As a group leader, one of the highest mountains you’ll need to climb is reaching your fundraising goal. Whether you’re planning for a big Greek Week event or something small for a local nonprofit, running a successful campaign requires organization, dedication and clear definitions of your goal. Combining our fundraising features with these simple tips will help optimize your donations and reach that mountain’s peak.
1. Take Advantage of Online Convenience
The whole point of fundraising online is to make it as easy as possible to meet your goal, so we’ve cut out a few steps to not only give you a head start, but also rid you of paper work.
Search for a charity using our platform.
When you create a donation campaign through our platform, you have the option to search more than 1.7 million 501(c)(3) charities and raise funds on their behalf. Any individual or group can raise funds to benefit the charity selected through this feature, and the funds will go directly to them – no accounting or transfers required. Donors will automatically receive email receipts, and donations made directly to qualifying 501(c)(3) charities may be tax deductible (check with your accountant).
1. Hover over Donation Sites on the left navigation sidebar
2. Click Create Donation Site from the pop-up menu
3. Select the Find a Cause module
4. Follow the rest of the prompts to create a donation campaign
Offer electronic payment methods.
Making the most of digital fundraising techniques can help you reach a larger pool of donors, not just the ones who are willing to pay by check or cash. Offering electronic payment methods gives members the option to donate by their preferred payment method, use their phone, and sign up for automatic, recurring donations.
Optimize your page for viewing on any device.
Online fundraising also allows you to share information quickly to a large audience, so make sure your fundraising page is design responsive for optimal viewing on any device. (If you’re using memberplanet, we’ve got you covered).
2. Use Visuals to Appeal to Your Audience
Incorporating visual elements, such as video and photos, is an effective way to create a voice. It’s important to not just think about your plan for obtaining your goal, but to also focus on why it’s important. Conveying the “why” to potential donors deepens their connection with the cause and appeals to their emotions, which translates into more money for your organization.
To add photos and video to your Donation Site, select a template to edit, or select the existing campaign you want to edit.
Click the photo icon to upload photos, or copy and paste a video URL in the Add Videos field.
3. Reach Out to Your Inner Circle
4. Adopt a Social Media Strategy
We see social media as part of a larger multi-channel communication strategy, which is to communicate with members using the channels (email, phone, social media, etc.) they prefer. One third of online donations come from peer-to-peer fundraising, making it a vital market to access. By 2018, 2.4 billion people will be social media users. If you’re still not using social media to fundraise, you’re missing out on a great tool for spreading the word about your campaign in a fast, cost-effective way. Figure out which social media platforms your target demographics are using, and start by engaging them on those platforms.
memberplanet users: As soon as you publish your donation campaign, you can share your site to social media directly from the platform, mobile app, or the page itself.
Use our built-in URL shortener if you’re on a character limit, or customize the full URL.
To customize the URL or get the short URL, click on the campaign you want to manage.
6. Follow up
Set up an automated thank-you email to your donors to go out immediately after receiving funds. In it, you can encourage them to spread the word about your campaign. Go the extra mile and share the impact of your campaign with donors, staff, and volunteers. Leave them feeling a genuine sense of gratitude from you. This encourages them to participate in upcoming events and fundraisers from your organization. You can easily send an email to all your members and participants, but it’s better to tailor messages to target specific recipients, such as generous donors and key players of your team.
Our platform features were created to help you build a great campaign and maximize donations. Now that you know some excellent ways to reach your fundraising goal, you can focus on getting to the top of that mountain.
The days of cash being king are over. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple decades, you’ve noticed a societal shift toward electronic payments. What does this mean for you and your organization? Ignoring this trend can seriously hurt the future growth of your organization, whether you’re managing a local nonprofit, chapter of a multi-level association, or any other group. Credit card processing fees may seem like a deterrent, especially if your group consists of volunteers, but the benefits are enough to outweigh whatever costs you incur – and we have proof. Check out these five payoffs of accepting electronic payments.
1. Appeal to a Wider Audience
Studies indicate that more than 70% of Americans have at least one credit card. Even more compelling is that 60% of consumers pay with credit cards instead of cash. This means that accepting credit card payments increases your ability to attract potential members or donors who find electronic payments more convenient. You can connect with a larger audience to recruit and build your group, reach more donors for your campaigns, and increase ticket sales for your events.
2. Increase Revenue
Appealing to a wider audience translates into higher revenue. Research shows that people are willing to spend more on their credit cards than when making cash purchases. This has obvious benefits for fundraising campaigns, as it can lead to bigger donations from individuals. The New York Times sites several studies that demonstrate the increase in spending with credit versus cash of at least 5-10%. In one study, graduate students paid nearly double the price for a sporting event ticket when paying with a credit card!
3. Direct Deposit Increases Cash Flow
If you’re paying out of pocket to reserve a venue for your group’s event because members couldn’t pay in advance, that’s a cash flow issue. Accepting electronic payments increases cash flow by limiting the time it takes for money to appear in your account. Instead of waiting for members or donors to mail a check, then depositing the check, and then waiting for it to clear, funds can be deposited directly into your account and processed quickly. This also removes the burden of holding onto large cash sums until you can make a deposit.
4. Build Credibility with Credit Cards
5. Simplify Recurring Payments and Donations
Group members and donors can set up recurring membership payments and donations. memberplanet makes this easy by allowing you to accept electronic payments that will be processed and deposited directly into your designated account. Simplifying the payment process makes it easier to collect membership dues and retain current members, and is beneficial for collecting donations during fundraising season.
Accepting electronic payments simplifies the exchange of money for you and anyone you collect payments from. This is beneficial and convenient for collecting membership fees, receiving donations, and selling event tickets or any other product or service your offer. With an evident shift from cash to credit, it is essential to offer a variety of payment methods in order to retain members, grow your organization, and maximize potential contributors to your group.
Ready to get started? Log in to memberplanet and set up your account to collect electronic payments.
"One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility." - Eleanor Roosevelt
International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day dedicated to celebrating women. This initiative focuses on the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. This day also serves as a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
To learn more about the values of International Women's Day please visit their website.
Happy International Women's Day from all of us at memberplanet.
Once you become part of our ‘planet’ you might notice that certain words adopt a whole new meaning. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite glossary terms. Take a look at how some of our favorites have changed.
What it normally means: Any application on your phone.
What it actually means: A free custom app, specific to your group, that facilitates communication and allows for on-site payments. You can also upload photos, share updates, and view member activity.
What it normally means: Being practical and writing down a list.
What is actually means: Smart Lists let you generate distribution lists for specific subsets of people based on member status or other variable data (Example: You may want to send a message targeted to everyone who donated over $100 to your fundraising campaign).
What it normally means: A transmission via radio or TV.
What it actually means: Simultaneously draft and send a text message and/or email communication blast to all members via desktop or mobile app.
What it normally means: A website charities use to collect donations.
What it actually means: A custom branded interactive giving site to raise funds online for your group. Our variety of pre-made templates makes each donation site easy and fast to create.
What it normally means: A file cabinet where you keep important papers.
What it actually means: Use cloud software to upload and share documents and files with admins and members. Send emails with file attachments.
What it normally means: Creating a survey on a word document.
What it actually means: Create branded forms with unlimited flexible fields that makes it simple to gather and compile online feedback from members.
What it normally means: A huge amount of printed paper copies stapled together.
What it actually means: All of your group’s mandatory forms and surveys assembled in one place electronically.
What it normally means: A huge album that sits on your bookshelf filled with old photos.
What it actually means: Seamlessly collect and share photos. Crowdsource photos with email and mobile uploading.
What it normally means: The work done by a newspaper journalist.
What is actually means: Real-time online reporting generated on demand for everything on the platform, including membership stats, email tracking, funds raised, and RSVPs.
What it normally means: An ID for a gym or club.
What is actually means: Digital E-cards can be accessed online or via the mobile app. For some groups a member card even allows access to special perks.
Want to learn more about the ins and outs of memberplanet? Check out our platform.
There are lot of common misconceptions when it comes to best practices of member management. We respect that leaders have their own unique way of doing things, but sometimes the most used practices are not the best. Times change and the tools that were once adequate become outdated. (Remember when the internet was dial up?!) The same can be said about best practices to lead an organization. Member management software is a groundbreaking tool that can change the way you handle administrative tasks. It’s time to shed some light on common myths. By the end of this post we bet all of your views on management software will be busted!
Myth: Dues collection is more secure offline.
There is a widespread and valid concern about the security of payment processors when it comes to sharing credit card information online. Don’t worry we’re right there with you. However, collecting dues offline also comes with some risks. Checks can get lost in the mail. Cash can be lost or miscounted. And there is no way to track or record payments other than ledger. There is greater risk for mistakes. This can cause a major issue for groups who will harbor sole liability if something were to go wrong.
Reality: Collecting dues payments online increases the security of the transaction, and allows for accurate record keeping and transparency that all admins have access to. Yes, payments processing comes with a fee – but offering the option of online payment methods is also proven to increase funds. It’s a benefit that greatly outweighs the cost of fees.
Myth: It is easier to send a mass text OR email, and impossible to do both AT THE SAME TIME.
Using your email account and plugging in the names of from a spreadsheet to your group members can take hours. Then once you’re done, you have to text the group separately (in case they don’t check their email). Plus, I think we can all agree that group chats and text become very cumbersome very fast. Check your phone on your lunch break and suddenly you have 75 responses to scroll through, and a drained battery. The information at the top of the thread can get lost in the hullabaloo.
Reality: You can send both email and text at once. Even better, each person will get an individualized text that won’t inconvenience them with no chance of creating a massive reply thread. Instant and fast communication for you, and no hassle for your group members.
Myth: During leader transition, the organization takes a couple steps backward.
Training a new group leader can be a tedious task. The transitional period, which can last a couple months, can also cause groups to take either a few steps backwards, or remain at a standstill while the new leader adjusts.
Reality: The software allows you to cut down on time when transitioning from one leader to the next. You’re not starting over from scratch. You’re building upon the great work already accomplished.
Myth: Planning events using Facebook is the most effective way to reach your group.
Hosting an event on Facebook, while helpful in certain aspects, leaves a lot of work to be done for an admin. You must jump between multiple single services, such as email, payments processing, and your database (if you have one), for features not on Facebook.
Reality: Let’s get one thing straight – social media is great for socializing, and using it to broaden the reach of your communication is a MUST. But the truth is, not EVERYBODY has Facebook. Building an event through a member management platform gives you the ease of using one system for all your event-planning needs. There is an added sense of professionalism to your organization’s official event. Your members can access your event site, invitation, and RSVP, without having to sign up for an account (Facebook or otherwise). And you will have access to the same features available on Facebook and more! Photos can even be uploaded by members to a shared album. Now all you have to do is, “Say cheese!”
Join us and check out how we can help you improve the way you manage your group.
We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from PTAs using memberplanet, and decided we’d combine it into an open letter to yours truly for our own Valentine’s Day fun.
Hello, my dear memberplanet,
This isn’t how we normally communicate with one another, but I had to write this letter because I simply couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. I have a confession, and I’ll shout it from the rooftops: I love you, memberplanet, and I don’t care who knows it!
I must admit, at first I was a little embarrassed. I never really saw myself falling for a software company. I mean, it was a little unexpected. Me, a PTA volunteer and mom, and you, a tech company? I didn’t think I could ever understand you. I tried you on a whim, but sometimes love is just meant to be star-crossed, I suppose.
You have the flexibility and openness to be everything my admin self needs: online dues collection, event sites, a mobile app – I’m getting dizzy just thinking about all you have to offer! *Swoons* I could stare at your (inter)face all day. So intuitive and easy to use. I feel like I really know you, which is a first for a software platform. Normally you’re all complex, and in the past I liked being with someone more old fashioned, more pen-and-paper type. Then you were so welcoming and accepting all my friends in the PTA. You were also so attentive, coming to every event with me to scan and collect last-minute payments and check member cards.
It meant a lot to me that I was able to share my life with you by collecting photos and keeping them on a shared album for everyone. Your generosity is astounding. You helped me create a donation site to collect money for new school computers. And thanks to you, we raised double the amount in donations from last year. It’s clear we’re just a match made in heaven. From that day on, you were my everything. I feel like I couldn’t even begin to imagine me without you. One day, I’ll have to pass you onto the next PTA president, but I know that you’ll be just as welcoming to them as you were to me. For now let’s enjoy our time together.
All my love,
A Head-over-heals PTA President
Check out our Social Media category for more ideas (and a little bit of silliness).
There are many different ways to tackle the role of leader. It’s the first down at the big game and you’re in charge of it all. How do you maneuver your team to victory, and what strategy do you use to make sure there aren’t any fumbles? Take our quiz to find out what type of leader you are. Whether you’re scoring a touchdown in the end zone, or rushing your team on a two-minute warning, we know you’ll go for it on and off of the field.
Happy Chinese New Year! Want to know an amazing trick to being a wonderful group leader? Act like a rooster! Yes, you read that right. Don’t worry we haven’t lost our minds – this is the year of the Rooster in the Chinese Zodiac. Also known as Sheng Xiao, the zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle aligned with the Chinese lunar calendar.
Active years of the rooster include: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, and 2017. It is said that those born during the year of the rooster are observant, practical, and perfectionists. Roosters carry out challenges with wit and analysis of the problem at hand. They are able to overcome adversaries, though are known to be the warm-hearted center of any room, often being the most sociable among any group. So even if this isn’t your lunar year, it wouldn’t hurt to adopt those awesome characteristics. Check out more great qualities of the rooster in the infographic below, and browse our blog for more leadership tips.
Let’s face it, we live in a tech world. Technology is so ingrained in our daily lives that it is nearly impossible to function without it. When was the last time you paid a bill by check, or bought something in store instead of online? For many of us, doing everyday things online has become the norm. However, as someone who isn’t naturally computer savvy, I know the constant frustration this reality can be. Truth be told, those who are adept at computers often fail to realize that it isn’t always a quick study. So if you haven’t quite given tech trends a thought, this is a great place to start – because it’s bound to affect your members! Here are four member management tech trends of 2017, and what it means for you as a group leader.
1. Get ready for automated everything!
According to Forbes.com this year will also see an huge increase in automation.
“Marketers will be (mostly) pleased to learn that automation will become a bigger mainstay in and throughout 2017, with advanced technology enabling the automation of previously human-exclusive tasks.”
This means that your existing members and new members will come to expect their payments to be exclusively online and automated. memberplanet users: If you haven’t done this yet, try setting your dues payments on a set-it-and-forget-it basis. Less work for you and your members, and a more productive way to collect funds. Everyone wins.
2. Social Media: Your friends list will keep on growing
It’s no secret that social media is a powerful marketing tool for your group. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer boundless access to free advertising for your group’s events and goals. These outlets also provide the ability to share this content with everyone’s personal network of friends. In 2017 social media’s use is only slated to expand, which gives your group all the more opportunity to harness its advantages. Take a look at these stats from Hubspot, and work on incorporating more social media marketing tactics into your group’s promotional strategy.
3. More visuals and videos are on the way
We are a visual society. With visual learners making up 65% of the population, it is not surprising that pictures and video are among the most popular posts on social media and blogs. As a group leader, your content should be visually appealing. Everything from your website to your social media posts should be visually stimulating to your audience. Member management software arms you with tools and templates to create streamlined sites, fundraising campaigns, and emails that can easily include photos and videos. If you’re using memberplanet, we recommend sharing those out to social media with our built-in URL shortener. Here are some pretty eye-popping statistics from HubSpot to keep in mind when creating your next flyer, event site, or social media post:
4. Group creation and involvement will increase
A quick survey around our office confirms that people are now involved in twice as many clubs and social groups than they were five years ago. It’s no secret that this trend of increased social involvement is likely to continue. This means great news for growing your membership. People are looking to get involved, connect with others, and be part of a cause that’s bigger than their individual selves. Help your group stand out by showcasing your group culture and personality. Take advantage of every event you plan to introduce your group to potential members, or highlight the work you’re doing through a donation site or email newsletter. Keep in mind though that more groups means your members’ attention and time will likely be divided among several different places, so be sure to focus on retaining and engaging your members as well.
What are some other tech trends you think will make a huge difference in member management? Let us know if we missed any.
Ready to see for yourself how memberplanet can help you take advantage of these tech trends? Try it and create a group for free.
To start the new year off right, we’re sharing our list of shiny new features now available on the memberplanet platform. We took into account a ton of user feedback and got busy all through the holiday (and still managed to put on a few pounds because of one too many office potlucks).
Check out our tech updates, and let us know how else we can make this year a great one.
Targeting your communication to specific recipients makes a greater impact, and Smart Lists is a feature that allows you to do exactly that. Segment your contact list using data, such as member levels, and tailor your message to that audience. If, for example, you want to send an email to those who didn’t RSVP to an event, you could use Smart Lists to filter those contacts for you. Then craft a message to those recipients reiterating the value of attending your event.
Copy an event
Have you ever created an event page you liked so much that you wished you could make a copy of it and use it as a template? Voila! Your wish is our command! This is an easy way to copy and rehost without the setup time.
We don’t think printing out membership cards should be a pain in the derriere. (That’s French, for ass.) Admins can now take advantage of our Avery standard business card size – easy for printing on perforated cardstock. Your members can view their cards by logging in to memberplanet on desktop or mobile app. And once it’s viewed on the mobile app, it’s stored for offline viewing thereafter.
Record event RSVP
Admins can now record an event RSVP on behalf of someone – particularly useful if you’re recording offline payments on-site to a ticketed event. They can add to the RSVP list for other attendees to view, or keep impeccable records without the need for guests to RSVP themselves.
Any time you create a form (such as a survey) or event, you can now use our built-in URL shortener if the amount of characters is a concern when sharing the link. No need to venture outside of platform for this!
Drag-and-drop image uploader
You can now drag and drop images using our image uploader for emails, events, donation sites, forms and photo albums. Sexy, isn’t it?
Chances are, this wasn’t on anyone’s wish list, but we want to inform you that we’ve updated our legalese. Don’t worry – we’ve written it with non-techies in mind, so if you got through this blog, you’ll most likely understand the language we put forth regarding use of our services.
We’re always looking for ways to simplify your life and make member management as easy peasy as possible. So you can approach admin tasks like this:
And NOT like this:
What else we can do to help simplify your life? Email us and let us know at email@example.com.