This month we’re featuring tools for creating online wish lists and interactive data visualizations.
As always, our featured tools will cover a broad range of uses - from managing social media campaigns to collecting online donations. Many were not developed exclusively for nonprofits, but all will be selected based on their usefulness, ease of use, and cost (most, if not all will have a free version).
GiFTgive – FUNDRAISE WITH ONLINE WISH LISTS
Overview: GiFTgive lets organizations make custom online wish lists (through Amazon.com) which can then be shared with donors. Unlike a traditional gift registry, the feature-rich platform allows organizations to customize the look and feel of the wish list page as well as the donor thank you message. The platform also lets donors make partial donations towards more expensive items. The obvious benefits for donors are the opportunities to make non-cash contributions and to see the direct impact of contributions. For nonprofits, using GiFTgive can be an easy way to solicit contributions for goods/equipment that may not be a budget priority or that are not costly enough to require a dedicated fundraising campaign.Cost: Pricing plans range from a 4.9% transaction fee to a fixed $49 monthly or $495 annual fee
Potential Uses: Holiday season wish lists, office relocation/renovation wish lists, program equipment wish lists
TABLEAU PUBLIC – EASILY CREATE DATA VISUALIZATIONS
Overview: Tableau Public is a free application for creating interactive data visualizations that can be shared and embedded online. Unlike many data visualization tools, it requires no programming or graphic design skills. Users can import data from Excel/Access and then use a simple drag and drop process to create and customize interactive charts. Charts (or groups of charts in a dashboard format) can be shared online and embedded in webpages. Tableau Public is a particularly powerful tool for nonprofits given its ease of use and ability to visually communicate complex data sets. Not only can a nonprofits leverage data collected from its services/programs, but it can also take advantage of publicly available data sets (examples using government/public data).
Cost: Pricing plans include a free application as well as personal and professional versions that range up to $1,999Potential Uses: Issue advocacy/education, program metrics/evaluation, financial transparency
- Jeffrey Ader, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member
“’Too many organizations lack a culture of philanthropy, which means that development directors don’t have the conditions they need to succeed,’ she says. ‘It’s a vicious cycle.’”
On Wednesday, April 24, YNPN Atlanta held a panel and discussion group on “The State of Fundraising.” We were joined by three Atlanta nonprofit fundraising professionals:
- John Clark, Associate Vice President for Development, Georgia State University - Subie Green, President, Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) - Elizabeth Pearce, Campaign Director, Coxe Curry & Associates
All three panelists agreed that the study struck a chord and was completely on point with its key findings. One major challenge the panelists added that they are seeing is a shift in fundraising staffs having the primary or sole responsibility for raising money instead of the Board of Directors. A major reason for this is that a proliferation of nonprofit organizations has diluted the effectiveness of Board members. Too many of the same people are being asked to serve on 3, 4, 5 or 6 boards, which dilute their fundraising abilities and opportunities.
GSU's Jon Clark speaks with YNPN members during a breakout at the Fundraising Roundtable event.
After hearing from the panelists about the study and the current state of fundraising, we broke into three discussion groups. The event participants had the opportunity to discuss the CompassPoint study in depth with one of our experts, as well as ask relevant questions about beginning and growing a career in fundraising.
The key ideas that came out of these discussions were:
- Make the ask - Take a risk - Role play or practice the ask (especially with Board members) - Everyone in the organization is in 'sales' (not just the fundraising staff) - Fundraising is a skill set and a profession - Find a mentor in the field and don’t be afraid to ask - Invest fully in the mission of the organization - Fundraising = relationships - Relationships encompass all areas of work - Focus on quality relationships vs. quantity - The structure of an organization affects the capacity to fundraise - Do your homework when job seeking about the organization(s) you want to work for - Find the right fit in a job – you are interviewing the organization as much as they are interviewing you
To read the Chronicle of Philanthropy article highlighting the key points of the CompassPoint study, click here.
In a related topic, a recent TED Talk by activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta, “The way we think about charity is dead wrong,” calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend -- not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let's change the way we think about changing the world. Watch this dynamic and forward thinking talk:
- Kate Balzer, YNPN Atlanta Member