Online Fundraising Academy: Fundraising Evaluation and Analysis

Online Fundraising Academy: Fundraising Evaluation and Analysis

In GlobalGiving’s eighth session of the Online Fundraising Academy, Nick Hamlin, GlobalGiving’s Business Intelligence Analyst, joined us to discuss GlobalGiving’s rigorous goal-setting and ongoing monitoring of fundraising activities. Nick and his team support the organization in financial goal setting and benchmarking. Leading the charge in tracking annual progress and evaluating year-end results, Nick is responsible for compiling a weekly analysis of site activity and donations.

Session Recording:

Session Notes:

Fundraising Evaluation

  • Why should data evaluation and analysis be a priority?
    • Think of data like a roadmap for your operations. When you’re going on a road trip, you will need to know:
      • Where are you currently, where are you trying to go, and how will you get there?
    • Rather than just focusing on getting funds in the door, make sure to define a concrete starting point and goal
    • Allows you to maximize your impact!
  • Data is your map! If you have this map, it makes your journey much more clear.

 Step 1: Finding your baseline

  • Right now? Strong platform of donors and organizations
  • GlobalGiving examples:
    • Right now? In the future? In your mission? In your fundraising?
    • Start with the right questions: Where are you? What’s important to your organization?
    • In the future? Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals!
    • In our mission? Information, Ideas, and Money to nonprofits
    • In our fundraising? Long-term sustainability
  • How to map questions to metrics?
    • GlobalGiving uses a Cheat Sheet to keep track of where we are currently.
      • Cost Recovery, Annual Volume, Facebook Fans/Twitter Followers, etc.
    • Relating it all back to your important questions and reminding you of what’s really important and how you’re doing in relation to these goals
  • Key Questions
    • What questions is your organization interested in, giving the work you do and the mission you have?
    • Once you’ve asked these questions, what metrics can you use to track them? How can you put them into your own cheat sheet or dashboard?
    • You don’t need to have a million different numbers, rather figure out what’s important for your organization and then make sure you have a handful of relevant, actionable numbers

Step 2: Setting data-driven goals

  • Goals are the destination for your trip, and good goals are SMART:
    • Specific: They’re focused on something concrete you can actually understand
    • Measurable: You’re using trackable metrics to know if you’ve succeeded (dollars raised, or something else easily measured/counted)
    • Actionable: There are specific steps you can take to achieve your goal
    • Relevant: They make sense for your organization’s context
    • Time-bound: They won’t last forever
  • Use your metrics to track your progress
  • Use the new information to improve your goal-setting the next time around; your data will get better if you’re using information from the previous cycle to update the next cycle
  • GlobalGiving Example: Overall Volume Goal for 2015
    • Specific: Focused on concrete dollars through the marketplace
    • Measurable: Easily tracked via accounting
    • Actionable: Driven through campaigns, website upgrades, etc.
    • Realistic: Number determined based on previous trends/other goals
    • Time-bound: Limited only to 2015
  • Key Questions:
    • What kind of goals make sense for your organization?
    • How can you make sure they’re SMART goals?

 Step 3: Learning from experimentation and iteration

  • “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou
    • Take the best information you have and do your best with it, then gather more information so you can know better and do better
  • Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat.
    • Listening, Acting, Learning, then repeating these three steps allows you to build on new information as you move towards your goal.
    • Listen to what is working, act by formulating a plan, and then learn by evaluating what worked and what you can do differently next round. Integrate what works, and then repeat by looping through the cycle again!
  • GlobalGiving Example: How can we maximize recurring donations?
    • Listen – economics and psychology experts say that belonging to a group can be a strong motivator for people
    • Act – on the checkout page, we told donors we’d match their first recurring donation if a certain percentage of people upgraded their contribution. We gathered data about how many people agreed.
    • Learn – analyzed whether the offer made a difference in increasing recurring donations.
    • Repeat – tested this same idea with different percentages. Eventually found that 75% worked the best.
    • Result – doubled recurring donations!
  • Key Questions:
    • What information would you gather to start experimenting?
    • What plan would you carry out? What data would you gather to support the plan?
    • Based on the data, how would you change your plan for next time?

Designing a Strategic Plan for Bonus Day: 

  • Step 1: What’s important? How can we track it?
    • Total fundraising: Money gained from new donors, Dollars raised, Matching money earned.
    • Donor engagement: Number of unique donors, Number of project page views, Number of emails opened, Number of Facebook likes/views
    • Take time to think about what’s important for this Bonus Day and for the long-run. What other aspects are important besides just dollars raised?
  • Step 2: What SMART goals should we set?
    • What’s a realistic goal for dollars raised?
    • How many donations have we received previously in similar campaigns? How large were they on average?
    • Who are our potential donors? How will we reach out to them?
    • How many will likely donate given our outreach strategy?
    • Using our estimated average donation size and estimated number of donors, what’s our estimate of how much we’ll raise on Bonus Day?
  • Step 3: What tests will we try to reach our goal?
    • Subgoal – number of donations from Facebook, based on past activity
    • Use Emily’s tips to reach out to Facebook donor networks
      • Previous campaign Facebook engagement: 10 donors, $165 total
      • Goals for this campaign: 30 donors, $25 avg., $750 total
    • How much activity were we able to generate? Did we hit our engagement and donation goals? What other ideas could we try in our next iteration?
    • Learnings from this experiment
    • Over-estimated average Facebook donation size
    • Under-estimated size of Facebook donor network
      • Need to update our goals for next time based on this new data
      • Where are our blind spots? Could we better map our network? Who are our posts reaching?
    • Possible questions for next iteration:
      • Can we increase the average size of donation from our Facebook network without decreasing engagement?
      • Can we replicate this success on other social media platforms?
      • How difficult was it to implement this campaign? Was it worth the effort? (new metric/goal idea: $ raised per staff hour!)

Key Takeaways

  • Find your baseline!
  • Once you’ve found where you are, set your SMART goals!
  • Then go through the iterative learning approach: Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat.
  • Never travel without your “data map”!

Want more Data?

  • Many more options depending on your interests:
    • Storage: Google Analytics, Excel, Facebook Insights, MailChimp, Salesforce
    • Analysis: All of the above, R, BigML, Infogram, Tableau Public, etc.
  • Ways to learn more:

This post was written by Destiny Nobles, Program Team Intern.

May 13th Bonus Day – We’re Matching EVERY Donation!

May 13th Bonus Day – We’re Matching EVERY Donation!

This is a brand new kind of Bonus Day! On May 13th, GlobalGiving will be matching every single online donation between 09:00:01 EDT and 23:59:59 EDT.

How is this possible?

In order to match every donation for 15 hours, GlobalGiving is hosting our first-ever Pro-Rated Bonus Day. There is $75,000 available in matching funds and matching percentage will be determined based on the total amount raised that day. So, the matching percentage will be calculated at 23:59:59 EDT using the following matching formula:

($75,000/Total amount raised) x 100 = Matching percentage

Here are some examples:

If the total amount raised is $150,000:

  • On Bonus Day, you raise $5,000 for your project.
  • The total amount raised on Bonus Day is $150,000.
  • There are $75,000 in matching.
  • Use our matching formula to calculate the matching percentage: ($75,000/$150,000) x 100 = 50%
  • Your organization would receive: $5,000 x .5 = $2,500

If the total amount raised is $300,000:

  • On Bonus Day, you raise $5,000 for your project
  • The total amount raised on Bonus Day is $300,000.
  • There are $75,000 in matching.
  • Use our matching formula to calculate the matching percentage: ($75,000/$300,000) x 100 = 25%
  • Your organization would receive: $5,000 x .25 = $1,250

Another one? Here’s a real life example from last May’s Bonus Day:

  • In the May 2014 Bonus Day, Ishahayi Beach School Foundation raised $8,735
  • The total raised on that Bonus Day was $190,640
  • With $75,000 available in matching, here would be the matching funds for Ishahayi Beach School Foundation:

($75,000/$190,640) x 100 = 39.3%

  • Ishahayi Beach School Foundation would receive: $8,735 x .393 = $3,432.86 in matching

Each donation you receive until midnight will be matched! This also means that your donors don’t have to give right away at 9 am EDT. Donors can give later in the day and still have their donations matched!

Why is GlobalGiving offering a Pro-Rated Bonus Day?

In 2014, you asked us to come up with a new Bonus Day structure that would prevent funds from running out early in the day. Organizations were hearing from their supporters, who were unhappy when they gave after limited matching funds were exhausted. So, we challenged our Leadership Council to propose alternative Bonus Day structures that would allow our limited matching funds to last longer. After considering several great proposals, the Pro-Rated Bonus Day was born! We are excited to experiment with this new structure and we hope to continue to improve and evolve GlobalGiving’s matching campaigns to help our partners achieve their fundraising goals.

Want some more information?

  • We will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, April 29th at 9am EDT and again at 3pm EDT. Register here for the 9am session and register here for the 3pm session.
  • We also have one-on-one consultations available with our staff if you are interested in speaking with someone about your strategy. You can sign up for one here.

Terms & Conditions:

  • Bonus Day begins at 09:00:00 EDT on May 13, 2015 and ends at 23:59:59 EDT on May 13, 2015.
  • There is $75,000 in matching funds available.
  • Online donations of up to $1,000 per individual donor per project are eligible to be matched.
  • Matching will be determined on a pro-rated basis. The matching percentage will be based on the total amount raised on Bonus Day.
    • Here is the formula to determine matching funds:

($75,000/Total amount raised) x 100 = Matching Percentage

  • Final matching allocation will be determined by May 15th at 23:59:59 EDT. Before that date, matching funds and percentage displayed on the Leaderboard are not confirmed.
  • The Bonus Day Leaderboard will show the matching percentage throughout the day. It will continue to update and change until 23:59:59 EDT on May 13th. Matching funds for your project will not appear until 23:59:59 EDT on May 13th.
  • Projects must be approved and live on the website by May 11, 2015 to be eligible.
  • Only donations made by unique donors per project will be matched. Unique donors are determined using numerous criteria, including name, email address, credit card number, mailing address, and IP address. We are monitoring these and other parameters in our system to ensure that only unique, distinct donors are counted.
  • Only online donations made by credit card, PayPal, or a GlobalGiving official gift card are eligible for matching. Donations made by check or text-to-give are not eligible.
  • Donations made on or any GlobalGiving corporate sites including Benevity are not eligible for matching.
  • GlobalGiving funds, such as the Ebola Fund and Girl Effect are not eligible for matching.
  • Please note that GlobalGiving will monitor and review all donations made through this matching offer.
  • Online donations made using PayPal or credit card must be made by the PayPal account or credit card holder.
  • GlobalGiving will indicate in your donation manager which donations are eligible to be matched based on the time that the donation was made and the method of payment. This does not guarantee that a specific donation will be matched.
  • Any donor who makes an eligible donation on Bonus Day will be able to see the matching funds for their donation on their GlobalGiving receipt page if they refresh the receipt page after 60 seconds. This does not guarantee that a specific donation will be matched.
  • GlobalGiving maintains the right to make a final decision on all matters concerning the allocation of matching funds.
  • Please note that all donations are final. GlobalGiving cannot change the time, date, or status of a donation after it is processed for any reason.
  • GlobalGiving is a registered nonprofit in the United States. Donations made on can only be claimed as tax deductible contributions on United States tax returns.
  • Fulfillment fee for donations: GlobalGiving charges a 15% fulfillment fee on donations but works to keep the fees you pay as low as possible while providing you great services and resources. During the May 13, 2015 Bonus Day the fulfillment fee only applies to the initial donation. The fulfillment fee does not apply to the match. The fee covers all transactional charges such as credit card fees, as well as helps cover the costs we incur to promote organizations and projects, provide them with fundraising training and tools, and maintain and improve our online technology in order to keep you connecting with new donors. With our add-on option, we also offer the donor the opportunity to make an additional donation to cover the fee.
  • As always, let us know if you have any questions at


Online Fundraising Academy: Building a Donor Community on Facebook

Online Fundraising Academy: Building a Donor Community on Facebook

In GlobalGiving’s seventh session of the Online Fundraising Academy, Emily Bell, the Marketing & Development Manager for More Than Me, joined us to share tips and recommendations for building and engaging your network on Facebook. With more than 26,000 fans on Facebook, it’s not uncommon for a post on More Than Me’s page to receive 200 likes, several dozen shares, and handful of comments. Keep reading to learn how the organization effectively taps into this hyper-engaged Facebook network to drive action and donations during campaigns and promotions.

Session Recording:

Session Notes:

More Than Me:

  • More Than Me is on a mission to make sure education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define the lives of the most vulnerable girls from the West Point Slum of Liberia. When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life.
  • From the beginning More Than Me (MTM) has been very social media-based, and started out by sharing stories on various social media platforms. Sharing compelling stories of beneficiaries and program updates, MTM invites donors to understand what it means to live for something bigger than one’s self.
  • In 2014, MTM won $1 million through the Chase American Giving Award, all because of its supporters who spread the word on Facebook and other social media.

Tips and Best Practices:

  • Find out what your audience likes and stick to it! For MTM it was visuals, such as photos, videos, and infographics.
  • Find what your brand is and then keep it as part of your outreach strategy.
  • Make your donors feel special! Whether it’s shout out signs or personalized thank you notes, help your donors to reconnect with the mission, and remind them they’re part of something bigger than themselves.
  • Tell real stories, even if they’re longer than 2 sentences.
    • When Ebola impacted Liberia, MTM made a decision to close their school and instead work to fight Ebola. Although visuals are powerful, MTM found that telling  compelling stories of what was happening on the ground with an authentic voice was just as powerful.

Using Facebook Insights to Design an Effective Strategy:

  • Go to your organization’s Facebook page, click on the admin tools, and then click on the insights tab. From here you can see what is and isn’t working in terms of your Facebook communications and outreach.
  • Learn about your audience
    • Segmentations: fans, people reached, people engaged
    • Figure out how you can tailor posts so certain groups are not just reached, but also become engaged
  • When is your audience engaged?
    • When are they most active on Facebook? What times are best for posting?
    • Measure engagement for specific posts
    • Compare weekly statistics – what posts were more engaging?
    • Which type of post works best for your audience?
  • Add pages to watch – orgs with similar brands or interests – allows you to compare yourself with other pages, to see what other orgs are doing and the average level of engagement
  • Increase your organic reach (versus paid ads)
    • Post at the right times; use strong visuals (high-resolution photos, infographics, videos); be authentic – don’t just promote your brand, but be personal, showcase the people behind the brand; add calls-to-action
  • Consider posting other things aside from updates – what else is going on in the world? What are people talking about on social media? Don’t be afraid to join the conversation!

Bonus Day Strategy

  • Get key buy-in from stakeholders
    • Founder, board members, staff
    • Beneficiaries (depending on your org) – MTM works with at-risk girls and has a Child Protection Policy in place, so it’s very important to think about the safety of your beneficiaries when sharing stories online.
  • Be consistent and clear in your messaging
    • Tell these stakeholders exactly what you need from them
    • Send an email with suggested Facebook photos they can use; and include who, what, when, where details of the campaign
  • Use photos, statistics, hashtags, and events to tell your story and drive donations
    • MTM doesn’t provide the link to donate until the day of, instead, they create a Facebook event, which on the day of the event will display the project page link
  • Create a sense of urgency, momentum for donors to give
    • Keep updating status with updates, how donors can continue to help to get org to a specific goal
  • Write thank you posts following the end of the campaign!
    • MTM includes a link to the leaderboard so donors can see the results firsthand.
  • Check GlobalGiving’s traffic source, so you can see how donors got to your page.
  • Make sure someone who knows your brand and mission really well, and who can confidently start up conversations with supporters is in charge of running your day-to-day communications and social media.
    • Campaigns should be creative and fit with your brand – you don’t want just anyone doing this!
    • IT/Operations are there only there to help you with website updates or other technical needs.

Key Takeaways for Facebook Beginners:

  • Find the type of post that works for your audience, then don’t be afraid to use that angle to the fullest!
  • Remind people why they should follow you by keeping posts engaging and relevant.
  • Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with your followers online – they care about your work and want to learn more!

Q: How do you convert Facebook visitors to donors? How can you effectively grow your Facebook network?

A: Keep your brand authentic, tell authentic stories, and pay attention to what your followers are responding to and what inspires them. Find your donor champions who will share your posts with friends and will continue to spread the word. Get your donors to engage with your content – whether it’s commenting, clicking on a link, or liking your post. Once you get your audience engaged, you then can convert them with a clear call-to-action. Take advantage of the target audience tool – where you can select a certain audience for different posts (e.g. by location or gender).

Q: How often should organizations participate in Bonus Days and other campaigns?

A: It’s important to make sure that you’re not constantly asking your donors for money. MTM always takes a look at GlobalGiving’s Campaign Calendar at the beginning of the year to decide when to do the big pushes. Consider when your organization has the capacity to do big pushes, and how often your donors are willing to give to your organization. MTM usually tries to do three or four big campaigns a year.

Tips for Bonus Day Communication:

  • Remind donors that their donations will be matched
    • Not all donors are familiar with the term Bonus Day, so make sure to explain it
  • You may decide not to provide the link to give until Bonus Day officially begins
    • If you do give the link early, recognize donors may give before 9:00:00 EDT
  • Create a sense of urgency early on
    • Don’t wait until the end of your email to talk about Bonus Day or to provide the donation link
  • Keep it brief! Have a compelling call-to-action in as few words as possible.
  • Feature a close-up, high-resolution photo
  • Tell a succinct story about an individual who will benefit
  • For May 13 Bonus Day information see here
  • For July 15 Bonus Day information see here

This post was written by Destiny Nobles, Program Team Intern. 

Online Fundraising Academy: Donor-Centered Retention Strategy

Online Fundraising Academy: Donor-Centered Retention Strategy

Robyn Nietert, the President of Women’s Microfinance Initiative, joined us for the sixth session of the Online Fundraising Academy! Founded in 2008, WMI began without a donor base, but has since expanded its donor network and its annual fundraising budget, now at $250,000. Robyn joined us for the first time to share her organization’s approaches to donor relationship building and retention strategies.

Session Recording:

Session Notes:

WMI Fundraising Events:

  • Communicate your enthusiasm for your project to friends and family. Ask them for their initial support as well as for their ideas. Make your supporters feel engaged and like they’re helping out your organization.
  • Hold community events to build awareness and fundraise for your organization
    • Consider investing in low cost flyers and posters to advertise for the event
    • These events allow you to build a network among the people you already know, and allows your supporters to invite friends in their personal networks
  • Attend other community events when possible to discuss your organization
  • Reach out to individuals, communities, community organizations, etc. who may be interested in your work and take the opportunity to speak at events they’re hosting – spreading the word about your organization and your programs

Donor Communication:

  • Maintain contact with supporters on a regular basis through a newsletter or email
    • WMI uses Constant Contact for all of its mailings and newsletters
    • We learned who our donors were and what they wanted, and the main segment of donors are interested in reading a newsletter with different stories and pictures
    • This allows us to positively reinforce WMI and the work we’re doing
    • No matter how short your reports or newsletters may be, it’s important to send them out on a regular basis – showing them that none of the work is possible without their support
  • Thank your donors!!
    • Take time to thank your donors without asking for their money!
    • WMI organizes around specific campaigns, so that not all of our communication is focused around gaining financial support.
    • Regular communication allows donors to see updates, to hear from you, and to see what is happening with the money they donated.

Campaigns & Impact:

  • Tell your supporters your organization’s fundraising plan at the beginning of the year if possible, so they know what’s coming and know how best they can support you.
    • Then make sure that you ask for donations according to your fundraising plan. In the rest of your communications, make sure to emphasize your organization’s successes and activities.
  • “Matching” Campaigns are a great way to generate donations – and it allows donors to feel the the impact of their donations is being increased.
    • Campaigns, such as Bonus Day, give your donors a specific window of time, encouraging them to click on the donation button right then.
    • Have a succinct way of telling your donors what their donation will mean, and how it will help move you towards your goal (for WMI, of providing thousands more women with loans)
    • Explain how their GlobalGiving donation will work and provide the link to your project page so donors know exactly where to go
    • Remind donors of accomplishments your organization has achieved thus far because of their support
    • Include pictures!
    • Most importantly, say thank you!
  • If you’ve laid out the campaign schedule for donors, you then can communicate with donors letting them know that if they weren’t able to give for this specific campaign, that perhaps they can consider giving their annual (or monthly) donation during the next campaign.
    • Essentially, treat your donors the way you would want to be treated! Donors feel better about coming back and giving when they know what they’re giving to, and what your organization is doing with their contributions.
  • Issue an Annual Report, no matter how short!
    • Include pictures and success stories. Again, this is your time to reach out to donors without appealing to them for money.
    • Opportunity to emphasize that you’re using their money wisely, helping donors to feel increasingly comfortable about continuing a long-term relationship with your organization.
  • Analyze your organization’s impact on a regular basis
    • Help retain donors year after year by sharing the story of why your organization is successful and impactful.
    • Find a metric that works for your specific program so that you can measure your impact year after year. Make it simple enough that others can follow your metric as well. WMI surveys the women who receive loans every year, showing donors that the profits from the loans translates into output (access to education, medical care, better food, etc.)

As always, it’s essential that you experiment and figure out what works for your organization and your donors. Knowing your donors is the key to maintaining a long-term relationship and keeping them engaged. Find your different donor segments, and learn how to cater your communication to fit their needs and wants. Foster relationships among your community and your donor network, and encourage your supporters to spread the word among their friends and family.

Interested in reading more about donor retention? Check out this post from last year’s session about donor retention strategies.

Refer a Friend Program – Earn bonus prizes and strengthen our global community!

Refer a Friend Program – Earn bonus prizes and strengthen our global community!

Ready to earn some extra money for your organization? Invite new organizations to join GlobalGiving and earn $100 for your organization for each referral that succeeds in the June Open Challenge. We’ll also give $100 to each successful organization you refer – because if you think they are great – we do too! See below for the complete terms and conditions.

Refer an organization using this form. There is no limit to the number of organizations you can refer or the money you can earn.

Need another reason to refer new partners besides earning money for your organization? Growing a vibrant community of nonprofit partners working on a variety of issues around the world helps GlobalGiving attract corporate partners and other new donors, which means more potential funders for your important work!

The application deadline for the June Open Challenge is April 24th so refer a friend today!

Thank you for your help growing the GlobalGiving community.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Each organization referred by a current GlobalGiving partner using the nomination form or the unique link that successfully completes the June Open Challenge (raising $5,000 from 40 donors) will earn a $100 bonus prize.
  2. For each organization you refer that successfully completes the June Open Challenge, GlobalGiving will add $100 to your organization’s next GlobalGiving disbursement.
  3. Referred organizations that have previously applied to join GlobalGiving are not eligible for bonus prizes.
  4. For organizations participating in the Open Challenge, the $100 bonus will not count towards the required thresholds of $5,000 from 40 donors or towards earning any of the Bonus Grants in the Open Challenge for most dollars raised or most donors. The $100 will also not count towards any matching campaigns within the Open Challenge.
  5. There is no limit to the number of organizations you can refer.
  6. Referred organizations that do not successfully complete the 2015 June Open Challenge by raising $5,000 from 40 donors will not earn any reward funds for themselves or for the referring organization.
  7. GlobalGiving reserves the right to make all final decisions regarding referral credits and payments.

Email with questions about the Refer a Friend program.

Written by Michael Gale, Senior Program Manager