18Jan

Corporate Membership Program: A Winning Proposition

  Creating a Corporate Membership Program can help your organization nurture relationships with corporate partners by providing an employee perk that’s simultaneously cost-effective, easy to administer and philanthropic.   Employee Perks = Employee Retention Employee turnover costs companies time and money.  So it’s no surprise that retention and engagement are two of the most pressing concerns for companies today.  And, according to CareerBuilder, 26% of employees said special workplace perks are an effective way to improve […]

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By Tanya Wagner / January 18, 2017 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
28Dec

Step-by-Step Guide To Creating & Sharing A Custom Slideshow

You’ve probably received emails with embedded custom slideshows.  They’re slick.  They’re engaging. They’re also really easy to create using entirely free tools.  I’ve put together step-by-step instructions to walk you through the entire process.   CREATE YOUR CUSTOM SLIDESHOW Collect compelling images for your slide show. Login to google and CLICK HERE to visit your YouTube upload page. (Don’t have a google account for your organization?  CLICK HERE to create one.) Click CREATE under Photo […]

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14Dec

Is Your Year-end Letter Treasure or Trash?

The last few months of every year I get a lot of mail.  I’m sure you do too.  Christmas cards from friends and family members, catalogs and special offers, and year-end appeals from every nonprofit I’ve supported in recent history.  Every day, I dump the contents of my mailbox and sift through it sorting it into three piles:  bills, trash, treasure. Daily Mail Here’s a look at a typical day’s mail: Which item would you […]

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By Tanya Wagner / December 14, 2016 / Engaging Constituents, Marketing / 4 Comments
26Oct

Big River + Kindful Bring New Value To Nonprofits

  Big River has partnered with Kindful to bring new value to nonprofits.  Organizations are becoming increasingly sophisticated when it comes to online fundraising.  They need real-time access to donor data and easy-to-use tools to track, segment and communicate with donors.  The Kindful + Big River integration automatically syncs donor data and gift records so there’s never a need to manually push data.  It gives nonprofits everything they need to raise more money online and […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 26, 2016 / News & Events, Product Announcement / No Comments
13Sep

Get ready for #GivingTuesday

  #GivingTuesday began in 2012 when the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together to set aside a day dedicated to charitable giving.  The day is nonprofits’ answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  It creates the opportunity for people to take a break from the consumerism that has come to dominate our holiday season and support positive change in the world. Many organizations have joined the movement and run a one-day […]

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13Jun

Using visitor surveys to improve your website

  If you are 100% satisfied with how your nonprofit’s website performs in terms of generating donations, bringing in new volunteers or inspiring advocacy, then you can stop reading now.     …Now, for all the honest humans out there…Your website serves a lot of different purposes:  inform people about your organization and its mission, educate the public about how it can take advantage of services you provide, demonstrate good stewardship and share your accomplishments, […]

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By Tanya Wagner / June 13, 2016 / Donation Page Optimization, Engaging Constituents / No Comments
12May

How To Use Pinterest To Drive Online Giving

  Pinterest is not just for crafters, fashionistas and people looking for good short haircuts.  Used well, it’s a powerful way to use images and video to get your nonprofit’s message in front of 100 million people. It can be time consuming (but so fun!) to generate and post the visual content that’s generally consumed on Pinterest, so it surprises me to see awesome pins that aren’t optimized allow viewers to easily respond to a call to […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 12, 2016 / Fundraising Tips, Marketing, Social Media / No Comments
18Apr

15 Ways To Use Psychology To Engage Donors

 Inspired by Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D.   Dr. Cialdini’s book explores 6 fundamental psychological principles that direct human behavior.   Using straightforward language and fascinating anecdotes, he unveils the mystery behind how we react to influence and offers valuable insights for those who rely on their persuasive ability. If you ask yourself questions like:  How do we get more people to volunteer?  How do we get more people to donate […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 18, 2016 / Engaging Constituents / No Comments
11Apr

How do I get constituents to follow my nonprofit on social media?

  Does your nonprofit have a social media presence, but struggle to build a following large enough to drive real results?  Try first meeting your audiences where they are. How do you communicate with donors now?  At events?   Via email?   Direct mail?   Use those traditional communication methods to put a social call to action in front of your supporters.  Think first about what platform(s) you care about most.  Where do you have […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 11, 2016 / Engaging Constituents, Marketing, Social Media / No Comments
23Mar

4 Crowdfunding Strategies You’ve Never Considered

  Online crowdfunding reportedly raised over 5 billion dollars in 2013 with about 30% going to charitable causes.  In recent years, there has been a proliferation of platforms and consultants sprouting up to support it and organizations are evaluating how they can incorporate this “new” technique into their fundraising efforts.  But while the Internet and increasing mobile connectivity provide greater opportunity to reach a large and diverse audience, crowdfunding itself isn’t really new at all. […]

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By Tanya Wagner / March 23, 2016 / Peer-To-Peer & Crowdfunding / No Comments
2Mar

5 Easy Ways To Boost Online Donations

  Online retailers invest LOADS (that’s a technical term meaning “a heck of a lot”) of time and money to find ways to covert more visitors to customers.  Not all of the techniques employed translate to nonprofit fundraising, but some lessons learned absolutely apply.  Here are 5 super easy things you can try  to boost online donations. TIP:  It’s probably wise to try one thing at a time so you know where to attribute any […]

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By Tanya Wagner / March 2, 2016 / Donation Page Optimization / No Comments
9Feb

One Thank You Note You Have To See

Donor Acknowledgement is not the same thing as a Thank You.  It’s tempting to try to craft a donor acknowledgement that provides required details for tax purposes and simultaneously demonstrates impact and communicates enthusiastic thanks.  After all, you save money on postage and letterhead and you save time. Resist the urge. No matter how you dress it up, a tax receipt is not a heartfelt thank you.  It’s not going to impress your donors. Your […]

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By Tanya Wagner / February 9, 2016 / Donor Retention, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
11Jan

Startup Life – In Pictures

    Big River is starting 2016 in a brand new location!  We packed up our laptops and our monitors, our whiteboards and markers and set up shop at StartMart, a new (and very cool) space for startups in Cleveland.  Each office has its own street sign; our new home is West 76th. Design firm, dPOP is hard at work planning our new space.   We can’t wait to see how it will look!  In the meantime, […]

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By Tanya Wagner / January 11, 2016 / News & Events / No Comments
7Jan

Website Assessment Tool For Nonprofit Fundraisers

As we head into 2016, it’s a perfect time for nonprofit fundraisers to assess their online fundraising to be sure pages and processes are optimized to raise as much money as possible and minimize operational hassle for administrative staff.  It can be difficult to look at your pages with a fresh eye or to know what’s possible when it comes to making improvements. We’ve created a guide to help you review your pages for donations, events […]

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By Tanya Wagner / January 7, 2016 / Resources / No Comments
18Dec

YouTube Donation Cards – A Tutorial

  YouTube has introduced donation cards, which can easily be embedded into any video to raise funds for an organization.  Here’s an explanation of the cards as well as tutorials to guide users through setup.   What are donation cards? New YouTube functionality allows any user with a channel to embed calls to action in a video and raise money for the organization(s) of their choice within the YouTube platform.  It also allows recognized nonprofit […]

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By Tanya Wagner / December 18, 2015 / Fundraising Tips, Resources, Social Media / No Comments
3Nov

Take Your Donate Page From Hum-Drum To Wow!

  Fundraisers know the power of storytelling.  They know how critical it is to share with donors the impact of every gift. They know that thank yous should be heartfelt and personal.  They know that they need to inspire donors to engage on social media. And yet so many donate pages do not show what we know. I am convinced it is because fundraisers do not know how technology can help them create a better donor experience. […]

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By Tanya Wagner / November 3, 2015 / Engaging Constituents, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
16Oct

10 Instagram Tips For Nonprofits

  Not sure about the difference between a handle and a hashtag?  No problem!  Check out Instagram Basics For Nonprofits before you go through the tips.   If your organization has an Instagram account and is actively posting (ideally at least once a day), then you are probably looking for ways to grow your following and use Instagram to promote giving, membership and event attendance.   Here are 10 easy Instagram tips to help you on […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 16, 2015 / Engaging Constituents, Social Media / No Comments
16Oct

Instagram Basics for Nonprofits

What Is Instagram?   Instagram is a social media platform that enables users to take pictures with their mobile phones and share them with one another.  Per the Instagram FAQ, the platform was built “to allow you to experience moments in your friends’ lives through pictures as they happen.”   Why You Need To Care About Instagram:   Instagram is a rapidly growing social media platform with high engagement.  Over 300 million people world-wide are […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 16, 2015 / Engaging Constituents, Social Media / No Comments
2Oct

10 Things Nonprofits Should Expect From Software Providers

  I came across a brilliant line this week from Lisa Jervis of Information Ecology, LLC:   “The reality is that software, like any other tool, allows humans to use it to do a set of tasks that, when properly organized, achieve planned goals. We wouldn’t expect a hammer to build a cabinet for us, but somehow we still expect software to do our work.”   This is great!   Of course, the follow up […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 2, 2015 / Resources / No Comments
14Sep

Crowdfunding Saved Lady Liberty

    The Statue of Liberty, which has long been an iconic landmark in NYC and an important symbol of our nation, might not stand in New York harbor were it not for crowdfunding. The statue itself was a gift from France to celebrate democracy and freedom, but the gift was contingent on The United States erecting a pedestal suitable to house the colossal statue.  Unfortunately, the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty was […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 14, 2015 / Peer-To-Peer & Crowdfunding / No Comments
11Sep

Resources For Educators Seeking Financial Support

  The other day I received an email out of the blue asking us to share this information to support America’s teachers.  Of course, we’re happy to help! The following list of resources for educators is courtesy of Jasmine Dyoco.  Jasmine is a passionate educator and seeks out opportunities to help other educators engage and teach their students. She is also a fan of crossword puzzles, gardening, books on tape, learning (anything!) and fencing. She truly […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 11, 2015 / Resources / No Comments
11Sep

If You’re Not Using Landing Pages, You’re Leaving Money On The Table

Landing pages are magical.  They can mean the difference between a successful campaign and a miserable flop. Before you can effectively tap into that magic, it is important to understand the difference between a website and a landing page and to consider landing page optimization. By way of explanation let’s look at a recent campaign I ran where conversion on the dedicated landing page was 27x higher than conversion on the website over the same time period.   […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 11, 2015 / Donation Page Optimization, Fundraising Tips, Marketing / No Comments
24Aug

Boost Donations With A Google Ad Grant

  Partner Post from Updentity   75% of donors go online to determine where to give time and money.  More than likely, your new donors will come to your organization through your website – through your outreach efforts associated with online advertising.  But where should you advertise?  Google is the largest search engine in the world and can make your website more visible than any other online advertising medium you can think of.  What you might […]

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By Tanya Wagner / August 24, 2015 / Marketing / No Comments
27Jul

Big River Introduces Enhanced Content Editor

Most donor commerce is inspired by compelling content.  At Big River, we believe it should be possible for nontechnical users to create pages that come alive with exciting text, engaging images and captivating video. Now, it’s easier than ever to add this content to your pages. Big River is pleased to announce the release of an enhanced web editor for creating engaging landing pages, confirmation pages and emails. The new editor features include: Streamlined options Image paste from […]

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By Ron Cass / July 27, 2015 / Product Announcement / No Comments
16Jul

Fundraising Lessons From #PrimeDayFail

  If you’ve been enjoying #primedayfail tweets as much as I have, it may be hard to think back 48 hours, but let’s try.  Really, Amazon’s “Prime Day” was a genius idea, poorly executed.   There are some great lessons to be learned here for nonprofit member organizations. As it approached its 20th birthday, Amazon was looking for ways to increase Prime membership.  Why?  On average, Amazon Prime customers spend 104% more than non-members.  Plus, they […]

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By Tanya Wagner / July 16, 2015 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
10Jul

6 Types of Shareable Facebook Content

  If you are responsible for promoting your nonprofit on Facebook, you crave likes and follows.  You want your status to go viral so you can connect with a broader audience.  But how do you do that?  What should you post? It can help to consider the types of content that garner a lot of shares and likes.  I trolled through my own recent Facebook feed and found 6 types of posts that are getting a lot of […]

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By Tanya Wagner / July 10, 2015 / Social Media / No Comments
18Jun

Get Ready For #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a quick sprint, but if you want to make the most of it, you need to start getting ready now.  You don’t want to sink too much time and too many resources into the 24 hour campaign, but a little strategic planning and a dash of creativity can help you bring in end of year donations and reach some new donors.  Don’t let December 1st sneak up on you!   #GivingTuesday (December 1st, […]

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By Tanya Wagner / June 18, 2015 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
9Jun

How To Get First-Time Donors To Give Again

Guest Post  By Joe Garecht Joe is the founder of The Fundraising Authority and Smart Political Fundraising.  He has authored several books on fundraising, including How to Raise More Money for Any Non-Profit, and has consulted with organizations worldwide to help them supercharge their fundraising potential. ********** Did you know that over two-thirds of all first-time donors to non-profit organizations never give to that organization again?  It’s true… without a plan in place to stem […]

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By Tanya Wagner / June 9, 2015 / Donor Retention, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
5Jun

Lessons On Donor Centricity From Taylor Swift

  What if there was a guru who could show you how to engage current donors, acquire new donors, and get your brand in front of huge numbers of prospects?  There is…her name is Taylor Swift.  (You may have heard of her).  “What does she know about fundraising?” you ask.  The answer:  she has built phenomenonal success by being fan centric.  And that fan centric approach bears remarkable resemblance to the donor centric approach that […]

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By Tanya Wagner / June 5, 2015 / Engaging Constituents, Marketing, Uncategorized / No Comments
28May

20 Must-See Sources Of In-Kind Raffle Prizes

    Whether you run a raffle in conjunction with a fundraising event, or as a stand-alone effort, the key to successful ticket sales is quality prizes.  Of course, you can always offer cash prizes, but you should be able to secure in-kind donations for your prizes so the money from ticket sales can go entirely to mission.  To do this, be sure to give yourself plenty of time (3-6 months) to submit donation requests and secure […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 28, 2015 / Fundraising Raffle, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
18May

Nonprofit Ethics – Q & A

  Day to day, we are all confronted with scenarios that require us to consider options and choose an ethical path. Unfortunately, that path is not always clearly marked.   Tech4Good Cleveland  recently gathered to discuss a few ethics questions.  Questions/scenarios were posed by various nonprofit technology & fundraising professionals; we discussed them as a group and I then dug up a few relevant resources to augment the conversation.  Here is a recap of the key points […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 18, 2015 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
6May

Grow Your Email List With One Simple Trick

  It is universally acknowledged that growing your email list is a critical part of online fundraising.  Having a good email list gives you a means to build relationships with your supporters, send nuanced messages to various segments of your audience, and ultimately raise more money.  In this post, we’ll examine one simple way to help you grow that list. As you browse the web, you have no doubt seen popups that encourage you to sign […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 6, 2015 / Donation Page Optimization, Marketing / No Comments
29Apr

Raise Money. Raise Awareness. Crowdfund.

      “I’m a new nonprofit just beginning to fundraise. Where do I start?”   We hear this over and over again from our startup nonprofit clients.   New nonprofits have dual goals: Raise Money, Raise Awareness. They want to build a donor database and let the community know who they are and what they are doing. They have a board, and they have some early adopters that champion the organization, but they need […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 29, 2015 / Fundraising Tips, Peer-To-Peer & Crowdfunding / No Comments
21Apr

Google to favor mobile-friendly websites

  Starting today (April 21, 2015) Google is rolling out major changes to its formula that will affect how it presents search engine results to mobile and tablet users. Michael Liedtke via The Associated Press reports:  “The revised formula, scheduled to be released Tuesday, will favor websites that Google defines as “mobile-friendly.” Websites that don’t fit the description will be demoted in Google’s search results on smartphones and tablets.” (read more) With mobile searces on the rise, Google’s […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 21, 2015 / Donation Page Optimization, News & Events / No Comments
6Apr

Awesome Free Photos For Your Nonprofit Blog

  Doesn’t this photo take you away?  It makes you want to wander down that path to the beach and dip your toes in the waves.  Images do that; they draw us in.  They tell a story.  They engage our senses.  That’s why we use them so frequently when we’re communicating online or in print. Does your nonprofit have a blog? You’re probably looking for images that correspond with every post.  Do you create landing […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 6, 2015 / Resources / No Comments
1Apr

The Key To Predictive Marketing For Nonprofits

  Do you ever wish you had a crystal ball that told you where donors are, what they are thinking, what they will do, how to talk to them? Have you heard the story about how Target’s predictive marketing resulted in a teenager being sent coupons for diapers and cribs and baby clothes?  The girl’s father was initially outraged; but it turned out that Target had accurately predicted his daughter’s pregnancy based on her buying patterns. […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 1, 2015 / Fundraising Tips, Marketing / No Comments
27Mar

How St. Ignatius H.S. Doubled Online Contributions To Scholarship Drive

                      Saint Ignatius High School is a private, Catholic school in Cleveland, OH.  Its annual scholarship drive is a big deal; it raises hundreds of thousands of dollars and engages support from those who might not otherwise make an outright donation to the school. Here’s how it works.  Raffle tickets are sold for $5 each.  At the end of the drive, prizes are drawn: $50,000 […]

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20Mar

A Fresh New Spin On Crowdfunding

Billions of dollars are raised each year using crowdfunding platforms, and a plethora of crowdfunding sites have sprung up over the past few years.  (See the links at the bottom of this post for some top 10 lists to help you compare options.)   But before you sign up, there is a problem you should consider.   The model was built on the premise that an endeavor doesn’t need a lot of money from any one […]

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By Tanya Wagner / March 20, 2015 / Peer-To-Peer & Crowdfunding / No Comments
10Mar

Is Your Nonprofit Listening…Really?

                      Retain & Engage Constituents With A “Voice Of” Program   Successful corporations routinely solicit feedback from customers in order to nurture relationships with them and keep products and services relevant to the needs of those customers. The practice has become so widely adopted that an entire industry of consultants and platforms and methods has been developed to support these “Voice of the Customer” programs. […]

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By Tanya Wagner / March 10, 2015 / Donor Retention / No Comments
27Feb

Surfing Twitter Trends – Social Blunder Or Marketing Genius?

What do a car company, a winery and a sock manufacturer have in common?   They all jumped on a weird twitter trend and made (I think) clumsy insertions into the conversation. It started last Thursday; Twitter was a-buzz over a dress…more specifically #TheDress. Some people perceived the dress in question to be white and gold. Others, looking at the same image, perceived it to be black and blue. Teams formed on either side of the […]

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By Tanya Wagner / February 27, 2015 / Social Media / No Comments
25Feb

Social Media Workshop – A Podcast

Recorded February 19th, 2015 Tech4Good Cleveland recently held a social media workshop featuring presentations by Gina Stem of the Cleveland Zoological Society and Nate Louis, an Internet Marketing Consultant.  Gina shares her experience working with Facebook to dramatically increase zoo memberships while Nate talks more broadly about the social media landscape, pitfalls to avoid, and techniques to help you succeed. Many thanks to Barney & Associates Consulting and NTEN for sponsoring the event and Jumpstart, Inc. […]

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By Tanya Wagner / February 25, 2015 / Social Media / No Comments
17Feb

Essential Building Blocks For Your Recurring Giving Program

It is well known that nonprofits have long-struggled with average donor retention rates below 50%.  Now, it seems, they are beginning to take steps to combat this attrition.  According to the 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, surveys indicate that donor retention, for the first time, considered more important than donor acquisition.  So, it should be good news to nonprofits that people are increasingly accustomed to subscription services for commercial consumption, which may make them more […]

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By Tanya Wagner / February 17, 2015 / Donor Retention / No Comments
9Feb

Subscription Manifesto for Nonprofit Organizations

We live in a world that increasingly embraces a subscription economy.   Rather than initiating a purchase and accepting transfer of goods at point of sale, more and more people are happy to commit to a recurring payment for uninterrupted access to goods or services.  It seems imperative that we ask, what does this shift in consumer mindset mean for nonprofit organizations and how can they adjust their strategies to stay relevant and benefit from it? […]

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By Tanya Wagner / February 9, 2015 / Recurring Giving Programs, Resources / No Comments
12Jan

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Leverage Social Pressure

The first online peer-to-peer fundraising site, ArtistShare, appeared in 2003 and was designed to give supportive fans a way to financially support an artist’s work in return for an insider’s look at the work’s creation, exclusive merchandise or VIP access to events, etc.  Since then, “fan-funding” has morphed into “crowdfunding” and it is used by a wide range of institutions from start-up companies to charitable organizations. Billions of dollars are raised each year using crowdfunding […]

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By Tanya Wagner / January 12, 2015 / Peer-To-Peer & Crowdfunding / No Comments
11Dec

Learn When to Use JPEG, GIF, or PNG with This Graphic

  Here’s a great summary from LifeHacker on when to use which image type on the web:

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By Tanya Wagner / December 11, 2014 / Resources / No Comments
25Nov

Are You Making The Most Of Your Annual Appeal?

  Fundraising professionals generally recognize James Greenfield’s finding that average fundraising cost per dollar raised is $0.20  (Fund-Raising: Evaluating and Managing the Fund Development Process). Obviously, the goal is to reduce this fundraising cost as much as possible in order have more funds for mission. Let’s look at one way to reduce costs associated with an annual appeal while at the same time broadening the reach of the appeal to grow the donor base, increase […]

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By Tanya Wagner / November 25, 2014 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
25Nov

Fundraising With Mobile Apps

  More and more nonprofit organizations are developing mobile apps to engage constituents digitally.   Museums are sharing their collections and enabling self-guided tours. Parks and monuments are sharing historical details in an interactive way that deepens a visitor’s experience.  Churches and schools are sharing community news and resources to keep people connected beyond the classroom or the pew. The nonprofits that are leveraging the power of mobile engagement are also finding that these apps […]

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By Tanya Wagner / November 25, 2014 / Mobile Fundraising / No Comments
28Oct

Donation Pages That Pack A Punch!

I went looking for great donation pages designed with an audience in mind and featuring well-packaged asks.  Here are a few of the best I found.   OXFAM Audience:  Those who want to help eliminate poverty and care for the environment. This catalog features items that promote sustainable and environmentally friendly aid.  Note the array of suggested donation amounts ($80 – $12) with the highest donation amount identified first.  I love the large images, the […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 28, 2014 / Donation Page Optimization, Engaging Constituents / No Comments
27Oct

A Fundraiser’s Guide To Donation Packaging

  Packaging your donations is an effective way to increase the volume of giving and the size of the average gift..  Before you start contemplating packaging, however, you want to be sure that you’ve identified your target audience(s).  If you have not yet done this in any sort of structured way, I strongly suggest that you read Who Are Your Donors & What Do They Want? and download the companion worksheet before you move on to donation […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 27, 2014 / Engaging Constituents, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
24Oct

Introducing iGive – Mobile Fundraising Solution

Big River powers mobile fundraising      Increasingly, Catholic parishes and schools are embracing mobile technology to keep their communities connected and informed.  With Catholic Mobile App’s simple and powerful branded apps, bulletins, updates, prayer requests and homilies are just a click away.  The only thing missing was the ability to collect donations and registrations within the context of the app.   Now, with iGive powered by Big River, organizations can phase out envelopes and […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 24, 2014 / Mobile Fundraising, Product Announcement / No Comments
24Oct

POODLE Muzzled

SSL v3.0 Vulnerability and Big River’s Response Quick summary:  Big River is not vulnerable to a recently discovered security vulnerability, and there is no impact on your constituents use of your forms.   A vulnerability in the way web browsers and servers share information securely has recently been discovered.  This vulnerability, nicknamed POODLE, affects an older means of communication between browsers and servers.  For more technical information about this issue see https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA14-290A   Big River treats […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 24, 2014 / News & Events / No Comments
23Oct

Who Are Your Donors & What Do They Want?

A simple method to identify nonprofit audiences and improve communication.       In a recent blog post, 2 Things Your Donation Page Desperately Needs, I stressed the need for nonprofits to package their online asks and make the most of all of the various levers available to drive conversion.  As I have discussed this with nonprofit professionals, I have learned that many understand the need for “packaging”, but they aren’t entirely sure how to […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 23, 2014 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
8Oct

Not-For-Profit Leadership Symposium 2014

Ron Cass presenting at OSCPA Not-For-Profit Leadership Symposium – Friday, October 10th Ron Cass, Founder and CEO of Big River Online is pleased to be presenting at this year’s Not-For-Profit Leadership Symposium.  The day is packed with a wide array of dynamic presentations for accounting professionals and nonprofit leaders alike. Join us for the morning session as Ron presents best practices and practical tips to increase your online giving and help you retain your donors […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 8, 2014 / News & Events / No Comments
24Sep

Big River To Demonstrate At Technology Showcase

Southeastern Museums Conference  –  Knoxville, TN  –   OCT 20 – 22, 2014 Museums large and small are adopting technology for educational, marketing and operational needs.  They are engaging technology in creative (and often beautiful) ways!  Big River is thrilled to be a part of the showcase and to share insights with attendees and other technology partners.   We will be presenting Tuesday, Oct. 21, 10:15 am in the Technology Showcase.  Grab a coffee and […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 24, 2014 / News & Events / No Comments
24Sep

Become A Nonprofit Twitter Master

Twin Design / Shutterstock.com   About 500 million tweets are sent every day.  If you want to boggle your mind, you can watch a live count of tweets by clicking HERE.   There are about 62 million active monthly Twitter users in the U.S alone.  That’s a big audience. Nonprofits know that they need to engage this audience both to inform people about their missions and to fundraise.  Still many don’t use Twitter effectively.  For […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 24, 2014 / Social Media / No Comments
24Sep

Successfully Promote Your Nonprofit on Facebook

nevodka / Shutterstock.com   For nonprofit organizations making a first foray into social media, Facebook is a great place to start.  First of all, most adults are on Facebook.  71% of them, to be exact.  This is a good audience to engage.  Second, Facebook is approachable; many staff members and volunteers are probably already using it in their personal lives, so it’s not a stretch to get them to help the organization generate content and […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 24, 2014 / Social Media / No Comments
19Sep

2 Things Your Donation Page Desperately Needs

  The 2014 Charitable Giving Report states that “online giving grew in 2014 by 8.9%.”  That’s right on the heels of “13.5% year-over-year growth in 2013”.  And it’s not just large, national organizations that are seeing a boost online.  Nonprofits with “annual total fundraising less than $1 Million, grew…online donations more than large or medium-sized organizations.” That is great news!  And it should inspire organizations of all sizes to invest time and resources to be […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 19, 2014 / Donation Page Optimization / No Comments
20Aug

Big River & Never GraduateForm Strategic Alliance

Tech innovators join forces to bring new mobile networking capability to universities and alumni.    Big River and Never Graduate  come together to offer a cutting edge mobile application that fosters alumni networking and promotes an ongoing conversation between graduates and their alma mater.   It provides schools with a platform to improve engagement and bring real value to increasingly mobile-centric alumni which, in turn, drives donations and event attendance.   Both Big River and Never […]

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By Tanya Wagner / August 20, 2014 / Mobile Fundraising, Product Announcement / No Comments
20Aug

Tech4Good Cleveland

Inaugural Meeting Sept. 17th   Join us to kick of the start of Tech4Good Cleveland!  This informal group of nonprofit professionals and industry experts will meet quarterly for networking and educational workshops.  This first gathering will be a meet and greet and brainstorming session to define our vision for the club and identify topics of interest for future educational sessions. Thanks to NTEN for its sponsorship of the club and the valuable support and resources […]

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By Tanya Wagner / August 20, 2014 / News & Events / No Comments
19Aug

Make the Most of Your Next Event

  Fundraising events are a great way to generate donations and strengthen your relationship with constituents.  So much work goes into event planning and logistics, and once the event is over, it’s tempting to sit back and celebrate the success of your efforts, but post-event activities are critically important and need resources and planning to execute effectively. Feed your email lists With a little preparation, you can pave the way to successful follow up.  Wherever […]

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By Tanya Wagner / August 19, 2014 / Fundraising Events / No Comments
17Jul

Send Emails That Work

  By GEOF PELAIA Geof Pelaia is  founder of Pelaia Media Group, a digital marketing agency in Rocky River, Ohio providing content marketing strategies for businesses that include brand development, web design, social media, graphic design, and video production. Marketing communication technologies are always advancing, but email is still the most reliable way to connect with donors online. If your organization isn’t leveraging email among its fundraising efforts, consider these facts: 91% of consumers check their […]

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By Tanya Wagner / July 17, 2014 / Email Marketing / No Comments
12Jun

ROI Worksheet For Evaluating Nonprofit Software

The ROI worksheet provides a guide to help you identify and quantify your organizational objectives and provides a framework to help you evaluate nonprofit software products in a uniform way for easy comparison.          

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By Tanya Wagner / June 12, 2014 / Resources / No Comments
12Jun

Where Is The Waste In Your Nonprofit?

How the right software can help you down the path to a leaner nonprofit organization More and more constituents are calling for organizational transparency before lending support to a nonprofit organization. In general, they look for confirmation of financial responsibility, organizational efficiency, and proven impact. As nonprofits work to demonstrate that they are trustworthy and effective, it is a perfect time to evaluate internal processes and go LEAN. LEAN principles were derived from the Toyota […]

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By Tanya Wagner / June 12, 2014 / Resources / No Comments
12Jun

Trust Is More Valuable Than Money

Brian Sooy is a designer, volunteer, donor, and nonprofit board member. He is the principal of Aespire, the design and marketing firm that empowers mission-driven organizations to create purpose-driven communications through positioning, design, marketing, and web site development. For this guest post, we asked him to share some of the insights from his recent book Raise Your Voice: A Cause Manifesto. By Brian Sooy   How can you inspire your followers, and give them a […]

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By Tanya Wagner / June 12, 2014 / Engaging Constituents / No Comments
21May

How will you TRIPLE year-end EMAIL fundraising?

It’s not (repeat, NOT) too soon to start planning with these 7 tips!   Strength in Members helps nonprofit organizations develop strong relationships with their supporters.  Big River has partnered with Strength in Members to offer our clients a to establish a rigorous fundraising program (or take your program to the next level). For details and pricing, CONTACT US. In this guest post, we asked them to tell us how to create an amazing campaign […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 21, 2014 / Email Marketing / No Comments
20May

Measuring The Networked Nonprofit: Using Data To Change The World

For any nonprofit developing a social media strategy, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter & Katie Delahaye Paine is a must-read.  The valuable content is presented in a way that is easy to digest – even for those just dipping a toe into the world of social media.  Engaging anecdotes share the challenges and successes experienced by various nonprofits large and small, and step by step guides offer specific advice regarding how to develop your social […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 20, 2014 / Social Media / No Comments
16May

Bridge Conference(July 9-11)

Mark your calendars for 9th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference, July 9-11, 2014, Gaylord National Hotel, Washington, DC.   – Get practical solutions to your direct marketing challenges – Get ideas and tools to help you attract donors and build relationships. – Learn to improve the ROI of your marketing campagins. – Network and build meaningful professional relationships.   JOIN US While you’re there, come by the Big River Booth (#126) to see how […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 16, 2014 / News & Events / No Comments
16May

How JCU Used Twitter To Raise Over $4,000 In One Day

Again and again, I hear nonprofit fundraising professionals wonder if investing valuable time and resources in social media is really worth it.  My response:  “It IS!!!” You don’t need to dedicate a staff member to cultivate social media.  You don’t need a huge marketing department.  What you do need is a little creativity and the buy-in of your board members, staff & volunteers. The last thing you want to do is continually bombard your social […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 16, 2014 / Peer-To-Peer & Crowdfunding, Social Media / No Comments
14Apr

Why You Should Create A “Why I Give” Page

Creating a “Why I Give” page on your website is a brilliant idea for two reasons.  First, when existing donors publicly voice their support and fondness for your organization, their engagement is deepened.  The psychological tendency that each of us has to demonstrate consistency will influence them to respond favorably to future requests for support. Second, it is a means of providing “social proof” that your organization is worth supporting.  Displaying the enthusiastic comments of […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 14, 2014 / Donation Page Optimization, Engaging Constituents / No Comments
14Apr

6 Methods To Influence Donors

In his fascinating book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. explores 6 fundamental psychological principles that direct human behavior.   Using straightforward language and fascinating anecdotes, he unveils the mystery behind how we react to influence and offers valuable insights for those who rely on their persuasive ability. If you ask yourself questions like:  How do we get more people to volunteer?  How do we get more people to donate money?  How do […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 14, 2014 / Engaging Constituents, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
9Apr

Feature Release:April 2014

New features offer more ways to initiate multi-channel communications with constituents.   Major Gift Notifications:   Receive notifications when major gifts are received online.  Set the threshold that defines a “major gift” and identify the people within the organization who should automatically receive an email notification.  One of our clients makes sure that someone from the organization calls each major donor within minutes to acknowledge the gift.  This personalizes the experience, makes the donor feel […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 9, 2014 / Product Announcement / No Comments
9Apr

Big River Impervious To Heartbleed Vulnerability

Recently a vulnerability was discovered in a technology that is widely used to secure communications over the internet.  It has been named “Heartbleed” by its discoverers.  This is likely to be a big story in the news very soon, and we want to inform our clients and friends about how this impacts Big River.   In short – it doesn’t, Big River is not affected by this vulnerability.  Big River uses a  technology for our […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 9, 2014 / News & Events / No Comments

NEOH Entrepreneur Expo – April 7, 2014

Big River was pleased to attend the Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo held in the beautiful atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art.  Innovative entrepreneurs from the region shared ideas with students, investors and the public and had an opportunity to showcase their innovative products.  This annual event is hosted by Jumpstart Inc., a nationally recognized nonprofit providing resources & support to accelerate the growth of business and job creation in our region. Thanks to those […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 8, 2014 / News & Events / No Comments
4Apr

Event registration: PA Museums conference

About a month ago, PA Museums, Pennsylvania’s statewide museum association, approached us to ask for support for its 2014 state-wide conference.  A website redesign is in the works and, in the meantime, online event registration is not supported.  The organization needed to accommodate registration for a variety of participation levels:  full conference registration, Monday-only registration, Tuesday-only registration, discounted registration for multiple attendees from the same organization, and a la cart registration. In just a few […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 4, 2014 / Testimonials / No Comments
19Mar

The Cause: The Power of Digital Storytelling for Social Good

BOOK REVIEW   Years of marketing and social media experience inform the advice offered by author Tania Mulry in her book The Cause: The Power of Digital Storytelling for Social Good.  Written in a conversational tone, this quick read is infused with inspiration and practical how-to advice.  Each chapter identifies a common challenge confronted by nonprofit fundraisers and offers insights, motivation, and strategic tools to help confront it. In the early chapters, Mulry discusses the […]

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By Tanya Wagner / March 19, 2014 / Engaging Constituents / No Comments
19Mar

Heroes & Villains

Today, we recognize World Storytelling Day.  In the spirit of the day, let’s take a look at a cause that gets it just right when it comes to utilizing storytelling to connect with supporters online. There has been a good deal of news coverage surrounding  the Lawrey family, and it’s not because little Gavin Lowery is a cute kid, or because he’s struggling with Mitochondrial Disease.  It’s because the way the family tells its story […]

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By Tanya Wagner / March 19, 2014 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
19Mar

How To Tell A Great Story

A good story can simultaneously inform & inspire. It can be triumphant or sad or joyful or revolting. As nonprofit organizations work to build content and engage online audiences, storytelling plays an essential role. But knowing what stories to tell and how to tell them is not always an easy task. The following articles that offer valuable insights into various means and methods of storytelling as well as a few regarding how and why stories […]

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By Tanya Wagner / March 19, 2014 / Engaging Constituents, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
28Feb

How Did The Cleveland Zoological Society Increase Online Donations 7%?

We love our clients and we are so excited to celebrate their success and share some tips about how they accomplished it.  Let’s look at one of our membership organizations.   The Cleveland Zoological Society moved from Convio to the Big River platform in August, 2013.  Preliminary results are fantastic with web revenue for 2013 up 7%!   How did they do it?    1. Communicate Impact: CZS did an exceptional job of communicating the […]

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By Tanya Wagner / February 28, 2014 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
12Feb

How To Communicate Impact And Increase Donations

A client we recently worked with entirely understands the importance of creating targeted online appeals that communicate the impact of each level of giving, but when it came to constructing their own appeals, they needed some inspiration. In this case, the client is an elder care facility providing a wide array of services. So, they created a menu of services and associated approximate costs with each one. $5 A dietician-approved meal and snack in the […]

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By Tanya Wagner / February 12, 2014 / Donation Page Optimization, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
31Jan

Moving Offline Appeals Online

  Website.  Facebook.  LinkedIn.  Twitter.  Pinterest.  Instagram.  The buzz urging nonprofit organizations to implement a good strategy online is deafening.  By now, I’m sure development professionals have had their fill of articles and blog posts emphasizing the importance of online presence and email and social media.  I’m quite sure that they get the general idea.  The implementation of new tools can be daunting; the need to generate fresh content all the time can be a […]

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By Tanya Wagner / January 31, 2014 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
14Jan

Practice Fundraising Yoga

A beginning yoga practitioner knows a pose is all wrong when she wobbles and falls over. She returns to center, refocuses, and tries again. Her yogi(ni) guides her to the proper position so she can feel what “right” feels like. Now, when she drifts off the mark and wobbles, she makes a small adjustment until she feels “right” again. Then, a new pose is introduced into the flow and the process begins again. She moves […]

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By Tanya Wagner / January 14, 2014 / Fundraising Events, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
7Jan

FREE CFRE Credits – 02/26/14

LIFECYCLE OF A CHARITABLE DONATION   February 26, 2014   Aloft Cleveland 1111 W 10th St Cleveland, OH 44113     Full participation is applicable for 6.0 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or re-certification.     Presented by:   BIG RIVER ONLINE                                                Sponsored by:  MERRILL […]

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By Tanya Wagner / January 7, 2014 / News & Events / No Comments
6Jan

New Year – New Tools from Big River

Big River is always working to improve and refine our platform for online giving.  Based on client feedback and shifting needs in the nonprofit world, new functionality and features are released on a regular basis.  After a pause in updates during the peak December giving season, Big River is thrilled to ring in 2014 with an exciting new release! There are too many improvements to list them all here, so I will focus on the […]

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By Tanya Wagner / January 6, 2014 / Product Announcement / No Comments
20Dec

Apple ad – brilliant example of “show” not “tell”

In a former life, I studied literature and creative writing, so it’s no surprise the mantra “show don’t tell” is one that will forever ring in my ears.  When I see something like Apple’s holiday TV ad, I am impressed to see someone get it so right.  Let’s see what Apple did here, and what lessons can be learned.   First, let’s look at some headlines regarding youth and technology:   Connected, but alone? Is […]

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By Tanya Wagner / December 20, 2013 / Engaging Constituents / No Comments

Executive Guide to Nonprofit Success – Jan. 23rd, Cleveland OH

Sponsored by Howard, Wershbale & Co., the Executive Guide to Nonprofit Success offers a full day of presentations on topics ranging from website design to legal challenges confronting nonprofits.  It will be held at the at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Thursday, January 23rd from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.   Ron Cass, founder and CEO of Big River, will present “Increasing Online Fundraising Through Relevance”. He will confront the assumption that technology creates a barrier […]

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By Tanya Wagner / December 17, 2013 / News & Events / No Comments
26Nov

Let’s Confuse Constituents!

I recently came across a great blog post from Dave Brock entitled “Let’s See How Much We Can Confuse Our Customers!” In it, Dave examines the dangers of building a “Go To Market Strategy” from an “inside-out” point of view. In many ways, what he observes is right in line with discussions regarding “donor-centricity” and provides some good insights to help organizations evaluate how they work so that they can generate and nurture good relationships […]

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By Tanya Wagner / November 26, 2013 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
19Nov

Rock Star Engagement

If you’ve ever been to a concert, you know that the opening act is in a tough position. Most of the crowd is impatient to see the main event and doesn’t know a single song. If the band doesn’t find a way to capture the attention of the sea of someone else’s fans standing in front of the stage, its set will just be background to pre-show conversations. The one sure thing the band knows […]

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By Tanya Wagner / November 19, 2013 / Engaging Constituents / No Comments
12Nov

Cleveland Museum of Art Launches Mobile Membership Pages

Always forward-thinking when it comes to technology, the Cleveland Museum of Art has implemented mobile-optimized donation/membership pages using the Big River platform. With mobile web expected to overtake desktop web usage by the end of 2014, experts are urging nonprofits to optimize their web pages for mobile visitors; the CMA is taking action.   In November 2011, the CMA partnered with Big River Online to launch new membership pages. Since then, membership has doubled and […]

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By Tanya Wagner / November 12, 2013 / Mobile Fundraising / No Comments
5Nov

Raise More Money With A Good Receipt

Last night I received a call from my alma mater. It was from a very engaging freshman student. He said he saw that I was an English Literature major and asked what I was doing now. We talked about my original academic path and how it prepared me for professional opportunities and growth. He talked a little bit about what he was thinking of doing. He did a great job of showing interest and building […]

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By Tanya Wagner / November 5, 2013 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments
31Oct

eCommerce Insights for Nonprofit Websites

Bloomua / Shutterstock.com   You have a pretty website. You make the online “ask” specific. You share success stories so donors can see the impact of their gifts. This is a great start. Next step: review your site to be sure you are employing eCommerce best practices effectively. In the commercial space, the number of customers purchasing online increases exponentially every year and continued growth in eCommerce and mCommerce is projected. As consumers spend more […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 31, 2013 / Donation Page Optimization / No Comments
31Oct

Don’t get dumped by your donors!

Reports regarding abandonment of nonprofit donation pages are startling. DonationPay reports an average donation page bounce rate of 67%, and npENGAGE   says the range for donation form abandonment on nonprofit sites is 50-70%. There can be many factors that contribute to abandonment, but redirection to a third party site for transaction processing may be chief among them.   Eric Yee is a runner and creator of the online running log RunningAHEAD.com.  I came across his blog […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 31, 2013 / Donation Page Optimization / No Comments
16Oct

Creating Sustainable & Self-Perpetuating Fundraising in the age of the Millennial donor:

The Challenge   Recruiting and retaining students (future funders) is an increasingly competitive endeavor in today’s higher education environment. Endowments are shrinking, funding at the local, state, and federal levels continues to diminish, and the projected decrease in college-age students over the next decade is alarming.  At the same time, the economy in recent years has caused great unease for alumni and, in turn, for fundraising professionals who rely on them as key constituents in […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 16, 2013 / Engaging Constituents, Fundraising Tips / No Comments
16Oct

The Nuts & Bolts of a Targeted Appeal

There are abundant articles and blogs about the importance of making targeted appeals and letting donors know what their contributions have accomplished. Unfortunately, there seems to be a dearth of real advice regarding how to do this. Technology can help you reach more donors and can help you build personal connections with those donors like never before, but in order to do this effectively, technology needs to be employed in a strategic way. Good online […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 16, 2013 / Fundraising Tips / No Comments

Big River Sponsors Cleveland National Philanthropy Day Event – Nov. 1st, Westlake OH

National Philanthropy Day is set aside to recognize the contributions of philanthropic organizations and the volunteers, donors, and nonprofit professionals who work day in and day out to make the world a better place. First celebrated in 1986, original participants were heavy hitters: American Cancer Society, American Red Cross & Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. among others. Today, more than 125 communities and tens of thousands of people worldwide engage in National Philanthropy Day events […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 7, 2013 / News & Events / No Comments
7Oct

Mobile Donors and Responsive Design

You’ve read enough articles to know that online and mobile presence is an essential element of your future fundraising campaigns.  It’s not enough to put up a web page and collect donations via PayPal.  You need tools that will help you get your message in front of as many potential donors as possible and make targeted appeals that result in donations.  It’s not easy.  With the tech landscape always shifting, and a (likely) unfamiliar lexicon […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 7, 2013 / Mobile Fundraising / No Comments
6Oct

Watch Our Webinar on Precision Marketing

Maximizing donor revenue is one of the biggest challenges that nonprofits face in today’s ever-changing economic environment. With ever-increasing expectations from donors, nonprofit leaders are under intense pressure to get more results with fewer resources and under tighter budgets. Watch this video to learn: – How nonprofits ascend the mountain of donor data instead of being buried beneath it – How a nonprofit can make a case for implementing new marketing programs to the development and finance departments – How nonprofits […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 6, 2013 / Marketing / No Comments

Big River to attend bbcon2013: Sept 29 – Oct 1, Washington D.C.

As always, this year’s bbcon program is packed with program sessions, thought leader presentations, and insight into technology as  it pertains to managing your donor database, engaging your donors, maximizing your fundraising efforts and much more. . With more than 2,000 nonprofit professionals from 900 different organizations in attendance, the annual conference offers a unique opportunity to network with colleagues throughout the nonprofit sector.  “Birds of a Feather” gatherings encourage attendees to mix and mingle […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 23, 2013 / News & Events / No Comments
3Sep

5 Tips for Creating Content That Clicks With Donors

There is no question that in order to remain top-of-mind among donors, nonprofits need to produce content on an ongoing basis.  More importantly, this content must be relevant to both your nonprofit’s cause and your donors’sensibilities. After all, isn’t this why they support your organization in the first place? So how does a nonprofit create relevant messages that inform, engage and incite calls to action? Here are a few tips to help guide your nonprofit’s […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 3, 2013 / Engaging Constituents / No Comments
16Aug

Free Website Tools for Nonprofits

Never before has there been a greater opportunity for nonprofits to be able to produce professional quality websites on low budgets. Free, web-based software is available for organizations to better expand and customize your nonprofit’s online presence. Though the range and scope of free applications on the internet is absolutely staggering, most applications can be best organized in a few main categories. Website Creation There are now more opportunities than ever to be able to […]

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By Tanya Wagner / August 16, 2013 / Resources / No Comments
15Aug

6 Things Every Nonprofit Website Needs

Having a strong online presence has never been more important for a nonprofit organization.  Be sure these critical elements aren’t missing from your website. The twenty-first century has ushered in a new era of information and technology for all different organizations and nonprofit organizations are no exception to this trend. If an organization doesn’t have a website, its likely they will soon be in the process of making one as online presence provides access to […]

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By Tanya Wagner / August 15, 2013 / Donation Page Optimization / No Comments
6Jul

Gathering Place Praises Security, Flexibility and Amazing Customer Service

“Today’s donor demands a secure, online environment in which to make a transaction. It’s really important to them,” says Ben Light, Director of Operations at The Gathering Place. The Cleveland-based nonprofit organization that provides support to cancer patients, survivors and their families has adopted Big River’s online giving portal to manage donor transactions. The fundraising tool was seamlessly integrated into The Gathering Place’s existing website, thus reinforcing the security of the donation throughout the process. […]

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By Tanya Wagner / July 6, 2013 / Testimonials / No Comments
1Jul

Should Your Nonprofit be Using QR Codes?

A quick response code, otherwise known as a QR code, is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. So what? QR code technology is a recent trend that has either found a place in your nonprofit’s marketing plan or simply written off as not worth adopting. Regardless of your decision, here are a some pros and cons to review if you are considering utilizing the scanning […]

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By Tanya Wagner / July 1, 2013 / Fundraising Tips, Marketing, Mobile Fundraising / No Comments
28Jun

Understanding Cloud Computing for Nonprofits

There are varying definitions of cloud computing, but for nonprofits, the term encapsulates the concept of managing business applications, such as email, newsletters, or accounting, using a web-based service that is hosted and accessed through the internet instead of a personal server. As this technology has improved, cloud computing has become an essential tool for organizations seeking to gain a technological edge in the modern world. Here are five reasons why the cloud may present […]

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By Tanya Wagner / June 28, 2013 / Resources / No Comments
18May

Storytelling: The Fundraiser’s Secret Weapon for Donor Retention

Today, the effectiveness of recurring giving programs will determine which nonprofits succeed and which ones will fail.   Donor retention has fallen to 41%, down from 50% just five years ago (Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report).  When compared with the 94% customer retention that commercial business touts, its clear that nonprofits will need to analyze their retention strategies in order to survive. The study goes on to illustrate how an increase from 45% to 70% in […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 18, 2013 / Donor Retention, Engaging Constituents / No Comments

American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo 2013

>Big River is looking forward to attending AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo on May 19–22 in Baltimore, Maryland. With over 150 substantive program sessions,  dozens of thought leader presentations, and samples of the latest museum products, there will certainly be much to explore and discover (view event program). The Annual Meeting is the premier professional development opportunity, as some 5,000 museum professionals gather to network and learn. This is a unique opportunity to identify challenges and […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 15, 2013 / News & Events / No Comments
1May

Who’s Using It: Case Alumni Association

                      A need to finance laboratory equipment at Case School of Engineering has inspired the launch of CaseStarter, a fundraising platform designed to support specific projects at the Case School of Engineering and the math and applied sciences of Case Western Reserve University. The CaseStarter project is made possible through the emergence of crowdfunding, made popular by successful platforms such as Kickstarter, which harnesses the collective support of […]

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By Tanya Wagner / May 1, 2013 / Testimonials / No Comments

Highlights From the 2013 American Museum Membership Conference

Big River was delighted to attend the 31st American Museum Membership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia to hear from leading membership managers across North America and beyond. These membership professionals provided multiple perspectives on the intricacies of the museum environment, identified emerging industry trends and shared case studies. Though there were numerous events taking place throughout the conference, below are highlights from the sessions we were able to attend (view full AMMC program here): Membership and Millennials: Engaging Generation […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 29, 2013 / News & Events / No Comments
22Mar

Top 5 Storytelling Components for Nonprofits

The concept of using storytelling techniques to communicate messages is anything but new. But there is always room for improvement.  New digital tools such as social media and mobile are not just changing the way we distribute our stories, but also changing the way our audience shares them. “The Power of Story” is this year’s theme for the 2013 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo for the Alliance of American Museums (AAM). The event will be dedicated to exploring just […]

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By Tanya Wagner / March 22, 2013 / Mobile Fundraising, Social Media / No Comments
11Mar

Five Must Have Tech Tools for Fundraisers

                      Its easy to get overwhelmed with the variety of online tools available today. However, if you’re a fundraiser, its hard to ignore the benefits of adopting new technology to gain insight and make deeper connections with your contacts among social networks. Get the most out of your online fundraising efforts by incorporating the following tools into your workflow. Oh yes, we should mention that these cloud-based […]

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By Tanya Wagner / March 11, 2013 / Resources / No Comments
14Feb

Ten Video Tips for Nonprofits

Donors today have less time and more options than ever before. You only have a few moments, if not seconds, to capture their attention, communicate your message, and present a call to action.   A well thought out video strategy can accomplish all of these goals and more. If your organization has not yet produced video, odds are that you have been talking about it for some time. Now that YouTube is the second largest search […]

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By Tanya Wagner / February 14, 2013 / Engaging Constituents / No Comments
21Jan

Museums Going Digital in 2013

Emerging technology creates opportunities for museums to connect with patrons on multiple levels. From digital marketing, enhanced visitor experiences to online fundraising, museums are integrating digital tools and technologies at a rapid rate. Museums are not only using social media to advertise events and exhibits, but are embracing the idea of inviting users to help them create online content. The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland developed a campaign using Facebook as a medium to engage new audiences. […]

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By Tanya Wagner / January 21, 2013 / Mobile Fundraising / No Comments

Nonprofits adopting technology to keep up

    PHILANTHROPY Nonprofits adopting technology to keep up Tools help groups raise money, communicate By CHRISSY KADLECK 4:30 am, December 3, 2012   The Cleveland Museum of Art has doubled its membership since embracing an online giving portal. The Cleveland Clinic has implemented a text-to-pledge program at its HeartThrob Ball to raise funds for its Children’s Hospital. The Community Foundation of Lorain County has streamlined all of its board functions and now communicates with […]

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By Tanya Wagner / December 7, 2012 / Uncategorized / No Comments

Big River Secures $250,000 Seed Investment from JumpStart

November 14, 2012 – Cleveland, OH – Big River, an online fundraising platform for nonprofit organizations, announced today it has received an investment commitment of $250,000 from JumpStart Inc.  Big River will use the funds for product development, marketing and sales efforts to expand beyond arts and cultural institutions. “Big River’s services help organizations capitalize on the rapid growth of online giving,” says Jerry Frantz, JumpStart’s Managing Venture Partner. “Their service easily integrates into existing […]

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By Tanya Wagner / November 14, 2012 / News & Events / No Comments
26Sep

August Napoli Praises Big River’s Value at the Cleveland Museum of Art

August Napoli of the Cleveland Museum of Art spoke with Cool Cleveland.com this week about their use of technology for fundraising.  Augie has worked with some of the largest non-profits in Northeast Ohio – Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Catholic Charities, CSU Foundation – and now serves as Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer of the Cleveland Museum of Art, where he was charged with bringing in the final $130 million of the CMA’s audacious $350 million […]

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By Tanya Wagner / September 26, 2012 / Testimonials / No Comments

Stop by Booth #603 at AAM Expo and see how we helped a major art museum increase its online donations by 500%

Stop by Booth #603 at AAM Expo and see how we helped a major art museum increase its online donations by 500%. You might event win a Razor Electric Scooter. Have a feeling your online donation numbers could be stronger?  You’re probably right.  Most online fundraising software doesn’t exactly endear itself to constituents. Personalize Online Appeals for Maximum Impact Through promoational marketing and progressive profiling, fundraising software from Big River Online is able to present […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 26, 2012 / News & Events / No Comments

Bizdom Cleveland announces first class of six startups – Crain’s Cleveland Business

Dan Gilbert’s entrepreneurship accelerator, Bizdom Cleveland, has announced its first class of six startups it will help jumpstart. BigRiver (www.gobigriver.com) increases fundraising for nonprofit organizations through relationship-based online giving. http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20120410/FREE/120419982 Dan Gilbert's entrepreneurship accelerator, Bizdom Cleveland, has announced its first class of six startups it will help jumpstart. Mr. Gilbert, majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and founder of Quicken Loans, created the program in his hometown of Detroit in 2007 to provide entrepreneurs with […]

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By Tanya Wagner / April 10, 2012 / News & Events / No Comments
18Oct

Helping Visualize a Hidden Disability

The Northern Ohio Branch of International Dyslexia Association (NOBIDA) is a local branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).  IDA is a non-profit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of the learning disability, dyslexia as well as related language-based learning differences.  NOBIDA’s mission is to actively promote effective teaching approaches and related clinical educational intervention strategies for people with dyslexia. NOBIDA recently retooled their web presence but was experiencing difficulties with an event registration system. […]

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By Tanya Wagner / October 18, 2011 / Testimonials / No Comments