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Many of us have been there. Inspired by the “holiday giving” spirit we often wish we could give back to the community or a nonprofit organization. However, with the strains of traveling and buying presents for friends/family, it is easy to feel the financial strains of the holidays. As a result, many of us find ourselves unable to stretch our pocketbook and make a donation.

Problem solved! This year, we came up with an idea. To show each and every one of our clients just how thankful we are for them, we have decided to give back. Today through December 31, 2012, for each “Like” Guest Relations Marketing receives on Facebook, we will donate $1 to our non-profit clients. Up to $10,000.

So, all you have to do is give us a like and help spread the word by sharing with your network.

Remember: 10,000 Likes = $10,000 donation!

We made a quick video. Check it out:

 

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving and joyous holiday season.

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Yesterday we promised to discuss the 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study’s findings on online fundraising. And here at Guest Relations Marketing we always provide on our promises.

As the economy has improved, general giving has increased. As a result, these numbers can be directly correlated to the incline in the number of online donations that most nonprofit organizations are witnessing.

However, it is important to understand the trends in how people are giving and through what mediums. Below you will find a synopsis of some of the important takeaways as we explain what these mean to your organization.

Courtesy of eNonprofit Benchmarks Study

Takeaway # 4

On average, 35% of online revenue was sourced to direct email appeals. The remaining 65% came from other sources, such as unsolicited web giving and peer referrals.

What this mean for you

A majority of online giving is coming from sources other than email. As a result organizations should NEVER exclude providing additional opportunities for people to donate. Consider unsolicited web giving and peer referrals as other great sources for fundraising.

How can you increase peer referrals? Social sites that promote sharing and make it easy for people to talk about your organization provide excellent word of mouth marketing opportunities. If you aren’t in these mediums (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) than you should consider doing so immediately.

Courtesy of eNonprofit Benchmarks Study

Takeaway # 5 

While one-time gifts remain the largest source of online revenue for participants, online revenue from monthly giving is growing at a much faster rate.

What this means for you

While one-time gifts are generally of higher value than monthly giving, keep in mind that the total dollar value for continuous donations will be higher. Consider establishing brand loyalty amongst your fans and provide opportunities for them to give over and over again throughout the year.

Maybe this is done through a series of events or establishing a monthly loyalty plan. Either way, keeping your organization top of mind will promote continuous giving.

Encouraging and promoting online fundraising isn’t always an easy task. Thankfully social media has enabled organizations multiple channels to spread the word.

Interested in how most nonprofits stack up in the social realm? Check in tomorrow when we summarize the benefits of having a strong social media presence.

Curious at how your nonprofit organization stands up against the rest when it comes to online messaging, fundraising and social media?

Thankfully M+R Strategic Services and the Nonprofit Technology Network have analyzed 44 nonprofit data sets to analyze the average performance in 2011, measuring email messaging, list size, fundraising, advocacy, social media and mobile programs. The results were compiled into the 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study.

However, we realize that many of you are way too busy to sit down and analyze graph after graph or even understand the significance of the findings.

Here at Guest Relations Marketing we have interpreted the data for you. Over the next few days we will roll out important takeaways from the study and explain what is means for nonprofit organizations.

Today, we discuss email messaging!

Courtesy of 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study

Takeaway # 1 

When sending emails, advocacy messages had the highest open rates, click-through rates and response rates – as well as the lowest unsubscribe rates. In contrast, fundraising emails have the lowest open rates and highest unsubscribe rates.

What this means for you

On average people don’t enjoy being asked for money, even if they are a Zealot for your organization’s cause. Keep this in mind and consider providing fundraising news within other email messaging.

Want to put a heavy emphasis on the fundraiser? Then be sure to use a crafty subject and headline that will capture the recipient’s attention. Directly stating that your email is requesting they contribute could send their cursors directly to the delete button.

Courtesy of 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study

Takeaway #2 

With only a few exceptions, almost every organization in the study saw their email subscriber list grow from 2010 to 2011, though the increase in growth rate appears to be slowing (environmental groups grew their lists at the highest rates).

What this means for you

Remember that every day people’s inboxes are flooded with random emails that most consider spam. It’s easy for an individual to get frustrated at the constant stream and quickly hit the unsubscribe button. More relevant to this topic, it is easy to assume that many people are hesitant to even sign up for email newsletters out of fear of how their inbox will be filled.

Finding a solution to this problem on the surface is two-fold.

First, whatever the cause that your organization is working for, it is important to make it relevant and trendy to the general public. Environmental concerns has been a general growing topic of interest over the last few years and it can be assumed that this would have a direct correlation to the large increase in email subscribers.

Second, you must provide incentive for people to want to receive emails from your organization. Maybe this is subscriber only updates, or behind the scenes looks. Whatever the news, make it clear for people that the only way they will get certain information is by signing up for your email newsletters.

Courtesy of 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study

Takeaway # 3

Between 2010 and 2011, the email fundraising response rate held steady at 0.08%, with a negligible growth of 2%.

What this means for you

Online fundraising has steadily increased in popularity for nonprofit organizations. This should not be news to you. However, what is important to take note of is that email fundraising rates are generally low and should not be the only way your organization pushes to raise money.

Interested in what other methods generally show success at fundraising? Then tune into our post tomorrow where we will highlight some of the study’s findings of online fundraising.

Guest Relations has been invited to share our unique Zealotry Marketing approach at the upcoming Georgia Center for Non-Profits Summit.

April Voris and Mike Tyre, partners, will be discussing “Why engage in a Zealotry Marketing approach?”  They will also be sharing insights and tips on why focusing on Zealots is the surest way to profitable results and the best way to leverage current customers and resources.

Non Profit Summit:  Tuesday May 10 from 3:30 – 4:45 pm at the Georgia World Congress Center

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