Life can be a bit ruff! This holiday season, we want to spread a bit of cheer (with cute animal pics!). We are collaborating with Pawsitive Friendships for a very special cause -- animal-assisted therapy. The purpose of this type of therapy is for children with special needs to reach their personal therapeutic goals by establishing animal-human friendships.
Founded in 2014, Pawsitive Friendships was the brain child of Tosha Tharp. After her son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4, she was having trouble getting him to complete his at-home therapy exercises. One day he asked if their dog Zoe could join him on the swing, and she saw a complete change in his behavior. A light went on in her head. Tosha began incorporating Zoe into the other exercises, and the results were amazing. Zoe became trained as a therapy dog and Pawsitive Friendships was formed.
To spread some holiday cheer, we would like to introduce you to a few of the paw-sitively amazing animals who are helping to make an impact on countless children’s lives.
Zoe is the French bulldog who helped inspire Pawsitive Friendships. She puts her best paw forward and breaks the ice with the children. Zoe loves to play with kids and always patiently waits her turn for dog treats.
Clancy’s hobbies include long trots, horsing around, and telling tails of his adventures as a mini horse. Children love to ask him questions like, “Why are you so small?” The kids learn to properly approach him along with how to groom and feed him. For kids with autism, this helps with their self-regulation, self-awareness, social skills, and speech.
For Penelope, every day is a chance to pig out. In her spare time, she likes bakin’ (not with bacon!), and is currently learning to fly. The children love to feed Penelope, brush her hair, and of course give her kisses. She’s a bit of an attention hog. Penelope helps the children with sensory issues, motivation (for kisses!), and social skills.
This may seem a bit farfetched, but Filbert really is a catch. He's a golden Lab mix who plays flyball and is also part of a crisis-response team. Filbert keeps the kids on their toes by always playing ball, running through obstacle courses, and doing tricks. No day is a dog day with this playful pup.
Check out our social media pages each day for a new animal picture, and feel free to send us some of your own adorable animal photos. If you are feeling a bit generous this holiday season, be sure to visit the Pawsitive Friendships donation page. They are gearing up for its second annual “Rev’d Up for Autism Car & Bike Show.” All of the proceeds from the event will go to Pawsitive Friendships.
Happy Giving Tuesday! During our #12DaysofGiving campaign to gear up for Giving Tuesday, we spotlighted a few amazing groups that are raising money for charitable causes. Now in its fifth year, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season fueled by social media and collaboration. Last year, more than $118 million was raised online through this effort. Our campaign focused on spreading awareness through social media to champion each organization’s philanthropic goals. Along with spreading awareness of these donation campaigns, we also decided to give away some awesome prizes in the process - 12 of them to be exact! We recognize that each of these campaigns continues to make an impact just by participating in #GivingTuesday, and to further commend their efforts, memberplanet is donating to the fundraiser with the most social engagement per day on average.
And the winners of the $20 gift cards are… *drum roll please*
Carol-ina, iiamrachelle, Mariana, Anthony Chinni, Jacqueline Collins, Kate Dodge, Natalie Hess, Kate Moreles, Therese Quattrociocchi Longe, Lawrence J. Burns, Shakeera Collins, and Toni D. Postell
Congratulations to everyone who participated! Winners, be on the lookout for a direct message from memberplanet to claim your gift card.
The grand prize winner of the #12DaysofGiving campaign is…
BANA International United - This organization based in South Korea works together to promote B1A4, OMG, and WM Entertainment and complete projects for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other charity projects that they inspire.
Here are the organizations that participated in our campaign. It isn’t too late to donate to these wonderful causes:
Neville Alumni and Friends Association - NAFA to provide supplemental funding for programs and projects to enhance the quality of instructional delivery and student life, and to promote excellence in higher education at Neville High School.
United Way of Hudson County - UWHC is a community-based nonprofit organization that focuses on improving the lives of the most vulnerable residents in Hudson County, New Jersey, for 76 years.
Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation - This foundation supports pediatric research, education, community benefit programs, and other initiatives that improve the health of children in Michigan.
Delta Gamma Foundation - The Delta Gamma Foundation fosters lifetime enrichment for members, promotes Service for Sight, and partners with the Fraternity to ensure the future of its sisterhood.
Zeta Phi Beta - The sorority was founded in 1920 at Howard University and continues to create a lasting impact on the community through its charitable efforts.
Dual Sport Ride for ESA - Robert Reger is individually raising funds for Theta Eta Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha International, and completing a daring motorcycle adventure for this effort. The 3rd annual "2016 Dual Sport Ride for ESA" is a back-country adventure ride inspired to help the Colorado-based Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority in its efforts to raise money for the Denver Rescue Mission. This year he will be completing the 850-mile Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (from Utah to Mexico) back-to-back for seven days. He will have no modern accommodations to signify his identification of the efforts in overcoming physical and mental challenges the homeless face every day as they overcome obstacles in life.
Along with the organizations we worked with, many groups around the world are raising funds for #GivingTuesday. Here are some other groups making a difference in their communities. Check out these wonderful organizations and consider making a donation to their cause.
Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity works to provide a superior collegiate and lifetime fraternal experience and a focus on making young men better leaders in their chapter, better servants in their community and better contributors to society. Donations go to leadership programming, academic and leadership scholarships, and support to undergraduates and alumni.
This group works to provide animal-assisted therapy to help children with special needs build animal-human friendships and works on a child’s individual therapeutic goals.
Delta Chi LFC
Delta Chi Fraternity at Lake Forest College is raising money for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. The V Foundation has raised more than $100 million in honor of the award-winning broadcaster and basketball coach from North Carolina State Jim Valvano who battled cancer. 100% of all new direct cash donations support cancer research.
Center for Transforming Lives
This organization provides safe housing for mothers and their children who are facing abuse at home. Along with providing shelter, the center connects women with education, job training and employment opportunities while providing affordable, high quality child care, and financial coaching.
Giving Tuesday is just the beginning of the charitable season of giving. We at memberplanet encourage you to find a cause that is close to you and we hope you’ll consider giving, whether it’s making a donation, volunteering, or spreading the word of a fundraising mission. Happy Holidays!
Boo! Halloween is just around the corner. memberplanet has everything you need to organize and host a spooktacular event! With memberplanet’s easy-to-use features you can stress less about organizing, and focus on having a ghoulishly good time.
Wickedly Easy RSVPs
Photo Sharing on the World Wide (Spider) Web
Creepy Crawly Travel
Deviously Delicious Potluck Signup
Frightfully Boo-tiful Templates
memberplanet allows your group to seamlessly collect, host, and share full resolution photos with anyone in your group, giving everyone simultaneous access to all the photos taken at an event. This feature is perfect for gatherings and parties where several guests have cameras. Extensive privacy controls ensure that your photos are completely secure.
Collecting and distributing photos after an event sounds like a great idea, but anyone who's tried it on their own knows what a hassle it can be. memberplanet's e-mail uploading feature streamlines the process down to one step. Group members upload their personal photos directly to the group album simply by emailing them to an album-address. Simply distribute the album-address with a friendly reminder and watch as your album fills up! As an admin, you can either allow photos to post immediately, or be held for moderation, as with comments and more.
Social media engagement is an essential tool to attract new members
Like most associations and nonprofits, you’ve likely either been utilizing social media to grow your membership or you are about to make the transition. If you want to effectively spread the word about your group, you’ll need to do it strategically. Using social media to blast out your organization’s name can sometimes be perceived as a walking advertisement rather than a source for interesting and relatable content.
The following four strategies can help do it right – using social media to really grow your membership base:
1. Connect with other industry professionals
In order to be viewed as a credible source of information in your industry, you should connect with like-minded professionals in the same sphere. On social media, most other associations and nonprofits are not competition, but prospective followers to engage with. Developing relationships like these can be helpful for cross-promotion and expanding who sees your content.
Social media is a very reciprocal medium – when you promote or comment on another organization’s content, they will typically do the same. Use these connections as a resource to find individuals who share your values. Look at whom other groups are following (and vice versa) to expand your prospective membership base.
2. Encourage engagement
If you really want to spread the word about your organization, you’ll need to inspire your current supporters to share your posts beyond the follower base. When you make a post about something that you want to go viral, email your members to tell them about it, with sharing buttons embedded within the email that make it easy for them to promote the post in their own networks.
3. Google loves social
Social media channels rank high on search engines. This means that having an active Facebook or Twitter page can help new members find your organization online, even by accident, as they are conducting searches. When posting on social media, try to boost your Search Engine Optimization with SEO-friendly verbiage and news articles that improve your ranking on search engines – this makes it drastically easier for web users to encounter your organization and become new members.
4. Provide value in your space
Use tools such as SocialMention to monitor mentions on industry or community topics that relate to your group and highlight those that you can participate in. When you come across an interesting exchange, join the discussion. Don’t use these interactions as a way to pitch membership – instead bring value to the conversation. Share helpful information, like links to related data.
Remember, you are not trying to sell memberships, you are trying to develop relationships, provide value, and create awareness about your organization. As you do so, the memberships will come naturally.
The name of the medium says it all
Social media is about just that – being social. While you may have hopes of quickly growing your base through being active on social platforms, you will not get there by simply advertising your membership. Instead, give people a reason to want to learn more. Provide valuable, credible, and entertaining content and feedback. Highlight your members and your events. Show prospects who you are without asking for anything in return. And most importantly, make it easy for your current members to support your efforts.
memberplanet’s purpose is to make life simplified for you and your group. Our platform eases the job of adding social media channels and gives you sharing capabilities on all pieces of marketing in order to expand your networks. For more optimization tips, read our blog on how to make this powerful tool work for your organization.
Three common problem areas and what you can do to overcome them
We live in an interesting time. It’s never been easier to access information. Most people walk around with a device in their pocket that lets them know about pretty much everything happening anywhere on the planet. For the most part, this is an excellent development, especially for nonprofits.
Nowadays, people are much more aware of social issues, as well as the organizations advocating for them. This is obviously positive news; however, it is also a bit of a double-edged sword. With so many nonprofits looking to raise money, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle.
On top of the crowded landscape, a person may get an alert on their phone about a current news event and a moment later, one about their favorite pair of pants going on sale. On which item do you think they’ll prioritize their money? This leads into one of the biggest fundraising challenges:
Some folks just aren’t willing to donate
The key to getting anyone to donate to your nonprofit is by building a relationship with them. You have to get to know them – and vice versa – before even thinking about asking them for money. Instead, first ask them to sign up for your newsletter or download a pamphlet. See if they would be interested in signing a petition. Figure out ways for potential donors to create an emotional connection with your work before trying to get them to open their wallets.
The social media conundrum
You definitely do not want to overextend yourself. You may think your nonprofit should have a profile on every social network, but if you can’t keep up with the posting, don’t do it. Nothing looks worse than a page that’s collecting cobwebs.
The first thing you want to do is determine who your target audience is. Then you can figure out which social networks they use and focus on those. Social media is a great place to tell stories about your organization, mission, and events, and it also gives you a fantastic opportunity to engage with people to build those precious relationships.
Mobile, mobile, everywhere
When’s the last time you checked your website on your phone? If it looks exactly like it does on your computer, chances are people won’t stay there for long, which means you could be losing precious funding. One way to improve the mobile user experience is by simplifying the donation process, and you can do this by utilizing the auto-fill information stored on devices.
Want to make it easier to raise funds for your nonprofit? Get in touch with memberplanet. Our all-in-one platform will help spread the word about you, make it easy to manage your online presence, and turn your donation process into a snap. Learn more about what we can do for you and sign up here.
We all know that the internet and social media make it easier than ever to share news and events. You probably also know that you could be leveraging these resources, but if you are like many group leaders, this whole concept sounds kind of intimidating. I mean, what ever happened to an old fashioned car wash and a flyer?
The good news is, there are some really simple ways to optimize social media for your benefit, and they can easily be paired with traditional fundraising efforts you are already doing. Resources like Facebook and Twitter are amazing ways to remind the community about upcoming events, AND reach donors. And the best part: they are 100% free, and hardly require any extra work at all.
However, like most news, only the most noteworthy get’s attention and clicks. Be sure to include a catchy title and banner image to entice your group member’s friends to check out the post. Keep in mind, the banner image, title, and first line of text will appear in the news story to Facebook viewers. The catchier you make them, the more clicks and awareness you will get.
On twitter, your group members will merely post a link, (using the links you provide) and have the option to include a tagline of 140 characters or less. Similarly, only the most noteworthy tweets get noticed, so supply your group member’s with a catchy and informative phrase to ensure the best results. For example: “Get excited for Pancakes with Pi Phi! This Friday 8pm!” + link
Take it to the next level: To really spread, opt for the wall photo method (which can be used in conjunction with the previous method).
One of the fastest ways news spreads through Facebook and twitter is through photos. On Facebook, “wall photos” are pictures that people post to their Facebook walls, and that can be “liked”, shared and re-posted. These pictures show up to anyone viewing the poster’s wall, and they show up in the newsfeeds of the poster’s friends. Create a catchy wall photo (your event flyer may double for this) and supply it to your group members through your email campaign. Kindly ask your recipients to post the picture to their Facebook walls or as their profile picture. If the photo is catchy, people will take the time to read it and learn about your cause. If it is really catchy (and broadly relatable) it will be shared and re-posted by your group member’s friends, and their friends, etc. If each of your group members has 500-1000 Facebook friends, you can reach thousands of people IMMEDIATELY with this strategy.
Here’s how to do it:
Create a banner image (or embedded image) in your newsletter that includes a catchy phrase and URL or other way to find you. Explicitly note in your email campaign that recipients should re-post the photo to their social media. The more compelling the image is, the more likely it will be shared.
One simple example:
Hi ladies! As we all know, Alpha Phi’s spring Philanthropy is coming up! Please post the following picture on your wall so your friends will all know about our event! Also, please post this Photo as your profile picture during the week leading up to March 5! Thanks for your cooperation!
This strategy works really well to stir up local awareness for an upcoming event. In order to create broader awareness, opt for more potent sharing power. Photos or campaigns that are broadly applicable to people outside of your immediate community are more likely shared. The image above is an example of a highly viral (successful, frequently shared) wall photos that made a big impact on Facebook.
Many individuals outside of this organization’s network felt personally compelled by the message and took the time to share it. As a result, thousands of people were exposed to the organization that created the campaign, and a percentage of them chose to act on it by applying to join. Be sure to include a URL somewhere on the campaign so curious viewers/potential donors can track back to you. This type of campaign is great for general awareness, as well as call-to-action campaigns.
The photo shown above is ideal because it both raised general awareness AND boosted attendance at a local event. The message “if you really want to lend a hand, lend an arm” is catchy and memorable, and probably resonated with people outside of the immediate Greek community. However, in addition to motivating people behind it’s cause, it also included information about a local event where people could participate. In this case, the call to action was to attend the event and “lend an arm”.
Utilize these strategies to increase local crowds at your events, as well as heighten the profile of your group or cause online! Not only will your groups reach skyrocket but you'll become a social media maven in the process. Look at you go!
An effective online presence is necessary to promote your event – be sure to utilize every opportunity
Noteworthy events don’t just happen. Organizing and executing a successful one takes planning, strategic marketing strategies, and the provision of value. Whether it’s a conference, a speaker series, or a cocktail party, your event’s fate rests in the details. That’s why memberplanet has collected and identified essential planning tips to improve your online promotion of the big day.
1. Create a custom event page
In today’s world, what’s an event if it doesn’t exist online? Having an engaging and user-friendly event page will increase exposure and word-of-mouth. Promote the date through the dedicated page, send invitations, and sell tickets online to make it simple and easy for attendees to find all the information they need.
2. Branded payments
Within your event page, it is essential to include a branded form where attendees can register and provide payment. To make things even easier, you’ll want to accept as many forms of payment as possible. For example, with memberplanet, you are able to accept credit cards, PayPal, and e-checks. Customize these branded payment forms with your event name, logo, and fields for participant information to collect as much data as you can about your attendees. And be sure that your payment page is mobile friendly, so registrants can submit fees while on the go.
3. Use a donation site
If your event is paired with a fundraising component, let the fundraising occur for weeks leading up to the big day with a donation page. Engage with donors through your page’s interactive features and enable social sharing after they donate. The capability for donors to broadcast their fundraising efforts to their social networks can encourage other people to share in the fun! And with memberplanet’s membership management system, you can scan payments directly to your donation page through its mobile app. This ensures you’ll never have to turn down a donation, whether online or in-person.
4. Start a blog
Take engagement one-step further by blogging consistently – not just right before your event.In order to stay relevant in the minds of your attendees and donors, you should start a blog and create valuable content for your networks. Discuss the event after it happens, encourage your speakers or sponsors to write a blog post, and even use it as a way to collect testimonials from your event. A blog has the capability to improve your relationships and expand your network.
5. Utilize email marketing
Email marketing is the easiest way to get in front of your attendees and donors. It is also, arguably, the most profitable means of marketing. With email, you can create deeper relationships with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media. Best of all, it doesn’t take a programmer to build compelling HTML emails.
memberplanet allows you to create unique and branded emails in minutes. Write the text and then choose a template and a color palette (and don’t forget your logo!), and your email is ready to be sent. Our service also provides you with live reporting capabilities that show you how many people have opened your email and who has clicked on your links. This is the information you need to better reach your audience.
With so many avenues available online to get your event out to the right people, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why memberplanet’s motto is “Life simplified.” Our goal is to provide you with all the tools you need to promote your event online, all in one spot. Create a free account today and explore the opportunities available to take your group to the next level.
1. Direct and Consistent Communication
As of November 2015, there were more than one billion people using Facebook on a daily basis. Imagine how much impact your fundraising campaign could have! And that’s just one platform. Millions of people are also engaging on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other sites.
A big benefit of using social media for your fundraising efforts (aside from the fact that these platforms and many relevant tools are free to use) is the sheer number of people you can reach all at one time. And if you plan out your campaign to include consistent posts on a regular basis, you’ll be sure to get the attention and support of your audience.
2. Capture their Hearts
A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? Imagine how much support you’ll gain when you share your fundraising story in bold, living color using photographs and videos. Just look at the overwhelming success Humans of New York has seen.
When using social media to fundraise, you have the opportunity to illicit emotion from your viewers by showing them who’s being helped by their support or what their donation will actually be helping to accomplish.
It also allows you to provide valuable information in your content about your cause. And the best part? You can post messaging on all your social media channels simultaneously (tools like Buffer make it especially easy), so no matter which site your followers are active on, they’ll be sure to see what’s happening with your campaign.
3. Keep it Real-time
There’s no time like the present and when you use social media to fundraise, you’ll have the ability to post real-time updates, requests for volunteers, progress reports and more. When your supporters can see that you’re only a few thousand dollars away from reaching your goal, for example, anyone who hasn’t given yet will be inspired to be a part of the reason you hit your fundraising mark.
4. Show your Appreciation
Because of its ability to make a massive impact on so many people at one time, social media affords you the opportunity to thank your supporters and volunteers all at once. And because everyone can see your messages, they’ll be proud when they’re recognized for their efforts. Staying engaged throughout the campaign is also easy to do with daily updates and posts, pictures showing different events and activities and anything else noteworthy that’s happening during your campaign.
When you combine your social media campaign with our online member management tools, you’ll be able to direct your supporters to your customized memberplanet fundraising site where they can make secure, one-time or recurring donations.
You’ll also have all the tools you need to send out email and text blasts to your group, allow them to register and RSVP for events, easily create great-looking newsletters and gather and keep track of all your members information and much more.
We provide everything necessary to help you meet and beat your fundraising goal. Find out more about all the benefits memberplanet offers. Sign up for a free account today!
Did you know we have an app?
Members can view and manage everything you send - right from their mobile devices.
The app streamlines everything from your MP account on one simple mobile interface. When your members download the app they will have a simple place to check for all the updates, reminders and action items you send.
Leaders have the ability to send SMS and email announcements your entire group right from the app. Broadcasts are a simple and convenient way to reach everyone in just a few clicks.
The feed is your source for all updates. It populates with new Surveys, Events, Donation Sites and Emails in real time. Each item can be opened, viewed and shared socially right from the app. You can even make payments on-the-go with your credit card! Feed filters let members instantly view upcoming Events on the group Calendar and photo albums.
Collect and Make Payments
Administrators can scan cards using the phone’s camera to allow both members and non-members to make payments. Accept donations or sign-ups at your next meeting and events! Members can even scan their own cards on the app to register for upcoming events or make donations.
Notifications let you know that you have news or an outstanding action item, like a required payment. When you respond to an item, it will disappear from your notifications.
The history feature keeps track of all of your past actions on memberplanet. You can always check here to see where you've donated, registered for an Event or submitted a survey response.
If you are a member of multiple groups on memberplanet, you can view group feeds independently or as a combined feed. This is a great way to keep scheduling straight with a synthesized Calendar.
Share the App
Simply send a Broadcast announcement notifying members about the app - all Broadcasts automatically include download links on both email and SMS platforms.