3 Fundraising Ideas That’ll Boost Your 2018 Campaign Efforts

Your organization is only as successful as your fundraising, so make sure your fundraising ideas are top-notch! You’ll want to pick ideas that are practical for your organization to carry out but also within the realm of your donor base’s most popular interests. Take into consideration what’s feasible for your organization and what has the most potential for the biggest revenue. If your donors are excited about your fundraisers, they’re sure to be successful. Check out our top 3 fundraising ideas to boost your 2018 campaign efforts: T-Shirt Fundraising Campaign   Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign   Matching Gifts If you’re ready…

Crowdfunding Campaign Description Guide

After your video, your campaign description is the most important place on your campaign page to tell your story and get funded.  Every campaign description should include the following information: Who We Are: This is your opportunity to briefly describe who you are.   What We Believe: Here is where you talk about your passion that drove you to seek donations through crowdfunding. Example: It is our belief at Copia Community Farms that sustainably raised produce coupled with a sustainable lifestyle is our formula for quality life and quality produce. We are passionate about being able to enjoy fresh, locally-sourced, delicious…

Day in the Life of an Annual Giving Fundraiser (GIFs)

    When advancement services pulls the wrong list.   [iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/ylMF2SwbAotLa" width="480" height="270"]  When you accidentally include the board of trustees in your solicitation email.   [iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/jeCoOrrbhDgRO" width="360" height="480"]  When it’s 11:59 on June 29th   [iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/NAn839YizXYXK" width="480" height="320"]  When it’s 12:01 on July 1st   [iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/rumR5iFBxFjdC" width="480" height="185"]  When your goal is set by throwing darts, spinning a wheel, etc.   [iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/26AHzFnyzk7xia8a4" width="480" height="270"]  When the Chancellor recognizes you and knows your name!   [iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/qTUxBRlcZjBgk" width="480" height="264"]  When alumni relations complains about phone solicitations to alumni.   [iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/vLhYqCSE2YVXi" width="480" height="294"]  When marketing…

Building a Culture of Philanthropy: The 5 Pillars

Development professionals often talk about a “Culture of Philanthropy.” But what does that really mean? It seems to be the holy grail of all large philanthropic organizations. But how do you actually achieve it? While the precise definition may be slightly different for some organizations based on sector, size, and existing initiatives, at its core a culture of philanthropy simply implies that you have a community of people committed to telling and supporting relevant stories to enhance each other’s wellbeing. An engaged community steeped in philanthropic values is a living force. Not a piggy bank to shake now and then, but the legs,…

75 Event Ideas to Support Your Crowdfunding or Giving Day Launch

As you approach any digital fundraising initiative, it's always a good idea to reinforce your launch with an on or offsite event. This increases overall participation, can provide an outlet for those who prefer donating offline, and is a catalyst to draw in donors who wouldn't have otherwise known about your platform. The options are endless: from competitions to parties, events that require registration to those that simply generate awareness, there's always something you can tailor to your goal and audience. To help you get your brain juices flowing we've compiled a list of 75 events that you can rename, customize, and otherwise make…

The Evolution of Philanthropy & the Fall of the Fundraising Pyramid

For a long time, philanthropy has been defined as “the giving of money to nonprofit organizations.” However, this definition is quickly becoming obsolete. It's evolving towards a meaning that is more appropriate to today’s giving paradigm and less industry-driven: that philanthropy is “the action of transforming the social wellbeing of others through generosity.” This implies that there are many more philanthropists in the world than our antiquated definition acknowledges. More importantly, this new way of looking at philanthropy forces nonprofit organizations to reconsider not only why they do what they do but how they do it at a systemic level. This…

How Annual Giving and Advancement Services Can Work Together to Make Digital Fundraising Successful

John Taylor is an Advancement Services expert, educator, speaker, and consultant. He formed one of the largest Advancement-related listserves in the world, FundSvcs, now with over 3,100 subscribers. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences across the country, receiving the CASE Crystal Apple Award for outstanding teaching. He is the founder and former President of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals and an Industry Advisor at Community Funded. In the fall of 2016 I published a piece I called, “Day of Giving or Day of Pain?” Its premise was simple: if Annual Giving launches a Giving Day initiative without coordinating with…

Q&A with Mia Fill, University of Colorado Boulder Crowdfunding Coordinator

  Mia Fill is the Crowdfunding Program Coordinator at the University of Colorado Boulder and an expert in digital storytelling. Though the campus platform, she has managed nearly 50 crowdfunding campaigns and encouraged donations from over 2,500 supporters.   1. For someone in the initial stages of launching a platform, what would you recommend as a good number of projects to start with? I think if you have never done crowdfunding whatsoever, start with one or two. If you're really trying to get your program up and running, aim for five and have them in very different areas. I wouldn't…

How I Learned to Love Crowdfunding: 4 Keys to Doing it Right

John Taylor is a crowdfunding expert, educator, speaker, and advancement consultant. He is an Industry Advisor at Community Funded where he participates in developing best practices, advising new product development, and helping platform administrators achieve their fundraising goals. A mere 7 years ago I thought that Crowdfunding was the next worst thing to hit higher education, second only to text-to-give campaigns. At institution after institution, I saw it eroding the annual giving program and turning prospective donors off. Appeal after appeal was made from different departments requesting support for different projects/programs on nearly a weekly basis – in fact often daily.  I…

Evaluating a Crowdfunding Campaign in Higher Education: 6 Questions to Set Expectations

Meg Weber is the Executive Director of Annual Giving and Gift Stewardship at Colorado State University. She is an Industry Advisor at Community Funded where she participates in developing best practices, advising new product development, and helping clients achieve their fundraising goals. When Colorado State University launched our crowdfunding platform, we learned very quickly that a huge role for our team would be helping potential project creators understand the reality of fundraising. An example: early on, a faculty member called me to talk about a project he had seen on Kickstarter that raised almost $500,000. This project (let’s call it Random…

Crowdfunding Campaign Communications Checklist

Great communication is the centerpiece of any successful crowdfunding campaign. However, many people struggle with how to schedule and maintain a good level of communication to keep the attention of donors and supporters. That's why we created this crowdfunding campaign communications checklist to help you get started! Organizations managing platforms should be aware of this hurdle and work to empower their project teams to understand the basic tenets of knowing their core audience, channels, and creating a schedule. Pre-Launch (~30 days before) Goals: #1 Build a community of advocates. #2 Reach 30% of goal in pre-commitments. Ask Your Campaign Champions Be a…

95/5 is No Way to Live

It was only 10 to 15 years ago institutions followed the Paretto principle closely, securing 80% of their gifts from 20% of their donors. Then things began to shift. Many institutions now exist in a world where 5% of their gifts come from 95% of their donors. One reason for this shift has been the increase in mega campaigns and a hyper-focus on transformational gifts. Inspiring seven, eight, and even nine-figure investments can be truly game-changing: transforming programs, departments, and even the universities themselves and ushering in enormous positive societal impact. These gifts can enable institutions to fulfill their missions…

Katie Haystead

Katie Haystead

Senior Vice President, Partnerships

With over a decade of experience working with K12 schools and higher education institutions’ fundraising efforts, Katie Haystead now oversees the partnerships team at Community Funded. Her passion for partner success and satisfaction aligns with Community Funded’s priorities and Katie’s unique background is well suited to manage the day to day operations of our partnerships team as well as new market acquisition.

Prior to joining the team at Community Funded, Katie served many roles within the Fundraising Division at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Her experience ranges from working onsite and remotely with clients executing phonathon programs, developing annual giving strategies, onsite consultations and also developing multichannel strategies allowing for strong synergy between annual giving channels and creating strong major and planned gift pipelines.

Katie is based in Metro Detroit and is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where she worked for the phonathon for 3 years while working towards her History Major.

Kim Jennings

Kim Jennings

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Kim Jennings, CFRE is a skilled fundraising leader who believes in the power of Christian education to raise up thoughtful, strong, committed leaders who can make our world a better place for all.

Kim Jennings

Todd Turner

Director of Digital Strategies, Generis

In addition to his 11 years overseeing Chuck Swindoll’s Insight Living Ministries communications department, Todd Turner has worked as a digital strategist for faith based organizations across the globe..

Kim Jennings

Jennifer Perrow

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Jennifer is a skilled fundraising and communications professional who helps ministries articulate vision, communicate mission, and raise abundant funds to advance Kingdom priorities.