Transform Your Fundraising Events
Transform Your Fundraising Events TranscriptPrint Transcript
Darryl Moser: All right. It looks like our stream has started. We are getting a pretty full room so that’s great to see for our topic today. Let me just give it a few more seconds here to makes sure that everyone is synched up and we’ll do a little bit of an intro. We are super Read More
Darryl Moser: All right. It looks like our stream has started. We are getting a pretty full room so that’s great to see for our topic today. Let me just give it a few more seconds here to makes sure that everyone is synched up and we’ll do a little bit of an intro. We are super happy to have everyone here to talk about successful virtual fundraising which has certainly been a challenge over this past year. I just want to thank all of you for being a part of this. I think one of these sessions when we’ve got a bit of the Q&A and we can see some of the interaction from the group will all help us to be better in some of this unchartered territory as we went through COVID and we had lots of virtual experiences then everybody starts talking about hybrid. Now, we’re still in the state of trying to understand what the best technique may be for virtual or by event type and fundraising techniques. In this session, we’re going to cover those challenges with virtual fundraising as well as the transformative fundraising methods that proved super effective during the pandemic, as well as how to use those techniques and what kind of role they’re going to play in the future. This session is actually going to be split into two 30-minute topics. My name is Darryl Moser. I’m the Business Development Manager for DonorPerfect. I work with all of our partner products and we brought forward a couple of partner tools that have had some exceptional responses over this past year in helping our nonprofits to fundraise. The first is focused on the virtual event experiences of Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Utah. It’s covered by event manager, Kristi Curtis and they are using the Qgiv platform. Then 30 minutes in, we will cover the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha, Wisconsin and the variety of fundraising tools that they used that were effective for remote and distance donor community. Joining us today from Qgiv, we have Kimberly Funk who is the Channel Marketing Manager. Kim is a seasoned marketing and sales professional having worked extensively in various industries such as financial, entertainment, solar, employment and franchising, and most importantly, nonprofit. In her free time, she is on the tennis court, pilates studio, and being a dog mom to her rescue puppies. Together with Kimberly from Qgiv, we also have Brendan Smith who’s available to do some additional Q&A. At this time, Kimberly, I believe you can take it away.
Kimberly Funk: Thank you so much, Darryl. Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining our session today. Before we do get started, we want to say how honored we are to be a sponsor of this event and a long-standing technology partner with DonorPerfect. Who are we? We’re Qgiv. We provide nonprofits like you with a platform of online fundraising solutions to help you raise more money in support of your mission. We’re to help you in your fundraising journey every step of the way and are very grateful again to be part of the event. We do appreciate you taking time from your busy schedules. As Darryl had said, my name is Kimberly Funk and I am part of the Qgiv team. I am joined by colleague Brendan Smith and together we are here to share some great reasons to keep a virtual fundraising event on your calendar. As part of the community theme of the conference, we are sharing one of our nonprofit friends, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah’s story and how they made the jump to a virtual event. When you go camping, what do you take? A tarp, a poncho, maybe just in case it rains, a first aid kit in case someone hurts themselves, extra socks, in case yours get wet, spare batteries for your flashlight. You get the picture. You don’t want to get rained on, hurt, left in the dark but you do want to be prepared to navigate the unknown. Nothing drove home the importance of preparing for the unknown quite like 2020. In early 2020, COVID-19 made its way into the United States, and all at once, nonprofits had to rethink their fundraising strategies. Fundraising events were canceled or moved online. Facilities closed as lockdown measures were put in place, staff adjusted to working from home, all the while, while they worked to meet their communities’ needs under these difficult circumstances. That’s why we surveyed nonprofits and donors to learn how each group responded to the events in 2020. This gave us a bird’s eye view into nonprofits’ fears and expectations, their strategies and ideas, and how donors supported their favorite nonprofits and causes. The result was our report Navigating the Unknown: 2020 Findings to Future-Proof Your Fundraising. Non-profits added virtual fundraising events to their calendars and explored other ways of getting their donors engaged. Even now as we’re hopefully getting back to normal, virtual and hybrid events should continue to be an important part of your fundraising strategy as donors are showing that they do want to participate remotely. Your nonprofits donor base is unique and the combination of fundraising tools you’ve used in the past is absolutely different than what you’re using today and absolutely will most likely be very different than what you may use in the future. More than half of the nonprofit surveyed said they offered new giving options to their donors. Fundraisers responded with creativity and the internet lit up with creative virtual fundraising events. More than half of the nonprofits moved their events to a digital format. Virtual and hybrid events will continue to feature heavily in the nonprofit fundraising calendars going forward. Almost 70% of nonprofits plan on incorporating virtual participation options in their event schedules, whether they’re running hybrid, virtual-only, or a mix of virtual and in-person, nonprofits are focusing on offering virtual participation options to their supporters, and why not? Virtual events are a great option during times of difficulty. They keep donors safe, they make events more widely accessible to people in a variety of circumstances, and they are often associated with lower overhead costs. Relationships play an essential role in the success of any organization, especially those in the nonprofit sector whether it’s relationships within your organization, external partners, donors, clients, volunteers, success is dependent on the support from others. We love learning more about what our clients do, what they’re passionate about, and how we can make their jobs easier. As Darryl had mentioned, one of our clients Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah inspired us with what they’ve been able to do to make a difference in the world. We are absolutely happy to help them. While going from in-person to virtual can be a jarring experience, it can also be smooth and seamless with the right tools and preparation. Big Brothers Big Sisters Utah started off with their Bowl For Kids’ 2020 event as scheduled. They planned a bowling event every Saturday for the month of April. Due to the pandemic, they realized they wouldn’t be able to hold their event as planned and they needed to do something. They pivoted to a virtual Do Something for Kids’ Sake. It was a four-month hybrid event with supporters doing any kind of activity. It could be hiking, biking, knitting, singing, you name it, even napping, if you believe that. You name it, they did it. All to support the organization and the valuable work that they do. You may be curious to know how the 2021 event went. They did go back to in-person. They did make it a two-month bowling event reaching 88% of a $55,000 goal and they saw about 72 registrants, 81 teams, and 224 donors. When you look at 2020 and compare it to 2021, it appears that they actually had a higher engagement with the virtual format. Given that success with this peer-to-peer event, they did decide to go ahead and also try and host a 2020 annual auction virtually. Each fall, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah hosts what they call Chef and Child, but in 2020, they pivoted their annual gala to an online virtual event called A Magical Night In. They opted to make the event free for all attendees and they had a creative and yummy option for attendees upgrading their experience by purchasing a VIP interactive basket or an in-home chef experience for that added touch of magic. Some highlights, they live-streamed their event on Facebook Live. They made sure to showcase some of the unique auction items shown here. There’s a custom mural or a trip to St. Thomas. They told their story by showcasing video footage of littles and bigs in action and how Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah had changed their lives reminding the supporters of the participation. Interestingly, they surpassed their goal. Sometimes seeing is believing, so we asked our friend Kristi Curtis, event manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah to share a bit about the switch to virtual fundraising with us. Darryl, if you would, please.
Darryl: Okay, we’re just going to queue up the meeting here. I’m just double-checking with my tech, Ryan, I’m not sure if you’re actually able to go ahead and add that to the stream. All right, the queuing for the video appears to just not want to jump in there. Let me make a few adjustments here. Ryan, let us know if you’re able to get that thing going. I’ll go explore a possible option here. All right, I’m thinking what we might want to do is let’s see if we can get this a little bit functional but to not consume the time of the people that are in our room at this point. Kim, if you could maybe just touch on– You did definitely hit on some of the points as far as what Big Brothers Big Sisters was able to achieve with the virtual events. If you could maybe just give it some bits and pieces of the closure while we work on seeing if we can queue this up.
Kimberly: Sure, absolutely. Kristi who wasn’t able to join us live today had been kind enough to record with us and we asked her a couple of key questions. Really, what the jump to virtual was about? How did it go? Will they use it going forward? The auction event just so you know ended up being the second highest-grossing event that they’ve ever had. For a first-time virtual event, that was very impressive. Kristi also shared that she was pretty much a skeptic. She was not one in the organization to have opted to go virtual or hybrid, and then once the team there, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah started talking, they really started thinking going virtual is the only way that they could have control. It sounds like I’m hearing her voice. Do you want me to keep going, Darryl?
Darryl: I think we’re going to just see what we can queue up here.
Kimberly: She’s going to say it so much better than I can.
Darryl: Yes, all right. Let me see if I can actually get my tab here going. Hey, Ryan, would you be able to– Oh, I see what we’re doing here. Give me the ability to share my screen.
Ryan: Hey, I’m sorry, did you send the request? I can have you share your screen, Darryl.
Darryl: Yes, it’s actually displayed out for the present now button.
Ryan: Yes, because I’ve got Kimberly’s screen still sitting here. Because Kimberly’s is queued up in here, it may only allow me to share hers. Darryl: Got you. Kimberly, I’m curious if you can go ahead and grab the tab and show via YouTube?
Kimberly: Well, let’s see. Hopefully, you can hear it.
Darryl: Yes, I was thinking you might want to put the link in a separate tab in your browser, would that be okay?
Kimberly: At this point, let me just recap the video and hopefully maybe you can send out a copy of it to everyone. I think the big things, I did include a recap here, it’s that the Big Brothers Big Sisters Utah team did really a great job of being creative and innovative. They used technology to pivot very quickly and they saved two popular events, the peer-to-peer and the auction, popular and prosperous from being canceled. They made the jump to hybrid and virtual, they moved to an open virtual registration format, and with a few small tweaks, they created two very inclusive events that garnered more support. As I was sharing, unfortunately, you’re not going to hear it from her but their auction was the second-highest fundraiser in the history of the organization. Successfully engaging their supporters, they included having a big and a little match, share their personal story, they utilized their database. They made sure to do personal outreach and phone calls to previous year supporters asking for participation. They involved supporters by sharing their fund-a-need. They definitely used our thermometers and they had an overall event thermometer and a fund-a-need thermometer with the goals and status in live streams and they really found that helped motivate folks in the end. In summary, what I really wanted to cover is that virtual and hybrid events have proven to be great additions to the calendar. For nonprofits, that means more opportunities to fundraise without breaking the bank or sweat. Virtual events have proven flexible, cost-effective, and easily planned versus their in-person counterpart. Even though people are looking forward to reconnecting at traditional galas and parties, having a virtual fundraising event in the arsenal certainly does not hurt. Unlike their in-person events, virtual events are accessible to more people. No matter the current state of affairs, with this format, you are able to host your planned fundraising event. There will always be fixed cost but this format has no travel costs, venue set up, event breakdown, fees. It reduces or eliminates costs like decor, gift bags, music, catering, venue rental. It really does offer the option to be creative, making it into a new event. The virtual audience has so many distractions. We’re seeing some today, so it’s great to basically bring those folks in as part of an actual experience. Having an annual flagship event is never a bad idea but just in case the timing doesn’t work, having a virtual event in a rotation gives your supporters more options to attend and support you. In-person events are more challenging to keep track of the activity of each attendee but the virtual event offers real-time user activity, data, and contact information. It gives planners more time to focus on event programming, building sponsorship, and creating a smooth attendee experience, and also, technology offers the limitless way to help build sponsor packages. Those are the highlights of a virtual and a hybrid event. All of the information that Big Brothers Big Sisters Utah collected from their participants and donors during the event was captured in Qgiv and exported into their DonorPerfect CRM to fill out donor profiles and giving history. The integration is pretty straightforward with just a few main steps but there are a ton of customization options so you can be sure your data is flowing into DonorPerfect properly based on your different use cases. On the back-end of Qgiv, setting up the integration is really simple. You can easily configure the integration to map the data collected on Qgiv forms to the appropriate campaign or solicitation in DonorPerfect with the mapping interface that you see here. You can also add custom mappings. These mappings allow you to dictate which target objects and fields you want data to go into DonorPerfect. There’s three custom mapping types: static, custom field, and standard field. For each type, you can map to a target object plus field using the data from that custom type. It’s a simple thing to set up to export donor contacts from Qgiv events and auctions into DonorPerfect. Event and auction attendee status in DonorPerfect is updated automatically when changed in Qgiv to make creating and tracking these records easy across your Qgiv and DonorPerfect accounts. I’m sure many of you aren’t web designers. I know I’m not. It’s great and we do need to make changes on the fly with these events. Big Brothers Big Sisters Utah found that in their peer-to-peer event builder, it made it very easy for them to switch things quickly from the live event over to a virtual format. The simple drag and drop capabilities of the system save them time and money that it would have taken if they’d had to hire a third party to help. Additionally, through Qgiv and DonorPerfect, they were able to easily segment participants and reach out to them through phone, direct mail, email, and social media. They targeted those who were registered for the event and reached out, leading up to the event to encourage participation and fundraising activity. Now that the segment or the event is actually over last year’s auction, they’re going to be doing another auction this year, but they’re able to take all that information, segment their outreach to thank those who participated and donated during their event. Managing a nonprofit takes patience, hard work, and above all, a lot of organization. It’s important to put the time into searching for the right online fundraising platform and that has so much potential to boost your fundraising efforts. There’s so much to consider when choosing your digital fundraising partner and we appreciate that DonorPerfect did the research vetting and due diligence in selecting Qgiv as one of their technology partners for their customers. Whether you work with us now or in the future, we are here to help. As I mentioned earlier in the presentation, Qgiv has been helping nonprofits organizations implement and grow their online fundraising programs since 2007. As the importance of online giving has grown, our mission has remained the same and that is to help others fulfill their passion to make a difference. You are at the center of everything we do. Our fundraising technology is designed to help you attract and retain more donors, save time, and raise more money by offering multiple ways of giving. Our comprehensive suite of powerful online fundraising tools includes donation forms, event registration, text fundraising and messaging, peer-to-peer fundraising, and auctions with mobile bidding. We also offer time-saving integrations with industry-leading CRMs like DonorPerfect, also email automation tools, accounting programs, and matching gift platforms. Nonprofits like you can easily export your donor data from Qgiv into DonorPerfect and into the third-party programs you use to cultivate donor relationships and send out segmented communications. You heard a little bit, unfortunately, not seeing everything from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, but what you hopefully garnered was that just the things that they did were just a small sampling of what our platform can help you do all with no long-term contracts, try as you go options. You can experiment with new fundraising tools in these newly navigated times of virtual and hybrid events. Qgiv loves being part of the nonprofit community and we appreciate being recognized as a partner and leader in the nonprofit space. We exist to help people fulfill their passion to make a difference. You heard a little bit about the software platform, but we also wanted to share that we have a robust resource center with limitless fundraising resources, best practices. Those are free for anyone, anytime, and you don’t have to be a customer to use them. Take advantage of blog articles, eBooks, templates, case studies, webinars, email series, and tips. We really do hope that you check us out. If you do have a fundraising need, let us know, we are here to help, and we’ve covered a lot in our time together. You may still have questions about whether or not this platform is a good fit for you or your organization, so if you haven’t already, please go ahead and submit your questions, and thank you. That’s all I have today.
Darryl: Awesome. Thank you so much, Kim, and our apologies for not being able to actually stream that video. We’ll make sure that everybody that has been in attendance here gets a link and you’ll be able to hear from Big Brothers Big Sisters Utah, as far as how they were able to make their decisions from virtual to live events and what the impact was. I see one question coming in the chat asking about whether the integration in DonorPerfect and the appropriate fields, is it direct or is it by CSV? There is actually an API integration where the data does flow automatically from Qgiv into DonorPerfect. There’s actually a field mapping tool but they built so that even certain custom user-defined fields can come across from the active event, fundraising pages. Great question. Any others for Qgiv or perhaps, maybe even as it relates to virtual fundraising and your experiences in terms of making the decision as to whether to go virtual hybrid or to actually bring back a live event this year, we’d be happy to make that a part of our conversation today. Feel free to go ahead and enter that in the general chat. Kim, I was just wondering from what you had heard from Big Brothers and Big Sisters, their future strategy with this, does it sound like they’re going to be doing more hybrids or you had also mentioned sort of splitting out and almost adding events, some of which might be virtual to complement existing ones? Is that going to be instead of a hybrid that they give a feel for based on that?
Kimberly: I think they’re going to do a little bit of both. What they ended up doing was they reduced their overall event goal for the Bowl For Kids’ Sake this year, added a couple of smaller events. I think they’re going to, as long COVID permitting to keep the Bowl For Kids’ Sake in-person go ahead and do their auction as a hybrid format and then introduce a couple of total virtual events as we go forward.
Darryl: Great. One of the questions that came up as to what kind of auction support is Qgiv provide. You can talk about whether is that an online bidding, real-time.
Kimberly: I know Brendan’s on the call and I know he wanted to help out, so Brendan, do you want to feel the auction question for me?
Brendan Smith: From a support standpoint, we are getting back to a lot more folks getting back to in-person events, so we are opening that up. We have in-person support options, as well as remote options. We can be there for you either remotely in the case of a quick call is something that can help, or if you’re more comfortable with us being in-person to help with any support needs, we have those options as well.
Darryl: Great. Any other questions for Qgiv? I see one in there about mapping categories. What were the two custom mapping categories? I don’t know if that was specific down to two. I thought there was some pretty broad capabilities that might’ve been in the most recent release though. I don’t know if you want to touch a little bit on that.
Brendan: Yes, I mentioned [unintelligible 00:27:04], we can happily share all of the mapping options that our integration has and I know if you’re working with this already got access to the great help desk that we have, so I can certainly follow up, but to your point, really there’s a lot of options to be able to map accordingly and be able to make sure that the data is flowing seamlessly into DonorPerfect and landing where you want it and need it to land so that you can continue to cultivate and build on those relationships you’re establishing.
Darryl: Awesome. All right. Well, thank you all, and again, we’ll make sure that that link goes out so that everybody can see what Big Brothers and Big Sisters was considering as they went with Qgiv platform and how they implemented it. This time, I’d like to move to the second segment. Joining us today is Michelle Milford, the Marketing and Communication Manager from Humane Animal Welfare Society, HAWS at Waukesha, Wisconsin. Michelle graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology and Environmental Studies in 2013. Shortly after, completed master’s coursework in Sustainable Management from museum work to environmental advocacy to community commerce. Her entire career has been in the nonprofit sector. Michelle will certainly be speaking from the perspective of HAWSA, but also with her today, we have Josh Bloomfield, who is the Founder and CEO, and a puppy lover apparently, was a HAWS client. Josh from Waukesha.
Josh Bloomfield: Thanks, Darryl, you stole my thunder introducing Michelle, but yes, sorry, this is the little one that barked there during the intro, sorry about that. Thank you guys for joining the DonorPerfect community for the DonorPerfect conference. First off, I want to send loads of gratitude and thankfulness for everything your world changes are up to you, especially in the face of a very different world we live in. I hope our session encourages you. I’m Josh, the Founder and CEO of Givecloud and I won’t be presenting today, instead, we’ve asked an incredible woman, Michelle Milford, to share her experience using both DonorPerfect and Givecloud to centralize the wildly diverse things her and her team do at the Humane Animal Welfare Society. Aside from Michelle’s impressive education, inspiring advocacy, and community involvement, Michelle understands the importance of streamlining systems and processes to simplify her team’s operations and focus every minute and every dollar on her mission. Without any further ado, please welcome Michelle Milford.
Michelle Milford: Hi. Thank you guys so much. Thank you for the intro. I don’t think I’ve ever had an intro like that, so thank you. I’m looking at the comments quick and can you see there’s Clyde, he’s an English Setter sitting in the back there, so he’s here with us too but he’s sleeping. I’ll go ahead and get started. Can you guys see my screen?
Darryl: Not yet. I’m not sure. Ryan, are you able to pick up on the request that Michelle put in to share?
Michelle: Maybe I can try it again too.
Ryan: Yes, if you could try requesting to present your screen again.
Darryl: There we go.
Ryan: Here we go.
Michelle: Perfect. I’m Michelle Milford with HAWS and I’ve been asked to talk about– [silence]
Josh: Is Michelle muted?
Ryan: Yes, somehow she’s muted. Hold on, Michelle. There you go.
Michelle: Let’s try again. We’ll go back. Better?
Darryl: Looks good.
Michelle: I’m Michelle Milford with HAWS and I have been asked to talk about how we at our organization are diversifying our strategy to build community. Who is HAWS? We’re the Humane Animal Welfare Society, we’re an open admission, no-kill shelter dedicated to strengthening the relationship between animals and humans through adoptions and education, making a more compassionate community possible. That last bit is really important, especially for this community conference. As I go through my slides, I want you guys to think about what kind of community are you reaching? Who are you reaching in your community and what kind of community do you want to build? For us, we want a kind, compassionate, respectful community that is that way towards their animals and towards their people. What challenges brought us here? By here, I mean to Givecloud and to DonorPerfect, which we started using about 11 months ago. We’re still new-ish users. We were really looking for a solution to combine all of our diverse needs and also reach all of our donor segments. We have a lot going on at HAWS and we’re growing very quickly. We realized that what we were previously implementing, wasn’t doing what we needed it to do. Then because of that too, like you said, we have a multitude of programs. We have education programs, we have behavior programs, we’ve run our own private dog park. We have all these things that we use to attract and retain donors, but previously, it was all over the place. The next point there, we didn’t have any brand cohesion. We were using some forms for PDFs, some more on doc forms, some more hosted on our website. We just really lacked cohesion there. Specifically, related to DonorPerfect. We lacked a robust donor database. Being an animal welfare organization, we had an animal CRM that we were trying to use as a donor CRM as well. Obviously, it didn’t work because we made the switch, it’s just been fantastic. The last point here about what brought us here is that we needed solutions to reduce our manual entry and our follow-up. Through Givecloud, we’re able to do a lot of automation and completely get rid of that manual entry. Then of course, especially with how 2020 went, we’re shifting to digital. Our whole world is shifting over there. We want to make sure that we’re keeping up with the times. I’m sure other nonprofits want that as well. How do we build community with diversity? The first thing that we do is identify who. We need to understand who our supporters are, what they look like, who our donors are, and how are we going to segment them out. What we did is we segmented our donors and our supporters a couple of different ways. We’ve mapped it out through their ages and demographics, but then also their interests and how they want to engage with us. I think that’s a really important part is how are donors engaging with us, what do they want from us, what do they want to see from us, et cetera. After we identified who, we, in order to build a bigger community, decided that we needed to embrace more variety. We needed to offer more programs and more initiatives, more events, so that we’re really covering everyone within our community and our supporters. Then related to that is that timely connections there. We need to connect with our supporters where they’re at in their lives, as it relates to our mission. I’ve had to think about that as right now, I’m a mother and I’m a working mom. What would I go to HAWS for? For me, I would maybe go there to adopt a pet, but also to check out their education programs, or maybe their training. Right now, I’m not really thinking about planned giving. That’s the timely connections is that you’re offering what your donors need at that time. Then of course, the last bit, in order to do that, we got to invest in some technology. I think that that’s really what a DonorPerfect and Givecloud helped us elevate is that we finally have the right tech to do what we need to do. What I’m going to do is go through some of that tech right now, some of the wonderful features that Givecloud allows us to use through their platform. Then we can chat about it a little bit. This page is a split fund page. We use it for gift designations. As you can see, we have a bunch of different gifts here. There’s the Annie’s medical fund, animal care, and adoptions, animal rescue, behavior department, et cetera. What we’re doing here is offering our donors a choice. This audience is really for donors who have a preference towards a specific part of our mission. There’s something that they’re really passionate about. We want to make sure that they’re able to give towards that. Of course, in the nonprofit field, we all really loved the unrestricted gifts, but that’s not always what donors want to give to. This is one of my favorite pages. I also love personally that a donor can come here and see everything that we do. They might not know that we do animal rescue until they get to this page and say, “Oh my gosh, I came here to give to Annie’s medical fund, but oh my God, now I’m going to give to animal rescue too.” The way gift card is set up, it’s a cart-like, so they can add all this to their cart and then check out, which is really cool. The other thing we’ve noticed with this in terms of the impact is that we see higher donation amounts, I think because they have more choices, they’re giving to multiple funds. Then for us, way less admin time. Givecloud integrates seamlessly into DonorPerfect. Each one of these has its own GL that I have set up and it just goes right in. Prior to that, we had to go back, we had to go into our system, and change the GL and stuff. It was incredibly inefficient. Another fun one here is their event item page and we use this for programs. Like I said, we had education programs, we run events, we also have behavior and training. A huge struggle that we had, I touched on them a little bit before, is that our programs or our forums rather, we’re all over the place. It’s in doc form. We had something posted on the website, some were PDF only, and we needed all of them to be in one place. This did it for us. This created easier-to-use forms with– From a donor standpoint or a user standpoint, that was huge. We want you to be able to sign up for our programs easily and have no questions. Then again, brand consistency. Again, that was a big piece to this too. You can see that there are colors around here and the fonts we want, we can control that and we can customize all of that. Then I wrote their cross-program signups. On the bottom in the right-hand side, it says register and add another child. I love this feature. If they put in their information for their child and then hit that, it’ll take them back to the full program list. Maybe for this program, they’re going to register Sally, who’s four years old and wants to be in this program, but then they’ll go back and they’ll register Adam who’s seven years old and he wants to go to camp. Then it’ll all go in their cart. They don’t have to register Sally, go through the whole thing, and then go back and register their son. They can do it all at once. Again, less admin time. They have email automation. All of the emails get taken care of for us. We don’t have to do any of that. Then again, all of the coding goes right into DonorPerfect. The other thing too, that’s really cool about this is, because of the way that the integration works is I can say, on the DonorPerfect side, anyone who signed up for this program, I wanted them put them on my email list through Constant Contact, so that I can let them know when we have more programs coming up. I love that too. This is a fun one, this is one that we kind of got creative with. This is Givecloud’s peer-to-peer fundraising page and I think typically it’s used to kind of what I’m showing here. There’s a campaign that we’re fundraising for, in this instance, it was our ramping rally. Madison here put together a collage of her and all the pets that she’s worked with, and then people who support her support our work and donate specifically to her page. It’s super custom, which is awesome. How we got kind of creative with this as we actually started using it for our corporate partners. We have a lot of corporate partners who like to do fundraising for us within their organization. We could set it up as a campaign and then you kind of get this like, employee, “Oh, well, my co-worker games, I’m going to give different things. They’re kind of fun.” Why I love this is that we get to control the narrative. I know a lot of people like to do the peer-to-peer funders into Facebook, which is good and it can be impactful. The problem with Facebook fundraising is you don’t get any information on the donors. They’ll give and all you get is a name. You don’t get an address or an email or phone, you can’t thank them and you can’t solicit in the future. I love this for that reason that it gives you the option to have these people in your database. This is a good point here for in terms of building community. We’ve never been able to offer e-commerce or like a shot before until we got Givecloud and we’re so happy we did it. This is great for supporters that want a tangible benefit. They want something almost something in return for their donation or for people who want to feel a part of the HAWS team. We’re able to put up all of our T-shirts and then what this is done less staff time, it’s streamlined the process, we’re reaching so many more people, and it’s free advertising, right? The people are walking around with our T-shirts that have HAWS written all over it. Someone might ask them, “Oh, where did you get that et cetera?” We love, love this feature that we can sell shirts through Givecloud and other stuff too if you have other kind of merch, you can sell whatever you would like. Other thing I want to mention about that too, in terms of the integration, we had run into a problem before about taxes and this is really great because it keeps the taxes separate. There’s the shirt cost and then the taxes will be on its own. We don’t have to do any of the work of trying to apply taxes or anything like that. Then tributes, I know many nonprofits offer tribute gifts. It’s huge. This audience is really interesting audience because primarily, it’s one-time donors. Unfortunately, a loved one or someone had passed away and in the family that asks for gifts to be made in their honor. This is where they would come for that and what I love about Givecloud platform for this is that we can offer many different options. You can see we do a normal tribute gift which will essentially just be a street donation but then we also have recognition options, the tile, the brick, the memorial plaques. What this has done for us at least is created a higher quality donor experience. Even though a lot of these people are only coming to us to make a one-time gift, I want to make sure that they’re even if it’s one time that they’re one time with us is impactful and it’s a positive experience and it was easy. That’s the whole thing kind of like with Givecloud is why we chose to go with them, it’s because it’s easy to use and it’s easy to use on the front end as a donor but, on the back end, it’s even easier. I have a ton of, I would say, not tech-savvy team members and they can use it no problem. Membership pages. I hope you’ve kind of seen a theme here at least is like we’re doing a lot and we have a lot of options for people to give to. That’s kind of where we’re going with in terms of trying to build a community is that we have so many different ways that people can support HAWS and give to HAWS and membership is another great one. This audience is primarily like our loyal members, who want to give annually. What I love about Givecloud here is that we can set up membership in a variety of different ways. We can do a yearly gift, monthly gift, and then a one-time gift. What we’ve noticed, laying these out this way is that more members are choosing the recurring gifts, which reduces our need to send reminders and mailings. That has been incredibly impactful for us because it takes a lot to send out those renewals. If they’re already queued up to give each year, it’s a win for us. Then lastly, is digital downloads. This was brand new to us with COVID, unfortunately, but the goal here [unintelligible 00:45:44] was to stay relevant in an increasingly tech-centric world, right? We knew right away, because of COVID, we couldn’t offer our training classes, we couldn’t do our education programs, it just wasn’t going to happen and we were going to lose out on a ton of revenue. What we did, instead of doing like a virtual event, where people would log in at a certain time and watch the video, we use downloads. I can’t speak to other platforms, but I thought this was pretty cool on Givecloud that they gave us this ability. Essentially, what a person would do is they would sign up for basic manners class, and then they get an email straight to their email box with a digital download that would have our curriculum, it would have homework for them in there, and it would have videos. It took away all of the kind of need for us to have the events a little bit. We kind of cheated, but what is great about this is that every market is now being included because even though, things are opening back up, we found a lot of people just prefer this. This is how they want to learn or this is how they want to engage with us. They don’t necessarily want to come to the shelter, or maybe their schedule won’t allow them to. Maybe they’re just kind of introverted and they want to stay home. We like that a lot. All that said, what does success look like for us? When we’re thinking about Givecloud, specifically, it’s that we need a beautiful cohesive website, and a digital experience, so that we can build trust within our community and continue to grow. I think, I suppose this is anecdotal but just based on what I’ve seen in there are short under a year with both Givecloud and DonorPerfect, we’ve grown a ton and we’ve had much great feedback about how the site looks, how easy it is to use, and all that good stuff. Then specific to DonorPerfect, a solid donor database, helps build community through ongoing engagement and understanding of supporters. Again, because of this super seamless integration, we’re able to then take everything, all the information that we get from the forms, which had a lot of custom fields on, and throw that all into DonorPerfect, so that we can use all that great information at the later date. I think that just about does it, I think we’re going to go into a Q&A now.
Darryl: Awesome, thank you, Michelle, for that and your organization is a great example of how to expand the diversity of fundraising and giving something for everyone. I guess I was curious from my perspective, you introduced some new things. Did you see strength in terms of the dollars raised, particularly on the digital download piece where you got any educational components? That was brand new this year, is that right?
Michelle: Yes, brand new to us. I don’t know for Josh if it was brand new to Givecloud, but yes, we did. I would say now, we’re definitely moving away from that. People want to get back into person, but like I said, there’s still people who are choosing it. For us, there’s no admin, we don’t have to send a staff member there to teach the class. It’s already all put together, we just throw it to your inbox. It was really good in terms of saving on staff time.
Darryl: Excellent. That’s creative. We get to see a lot of different nonprofit fundraising techniques and we’ve certainly been aware of the digital downloads, but oftentimes, we’ve seen that as content that may have been digitized from some other format, but for you to be able to create brand new fresh content like that, I think is a really fresh approach to this, as well as your corporate perspective on doing some of that crowdfunding piece while we call it crowdfunding. It was a good idea. Any questions from the crowd? Certainly, it has been a very thought-provoking presentation. I think we’re in a time where if you are a nonprofit, that all you have is an online fundraising form, it may be time to expand a little bit and to try some other things. I know the nonprofit where I serve, we do two events a year and the rest of it is direct mail and online fundraising forms. We’re talking at the board level to try and figure out how to diversify that, and yet not make too much activity that you end up getting donor fatigue out of it. Maybe one question for you, Michelle was, as you introduced some of these new avenues for fundraising, how did you promote them? Was it just through constant contact email? Did you do Facebook posts to point people back or was there some other method that actually really works for you to get the attention of people?
Michelle: Yes, so we did a lot of Constant Contact. What I like about Constant Contact is that we are able to segment out, so we have a ton of different lists in there, email lists, so then when we’re sending out a specific email blast, I can send it to a specific list. The worst possible thing is to overload our supporters. Like you said, you don’t want them to get fatigued or definitely you don’t want them to unsubscribe. That’s urgh. [chuckles] Then in terms of Facebook, we use Facebook a lot to get the word out, but we do a lot of– I like to call my double posts almost, so what I’ll do is I’ll post an adoptable dog and then I’ll say, “Oh, this dog’s available for adoption and they are an Australian Shepherd breed that would really excel at our agility classes,” and then link to agility. I’m reaching adopters that way, people who are interested in adopting, and then I’m also reaching people who might be interested because then that prompts them to say, “I have an Australian Shepherd or whatever breed it is, I should take agility.” We do a lot of that where we’ll like– because we know we have so much going on, I try to hide little nuggets in here and there.
Darryl: Sounds good. Do you also end up keeping things fresh on your website as far as long posts and things of that? Or do you just rely on more Facebook to give that that more up-to-date content?
Michelle: Yes, so we just re-did our website. I believe it was April is when we redid it, so it’s pretty brand spanking new, and blog posts is on my list of things to do, so we will get to that, but yes, definitely. I think anytime that you can direct people to your website, you should. That anytime you post on social media, make sure that you’re putting your website in there. You need to always be sending people there.
Darryl: Got you. Have you experimented with any paid ads on Facebook to try and drive attention up?
Michelle: Yes, we have and it does well. The research that I’ve done on Facebook though, and again, this is just my own research that I’ve done, so take it at face value, is that Facebook likes you to spend at least a hundred dollars a month is part of their algorithm for you to really see a benefit on it and it’s not hard to do that by any means to spend a hundred dollars. I do think it’s worth the investment in general. I would just be really strategic about what it is that you’re promoting. Darryl: Got you. With all the tools that you have in Givecloud, what’s the next promotion that you plan to do either for a fundraising campaign or an event? What’s coming up? Michelle: Oh, I haven’t think about that. Yes, what is coming up? I don’t know. Well, we put items on sale on our e-commerce shop and, holy man, did those go. Just saying sale, it was like those sold out and it was a $3 sale. [chuckles] That was really interesting. Even in the nonprofit world, I think that’s important to know that your donors still think like consumers. We are hard-wired to want a deal and to want to know exactly what our money is getting us. I think that, that– I don’t know if that really answered your question at all, but it’s another tip just for people to think about.
Darryl: It’s helpful. Just to understand how you’re approaching the what are you going to do next and what campaigns are working for you and what did you just come off of to keep it fresh to your donors? Josh, I guess we’ve certainly covered a good bit of ground in terms of the feature set with Givecloud cloud can do. What would you add as far as what you’re seeing some of the other Givecloud clients doing right now during this time?
Josh: Wow. To your question, we’ve got a handful of organizations who’ve pivoted to virtual events and so we were able to develop a giving template where instead of the giving being the center part of the experience, your virtual event is. Off to the right, you’ve got your giving and you’ve got emojis that your supporters can click as and react to your event. You’ve got live chat in there as well, so it’s our way of helping organizations pivot and they’ve had some success. I think one of the things we’ve learned though is that running an event takes a lot of effort, and so to think that you can just throw on your webcam and throw on a virtual event is wishful thinking, but we have had organizations who make the right investment in producing a virtual event coupled with that ability to have chats and so on, coupled with the fact that every interaction that happens there is represented live inside their DonorPerfect system, seen some really great success.
Darryl: Excellent. You certainly had great success with that virtual platform right upon release. I think you launched it to a very large nonprofit that had a huge, huge response. Is that something that you continue to see or do you feel that virtual’s not going to go away, but is the enthusiasm of it filling in the gaps as opposed to being the headline?
Josh: Yes, that’s a good question. It’s tough. I feel like we all have a pretty big craving to get back to life the way it was. I think one of the things that was really special about that event was the individual who hosted it, high-impact celebrity who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on producing that event. They had an incredible outcome. They raised, I think $750,000 in a single evening through that experience. Again, I fall back to– I think what a lot of nonprofits are learning is that, doing that virtual event and that virtual content can be tough, and the quicker we can just get back to doing things the way they used to be able to do it is the vibe I’m getting from a lot of our customers.
Darryl: Got you. Sounds good. All right. Well, with that, we’re at the end of our session. I want to thank everyone for attending and listening in to what the future of events and virtual fundraising is bound to be. Thank you so much, Michelle, Josh, Kim, Brendan, our whole team here. We are now headed for a 15-minute break. During that time, please feel free to visit the Givecloud and get a booze, stop in at their lounges, have a one-on-one chat with them, and I think you’re going to be able to pick up a whole bunch more in terms of what we were able to cover here. It looks like the puppies may also visit as well. Thanks so much, everyone, and we’ll see you at the next session.
Michelle: Thank you.
Brendan: Thanks, everyone.
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