Fundraising kudos: April 2010 Archives

April 20, 2010

Fundraising Kudos to: American Cancer Society

According to a survey in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the American Cancer Society (ACS) was number one among nonprofits doing online fundraising last year. It raised $114 million online, an impressive 13% share of its total contributions.

What is the ACS doing right? I don't have the behind-the-scenes info, but looking at its website, I can make a few, hopefully educated guesses. Notice, for example:

  • The home page contains interesting, substantive content. Studies have shown that people rate substantive content number one in importance when evaluating a nonprofit's website. The ACS offers a host of topic links, like, "Learn About Cancer," "Support Programs and Services," and "Cancer Facts & Figures."
  • The home page also leads people quickly to donation opportunities. Readers can click to "Join the Fight Against Cancer," "Get Involved," and "Donate Now," not to mention on a special headline inviting people to participate in the Relay For Life.
  • When you click the "Donate" link (under "Join the Fight"), you're given an introductory reminder of the good that your gift does, plus various options for how to donate. And in case you remain unconvinced, there's another link called "Learn How Your Donations Help." This provides even more detail on ACS's research, advocacy, service, and other programs supported by donations.
  • The payment page is simple to fill out, provides logos with assurances about the security of the information you'll be transmitting, and actually has an 800 number that people can call for help! That last bit probably isn't realistic for most smaller nonprofits, but at least put your organization's phone number up, with information on when to call if need be, and who to ask for.
Well done, I say. And have a look at my free article for more information on "Using Your Nonprofit's Website to Help Fundraise. "

April 16, 2010

Fundraising Kudos to: Lawrence Hall of Science

The Lawrence Hall of Science, in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus, is known primarily as a place to take your kids to learn about math and science. So you've got to hand it to whoever there thought up "Geek Out Night," their new-ish monthly event where adults can mingle, meet scientists, play with the exhibits that are usually surrounded by a crowd of kids, and visit a cash bar.

It's not an event that every nonprofit can repeat -- but worth noting is how the organization took its existing assets and found a new (and fun) way to use them, reaching a different audience.

Too bad I missed the one where you bring in your broken old electronics (toasters, DVD players, etc.) and their experts helped you take it apart, put it back together, and see if you could make it work!