Emma Hersh Posts

It’s Almost Time for the Time-Release Bonus Day!

It’s Almost Time for the Time-Release Bonus Day!

Get ready for GlobalGiving’s Time-Release Bonus Day on September 21st, 2016! GlobalGiving is providing $60,000 in matching funds that will be released in two $30,000 pots as well as awarding $2,000 in bonus prizes! The Time-Release Bonus Day will start at 06:00 am EDT on September 21st and end at 23:59:59 pm EDT on September 21st.

How will the matching funds work?
Online donations of up to $1,000 per donor are eligible to be matched at 30%, while funds last. The $60,000 available in matching funds will be divided into two equal pots. Those pots — of $30,000 each — will be available as matching funds beginning at 06:00:01 am EDT and 12:00:01 pm EDT respectively. Having two release times will allow GlobalGiving to accommodate our nonprofit partners in different time zones. All matching will end at 23:59:59 EDT on September 21st, or when funds run out. We encourage you to plan your fundraising around these release times as matching funds will likely run out before the end of the Bonus Day.  

Why Didn’t The Narrative Project Work For Fundraising?

Why Didn’t The Narrative Project Work For Fundraising?

Alison Carlman, GlobalGiving

This is the third article in a three-part series about GlobalGiving’s experiments testing the findings of The Narrative Project. Read the first article here and the second article here.

When the results of our first test of The Narrative Project email appeal started to appear, I hoped they were just a fluke. But soon the numbers grew to statistical significance: the Narrative Project language was performing significantly worse than our control language in terms of dollars raised per email opened.  I suspected it could just be a matter of the particular cause featured in the email appeal, so then we ran tests with entirely different topics.  When that test copy also underperformed the control, I blamed it on my own writing. So in our final test we pitted language from another major nonprofit against phrases pulled directly from the Narrative Project User Guide. The Narrative Project language still failed compared to the control.

At the same time that we were running A/B tests, my GlobalGiving colleague was running experiments with stories in our database. We have more than 50,000 reports written over the past 8 years by nonprofit leaders detailing their progress for their donors. While these emailed reports don’t usually generate a high volume of repeat funding, it was still possible to detect that reports that were highly correlated with Narrative Project Themes generally underperformed other reports in a statistically significant way.

After all of our testing, we could not prove that stories and reports that contain the themes of independence, shared values, partnership, and progress drove any more funding via email and online donations than stories or reports that don’t. In fact, they performed worse.

Better Storytelling: What ‘Works’ in Global Development?

Better Storytelling: What ‘Works’ in Global Development?

Alison Carlman, GlobalGiving

This is the second article in a three-part series about GlobalGiving’s experiments testing the findings of The Narrative Project. Read the first article here.

When I first learned about The Narrative Project I was very excited (which reveals a lot about the depth of my nerdiness) because it was the first large-scale study that I’d encountered that demonstrated how positive narratives in global development could actually move people to become supporters. I’d seen plenty of evidence that pity-based narratives in fundraising appeals will motivate people to open their wallets. But it’s 2016, and there are many communicators in development who work to promote more respectful, nuanced storytelling that goes beyond the flies-in-the-eyes appeals we’ve all seen. So when I encountered the Narrative Project, you can see why I was so glad there was finally data to show that these alternative narratives might also work, and what’s more, specific tactics might help us improve the empathy-based approach we already use.

The promise of the Narrative Project was that messages and stories carrying certain narrative themes (independence, shared values, partnership and progress) would motivate certain segments of the population (in the US, UK, France, and Germany) to become (theoretical) supporters of global development. The goal was to change attitudes about aid at a very high level, and the data suggests that it can. But very few global development communicators who are employed by NGOs have the luxury of communicating for the sake of attitude change alone. Most of us are hired to tell stories that either move people to give or to take action for a cause. We need to share stories that work in other ways. And many of my peers were eager to start using the recommendations in their communications and fundraising.

I was one of ten nonprofit communicators who received a grant to test the Narrative Project in the wild. We wanted to find out how easy it was for nonprofits to adopt the recommended narratives, and then to find out how the Narrative Project impacted fundraising.

What did we find out? Did the Narrative Project work? Well, no. But also yes. It all depends on what we mean when we ask, “what works?”

Power Up your Programs with the Social Impact Academy

Power Up your Programs with the Social Impact Academy

Do your organization’s programs create the meaningful change that you intended? What do your constituents have to say about your projects? Are you comfortable talking about your organization’s social impact? And how do you get the support and resources you need to reach even more communities?

That’s where the Social Impact Academy comes in! Join us for a two-month online course led by social impact experts and nonprofit professionals from across the globe. The Academy will help you explore different theories of impact measurement and learn about practical tools and resources to design programs for social change, measure impact, engage your community, and tell your organization’s impact story! See below for a complete agenda.

Apply online by Monday, August 8 for one of only 45 available spaces – and don’t hesitate to email us at projecthelp@globalgiving.org with questions.

Let’s Get Ready to (Online) Fundraise!

Let’s Get Ready to (Online) Fundraise!

Who raised over $5.7 million in December 2014? If you guessed GlobalGiving’s nonprofit partners, then you’re right!

Each December, GlobalGiving runs its annual Year-End Campaign to support current nonprofit partners to raise money during the biggest giving season of the year. With October upon us, that means it’s time to start thinking about how to maximize your fundraising efforts and end your year with a financial bang.

According to Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report, nonprofits raise more in December than any other month of the year – almost 18% of all annual online giving!