Archive for the tips & tutorials Category

VolunteerMatch: find the volunteers you need

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 | Permalink

Someone somewhere wants to help, they simply may not know it yet. When your story touches their heart, a volunteer can be born. VolunteerMatch is here to help make this transformation happen.

Their story is simple, beautiful, and strong. VolunteerMatch,

"…strengthens communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. The organization offers a variety of online services to support a community of nonprofit, volunteer and business leaders committed to civic engagement. Our popular service welcomes millions of visitors a year and has become the preferred internet recruiting tool for more than 71,000 nonprofit organizations."

It’s incredibly simple. A potential volunteer enters their zip code and the keywords about who, what, or how they’d like to help. Then they are connected with the appropriate nonprofit organization. Done and done.

The nonprofit section has a link in the upper left corner for registering so that you can add your nonprofit to their list and start being paired up with eager volunteers.

If you would prefer to learn more before you jump into the waters of VolunteerMatch, they offer a few webinars for your learning pleasure.

You have nothing to lose and volunteers to gain, so let a world of volunteers know who you are and what are doing.

Web Video is the way to go, but I want it LIVE

Monday, July 20th, 2009 | Permalink

todocast tv

I would like to introduce Todocast. When you want your fundraising event to be available for all to see, make it happen with live streaming web video. Todocast answers the call with portable streaming services that bring live events to the world wide web.

Ok, maybe buying the dish assembly that attaches to a vehicle is not for everyone. However, if live feeds are what you are looking for and the price tag is not out of reach, then Todocast may be what you’ve been looking for to spice up your web video offerings, online presence, and solidify new online donors.

Besides, I just absolutely love the picture of a pickup truck with a satellite dish sticking out the back.

todocast tv

Photo by:

Oh well, for now, it’s on my wish list.

I have a website, now what?

Monday, July 6th, 2009 | Permalink

The key to being found on the internet is being ‘indexed’ by search engines. This means that search engines like google are aware of your site and suggest it when someone searches for you. Building a website with your information on the site is the first step. Additional steps include: links to/away from your site, social media activity, and blogging.

Linking: A great way to gain internet exposure is to have other sites link to your site. This can be achieved through partnerships, affiliations, contacting online directories in your field and submitting your information. You can also use your involvement with organizations, fundraisers, and events to have your website posted in relevant web listings pertaining to the organization, fundraiser, or event.

Social Media: A highly active and updated arena is social media. By using twitter, facebook, linkedIn, and many others you can use the economies of scale to increase the chances of a link to your website being found by someone or indexed by a search engine.

Blogging: The internet likes activity. The more you interact, post, and add to the internet the more you will be indexed and found in searches. WordPress and blogger are great free ways to start blogging.

But be careful, it’s addictive.

Ebay auctions and fundraising, a match made in heaven

Monday, June 15th, 2009 | Permalink

So you don’t want my money, you just want me to sell the old bicycle in the garage that no one uses?

Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

Rather than donating to a nonprofit, sell something you no longer want on ebay and designate the nonprofit to receive all or part of the selling price. Or if the nonprofit is setup for it, you can donate unwanted items and they can auction them off themselves. A win-win.

In an article by Sports Stuff they outlined the advantages of using ebay auctions for “cause” fundraising. The most notable advantage is the sheer size of the ebay community. On this note, if a nonprofit is the seller or identified recipient they are being introduced to new potential donors. Also, in comparison to the last event they’ve organized, there is no space to rent, no tickets to sell, and no staff to pay.

There are two methods to choose from when selling on ebay for a cause: direct and community. Direct selling is when the nonprofit auctions off the donated items, bringing 100% of the proceeds to the organization; however, the nonprofit must handle the auction. On the other hand, community selling is when a seller designates all or part of the selling price to go to a nonprofit and handles the auction. The beauty of this approach is that it is a passive source of donations for the nonprofit.

Either way, ebay is a viable way to diversify fundraising and encourage donations during these financially difficult times.

Happy auctioning.

Bring your donors, staff, and volunteers together. Ning.

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 | Permalink


Tired of your old website? Have you considered a community instead? The beauty of the ever-transforming internet is it’s amazing ability to get people involved. People have taken to tweeting, blogging, and commenting with a passion. Allow a community to form and it shall.

Enter -> ning

Ning brings the passion for myspace and facebook to any and every genre that desires a community. Easy-to-use templates allow you to set-up, maintain, edit, update, and change your ning webpage. But that is far from the best part. A community-style website allows you, your staff, your volunteers, and your donors to all stay in-touch. This is the true power of community sites. No longer is it a one-way conversation. Those who join can comment on the information posted, add new ideas to be shared, and break new ground.

Ning CEO Gina Bianchini was interviewed by CNN and described the mission of ning as,

"…a way to get people to organize and get people to meet around their passions… When you bring people together around a common cause there is incredible potential to do fundraising and to organize volunteers."

The technology and potential are there, all we need to do is use them.

twollars: tweeting, donating, and micropayments

Monday, May 11th, 2009 | Permalink


The economies of scale can incrementally change the way you fundraise. Micropayments and microfinancing show their true colors on the large scale.

Twitter has become a part of micropayments with the advent of twollars. Twitter users can donate “twollars” to your nonprofits organization and donors can turn these donations into a reality.

Stan Schroeder at mashable explained it well:

"When you put all this together, what do you get? A very powerful virtual-currency-meets-micropayments economy that could be a great way for charities to raise funds, individuals to (directly or indirectly) support a good cause, and businesses to raise awareness of their brand by supporting a good cause."

Whether or not this is your cup of tea, it is definitely a well-meaning concept because there are no charges, no percentages taken, and it’s a direct transfer of funds.

For more information on twollars click: here

Donations are a text message away

Monday, April 20th, 2009 | Permalink

Download an application to my iPhone for $5? I’ll admit, I’ve done that. Add $5 to my phone bill that is a donation to my favorite nonprofit? I think I’ll do that.

m is a service that harnesses the power of mobile donations. In their own words:

mGive allows your organization to raise money through text message donations. Supporters of your cause send a text message to your keyword & short code and their $5 donation is applied to their cell phone bill…

Nonprofits can receive donations from text messages!?! It’s not that I like it, I love it!

Hey! He’s using MY song in HIS movie! Oh wait, that’s ok with me

Friday, April 10th, 2009 | Permalink

Creative Commons is what I’m getting at. In its own words, it

"…is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright." – creativecommons

Creative Commons Viral Video Fundraising Campaign With Revver

The creative commons is a strange, new category in the world of copyrights, trademarks, patents, and the entire way of life that thrives off of retaining ownership. However, with the options available and the growing ease of transferring ideas and knowledge, we either incrementally change the world or go crazy trying to control the way its changing.

p.s. click on “menu” in the bottom right corner of the movie then click “creator” and you can check out some other films regarding creative commons. enjoy

Event registration made easy, maybe too easy

Monday, March 16th, 2009 | Permalink

Eventbrite allows you to take advantage of event registration with only a few clicks of the mouse.

As their site states,

"Eventbrite makes it easy to set-up online registration for your non-profit event in just minutes… Eventbrite is the most effective online event management service for non-profit events."

Ok, this is rather interesting. A nice management system for organizing an event, but is it free? Yes and no. It is if the event is free, but if you charge for attendance, so do they (everybody’s gotta eat).

So the next time you put together an event or a little soiree, you can let everyone know and handle attendance using the computer; rather than the notebook left over from high school (the spiral bound one that shoots out confetti when you tear off a sheet of paper, oh yeah, I still have one)

Kiva + alerts = happy entrepreneurs

Monday, March 2nd, 2009 | Permalink

kiva, loans that change livesI would love to help, but I don’t have time to find an entrepreneur. Oh, you’ll let me know when one comes along, how nice!

Kiva is now taking advantage of a Google Alerts type technology says Rick Turoczy. As technology improves so does the means of passing information. For those involved with Kiva, they can now receive a Kiva Alert when specific loan information becomes available. This is similar to Google Alerts which allows users to specify words or phrases that Google monitors for them. When an article appears that matches the specified word or phrase, Google emails it to the user.

Kiva is a nonprofit that has specialized in microlending to help combat poverty. By lending to entrepreneurs in developing nations, the impoverished community is directly supported. To make things better, since the money is loaned, it can be lent to another entrepreneur after its been repaid. How I do love recurrent philanthropy.