7 Ways Your NonProfit Can Make the Most of Holiday Giving

10 Dec

This article originally appears here on the Software Advice blog:  Bringing in 2012: How Your Nonprofit Can Capture December’s Giving Trend | by Ashley Halligan,  Software Advice.

‘Tis the season for end-of-the-year holiday giving!  Ring in 2013 with a bang (and more donations!) with these helpful tips for your nonprofit’s fundraising.

Bringing in 2012: How Your Nonprofit Can Capture December’s Giving Trend

by Property Management Analyst, Software Advice
December 06, 2012

The holidays are upon us, and nonprofit organizations are scrambling to capture a share of holiday generosity. Statistics show that December represents a third of all online giving. And 22 percent of year-round donations accumulate in the last two days of the month.

December Giving Trends

Data supplied by Network for Good’s Online Giving Study.

Additionally, December donors tend to give more than supporters in other months. In fact, Network for Good’s Online Giving Study shows they donate 52 percent more. The study also says,

“December is the strongest month for most organizations offline. It’s even more so online. Further, it’s not just the month of December that’s spectacular, it’s the last couple of days, and even last few hours that make the difference.”

Americans want to donate to charitable causes during this time of year. In a survey conducted by The American Red Cross, 80 percent of Americans surveyed said helping those who are less fortunate is an important part of their holiday tradition. And 70 percent who donated in the last holiday season said they planned to donate the same or more in the upcoming season.

Given this compelling fundraising opportunity, what should nonprofits do to capitalize on the last-minute, year-end giving trend? Here are some suggestions from authors around the Web for organizations vying for a piece of the seasonal pie.

Make Giving Easy

Prospective donors shouldn’t have to search for a donation page. Frogloop writer Allyson Kapin suggests a big, bold, clear call-to-donate button. “This should be incredibly obvious in your navigation and in a callout box towards the top of your website. If you want to raise money, the donate button should not be buried and de-emphasized on your website.”

Keep it Seasonal

Jen Johnson, who writes for Otis Spunkmeyer’s Fundraising Success Tastes Sweet blog, says that including festive elements “adds excitement, spirit and holiday magic to the hard, cold process of raising money.” She suggests seasonal fundraising efforts like wreath auctions, themed charity walks/runs, holiday bake sales, caroling events, and Christmas concerts.

CLICK HERE to read the whole article, and all 7 tips for end-of-year nonprofit fundraising!

5 Great Holiday Charities

6 Dec

This is a guest post authored by Justin Jones.

The holiday season is here, and you may be looking to pass on some of the good fortune you received in 2012. Even in a tough economy, Americans managed to donate almost $300 billion to charitable causes in 2011, according to Charitynavigator.org. The willingness to give is one thing, but determining which charity to contribute to is the hard part.

With so many causes and organizations, it’s easy to get bogged-down in your effort to help people. Charitynavigator.org is a useful resource in your search, reviewing the claims and and actual efforts of hundreds of charity organizations. As you look to give back this holiday season, consider the following well-rated charities.

Give Word On Balloons Showing Charity Donations And Generous Assistance

City Harvest

This New York charity provides local food support to the city’s 1.7 million people living in poverty, supporting nearly 600 community programs. Charity Navigator rates City Harvest highly for its percentage of donations that goes directly to food provisions. You can donate food at one of City Harvest’s sponsored drives or support the organization financially by mail, phone and online at Cityhavest.org.

While it can be dangerous to donate money online because of scams, .org websites such as City Harvest, typically add a layer of reliability. To protect your financial security, consider a service that monitors your financial activity and raises red flags. Many service providers, such as LifeLock, offer this kind of protection, so do the research to find the best protection for you.

Grameen Foundation

A global operation, the Grameen Foundation empowers the world’s poor, particularly women, through micro-loans for business creation. Instead of providing the fish, these donations act as the rod for impoverished people to sustain themselves. Charity Navigator gives this DC-based organization the highest possible rating for accountability & transparency. http://www.grameenfoundation.org

Stop Hunger Now

It’s tagline clearly states the goal: “Working Together to End World Hunger.” Stop Hunger Now packages low-cost, nutritious meals and distributes them throughout hunger-stricken regions. Along with financial support, volunteers can also make a difference by hosting or participating in a packaging event. So far, Stop Hunger Now has packaged 75,000,000 meals. Donate or get involved at Stophungernow.org.

The Hope Foundation

Currently, one of the fastest growing charities, according to Charity Navigator, The Hope Foundation supports one of the largest cancer-research groups in the United States. Through clinical trials, the foundation aims to find the cure for cancers, including lung, prostate, breast, gynecologic, gastrointestinal and leukemia among others. The foundation received the highest rating, four stars from Charity Navigator, for its financial generosity and transparency.

Globus Relief

Providing health care services throughout the world, Globus relief works with governments, corporations, hospitals, clinics and other charities to administer reliable health care wherever it can. Charity Navigator ranked Globus Relief second in its “10 Top-Notch Charities”. Globus accepts financial donations and volunteers. Visit Globusrelief.org for more information on how to support this highly touted organization.

Inspiring Quotes on Gratitude, Social Good, and Appreciation

2 Dec

One of the greatest things about the internet, and social media, is how easy it is to find inspiration everywhere you look.  As a Thank You for all the inspiration I’ve gotten over the years, I curated some of my very favorite quotes into a book.  It’s free to download, and you can also get a real, paperback copy from Amazon!

Here’s to you!  Please enjoy 150+ “Uplifiting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation.”  You are very appreciated!

Free download:

AmyNeumannBookDownload.php

Get the pocket paperback on Amazon:

AmyNeumannQuotesBook

14 Unexpected Ways to Volunteer for the Holidays

26 Nov

This article originally appears in The Huffington Post.

14 Unexpected Ways to Volunteer for Thanksgiving (or Anytime!)

Posted: 11/21/2012 6:00 pm

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ The Dalai Lama

Every year, Thanksgiving reminds us of all the things we have to be grateful for all year. It’s the launching of a season of extra compassion and kindness.

Because of this, and the feasting of Thanksgiving, many people donate or deliver food or food baskets, or volunteer to serve food at homeless shelters like Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, where they serve 3500 meals Thanksgiving Day. Others take time to donate to causes like helping our homeless friends through organizations like Mark Horvath‘s InvisiblePeople, or hungry kids through programs like No Kid Hungry. This is greatly appreciated by the organizations as well as all the hungry people they help. And all are definitely encouraged!

If you are looking to add something new this year, or to include another type of organization, here are a few suggestions. You can also search for new and interesting organizations and volunteer activities all year on VolunteerMatch.org.

Whatever you do to give back for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it will warm the heart of anyone you help, and also your own.

Help Domestic Violence Victims
1  of  15
Help support a local domestic violence shelter, or donate an old cell phonefor domestic violence victims and survivors.Photo courtesy of Official US Navy Images – Flickr.

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas. Amy is also Director of Public Relations for POGCO, the People’s Oil and Gas Collaborative – Ohio, a grassroots organization focused on sustainability, regulatory, safety, and property rights issues in the oil and gas industry. All photos attributed to Flickr users are from Creative Commons.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

Follow Sean Gardner on Twitter: @2morrowknight

From @TheTop10Blog: 24 Powerful Voices for Social Good on Twitter

22 Oct

This article originally appears on fantastic blog I love to read, Tony HastingsThe Top 10 Blog.

A big thanks to Tony for the kind surprise of adding me to the list!

24 Powerful Voices For Social Good On Twitter

SEPTEMBER 14, 2012

There is no doubt that Twitter has changed the world and the way we communicate in so many ways and one of the most amazing benefits has been the way in which it has been used to spread the word about social good causes.

Good people across the world have harnessed the power of Twitter to promote causes dear to their hearts both large and small, local, national and international. Although it would be difficult to measure the effect of this there can be no doubt that the combined impact of all those individual Tweets has had a massive impact.

I wanted to celebrate this phenomenon by drawing up a compilation of many of the powerful voices who help to contribute to this force for Social Good in the world. The names are in no particular order, please click on the image to pay them a visit.

Katya Andresen – @katyaN4G

Sean Gardner  – @2morrowknight

#socialgood

Claire Diaz-Ortiz – @Claire

AnnTran – @AnnTran_

Rev Andy Bales – @abales

Scott Harrison – @scottharrison

charitywater

Alyssa Milano – @Alyssa_Milano

Alyssa Milano

Carol Hink – @CarolHink

Heather Robinson –  @MrsRobinsonNJ

Amanda Hite – @sexythinker

Mark Horvath – @hardlynormal

Meg Garlinghouse – @megarling

Beth Kanter – @kanter

Shaun King – @ShaunKing

See the full list and read the rest of the article at The Top 10 Blog here.

Need a New #NonProfit Board Member? Want to Join a Board? Announcing @LinkedIn’s Board Connect

17 Sep

When you think of LinkedIn, you may think of cultivating stronger business contacts, connecting after meeting someone smart at a conference or event, or finding a former colleague or business connection at a new venture.

LinkedIn: All sorts of helpful treats for nonprofits and people who love helping. Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero, Flickr

LinkedIn is certainly good for all of those things, along with keeping up with business news.  They also do a tremendous amount for nonprofits, and offer numerous tools to make finding people who are passionate for social good and causes easier.

One of these things is the newly-announced Board Connects.  For years now, LinkedIn has been a deep well of talented, resourceful, skilled individuals from which to draw.  These same people can make outstanding board members.  And now what was once a popular yet informal use — finding new nonprofit board members — has a helpful, structured tool kit to make it simple.

It’s no secret I am one of LinkedIn’s biggest fans because of the tools and resources they offer non-profits, as Head of Social Impact Meg Garlinghouse  outlined in her Social Good Stars feature in The Huffington PostBryan Breckinridge, LinkedIn’s Nonprofit Success Enabler, also noted how many different, positive things LinkedIn can do for charities and causes in his interview for this blog.

Board Connects takes this grassroots momentum for Good and transforms it into a process that streamlines finding and hiring new nonprofit board members.

Board Connects can also make finding a seat on a nonprofit board easier, which Meg points out, has many benefits:

• Builds your skill set: Hone the skills you currently possess while serving on a board whether you work in marketing, human resources or finance, and learn new skills that you can add to your LinkedIn profile.
• Grows your network: Meet and collaborate with other passionate and talented professionals while serving on a board and make key contacts for the future.
• Builds your brand and the nonprofit’s brand: Not only will your professional brand get a boost from serving as a board member, but you can build awareness and endorsements for that nonprofit through your participation.
• Makes you feel good for doing good: Building social capital will give you that burst of professional and personal inspiration you may be looking for, and there is nothing better than the feeling that you can put your skills to good use.

As Meg explains, “If you are interested in joining a nonprofit board, be sure to add the Volunteer Experience & Causes section to your LinkedIn profile. Expressing the causes you care about and the organizations you support will enable your network to connect you with the right opportunity.”

To learn more and sign up for the program, you can visit LinkedIn’s new LinkedIn for Nonprofits resource page.

Head of Social Impact at LinkedIn, Meg Garlinghouse (@Megarling).

To read more about the Board Connects program details and the inspiration behind it, read Meg’s interview with Forbes here.

Green Cleveland Tweetup #GreenCLEtweetup 9/14 4pm @TheGreenhouse

6 Sep

Cleveland #Green ‘Tweetup’ – #GreenCLEtweetup

(If you love #Eco, tickets to the EcoWatch Green Gala at the Rock Hall 7-10pm following the event are still available: http://ecowatch.org/2012/green-gala-sept-14/ )

September 14, 2012 4:00-6:00 pm at The Greenhouse Tavern, downtown Cleveland

Ready to have some great food and meet some Twitter friends IRL?  Join me, @CharityIdeas, and @KariMatsko at @TheGreenhouse Tavern (the first certified green restaurant in Ohio!) for a pre- @EcoWatch Green Gala Tweetup!

Date/Time:

September 14, 2012 – 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Location

The Greenhouse Tavern 2038 E 4th Street

Cleveland, OH

Please join us for fun- food – drinks while learning more about sustainability – twitter connections – and the impacts of ‘fracking’ in Ohio!

Discounted food and drinks are cash bar

Directions & Details: http://thegreenhousetavern.com/

About Us : www.ohiogasdrilling.com

Don’t forget the ECOWATCH Green Gala following! http://ecowatch.org/2012/green-gala-sept-14/

The #GreenCLETweetup is presented by:

People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative- Ohio (POGCO– aka NEOGAP)

Amy Neumann’s (@CharityIdeas) NEW book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude…” #Gratitude #Quotes

5 Sep

Yay!

“Amy Neumann’s new book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” is here!” 

My new book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” is here! 150+ of my personal favorite quotes on gratitude, kindness, and social good.

At last!  I am so excited to share 150+ of my favorite quotes to inspire and show gratitude.  My new book is here!  On paperback, or eBook version.  Makes a great little “Thank You!” 😀

More details here!

Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude, compassion, and bright view of the world.  

To follow up after a great client meeting, interview, or event, or as an anytime thank you to colleagues, donors, customers, family, or friends, this book has the perfect inspiring quote for the occasion.

This book is a lot like life:  open it up anywhere, and be amazed at the serendipity!

Thank YOU so much for being you!

Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation By Amy Neumann

Paperback: $8.88
Ships in 3-5 business days
Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude,… More >
Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation – Downloadable By Amy Neumann

eBook (ePub): $1.88
Download immediately.
Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude,… More >
© 2012 Amy Neumann, Good Plus Tech LLC.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – CC 3.0
ISBN:   978-1-300-16079-3

Social Good Stars: Charity.org CEO Scott Jackson on International Philanthropy Trends

26 Aug

This article originally appears in The Huffington Post.

Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Media Consultant

This is the eleventh installment of the Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the tenth interview with HopeMob CEO Shaun King here.

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” -Seneca

2012-08-23-GlobalImpactPic.png
Global Impact, Charity.org, has been providing innovative ways to give to causes, regions, and crises since 1956, always with an eye toward technology. Photo courtesy of Global Impact

Creating and increasing opportunities for kindness through giving around the globe is the calling card of Global Impact (Charity.org) and CEO Scott Jackson. In more than 20 years of non-governmental organization (NGO) and nonprofit experience, Scott has created enthusiasm and passion around helping at other visionary organizations like PATH and World Vision before joining Global Impact. He has a combination business and philanthropy background, with an MBA from the University of Edinburgh School of International Business, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Puget Sound. Scott’s passion is helping to create sustainable living standards for millions around the world, and assuring help for the world’s most vulnerable.

US giving to international affairs has been growing rapidly. Online giving to international causes is growing, as well. Between 2009 and 2011, funding raised online for the international sector has jumped by 122%, according to a 2012 eNonprofits Benchmarks Study. In 2011, US-based giving through Global Impact generated more than $110 million, helping 400 million people receive aid through 11,400 organizations globally.

Mobile devices have had a lot to do with increased giving to international causes.

“Mobile is everywhere,” notes Joseph Mettimano, Director of Marketing and Communications for Global Impact. “Many countries use handheld mobile devices to connect online far more than traditional PCs or laptops. Having this ‘tech in the hand’ creates easy giving opportunities.”

Recently, Scott answered a few questions about how mobile, technology and real-time global connection through the internet and social media has changed giving on a global scale.

2012-08-23-GlobalImpactpic2.png
International online giving is up 122% between 2009 and 2011, due in large part to mobile devices making giving fast and easy. Photo courtesy of Charity.org

What are some of the biggest changes Global Impact has seen in giving?

US-based nonprofits have been able to help individuals give to humanitarian causes around the globe through programs like corporate giving at a faster rate, and in easier ways, than any time in the past. Sixty years ago, US giving was about 1% to international causes. Now that the world is easier to see, and we can learn about disasters and crises in real-time, help can get to people faster. US-based giving to international needs is now up to about 10%. Things like video, geo-tagging, photos, and social media let us connect and see and feel events around the globe in a much more visceral way. And mobile devices make news and events real-time.

With the dramatic increase of mobile connectivity around the world in recent years, have you seen big changes in mobile giving?

Absolutely. Awareness of issues and causes has jumped, which has a lot to do with social media, and compassionate supporters sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with friends. From a giving perspective, mobile technology has opened up opportunities to donate very quickly and easily in seconds, from anywhere, so no opportunities are missed to let someone help at the exact moment they feel inspired to give.

Global Impact uses the GiveNetwork to facilitate matching this passion to give with mobile technology so donations can flow to causes easily and quickly. Powered by Give.Mobi, the GiveNetwork platform combines the use of publicly displayed QR codes and mobile URLs. With a quick scan, users immediately connect to Global Impact’s online donation portal and can donate to the specific cause – in any amount – using a unique PayPal process. And it works from any web enabled smartphone in 190 countries throughout the world. Almost as fast as someone decides they want to help the cause, they can complete a real-time donation, any time, any place.


How have the global footprints of corporations and organizations changed the giving landscape?

The footprint of businesses based in the US in other parts of the world is expanding. Companies want to help the local communities they are in, whether in the US or abroad. We’re seeing big changes in the overall giving landscape in India, China, the Middle East, Africa, and Brazil, as well as many other places. The 25-35 year-old demographic is heavily involved with social causes and is already tech-minded. People are looking for high-tech, high-touch ways to give – feeling a direct connection to their gift. Platforms like Kiva or Sparked create more tactile giving experiences for individuals and employees, and Global Impact helps design programs to let employees feel more connected to their giving through their companies.

US giving in 2011 was about $298 Billion according to Giving USA. Corporations gave approximately $15 Billion, with individuals making up the largest majority of US donations, $217 Billion (about 73%). So the real groundswell continues to be created by individuals. People everywhere are seeing, and feeling, more and more that human beings around the world are all connected.

2012-08-23-ScottJacksonCEOGlobalImpact.png
Scott Jackson, CEO of Global Impact. Photo courtesy of Global Impact

You can learn more and connect with Global Impact at Charity.org, on Twitter @charitydotorg, and on Facebook.

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

Unleash Your Happiness – 10 Tips on How To Be Happier!

9 Aug

This post originally appears in The Huffington Post

Unleash Your Happiness

This post was co-written by Lotay Yang and Mahei Foliaki.

“Think,” “believe,” “dream,” “dare”… these four words represent the foundation of Walt Disney’s inspiring legacy. But, they can also assist in creating the conditions for one’s lasting happiness. This is true. Consider this phrase: Think and visualize it. Believe it’s possible. Dream big. Dare yourself to make it happen.

All of the writers on this post are dedicated to promoting and living a positive life, so we understand just how powerful those words can be. Humanity has been on a perpetual search for the ideas and realities that help us navigate around anything blocking our progress. And no matter how long that takes to achieve, happiness is (and will always be) a non-stop journey.

It is also “an inside job.” Yes, it starts with how you feel about yourself. A spoken word, a favorite recipe, and a road trip are among the millions of things that can spark the fire within us that says, “I am worthy.” We must build on that feeling, and let our light shine, brightly and consistently. As the advocates of optimism remind us, happy people make others happy.

Readers will notice that each of our tips are complemented by the colorful, eclectic artwork of international artist and designer Isa Zapata. Indeed, her artistic brilliance gives vision and voice to our words. So feast your eyes, continue to celebrate the good, and unleash your happiness!

Smile more
1  of  11
And why not?! Make your smile authentic, and give the world a window into your positive thoughts. As an Oprah Magazine articleby Jennifer Margulis points out:

When someone smiles out of genuine delight, a facial muscle called the orbicularius oculi involuntarily contracts, crinkling the skin around the eyes. Most of us are incapable of deliberately moving this muscle, which means that when a person fakes a smile, [the] orbicularius oculi likely won’t budge.

So be real! As your life can be your message, your smile can be your signature.

Posted: 08/09/2012 10:26 am

Art , Happiness , Inspiration , Love , Happiness Tips , Finding Happiness , Happiness Advice , Joy , Kindness , Positive Outlook , Positive Thinking , Self Esteem , Self-Improvement , Photo Galleries , Smile , Healthy Living News

For more by @2morrowknight, click here.

Follow Amy on Twitter @CharityIdeas & check out her other site, GoodPlusTech.com!

%d bloggers like this: