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Web Design and Marketing

Saturday, November 10 2012
Many non-profits overlook the fundraising opportunities that printed newsletters have. I've listed some quick ideas to breathe live into your newsletter's fundraising efforts.

1. Make your newsletter interesting. It sounds obvious but that's why most newsletters don't get read - they are dull and boring. Start with a professional looking design to make your newsletter visually appealing. If you don't have design skills then buy a template or pay a designer. Use large, interesting images that portray some aspect of your nonprofit that will capture the reader's attention.  

2. Feature stories about changed lives. Focus your newsletter  on the impact that your non-profit is having on people. Stories of changed lives is one of the top factors that motivate people to donate.

3. Always include a response envelope. Sending out an electronic newsletter is cheaper and faster - but, a large segment of the population still prefers to give by check. Providing a response envelope facilitates their giving. My recommendation is to alternate months with an e-newsletter and printed newsletter.

4. Follow up on the newsletter. Segment your list of donors and follow up the newsletter with a personal meeting, phone call, or an e-mail. 

5. The #1 thing that get's read in newsletters - is the personal note that you write on them. Leave room in your newsletter design to allow for you to include a personal note to donors. Write it in blue so it stands out. Use these notes to thank donors for their giving, to let them know you look forward to meeting with them soon, to engage them to participate in some way in your nonprofit, etc.

6. Inform donors of additional ways to give. Use your newsletter to educate donors of additional ways they can give to your nonprofit. Stagger throughout the year the examples that I list below.
  • Planned Giving - wills, bequests, etc.
  • Gifts in Kind
  • Securities - your organization will need to have an account set up with a broker to facilitate receiving the stock and then selling it. 
  • ACH - donations automatically drafted from checking or savings accounts.
  • Giving through your website. Provide an option for people to have a subscription if they want to want to donate monthly. Provide a PayPal option as well as credit cards through a merchant account.
  • Memorial Gifts
  • Matching Gifts - great way for people to leverage their giving.
7. Feature occasional stores about donors. Interview donors to find out why they give and what other ways they participate in the organization. If they give in some of the ways that are listed above - use this as an opportunity to explain some of these different giving opportunities and specifically how this donor was able to utilize a particular way to give.

Need Help?

If you're website isn't facilitating the variety of ways that your donors can give then contact us. We can set up your merchant account so that people can give online.  We can also set up your website to capture all of the additional giving methods we've mentioned.  

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Posted by: Craig Ludrick AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 01 2012
Which is better to use on your website to process donations and/or store purchases - a merchant account or a 3rd Party Payment App such as PayPal, Google Checkout, etc.

Merchant Account vs 3rd Party Payment App
In a usability study when users were routed to a 3rd party payment application once they initiated the donation process users were annoyed and confused. My own experience in having a webstore and initially using a 3rd party payment application is that users were often confused and would bounce without completing their purchase. They thought that since they didn't have an account with the 3rd party payment system that they couldn't complete their purchase. I even put in big red letters that they didn't have to have an account that they could still use their credit card and complete their purchase as a guest. It still didn't help. I finally switched to a merchant account. Even though many 3rd party payment apps don't require an account, trying to complete your transaction without one is unintuitive and confusing. There are some 3rd party payment apps that offer more seamless integration. PayPal is a popular payment app and many people that do a lot of shopping online have an account and prefer to use it.  

What You Should Do
Use both. Get a merchant account because it will easily and seamlessly allow you to process credit cards on our website. You will process more transactions because it's seamless and integrated with the website and people know what to expect. For people that prefer to donate or pay with PayPal offer that as an option as well. 

Need help? No problem we can help you get your merchant account and get it set it on your website for you.

Posted by: Craig Ludrick AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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