5 Tips to Making a Difference in Your Community This Summer

Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer. While most of us equate summer with pleasure and relaxation, many others look at summer with a sense of dread. If you are financially strapped, summer means no access to subsidized meals for your children and childcare headaches as they are home from school.

Summer is also a stressful time for nonprofits. Need is high and donations are typically low. The good news is that summer is actually a great time to get involved with your favorite local charity. With businesses in summer mode, kids home from school and retired people itching to get out and enjoy the season, summer offers plenty of opportunities to do fulfilling acts of charity and still have time to laze away in the hammock.

Here are some helpful tips to get you started in what may be your most fulfilling summer ever:

  1. Identify local need. Helping to build up your own local community is extra fulfilling because you can witness the impact of your efforts first hand. Think about what cause moves you most. If reading is your passion, speak to your local Boys and Girls Club to see how you can impact young readers. Perhaps you can hold a book drive or establish a reading competition complete with charts and prizes! Or the charity may tell you the need is actually for school supplies so local kids have the tools to succeed in school. Whatever you choose, when you identify a charity you wish to support, be sure that it’s a worthy and legitimate organization by checking it out on a site like charitynavigator.org.
  2. Get kids, family and friends involved. You’ve made the decision to help, why not increase your impact exponentially by asking friends and family to join your cause. As mentioned above, kids are home and looking for something do and it’s never too early to teach a lesson of compassion and community. And, don’t forget the seniors. They are often overlooked but they can be amazing sources of ideas, enthusiasm and support – consider them your secret weapon!
  3. Bring your skills to the table. You can make an even bigger difference when you capitalize on your unique abilities. If you dabble in photography, why not offer to take photos at the next food pantry event to submit to your local paper, share online or add to their website. If you are great at planning parties, why not use your powers for good and organize a fundraising party for your favorite charity? If you are a runner, plan a neighborhood fun run and collect canned goods as an entry fee. You’ll find the more of yourself you put into your effort the more rewarding it will be.
  4. Virtual volunteering is a thing. When we think of volunteering we often envision lifting boxes, painting a room or building a swing set. But, the reality is that we are all busier than ever and working on-site at a charity event may just not work for us. Remember that virtual volunteering is a wonderful way to lend needed support to charity. From helping with website design, making phone calls or running an online fundraising or shopping event, don’t underestimate the impact you can make in your community right from your couch. You can even tap into your social networks and use social media for good when you run an online charity event made for social sharing with YouGiveGoods.com, an online giving platform that enables you to raise most-needed goods for any charity.
  5. Start small. The issues and problems that cause people (and animals!) distress run deep and won’t be eradicated any time soon. But every effort, no matter how small, makes a difference. Set reasonable goals for yourself, don’t shoot for the stars from the start. Learn and grow from your efforts and plan for each charitable outing to be bigger and better than the last.

Sure, summertime relaxing is good for you but helping others is also proven to be good for the mind, body, and soul. So take the plunge this summer and make it memorable by adding philanthropy into your plan.


Lisa Tomasi is the founder and president of YouGiveGoods, an innovative giving platform founded in 2012. Lisa has been involved in philanthropy ever since she was aided by the American Red Cross following the devastating 1989 San Francisco earthquake.  YouGiveGoods giving events enable individuals, companies, schools and groups to make a tangible impact in local communities by getting new, needed goods to charities. When not working with the amazing YouGiveGoods team, Lisa is at her other full-time job – raising four daughters with her husband, Paul.

10 Tips for Your Nonprofit to Raise More This Summer

Although nearly one third of all giving occurs in December and 12% of all giving happening in the last three days of the year, summer can still be a great time for fundraising.

The sun is shining and the days are longer. With all the colors emerging and the weather improving, people are spending much more time outdoors and are generally in a better mood. This makes summer a great time to fundraise.

Here is what you should have in mind when you’re fundraising this summer:

1. Timeline is Key

Although the warm weather provides plenty opportunities for organizing a wide variety of events, especially when compared to wintertime, it’s still important to be mindful of the timeline.

Check the school timelines. When do the kids go on holidays? When do families usually travel? Are there any other big events organized around the same time?

Once you have a better, even if broad, understanding of the timeline, plan your summer fundraising campaign accordingly.

2. Think Outdoors

It is important to run online campaigns throughout the year – including during summer. However, summer has one advantage over other times of the year. It is the best possible time for organizing outdoors events!

Ice cream eating competitions, giant water slides, swim-a-thons, picnics, beach bonfires… the list is endless. Use the abundance of sunshine to run all the events that you can’t organize in winter (naturally, the weather during the seasons depends very much on where you live).

3. Don’t Forget About Volunteers

Many nonprofit forget about or underestimate the power of volunteers. Volunteers contribute time instead of money, whereas nonprofit professionals frequently focus only on raising money.

Although a lot of volunteers end up volunteering for an organization after they have donated to it first, a big percentage of individuals (close to 50%) volunteer first and donate next.

Furthermore, the group Independent Sector tracked the value of volunteer work. This year, it averaged $24.69 per hour, up more than 2 percent from last year.

To sum up, although nonprofits sometimes feel uncomfortable asking their volunteers for donations, nonprofit professionals should work to overcome this mindset. There is a strong link between donating and volunteering, therefore volunteers should not be forgotten.

4. Get Creative

Although car washes and dog walks are amazing fundraising ideas and can help your nonprofit reach your fundraising goals, summer is the best time to experiment and get creative with your fundraising.

What about an outdoor yoga or exercise class? Planting trees? Camping trips? The more you can tap into the needs and interests of your audience, the better. If you have the capacity to carry out research, even if it’s a brief survey, do. This will allow you to carry out campaigns and events that appeal to your audience – enabling you to raise more money.

5. Incorporate Fun

You should never make donating or giving look like a chore. Whichever activities or events you choose to organize, fun should be incorporated.

A light-hearted, fun event is a great way to engage your community and show them that they can combine the activities they love with the causes they care about.

6. Consider Your Audience

When planning your summer fundraising, consider your audience. Are you a faith-based nonprofit? Are you a foundation with high-profile celebrities as major donors? Are you a school?

Before investing resources in planning fundraising activities, consider your audience and which kind of initiatives are they most likely to partake in.

7. Reap the Power of Online Fundraising

Even though summer is the best time for ‘outdoor’ fundraising, it goes without saying that online fundraising will propel your fundraising efforts forward.

Have a detailed and written out online fundraising plan which specifies your audience, your goals, your tactics. Make sure to have an effective and smooth donation page to which you can direct your audience.

Finally, ensure your donation processing system enables your donors to have a great donation experience. For this, check out the Donorbox donation software. Donorbox is a powerful donation tool that is very simple and fast to set up. Its simple and effective checkout is optimized for recurring donations. It only takes a couple of minutes for you to start accepting donation payments.

8. Set an Ambitious Target

Since fundraising tends to slow down in summer, many nonprofits are tempted to set lower targets for their summer fundraising campaigns.

However, setting more ambitious targets can help propel your activities and your fundraising team forward. It can help to think that “the sky’s the limit” when it comes to fundraising.

Of course, this ambitious target should be grounded in some reality. Look over your results over the past 5 years first.

9. Build a Team

People make things happen. It is your team that will work tirelessly to make your fundraising goals happen. For this, developing your nonprofit team should not be ignored. Use your team’s unique strengths. For example, David Atchley points out that there are numerous roles in a fundraising strategy, and it is important to pair these roles with individuals in your organization with the relative strengths. These roles include:

  • Engagers: Individuals who will interact, talk and nurture relationships.
  • Connectors: Individuals who can leverage networks and make valuable introductions.
  • Askers: Individuals who understand the skills and timing necessary to ask for the donation.
  • Stewards: Individuals who communicate with and nurture ongoing donors and promote the relationships.

Furthermore, appreciate and thank your employees the same way you appreciate and thank your volunteers and donors. Work on your employees feeling inspired and motivated, and they will reciprocate by working hard and making your fundraising goals happen.

10. Follow Up and Build a Community

It’s essential to follow up after running a fundraising campaign. Your supporters just helped you achieve success. Start by:

  • Thanking them – Send personalized letters or personalized “thank you” emails. Thank you emails are easily segmented, so you can tailor your message.
  • Share campaign results – How much did you manage to raise? Highlight the impact of the fundraising campaign and the donor’s impact.

Following that, work on creating a community by interacting frequently with your supporters. You want to nurture a community of donors that will become frequent or recurring donors and stay with your organization for a very long time, not just the summer.

Here are our Top 8 Summer Fundraising Ideas:

Outdoor Exercise Class

Summer is the ideal time to get outside and get moving. Many people are motivated to get fit during spring and summer.

Organize an outdoor fitness class (running, yoga, etc.) or a fitness bootcamp. Set a fundraising goal, promote the event on social media, to local sports and fitness clubs and organizations, and distribute flyers. Recruit a volunteer to lead the class(es) or, alternatively, hire a sports/fitness instructor to whom you will give a percentage of the donations.

Make sure the instructor has the necessary skills and/or certification to lead the classes, especially if the classes will be physically challenging.

Farmer’s Market

Alongside wanting to exercise more, people tend to want to eat healthier in the summer. Going to outside markets is one of favorite summer pastimes.

You can either organize a farmer’s market yourself, or you can purchase a booth at a popular local farmer’s market and promote your organization, cause, or a specific fundraising campaign.

Sell raffle tickets, distribute materials, and collect donations as you interact with your supporters. This is also an excellent opportunity to meet your supporters in person.

Watermelon Eating Contest

A healthier alternative to an ice-cream eating contest, this summer fundraiser is relatively easy to put together.

Watermelons are refreshing and affordable in many countries. A way to cut down on expenses is to ask a local grocery store if they want to sponsor the event by donating the watermelons or by providing them at a discount.

A very small prize (like a ribbon and a gift card) should be awarded at the end.

Bird House Building Contest

There are many different ways in which you can organize this fun and family-friendly spring and summer fundraising event.

You can organize a woodwork workshop where every individual/team would pay to enter. The audience could then vote on the bird house they like the most by the $1 = 1 vote principle.

If you want to make the voting system more online-friendly, you could have each participant set up a peer-to-peer fundraising page and secure votes by securing donations.

Finally, you could also build the birdhouses with a couple of dedicated volunteers and then auction them off online or at an event.

Beach/Grounds Clean-Up

This is not just a good fundraising idea for an environmental nonprofit. Since people spend more time outside during the summer months, they tend to leave behind more litter.

Organizing a beach/grounds clean-up is a perfect opportunity to raise money and do something good for the environment.

You can mobilize volunteers or “core participants” to do rounds in your local neighborhood and community, asking for people to pledge suitable amounts for every quarter mile of beach that you manage to clean up. Donors can also pledge for the time spent rather than distance covered or for “pounds/kilos” of trash collected.

A beach/grounds clean-up can generate a lot of publicity for your nonprofit, so make sure you invest in promoting your event.

Summer Cocktail Party

Nonprofit organizations large and small benefit from asking their supporters to party for a purpose.

Organizing a cocktail party fundraiser builds awareness and raises money at the same time, and summer is the best time to organize a cocktail party. Make sure you announce the event well in advance, so your supporters can fit it into their summer plans.

Atmosphere matters when organizing a cocktail party, so amp up the mood with centerpieces dedicated to your cause, flowers and more. Attention to detail ties the entire event together and makes it one that guests will want to return to year after year.

If possible, bring in celebrities to your event (depending on the size and reach of your organization).

Hiking and Scavenger Hunt

Another family-friendly and summer-friendly fundraiser, combining hiking with a scavenger hunt is a great way to get kids and parents together and exploring the outdoors. Most kids have a natural desire to explore, which a scavenger hunt perfectly accommodates.

Naturally, with an activity like this, safety and supervision are of utmost importance. Split up the adults in the party, and assign each one to a small group of kids.

The hiking could be all-day long or parents and children could stay overnight – which will increase the participation fee. The scavenger hunt could be ‘items-based’ or ‘experiences-based’ – where teams could collect items (e.g. specific plants or rocks) or collect experiences (e.g. climb a tree).

This fundraising idea requires a bit more thought, but it has a lot of fundraising and community-building potential.

Sports Tournament

A tournament will work for all sorts of sports but particularly things like soccer, golf, baseball, basketball, volleyball, etc.

Tournaments also make particularly great sports fundraising ideas for little leagues, schools, and kids’ teams.

Sports tournaments are fun, work with most age groups, and are relatively easy to organize. All you need is a sports field, a referee, some basic sports equipment, and a promotion to match it.


With these fundraising principles and ideas in mind, this summer could be your organization’s best yet!

Principles don’t work without activities to bring them to life, and activities won’t be successful if you don’t follow basic fundraising principles.

What works for one organization doesn’t necessarily work for another, so before deploying any of these ideas, carefully consider your audience.

Don’t forget that there is no reason why you can’t make your summer fundraising as successful as your winter one.

What are your favorite ways to fundraise in the summer? Let us know in the comments below. For more fundraising resources, check out Donorbox Nonprofit Blog.

Author Bio:

Ilma Ibrisevic is a writer and a content marketer at Donorbox, a powerful, state of the art fundraising software for nonprofits. She spends her days writing for the Donorbox Nonprofit blog and starting her own business. She’s passionate about meaningful work, sustainability, and social movements. If she’s not working, she’s obsessing over coffee or cooking. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

5 Must-Know Ways to Get More from Luminate Online Today

Luminate Online Marketing is a comprehensive online fundraising and marketing solution that can equip your nonprofit with the tools to better understand and engage supporters as well as enhance your online fundraising performance.

As you likely already know, Luminate can help organizations like yours do a lot. But when you know how to maximize your Luminate experience, you’ll be able to get even more out of this expansive platform—and you’ll have the fundraising results to show for it.

In this post, we’ll walk through 5 steps to get the most out of your Luminate Online platform:

  1. Start with a clear plan for using Luminate Online.
  2. Clean up and migrate your data effectively.
  3. Take advantage of Luminate add-ons.
  4. Customize your Luminate Online platform.
  5. Thoroughly train your staff on Luminate Online.

With our help, you’ll be a Luminate Online expert in no time!

1. Start with a clear plan for using Luminate Online.

Before you can get started with using Luminate, you need to know exactly what you want this software to do for your nonprofit.

Because Luminate is so multifaceted, your nonprofit must develop a plan for how the platform will support your goals specifically. This plan will not only give you a starting point for using Luminate, but it will also provide a clear direction for any customizations or integrations that you’ll require.

To devise your Luminate Online fundraising strategy, get together with your nonprofit team to answer the following questions:

  • What are our fundraising goals? In addition to an overarching monetary goal, your organization should also set secondary fundraising goals for each quarter, specific campaigns, or fundraising events.
  • What online fundraising tools will help us meet our goals? Do you need customizable online donation or event registration forms? What about more specific giving channels, such as eCommerce stores, peer-to-peer fundraising, or mobile giving? (Hint: you may need to integrate solutions to build your ideal platform.
  • What aspects of our current strategy have worked in the past? Which need to be revisited? Generate reports on your most recent campaigns to analyze where you’ve fallen short and where you’ve exceeded expectations. Then, determine which Luminate Online features you’ll use to enhance (or refocus) your existing fundraising strategy.

If you have a general idea of your fundraising goals but aren’t sure where or how Luminate can fit in, consider seeking the help of a specialized nonprofit technology consultant.

A consulting firm with experience helping nonprofits utilize Blackbaud products (particularly Luminate) can provide the insight you need to map out a strategic plan for your new software.

Plus, your nonprofit tech consultant can help bring that plan to fruition by helping you customize, develop, and implement Luminate to meet your unique needs.

2. Clean up and migrate your data effectively.

Data is at the core of nonprofit organizations.

Think about it: without accurate, complete sets of data, it’s almost impossible to understand your supporters and design engagement and fundraising strategies that respond to their lifestyles, preferences, and goals as a part of your organization.

With that in mind, your organization should take the Luminate Online data migration process very seriously.

As you transfer constituent information from your existing fundraising software or CRM to Luminate Online, you’ll inevitably run the risk of losing or damaging data. To mitigate that risk, there are a few considerations to keep in mind prior to the data migration process:

  • Work with a data migration specialist. Especially for larger organizations with massive stores of donor information, the data transfer process can be complex. By working with a nonprofit tech consultant who focuses on data migration, you’ll alleviate some of the stress associated with migrating data.
  • Clean your database beforehand. Transferring messy data (such as outdated information, duplicate profiles, or lapsed donor data) will only set you up for more work going forward. You should go through your data with a fine-toothed comb before migrating any profiles to your new Luminate system.
  • Establish data entry best practices. When multiple staff members are responsible for inputting data, there’s always a chance that their practices will differ, leading to a greater chance of inconsistencies and errors. Combat that by creating a well documented data entry standard and training staff on your current best practices.

When your data is neat and well organized, you’ll easily be able to use it to inform your fundraising strategies. And after all, what good is data that you can’t use?

3. Take advantage of Luminate add-ons.

Luminate Online is highly versatile on its own, but you still may find that you need more specialized online fundraising features than what the base product provides.

If that sounds like your nonprofit, you’re in luck! Luminate Online offers helpful add-ons to expand the core product and give organizations like yours exactly the tools they need for fundraising success.

If you’re a veteran Blackbaud user, you may already be familiar with these add-ons, but let’s recap what the tools can do:

  • Luminate Advocacy was designed for nonprofits with grassroots fundraising initiatives in mind. With this add-on, you’ll have access to tools such as the letter-to-the-editor generator, integrated vote data, and personalized action centers for your supporters.
  • TeamRaiser is Blackbaud’s powerful peer-to-peer fundraising platform. With tools to help you plan your peer-to-peer event, communicate with supporters, and personalize your fundraising pages, TeamRaiser can connect with Luminate or be used on its own.
  • Luminate Content Management System offers a fully integrated web design and content manager for nonprofits using Luminate. With Luminate CMS, you’ll be able to holistically manage your web presence alongside your other online fundraising efforts.

Because these add-ons were built to work seamlessly with the Luminate Online system, you won’t have to worry about cumbersome integrations or headache-inducing data migrations. The platforms will naturally sync up to your existing Luminate platform and extend its functionality without any extra work on your end.

Bonus: Like the rest of your Luminate system, you can customize your add-ons to develop a personalized fundraising experience. Learn how to get started with TeamRaiser configurations by reading this resource from DNL OmniMedia!

4. Customize your Luminate Online platform.

Established nonprofits need unique solutions to meet their digital fundraising and marketing needs. Enter Luminate Online!

One of the greatest perks of the Luminate platform is that it can be customized to meet your organization’s needs in a truly unique way. Essentially, there are two paths through which your nonprofit can adjust your software:

  • Configurations, i.e., developing a custom solution by making adjustments in the backend of Luminate Online.
  • Integrations, i.e., combining your Luminate Online system with other Blackbaud solutions or third-party platforms.

You’ll likely need to implement both types of customizations to develop the most well-rounded solution.

But before you get started shopping for new software to pair with Luminate or making changes in the software, you should make sure your nonprofit can answer these important questions about how you’ll handle the customization process:

  • What configurations or integrations will you implement? Common integrations include nonprofit CRMs and dedicated fundraising software, but you’ll need to assess your own organization’s specific needs to determine what customizations are most important to achieving your fundraising goals.
  • Who will take the lead on customizing Luminate? For both configurations and complex integrations, you’ll need the help of either a robust IT department or an experienced nonprofit tech consultant.
  • Can your budget accommodate the customizations? Not only will you need to purchase any external software you want to integrate with Luminate, but you’ll need to ensure you can afford a web developer or technology consultant to help manage the process.

Once you’ve adapted your software accordingly, your nonprofit will be left with a totally one-of-a-kind software solution that was built to meet your needs and help you achieve greater success than ever before.

5. Thoroughly train your staff on Luminate Online.

Some lightweight online fundraising solutions are easy to find your way around with little-to-no guidance; generally speaking, Luminate is not that software.

While Luminate Online is certainly user-friendly, your organization will almost definitely need some assistance when you implement the platform and begin to use it for the first time.

Look at it this way—with software that can do so much, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable knowing every member of your staff is well-versed in how to make the most of it?

Luckily, training doesn’t have to be a guessing game. There are a variety of resources at your nonprofit’s disposal to learn everything you need to know about using Luminate:

  • Blackbaud training. Blackbaud offers specific training courses to help nonprofits of all skill levels understand and implement their products. By subscribing to Blackbaud Learn, your organization can gain access to on-demand training videos and online classes.
  • Online community and support. For one-off questions or implementation help, you can crowdsource support through the Blackbaud community forums. Or, seek help from Blackbaud’s team of experts via their online support chat.
  • Nonprofit tech consultants. If you’re in need of comprehensive training to get up and running on Luminate, your nonprofit would likely benefit from working with a nonprofit tech consultant who can train your staff on any and all areas of the Luminate system.

Without some form of training and expert counsel, your nonprofit won’t know the extent to which Luminate can impact your fundraising strategy—and you won’t be able to reap all the benefits!

Luminate Online is a powerful tool for your nonprofit (if you know how to get the most out of it).

With these tips, your team should be well-prepared to implement Luminate and propel your organization to total success. Now it’s time to start fundraising like never before!

Author Bio

Carl co-founded DNL OmniMedia in 2006 and has grown the team to accommodate clients with on-going web development projects. Together, DNL OmniMedia has worked with over 100 organizations to assist them with accomplishing their online goals. As Managing Director of DNL OmniMedia, Carl works with nonprofits and their technology to foster fundraising, create awareness, cure disease, and solve social issues.

Shoe Drive Fundraising: A Mini Guide for Schools and Clubs

Read our Aptify review and discover a top alternative.

Aptify Review | Our Assessment and Software Comparison

An association management software purchase isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. Your nonprofit, organization, or association needs to find a solution that can provide smooth operations and a positive member experience.

One of the first ways to ensure that you’re getting the best software is to look for solutions that other associations like yours have found success with. In your search, chances are you’ve come across Aptify.

As a firmly established solution on the market, Aptify is a popular choice for association management! But before you make your decision, make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

In this post, we’re going to discuss:

  1. An Aptify review, complete with history and features.
  2. Common shortcomings of Aptify software.
  3. Our top pick for associations looking for an alternative.

Ready to get your facts straight? Let’s jump into it!

Read Double the Donation's Aptify software review.

Aptify Review

Founded in 1993, Aptify is one of the more established legacy AMS options on the market.

The solution’s main selling point is its flexibility. The way the software works is pretty simple, in theory: the entire system is built upon the Aptify Rad platform, which never changes. This platform allows your association to store and search member data, create reports, and sell merchandise online.

From there, associations can add on a total of 21 applications, including:

  • CRM
  • Accounting
  • Committees
  • Events
  • Subscriptions
  • eCommerce
  • Fundraising

Another key feature of the Aptify AMS is its permissions. Data housed in the system is available to all administrative users, for them to create reports and use to make informed decisions from as they wish.

As you can see, Aptify provides an immensely powerful software solution! But it’s a double-edged sword.

As is often the case with such wide-ranging legacy programs, Aptify’s extensive library of complex features can lead to some significant drawbacks for users. Keep reading to see if your organization or association would run into common problems that Aptify users face!

Read the shortcomings of Aptify software reviewed.

Shortcomings of Aptify Reviewed

Overwhelmingly, Aptify users discover that while they want to take advantage of the software’s flexibility, they aren’t able to. That’s because it’s difficult to navigate the software platform without extensive IT knowledge, which many nonprofit and association administrative teams don’t have.

This difficulty extends beyond the modules that come with the Aptify AMS platform. If you encounter a need that these pre-built modules can’t meet, you’ll need to consider third-party applications.

Aptify has launched a beta version of the Aptify Marketplace, where the team has put some of their point solutions up for download. Since it’s a beta platform, not all the kinks have been worked out, including kinks in the installation process. As such, your team will still need extensive technical expertise with SQL to install these extensions on your own.

Not sure you have the capabilities to customize the Aptify platform yourself in-house or the resources to outsource this complex process? Why not consider a solution that promises no coding necessary for out-of-the-box features or third-party extensions?

The top Aptify alternative is Fonteva.

Top Aptify Alternative: Fonteva

For ease of use and ease of customization, the top association management software solution on the market is Fonteva.

Fonteva is true-cloud association management software built entirely native in Salesforce, the word’s most popular, innovative, and secure cloud CRM. That means you can reach your member data anywhere, any time.

The software is highly user-friendly, with drag-and-drop reporting and configurations making it easy to customize the platform to your association’s needs through simple configuration — no knowledge of coding needed! 

Even if you discover that you need to meet a specific need with a third-party application, you don’t have to worry about messy coding and troubleshooting just to make the integration happen. Fonteva is built native in Salesforce, so any of the thousands of apps on the Salesforce AppExchange will integrate as easily as any other.

Still worried you might not be able to customize the platform exactly to your needs? Don’t worry! When you implement Fonteva, you can rest assured you have world-class support in your corner, including:

  • Online documentation, including free online training videos.
  • Onsite training and classroom training to fit your schedule.
  • Fonteva’s full in-house, on-call customer support team.
  • The online Fonteva Users Network success community (see screenshot below!).
  • Salesforce documentation, user support forums, and customer support.

Fonteva for Associations offers many channels of support that Aptify doesn't.

These resources give your association the support and confidence to get exactly what you need out of your association management software solution.

Every association’s needs will be different, so it’s worth taking the time to find the perfect solution for your association, organization, or nonprofit. The most popular solution isn’t always the best for everyone!

Thinking about other association management software vendors before making a purchasing decision? Check out these additional resources before going too much further:

Improve your fundraising plan with these 6 tips.

6 Simple Fundraising Plan Tips [With Free Templates!]

Your nonprofit’s fundraising plan is the backbone of your success as an organization.

Without a solid fundraising plan in place, there would be nothing to guide your fundraising efforts and no way to tell if your nonprofit is on track to meet your goals.

Before implementing any change in fundraising strategy, you need to have an official fundraising plan in place. To get you started, here are 6 simple tips to consider:

  1. Gain fundraising plan input from key stakeholders.
  2. Develop goals (and challenges)!
  3. Set a fundraising plan timeline.
  4. Determine your fundraising methods.
  5. Build corporate partnerships into your fundraising plan.
  6. Tailor your case for support.

Bonus! Once your fundraising plan is in place, you should periodically assess your strategy. Check out Double the Donation’s ultimate fundraising strategy assessment to stay ahead of the curve!

Ready to get started on your fundraising plan? Let us break these tips down into a bit more detail.

You can improve your fundraising plan by gaining input from key stakeholders.

1. Gain fundraising plan input from key stakeholders.

Stakeholders are an important part of your nonprofit’s team. Not only do they help fund your organization’s philanthropy, but they typically have final say over big-picture fundraising decisions.

Since a fundraising plan outlines a nonprofit’s key activities, it is important to get support from these board members and other key stakeholders.

There are a couple of ways you can gain input from your stakeholders:

  • Experiential input. You can ask stakeholders directly about what fundraising strategies have worked well for your nonprofit in the past. Inquire about past fundraising activities, strengths and weaknesses. Take their feedback into consideration and be sure to demonstrate to them how you address their input.
  • Consultant interviews. You might find it helpful to bring in a fundraising consultant. They can conduct stakeholder interviews to determine what is most important to your board and how to get everyone on the same page when designing your fundraising plan.

Remember: Your nonprofit’s board members are just as passionate about your organization’s mission as you are. Do not think of their approval as a bureaucratic hurdle to overcome, but rather an important step towards improving your fundraising plan.

You can improve your fundraising plan by developing goals and challenges.

2. Develop goals (and challenges)!

When designing your fundraising plan, your final product should reflect your nonprofit’s primary goals above all else.

It is easy to fall into the trap of vaguely fundraising without an endpoint in sight, but to stay on track your nonprofit needs to actively work toward a defined set of central goals.

Before designing your fundraising plan, your nonprofit needs to sit down and agree upon what goals to prioritize across all levels of your organization. Your goals should be:

  • Specific, actionable, and measurable. Do not just decide to increase fundraising revenue, or plan to retain more donors. Set numeric benchmarks and timelines, and decide how you will tackle these goals.
  • Evaluated against metrics. You cannot accurately assess your progress towards achieving a goal without having metrics in place to track your success. Diligently monitor consistent metrics so you can see how well you are improving and when you need to make changes to your fundraising plan.

(Bonus tip! Be sure to collect valuable data when carrying out your fundraising plan to help evaluate these metrics and shape your future fundraising plans. Check out Fundly’s guide to nonprofit CRMs for an idea of how your nonprofit can maximize the power of your donor database to improve your fundraising strategy.)

Additionally, one way to help your nonprofit stay on track is to identify upfront what potential challenges or obstacles you will face in the process of achieving your goals.

Some obstacles you might encounter could be:

  • Seasonal fundraising dry spells
  • Low donor retention
  • Failure to obtain major gifts
  • Poor fundraising event attendance
  • Inadequate online engagement

For example, an animal shelter that wants to increase donor retention by X% over the summer months might identify the challenge of supporters being less engaged during this season since they may be traveling or caring for children on summer vacation. To reach their goal, they’ll need to recognize this challenge and develop strategies to overcome it.

Remember: Use your nonprofit’s history to guide you in identifying roadblocks and deciding on goals. Every nonprofit has its unique strengths and weaknesses and when designing a fundraising plan, it is important to know going in what is reasonable to expect from your organization.

You can improve your fundraising plan by setting a fundraising plan timeline.

3. Set a fundraising plan timeline.

Staying on top of your goals also means staying on top of your fundraising plan’s timeline.

Fundraising plans typically plot out a 3-5 year timeline for your nonprofit, with the first year being very detailed and the following years becoming less defined.

Your fundraising plan’s timeline should be developed into an annual fundraising calendar that details the year’s worth of activities for your organization.

Set a fundraising plan timeline.

When developing your timeline, keep a few things in mind:

  • Milestones. Structure your timeline around a set of core milestones. These will both guide your progress and help you regularly assess your fundraising strategy.
  • Accountability. Your timeline (and subsequently, your fundraising calendar) should clearly identify what departments are responsible for individual fundraising activities. This will help keep the different arms of your nonprofit on track and help your departments prioritize tasks throughout the year.
  • Accessibility. Your timeline and calendar should be easily accessible to all members of your team, regardless of their department or role. Every team member should be aware of what other departments are up to; this way, they will have a better sense of the big picture of your organization and how your core fundraising goals are being achieved.

Not sure where to start when designing your fundraising plan timeline? Consider enlisting the help of a fundraising consulting firm. If you need a recommendation, DonorSearch has got you covered with their list of the top 11 fundraising consulting firms in the field!

Remember: During the design process, your fundraising timeline should be as specific as possible and you should hold yourself to the timeline as much as you can. However, if you find you are not progressing as quickly as you had planned, identify the roadblock and always give yourself room to edit the timeline if necessary.

You can improve your fundraising plan by determining your fundraising methods.

4. Determine your fundraising methods.

A common thread among these tips has been specificity and when plotting out your fundraising plan, it is doubly important to specifically determine your fundraising methods.

It is not sufficient to simply say you will raise $XXX by such-and-such date. You need to plan out how you will raise that money and from whom you will solicit donations.

Fundraising is not a one size fits all process, and you should curate your fundraising methods with your prospects in mind. For example, consider these fundraising methods and how they serve prospects:

  • Online donation pages. If your donors cannot all come to you, meet them where they are. Online donation is simply convenient; for nonprofits interested in prospects in varying geographical locations, utilizing optimized online donation tools is a must.
  • P2P fundraising. For nonprofits seeking to grow their network of donors, P2P fundraising is a great way to engage constituents online and leverage the power of their social network to help your organization reach a broader audience.
  • Text-to-give. Mobile giving is a fundraising style that has been growing in popularity over the last several years. Like online donation pages, text-to-give fundraising makes it convenient for donors to give. Additionally, because donors are not tied to a desktop, they may consider donating more frequently.
  • Fundraising events. A strategic fundraising event help you engage donors and bring in major donations, too! Just make sure you plan out your fundraiser well in advance so you have plenty of time to consider important elements, such as the type of event, when and where to host it, and what technology you’ll need to pull it off.

Remember: You should consult your nonprofit’s existing data when determining which prospects to pursue and which fundraising methods best serve your prospect pool. Consider past data and metrics when determining fundraising methods, as well as what has worked for other nonprofits of a similar donor makeup and mission as yours.

You can improve your fundraising plan by building corporate partnerships into your fundraising plan.

5. Build corporate partnerships into your fundraising plan.

Corporate partnerships can be important sources of revenue and support for nonprofits.

When designing your fundraising plan, develop a strategy that will help you achieve corporate partnership so that you do not bypass such a valuable asset.

If you already are partnered with a corporation, consider these ways to leverage that relationship during the fundraising plan design process:

  • Event sponsorship. Your corporate partner could agree to sponsor a fundraising event for your nonprofit. With their name and notoriety attached, prospects may be more inclined to participate in your fundraiser.
  • Challenge grants. Your corporate partner might be amenable to offering your nonprofit a challenge grant. With a challenge grant, your organization and your partner agree upon a specific fundraising goal. If the goal is met, they might match the amount of funding raised or commit to donating an agreed-upon sum.
  • Matching gifts. One of the simplest ways to incorporate corporate philanthropy into your fundraising strategy is to seek out a matching gift tool. In a matching gifts program, a corporation agrees to match the donations of their employees either to a certain percentage of the donation or to a consistent maximum value. With a tool like this one offered by Double the Donation, donors can quickly determine whether their donation might be matched by their employer.

Take a look at DTD’s matching gift tool in action! The donor simply types the name of their company into the tool, and then DTD searches their database to see if they are matching gift-eligible.

Partnering with a corporation for a matching gifts program is an effective way to boost fundraising efforts.

Remember: Every nonprofit has unique needs and that extends to any relationship you have with corporate sponsors. You do not have to go after a partnership with a multi-million dollar company if that does not suit the scope of your organization. Partnering with small local businesses can get the job done, especially for regionally-focused nonprofits.

You can improve your fundraising plan by tailoring your case for support.

6. Tailor your case for support.

Your case for support underpins the success of your nonprofit, but it is often taken for granted when designing fundraising strategy.

Organizations and hospitals often create cases for support when they launch a capital campaign. These documents outline every detail of the campaign from how the funds will be used to the ways supporters can contribute.

Moreover, the case for support acts as an effective promotional tool to help educate potential donors on the importance of your cause. The content in your case for support can easily be posted on your website or published in a brochure.

While they’re common practice for capital campaigns, organizations should create a case for support as a part of any fundraising strategy.

Donors will not give to your organization unless you have a compelling case for support, so you need to take the time to thoughtfully develop your case.

Your case for support should answer these important questions:

  • What is our mission?
  • Why should donors give to this cause?
  • Why should they give to our organization in particular?
  • How much should donors give?
  • What specifically will our nonprofit do to achieve our mission?

At all levels of engagement, your nonprofit should actively communicate with donors the ways that your fundraising strategy addresses your case for support. The more compelling your case, the more likely it is that donors will give to your organization.

Remember: Your case for support should govern your fundraising strategy. Just as you should choose fundraising methods that target your prospects, you should similarly design your fundraising plan with your case for support as a foundation.

Your fundraising plan is the single most important tool in your arsenal when enacting a new fundraising strategy. Get closer to achieving your nonprofit’s fundraising goals by designing a detailed fundraising plan today!

Additional Resources

  • Conduct a Fundraising Feasibility Study: 6 Steps to Success. Capital campaigns can help your nonprofit reach larger goals as part of an effective fundraising plan. But first, you need to conduct a capital campaign feasibility study before your campaign can begin. With our step-by-step guide, your feasibility study is sure to give you the information you need to succeed!
  • Top 5 GoFundMe Alternatives. After developing a fundraising plan, your nonprofit may decide to pursue crowdfunding as a way to meet your fundraising goals. You might initially consider GoFundMe as a crowdfunding host, but don’t make your choice so quickly. There are many other crowdfunding sites just like GoFundMe (but better)! Check out our guide for some awesome alternatives.
  • 14 Charity Auction Tools. Similarly, your nonprofit might choose to hold a charity auction as a fundraising event. Not only are auctions great ways to raise funding, but they’re also useful events to strengthen your donor relations. Be sure to consult our guide to the 14 best charity auction tools that are perfect for nonprofits of any size!

How to Use Mobile Apps to Raise Funds for a Nonprofit

It’s hard to believe that we’d never heard of apps little over a decade ago. The technology took off in a big way when invented in 2008. Whole new industries were created and existing ones were transformed. However, the non-profit sector has been relatively slow to adopt apps.

That’s to its detriment. Over 80% of time spent on mobile is now spent on apps. But non-profits still seem to rely on the old methods of physical fundraising and sponsorship. Some have created an online presence in the form of a website and social media accounts; yet not many have taken the next step in creating a dedicated mobile app.

The Rising Use of Mobile Apps

In fact, 75% of charities don’t offer apps that can take donations. That’s despite almost half of consumers stating that they have made a donation via a mobile device in the last year. 65% of people surveyed also used their smartphones to regularly pay for goods and services. Sending money and paying for stuff via a mobile is a normal transaction for many people.

Apps Offer a Huge Opportunity for Nonprofits

There’s clearly a huge opportunity for non-profits to use apps to engage with consumers. Especially if you’re targeting Millennials and Generation Z. These generations have grown up with technology at their fingertips. They are digital natives. Giving to charity through an app comes more naturally to them compared with older generations. Research has shown that 25% of people aged 25-34 years have donated through their mobiles at least once a week.

Nonprofits that develop apps to interact with consumers now, will build a loyal, long-term user base in the future. Indeed, 94% of people surveyed stated that they believed nonprofits need to develop apps in order to remain relevant in the future. 66% of the same people would say that they’d use a mobile app if it made donating easy. Especially if they could collect points and earn badges.

Nonprofits Successfully Using Apps

Some nonprofits are pioneering mobile app use in the industry. One of the most well-known initiatives is Share the Meal. This app was launched by the UN’s World Food Program. With just a tap, people could donate $0.50 to the organization to feed a child for one day. So far over 23 million meals have been shared.

Oxfam has been using apps to engage more with its donors. Often, when people make a donation, they want to make a connection with the charity as well. So, whilst it’s important to make it easy to donate via an app, your job isn’t finished once people have donated. The My Oxfam tells users how their money is being spent. It allows people to control their monthly donations or make instant one-off donations. In doing so, it doesn’t just keep people informed. It builds trusts and increases the brand’s reputation.

How to Create Your Own Mobile App

Creating your own mobile app doesn’t have to be difficult. Many non-profits might be put off by the prospect of hiring an entire app development team. However, there are many platforms out there that allow you to build apps with little-to-no coding skills.

No matter the route you take, you should bear a few things in mind when building an app for your non-profit:

Make it easy to use: You don’t want to frustrate users as they’ll stop interacting with your app. Make it easy to use, navigate, and to donate. Even better if you make it possible for people to donate on-the-go.

Make it engaging: Apps offer nonprofits the ability to reach their donors wherever they are. Use this to your advantage by constantly refreshing content and sending push notifications where appropriate. Offering a points system can also keep some people engaged.

Tell people where their donations are going: People want to see the good work that their donations are leading to. Apps provide a great opportunity to provide updates on your non-profit’s work.

Make it secure: People won’t donate if they don’t feel like their financial details are secure.

Market it on other channels: Your app shouldn’t exist in a bubble. Launch it on your other marketing channels and consider how it fits into your wider marketing strategy. Share it on your social media, talk about it in your marketing emails, and display it on your website.

You Don’t Have to Make Your Own

Of course, you don’t have to create your own app. There are plenty of third-party apps available that non-profits can use to get donations. Vero recently launched a donation service for its app users called Donate Now. So far, it has partnered with Children with Cancer UK, as well as American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and amfAR. It allows people to donate to these charities through card payments or ApplePay. There are no fees for these transactions.

There’s also Charity Miles, an app that donates on a person’s behalf for every mile that they walk, cycle, or run.

Another app of note is Snap Donate. People can take a photo of a charity logo to make a quick one-off donation. If the logo cannot be identified, then there’s a database of 13,000 other charities that users can choose from. There’s no fees in the transactions and the app works in areas of low Internet connectivity.

The Time is Ripe for Mobile Apps

With mobile use on the rise, failing to explore apps for your non-profit is a short sighted approach. If you want your non-profit to survive in the long run, you need to look at app technology.

Apps offered an unparalleled opportunity to build a community of donors and share your mission. Building an app doesn’t have to involve teams of developers. There’s many app building platforms that are easy-to-use, or third-party apps that can take donations on your behalf. The majority of your donors are online. Your nonprofit should be, too. An app can take your digital presence to the next level. Try them now. There’s nothing to lose, but potentially a lot to gain.

Author Bio

Izaak Crook is the Content Marketing Manager at AppInstitute, a SaaS App Builder platform that allows anyone to create their own iOS and Android app without writing a single line of code.

How to Improve Your Supporter Engagement with Text Messaging

Every political and advocacy campaign is looking to get a communications edge. Staying in touch with (and top of mind for) your supporters is key to building a foundation for your campaign. With the prevalence of smartphones in nearly every pocket and purse, text messaging has emerged as a viable and cost effective way to communicate with your voters and advocates.

Your goal, as a campaign, is to build a network of people who are actively engaged with you via text and who look forward to receiving your messages. From building your database with text based sign up, to reaching a wide audience with broadcast texts, to creating personal connections with peer-to-peer texting — text messaging tools add value to supporter engagement efforts in multiple ways.

Here are some ways to use the tools to your benefit:

1. Peer-to-Peer Text Messaging

As a campaign progresses — identifying more supporters, recruiting volunteers, hosting events — it becomes almost impossible to engage individuals in one on one conversations. Peer-to-peer texting is built to address this problem of having personal conversations at scale. Campaigns sign up a team of volunteers who use the P2P platform to engage voters via text messages. It’s the text equivalent of phone banking, but instead of having one conversation at a time, a single volunteer can handle upwards of hundred personal conversations at once. These volunteers identify supporters, gauge voter sentiments, mobilize for events and carry out other voter engagement efforts with all data flowing back to the campaign database.

2. Opt-In Broadcast Text Networks

Another effective way for campaigns to utilize text messaging is by building a network of people who opt-in to receive regular broadcast messages. These messages can be similar to the messages the campaign sends out to its email opt-in (newsletter) list: links to campaign updates, reminders about upcoming events, and requests to take action. But text messages afford campaigns much higher visibility than with email and they come with an easier onboarding process. Campaigns simply publish a keyword and phone number (on social media, flyers, website, etc.) which supporters can use to opt-in to receive updates. Following the opt-in you can reach out with automatic texts that prompt supporters to take action on behalf of the campaign, like making a donation to the cause, volunteering, or sharing a message on social media.

3. Segmenting Your Text Network Using Tags

A campaign has multitudes of data coming in every day through outreach efforts. To make sense of this data and to tailor future outreach efforts based on it, there needs to be an effective way to segment incoming data. With peer-to-peer texting tools, you can tag people based on supporter levels, voter issues, event invite acceptance, and even set up new tags for any data set that you’d want to segment and filter later on. This helps you maintain relevance with your outreach, making sure that people receive communication that aligns with what they told you in previous conversations.

4. Texting and Election Day

One of the most exciting uses for text messaging applications is to mobilize voters on Election Day. If you are working with a political campaign or an advocacy group that is trying to motivate certain demographics to go to the polls, text messaging software allows you to send timely reminders to a wide audience about polling locations, poll timings, transportation facilities, and at the same time answer any queries that might arise from voters. While a GOTV strategy using calls can only accommodate one voter at a time, texting software make it seamless to handle large audiences which is pivotal to the success of a get out the vote strategy.

Bear in mind that in order to effectively use text messaging for GOTV efforts, you’ll need to make sure that Election Day is not the first time your text subscribers are hearing from your campaign. Communicate with them regularly through your broadcast list, and then when Election Day comes, they will be more likely to appreciate your reminder and respond positively by going out to vote.

Author Bio

Augustus Franklin is the founder and CEO of CallHub, a cloud communication company building voice and text outreach tools for political campaigns, advocacy groups, and nonprofits. He spends his days finding new ways to use technology to create meaningful engagement between organizations and people. When he isn’t working, he is either making toys with his kids or training for a marathon. Find him on Twitter @augfrank.

Read our MemberClicks review before making an association management software purchase.

MemberClicks Reviews | Our Rating and Alternative Solutions

The search for the perfect association management software solution is a major undertaking for your association. You want to ensure your team has plenty of features at your disposal, but you also need a sleek solution that won’t bog you down or blow your budget.

When reading MemberClicks reviews, you might think you’ve found your solution and stop looking. As one of the major players in the association management space, MemberClicks offers many associations the database, communications, and events features they need.

But did you know that there are plenty of incredible association management solutions out there that might serve your association better? 

Before you make an important software purchase, make sure you actually understand what your options are. In this post, we’ll review the following association management software solutions to help you decide which providers you should reach out to in your search:

  1. MemberClicks
  2. Fonteva for Associations
  3. Salsa
  4. Doubleknot

It might seem overwhelming right now, but choosing association management software becomes so much easier once you have a shortlist of vendors to consider. With these top providers, you can’t go wrong!

Let’s get into the reviews to guide you to the best fit for your association.


Read our MemberClicks review.

1. MemberClicks Review

MemberClicks was founded in 1998, making it one of the most established legacy AMS products still on the market. In its lifespan, the software has expanded, bringing on a diversity of features that serve as the software’s main selling point.

The associations that find the most success with MemberClicks are those with the smallest staff. This AMS provides everything a small association needs in one package, which is much easier to keep track of than a constellation of separate systems that might or might not integrate properly with one another.

The MemberClicks solution is also highly customizable. Associations using the software are able to include their branding on their website, email campaigns, applications, and events pages. Many MemberClicks members feel overwhelmed and confused at the beginning, but with time and support, they are able to adjust to the level of customization available:

Our MemberClicks review discusses the complexity of the software.

Top Software Features

MemberClicks provides small associations with:

  • A membership database
  • Renewal and application automation
  • Organizational memberships
  • Email marketing
  • Event registration
  • Member-facing website
  • Reporting, accounting and payment processing

Of course, this wealth of options comes with a downside.

A common complaint among MemberClicks customers is slow load time. With this many features packed into one locally hosted solution, it’s no wonder that MemberClicks can be clunky and slow down associations’ operations.


After our MemberClicks review, we recommend alternative Fonteva.

2. MemberClicks Alternative: Fonteva for Associations

In contrast, Fonteva for Associations is a lean, streamlined software solution that offers customization and breadth of features without slowing down essential business operations.

The speed can be attributed to true-cloud hosting. The Fonteva for Associations platform is built completely native in Salesforce, the world’s most popular cloud CRM. That’s why enterprise-level associations with members and chapters all over the world choose Fonteva instead of a locally hosted solution.

With Salesforce, your member data and operations are hosted in the cloud. That means:

  • There’s no limit on your storage space like there is with legacy AMS, no matter how many profiles or events you host at once.
  • Updates are pushed through the cloud without having to take your local servers offline and disrupt your operations.
  • Your information is safe, since Salesforce is the most secure cloud CMS in the world.

Besides, though Fonteva for Associations comes fully equipped with the most common modules needed by large associations, you have access to the Salesforce AppExchange with your Fonteva license. Instead of cluttering your core platform with point solutions, Fonteva gives you the opportunity to browse the AppExchange and Fonteva Marketplace to complete your software package. The Fonteva User’s Network can give you some ideas of what other users have done to customize the software to their needs:

After our MemberClicks review, we recommend alternative Fonteva.

Top Software Features

Fonteva for Associations offers enterprise-level associations access to:

  • True-cloud Salesforce hosting
  • Member-driven communities
  • Events management
  • eCommerce
  • Drag-and-drop reporting

The best part? You don’t need any technical coding knowledge to customize and implement any of these features.

But if you need to reach out for assistance, you can always take advantage of Fonteva’s world-class training and customer support team, as well as all the support materials Salesforce has to offer.


After our MemberClicks review, we recommend alternative Salsa.

3. MemberClicks Alternative: Salsa

Some specific member-based associations and organizations need specialized solutions that can meet their unique needs.

If you’re a nonprofit that works in the arts and culture space, your members are your donors. You need a solution that understands constituents in both categories at once, like Salsa.

Salsa CRM, a top nonprofit CRM, integrates seamlessly with Salsa Engage, a digital marketing, fundraising, and advocacy platform that brings your association, nonprofit, or organization closer to your members.

The most important advantage Salsa’s suite of products offers to nonprofits and associations is its integrated marketing features. Without close member communication, you can’t push your campaigns forward and build a strong, sustainable member community. Salsa makes it possible to always know where you stand with your campaigns:

After our MemberClicks review, we recommend alternative Salsa.

Top Software Features

With Salsa, you can take advantage of:

  • Member profiles
  • Donation tracking
  • Donor communications
  • Performance dashboards
  • Advocacy campaigns

Whether you’re supporting your members in fundraising, advocacy, or community engagement, Salsa makes it possible to track all your supporters’ activities in one database.

Instead of importing data after an event or major campaign, let the software do the work automatically so your records are ready to inform your next campaign — marketing campaign, fundraising campaign, advocacy campaign, or otherwise!


After our MemberClicks review, we recommend alternative Doubleknot.

4. MemberClicks Alternative: Doubleknot

Visitor-serving nonprofits run very different membership programs than trade associations and arts and cultural nonprofits. For museums, science centers, zoos, and aquariums, specific administrative software like Doubleknot can take care of the unique challenges faced.

One main difference between visitor-facing nonprofits like museums is the motivation behind membership. While nonprofit members may join to support a charitable cause and trade association members may join for professional networking and advancement, museum members most often join to take advantage of specific member benefits.

Whether your museum offers discounted admission, invitations to special after-hours events, or gift certificates to the gift shop, your membership management software needs to be able to prioritize the ease of providing those benefits to the proper members at any time, on any device.

Doubleknot makes museum membership programs beneficial for members and profitable for your institution. Plus, through Doubleknot museum management, your programs become even more engaging for the greater member community. Centralize all you need for museum management in member profiles:

After our MemberClicks review, we recommend alternative Doubleknot.

Top Software Features

Doubleknot offers museums and science centers:

  • Automatic membership benefits
  • Gift memberships
  • Membership cards
  • Automated renewals

Arguably the most important feature on this list are automatic membership benefits.

If a museum member buys an admissions ticket, item from the gift shop, or camp registration, the system should automatically apply any appropriate discounts of special permissions.  The system should also allow nonmembers to purchase membership and take advantage of their new membership benefits in the same transaction, both online and in the gift shop.

Association management software solutions should make membership management easier, not harder. Choose the solution that simplifies your association’s operations, and you can’t go wrong!

If you need some more information before embarking on the software search, start with these great additional resources:

Increase nonprofit event attendance with these tips from AttendStar.

5 Easy Ways to Increase Attendance at Your Nonprofit Events

When you’re planning a nonprofit event, one of the most stressful things you’ll encounter is the prospect of not getting enough people to attend your event. If the purpose of the event is to generate income from ticket sales or fundraising, then you need to get as many people through the doors as possible.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to increase attendance at your nonprofit events that aren’t expensive or difficult to do. Even if you have a very small budget, most of these marketing tactics can be executed with the help of your staff or volunteers. You just need to put together a solid event marketing plan for them to follow.

To help you get started, here are five easy ways you can use to ensure as many people as possible attend your nonprofit event.

1. Facebook Advertising

Of course, you’ll promote your event with advertising, but are you fully leveraging the reach of Facebook advertising to increase awareness of your event and boost ticket sales? Facebook advertising is easy to use, and when you use the powerful targeting features built into the Facebook advertising platform, you can increase the return on your investment significantly.

There are several different types of Facebook ads you can choose from. To improve the chances that your existing Facebook Page fans page will learn about your event, you can publish a post to your Page and then boost it with a Facebook ad. To reach new audiences, you can use lead generation ads and get your ad in front of very specific audiences that you choose using Facebook’s advanced targeting criteria.

Since Facebook ads are shown to people based on their interests and past behaviors displayed through their Facebook Profiles and activities, you can find people through targeting who are interested in your cause, local to your area, and most likely to attend your event.

2. Online Influencer Outreach

It’s very common for nonprofit organizations to reach out to members of their local communities to spread the word about upcoming events, but have you tried online influencer outreach? Through this process, you find people who already have the eyes and ears of your target audience online. They might have popular websites, blogs, Facebook Pages, and so on.

Once you find these online influencers, start to follow them. Follow and comment on their blog posts. Follow their social media accounts, like their content, share their content, and comment on their content. Your goal is to get on their radar screens, so they recognize you.

Once you’ve started to build a relationship, reach out to them via email or social media and ask them to help you spread the word about your event to their followers. If you can offer a special discount or another freebie to their audiences, they’re even more likely to talk about your event online. It’s powerful word-of-mouth marketing!

3. Ticket Sales Page Optimization

If you’re selling tickets to your event, but you don’t have a great ticket sales page, you’ll lose ticket sales. Instead, optimize your ticket sales page for conversions by working with a ticket sales tool that provides advanced features. Here are some of the features to look for when you’re choosing an online ticketing provider:

  • The ability to offer multiple ticket types at different prices with clear descriptions
  • Images and videos
  • Frequently asked questions section
  • Social media links for sharing
  • Sponsor logo section
  • Tracking for Google Analytics, paid search advertising, Facebook ads, Twitter ads, and so on
  • Mobile-friendly design
  • Opt-in form to send reminders that convince people to buy who don’t purchase tickets the first time they visit your ticket sales page
  • Custom code and integrations so you can connect your email marketing, lead generation, and other tools for enhanced marketing
  • Search engine optimization features
  • Socialization through Facebook comments
  • Advertising retargeting integration to recapture people who don’t buy tickets the first time they visit

Your ticket sales page should be designed by a professional designer and written by a professional copywriter who know how to sell your nonprofit event through words, images, and layout.

4. Automated Email Marketing

What happens when someone visits your ticket sales page but doesn’t purchase tickets? Do you have a process in place to recapture them? That’s where automated email marketing comes into the picture. If you’re using an email marketing tool that integrates with your ticket sales tool, and you capture email addresses near the beginning of your checkout process, you can send email messages to shoppers who put tickets into their carts but don’t complete the checkout process.

The reality is that 75.6% of shoppers abandon their online carts before completing their purchases. Cart abandonment email messages can increase conversions significantly. The best part is that once you set them up, you’re done. They run automatically behind the scenes for you!

5. Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads are shown to people who have already visited your website or ticket sales page (if your online ticketing platform integrates with online advertising platforms). Since someone has already shown interest in your nonprofit by visiting your website or your event by visiting your ticket sales page, then you have a good chance of converting them to ticket buyers and event attendees by reminding them of your event as they travel across the web.

You can set up ad retargeting using Facebook ads, Google AdWords, and other paid search advertising tools. If a person visits your website or ticket sales page with retargeting set up, they’ll see your ads again when they visit Facebook or other websites that display ads from that advertising tool. It’s easy to set up and is extremely effective at increasing ticket sales and event attendance.

Your Next Steps to Increase Attendance at Your Nonprofit Events

The most important thing to remember is you need a ticketing tool that allows you to effectively market your event. If your tool doesn’t make it easy for you to create an amazing ticket sales page, and you can’t integrate your marketing with your event website and ticket sales page, then you can’t maximize ticket sales. It’s that simple.

Gary Bradshaw is the President of AttendStar.

A 30-year event industry veteran, Gary Bradshaw is President of AttendStar, a full-service ticketing software provider offering offline and online event ticketing, event management, event marketing, event logistics, and more. Gary founded AttendStar in 2010 where his team specializes in ticketing air shows, Christian concerts, music festivals, renaissance fairs, and large outdoor events, but the company’s high-service business model that enables event organizers to pay nothing out of pocket makes it a leading ticketing solution for event professionals, performers, and venues of all sizes.