be eligible for Amazon Smile you must:

  • Be public charitable organizations that are registered and in good standing with the IRS as a 501(c)(3).
  • Be located in one of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia.
  • Not engage in, support, encourage, or promote intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering, or other illegal activities
  • Adhere to the AmazonSmile Participation Agreement to maintain eligibility.

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So that’s great! I actually did a trial run for United Planet and it seems pretty easy to sign up. You basically go to this website to sign up with an account that’s registered to your non profit (don’t use your personal Amazon account). We actually already had an account with Amazon because we use Amazon Ads, so we’ll be using that account. They use electronic transfers to send you the money, and they are “transferred approximately 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter”.

Oh hey – here’s something really important: Customers can donate to your cause if you’re not signed up already. From my understanding, if you don’t register your non profit for Amazon Smile (and your funds aren’t claimed within a year) then the funds will be distributed to other registered non profits. So make sure to sign up ASAP!

How to Market Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile is going to be a crucial part of your “holiday” marketing campaign. Do a quick Twitter search and you’ll see that non profits are already tweeting out messages about donating to #amazonsmile.

Amazon Smile Hashtag

It should be integrated into your all of your social media platforms, blog, website, and email marketing. I would suggest writing a blog post about what Amazon Smile is, or maybe even include it in your holiday email, and then ask people to consider donating to your cause this winter. You should only begin advertising with social media once you’ve explained what it is.

I’m not sure if you’re aware of how important Google+ is to appearing on search engines results, but I would absolutely make sure to post on your G+ account. When doing so, make sure to keep it visual. G+ posts do a lot better when they contain a picture.

Here are some other ideas on how to integrate Amazon Smile into your holiday marketing plan:

  • A Facebook (and Google Plus) header with a CTA that leads to your Amazon Smile page.
  • A blog post about the 10 coolest things you can buy this Christmas… With click through links to Amazon and your Amazon Smile page.
    • For United Planet, we might make a list of things that volunteers could use on their volunteer trip. We’ve already got a Pinterest board dedicated to the topic so we might just draw from that.
  • Use of the “#amazonsmile” hashtag. A tweet might look like “This holiday season shop @AmazonSmile and support XXX Fund! http://linktoyouramazonsmilepage.com #AmazonSmile
    • You could also start tracking keywords or phrases on Hootsuite like “I don’t know what to buy” or “Christmas Presents ?” and suggest that people buy their presents on Amazon and donate to you.
    • Make sure to add pictures to your tweets. Reports have shown that tweets that contain pictures do a lot better than those who don’t. This probably has something to do with how pictures are now being shown on users timelines.
  • A Pinterest board of cool things that you can buy on Amazon Smile that will donate to your cause. Make sure that the click through link on the picture leads them to YOUR Amazon Smile Page.
    • You could also do this with your Instagram account (collages?) or Vine account (stop motion videos). Notice how a lot of these ideas are visual. Visual marketing is key!

Do you have any other cool ideas for how to integrate Amazon smile into your marketing plan? Let me know! I’d love to hear about any other ways that your non profit is using Amazon Smile.

More Reading

If you need to do some more research on Amazon Smile in order to present the idea to your company here is a collection of articles that I found helpful.

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The Most Important Day of the Year: Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

Hopefully the words “Giving Tuesday” hold some sort of significance to you as someone who is involved in social media for non profits. If not, you definitely need to start doing your research! Giving Tuesday is one of the most important days of the year for a non profit looking for funding and it’s absolutely crucial that you are involved.

What is Giving Tuesday?

#GivingTuesday, which takes place this year on December 3rd, is a day that aims to kick off the holiday giving season. Strategically placed after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the day invites people to make a donation (of either personal time or money) to support things like big issues (think global poverty) or more local issues (think homelessness).  Families and individuals are encouraged to be generous in whatever ways matter to them, whether that means volunteering at a local charity or donating to a favourite cause. It’s basically an national campaign to encourage charitable activities that support non profits. Hopefully you’re starting to understand how important it is that your non profit is involved.

Giving Tuesday

How do we get involved?

To be an official partner, you must be a registered non-profit [a 501(c)3 in the United States] with a specific #GivingTuesday initiative, or a for-profit business, school, religious or community group who commit to spearhead a project that will benefit at least one registered charity or non-profit. This is super important. If you don’t have a specific initiative, either take steps to create one or sit this year out. Here’s a great HubSpot article on how to amplify your Giving Tuesday campaign. Oh! Also, Giving Tuesday actually provides a bunch of suggestions on how non-profits can become involved on Giving Tuesday.

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Anyways, if you don’t have a specific initiative I would suggest that you don’t get involved. United Planet, the non-profit that I work for, won’t be registering as an official partner but we will be promoting Giving Tuesday on our blog and social media in general. It’s really about the bigger picture. The non profit community as a whole is coming together to promote a day of giving. The fact that this takes place on social media means that it’s going to be easy for your non profit to take part, and in doing so you’ll probably draw some traffic to your website and/or help spread awareness of your cause. You’ll also get to interact with other members of the non profit world, which is always a plus.

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Give me some numbers.

If you’re still not convinced that being involved in Giving Tuesday is an absolute must then let me convince you with some numbers. I’m not sure why, but crazy awesome statistics are always super convincing. So here you go:

  • In 2012, more than 2,500 partners from all 50 states of the US took part in Giving Tuesday.
  • Blackbaud, the accounting software that Giving Tuesday uses, processed over $10 million in online donations on the 27th.
  • Paypal mobile donations soared 487% higher than the previous year’s number. The total value of those donations increased 228%.
  • More than 50 million people worldwide spread the word about Giving Tuesday – you better believe that it was a trending topic world wide too!
  • According to this infographic, the 28 clients that promoted Giving Tuesday performed 170% better on the actual day.
  • The movement was named the “Social Innovation of the Year” by Bloomberg.com; “One of Five Philanthropy High Points in 2012” by the Chronicle of Philanthropy; received a 2013 Cannes Lions Award; and is a finalist for the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. (Stats from this article)

At this point, I’m going to assume that you’re completely convinced that your non profit needs to take part in Giving Tuesday. Just in case you don’t fully understand what it’s about or how your non profit can take part I’ve added some articles for you to read at the end of this post.

So – will you be taking part in Giving Tuesday? What role will your non profit play? Can’t wait to see you all actively using the #GivingTuesday hashtag next month!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with new blog posts, fresh content, and anything else that catches my eye.

 

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Some extra reading for you

Obviously the media is buzzing about Giving Tuesday. In fact, Huffington Post has an entire section of their website dedicated to it. Salsa Labs designed an on-demand webinar about how to raise more money with a Giving Tuesday plan. For Momentum, who specialise in cause marketing, wrote an article on How to Maximise Your 2013 Giving Tuesday Results. Also, like I mentioned above, the GivingTuesday website has a whole bunch of resources for you to use. They’ve actually put together Tweets + Facebook posts that your non profit can use working up to the event and on the day of. You can also follow them on Twitter to keep up to date with partnerships, news, and more.

 

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