GlobalGiving Marketing Support Posts

Check Out Your New Project Page on GlobalGiving

Check Out Your New Project Page on GlobalGiving

Today GlobalGiving launched a test of a new project page concept. You may see that your project page looks different or  you may not and that’s because we are doing an A/B test before we decide to launch the product fully. Instead of me sharing why I think this test is so exciting for you, I’ll let the team that created this new design share their thoughts. Yesterday I sat down with members of GlobalGiving’s Product Team (Alison, Acacia, and Nick, and Kevin) so they could tell us more about how and why the page is changing:

Why did GlobalGiving decide to update project pages? What’s the goal of having redesigned project pages?

We’re updating the entire site this year, and launching it in phases. The goal of the redesign is to improve the ease and speed with which potential donors find and give to your project. We’re also working to make it a much more beautiful experience on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Our ultimate goal is to help you, our nonprofit partners, showcase your work, and to help donors have a great giving experience.

What was the redesign process like? What kind of user feedback did you and your team collect in order to feel comfortable with the current design?

We have a small team of GlobalGiving staff working on the redesign, but we’re consulting internal and external stakeholders for feedback at various stages. We invited current nonprofit partners, staff, and a handful of users to share their thoughts and experiences with the new design. We feel like we’re at a good place to test out what we’ve come up with, so we’re launching an A/B test to find out whether the new design actually helps users move through the donation process more easily. This means that for the next two weeks or so, only a portion of users will see the new design, and others will still see the old design. We want to make sure that the new design is helping, and not hurting, donation completion rates.

As you and your team were testing and collecting information on the user experience (UX) of the redesign from varied users, did any feedback challenge your original assumptions?

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

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. 

Top Take Aways from Summit on Social Media and Online Giving

Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation

Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation

The GlobalGiving team was thrilled to host our first ever two-day Summit on Social Media and Online Giving in New Delhi at the beginning of July. The event was presented in collaboration with Social Media for Nonprofits, the premiere global event series on social media for social good.

I think Deepa Ranganathan put it well when she said:

@SinfullyAlive: It’s unbelievable and inspiring to be in the company of such changemakers representing orgs doing incredible work doing what they do #SMG14

More than 150 nonprofit professionals and fundraising and communications practitioners came from all over India and South Asia to learn how to collaborate to find ways to tackle their funding needs and further their causes using online tools and social media.

Weren’t able to join the Summit? Don’t worry! Here are some important take aways from the event’s Twitter conversation. See the complete Twitter conversation at . Stay tuned for a summary of Day 1 and 2 coming soon on the Tools & Training Blog

Participants engaged in group discussion

Participants engaged in group discussion

@socialgoodR: Want to have great campaign fundraising? Communication is the key.

‏@sudeshna09: Use #scheduling tools like #HootSuite to keep your #twitter#engagement regular even while you’re traveling – @ritusharma1#sm4np#SMG14

@ritusharma1: People give from heart, not from rational thinking, communicate impact & use compelling positive images. #smg14

@sudeshna09:  “Do not refrain from evoking #emotional response from #audience”: Kyla Johnson @educategirls on #storytelling #SMG14

@marcmaxson:  13% of donors leave bc they aren’t thanked within first 48hrs… Wow. NGOs thank your donors! #realtalk #SMG14 @KBradd @sudeshna09

@priyakamal: #SMG14 Make the #donate button on ur org website most visible

@socialgoodR: New @CSR law in India means potentially billions of rupees will now be available from the nation’s most profitable co’s. #SMG14

@fattechy: If you do not ask, people will not give, says shalia brijnath of @AasraaTrust on effective #campaign#fundraising #SMG14

Question or comments? Keep the conversation going using the hashtag #SMG14 on Twitter.

Building a Donor Community on Facebook

Mandi Frishman, a Product & Marketing Intelligence Manager for Make Me Social joined us on Tuesday for the fifth session of the Online Fundraising Academy. She discussed how to build a community of supporters on Facebook and us Facebook analytics to improve communications and audience engagement.

Mandi has managed social media promotion for companies in the finance, manufacturing, hospitality, education, and retail industries. She uses research, persona analysis and data to create strategies that drive measurable results. In this session,

Session Recording:

Session Notes:

Facebook is just a new way for us to tell stories. It’s about creating and sharing media and publishing content to acquire new donors. You’re working to drive action, which leads to donations.

Storytelling is important on Facebook because compelling stories are shared. Whenever something is shared, more people see your content. On Facebook, the number of people who see your content (even if they don’t act on it) is referred to as impressions. You want to increase the number of impressions in an effort to increase the amount of likes, comments, and shares that your posts receive.

Set Goals and Integrate Efforts

Example: drive people to sign up for your email newsletter

Make sure to align Facebook efforts with larger, organization goals (such as certain fundraising goals)

Facebook is NOT an Island

People have vibrant lives outside Facebook. Don’t forget that you should apply a holistic approach to your communication and management strategy. Make sure to engage people on and off Facebook using similar messaging.

3 Tips to Prepare for Fundraising Success

1. Examine your audience – Understanding your donors is key

  • Build everything around your audience. Use Facebook Insights to learn where your audience is based and see when people are responding to your posts. Identify ideal times to post content.
  • You can always test, learn, and improve your post times.
  • Test things for about 30 days to determine if something does or doesn’t work. You need to see if a pattern develops.
  • Think about what might appeal to you as a member of your audience. You would probably not be responsive to constant requests for donations.
  • Use Facebook to build a personal connection with your supporters.

2. Look Professional & Trustworthy

  • Cover photo: 851 pixels wide X 315 pixels tall; 20% text limit, update periodically
  • Profile picture: 160 X 160 pixels; upload at least 180 X 180 pixels; fit to square
  • Avoid blurry photos!

3. Plan Your Story – There is power in the process

  • Build out a content calendar to streamline the process of creating content and to ensure that you are posting regular content
  • A content calendar may include:
    • Date and time of post
    • Post content & theme
    • Target audience
    • Platform (if you’re using multiple types of social media)
    • Post style (picture, link, status update, etc.)
    • Media & links
  • It’s important to have a visual story on Facebook because different types of media (particularly photos) are more heavily promoted
  • Your stories are going to come from the community you serve, inside your organization, and your external supporters
  • One way to get your audience involved in storytelling is to ask questions!
    • If you think about the way Facebook works, every comment helps to increase the chances that others will see your content.

Facebook Funnel: Awareness => Engagement => Donation


  • It’s not just about asking people for money. It’s about getting people to connect with your mission and engage with your content.
  • To build awareness, you need to make sure that people are seeing your content.

Engagement & Donation

  • A smaller percentage of people who see your content will like, comment, or share it. The more likes, comments, and shares that you receive, the more people who will see your content.
  • Of those who engage, a smaller percentage will act on your calls for donations.

Edge Rank Algorithm 

  • Edge Rank is the algorithm that Facebook uses to determine whether people will see your content in their news feed (the stream of content that they first see on their dashboard when they log on to Facebook).
  • If people can’t see their content, they are unlikely to engage with you. If your content does not show up on their feed, they are unlikely to go to your Facebook page to read your content. You need to get in front of them!
  • Here’s a break down of this formula:
    • Affinity score between the person viewing the content and the person who created the post. This is dictated by how recently and frequently the user engages with content from the page that posted. The stronger your posts, the more consistent engagement you’ll get, and the more likely it is that your followers will see your post.
    • Weight of the edge type: types of engagement are weighted differently in the Edge Rank
      • Comments are weighted more than Likes because they have a larger time commitment.
    • Time decay is based on how long ago the post was created.
  • Learn more about Edge Rank here:


  • Insights gives you an idea of how your content is performing on Facebook.
  • Admins will see an admin bar at the top of the page on Facebook where you can click on Insights.
  • Access to simple analytics about the activity on you Facebook page.
  • You can isolate certain time periods and export the data to play around with it more in excel.
  • You should set goals that you can track with Insights, like the number of Likes, comments, or shares.
  • You can also look at data by post to see how many people have viewed, liked, commented, or shared it.
  • Insights also gives you information about your audience including gender, location, languages.
  • Insights may not be available if you have less than 30 Likes on your page or if you have not had any activity in the past 7 days. It’s important to remain active in order to have access to this information.

Content Guidelines

  • 180 characters (not words!) or less. Remember, characters include spaces, punctuation, etc.
  • Mixed media – Photos are more engaging and more highly ranked in Edge Rank.  Mix things up! Include photos, videos, and links.
  • Give your audience a clear direction.
  • Consistent updates. Don’t let your page get stale. Don’t be afraid to update multiple times a week but make sure not to inundate your supporters (no more than 3 posts a day).
  • Make sure your content is audience-centric. Use posts to create community and engage your audience.

3 Best Practices for Content

1. Less is more

  • Posts between 100 and 200 characters (less than 3 lines of text) receive about 60% more likes, comments, and shares than posts with greater than 250 characters. – Facebook
  • Can’t cut it down? Break it up! Separate out last line or links.

2. Mix up media

  • Posts with media receive 120% more engagement! – Facebook
  • High resolution photos: 403X403 pixels. Don’t post small photos.

3. Fill in the blank posts generate about 90% more engagement than other posts on average. – Facebook

Question & Answer

Q: How do you schedule a post?

A: There is a clock at the bottom of the box where you enter your post. Click on the post to schedule a post for the future or the past (so that the post appears on your timeline but not in your fans’ news feed).

Q: What Facebook pages do well?

A: Foundation Fighting Blindness and charity:water. Also look at organizations that are similar to yours. What are they posting that does well? What lessons can you learn from their social media?

Q: How much money should be budgeted to Facebook?

A: That’s a tough question because it of course depends on the size of your budget and the other things you’re budgeting. As Facebook evolves, it is becoming more important to spend money to make sure posts are seen on Facebook. This is something to consider and to watch closely.

Q: What is the return on investment?

A: It’s very hard to measure because Facebook isn’t isolated. Someone may learn about you on Facebook, but choose to donate offline. There’s a lot of value in creating awareness and building relationships that will benefit you in the long-term.

Q: How do I get people to Like my page?

A: You can upload your email list to Facebook and invite people to join that way. Partner with other organizations and close supporters to ask them to help share out your content and direct individuals to your page. When you’re having conversations with people, make sure to ask them to Like you on Facebook. Make sure that your website links to Facebook and that your donors can connect to you on Facebook through any of your other communications and outreach. Make sure your Facebook strategy is well-integrated into your organization’s overall outreach.

Q: What should I do if I have multiple pages for my organization?

A: Facebook makes it possible to merge your pages, which makes it easier to have your audience all in one place.


Effective messaging for your target audience

We were honored to have Ruarai Mckenna an expert on online fundraising host a webinar last week on using effective messaging to target your organization’s unique public. Ruarai currently works for Kosovo-Addis a marketing, fundraising and interactive organization focused on helping non-profits with their online presence. Did you miss Ruarai’s presentation? Don’t worry below you will find a summary of Ruarai’s presentation as well as the link to the slides and recording.

To access the recording and webinar click here.

Key Take Aways

First, differentiate between your target audience and your target public. Your target audience is anyone who can receive your message. Your target public is the specific demographic you actively target with discipline, precision and repetition.

How can your engage you target public?

Your target is more likely to engage if they’ve heard of your brand. Extend your donor reach by following the steps below:

1)      Create Awareness

2)      Make sure interested parties are familiar with your organization’s mission and vision

3)      Work to create consideration, so your public feels that your organization is relevant to them

4)      Engage your supporters. Create volunteer opportunities and other avenues for your target audience to show their support

 What exactly is a brand?

Branding is the authentic essence of who you are and where you’re going expressed in a compelling way to a defined target public.

  • Branding IS the online fundraising strategy for many peers
  • Branding is what could make organizations poke through the 1.2M charities and trillions of messages that the U.S. public sees
  • Branding is very much an internal engine, generating heat, staff morale, recruiting of staff, volunteers, board members and partners

 Tactics Employed to Leverage your Brand to Reach, Expand and Cultivate Your Target Public

When messaging it is important to find out what type of messaging works for your organization. Experiment to find out what type of messaging attracts your target.

Take this campaign for example. What messaging do you think was most effective A or B?

A                                                         or                                                         B



Audiences were more response to B. Find what works best for your organization. You don’t need fancy software to track the effectiveness of messaging. Just change one variable and see what type of response you get from your audience. For example, investigate if you received more donations using negative messaging or more using positive messaging.

Ruarai is open to your questions, please feel free to email him at