Archive for the ‘Fundraising Opportunites & Support’ Category


Celebrating our best year yet

Posted by Alexis Nadin on January 8th, 2015

It’s official! 2014 was GlobalGiving’s best year yet. More than 1,800 organizations raised more than $32 million from individual and corporate donations this past year—wow!

So, before we begin the hustle and bustle of the New Year, we want to pause to say thank YOU. Thank you for the amazing work that you are doing here in the U.S. and in 149 countries around the world. In 2014, you gave hundreds of children a life-changing education in Kenya, Peru, and Afghanistan. You provided crucial healthcare in Liberia, India, and Guatemala. You empowered communities in Cambodia, South Africa, and the Philippines to be financially sustainable. And so much more.

To recognize your great work on and off GlobalGiving, we have put together the 2014 Superlative Awards! Check out the ‘best of 2014’ here.

Superlatives 2014

Your world-changing work inspired more than 60,000 donors to give in 2014!  Your quarterly reports, openness, and transparency gave our 60 corporate partners the confidence to invest in your GlobalGiving projects. Check out some exciting stats from 2014.

2014 in Numbers

  • More than $32 million was donated to projects through GlobalGiving. That’s a 45% increase from the year before!
  • Our Product and Business Development Teams continued to work hard to drive traffic to the site—we had 3 million visitors in 2014!
  • 60,000 individuals made donations on GlobalGiving in 2014. And 52% of donors chose to add-on a portion of GlobalGiving’s fee to their donation, helping to direct more dollars to your projects!
  • Thanks to corporate partners like VMware and EMC, we sent out more than $2.4 million in gift cards in December alone (gift cards can be redeemed on any GlobalGiving project!);
  • Monthly recurring donation volume on the site continued to increase. We processed $1.66 million in monthly recurring donations, that’s 18% more than 2013!
  • 60 companies gave a whopping $22.7 million through cause-marketing, grants management, gift card, and employee giving programs with GlobalGiving in 2014! That’s almost $10 million more than last year.

Blown away? The growth that we experienced in 2014 was no coincidence. The team at GlobalGiving worked hard to attract new donors, develop and manage valuable corporate partnerships, and provide you with a better user experience and more opportunities to reach out to your own networks.

Here are some highlights:

  • Our mission is not only to help you access more funding, but also to connect you to information, ideas, and tools so you can be a more effective organization. So, in 2014, GlobalGiving launched our new Effectiveness Dashboard to help your organization listen, act, and learn on and off GlobalGiving. Visit your organization’s Effectiveness Dashboard and check out our new effectiveness tools!
  • GlobalGiving continued to facilitate Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative on GlobalGiving, making it possible for GlobalGiving Leaders and Superstars providing education, job training, and entrepreneurship opportunities to youth to benefit from incredible matching opportunities. Microsoft offered $350,000 in matching funds to eligible GlobalGiving partners on #GivingTuesday in December. More than 200 projects raised $530,000 (not including matching) in one day!
  • Last year, GlobalGiving’s representatives visited 300 of GlobalGiving’s partners in the field. Site visits make it possible for GlobalGiving to better advocate for our partners in conversations with donors and corporate partners. These visits also help us strengthen our relationships with you, our partners!
  • In 2014, we doubled down on what you told us that you wanted most: Bonus Days. We offered $345,000 in matching funds to all GlobalGiving partners—that’s $145,000 more than the year before! Our partners raised more than $1.5 million in our four Bonus Days and our Year-End Campaign.
  • GlobalGiving has raised more than $3 million to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. We are working closely with more than 20 organizations to support local response efforts. Time and time again we’ve found that after a disaster, locally driven organizations are best positioned to respond to the nuanced needs of their communities, and they are the ones most likely to bring about lasting recovery in the area.

Ok, so 2014 was amazing but 2015 is going to be even better!

We are excited to share our 2015 Campaign Calendar. Take some time to explore and identify promotions that are right for your organization.

Want to learn more about our 2015 calendar?

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, January 14th for an overview of our fundraising campaigns and promotions taking place in 2015. We’ll equip you with strategies for successful fundraising in the New Year.

Date: Wednesday, January 14

Times: 9 am EST (Find this time in your city) and 3 pm EST (Find this time in your city)

Webinar Link:

Sign up for the webinar here.

Failing Forward: 10 Lessons Learned in 2014

Posted by Alison Carlman on January 8th, 2015

Photo by Awamaki, the First Place $1000 winner in GlobalGiving’s Fail Forward contest

There were many incredible things that happened in 2014, but some of the stories we’re most proud of are your failures. You read that right: we’re glad to see how our nonprofit partners are talking about failure (we’re talking about it, too!) because we’re thrilled that we’re all learning and improving.

As you may recall, GlobalGiving held a Fail Forward contest at the end of 2014, offering prizes to nonprofits that submitted project reports telling a story of a failure and what learning came from the failure. We’re proud to announce the winners here! Click on any link to read the Fail Forward story, and follow our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the next several weeks to see how we’re featuring these stories.

  1. First Place $1000 winner: Awamaki – “It’s so important for the women we work with to fully understand their constitution and bylaws, and that they take strong leadership in their own cooperative business.”
  2. Second Place $600 winner: Mother’s Heart – “To our inexperienced minds, $300 was a small amount to pay if it meant Jana could have the life she wanted as a new mom. However, our haste was our downfall. Our eagerness brought failure. Our good intentions blinded us to the reality of Jana’s situation. We neglected to ask the right questions.”
  3. Third Place $400 winner: Center for Amazon Community Ecology –  “A system used by a similar organization seemed like a great way to empower our artisans to improve the consistency and quality of their crafts for the export market, but it didn’t work in this setting. Our jobs are to respect and support their organic process, culture and vision.”
  4. Honorable Mention: Zahana – “In participatory development requests from the community have priority, or it would not be participatory.”
  5. Honorable Mention: Global Emergency Care Collaborative – “A program that was dependent on one (foreign) individual was in no way  sustainable… so we had to rethink our mission and vision to design a program that is successful, replicable, scalable, and affordable.”
  6.  Honorable Mention: Aasraa Trust – “Battered and  abused children need persistent counseling alone and with the families. The family exerts enormous pressure on the child and cannot be ignored.”
  7. Honorable Mention: ColaLife – “Unless you are equally proud of your failures as your successes, no one will learn.”
  8. Honorable Mention: Days for Girls – “Only an informed design process focused on collaboration, and responsiveness to local feedback will get a result that is culturally, environmentally and physically relevant.”
  9. Honorable Mention: Expanding Opportunities – “State and restate what you can and cannot do clearly and often.”
  10. Honorable Mention: Aravind Eye Foundation — “Free can still be expensive: address all the barriers that people might face in accessing your services.”

The  Fail Forward celebration doesn’t just end just with our nonprofit partners’ learning, we also want to share a bit about what GlobalGiving learned from the contest:

Failure can feel good (eventually). Some of our nonprofit partners talked about how failure could feel good if you’re open and honest about it. Jane Berry from Cola Life said this: “…this change of direction could have been a huge embarrassment. But amazingly, by ‘coming clean’ straight away about the failure, we have won more praise, more friends, and more understanding. One of our award-givers even asked us back to the prestigious event we had won the year before, to hear more about our failure.”

Some of our partners even even attributed their current success to their initial failures. “Had we not learned from this failure, our organization would not have learned the importance of building local capacity through education, and the 25,000 patients that have been treated in the past several years would not have received the life-saving care they desperately needed,” said Tom Neill from Global Emergency Care Collaborative.

Many of us are failing at the same things no matter where we are on the map. Interestingly, we found that the majority of the Fail Forward submissions in our contest fell into one of three categories:

  1. Failing to make a contract. We all want to believe that partners will make good on their promises; but when they don’t, it can hurt everyone involved. Most stories emphasized good communication and formalizing agreements and contracts with partners.
  1. Failing while fundraising. Storytellers were eager to share how hard it is to motivate people to give. The stories on this topic emphasized starting with small endeavors and a trusted team to build early success before holding expensive events that could be major failures.
  1. Failing to meet the expressed needs of the community. This was perhaps the most important type of story that came out of the contest, because it gets to the heart of what it means to be effective. The stories on this topic emphasized the role of involving community members in planning and implementation at a very early stage.

How can you learn from these failures without having to experience them for yourself? Take advantage of some of the tools that GlobalGiving can provide. First, use the network available to you on the GlobalGiving Project Leaders Facebook Group to ask for ideas, contacts, sample agreements and contracts. Next, take a look at the tools available to help you gather feedback from the community you seek to help. You can find worksheets, websites, plans, and software to help you gather constituent feedback.

We look forward to another year of Listening, Acting, Learning and Repeating with you in 2015!


YOUR TURN: Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat.

LISTEN: You just read a post about failing forward, with several examples from how other nonprofits have learned from their failures this year.
ACT: We challenge you to share a Fail Forward experience with your stakeholders!
LEARN: Be sure to describe what your organization learned from the failure, and share what you’ll do differently in 2015.


The Final Countdown: Tips for Successful Fundraising in the Last Two Weeks of the Year

Posted by Alexis Nadin on December 18th, 2014

There are two weeks left in 2014 and there is still time to make it count for your organization! In fact, these last two weeks may be the most important time for your organization’s fundraising because 10% of all online donations made in the U.S. happen on the last three days of the year. GlobalGiving hosted a webinar on Wednesday, December 18th to discuss last-minute fundraising tips. You can view a recording of the webinar here.

Here are some important events leading up to the new year:

  • December 18 – 24: The week before Christmas when retailers traditionally see a surge in sales
  • December 16 – 24: Hanukkah
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 29, 30, 31: Last chance for tax-deductible donations for U.S. donors and the biggest fundraising days of the year

Make sure that you know your audience! Do your donors celebrate Christmas? Hanukkah? This period can be the most valuable time for your organization if you can connect with your audience well.

Multi-channel communication

GlobalGiving is a big advocate of multi-channel communication:

  • Email is still the single largest drive of online giving at 33%
  • Build excitement on social media by:
    • Sharing your goals
    • Keeping donors updated on your progress
    • Inviting donors to comment and share
  • Phone calls to your key donors
  • Get out into the community! Have lunch of coffee with your board members, volunteers, and major donors.

The key here is to be strategic with your year-end communications and use your organization’s resources wisely. Share specific goals with your donors to help them to understand the impact that their donation will make. For example, you could share a story about a particular individual benefiting from your project and remind donors that he/she will need their continued support into 2015!

The Communications Challengecharitywater newsletter

Your challenge this December is to capture your supporters’ attention with concise (no more than three short paragraphs!), creative, and unique  emails.

We know from experience that the typical donor requires multiple appeals before donating, so a single email might not be enough. However, donors will probably see a high number of email donation appeals flooding their inboxes in December from a wide variety of organizations.

Here are some tips to help you make your emails stand out:

  • Capture donors’ attention using compelling subject lines; and a
  • Clear and concise call to action.
  • Convey the impact that a donation would make with a compelling story and photo.
  • Include a direct link to your GlobalGiving project page.
  • Get personal–make sure to address each donor by name. Include a special, personalized note for major supporters.

Here is a great example from Charity: Water!

Extra Incentives

Another way to set your organization apart from the competition is by articulating value or an added incentive to give your your organization.

Here are some added incentives for giving on GlobalGiving this December:

15 days of givingRecurring Donation Matching

In addition, GlobalGiving is offering a 15-day recurring donation matching opportunity through December 31! Learn more about recurring donations on GlobalGiving here. 

Here are the details:

  • December 17 – 31
  • One time 100% match on all new recurring donations
  • Recurring donations must last for at least four consecutive months to qualify
  • New recurring donations count towards the Year-end Campaign

Read complete terms and conditions here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Finally, don’t forget the importance of thanking your supporters as you build your donor base for 2015! You can also appeal to your donors to get involved with your organization in other ways and encourage them to sign up for your own newsletter. Read tips for drafting an effective thank you email here. 

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at!

Happy Holidays from the GlobalGiving team!

Increase your fundraising footprint with this year’s #GivingTuesday tips from GlobalGiving

Posted by Jacqueline Lee on November 24th, 2014

#GivingTuesday is coming up on December 2, 2014. Do you have your fundraising strategy planned and ready to go?



“GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back…charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.” -


GlobalGiving recently hosted 2 webinars for YouthSpark projects participating in Microsoft’s “Everyone Starts Somewhere” campaign. These webinars included #GivingTuesday tips for fundraising on the big day. Our team would love to share these tips and case studies with you. If you missed the webinar, don’t worry, please find the recording here: Microsoft YouthSpark #GivingTuesday webinar

Getting Ready – Last Minute Tips & Tricks

Follow the steps below to get you and your team ready for the big fundraising day!

1. Set Goals

Think about how many people do you want to reach? Ask yourself how much funding does your organization want to raise? This will help you to stay focused, align your actions with the end goal, and in the end evaluate what you did well and what you can do better next year.

  • #GivingTuesday Funding Goal (excluding matching funds and bonus prizes): ­____________
  • How many donors do you need to reach your funding goal?: ________________



2. Understand the Terms and Conditions & Set Donors’ Expectations

Make sure you have read and reread the terms and conditions of #GivingTuesday. If you have questions about any of the terms or need clarity, please do not hesitate to contact us! Are you involved in a matching campaign that has specific terms and conditions? Make sure you share these terms and conditions with your donors. Remind them how they can help you meet your goals and impact. Setting clear expectations will create a better experience for your donors which will increase the chance in their future participation – they might even invite their friends and family to give.

2014_Microsoft YouthSpark GivingTuesday Campaign Times

2014_Microsoft YouthSpark GivingTuesday_Campaign Times in EST time

3. Plan your Communication Strategy

Create a calendar including steps leading up to and on the day of. Devise a schedule for reaching out to your advocates, volunteers, donors, and social media supporters. Think about which platforms and methods of communication your donors, volunteers, and advocates use most. Through their preferred modes of communication, think about when and how often you will reach out to them. Assign staff to monitor customer service and response to these different platforms. Be prepared to re-post your supporters’ Facebook posts, retweet your advocates’ tweets, and respond to emails immediately. Get creative!

StayClassy shared an experience about an organization that planned their communication strategy months ahead utilizing social media, email and phone calls. By the end of #GivingTuesday, the organization “had blown their $25,000 goal out of the water and raised $97,148.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 6.42.53 PM

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 6.47.04 PM

4. Join the Conversation.

Use #GivingTuesday and other popular hashtags in Twitter and Facebook to spread awareness of your campaign by joining existing conversations. By joining larger existing conversations, your organization can tap into an audience not already familiar with your cause and work.

5. Prep Your Content.

Prep campaign messaging not just for your organization, but create easily sharable and customizable email templates, Twitter posts, Instagrams, and Facebook posts that your networks can share with their networks.

  • Write a project report for GlobalGiving. Submit your project report to GlobalGiving before Bonus Day,and request that it be sent out on December 2nd. In your project report include an update about your project, a quote from a beneficiary, and/or story of one of your beneficiaries. Also, don’t forget to include a call to action for donors to give on Bonus Day. Your project report should inspire them to give.
  • Write and send messaging for your fundraisers to use on #GivingTuesday. You want to make sure that assisting your organization is easy for them, and that they are sharing the correct information. Include a template email, sample tweets, and sample Facebook posts, if relevant.
  • Put together your social social media plan and have Facebook posts and tweets ready to send for the big day.

6. Mobilize Your Current Network.

Turn your donors in to  fundraisers. Instead of asking donors to give this year, why don’t you ask them to share your message this year? Ask them to invite their networks.

  • Identify potential donors, such as board members, former volunteers and interns, and friends/family
  • Identify donor captains. Donor captains are responsible for raising a funding goal on the day of #GivingTuesday… for example, a donor captain may be a former intern that is excited about your work and pledges to raise $300 from 20 donors for your project. Donor captains help your organization grow its network of supporters.
  • Contact donor captains. Let them know why you are asking for their help and tell them how they can help. Remember your donor captains are individuals that care about your organization, the work you are doing, and most importantly they care about you (the number one reason why people give is because someone they know and trust asked them too).

7. Don’t Forget to Thank your Donors!

gift card

Engage with your donors positively and proactively. GlobalGiving makes it easy for nonprofits to thank their donors through the donation manager. Click here to learn more about the thank you note feature

Success Story shared a great success story about an organization who combined the above tips (joining the conversation, engaging community, using social media, and getting creative) to create a successful 24-hour fundraising campaign. For #GivingTuesday, an organization created a photo campaign that included the organization’s specific hashtag and #GivingTuesday. The nonprofit asked local students, volunteers, and community members to give back by participating (not giving), and this resulted in not only more than 1,000 photos with the organization’s messaging being shared on social media, it amplified their organization’s message to the larger #GivingTuesday community, and the organization raised approximately $10,000 in donations.

We hope these tips help you create a solid and effective campaign strategy for this year’s 24-hour day of giving back. Best of luck this #GivingTuesday!

Microsoft YouthSpark #GivingTuesday

Check out these additional great resources that were sourced for this article and provide additional fundraising tips and strategies:

Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat.

We know your time and resources are valuable. We want to help you be as effective as possible with those resources, and we’ve seen that effectiveness is driven by a cycle of progress that involves listening, acting, and learning (and repeating — doing it all again). Think about the questions below in order to test how your strategy worked.

  • LISTEN: You just read tips for a creating a successful #GivingTuesday.
  • ACT: What is one way you are going to fundraise for #GivingTuesday?
  • LEARN: How will you know whether your fundraising strategy worked? What results will you look for in order to measure success?

Have the Last Word: Develop an Effective Year-End Communications Plan

Posted by Alexis Nadin on November 4th, 2014

give hope smallThis holiday season, your organization will be competing with thousands of others for coveted space in email inboxes all over the world. It is estimated that nonprofit organizations send an average of SEVEN email fundraising appeals per subscriber during December. So how can your organization stand out? Will Frechette, GlobalGiving’s Digital Marketing Specialist, joined us for a webinar on October 29th to share share his experiences and some best practices. A recording of the webinar can be found here.

By using GlobalGiving’s very own core values of Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat (LALR), your organization can craft a story that sticks to people and stands out from the crowd.

First off, what makes a good story?

  1. Characters
    • Who is your protagonist? A staff member, a beneficiary or a donor?
    • Who or what is the antagonist? A global problem that your organization is tackling?
    • Who is your narrator? A staff member, a beneficiary or a donor? A unique perspective might be all your need to capture the attention of your donors!
  2. Plot
    • Create a storyline by sending multiple emails out over the course of the month
    • Start with an exposition. (An introduction to your characters, themes and what you want to accomplish with the donations).
    • Create rising action and build up to a climax. (Highlight the problem that your organization is facing).
    • Falling action and Resolution. (How have your donors helped to solve the problem and what will future donations do to help?). Their involvement will help solve the tension that you are building!

Listen to your:

  1. Audience – What are your donors telling you?
    1. Use email analytics to measure the success of each email. GlobalGiving’s web analytics is a helpful tool. You can measure the open rate, conversion rate, click-through rate, and average donation size.
  2. Peers – What are some of the successful practices of other nonprofits?

Best Practice #1 – Subject Lines

  • Be short & direct
  • 34 characters or less (emails on mobile phone browsers wrap after 34 characters)
  • Your subject line starts the story so make it attention grabbing!

Best Practice #2 – Bold, high-resolution images

  • Our studies show that bold, high-resolution images increase click-through rates by 44%!
  • A few examples of great photos here, here, and here!

Best Practice #3 – Calls to action!

  • Have a single call to action in each email!
  • This focuses your audience on taking a specific action.

Best Practice #4 – Send multiple messages

  • Although message volume increases in December, open and click-through rates don’t.
  • Plan to send many emails over the course of the month to build up support.
  • However, beware of email fatigue and donors unsubscribing.

Will 1Best Practice #5 – Incentives

  • Whenever possible, provide additional incentives for your audience to give.
  • GlobalGiving has our Year-End Campaign and a #GivingTuesday campaign for Microsoft YouthSpark eligible organizations only.

Act: Plan your story and plan your tests!

  • Plan your email storytelling campaign in advance. Use individual stories of staff on the ground, donors or beneficiaries, and make it part of a larger storytelling campaign!

Learn: Test what works and use past emails and campaigns as benchmarks!

  • Plan your tests and see what works best!
    • Test subject lines (measures open rates)
    • Protagonists (click-through & conversion rates)
    • Narrator (potentially all rates)
    • Call to action (click-through & conversion rate)
    • Images (click-through & conversion rate)

Will 2

Repeat: Remember what was successful and repeat in 2015!

  • Take notes of what works for your organization and repeat in 2015!
  • Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, January 21 reflect on lessons learned from 2014 year-end fundraising. Use data-driven techniques to analyze the results of your efforts and to make smart decisions about your communications and fundraising in 2015. Sign up here.

Final Parting words from Will:

  • The best stories are the ones you already tell
  • Subscribe to other nonprofit newsletters to learn best practices.
  • Be consistent over all media of communication!

Remember, GlobalGiving is offering two promotions to help you drive donation activity this December. Learn more about our Year-End Campaign and Microsoft YouthSpark #GivingTuesday to decide which campaign is right for your organization!


This post was written by Lucius Lee, Program Team Intern.