New Feature: Referrals and Campaigns

New Feature: Referrals and Campaigns

You asked. We listened… and delivered! Check out the new additions to your GlobalGiving dashboard. Based on your feedback, we are excited to launch a new feature that will give you the ability to see the campaigns in which your organization has participated. And, for the first time, you will also be able to see the number of times your organization has been referred to a potential GlobalGiving corporate partner!

screenshot dashboard

Online Fundraising Academy: Building the Foundation for Successful Fundraising

Online Fundraising Academy: Building the Foundation for Successful Fundraising

Earlier this week, a panel of fundraising professionals from GlobalGiving’s partner organizations joined us for GlobalGiving’s second Online Fundraising Academy session. Panelists answered questions about the fundraising tools their organizations use to manage and engage their individual donors and track their fundraising activity.

Meet our panelists:

Beth Eisenstaedt, Chief Development Officer, Wildlife Alliance

Erin Phelps, Program Assistant, GoodWeave International

Session Recording:

Session Notes:

What donor database do you use? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it?

A donor database makes it possible to track your donors and their giving history, as well as your past interactions with each individual. Without a donor database, it’s as though you’re starting from scratch with each interaction. A donor database is crucial to track your donors over time, develop lasting relationships, and convert them into bigger and more frequent givers.

Wildlife Alliance: eTapestry

  • Pros: Incredibly user friendly; online software – available wherever you are; built to capture information for fundraising; excellent reporting capabilities to analyze and segment your donors

  • Cons: With greater sophistication, comes greater expectations and analysis doesn’t always meet that; must use their software for online donations and mass emails

GoodWeave International: Filemaker

  • Pros: Customization and flexibility; capabilities like complex searches, linking with other contacts, entities, and companies, list segmentation; consistency across different country offices; analytical tools

  • Cons: Difficult to access remotely; requires some user training; not linked to organization’s email platform (email lists must be exported); frequent data cleaning is required; no “undo” function (must use caution when handling the data)

Q: What are some cost-efficient or no-cost online databases?

A: There are many, many donor database options for non-profits. One option, besides Filemaker and eTapestry, is Salesforce which does have free options for non-profits. It is a useful tool, but it does require lots of customization. What is important is that you do research and find a database that works for your organization – what are the elements of the databases listed above that really stand out to you, and what is it that you are looking for in a database?

What donor information do you track? How?

Wildlife Alliance:

Beyond the typical name, contact information, and gift amount, we track:

  • Fund: What program do they give to?

  • Campaign: Is the gift for a specific project under a program umbrella?

  • Approach: Is this gift in response to our last appeal? Annual report? Event they attended?

  • Acknowledgement: Has an acknowledgement been sent? When?

  • Overall Giving: When was the last time they gave? What is their lifetime giving to the organization?

  • Personal info: Where do they work? Are they married? Do they have relationships with other donors? What part of the country (or world) do they live in?

GoodWeave International:

Do both database tracking and external tracking:

  • Revenue: includes type of donation, frequency, amount, date, payment type, dedication, special notes, thank you note tracking.

  • Contacts: includes all donor information, special fundraising rules (like “do not solicit,” or “email only”), revenue (including sums, averages, yearly totals)

  • Campaigns: includes fundraising and mailing lists, list experimentation, event attendance

  • External tracking: all checks photocopied and marked, online notifications sorted, external donation processing spreadsheet

  • Cons: Difficult to access remotely; requires some user training; not linked to organization’s email platform (email lists must be exported); frequent data cleaning is required; no “undo” function (must use caution when handling the data)

Q: When/Do you retire old donors?

A: We don’t completely scrub contacts from our database, as there are often low cost opportunities to reach out to old donors. We usually will send e-campaigns out to everyone, whereas hard mailings (ground mail) will typically only go out to donors who have given in the last 3 years.

Q: Can QuickBooks serve the same purpose as a donor database?

A: QuickBooks is primarily an accounting tool, so other than account and finance purposes, it’s hard to track anything other than donors’ names and donation amounts. Donor databases are really relationship managers, in that they help you optimize your relationships with donors so that they continue to return and give. Some databases do integrate with QuickBooks!

What newsletter provider do you use? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it?

Wildlife Alliance: MailChimp

  • Pros: Useful and unique templates to choose from; excellent tracking in opens and clicks; can link directly to social media; can create targeted segments within lists; can schedule emails to go out at appropriate times for all time zones; ability to do A/B testing

  • Cons: Can’t send one email to multiple lists at once – must replicate emails for every list; the video embedding tool isn’t fully functional yet; isn’t the cheapest mass email option

GoodWeave International: Vertical Response (similar to MailChimp and Constant Contact)

  • Pros: Free email credits for non-profits; fairly user-friendly and easy to learn; allows for detailed analysis and comparison of data such as click-through, unsubscribe, open, and bounce rates; automatically filters out unsubscribed emails; allows for varying levels of complexity in graphic design; provides other resources for fundraising best practices; affordable

  • Cons: Database is not linked to Vertical Response, and lists must be imported; without in-depth HTML understanding, occasional layout problems in Gmail vs. Outlook

What is one important lesson that you have learned about online fundraising?

Wildlife Alliance:

  • Keep your appeals emotional, short and targeted – no one wants an email they can’t read on the go!

  • Don’t underestimate the impact of your visuals – chances are they aren’t reading it that closely anyway!

  • Follow up – an online donor wants the same cultivation as an offline donor – and you have a great, non-invasive way to keep in touch!

GoodWeave International:

Creating systems to track processes and analyze results will lead to more effective campaigns.

  • In the midst of busy campaigns, detailed record-keeping of your processes can become low-priority.

  • Without records of failures and successes, it’s difficult to find best practices and maximize results. For reflecting on how to develop new campaigns, duplicate what worked well and tweak what didn’t work as well.

  • Develop systematic methods to track each step of the campaign and to evaluate failures and successes. Finding ways to track your processes and the way your team works through the development of a campaign, will help you realize your own best practices.

Q: Do you find yourself exporting your GlobalGiving activity and tracking it through your own database?

A: Yes! We export and track names and information through our database. As well, we have a special designation for GG donors, and mark them as a GG donor and “do not solicit,” etc.

Q: How much testing do you do during campaigns?

A: We (Wildlife Alliance) do a lot of comparing campaigns against one another, trying to see which campaigns are the most effective. As well, we often test email subject lines and try to use the most effective ones more often.

Manage and track donor information & Send donor communications on GlobalGiving’s website

GlobalGiving offers simple ways to manage your donations and regularly communicate with your donors:

  • Donation Manager – Allows you to view donation and donor information – including donor names, email addresses, and traffic source (how they found your project). Learn more about the donation manager here.

  • Thank you note feature – Gives you the ability to customize templates for your specific project so that you can specifically communicate and build relationships with donors. Revise the template so that it acknowledges that donor and their donation amount, talk about how someone will benefit from the donation, and provide the opportunity for them to build a lasting relationship with your organization. Learn more about thank you notes here.

  • Project reports – Regularly communicate with donors through project reports! Quarterly reports are required. How are donors making a difference with their donations? What are stories of the individuals who are working or volunteering for your organization? What are the needs you are addressing in the community? Future plans for the project? This is your chance to share great stories and photos! Learn more about project reports here.

  • Web Analytics Feature – this allows you to track: how many have visited your project page; how long they’ve spent on the page; activity over the past several months – are there particular times of year your project is visited more often?; project report information – open and click-through rates. Learn more about web analytics here.

This post was written by Destiny Nobles, GlobalGiving’s Program Intern.

The Winners of the 2015 GlobalGiving Video Contest!

For the fourth year in a row, our partners did not disappoint! We had more than 60 amazing video submissions and a very tough job of choosing just a handful of winners. Our friends at Backpacker Films had this to say, “Quite honestly they are all amazing!  I’m so impressed.” Even though it was really difficult, one grand prize winner was chosen for GlobalGiving’s newsletter and four other winners were chosen to have their videos featured in GlobalGiving’s social media. We are excited to announce the winners here!

Grand Prize Winner

Freely in Hope! The judges at Backpacker Films said, “The filmmakers of Our Dreams effectively illustrate the task of highlighting extraordinary women under extraordinary circumstances bringing real change to their communities.  We applaud everyone involved for their incredible efforts.” Freely in Hope works to provide scholarships for survivors of sexual abuse. This incredibly powerful video shares the stories of some of these survivors and is sure to inspire you!

The Winners

GoodWeave! GoodWeave rescues children in Nepal who are forced to work in the carpet making industry from a young age. They provide rehabilitation, education scholarships, and opportunities to just be kids! Their video illustrates the situation and solution in beautiful and creative way.


The Mariposa DR Foundation! The Mariposas are the women who have taken part in the innovative and powerful education program that The Mariposa DR Foundation provides to young women in the Dominican Republic. These strong women came together to showcase their skills in this amazing music video. Get ready to start dancing!


DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage! Located in the bush in South Africa, DAKTARI works with the local communities to provide a unique opportunity for kids to learn about wildlife in South Africa and conservation. They also provide shelter and rehabilitation to local wildlife in need. Their video about Marupi is like a short movie!


Seva Mandir! Seva Mandir provides education for rural children in India where schools are scarce. Their non-formal education programs provide children with the skills and education to lift themselves out of poverty. Don’t miss their amazing video!

How charity:water is Harnessing the Power of Online Fundraising

How charity:water is Harnessing the Power of Online Fundraising

Deepa Subramaniam, charity:water’s Director of Product, joined us earlier this week for the first session of GlobalGiving’s Online Fundraising Academy! In 2014, charity:water raised more than $35 million from more than 128,000 individual fundraisers. How did they do it? Deepa, who is responsible for constantly improving to drive more donor engagement and increased fundraising activity, shared her tips and insights.

Session Recording:

Session Notes:

For the last eight years, charity:water has been working to end the water crisis by providing access to clean water and by inspiring individuals to mobilize and create fundraising campaigns.

charity:water Model

  • 100% model – 100% of public donations go straight to the field, while the organization is funded by separate private donors
  • Seek to raise money from a variety of sources – from middle schoolers to college students to celebrities, and everyone in between
  • Pose the clean water crisis as not just a health issue, but also as a way to give time back to children to attend school, for women to spend more time with their families, for families to use clean water to tend to their garden. It’s about dignity, time, education.

Individual Online Fundraising Campaigns

The power of growing your online business is through scaling your online fundraising. The charity:water fundraising model is to encourage fundraisers to adopt the charity:water cause and raise funds on behalf of the organization by running all sorts of campaigns, because “the craziest thing you can do, is nothing.” From listening to Nickelback for a week, to eating rice and beans every night for a month, fundraisers have posted a variety of campaigns and mobilized thousands of their friends and family to donate to charity:water via

  • One of the most successful charity:water campaigns: pledge your birthday.

    • Rather than receive presents, fundraisers choose to donate their birthday by asking friends and family to donate to their campaign instead.

    • charity:water’s reasoning: find a way to make the platform accessible for everyone, something that is approachable and understandable for a lot of people

charity:water’s Basic & Applicable Practices:

  • It’s not our story, it’s their story

    • Share the stories of your supporters! Use social media or blogs to showcase campaigns and supporters who are doing great things!

  • Showcasing supporter diversity pierces more minds

    • Make it more approachable for everyone! Utilize your champions to grow your community and spread your message.

  • Segment your supporters, understand who they are

  • Prioritize who to focus on and with what level of resources to allocate to each segment

  • Once you know your main group of supporters, figure out what they’re doing and why

    • Use different testing and user testing tools: Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Optimizely, Crazy Egg,, Survey Monkey, direct phone calls

    • Play around with these different sites and find what works for your organization and the context that you are in.

  • Ask questions, find answers, ask more questions, keep asking questions

  • Sometimes knowing what you don’t know is just as powerful as knowing what you know

Engage Fundraisers & Report Back via GlobalGiving

  • Your project page is your fundraising tool – it allows you to showcase the impact donors are having!

  • Regular reports share the stories of individuals and build direct connections between beneficiaries and donors supporting the organization. Remember, it’s their story, not yours.

  • Donors also can fundraise for your organization, using the fundraiser tool!

Question & Answer:

Q: How do you identify and get champions/donors to advocate on behalf of your organization?

A: Tell stories well and with passion. Explaining why the crisis is important and what supporters can do to help tackle it is crucial. You just need 1 or 2 people to ask: “What can I do?”, so keep persevering to find those people, because they then can bring in more people and continue to grow your network.

Q:What are some steps to take to apply charity:water’s concepts to a smaller organization?

A: Don’t try to do too much at once! Find one thing that works and do it well. Decide what is most in line with your mission and then focus on that important thing – whether it’s one specific campaign or focusing on wooing one particular type of donor. Do less, but do it really, really well. As people share your work and speak on your behalf, your supporter base will grow.

Q: How often should I write thank you notes to donors?

A: GlobalGiving has a template tool, where you can create a custom template that is specific to your project. With this tool you can let donors know what impact they are having on individuals, as well as build a personal connection between your organization and your donors. For your recurring donors, consider sending them a personalized note twice a year, sharing with them just how much their monthly donations impacted specific individuals or programs.

This post was written by Destiny Nobles, GlobalGiving’s Program Intern.

Tohoku Recovery Japan Match Campaign

On 10th March 2015, GlobalGiviJapan Bandaid_no backgroundng will commemorate the anniversary of the disaster in the Tohoku region of Japan by offering all qualifying projects 100% match on eligible donations. Like the past 3 years, this match campaign is to support recovery efforts.

The Japan Match Campaign is running concurrently on the and websites. This is a fantastic opportunity for all eligible partners to gain additional funding, gain more exposure, and offer UK & US supporters a direct and relevant way to give to qualifying projects whilst also gaining country-specific tax benefits.

Whilst the US & UK campaigns will start at the same time, please note that there are different match funding pots available, different leaderboards (found on the and websites respectively), and different terms and conditions.

To make things a bit simpler, we have created a quick comparison table of the two campaigns to help with your campaign planning and communications.

US v UK TC Table

For full terms and conditions for the campaign or the campaign, please see the leaderboard links above.

Start times by location (click to find out what time it is in your location).

  • Tokyo (Japan): Wednesday, 11 March 2015, 00:00:00 JST
  • Washington DC (U.S.A. – District of Columbia): Tuesday, 10 March 2015, 11:00:00 EDT
  • Corresponding UTC (GMT): Tuesday, 10 March 2015, 15:00:00

For more information, please contact Jacqueline at