Finding the Right Tools to Match Your Goals



Sometimes, finding the right tools to match your goals is as easy as taking an objective look at what you already have at your disposal. It’s not always easy to do, though. It seems like every day there are new techniques, gadgets, and doohickeys that promise to do everything you could ever want as soon as you think about it, and a few promise to be ready even before.

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Questions to ask Before Selecting a New Content Management System (CMS)

The Future of CMS for Nonprofit Organizations

Navigating the increasingly option-filled landscape of Content Management System (CMS) selection is no easy task. For better or worse, nonprofit organizations will need to keep up and make smart technology decisions with more limited resources. But investing in your CMS and keeping an eye on how it can help you develop stronger relationships with your donors and supporters is probably one of the most important decisions you can make.

Lucky for you, Heller Consulting and Firefly Partners teamed up to create the paper CMS Platforms: A Guide for Nonprofits to guide your organization through the process of selecting a new content management system solution. As a part of this paper, they put together a great list of questions you need to consider or ask your consultant before you decide on a CMS solution.

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Peer-to-Peer Best Practices: Use Gamification To Inspire Your Fundraisers

Peer to Peer Best Practices

Peer-to-Peer fundraising events are a growing favorite for nonprofits and it’s easy to understand why. Who wouldn’t want to involve your core supporters, get them to spread the word about your mission and fundraise for you? Well-planned P2P campaigns can increase your reach (and your fundraising) exponentially.

Sounds great, but here’s a common problem: Once the enthusiasm of registration wanes (about 2-3 weeks post-registration) how can you keep your participants motivated? Those brave souls who have run a peer-to-peer event know there’s always a large group of attendees who register, but then do little to no fundraising. How can you reach those folks and also motivate your strongest performers? Here are some Peer-to-Peer best practices to ensure your campaigns are a success.

Turning Work into Child’s Play

Try a new approach – Gamify your P2P Campaign. Gamification involves using a system of rewards and recognition to keep people engaged, and while it may be a new trend, it’s really based on one of the principles veteran fundraisers already know by heart: acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge! Gamification can turn something as routine as buying your morning latte into an accomplishment.
Foursquare is a great example of an app that is centered around gamification. Users get points and badges (recognition) for ‘checking in’ to the places they visit. If they check in often enough, a user can be made Mayor of a specific location. The upsides for the businesses that participate are two-fold:

  • Advertisement of their business to the user’s social media networks
  • An increased likelihood that the user will keep returning in order to get more points

How can we use that mindset as fundraisers? Foursquare works because it turns small, everyday things into reward-worthy tasks. We can do the same thing with our fundraisers. In addition to acknowledging the people who raise hundreds or even thousands with their efforts, we can acknowledge the people who receive as few as three online gifts, and then encourage them to move up to the next level.

Five Easy Steps to Get Started

  • Communicate This is a no-brainer, but if you’re putting a new incentive strategy in place, telling your participants is the only way to get them excited about it! Take every opportunity to let people know what they can win while they help a good cause: at registration, in follow up communications, etc. Also take advantage of your incentives to spur non-fundraising participants to give it a try and send those first emails.
  • Personalize Rewards don’t have to be large or expensive, they just have to be meaningful. The more connection you can create between your organization and the rewards, the more meaningful and sought-after they’ll be.
  • Set ‘Em Up for Success The first couple rungs of your fundraising ladder should be small and easily reachable, say $25 and $50. (Some good analysis of an average gift size from last year’s event can be useful to determine this.) Encouraging even a small percentage of your non-fundraisers to hit those first lower levels can have a huge impact on your fundraising total.
  • Acknowledge at Every Step Remember, acknowledgement can be its own reward. Feels pretty sweet to be the Mayor of Small Town Coffee Shop, am I right?). Remember to capitalize on that winning feeling! Badges, emails, acknowledgement via social media; milestones give you and your participants a way to celebrate all successes, big and small.
  • Post-Event Follow Up After your event and after all of the rewards have been given, include some questions about the gamification aspect of your P2P program in your usual post-event survey and discussion. You’re sure to find new ways to reward your participants for the following year!

Have you used this type of gaming aspect in your P2P programs? What did you learn? What are you planning to try next? Join the conversation by posting a comment below.
Looking for effective P2P examples? Check out Firefly’s recent case study about our work on the new VCU Massey Cancer Center P2P Event!

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Introduction to Making Your CRM Dreams a Reality

Introduction to the New CRM Paper from Heller Consulting
The real challenges to implementing a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system are defining your overall strategy and managing the organizational change necessary to make it happen. In 2012 Heller Consulting published Insights Into CRM for Nonprofits on The Connected Cause which stimulated many great conversations with industry leaders. Since 2012 Heller has continued to gain new insights from their CRM projects, which they wanted to share with other nonprofit organizations. Their recently released follow up paper, Making Your CRM Asipration a Reality, Heller shares practical tips and tools to get your organization on its way from CRM vision to reality.

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5 Secrets to Breaking the Fold Mold

beyond the fold

I think back with some nostalgia to the days of Flash websites (Please Wait, Loading…) and the fun task of trying to cram a bunch of content “above the fold” so no one has to scroll, ever. It’s been popular thinking in website design for a long, long time – if newspaper content above the fold is the only stuff that gets read, surely the same concept applies to websites.

In today’s world, our online lives are no longer confined to the constraints of a desktop monitor. Your site visitors see your content across hundreds of different screen sizes and lots of windows. This means not just one fold, but MANY.

Whoa.

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Tools vs Strategy: Where do you invest first?

tools vs strategy

When you look at some of the fundraising challenges you are facing at your organization – what do you think is MOST likely to solve them? Better tools? Better strategy? Or Better content?

Maybe you know you need all three, but when it comes to investing your limited dollars – where’s the first place you sink your money?

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