• 5 Tips to Nail Your Next Facebook Video Campaign

    18 April 2018
    Posted by Jon Swerens

    Video as a marketing tool is the future. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2020, 80 percent of Internet traffic will be driven by video. Following are 5 ways to create effective and engaging Facebook video campaigns for your non-profit:

    Begin with the end in mind.

    Establishing a goal is the first order of business. Step two is having a framework for tracking and measuring metrics. For example, completed video views, reach, and click-throughs to your website are a few markers by which to gauge success.

    Don’t skimp.

    While it may be tempting to repurpose or reuse content to save money, it may not help to further your end goal. What’s more, the sweet spot for length is 60-90 seconds. Use subtitles or text to reinforce your message.

    Go mobile.

    Platform matters. More than two-thirds of Facebook users watch videos on their mobile devices. Are you catering to this audience and format?

    Don’t forget the ask.

    Regardless of ad type, include a call to action (CTA) to direct viewers to take the next step. For example, “learn more,” “donate today,” or “share with your friends.” For optimal results, include links in the copy and a CTA button at the end of the video.

    Test, retool, and test again.

    Maybe you have created a few variations of an ad, playing with the copy, graphics, length, etc. Now begins the discovery process. Tweak the various elements and recalibrate as necessary. From here, you can use the results of your A/B tests to drive future creative iterations and optimize your targeting.

    These 5 elements are a recipe for running a goal-driven campaign with ads that work just as hard as you do.

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  • Tax time: What your donors need to know about charitable contributions

    31 March 2018
    Posted by Jon Swerens

    April 17th is fast approaching and that means many of your donors and supporters are scrambling to get their tax paperwork in order. Here’s what they should know about the basic tax benefits of giving to charity.

    They may qualify for an income tax deduction.

    If donors elect to itemize deductions on their tax return, they may be able to take an income tax deduction for a gift to a qualified charitable organization. The caveat here is that the itemizing pays off only when donors exceed that standard deduction. The standard deduction changes each year, so it’s up to the donor to do the research.

    A donation is deductible if it’s given to a 501(c)(3).

    Many charitable organizations meet the IRS’s criteria, but not all. Donors should look for the 501(c)(3) designation to be sure. In general, charitable tax deductions are not allowed for contributions to an individual, a foreign government, international charities, political parties, political campaigns, social welfare organizations commonly known as 501(c)(4), or political action committees.

    Non-cash donations may be tax deductible.

    Sometimes supporters donate items like clothing and supplies to charities in addition to or instead of writing a check. The IRS spells out rules for such gifts. For example, for property owned for more than a year, the deduction is usually equal to the property’s fair market value. Donated clothing and household items must be in “good condition or better” and require a receipt.

    What about donating that old junker that’s been sitting in the driveway for months? Maybe not so fast. To receive a deduction for any vehicle, the item must be worth more than $500. Plus, donors must have a written acknowledgment from the charity.

    Volunteer hours do not qualify for a deduction.

    While you may have a cohort of dedicated and loyal volunteers who pledge hours of sweat equity a year, they cannot deduct the value of their time as a charitable donation. However, they may deduct out-of-pocket expenses, such as mileage.

    Donors should save receipts as supporting documentation.

    To claim a deduction for cash, check, or other monetary gift, taxpayers must have written confirmation from the charity. At minimum, it should include the name of the organization, the date, and the amount of the contribution.

    What about events like charity wine tastings? If donors receive some goods or services in exchange for the donation, the charity must specify the value of those goods or services. Donors may deduct only the amount of your donation that is above that value, as spelled out by the charity.

    This covers the basics. If donors have specific questions pertaining to charitable contributions, they are best served by consulting a tax professional.

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  • 5 tips to write appeal letters that don’t suck

    19 March 2018
    Posted by Jon Swerens

    Donors are the lifeblood of any non-profit organization, so you best make sure you’re reaching them effectively. These 5 tips will help you refine your message and bring in more money.

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  • 4 Ways to Spring Clean Your Donor Relations Program

    28 February 2018
    Posted by Jon Swerens

    Could your donor relations processes and procedures use some freshening up? Here are a few tips to welcome spring and streamline your donor relations programs in the process.

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  • 3 Powerful Ways to Engage Donors and Volunteers

    14 February 2018
    Posted by Jon Swerens

    Nonprofits cannot afford to overlook the power of a single person. To that end, nonprofits would benefit from investing their resources into fostering donor engagement. Here are three ways nonprofits can reach donors and volunteers.

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  • 3 Ways the Tax Reform Law Will Affect Non-profits

    24 January 2018
    Posted by Jon Swerens

    On Dec. 22, the president signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, one of the largest changes to U.S. tax policy in decades. What does this mean to fundraising and operations for non-profit organizations? We break down the most sweeping changes here.

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  • Showing Thanks to Build Loyalty and Trust

    7 April 2016
    Posted by Joshua Smith
    People shaking hands to show thanks

    It’s been said that a donor is much more likely to donate again if they’re thanked at least three times in three different ways once they’ve made their donation. In fact, the main reason that donors lapse and stop giving is due to lack of communication from the organization. This article explains some ways to manage the process of thanking your donors, and the results you can expect.

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