Traditional fundraising methods still have their place. However, as the world shifts towards an increasingly digital landscape, it may be time to re-evaluate your old techniques. Online fundraising offers a myriad of benefits and can help you surpass your fundraising goals. Don’t be put off by the fees — here are five reasons why you should fundraise online.
A Bigger Payoff
You might be concerned about the fees associated with online fundraising and whether they will cut into your net goal. It is important to do the research and see how various sites structure their cost.
Electronic payment methods make raising money faster and easier than ever, because, let’s face it – not everyone carries lots of cash or a checkbook these days. With memberplanet’s mobile app, users can donate directly from their phone at any time and easily set up automatic, recurring payments. By offering the option to collect all payment types both onsite and online, you can access a larger network of donors. This will allow you to raise more money for your cause.
Security and Credibility
One of the main benefits of launching an online fundraising campaign is its potential to go viral. This takes you out of the typical sphere of donors and opens you up to supporters you wouldn’t reach with traditional methods. This can help you reach your monetary goals faster and even surpass them. Look for sites that offer a direct link for social sharing from your donation page to maximize exposure.
Note to memberplanet users: Make use of our built-in URL shortener or share on social media directly from our platform to save time and (when you need it) character space. Online campaigns give you the freedom to create a donation page that reflects your cause. Customizable templates and forms let you streamline the look of your fundraising page. You can add photos, videos and other interactive features to increase interest and support, which translates into larger dollar amounts.
Crowdfunding is on Trend
Crowdfunding has gained momentum over the past few years and is only becoming more popular. It offers easy payment methods for donors, makes tracking donations easier for admins and is easily shareable across social media. It’s an effective and efficient way of framing a fundraising campaign.
memberplanet users: It’s never been easier to set up a donation page. Customizable templates and forms let you streamline the look of your fundraising page or marketing campaign. You can add a live donor ticker to monitor the campaign’s progress, as well as photos, videos and other interactive features to increase interest and support, which translates into larger dollar amounts.
Originally published: 5/15/2017
Our new donation site builder makes it easy to raise funds on behalf of any of the over 1.7 million charities in the United States.
Now, when you create a new donation site, you will have the opportunity to select your favorite charity from our built-in database. When you use this feature donations will deposit directly to your chosen charity without the need for a secondary transfer on your part. Additionally, donors will automatically receive tax-deduction email receipts for these types of donations.
This update comes right in time for #GivingTuesday which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 27th, 2018.
#GivingTuesday is a social media led initiative that promotes a collective global push for charitable donations on the Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving each year.
#GivingTuesday marks just the beginning of the giving season. In fact, 50% of all charitable donations are made in December – so if you’re starting now you’re right on schedule! Setting up a site for tax deductible donations in the fall is a great way to capitalize on the biggest giving days of the year, including end-of-tax-year giving, which peaks the last week of December.
Have any questions? We’re happy to help. Click here to contact us.
Originally published: 11/25/2015
For most PTA members, no matter the time of year, fundraising isn’t a walk in the park. Whether you’re campaigning for back-to-school season, the next holiday around the corner, or the book drive, coordinating time and resources to stay atop the minds of your supporters shouldn’t take over your life (or the lives of your volunteers). Since you’ve teamed up with memberplanet, offering your donors electronic payment options is super easy to do on the platform. Here are some other tips to save time so you can pass on the frustration and double up on the fun.
1. Don’t start from scratch – use a template
With each new year and transition in PTA leaders, the history (excel sheets) from previous fundraisers can get lost in the shift. Also, learning a new position takes time. We’re here to make it easy. Since PTA fundraisers are often annual, you can save time by managing your event online. We even offer Donation Site templates. These pre-populated templates will help you set up your donation campaign. Our campaign feature also has the ability to save donation campaigns for future use, so the next event will practically take care of itself. By building upon past successes and the work that was already done, you will take the headache out of organizing the campaign, and have more time to focus on member engagement.
2. Take advantage of the gift of gab: social media
Planning your fundraiser is only half the battle – you must promote it too! The good news is that promoting your event doesn’t have to be stressful. Use your campaign URL in as many places as you can, including your website, email, and social media. Through social media, you can get people talking about your event with just a few clicks. Picture word-of-mouth sharing – but amplified! Our Donation Sites were designed to be shared on your PTA social media channels. Ask your PTA members to share the event too. Everyone has a unique circle of friends, so the more people who share, the broader your reach gets. More awareness for your campaign and way less time spent making promotion calls or passing out flyers! We like to call that a win-win.
3. Cut out the stress: set and forget
Engaging with your members and donors is the bread and butter of being a successful PTA leader. But there are only so many hours in a day, and as a leader, there is only so much time you can dedicate to PTA admin tasks. That’s what inspired us to build in automated features in our platform. Writing thank-you cards (the kind that’s sent through snail mail) take forever! To save time, admins can add a thank-you message to the automated confirmation email that is sent once someone donates to your online fundraiser. We highly recommend adding a thank-you message to the confirmation email as well as encouraging donors to spread the word about the campaign. If you’re really feeling like you’re in an automating mood, you can also include the info donors need to file their taxes. PTAs are 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, and contributions to them are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You should include the full name of your PTA unit, the EIN number, and your PTA’s location.
Whether you’re a seasoned PTA fundraising pro or just getting started, you can’t go wrong with these three steps – they’re fail proof, and most importantly, they’ll save you time. (So you can engage with your members and make a difference in your community.)
Log in and see for yourself.
PTA Simplified is a series of tips for PTA and PTO leaders to get the most out of managing their volunteer members and growing their membership all year long.
Originally published: 8/17/2017
Part of leading your PTA is raising the funds necessary to make a difference in your unit. Unfortunately, orchestrating a computer drive to give your school a tech upgrade, a jump-a-thon to save at-risk student programs, or any other type of fundraiser can feel like a full-time undertaking. Lucky for you, memberplanet makes it easy. And if you need proof that launching an online fundraiser really makes a difference, check out how Wittmann Elementary School increased its membership funds by 75 percent. Here’s how to set up a donation campaign on memberplanet, which will get your PTA a couple steps closer to crushing your fundraising goal.
Create a fundraiser for your PTA
1. Hover over Donation Sites on the left navigation sidebar and click Create Donation Site in the submenu
2. Choose to raise funds for your own group on memberplanet
3. Select one of the following choices:
4. Finish creating a campaign by filling in the required information: Campaign Title, Category, Why Are You Fundraising?, Campaign Goal, End Date, and Default Donation.
5. Click Save & Continue
Customize the look of your donation campaign
These next steps allow PTA admins to customize their Donation Sites. Use a memorable custom URL, choose specific colors, and upload a banner -- key identifiers for brand recognition and consistency. You can also upload a photo album that you’ve created on the platform; images are a great way to strengthen the connection between your cause and your donors. For example, including pictures of who will benefit from the funds raised or showing how the funds will be put to use is an effective way to convey your donors’ impact. You can go all out in customizing your fundraiser, or you can breeze through this section and hit Save & Publish Now.
To customize, hover over any of the page sections and click the Edit icon that appears on the top right of the section.
You can always come back and make changes to this page if you decide to navigate away from it.
Get the word out
As soon as you publish your Donation Site, your campaign page link will be provided, and you can share your campaign to social media directly from the platform, mobile app, or the page itself. We recommend sharing your fundraiser on as many channels as possible – through email, your website, text message and more.
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. Select the Copy or Customize the Campaign Page URL feature.
Click Customize or Copy to Clipboard for the URL you desire.
Mobilize your PTA supporters – create Supporter Pages
What’s a Supporter Page, you ask? It’s an individual’s fundraising page created in support of your PTA’s donation campaign. Supporter Pages are more effective in helping you reach your fundraising goal for these reasons:
Here’s how your PTA members (or anyone, really) can create a Supporter Page:
1. From your Donation Site, click Support this Campaign
2. Users will be prompted to log in to memberplanet or create an account if they don’t have one
3. After logging in or creating an account, a new browser window will appear in which supporters can set their own goal and add their own reason why they’re supporting the campaign
4. When finished, click Publish
5. The Supporter Page URL will be provided, and you can share it to social media directly from the platform, mobile app, or the page itself
If you haven’t already, set up a bank account to receive funds. Our platform features were created to help you build a great campaign and maximize PTA donations – without creating a ton of paper work in the process. Follow these steps to set yourself on a clear path to crushing your fundraising goal.
PTA Simplified is a series of tips for PTA and PTO leaders to get the most out of managing their volunteer members and growing their membership all year long.
Originally published: 8/10/2017
Effective booster club leaders focus on fundraising because they firmly believe their altruism will help not just their children, but the entire community. As a Booster Club leader, you might find it challenging to balance all your responsibilities. Taking advantage of resourceful online tools may be your best bet for success. Here’s why you should consider a consolidated platform for events and fundraising to better engage your donors:
1. Attract more donors
Every 15 seconds, a new user joins the world of social media. According to Brandwatch, there are 3.03 billion active social media users. That’s nearly 40 percent of the worldwide population.
Booster Club leaders should consider how using social media can boost fundraising by targeting specific audiences. For example, the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report claims that millennials prefer to donate online, and they are most often inspired to give by social media. Utilize and mobilize your social media presence to spread the word about fundraising events.
2. Increase engagement with photos
If you are looking to grab the attention of potential donors, spread the word about a cause, and/or inspire volunteerism, sharing photos online is a powerful move. Improve visibility by tagging others in your photos and opening yourself up to the photo-sharing community.
According to The Guardian, people are more likely to donate to a cause when it means something to them. Use effective imagery to connect with people, and let them get to know the cause you want them to support.
3. Collect more money
Offering online/mobile payment and donation options helps your donors help you. This eliminates the need for donors to have cash and checks on hand. Accepting online payments leverages today’s tech with potential donors -- where it’s only a few clicks from decision to completion of payment. That’s why online donation campaigns see more dollars collected overall. It’s not just easy, it’s a familiar process that donors feel innately comfortable with. According to a Cone Communications study, 48 percent of American adults are likely to use an app to make a donation. What are you waiting for? You can broaden your reach (and increase your donations) by using mobile and online payment methods.
By making the most of online tools such as social media, electronic payment options, photo sharing, and email, you can be more successful in your fundraising efforts. Keep your contacts organized to seamlessly communicate with your whole audience and track their responses. You can test and target your messages to specific recipients and optimize your fundraising efforts to meet your goals every time. These online tools offer Booster Clubs an edge that will make managing fundraising events more effective, and better yet, more engaging.
Learn more about fundraising and how memberplanet can help your Booster Club raise more donations. Get started with your free account today.
Reaching your fundraising goals is always a challenge. Whether you’re planning a big event or something small, running a successful campaign requires organization, dedication, and clear definitions of your goal. These four simple steps will help optimize your donations to reach your goal and then some.
1. Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising
Your campaign will spread like wildfire with the help of your supporters. Help donors help you by motivating them to share your campaign with their friends and family. Peer-to-peer fundraising opens your donation campaign to everyone in your educational foundation’s circle and beyond: Your supporters’ supporters will in turn become your supporters! Post content online for your donors to share on social media. Your audience is more likely to donate to your page when they see that others, especially people they know, have already donated.
2. Adopt a social media strategy
One third of online donations comes from peer-to-peer fundraising, making it a vital market to access. Social media is part of a larger multi-channel communication strategy, which is to communicate with donors using the channels (email, phone, social media, etc.) they prefer. 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. Find out which social media platforms your target demographics are using and start by engaging them on those platforms.
3. Stay in touch
After receiving funds from your donors, send thank-you emails to go out immediately to 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.
4. Track your progress
Set weekly and monthly goals to monitor your success. By setting timely goals, you can create a call to action for your supporters to stay on target and overcome smaller hurdles.
Now that you have some excellent tips, get out there and crush your fundraising goals. memberplanet was created to help you build a great campaign and maximize donations. Get started on our platform today.
For most K-12 booster clubs, fundraising isn’t a piece of cake. Coordinating time and resources to stay atop the minds of your supporters shouldn’t take over your life (or the lives of your volunteers). Here are some tips to save time so you can skip the frustration and double up on the fun.
1. Repurpose content
With each new year and transition in booster club leaders, the records (Excel sheets) from previous fundraisers can get lost in the process. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to reuse a pre-populated template? By building upon past successes and the work that was already done, you will take the headache out of organizing the campaign and have more time to focus on member engagement. memberplanet allows you to repurpose templates for incoming officers to use. Learning a new position takes time; we’re here to make it easy.
2. Take advantage of social media
Promoting your event doesn’t have to be stressful, especially with the help of social media. Post your campaign URL in as many places as you can, including your website, email, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Through social media, you can get people talking about your event with just a few shares. The more people who share, the broader your reach gets. More awareness for your campaign and way less time spent making promotion calls or passing out flyers!
3. Save time with automation
To be successful, all booster club leaders should engage with their donors and volunteers. But there are only so many hours in a day, and as a leader, there is only so much time you can dedicate to booster club admin tasks. That’s what inspired us to build in automated features in our platform. For example, handwriting thank-you cards take forever! To save time, admins can add a thank-you message to the automated confirmation email that is sent once someone donates online. Set it and forget it!
Whether you’re a seasoned booster club fundraising pro or just getting started, you can’t go wrong with these three time-saving steps. memberplanet is here to help you focus on what’s important: engaging with your supporters and making a difference in your community.
Create a free account and see for yourself!
Northern California Contest Club (NCCC) is a group of radio operator enthusiasts and is an affiliate of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for amateur radio operators in the United States. In the world of ham radio, amateur refers to operators who must pass an exam to communicate non-commercially over the radio frequency spectrum. The contest-oriented club relied on manual processes to record and track membership, which was time consuming and resulted in inaccurate record-keeping. With members demanding transparency and online payment options and access to information, NCCC needed a system that members could use to view their own membership status and payments.
Since teaming with memberplanet, NCCC has maintained accurate records (in less time) and provided a dedicated, online membership portal for its members to view payment history and stay updated with club activities. As a result, NCCC has enjoyed a 57% increase in paid membership and 37% boost in dues collected in just one year.
Small Club, Big Challenges
For a club whose members are mostly over 50 and involved in a hobby that includes a fondness of Morse code, attracting younger demographics and recruiting new members in order to thrive may seem like a unique struggle. There are many small social clubs, however, that have fallen behind on meeting the demands of a new generation of members, including providing access to information online, offering convenient payment methods, and effectively communicating updates. Clubs that still heavily rely on paper filing systems and manual processes face the time-consuming challenge of keeping accurate financial records and managing members.
It became clear to NCCC that it needed to upgrade its manual processes and combat its dwindling membership – or face radio silence.
Manual Processes – Over
In 2016, NCCC began using memberplanet to keep its database organized and up to date. “We really didn't know how many members we had prior to memberplanet. It's sad, but true,” Ian Parker, NCCC’s Secretary, explained. The club’s manual reporting processes included interactions between the secretary and treasurer, a lot of paperwork, and time. Sometimes members who missed payments went undetected. “We now have a good grasp on the number of real members. With memberplanet our data is kept accurate – and timely.”
Club admins have enjoyed the platform’s turnkey features, such as automated membership reminders and convenient payment options. “We also have more up-to-date member information and auto renewals. These were the primary reasons for moving to memberplanet, which has been one hundred percent successful,” Parker said. The membership insights available in the support site and the time freed up from admin tasks are now directed to engaging members.
A Closer Look at NCCC’s Online Results
Admins have used the platform’s event sites and RSVPs to manage and track attendance. Parker believes that memberplanet’s payment reporting, event invite templates, and email campaign features have dramatically improved their efficiency. Members can log in to a dedicated portal, view club announcements, connect with other members using the interactive directory, and update their own profile. “We have received many positive comments,” Parker continued. “Overall, it has been a huge plus and now folks can also see when they last paid!”
When NCCC started using memberplanet in 2016, it had 100 paid memberships. That number rose to 157 by the end of 2017 – a 57% boost. The club also saw a 37% increase in membership dues. Parker noted how more members are engaging with the club, converting to paid membership status, and how the hassle-free process of joining the club is contributing to an increase in membership overall. As of January 2018, NCCC had 350 members total.
Broadcasting a Bright Future
Parker reveals NCCC has recently obtained 501(c)(3) status for nonprofits, and plans to fundraise and open an online NCCC store are in the works. Growing paid membership and engaging members remains a focus for the club, which was founded in 1970. Now that NCCC personnel find it much easier to manage and interpret data, communicate with members, and increase engagement, they expect that their club for radio aficionados will remain on the air for much, much longer.
Contact memberplanet today to learn how the platform can help your organization simplify membership.
Fundraising is the act of raising funds for a cause or a mission. And although that sounds straightforward and simple, the act itself can be, well, anything but. If you’ve run a fundraiser, you know what we’re talkin’ about.
But the key to success remains pretty simple: You must create a strategic plan and stick to it.
No matter what goal you’re working toward as a group leader, follow these fail-safe tips and with research, a dab of creativity, and (possibly) a bit more elbow grease, you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish!
1. Set your goals
Before getting into the nitty-gritty details, you need to take a hard look at the big picture – and that begins with figuring out your purpose. Defining a clear, measurable goal is the foundation of a successful plan. Here are a few things to think about when setting that bar:
It’s okay to be ambitious with your goals, but it’s also important to determine what’s realistic. Shoot too high and you could end up spreading resources too thin. Now it’s time to write the fine print of your plan.
2. Give your donors the option to donate online
Offline (check and cash) donations are still essential for any fundraising effort, but online is quickly gaining ground when it comes to raising money. It’s all about convenience. Every additional step it takes to give – like writing a check, finding an envelope, and rummaging through a desk for stamps – creates the potential for donors to get distracted: Where did I put my checkbook? Oh look – here’s my coffee mug! I’ll find my checkbook later. It’s time for another cup.
See my point? Check out how much funds Wittmann Elementary School raised in its third year of offering an online payment option:
Total PTA Membership Fundraising for 2016-2017: $35,655
Offline Fundraising via Checks and Cash: $8,120
Online Fundraising via memberplanet: $27,535!
(Read the full Wittmann case study.) 77 percent of funds were raised online with memberplanet’s platform. And that’s just one example. The Chronicle of Philanthropy conducted a survey of 100 leading nonprofits and found that internet fundraising grew by about 13 percent year over year in 2014.
Bottom line: If you’re not using online giving features, you’re missing out on a big chunk of cash today, and even more tomorrow.
3. Delegate responsibilities
Shared responsibility is crucial to holding a successful fundraiser, because one person (you) cannot manage everything. Delegate most of the effort so that the event itself can go off without a hitch while you oversee the big picture.
If you are planning an event, designate an event committee to book vendors and locations, and make sure you’ve paid any fees or permits if it is being held in a public place. If possible, research backup vendors and another location in case your first location doesn’t work out. Plan a dry run (especially helpful if you expect a large amount of attendees).
4. Get the word out
In order to conduct a truly successful fundraiser, you will want to make sure that people actually know about it. Create a campaign schedule:
Note to memberplanet users: You can also encourage your members to create their own supporter pages for the cause, which makes their campaign efforts more personal and effective.
5. Execute the plan
With so much preparation, planning a fundraiser can seem overwhelming. But the pay-off is worth it. You’ve worked hard to design a great event, so try to sit back and enjoy the magic. Once the fundraising is underway, make sure that each of your delegated tasks is being tended to. Part of your plan should include periodic check-ins with those overseeing key tasks. The engagement, tracking, and logistical back-work does not end when the effort begins. If you see that your fundraiser is falling short of your goals, re-allocate resources or make adjustments to your goals.
6. Analyze the aftermath
Whether your fundraiser exceeded your wildest expectations – or it wasn’t quite what you expected – it’s important to meet with your team to determine what went well, what didn’t, and what you can do next time to improve. Detailed tracking is essential for the post-game debrief.
7. Say thank you
Thank your team, donors, partners, sponsors, and other benefactors. It’s super easy to use Smart Lists on memberplanet’s Pro and Premium plans to send a targeted email (templates included!) to all your donors to express gratitude. If you held an event, be sure to include a sharable photo album (show the impact!) to strengthen that connection with supporters.
Holding the ultimate fundraiser isn’t magic – it’s a combination of hard work, team effort, strategic planning, testing, and creativity. Whether you’re an organization with 20 volunteers or a 10,000-member medical society, following these rules will put you on the path to success.
Log in to get started on your next fundraising campaign.
Don’t abandon your traditional fundraising methods just yet, but keep in mind that your old techniques might need some updating. As the world shifts towards an increasingly digital landscape, taking your fundraising efforts online will prove to be a beneficial strategy to help you surpass your monetary goals. Here's why:
Not many parents and donors carry cash or a checkbook anymore. Accepting electronic payments makes raising money faster and easier than ever. By offering your supporters the choice of donating online or offline, you can reach a larger network. This way, you’ll raise more money!
Tasking someone with collecting cash and check payments puts your booster club at risk of accounting errors, bad checks, and fraud. On the plus side, credit card payments are SSL compliant, ensuring secure online payments and donations. By accepting electronic payments through a reputable payment processor, you also boost your own credibility.
One of the main benefits of launching an online fundraising campaign is its potential to go viral. This opens your campaign up to supporters you wouldn’t typically reach with traditional methods. This can help you reach your monetary goals faster and even surpass them. Share your donation page directly to your social sites to maximize exposure.
Crowdfunding has gained momentum over the past few years and is only becoming more popular. It offers convenient payment methods for donors, makes tracking donations easier for admins, and is easily shareable across social media. It’s an effective and efficient way of framing a fundraising campaign.
If your booster club is hesitant about taking your fundraising online because of processing fees, it is important to research various sites to see how they structure their costs.
For example, PayPal charges 2.9% for payment processing and $0.30 per donation.
memberplanet offers significantly lower site fees based on monthly subscription, and 3% plus $0.30 per transaction. What you pay in fees is easily offset by the increased donations received by offering online payment options. How much of an increase? Some studies say by 30 -100% or more (Visa International).
In addition to payments processing, memberplanet provides a robust toolset for communicating (a custom-branded mobile app, email and tracking, group texts), managing members (option to set member levels, auto membership renewals, recurring donations), and more, all on a single platform. It’s more bang for your buck.
Paying a small fee shouldn’t be a deterrent when deciding to bring your fundraising efforts online. Streamlined payment methods, larger reach, and customizable templates are just some of the features that will help you orchestrate a better campaign and grow donations.