A Weird, Wonderful Gift
CURRENTS Article When a protest threatened to undermine an institution's character, students, alumni, and administrators fought back.
CURRENTS Article As educational institutions become more creative in raising money for their missions, some are turning to crowdfunding. This article explores how educational institutions are using this online platform and to what effect.
White Paper: Social Media an Integral Component of Effective Fundraising
Article While social media can’t replace face-to-face fundraising and donor relationship management, it can be a valuable communication channel—one that is interactive, sometimes viral and convenient.
Community Colleges Join Forces in Statewide Fundraiser
Article Maryland’s 16 community colleges collaborated in a 24-hour online fundraising blitz last month and raised more than $62,000 for scholarships, programs, facilities and other local projects.
Giving Under the Influence
CURRENTS Article This data piece illustrates how online givers are influenced by the size of the donation that precedes them.
Going for Gold
CURRENTS Article The story profiles eight of the 2012 CASE Circle of Excellence Award grand gold and gold award winners.
Branded Giving Webpages Outperform Third-Party Pages
Article Nonprofit organizations with branded donation pages within their website garnered seven times more money on average than those that accepted donations through a third-party website, according to a quarterly report of online giving.
2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study: An Analysis of Online Messaging, Fundraising and Advocacy Metrics for Nonprofit Organizations
M+R Strategic Services and Nonprofit Technology Network
Report This annual study analyzes e-mail program and fundraising results from nonprofit organizations. The free report is available for download (registration required).
Twitter Chat Participants Discuss Social Media and Fundraising
Article Creative campaign sites, donor thank-you videos and “crowdfunding” initiatives are just some of the ways in which institutional fundraisers are using online tools.
Survey Shows Direct Mail Still Generates the Most Donations
Article A recent study reports that donors who give to international groups prefer these charities to contact them via email over mailed letters. Direct mail, however, still generates the most donations.
Report: Nonprofits Achieving Success with Social Media
Article Social networking continues to grow in importance for nonprofits with Facebook and Twitter extending their dominance among this group, according to a new social networking benchmark report.
Online Giving Grows Steadily for U.S. Nonprofits
Article While one-time gifts continue to be the largest source of revenue for nonprofits, monthly giving via online channels is growing steadily. That’s according to an annual study analyzing online messaging, fundraising, advocacy, social media and mobile metrics for nonprofits.
Gaming the System
CURRENTS Article Some colleges find Razoo, an online platform that helps nonprofits and individuals raise money, a fun way (literally) to rally alumni behind giving.
Social Media Donor Rankings
CURRENTS Article In the U.K., Twitter users give the largest online gifts, but the bulk of gifts come via Facebook.
New Best Practices in Prospect Research
Article If done effectively, prospect research has the potential to substantially improve the fundraising efforts of higher education institutions. A new report, based on an analysis of survey data from a cross-section of institutions in the United States, identifies 10 of the best practices used by high-performing fundraising programs.
Gift of Less Gab
CURRENTS Article This article shares statistics related to email solicitations from a fundraising consulting firm that surveyed donors who had contributed $20 or more to a charity in the past year.
Season's E-Greetings! Great Examples of Year-End Outreach
Jen Doak for the CASE Social Media Blog
Sample Collection This post includes a sampling of video and Flash e-cards and tips for effective year-end communications. It links to a compilation of samples on the College Web Editor blog, where readers shared links to greetings from their institutions in the comments.
Passing the Hat 2.0
CURRENTS Article "Crowdfunding," which allows startups and charitable projects to obtain small-scale financing through web-based campaigns, holds promise for college and university development offices.
Engaging Alumni with Social Media: Friends, Fans, Tweets and More
Product This webinar looks at best practices in integrating social media into alumni development activities to improve an institution's ability to stay in touch with students, alumni, donors and friends. The panel discussion also looks at findings from CASE and SunGard white paper "Use of Technology for Development and Alumni Relations among CASE Members." This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar originally presented on Sept. 29, 2011.
Study Finds Racial, Generational Differences in Online Cause Engagement
Article African-Americans and Hispanics are significantly more likely than Caucasians to believe that they can help support a cause or social issue through online social networks. And while younger Americans are also more likely to use social media to support causes, more than 40 percent still get information about causes through family, friends and television.
Starting to Click
CURRENTS Article According to a recent report from Blackbaud, online giving increased significantly in 2010, especially in the wake of the Haiti earthquake.
Engagement Matters! Digital Media for Stewardship
Product This webinar discusses how institutions can increase donor loyalty and gifts by combining institutional impact stories and social media. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar originally presented June 13, 2011.
Multichannel Donor Marketing: "No More Talk; Let's Make it Happen!"
Article Donors don't just read email and answer phone calls; they have access to and are influenced by a wide range of media. Reaching out to donors using multiple channels not only makes sense but also has the potential for greater sustained outreach and gift-giving, according to nonprofit marketing experts.
Innovations in Annual Giving 3.0: The Online Annual Fund
Product This webinar looks at how social media has changed the annual giving paradigm. The speaker gives examples of multimedia annual giving programs from a range of educational institutions and demonstrates how institutions are adapting their traditional goals to meet the reality of online annual giving. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar presented May 24, 2011.
CASE Europe Welcomes UK Government Call for Increased Giving
Article CASE Europe welcomed the UK government’s call for increased levels of giving and mutual support through its “Green Paper on Giving” but expressed concern over its emphasis on technology as a tactic to achieve social action and greater giving.
Internet Use Encourages Offline Participation
Article Internet users may once have been stereotyped as antisocial basement-dwellers, but a recent study has shown that the opposite is now true: Pew's Internet and American Life project found that three-quarters of all U.S. adults are active in some kind of voluntary group or organization, and Internet users are more likely than others to be active.
Small Donations on Social Networks Add Up
Article Social network giving platforms are less successful than charity websites or online giving portals, according to a new study, but that doesn’t mean they’re less important.
Online Giving Study: A Call to Reinvent Donor Relationships
Network for Good and TrueSense Marketing
Report This study examines donors' online giving behavior through nonprofit websites, donation portals, and social networks from 2003-2009. Results showed that donors were more likely to give through a nonprofit's site than through a portal or social network like Facebook. In addition, the online giving experience had a significant impact on donor loyalty, retention, and gift levels.
Fundraising One of Top Reasons for Nonprofits' Online Presence
Article Marketing is still the primary reason most nonprofits have a presence on social networks although fundraising is gaining in popularity, according to an annual survey.
Implications of Social Media Information for Fundraising and Prospect Research
Product This seminar explores the use of social networks in leveraging communication, data and technology to increase the outreach and impact of fundraising efforts. Discussion points include strategy development for acquiring data on constituents via social networks and the integration of data collection and analysis efforts. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar originally presented June 15, 2010.
Match Points: BYU-LDS Philanthropies Uses Workplace Fundraising Widget to Boost Alumni Matching Gifts
HEP Development Services
Article This May 2010 case study describes LDS Philanthropies' viral campaign using a widget that lets donors see in real time that their employers match philanthropic gifts. The widget was distributed to interested Brigham Young University alumni who work for companies with matching gift programs. These 1,800 alumni spread the widget to 6,500 people, resulting in $35,000 in gifts, for a total of $70,000 after the match.
Advance Work: Vision Quest
CURRENTS Article Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., put advice from young alumni into action, creating a very transparent, flexible Web site to support its fundraising campaign.
In Full Bloom
CURRENTS Article The digital age is upon us, with technology reshaping the way institutions interact with students, faculty, alumni, and donors. Find out how this new age is changing the world of communications and marketing, alumni relations, and development.
Boost Online Response by Optimizing Your Donation Landing Pages
Article This blog post provides tips for optimizing donation landing pages based on three years of research by Donordigital.
Click Here to Donate: Results of the CASE Survey of Online Fundraising, 2009
White Paper What tools are most effective in raising funds online, and how do they compare with other fundraising approaches? Who donates online, and how much are institutions raising through online fundraising initiatives? How do fundraisers describe the advantages and disadvantages raising private support electronically? This white paper looks at the results of a 2009 survey of online fundraising trends conducted by CASE and Robert L. Weiner Consulting.
Click Here to Donate
CURRENTS Article More money than ever before is being raised online. CASE’s 2009 survey of online fundraising for educational institutions garnered 562 responses, revealing that interest in this newest fundraising tool is high even while most institutions are new to the game. Challenges, opportunities, and best practices are addressed.
Translating Online Engagement into Giving
Article Cross-platform tactics, localized messages and constant testing and tracking are among the most effective strategies for building online engagement that translates into online giving.
Weaving the Web into Your Campaign
CURRENTS Article The director of annual giving at Northland College in Wisconsin presents the results of her research on the most effective techniques for fundraising campaign Web sites.
CASE Survey Report: Online Fundraising Promising, but Yield Still Modest
Article A recently completed CASE survey reveals that institutions see tremendous possibilities in online fundraising, but online gifts still account for less than 1.5 percent of total philanthropic support for education.
"Satisfied" Web Site Visitors More Likely to Donate, Volunteer
Article Nonprofits have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to their Web sites.
Online Fund Raising: How Much Big Charities Are Raising
Chronicle of Philanthropy
The Chronicle of Philanthropy maintains a database of online fundraising data that can be searched by year, category (including colleges and universities), state or organization name keyword. The page also links to articles on the topic. (Chronicle subscription required.)
2008 DonorCentric Internet Giving Benchmarking Analysis
Target Analytics, a Blackbaud Company
White Paper This paper, published in March 2009, presents the latest findings from an ongoing study of online fundraising programs and giving in selected nonprofits.
Planning for Online Fundraising, Part 1
Abny Santicola for Fundraising Success Magazine
Article This February 2009 article recaps an audio session by nonprofit technology strategist John Kenyon about crafting an online fundraising plan. The story includes a link to the transcript, slides and MP3 recording produced by Network for Good.
Yes, You Can
CURRENTS Article This article takes a close look at the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, which merged old-fashioned grass-roots politics with new technology, shattered fundraising records, and energized millions of people, and explores the ways in which its lessons can be used by advancement professionals.
ROI in Digital Fundraising and Online Giving
Fundraising Success Magazine
Article This January 2009 article states there are no hard and fast rules for measuring return on investment for online fundraising—yet. In the meantime, the author provides questions to help fundraisers think about how much to invest.
2008 Online Fundraising Survival Guide to Survive & Thrive in a Down Economy
Network for Good
This 42-page guide offers overall strategies, mistakes to avoid, suggested Web site tweaks, e-mail writing tips and more.
Stewardship: The Webb Schools - Bronze Award
Best Practice A goal of The Webb Schools' 2007 annual giving program was to do a better job of stewarding constituents in a creative and cost-effective way. Staff implemented two new online strategies: an e-newsletter for class agents that provided current news to share with classmates, and a flash movie for reunion classes. Staff also redesigned an existing holiday greeting to omit the solicitation and serve simply as a greeting and thank you. These three strategies spread goodwill among constituents, motivated class agents and increased annual giving totals. As of December 31, dollars raised and number of donors reached an all-time high.
Power of Online Fundraising Underused
Article Despite the cost-effectiveness of the Internet, it remains an underused fundraising tool among charities, according to a new report from U.K.-based nfpSynergy.
Advance Work: Surfing for Change
CURRENTS Article The Internet search engine Goodsearch.com donates half its revenue to charities and schools designated by its users.
The Wired Fundraiser: How Technology is Making Fundraising "Good to Go"
Network for Good
Report This 2007 paper outlines how individuals are using social networks and widget technology to fundraise, fueling shifts in the charity sector. The paper identifies implications for professional fundraisers and offers ways for charities to make the most of this trend.
American Express Charitable Gift Survey
Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University
Report Winner of the 2008 John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Published Scholarship from CASE, this was the first nationally representative study to address two "Frequently Asked Questions" in the world of charity: 1) How much do people give at any one time to different types of charitable recipients? and, 2) Do online and offline donations differ in size? The study also asked people why they give online or why they didn’t. By collecting information about gift amount—not total giving, as prior studies have done—this research demonstrates the importance of relatively small contributions. The results of this research are surprising and contradict some conventional wisdom about charitable giving.
Clicking With Donors
CURRENTS Article Online fundraising is growing exponentially--not only more gifts but larger ones as well. It is not just about the money, however. The Internet makes giving easy, but it is also helping build relationships with donors. This article looks at the state of online fundraising overall and how it is being done at specific institutions. The author talked with experts in online fundraising, and the article offers practical advice on what to do before you launch or expand online giving capabilities at your institution.
Online Gift Donor Profile
Report Blackbaud Analytics (now Target Analytics, a Blackbaud Company) launched a study of online gift donors and their giving trends in 2005. This paper, published in May 2006, presents the study's methodology, findings, conclusions, and data.
Advance Work: Moving Technology
CURRENTS Article Kenyon College e-mailed a stirring Flash presentation called “Remember” to people who hadn’t contributed to the annual fund. The presentation featured images from the college’s history, with the alma mater playing in the background. In the days following the appeal, the college received more than $40,000 in online gifts--as well as an impressive amount of positive feedback.
CURRENTS Article In the often harried world of institution advancement, e-communications can easily become a victim of project complacency, with e-mail appeals and newsletters turning into just-get-it-out-before-deadline pieces of communications collateral. But with rapidly improving technology and audiences that are increasingly becoming moving targets, it is essential for campus communicators to discover new ways to use e-mail, the Web and dynamic content to appeal to our constituents, and to embrace the notion that integrating technology is an investment, not an expense. Using examples from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, this article addresses ways to ensure e-mail appeals stay fresh and effective and discusses reassessing content and ideas prior to hitting the send button.
Advance Work: Web Leverage
CURRENTS Article Nonprofit Web sites influence donors' decision whether to make a gift, according to a 2005 survey. Of the donors surveyed who visited a nonprofit's Web site before making a gift, the majority said that doing so had some or a significant impact on their decision to give.
CURRENTS Article Communicating with constituents via e-mail has gotten harder now that so many e-mail users have installed spam-filtering programs on their computers. Experts cite several strategies advancement officers can use to strengthen the legitimacy of their electronic messages.
Nonprofit Internet Strategies: Best Practices for Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising
Product This book discusses ways that charitable organizations can analyze their options and select the appropriate strategy to integrate traditional marketing, communications and fundraising practices with their online efforts.
Online Fundraising Handbook: Making the Most of the Web and Email to Raise More Money
Report This handbook provides guidance on developing and implementing an online fundraising strategy. Produced in 2004, the free 92-page downloadable publication includes case studies and many related resources.
Winners at Heart
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 winners of CASE’s 2004 Circle of Excellence awards. The winning alumni relations programs offered creative ways to generate revenue, use technology, or support a campus cause. In the development categories, campuses showed how to use flash e-mail annual giving solicitations and speech-writing students to attract donors. Communications winners relied on humor, creativity, and unconventional publications. And top advancement services shops highlighted the importance of identifying top campus prospects, working as a team, and maintaining accurate data.
Politics as Unusual
CURRENTS Article Howard Dean’s quest for the Democratic presidential nomination rewrote the rules of fund raising--and set online giving records in the process. This article examines the lessons education fund raisers can learn from the Dean campaign. Those involved in shaping the Dean strategy recommend that every development office use the Internet strategically, embrace two-way communications, obtain e-mail addresses and keep those address lists up to date, segment and target audiences, leverage supporters as volunteers, and create more urgency by focusing less on long-term and more on short-term campaigns.
Talking Points: Canning Spam
CURRENTS Article With campuses increasingly relying on e-mail to reach constituents, advancement officers should be familiar with the 2003 CAN-SPAM legislation. This article explains the new U.S. law, including why it was passed and what it seeks to do, as well as specifics about how to comply and penalties for not doing so. Although the legislation doesn't apply specifically to nonprofits, the author recommends that all organizations adhere to well-defined best e-mail practices.
AdvanceWork: Think Charity, Not China
CURRENTS Article The Web site Whatgoesaround.org allows users to create a registry of nonprofits they support. Their friends and family can go on the site to make online gifts to the selected nonprofits in the same way they might use a bridal or baby registry. Institutions might promote the site as a way for alumni to encourage gifts in their honor to alma mater.
From Soup to Nuts
CURRENTS Article The advancement office of the University of California, Irvine, faced a daunting task: Develop an online giving site in less than two months. This article chronicles the evolution of UCI eGiving from an administrator mandate to a viable mechanism that collected more than $25,000 in online gifts in December 2003. Behzad Zamanian, eGiving's systems architect and project manager, details the steps his team took to complete the project on schedule, the changes they made to enhance the site's usefulness, and the lessons he and his colleagues learned in the process.
A Tale of Two Strategies
CURRENTS Article Increasingly campuses want to give donors the option of online giving. This article outlines the needs assessments that advancement officers should conduct before they decide whether to outsource site development or manage it in house. Oakland University used a vendor to build and operate its online giving site, while the University of Missouri, Columbia, did it in house. Leaders from both campuses share their experiences, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
AdvanceWork: Net Income
CURRENTS Article Donors continue to remain wary of online giving, but they indicate that security guarantees, better technology, and increased education and awareness might lessen their concerns. A UCLA study reports slight declines in both online privacy and credit card security concerns in 2002. Still, don't expect online giving to trump more personal fund-raising efforts any time soon.
On the Horizon
CURRENTS Article While many fund raisers hesitate to use e-mail for solicitation, some institutions have launched successful e-mail direct marketing campaigns. The article describes various institutions’ uses of e-mail for fund raising and statistics on its success. Advantages of the method include low cost, broad reach, and an increase in contact with donors. Concerns include depersonalization, increased workload, e-mail’s role in overall communications strategy, and lack of staff training in online strategies.
AdvanceWork: Breaking the Online Solicitation Barrier
CURRENTS Article Some donors have proven themselves amenable to major gift solicitation by e-mail. Both Northwestern University and MIT tell of cultivating, soliciting, and receiving five-, six-, and seven-figure gifts without face-to-face meetings with the donors — sometimes at the donor's initiative.