3 Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits That Leverage Email Marketing

Want an easy and inexpensive way to generate donations for your nonprofit? Consider email marketing. Online giving is more popular than ever, and email can help support your fundraising efforts.

In fact, nonprofits saw a 10.4% increase in online giving from 2016 to 2017, according to the Blackbaud Index, and email marketing generates roughly one third of online donations for nonprofits.

Stats aside, email is a great way to keep donors, volunteers, and other partners up-to-date on what’s happening within your organization. It makes raising funds for your organization simpler and helps to keep donations coming in on a more consistent basis.

As the year begins to draw to an end, email marketing can help you meet, or even beat, your donation goals. Email is a secret weapon for fundraising– and it’s time to learn how to put it to use.

Campaign Monitor has created 12 Tips Nonprofits Can Use to Get Online Donations as an easy-to-read infographic to help nonprofits. Here are 3 tips from the infographic to help your nonprofit raise more funds:

1. Put Email Campaigns and Social Media Together

Email is a great tool for fundraising, but it works best when paired with social media. Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest can get your message in front of the right people. Most social platforms have special accounts for nonprofits, and some, like Facebook, have donation tools too.

For example, The Royal Children’s Hospital uses Facebook to share different stories and occasionally asks directly for donations.

Including social sharing buttons in your emails is a must, and hopefully something you do already. In addition to this, be sure that the content you have in your email and on your social sites is valuable and can be shared on any platform.

For example, American Lung Association sent a thank you email and asked their readers to share their thanks on Facebook and included links to do so. Their Facebook post has the same image, to keep things consistent. This is a great example of using email and Facebook together.

Not all social media should be about donations. Be sure to mix up what your followers see, and give them ways to interact with your organization that doesn’t involve money. They’ll be more receptive to want to donate at a later date if you’re sharing valuable information throughout the year.

2. Optimize Emails for Mobile

It’s pretty safe to say that mobile phones are here to stay, and marketers need to adapt. More emails are opened on mobile devices than on computers these days, so making sure your emails work anywhere they’re viewed is vital.

As a nonprofit, you probably have limited time and staff to spend on emails, which is where mobile-friendly email templates can be a lifesaver. They’re pre-built to look great no matter what size screen they’re viewed on, you just need to add your fabulous content, links and engaging images. Keep your text fairly short, smaller screens means shorter attention spans, but still include the information that’s going to be useful to your readers.

For example, Whale and Dolphin Conservation has a great mobile-friendly email. Their image is eye-catching, the text is short and to the point and they have a great call to action button right in the middle.

California State Parks Foundation also has a good example of a mobile-friendly email. It’s short, has a great image, and right at the top is a donation link. They share the information they need to, but also make sure their readers have the option to donate from their mobile if they want to.

3. Use Compelling Images

A picture is worth a 1,000 words is so true when it comes to email marketing. Your images will make difference to how people view your organization and how they interact with your emails. Including images that tell your story can help get your message across and share your mission, all without words. And since attention spans are pretty short these days, that’s a pretty useful tool for fundraising.

Photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts on social. Keep that momentum up and use your images on your website, on social media and in your emails for a consistent experience.

Both The Royal Children’s Hospital and The Australian Red Cross use images that convey their message, show who they’re helping, and share what their mission is. Plus they have easy donation buttons in their emails, making it easy for readers to help.

Wrap up

Fundraising online is part of what all nonprofits need to do. Using email marketing makes it much easier to accomplish. You can also use it to stay in touch with donors and volunteers, to share events, and keep them up on how the funds are used. The more people see and interact with your organization, the more likely they are to donate. Use some, or all, of the ideas in 12 Tips Nonprofits Can Use to Get Online Donations infographic and get more donations for your nonprofit.

Author bio

Andrea Robbins is a demand generation marketer at Campaign Monitor. Her favorite things include getting outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and her Siamese kitty. Say hi on Twitter @andirobz

5 Ways to Humanize Your Fundraising Emails (and Why That’s Important)

The average officer worker now receives 121 emails a day. And your inbox, and mine, will only get more crowded in the coming years (it seems) making the need for your emails to stand out and get opened important. But that’s just the first step, what are you going to say, and how are you going to say it, if they do open?

Well, based on our research of 218 email experiments related to email messaging, here’s what you need to do:

Write your email like it is to a real person, from a real person.

It sounds simple, and at one level it is, but it’s a crucially important fundraising idea that can grow your online fundraising. For example, here’s an experiment from our research library where the control email was pretty good, informative, and used facts and figures to make their case to the reader:

Not bad right?

But for the treatment, they wanted to ‘close the distance’ between the sender and reader by making the copy, tone, and voice, in particular, more personal. More human.

Do you see the differences? They are pretty small but the end result here was that the one that was more personal, increased donations 328%. And revenue? It increased 716.3%!

Being more personal is the high level idea that you should be infusing all the elements of your email with because it speaks to donors — you, me, humans — the way we connect with people. The concept that we treat digital experiences as if they are with real people is called social presence and it’s the social presence that separates those two emails from one another and it’s using social presence that can help you engage donors and separate your emails from those 120 other emails people receive each day.

We created a free online training course on email fundraising optimization that covers all you need to know but in this post let’s simply look at how you can improve them by fostering a 1-1 communication style through these 5 components of an email body:

  • Design and Format
  • Salutation
  • Body Copy
  • Call-to-Action
  • Tone/Voice

1. Design and Format

Stripping down the design and branding of an email appeal is one of the first experiments we run with clients, one of the easiest things you can test in your next appeal, and one of the most consistent ‘wins’ we see in our library.

If you don’t believe me, check out experiment #4174. The control was their usual email:

Pretty standard email with the logo, image header, copy making the case, big call-to-action button, personal signoff, and a PS.

This isn’t a ‘bad email’ – according to best practices you’ll find online and from other organizations – and in many ways a pretty good one but the intent of this email is pretty clear and quite early. It’s a marketing email.

So we wondered what would happen if we took out the branding and even the template itself to create a more personal feel using the same copy and call-to-action button to make it feel less templated and designed and here was the result:

The stripped down email increased clicks to the donation page by 80.3% and because of that led to more donations.

But could we simplify and strip down even further? Let’s test it! Here was that new ‘winning’ email (now the control):

And this time for the experiment, we wanted to get even simpler and clearer with the ask so moved the logo/branding down to the signature block and took away the big button and replaced it with a hyperlink and ended up with this:

In this case, the more personalized email increased donations 145.5%!

Looking for more evidence? Check out experiment #5824. Or #7524. Or #7466. Or #6429. Or #483. Or… I think you get the point. Our experiments show time and time again that for fundraising emails less design is better.

Why? Because real people don’t send emails with logos, beautiful header images, and well crafted footers. Think about what design elements you’d have in a personal email to a friend or family member and try to mimic that.

Do you use a header image? A logo at the top? A button in it? A signature? If you wouldn’t send it to a friend, take it out of your design and test it.

Key Tip: Choose an email design that mimics what you would send to a friend.

2. Salutation

This is one of the first things people see and it’s also often taken for granted. “Easy” things like using the person’s name can do wonders for email engagement.

Here’s an experiment with the National Breast Cancer Foundation where we had no first name vs. with first name:

The email with the first name increased clicks 270%.

When real people send emails to real people they use their name!

Hopefully that truly is an “easy” one for you (and you shouldn’t have to test that one) but you can also make your salutation more relevant to the receiver with internal factors like:

  • Personal interests – How about those Ramblers?
  • Personality – Wazzzzzup?
  • Level of engagement – you’

Or external factors like:

  • Environmental changes – I hope you didn’t get the snow like we did…
  • Holidays – Happy Holidays!
  • Recent events – What a Super Bowl!
  • Recent actions – Thank you for signing our petition!

These salutations work because… that’s how real people start conversations. So give it a shot in your next email.

Key Tip: Start a salutation with their name and, if possible, a personally relevant introduction.

Body Copy

The question I get asked most often when it comes to emails is, “how long should our email be?” And in response I twist the classic consultant ‘it depends’ answer a bit to be, ‘however long you need it to be to effectively answer the main value proposition question’:

“If I am your ideal donor, why should I give to you, compared to some other organization, or not at all”

If you can answer that question in a sentence, then great. Your email could be a sentence. If you need 1,000 words, then so be it. Your email can be 1,000 words. But more often than not, your emails need to be a bit longer than you think and our research has shown that again and again.

Because you suffer from something called the curse of knowledge — a marketer’s fatal flaw where we assume the reader knows much of what we know — you end up writing fundraising appeals that quickly go through things like the need and solution — the value proposition — and get to the ask before the reader has have enough info to make a good decision. And since inertia or gravity is going against people giving their money away, they don’t.

Or even if you do spend time trying to answer the value proposition question and featuring something like a matching gift, you may answer it in your own words or language full of acronyms, technical speak, and insider terms that the reader may not even understand.

You have to make sure you have enough content, aka copy, to let the reader know and understand what you’re asking them to do which is often more info as opposed to less. And the only real way to know what your donors respond to or if they get your value proposition is to run tests and experiments.

Donors will tell you they want shorter emails, with less copy, and just the stats. But after looking through over 218 experiments, I can tell you that longer emails, with more copy, and emotive language raises more money.

Key Tip: Before you make a request, make sure there is enough body copy to answer the question why… both for the email and for the request.


Alright, you’ve done the hard work. Someone has opened your email. They’ve read through the main body. Now it’s time to present the call to action and move them on ‘down the funnel’ (or up the donor mountain as we like to say). Be clear. Be direct. Be simple.

Do you want people to learn more? Will they understand what it means to ‘stand with you’? No. You want people to give so make that clear in your call to action. Learn more or ‘soft’ calls to action like ‘stand with us’ language may get more clicks but they’ll often get less donations (here’s one example and here’s another one).

And what about the design of the call-to-action? We’ve already covered that the more designed an email is the more it can appear like marketing so why not use basic links or even raw links like this: https://www.nextafter.com/research/2016/09/how-a-raw-link-in-an-email-affects-donor-conversion/

Key Tip: When you make a call-to-action request, be clear about your desire and intentions.


Remember the very first example with the slight differences that led to a 328% increase in donations? It not only was more ‘you’ focused and personal, it also was full of social cues and emotive language that a real human would use. Check it out:

It is full of emotive words like ‘turn up the heat’,‘desperately’, ‘incredible’, and ‘the fight begins’ but also human terms like ‘I’d be honored’, ‘Would you be able to help’, and the opening ‘I wanted to get this news to you as soon as I could’.

The combination of personal terms and emotive language sets a tone and gives a voice to the email that can engage and entice readers so when they reach the call to action (notice the raw link) they are on board. They’re motivated. They’re ready to join the fight.

Or if you zoom in a bit closer to the CaringBridge example above you may have seen that, beyond the design, we made a few other minor changes around the tone as well. Take a look at the first few sentences of each email a bit closer:

Again, the first email isn’t bad. It starts out fine enough, tries to develop some connection, and gets into a story. Another ‘best practice’.

But in the treatment, we used ‘I’ and ‘you’ language to be more like a human sending an email to another human and create a sense of empathy before jumping into the campaign even without the story ‘hook’.

The tone you have and voice you use through your copy sets the stage not just to lead up to the call to action but helps people put down their ‘I’m getting marketing to’ guard to engage with the content on a more personal and human level.

Key Tip: Read the email out loud and add/adjust content to account for tone/voice so it sounds like it is from a human, and makes you feel something.


People give to people. Not email marketing machines. So best way to optimize your email fundraising is craft your email — from the design and format to the call-to-action — as if you were just one person writing to another.

Take the time and copy length you need to simply describe the value you are offering, don’t let your design distract from your message and connection, infuse some social cues, and clearly ask for a donation if you are indeed asking for a donation.

And just in case you skimmed everything up until now here is the…

5 Ways to Humanize Your Emails Summary

  • Choose an email design that mimics what you would send to a friend.
  • Start a salutation with their name and, if possible, a personally relevant introduction.
  • Before you make a request, make sure there is enough body copy to answer the question why… both for the email and for the request.
  • When you make a call-to-action request, be clear about your desire and intentions.
  • Finally, read the email out loud and add/adjust content to account for tone/voice so it sounds like it is from a human, and makes you feel something.

Good luck!

Author Bio

Brady Josephson is a charity nerd, entrepreneur, digital marketer, professor, and writer. He’s the Vice President of Innovation and Optimization at NextAfter — a fundraising research lab and consultancy on a mission to unleash the most generous generation in the history of the world. Brady lives just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with his wife Liz, dog Melly, and cat Thor. You can follow him on Twitter @bradyjosephson.

5 Healthcare Fundraising Strategies To Skyrocket Donations

Healthcare fundraising is essential for securing staffing, equipment, and facility upgrades. Exceed your donation goals with these foolproof strategies.

Your healthcare facility works hard to give your community of patients the best care possible, so it’s only fair that you get some of that love and devotion in return — with fundraising!

Healthcare fundraising is instrumental for securing the necessary staffing, equipment, and facility renovations your organization needs to function at maximum capacity.

However, many hospital fundraising teams are, in the dark on how best to rally their supporters and jumpstart a steady flow of donations.

We know how busy your schedules are, so we’ll make this brief: below you’ll find the top five ultimate fundraising strategies that no medical institution can do without!

Let’s take a peek at what’s to come:

  1. Engage healthcare fundraising with corporate philanthropy.
  2. Develop a top grateful patients program for healthcare fundraising.
  3. Host healthcare fundraising meetings about your hospital foundation.
  4. Send targeted healthcare fundraising communications.
  5. Create (and market!) a stellar healthcare fundraising online donation form.

These essential fundraising tactics can save your healthcare facility time, energy, and money so that you can get back to doing what you do best: saving lives!

So take a breather from your daily duties and follow along with us; we promise to make it well worth your while!

Boost your healthcare fundraising by partnering with corporations known for philanthropic work.

1. Engage Healthcare Fundraising With Corporate Philanthropy

Corporate philanthropy has been trending like crazy in recent years, not only to benefit healthcare, nonprofit, education, and other fundraising fields, but also to stir up positive publicity and employee engagement within active companies.

That’s why to get a leg up in your healthcare fundraising feats, it’s always smart to seek a partnership with corporations known for their philanthropic history and variety of giving initiatives.

For healthcare organizations in particular, corporations can give you philanthropic support by:

  • Sponsoring a healthcare-related fundraising event.
  • Promoting their brand on your healthcare fundraising event merchandise.
  • Investing in a capital campaign to raise money for specific hospital needs like new MRI machines or a hiring budget for more nursing staff.
  • In addition, the whole point behind cause marketing is to encourage mutually-beneficial relationships between corporations and fundraising organizations.

For example, the ever-popular Red Nose Day charity collaboration with Walgreens has raised millions of funds to support children in poverty throughout the United States.

On the other hand, if you’d rather team up with a tight-knit community, you can always take inspiration from campaigns like Face of Diabetes which implemented DipJar’s giving kiosks in local Alabama retail stores to encourage credit card donations.

When approaching a corporation for philanthropic support, remember to sell them on a specific cause that’s easier to brand and publicize as well as has a personal connection with the business.

For instance, a company could screen their employees to see if a large percentage of them are affected by a particular health concern or take an employee poll on a medical cause they would be most interested in supporting.

Essentially, the more you frame your pitch to highlight the corporate benefits of your fundraising partnership, the faster you’ll have them on board and committed.

Treat yourself to more phenomenal cause marketing campaigns with our exclusive roundup guaranteed to inspire your healthcare fundraising.

The bottom line: Corporate philanthropy provides an excellent opportunity for you to raise healthcare publicity and funds while shining a positive light on prominent businesses.

Grateful patient programs allow patients to show their gratitude by donating towards healthcare fundraising.

2. Develop a Top Grateful Patients Program for Healthcare Fundraising

Although many hospitals already solicit donations from grateful patients, organizing a program around that specific purpose can do wonders for your healthcare fundraising and donor stewardship.

Grateful patient programs also give patients the opportunity to express their thanks to a physician or facility that played a meaningful role in their treatment.

Not to mention, grateful patient programs can bolster your hospital’s reputation for patient care and attention which in turn can lead to more major donations.

For example, the JFK Medical Center offers an exemplary grateful patient program that allows patients and their families to honor hospital staff, an area of care, or a clinical program with a financial contribution.

In addition, the Boston Children’s Hospital encourages families to honor loved ones with memorial and planned giving opportunities.

While assembling your grateful patient program, consider your answers to the following questions to ensure yours is a success:

  • How will your program be managed? — Develop your program’s prospect research and solicitation pipeline and arrange frequent check-ins with your team members.
  • Who are your grateful patient program team members? — Recruit an integrated healthcare staff including: doctors, nurses, hospital administration, and a development committee with major and planned giving officers.
  • What are your budgetary concerns? — Map out areas of your program that may require more financial need than others.
  • How will you screen prospects and organize donor data? — Invest in top data management software and conduct daily patient screenings to analyze giving factors.
  • What are your recruitment strategies? — Get to know individual patients and work out a personalized solicitation game plan for current and discharged prospects.

Finally, remember to treat your patients as people first and donors second by respecting their healthcare information privacy.

Handle your solicitations with tact by consulting the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines for getting a patient’s written consent on using their medical data for fundraising or promotional purposes.

For more information on how to launch an influential grateful patient program, master our seven key steps for success!

The bottom line: Curating a powerful grateful patient program can help your hospital efficiently manage prospects and boost healthcare donations.

Support your hospital foundations healthcare fundraising by educating staff and prospects about it.

3. Host Healthcare Fundraising Meetings About Your Hospital Foundation

It’s no secret that when it comes to healthcare fundraising, hospital foundations are essentially your medical institution’s advocates, go-getters, and best friends all rolled into one.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the role of a hospital foundation, these nonprofits act independently to generate funds and awareness for local hospital needs. As an isolated entity, these organizations usually have their own fundraising agenda and board of directors separate from the medical facilities they assist.

To give you a better frame of reference, some of the primary duties of a hospital foundation include:

  • Overseeing healthcare donations and hospital endowments.
  • Organizing annual or capital campaigns for general or specific projects.
  • Hosting fundraising events and activities on behalf of a hospital.
  • Providing educational scholarships to up-and-coming healthcare professionals.

Unfortunately, many healthcare patients, donors, and staff are unaware of all the good deeds these important allies perform behind the scenes.

That’s why it’s your obligation as part of your fundraising strategy to give your hospital foundation a hand by hosting informative meetings to showcase their brilliant goals and efforts.

With these meetings or luncheons, your hospital can clarify fundraising options and meet face-to-face with interested prospects. In return, prospects learn more about how to channel their gratitude toward medical programs they’re most passionate about.

From these interactions, hospitals can also determine areas of interest for constructing effective fundraising campaigns or events like charity auctions that address specific healthcare concerns.

The bottom line: Highlight the fundraising efforts of your affiliated hospital foundation with regular, informative donor and prospect meetings.

Tailor your healthcare fundraising strategies by segmenting your donor data.

4. Send Targeted Healthcare Fundraising Communications

Once your medical institution lands a generous donation, you can sever all ties with the donor in question right? The correct answer is “no” but sadly this is often the case for healthcare fundraising teams that fail to prioritize donor stewardship.

That’s why one critical fundraising practice for medical facilities (and all organizations) is to grow prospect and donor relationships by initiating personal healthcare communications.

These exchanges can be a lot easier if your fundraising team segments donors first in your donor management software in order to send only the most valuable information to your loyal supporters.

For example, donors should receive frequent updates on how their gifts have been used to help staff and patients, while prospects should receive news about giving to programs that match their areas of interest (think: a former cancer patient may be particularly interested in supporting a fundraiser for the cancer ward).

Furthermore, former patients should also be informed when their physicians or medical team are honored for fundraising contributions online or at events.

With a variety of digital communications at your fingertips, we aren’t really concerned with which method you choose to reach out to donors. Instead, your main focus should be on connecting donors with your fundraising efforts and, more importantly, emphasizing their value to your organization.

Get the most out of your donor communications by keeping these top tips in mind:

  • Share your healthcare facility’s story or highlight inspiring physician or patient stories.
  • Utilize emotional and eye-catching visual media like photos, videos, and infographics.
  • Provide examples of how a donor’s support directly influenced your healthcare fundraising.
  • Make donors feel a part of something bigger by casting a long-term healthcare fundraising vision.
  • Thank donors as valued members of your team with unique and targeted gestures.
  • Encourage donors to reach out to you with questions or concerns about donating time or funds.

Once again however, take extra care in ensuring all of your healthcare fundraising communications are HIPAA compliant.

The bottom line: Strengthen donor relationships by personalizing your healthcare fundraising updates and endeavors in your direct communications.

Promote healthcare fundraising matching gifts on your online donation forms.

5. Create (and Market!) a Stellar Healthcare Fundraising Online Donation Form

When was the last time your healthcare institution revamped its online donation form? Whether or not it’s been a while, it’s imperative that you understand how much this tool can make or break your healthcare fundraising.

Why Online Donation Forms are Valuable for Fundraising

For starters, online donation forms accomplish a variety of tasks that make your healthcare fundraising efforts outrageously easier like:

  • Reaching a wider audience by offering an accessible and shareable donation option.
  • Collecting donor data to document preferred giving means and average gift amounts.
  • Tracking fundraising results to assess your virtual outreach and completed donations.

In addition, your online donation form can be key to accepting annual fund gifts or capital campaign gifts via a fundraising webpage.

How to Design a Donor-Ready Online Donation Form

When crafting an outstanding online donation form, it’s best to keep the design details as simple as possible to better attract and retain donors such as:

  • Sticking to one page with minimal (yet effective) branding.
  • Limiting the number of steps it takes to complete the form.
  • Optimizing your online donation form for mobile or tablet use.
  • Providing suggested giving amounts to accelerate the process.
  • Allowing donors to share their gifts on social media platforms.

A busy or unresponsive layout can easily deter donors from following through with an online donation. By offering an easy-to-navigate platform and more giving options to fit individual needs, your healthcare institution can make online giving an easy and rewarding donor experience.

How to Attract Corporate Philanthropy With Your Online Donation Form

Once you have a winning design, your healthcare facility can then embed the online donation form into foundation materials like digital brochures, e-newsletters, emails, and more with the URL link.

Better yet, you can even use your online donation form to bring in corporate philanthropy by including a matching gift search tool!

If your healthcare fundraising team is unfamiliar with how to use a matching gift search tool for online donations, don’t sweat it! Simply follow along as we detail the steps for utilizing Double the Donation’s matching gift widget with Mercy Corps:

1. Enter the name of your company employer.

Enter the name of your company employer to discover matching gift opportunities for healthcare fundraising.

Start by searching for your employer to discover whether or not they have a matching gift program in place.

2. If your company is listed, follow the instructions for starting the matching gift process via your online donation form.

Follow your employer's matching gift program instructions to donate towards healthcare fundraising.

Discover your company’s matching gift ratio, types of organizations they assist, and which employees are eligible to participate. You can also review submission deadlines.

3. Click the link to your company’s matching gift request form.

Click the link to your employer's online matching gift form to make a healthcare fundraising donation.

You may have to create an account before you’re allowed to proceed with your virtual matching gift request.

Create a matching gift account with your employer to begin your healthcare fundraising donation.

The bottom line: Make the most of your online donation form with a killer design and matching gift search tool to provide donors the luxury of multiple giving options to your medical institution.

There’s no doubt that healthcare fundraising is a group effort that requires a lot of sweat, creativity, and grit — but with the right fundraising strategy up your sleeve, it can also be fun and rewarding for both your hospital and donors.

Have a blast with your healthcare fundraising by aiming for even bigger donation goals with these powerful tactics!

For more game-changing resources on healthcare fundraising, dive into our additional resources:

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8 Awesome Logo Design Tips for Nonprofits

Imagine you are walking down a busy street in any major city in the United States. You look to your left and see a billboard with a sleek black check mark superimposed over a white background. Without text, without accompanying images, with nothing more than “the Swoosh” you know it’s Nike. All of a sudden your mind is flooded with thoughts of famous athletes, sportswear and you’re uncomfortably aware how long it’s been since you last went to the gym (okay that might just be me). All of this has been accomplished because the Swoosh is so effective that it can now market itself. This is the power of an effective logo.

Your nonprofit’s logo might never be as famous as Nike’s but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t utilize the same design principles! We at Elevation have come up with 8 essential logo design tips to ensure that your logo is making your organization memorable.

1. Nonprofit Psych Analysis

Try to define your organization in two to three words. For example if you’re an afterschool program maybe you use children and playful. Ask different staff members and others familiar with what you do. You should start with large pool of potential options and then narrow it down to the top 2-3.

If you are stuck, a good place to start is utilizing your mission and revisiting your roots. What do you do and why? The best nonprofit logos encapsulate what they do and invoke with their organization’s values and mission with a simple image.

2. Geographical or Conceptual Elements

Where is your organization located and is its geography something that you want included in your logo? For example if you are a nonprofit located in San Francisco do you want the Golden Gate Bridge to be a part of your logo. If not, also okay, but an important aspect to consider.

The second element you should consider is the logo’s overall concept. For example, is your organization working to promote trash free beaches and you want the concept of water to be a major part of your logo? Maybe the answer is “no” but it’s always worth it to consider before.

3. Type of Logo

There are a few “fancy” logo names graphic designers use. We have included a snip it of an infographic we created here at Elevation about the nonprofit logo design process. Below you see descriptions of symbol/icon, word mark, letter mark, combination and emblem logos with famous examples of each. You can check out the entire infographic here.

4. Color

There is a common misconception that the individual color is extremely important because of the feeling it invokes in the viewer by virtue of being that color. For example, blue has been thought to be a “calming” color. Research has actually shown that the color itself is not as important as how it relates to the product, or in this case, your nonprofit.

Thank goodness we thought about mission and conceptual elements first, right? Using what you’ve already determined about your nonprofit, choosing your logo colors should be a piece of cake!

Take Relief From Cancer for example, an organization that helps provide funding to cancer patients’ families. In their logo they have chosen to use 5 colors, each related to different ribbons corresponding with a type of cancer. The colors here make sense given the mission of the nonprofit.

Another example of great color usage is by Robins’ Nest, an organization which started as a group home movement and has now expanded to provide a plethora of community support programs. The chosen highlight in this logo is the blue text color, which makes sense both because it references the name of the organization but also because the pop of color is reminiscent of playfulness.

5. Memorable

In a piece for Entrepreneur magazine, John Williams argues that if you can’t draw a logo with decent accuracy after looking at it for 10 seconds, there’s something wrong. We completely agree. Use this to test different logo options that you have.

If your logo failed the above mentioned test, then you are going to want to simplify. Clean lines, conscious color choice and consistent type are all important aspects that go into the creation of a simple and effective logo.

6. Timeless

What will your logo look like in 5 years? While you want to be conscious of current design trends, remember that not all trends are forever. Sticking with a classic font and using the age old principles of design will ensure that your logo will remain relevant for years to come. This is not to say that you will never have to look at your logo again.

For example think about the evolution of Coca Cola’s logo. This is widely considered one of the best logos in the world and has undergone many changes throughout the years. But because it was created with strong design principles in mind, the initial looks a heck of a lot like the current version .

7. Consult a Designer

We know that graphic designers can be expensive, but investing in someone to design your nonprofits logo is definitely worth it. While we are harping on simplicity the most effective logos in the world are also extremely unique.

Check out Apple’s logo above. This iconic logo was created by Rob Janoff, a graphic designer, and it is extremely simple. But when Janoff describes the process of creating the logo, he explains that he did a ton of research buying apples from the store and manipulating them in different ways until he finally arrived upon “the bite.” It’s clear that his expert analysis went into the creative process, proving the value in hiring a graphic designer. They are creative individuals who will deliver the logo your nonprofit needs.

So there it is — eight essential design tips for your nonprofit’s logo. At Elevation,we are always here to answer any questions you have and help you nail down that design. And who knows, maybe one day people will be daydreaming about donating to your nonprofit when they see a billboard with your nonprofit’s logo.

Author Bio

Emma Wolfe is the Communications and Partnerships Manager at Elevation, a full-service nonprofit web design agency. Emma has been involved in the nonprofit world for years working at multiple NGOs located both in the United States and abroad. Her experience ranges from refugee occupation counseling to empowerment programs for youth in West Africa. When she isn’t traveling Emma loves doing yoga and trying new food.

MobileCause Matching Gift Integration with Double the Donation

Does your nonprofit use MobileCause for your online donation forms? Are you looking to incorporate matching gift information into both your MobileCause donation pages as well as across your organization’s broader fundraising?

If so then this guide is for you.

Double the Donation’s Relationship with MobileCause:

MobileCause is a popular provider of donation forms and fundraising tools for nonprofits.

Double the Donation is the leading provider of employee matching gift data and tools to nonprofits.

This guide was put together to help organizations who use MobileCause’s donation forms incorporate Double the Donation’s employee matching gift plugin into their fundraising pages and into their primary websites.

Please note that MobileCause and Double the Donation are two separate companies.

Steps to Integrate Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Search Tool with MobileCause:

At risk of stating the obvious, the below steps and screenshots are applicable to organizations which already have an account with Double the Donation (Premium Plan) and MobileCause.

If you don’t have an account with Double the Donation you can learn more about our service or view our annual service fees and start a risk-free trial.

In terms of integrating Double the Donation’s matching gift search tools into your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy there are two primary options.

  1. In the Donation Process (Use MobileCause’s system)
  2. Across Your Other Fundraising Channels (Use your other systems)

Let’s start by looking at how to incorporate Double the Donation’s plugin into MobileCause’s donation forms.

Step #1: Log into your organization’s MobileCause account. Then select “Weblink” under the “App Links” drop down.

MobileCause Integration - Select Website Donation Forms


Step #2: Add a Custom Section to your website donation form

MobileCause Matching Gift Integration - Add Custom Section


Step #3: Name the Custom Section “Matching Gifts” and position it after the contact information.

MobileCause Matching Gift Integration | Name and Position Custom Section



Step #4: Navigate to the Matching Gift Section and enter a Section Heading. We recommend “Matching Gifts | Access Forms, Guidelines, and Instructions”.

MobileCause Integration - Enter a Matching Gift Section Heading


Step #5: Create a Custom Message field.

MobileCause Matching Gift Integration | Add Custom Message Field


Step #6: Add a Field Name of “Matching Gifts” and click on the <> to switch to the source code mode.

MobileCause Matching Gift Integration | Switch to Source Code Editor


Step #7: Copy/paste the Double the Donation iframe code from your Double the Donation account management portal into the text box. Please note, you need to use the iframe code option not the standard HTML / Javascript embed option.

MobileCause Matching Gift Integration | Add Double the Donation IFrame Code

We recommend you set the height to be 250. You’ll need to change height=”500″ to height=”250″.


  • Access your nonprofit’s matching gift iFrame code by logging into your Double the Donation account at https://doublethedonation.com/members/.
  • Copy the iFrame code from your Double the Donation account and paste it into the weblink receipt page.
  • The code will look similar to the following:
    <iframe src=“https://doublethedonation.com/api/iframe/your-double-the-donation-key” width=“100%” height=“250”></iframe>
    (Don’t forget to that you need to copy the iframe code from your Double the Donation account)


Step #8: Save everything and preview your MobileCause donation form.

And voila!

Your donation form now incorporates Double the Donation’s searchable matching gift database so donors can easily access company specific matching gift forms, guidelines, and instructions.

MobileCause Donation Form with Double the Donation Matching Gift Plugin



Please note: We recommend going through the donation process once on your website to confirm everything is working correctly.


Next let’s look at how to incorporate Double the Donation’s matching gift plugin across your broader fundraising

Step #1: Create a dedicated matching gift page on your main website.

Create a dedicated matching gift page on your own website

This is all done by using Double the Donation’s primary matching gift plugin which can be found in your organization’s Double the Donation account management pages. You’ll want to use the following steps:

  1. Log into your Double the Donation account
  2. Access the embed code
  3. Copy the embed code to the dedicated matching gift page on your own site
  4. Our searchable plugin will automatically load

Add Our Matching Gift Search Directly to Your Own Website

Step #2: Direct donors to your dedicated matching gift page across your broader fundraising efforts.

Create a dedicated matching gift page on your own website

This includes in locations such as:

For our complete marketing toolkit which includes suggested marketing locations, downloadable graphics, sample wording, and examples visit https://doublethedonation.com/marketing-matching-gifts/.

Have Questions?

Use one of the following ways to learn more about Double the Donation’s service:

San Francisco Matching Gifts

8 Companies With Matching Gift Programs in San Francisco

Updated 11/17/17.

One of the best ways to connect with corporate giving programs is to find programs that exist in your own backyard.

San Francisco is a major financial hub for Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco and the surrounding Bay area is home to over 7.5 million people and has a GDP of over $518 billion dollars. The San Francisco Bay area is also host to some of the nation’s best corporate giving programs.

The following are eight companies based in San Francisco with great matching gift programs:

#1 Wells FargoWells Fargo Donation Matching

Wells Fargo was founded in 1852 in the heart of the budding American West. Initially, the banks’ founding capital was only $300,000.  More than 160 years later, the banking giant has generated over $86 billion in revenue.

The company is dedicated to corporate responsibility and has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability, philanthropy, and diversity.

Wells Fargo will match a donation as small as $25 and as large at $6,500. Full-time and part-time employees are eligible to have their donations matched in addition to retirees. Additionally, Wells Fargo donates more than $500,000 in volunteer grants.

Learn more about Wells Fargo’s corporate matching program.

#2 The Gap CorporationGap Matches Employee Donations

The Gap Corporation’s hold on the clothing market expands far beyond its name-sake apparel store. The company owns Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta.

In 2010, The Gap spent $16.5 million dollars on employee-driven community investment and matched $2.1 million dollars in employee donations.

The Gap will match donations as small as $25 and as large as $10,000. Employees who donate at least 15 hours of their time are also eligible to receive volunteer grants of $150. The company also encourages teams of employees to volunteer with organizations that serve women or children by offering up to $250 in volunteer grants.

Learn more about The Gap’s corporate matching program.

#3 Visa

Visa Matches Donations from EmployeesVisa Inc. employs over 7,500 individuals and generates over $9 billion in revenue annually. The credit-card giant processes billions of transactions a year totaling trillions of dollars.

Visa has a strong commitment to corporate responsibility and has been a proud sponsor of the Olympics and Paralympics since 1986.

Visa will match employee donations as small as $25 and as large as $5,000. The company encourages employees to volunteer by picking one outstanding member from each region to give a grant of up to $5,000 for the organization they had dedicated the most hours to.

Learn more about Visa’s corporate matching program.

#4 Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss Employee Donation Programs

Levi Strauss and Co. has been operating out of San Francisco since its creation in 1873. The jean company now employs over 16,000 individuals and generates more than $4 billion in revenue yearly.

Committed to social responsibility, Levi Strauss and Co. has hosted a worldwide day of service for the last decade. Employees from around the world are given the day off to volunteer with local nonprofits. The company also works with its factories located around the world to make the lives of the workers better.

Levi’s will match employee donations as small as $25 and as large as $1,200. The program applies to current and retired employees, as well as part-timers. If a Levi’s employee volunteers for a minimum of 10 hours to a select nonprofit, the company will issue a volunteer grant of up to $2,400.

Learn more about Levi Strauss and Co.’s corporate matching program.

#5 Charles Schwab

charles-schwab-matching-giftCharles Schwab is a San Francisco based company that works hard to make a positive impact on the communities in which they live and work. Last year, Charles Schwab employees volunteered over 30,000 hours to hundreds of nonprofit organizations.

The company matches employee donations as small as $25 and as large as $1,000 at a 1:1 ratio.

Charles Schwab will also give group volunteer grants of up to $1,000.

Learn more about Charles Schwab’s corporate matching program.

#6 Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)pgande-matching-gifts

PG&E has several philanthropic programs in place, including STEM education, focuses on economic and community vitality, and environmental education and conservation efforts.

Last year, Pacific Gas & Electric employees volunteered over 75,000 hours to support communities in Northern and Central California and donated $7.3 million, with many of those donations being matched by PG&E, increasing the total by $4 million.

PG&E matches gifts at a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $2,500 at a 1:1 ratio.

Learn more about PG&E’s corporate matching program.

#7 Marin Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Therapy

Marin Center for Anxiety and Behavioral TherapyWhile most of the companies on this list are large companies, we shouldn’t forget about small businesses that offer programs for their employees. A great example is the Marin Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Therapy.

Marin Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Therapy is one of the leading Child Therapy practices in Marin County and San Francisco.

As part of their commitment to giving back, MarinCABT offers an employee matching gift program where they match donations made by full-time employees, part-time employees, and their spouses. MarinCABT will provide matching funds of up to $500 per employee per year. The standard match is at a $1 for $1 rate. If an employee makes a donation to a nonprofit focused on helping those who struggle with anxiety, behavioral issues, child wellness, or other mental health issues, we’ll match donations at a $2 to $1 rate (up to a maximum company contribution of $500).

We encourage anyone who’s a doctor or works for a private therapy practice to use Marin Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Therapy’s matching gift program as an example for your own.

Learn more about Marin Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Therapy’s matching gift program which is available to its employees.

#8 LinkedIn


Learn more about LinkedIn’s matching gift program.

Boost your year-end giving results with this helpful infographic.

Top Secrets to Year-End Giving Success [Infographic]

The end of the year is a crucial time for nonprofits. After all, over 25% of total charitable giving takes place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

If you’re not sure how to kick your fundraising strategy into high gear this holiday season, we’ve got the tips you need! Just check out MobileCause’s fact-packed year-end giving infographic below to learn everything you need to know.

Find out the secrets to year-end fundraising success with this infographic from Mobilecause.

9 Essential Elements of Successful Email Sign Up Forms

Email marketing is lauded year after year as the most effective digital marketing strategy. In fact, email is 40 times more successful at acquiring customers than either Facebook or Twitter. To top it all off, email marketing delivers a $38 ROI for every $1 spent.

However, enjoying the spoils of a 3800% ROI only comes to those marketers who invest in email marketing best practices, beginning with building successful email sign up forms. To ensure your team collects the right subscriber information from the get-go, here are 10 things to consider as you build the perfect email form.

1. Start with Goals

Before you even start creating your opt-in form, it’s vital to set goals. You want to predetermine what you will do with the information you collect from subscribers. When you know what you will do with the data you collect, selecting the correct form fields will be a cinch.

For example, do you plan on sending different emails to subscribers in different locations? If so, you’ll want to include location information on your subscriber form. Do you offer different products to women vs. men? If so, you’ll need to ask for gender information. Birchbox breaches this topic simply by asking if subscribers are interested in “beauty” or “grooming.”

Are there any other pieces of information you need from subscribers to provide your customers with the best experience? A goal setting session is the perfect time to determine what you plan to do with the data you collect on your subscriber form.

2. Design That Counts

One of the best things about using an email provider is the option to use a proven template. When you use a template, you can rest assured the code will work so you can collect new subscribers accurately and efficiently.

However, as with most email providers, you’ll notice the template is often generic, even boring. The purpose of this generic design is so you can customize the design to match your brand perfectly.

For example, check out Adidas newsletter sign up box. As soon as you click on “newsletter sign up” a box appears that looks exactly like their website.

You’ll also notice Adidas asks for gender information, just like Birchbox. Good work, Adidas!

3. Less Is More

You may be tempted to ask for more information than you need from your subscribers. After all, what if you end up needing more data to better personalize your messages, right?


No subscriber wants to feel like they are answering a personal profile survey. Furthermore, no customer has the time or desire to answer everything you may want to know about them.

This is why it’s important to set goals and only ask for the information you absolutely need just like Ripcurl does in their sign-up form. They ask for name, email, gender, and zip code, and that’s it.

You’d be amazed how well you can personalize with just a small amount of data. And, keep in mind, there are several other more effective ways to collect data on your customers.

4. Mobile-friendly

Did you know that the majority of all emails are read on a mobile device? Additionally, users spend 69% of their media time on smartphones. This means if you want to capture a majority of your subscribers, it’s essential you make it possible for them to subscribe to your email list via mobile device.

When creating your sign up form, make sure you use an email provider that optimizes for mobile devices. Test to see how your sign up form looks across all devices. Also, keep your sign up form in one column, so it looks good on mobile devices and is easy for subscribers to fill out. Here is how the same sign up form from Birchbox above looks on a mobile device.

5. Good Incentives

Few customers will sign up for your email list out of the goodness of their hearts. They will, however, sign up if you offer an incentive that piques their interest.

Give your subscribers a good reason to sign up. Maybe it’s a discount, a promise for awesome content, or free shipping. Determine what your subscribers value and then make sure you deliver on that promise.

6. Clear Drop-downs

In the event you plan on asking for extra data, make it easy on your subscribers. For example, if you are asking for the country they are from, include all possible options. Additionally, list the most popular countries for your company first, so subscribers don’t have to scroll through a hundred countries before getting to theirs. You may also consider adding a searchable option where they can type the name of their country and the rest of the form will automatically populate.

The more you can do to make your dropdowns easier to navigate, the more subscribers you will impress.

7. Submit Buttons

Your submit button is your call to action. As with any call to action, you want to draw the most attention to it. You can do this by surrounding your call to action in a button. Consider a blue button, or any other bright colored button that matches your brand, and stands out from the rest of your content.

Of course, you can go with the traditional “submit,” for your call to action. But, why not try something a little more catchy? Consider “subscribe now,” “sign up,” “let’s do this,” “hurry up,” “yes please,” or something else awesome.

8. Double Opt-ins

What’s the difference between single opt-in and double opt-in, anyway? I’m glad you asked! Single opt-in is when someone enters their information and they are automatically added to your email list. No questions asked.

A double-opt in is when a subscriber enters their email address, you send them a quick confirmation making sure they opted in on purpose, and then they confirm/verify they have. As soon as your email provider receives the confirmation of opt-in, the subscriber will be added to your list.

This practice is good form and ensures the people who you will be emailing actually want to hear from you.

9. Easy to Find

The last step in creating a perfect email sign up form is making sure your website visitors can easily find your subscriber form.

You may want to put your subscriber form in a box across the top of your website, place it visibly off to the top right corner of your website, or even add a pop up when visitors enter and/or exit your website. Pop ups have been known to improve conversions, so this method is an excellent idea.

Wrap Up

It’s true that you can see some of the highest conversions from email marketing. The journey starts with building the perfect subscriber form. Follow the steps listed above and you’ll be on your way to building a high quality subscriber list that converts.

Author Bio

Andrea Robbins is a demand generation marketer at Campaign Monitor. Her favorite things include getting outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and her Siamese kitty. Say hi on Twitter @andirobz

Discover the top nonprofit technology consulting firms in this list!

Top 8 Nonprofit Technology Consulting Firms — Reviewed!



Ready to work with a nonprofit technology consultant? Contact the team at DNL OmniMedia to start your project today!

For nonprofits of all sizes, technology is crucial. Especially as your organization grows in scale, you’ll need to find software solutions to help you manage donor information, market your campaigns, and track fundraising data. And those are just the basics!

To fully capitalize on your technology, however, you’ll need a smart captain at the helm to guide your efforts and work with you to develop custom solutions that align with your goals and needs.

The answer? A nonprofit technology consultant, of course!

In this post, we’ll introduce you to our favorite nonprofit consultants who specialize in all things technology:

  1. DNL OmniMedia
  2. Donorly
  3. Morweb
  4. Whole Whale
  5. Heller Consulting
  6. Idealist Consulting
  7. KELL Partners
  8. Apparo

After checking out our favorite firms, you should be ready to take the first step in finding a trusted technology partner to help you get more from your software solutions.

DNL OmniMedia is our top pick for nonprofit technology consulting.

1. DNL OmniMedia — Our Top Choice for Nonprofit Technology Consulting

Consulting Firm OverviewDNL OmniMedia provides nonprofit technology consulting services including web development, Blackbaud and Salesforce solutions, and more.

A trusted Blackbaud partner and Salesforce solution provider, DNL OmniMedia understands nonprofit software—but more importantly, they understand nonprofits!

With Team DNL on your side, you’ll be able to develop a smarter nonprofit strategy that builds on the use of powerful technology.

Not only can DNL OmniMedia assess your needs and goals, but they’ll also develop software solutions that can bring your vision to life. Through custom web development and design, software configurations, and more, DNL can guide your nonprofit to more strategic fundraising and stewardship in no time.

Nonprofit Technology Services

DNL OmniMedia offers nonprofit-exclusive services including:

  • Technical strategy
  • Software implementation and customization
  • Website development
  • Data migration and clean-up

In addition to their services, DNL also offers custom nonprofit products to expand your Blackbaud Luminate system, including peer-to-peer fundraising and advocacy add-ons.

Nonprofit Technology Portfolio

Team DNL has worked with many different types of nonprofits tackling a variety of nonprofit technology challenges.

From boosting fundraising through custom Blackbaud TeamRaiser donation forms for the North Shore Animal League to designing a one-of-a-kind nonprofit website for the Interlochen Center for the Arts, DNL has proven their expertise for a number of clients.

Check out DNL OmniMedia's nonprofit technology consulting services and products!

Donorly is our top choice for nonprofit technology consulting.

2. Donorly — Our Top Choice for Nonprofit Technology Consulting

Consulting Firm OverviewDonorly is a donor research-focused technology consulting firm.

Ever look at your fundraising goals and wonder if you can achieve them? The nonprofit technology consultants at Donorly know that you can if you just have the right information and assets by your side!

Under the direction of president Sandra Davis, the Donorly team channels their creativity and passion into creating elegant donor research solutions specifically for your nonprofit. With their comprehensive donor information, your nonprofit can reach higher than you thought possible.


Nonprofit Technology Services

When it comes to donor research, the Donorly team provides your nonprofit with the foundations for:

  • Capital campaign management
  • Board expansions and recruiting
  • Grant proposal writing
  • Interim staffing

Donorly promises a customized approach, based on their unique engagement model.

Nonprofit Technology Portfolio

Many of Donorly’s clients come from the arts and culture or humanities space, though the team has worked with nonprofits across the sector. Their client lists includes the Seattle Children’s Museum, Playwrights Horizons, Martha & Mary Lutheran Services, and the Studio Theatre.

Donorly offers donor research-focused nonprofit technology consulting services.

Morweb is our top choice for nonprofit technology consulting.

3. Morweb — Our Top Choice for Nonprofit Technology Consulting

Consulting Firm OverviewFind out more about Morweb, a top nonprofit technology consulting firm.

For nonprofits looking to get started building a beautiful website, Morweb will be the perfect partner. Pairing their unmatched CMS with expert support services, your web design strategy will be more effective than ever.

When you leverage Morweb’s consulting services, they’ll walk you step-by-step through the website creation and implementation process.

After your website is live, you can still call on them for additional consulting if you ever want to update your style, change your strategy, or otherwise improve the functionality of your site.

Nonprofit Technology Services

Morweb offers the following nonprofit web design services:

  • Customizable themes and layouts
  • Search engine optimization
  • Form builders
  • Donation processing
  • Technology and design consulting

Even better, Morweb has scalable products to meet the needs of all kinds of nonprofits. This way, you can pay for what you need now and have the option of upgrading down the line.

Nonprofit Technology Portfolio

Morweb has experience enhancing the web design strategy of a diverse range of nonprofits, from small, regional organizations to international ones.

Their portfolio of clients includes nonprofits like 4th Street BRZ in Canada, Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County, Society of University Surgeons, and the Driving School Association of the Americas.

Visit Morweb to learn more about how their nonprofit technology consulting firm can help your team.

Check out these top nonprofit technology consulting firms to find one for your organization.

4. Whole Whale

Consulting Firm OverviewWhole Whale is a nonprofit technology consulting firm specializing in digital strategy.

Whole Whale is a digital agency dedicated to helping nonprofits enhance their strategic use of technology. They’ll help your organization learn valuable skills and implement best practices so that you don’t need to rely on a consultant or third-party administrator. 

To achieve that goal, Whole Whale provides one-on-one consulting services for clients with like-minded missions. On top of their long-term projects, this firm also offers online training courses through Whole Whale University in areas such as social media, Google AdWords, and more.

Nonprofit Technology Services

Whole Whale takes a holistic approach to digital strategy, with key services that include:

  • Google AdWords grants management
  • Google Analytics
  • Web design and development
  • Content marketing

Each Whole Whale project is customized based on nonprofit needs, so you won’t have to worry about getting a canned approach.

Nonprofit Technology Portfolio

Notably, Whole Whale worked with the Malala Fund to improve the nonprofit’s use of Google Analytics for tracking user actions on their site. Following their engagement, the Malala Fund was able to successfully implement Google Analytics on their own, without any ongoing support from a consultant.

Get started with Whole Whale, a nonprofit technology consulting firm, today!

5. Heller Consulting

Consulting Firm OverviewHeller Consulting offers nonprofit technology consulting services for organizations of all sizes and missions.

Since 1996, Heller Consulting has worked exclusively with nonprofits to develop effective strategies in data management, communications, fundraising, and other vital areas.

In particular, the Heller consultants are passionate about working with nonprofits to get more from their CRM systems. With their services, your organization can outline a clear vision for your constituent relationship management, implement and customize your technology, and learn best practices for your software.

Nonprofit Technology Services

Heller Consulting works primarily with nonprofits and higher education institutes, offering a variety of technology services such as: 

  • CRM strategy and design
  • CRM implementation
  • Online fundraising strategy
  • Google Analytics

In addition, Heller Consulting maintains an active blog on their website to help organizations continue gaining and sharing knowledge about nonprofit technology.

Nonprofit Technology Portfolio

Heller Consulting has worked with nonprofit clients in multiple sectors, including advocacy, healthcare, higher education, and social services. Some of their past engagements include the ASPCA, Make a Wish National Foundation, and the Lincoln Park Zoo.

You can check out their website for more information on recent projects and case studies detailing their work with specific software solutions, such as the Salesforce Community Cloud.

Learn more about the nonprofit technology consulting services offered by Heller Consulting.

6. Idealist Consulting

Consulting Firm Overview Idealist Consulting offers nonprofit technology consulting services as well as general digital consulting for all types of organizations.

With about 60% of their clients being nonprofits, Idealist Consulting specializes in Salesforce and marketing automation consulting. They can help you build out a custom Salesforce experience that works for your organization, with strategic app integrations and personalized configurations.

Idealist Consulting works with organizations to get more from the Salesforce system and raise funds and awareness for their cause. Their four-step consulting process always concludes with increased impact made possible through strategic technology implementation.

Nonprofit Technology Services

Idealist Consulting offers services that build on your existing technology and online presence through:

  • Salesforce CRM development
  • Email marketing automation
  • Online form optimization
  • Salesforce application integration

On top of all of that, Idealist can also work with you to build out a custom Salesforce app of your own!

Nonprofit Technology Portfolio

Among their other nonprofit and for-profit clients, Idealist Consulting worked with The Banfield Foundation, an animal welfare organization, to move their data to the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack for improved fundraising and donor data management.

By learning how to track small donations more effectively in Salesforce, The Banfield Foundation increased their online donations by over 300%! Idealist Consulting also developed custom fields within their CRM and helped them generate unique reports showing donor trends and demographics.

See if Idealist Consulting's nonprofit technology consulting approach is right for you.

7. KELL Partners

Consulting Firm Overview KELL Partners is a nonprofit technology consulting firm offering unique products and software solutions.

As a Salesforce Premium Partner, KELL Partners strives to remove the confusion from the nonprofit data management and fundraising experience.

With KELL, you’ll have access to a full suite of services specific to the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack. Their team of strategic consultants can analyze your data and current practices and develop a path forward that helps you achieve your goals, no matter how simple or complex they may be. 

Nonprofit Technology Services

KELL can lend their expertise to every phase of the nonprofit Salesforce experience, helping you with:

  • Data manipulation and migration
  • Systems integration
  • Application development
  • Web development

With their KELL360 plan, the KELL team can build out a system of must-have integrations to take your baseline CRM to a whole new level.

Nonprofit Technology Portfolio

KELL Partners helped the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity centralize the data they’d been storing across multiple fundraising and volunteer management systems using Salesforce. With a newly integrated system, the nonprofit was able to see fuller picture of their constituents and more effectively design engagement strategies for each supporter.

See more of the case study here!

Check out KELL Partners for your nonprofit technology consulting needs.

8. Apparo

Consulting Firm Overview Apparo offers volunteer nonprofit technology consulting services to empower local nonprofits in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.

Apparo seeks to “empower nonprofits through technology that enhances their missions.” They provide volunteer nonprofit technology consulting to organizations of all sizes and skill levels in the Charlotte, North Carolina, community. 

All of Apparo’s consulting services are individualized and unique to the organization. They’ll get to know your organization so they can most aptly pinpoint challenges and areas for improvement before working to push your mission forward.

Nonprofit Technology Services

Apparo’s consulting team offers a wide variety of free nonprofit services, including:

  • Basic Microsoft coaching
  • Nonprofit technology panels and forums
  • One-on-one technology assessments
  • Training groups

As a nonprofit themselves, Apparo is dedicated to helping philanthropic organizations within their community. Their volunteer consultants can help organizations with almost anything, from selecting the right software to learning the most up-to-date best practices in the nonprofit tech community.

Nonprofit Technology Portfolio

Apparo’s many success stories include the Carolina Raptor Center, a nonprofit working to rehabilitate and release injured birds. Prior to working with Apparo, the Center relied on paper tracking and Excel spreadsheets for all of their volunteer information, costing them time and data.

With Apparo, the Center was able implement more strategic software that reduced paperwork and increased their supporter engagement possibilities across the board.

Check out Apparo to see if their nonprofit technology consulting services can help your organization grow.

Once you find the right nonprofit technology consulting, implementing and using your software will be easier (and more effective) than ever before.

Check out these resources for more help with your nonprofit software:

  • More Nonprofit Consulting Firms. From fundraising consultants to IT consulting and more, this comprehensive page will introduce you to even more great nonprofit consultants with a variety of specialties. Check it out!
  • Best Technology Solutions for Nonprofits. A nonprofit technology consultant can help you take your software to the next level, but if you’re not sure what software solutions to get started with, this helpful post from DNL OmniMedia can guide you.
  • Top Blackbaud Partners. Looking for nonprofit technology consultants with Blackbaud expertise? Want to expand your Blackbaud products with integrations? @Pay’s got a list of solutions (and solution providers) for you.

Here's how you can raise money, donate to, and support Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria relief for its victims.

10 Ways to Donate to and Support Puerto Rico Relief Efforts and Victims

Updated 5:57:33 PM EST on Monday, October 16th.

As the dust settles from Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma, it is important that we buckle down and stay vigilant about assisting the people in the recovering regions. Puerto Rico is going to take years to recover. Many in the U.S. territory are still without power and basic supplies to get by day-to-day. The situation remains dire.

The people in Puerto Rico need our help.

Whether we’re providing aid to victims of Irma or sending money to those harmed by Maria, or likely folks who have been tragically in both storms’ paths, it’s important that we step up as an online community and help those who need us most.

While the damage to many individuals, homes, and business has been devastating, we can help those affected by this great tragedy. If you’re looking to raise money to help the victims in Puerto Rico or you’d like to send money to offer your support, we’ve compiled a list of the best and most effective ways to get involved and support the Puerto Rico relief efforts.

10 Ways to Donate to and Raise Money for Puerto Rico Victims and Relief Efforts

We can start with strategy number 1.

1. Launch your own fundraiser.

While it might sound intimidating, starting your own crowdfunding campaign is actually quite easy.

The steps are as follows:

a. Pick a platform (we recommend Fundly).
b. Create your campaign.
c. Set a goal.
d. Fill out the description and other campaign details.
e. Promote the fundraiser on social media and by email to friends and family members.
f. Collect donations.

We compared the top crowdfunding platforms and recommend Fundly for disaster relief fundraisers!Start Your Hurricane Maria Fundraiser

Click to start your crowdfunding campaign today.

If you really want your campaign to stand out, you’ll need to ensure it has high-quality images, a compelling description, and is shared on social media a lot!

Crowdfunding is an effective fundraising option for Hurricane Maria relief in particular, because it is quick, efficient, and global. With the right campaign, you could raise thousands of dollars from a diverse array of donors, all looking to help support the Hurricane Maria relief effort.

Of course, as an individual fundraiser, you’ll want to be sure to pick out a worthy and qualified nonprofit to transfer the funds to. And you need to communicate your plan to potential donors.

Bonus — You can get more specific advice from this best practices resource, if you’d like to learn more. 

You should be upfront and transparent about how you plan on allocating their donations. That way, your supporters can be confident that giving to your crowdfunding campaign will have the impact that they want it to.

With the right mix of crowdfunding campaign best practices and timing, your campaign could go a long way toward helping the very deserving survivors of this terrible disaster.

Next step: Click to start a campaign right now

You can start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money and collect donations for Hurricane Maria victims and the relief effort.

2. Donate to a company that’s matching all donations.

Companies Matching Hurricane Maria DonationsDuring Hurricane Harvey we saw companies like Apple, Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, and countless others offer to match donations. And now there have been a variety of companies offering to match donations to disaster relief efforts for Puerto Rico.

For example, Philips Lighting Foundation launched a fundraiser where they’re matching donations!

Hurricane Maria / Mexico Earthquake Donation Matching - Help Puerto Rico

We expect Philips Lighting Foundation’s fundraiser to be wildly successful. You can contribute financially by going to https://fundly.com/philips-lighting-foundation-hurricane-relief and you can also share the fundraiser on Facebook or Twitter directly from the same page.

PacSun’s current crowdfunding campaign is yet another example of a company stepping up and offering to match donations up to a total of $25,000!

Hurricane Relief Efforts for PacSun Associates

The PacSun campaign was set up to provide support to PacSun associates in areas affected by the recent Hurricanes, including Maria, Harvey, and Irma. You can contribute to the fundraiser by visiting https://fundly.com/hurricane-harvey-relief-effort-for-pacsun-associates, and you can share the campaign on Facebook or Twitter directly from the same page.

There are also a variety of smaller employers who have matching programs right now for relief efforts for Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

For example, check out these campaigns for Harvey Relief:

These fundraisers are an excellent way to make your donation go twice as far. If you see another company with a matching gift program feel free to add it in the comments and we’ll look into the program and update our list.

3. Support a general crowdfunding campaign raising money for all hurricane relief.

We recognize that organizing and running a crowdfunding campaign isn’t for everyone. Some folks don’t have the web presence for it, while others aren’t comfortable asking for donations.

That’s okay! Luckily, if you don’t want to run a campaign but you do want to support one, there are plenty of opportunities for you to contribute to a crowdfunding campaign, such as the one we’re running:Hurricane Maria and Irma Donations

Beyond the campaign pictured above, for this search, you’ll want to visit your main social channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and see if any of your immediate contacts are running a campaign. If so, review their campaign goals and details and decide if you’d like to contribute to their work.

If you don’t find a campaign through your own organic network, visit a crowdfunding platform directly and search for related campaigns on the website. 

For example, when looking for Hurricane Maria relief funds to contribute to, you might want to:

  • See if the crowdfunding website has a disaster relief category.
  • Look for a special category for Hurricane Maria or Puerto Rico relief.
  • Type “hurricane” or “hurricane maria”into the search bar.
  • Search for impacted regions in the search bar, like “Puerto Rico.”

With minimal digging, you should be able to find a number of campaigns to peruse. 

Just be careful to properly vet any crowdfunding campaign that you’re considering. Make sure the campaign is legitimate and the funds are going directly to Hurricane Maria victims and relief efforts.

You can check legitimacy by doing a little digging into the campaign organizer. For instance, did they verify their account with a social media account? Do they have a pre-existing web presence?

Once you’ve properly vetted the campaign and organizer, all that’s left to do is make a donation and support the recovery effort.

Next step: Click to donate to a Hurricane and Puerto Rico Relief crowdfunding campaign started by Adam Weinger, Double the Donation’s President.

4. Donate to a Fundraiser Specific to Puerto Rico

While campaigns like the one above are doing great work, if you’d prefer, you can give to a campaign that is solely dedicated to relief efforts in Puerto Rico. We’re going to be adding to this list as more and more campaigns pop up, but here’s a shortlist of options for you to give to.

HEATONISTS for Puerto Rico – This crowdfunding campaign is off to a great start. Having raised almost $10,000 so far, this fundraiser is donating all funds to the Hispanic Federations UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund for Puerto Rico hurricane aid. Check it out here — https://fundly.com/heatonists-for-puerto-rico — or by clicking on the campaign page below.

HEATONISTS for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Assistance – This fundraiser was created to cover the cost of purchasing and delivering necessary supplies to the citizens of Puerto Rico. Check it out here — https://fundly.com/puerto-rico-assistance-1 — or by clicking on the campaign page below.

Puerto Rico Assistance

Marla for Maria: A Hurricane Recover Fund for Puerto Rico – This is a recovery fund for the people of Puerto Rico. It aims to raise $10,000 to be donated to organizations working against the growing humanitarian crisis in the region. Check it out here — https://fundly.com/marla-s-hurricane-recovery-fund-for-puerto-rico — or by clicking on the campaign page below.

Marla for Maria: A Hurricane Recovery Fund for Puerto Rico

Rebuild Puerto Rico – This fundraiser is dedicated to coming to the aid of Cidra, Puerto Rico. The campaign is raising money for immediate recovery needs in the region, as well as the future creation of a community garden and bee sanctuary. Check it out here — https://fundly.com/support-the-citizens-bees-of-cidra-pr — or by clicking on the campaign page below.

Rebuild Puerto Rico

NOAA Radios – This creative crowdfunding campaign is raising money to purchase and send NOAA radios to Puerto Rico. The radios are hand-cranked and include AM and FM radio, flashlight, and USB and micro USB for cell phone charging. Check it out here — https://fundly.com/noaa-radios — or by clicking on the campaign page below.

NOAA Radios for Puerto Rico

Oyola-Rodriguez Hurricane Relief Fund – This is a personal fundraiser run by Cristian Oyola-Rodriguez who is raising money to send to his family in Puerto Rico who are struggling following Hurricane Maria. Check it out here — https://fundly.com/oyola-rodriguez-hurricane-relief-fund — or by clicking on the campaign page below.

Oyola-Rodriguez Hurricane Relief Fund

Help Our Friends and Family in Puerto Rico – This campaign is off to a great start. The organizer wants to raise money for general relief efforts in Puerto Rico, in addition to helping her family members and friends who live on the island. Check it out here — https://fundly.com/help-our-friends-and-family-in-puerto-rico — or by clicking on the campaign page below.

Help Our Friends and Family in Puerto Rico

Hope for Puerto Rico – Through the Centro Metropolitano de Servicios Comunitarios Inc., this San-Juan-based fundraiser is dedicated to assisting victims of Hurricane Maria in the region. Check it out here — https://fundly.com/hope-for-puerto-rico — or by clicking on the campaign page below.

Hope for Puerto Rico

As you can see by reviewing all these campaigns, there’s an abundance of worthy fundraisers that you can give to in support of the recovery effort in Puerto Rico.

Next step: Pick a campaign and make a donation.

5. Help with the rebuilding effort.

After any hurricane, especially one like Irma that’s a record-breaking Category 5, there’s always heaps and heaps of destruction. From homes to schools to offices to government buildings, not many structures can withstand 185-mph winds.

Puerto Rico has been devastated and needs our help in rebuilding their communities. That’s where organizations like Habitat for Humanity come into the equation.

You can donate to Habitat for Humanity or any Irma-specific or Maria-specific campaigns run by Habitat for Humanity and use your money to help kick-start the rebuilding process. To donate, head over to and explore this page:

Habitat for Humanity Global Village Fundraiser

By donating to Habitat for Humanity, you’ll join the over 76,000 donors who have helped the organization raise $14,074,690 for its global volunteering program so far.

Next step: Donate to Habitat for Humanity’s rebuilding effort.

6. Make sure your gifts are matched.

According to the guide to matching gifts, “Employee matching gifts are donations a company makes to match its employees’ charitable contributions. Employee matching gifts are typically at a dollar-for-dollar rate but some companies go even further by tripling or quadrupling their employees’ donations.”

Essentially, if you work at a company with an employee gift matching program and you’ve donated to a nonprofit in support of Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico relief, you might be able to get that gift doubled. 

At Double the Donation we build and maintain a database of companies that match donations along with the forms, guidelines, and steps you should take to submit your match. Across our database, 15-19 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs.

And for Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico Relief Efforts we’re making our database available for FREE.

Go ahead and use our matching gift tools below. Just type in your employer (ex. Home Depot, Verizon, Microsoft, etc.) to see if your company offers a matching gift program and to access forms, guidelines, and instructions.

Or if you want to view a list of the top matching gift companies click here.

Additionally, outside the scope of corporate gift matching, during such times of crisis, it is quite common for large donors and/or companies to pledge to match donations made to specific nonprofits.

For instance, a major company might offer to match any donation under $100 made to the Red Cross over a 24-hour period.

Whether its through your own company or a one-time matching opportunity, you owe it to the Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria relief effort to see if you can get your gift matched.

Next step: Search for matching gift companies with the above search tool. Then Link to this page (https://doublethedonation.com/blog/2017/10/donate-support-puerto-rico-relief-efforts/#match) from your website or social media to share this matching gift information with other supporters.

7. Donate to a disaster-relief nonprofit.

When you want to help but you’re not sure what the best course of action is, often its best to trust the experts.

In this case, trusting the experts means turning to major nonprofit organizations that have experience and/or a specialization in disaster relief.

In most instances, those organizations are going to ask that you send in financial contributions for them to decide how to allocate. They have staff and volunteers working in the regions affected by Hurricane Maria, and they can best assess to where and to what your funding should go towards.

You should find either large nonprofit organizations with teams already in place in Puerto Rico or local organizations that are also already working in the region.

Nonprofits that fit this categorization include:

You can check out each of the links above and find a nonprofit whose work in Puerto Rico aligns with how you’re looking to help.

For example, Mercy Corps even has a dedicated humanitarian response fund for situations like Maria (pictured below):Here's Mercy Corps' dedicated humanitarian response fund that can be helpful for Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria relief.

Next step: Review your options for donating and pick a nonprofit to support.

You can start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money and collect donations for Hurricane Maria victims and the relief effort.

8. Consider volunteering in the months to come.

Hurricane Irma has caused severe damage to the Caribbean Islands and Florida, both of which will need assistance for years to come to fully recover. It’s yet to be seen how much damage Maria will cause, but we know that Hurricane Maria has the potential to both damage areas that Irma passed by and double down on areas that Irma already collided with.

For those of you who would like to volunteer in the impacted regions we recommend that you do not self-deploy immediately as it can create an additional burden for first responders. We recommend that you consider signing up to volunteer with an established organization in the coming months, after the storms fall out of the media cycle and the long rebuilding phase is underway.

We encourage you to look into National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) which helps facilitate volunteer engagements with leading aid organizations. They’re currently accepting volunteers for the following regions:

Next step: Learn more about NVOAD and volunteer opportunities available to aid in the Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts and future relief efforts for Hurricane Maria.

9. Receive shelter training and give your time.

The damage from Hurricane Irma has forced many, many people out of their homes and into make-shift shelters. Those living in the shelters desperately need our help. If you have the time and ability to do so, you should consider getting certified in shelter volunteering and registering to help staff one of the pop-up shelters.

Of course, as with our previous advice around volunteering, you need to make sure you’re going where you’re needed and not where you might be an additional responsibility of first-responders. So, begin by getting the proper training and certification, then apply to volunteer through the appropriate channels, and go from there.

If you’re looking to volunteer in Puerto Rico, here’s a great website which can help you figure out the best options.

Puerto Rico Volunteer Opportunities

As you can see, they have dedicated links and information to help those interested in training and proactively joining the volunteer effort.

Next step: Check out the volunteer opportunities for current and future disasters.

You can start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money and collect donations for Hurricane Maria victims and the relief effort.

10. Review the government’s prioritization of needed items.

Puerto Rico needs our help now and is going to continue to need our help for years to come. Fortunately, many people from around the world have risen to the occasion and have been sending money and supplies the island in this time of desperate need.

While the outpouring of support is welcome and inspiring, it is important that we pay attention to what is needed in Puerto Rico and provide the right kind of support. We don’t want to overwhelm the island with items it doesn’t need or doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to handle.

To ensure that the charitable work you’re doing is in line with what is the highest priority for the people of Puerto Rico, we strongly encourage you to adhere to the list of needed emergency supplies that was issued by the Puerto Rican government. 

Click here to review the list.

Outside of listing emergency items the island is in need of, this document helpfully details what to send, how to help online, where to send aid to neighboring islands, what federal employees can do, how to volunteer, and more.

Next step: Review the government’s list and make aid plans accordingly.

There you have it. Ten ways you can get involved in raising money for the Puerto Rico relief effort.

This hurricane season has already been absolutely devastating, but it is always inspiring to see communities come together in times of such great tragedy to help those in need.

The funds raised for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma were truly awe-inducing, and the victims in Puerto Rico need that kind of support as well. It is encouraging to see the philanthropic efforts in full force, and your contribution can make donations go even further.

Raise money for Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria with crowdfunding or donate to a campaign.