Virtual Fundraising Services Proven to Make Money

woman holding money from virtual fundraising

Is your nonprofit organization gearing up for an end-of-the year fundraising campaign? The Coronavirus has changed the way nonprofits conduct fundraising campaigns, so many charities are turning to virtual platforms and software options. If your nonprofit decides to go virtual and forego an in-person event, you have some decisions to make. For example, what are the best virtual fundraising services and software choices for your nonprofit organization? Virtual fundraising services simplify the process of conducting online fundraisers. Additionally, virtual fundraising platforms securely collect donations from donors. Some platforms also provide a database to record volunteer information, sponsorships, and corporate gifts.

Here are some resources to review before launching an online campaign. Special thanks to Melissa Jagodinsky of the Volunteer Center of Brown County for contributing to this list of resources.

Virtual Fundraising Services

GiveSmart: https://www.givesmart.com Family Services uses this platform for its virtual Green & Gold Gala; https://e.givesmart.com/events/hkM/; The Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay Community Foundation uses this platform for “20 for 2020” virtual event (in lieu of an in-person Power of the Purse event) https://e.givesmart.com/events/gcQ/

Classy: https://www.classy.org/ Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast WI uses this platform for their monthly giving campaign; https://www.classy.org/give/218268/#!/donation/checkout

Network for Good: https://www.networkforgood.com/; CASA of Brown County uses this platform for its Circle of Champions campaign and for other donation; https://casabc.networkforgood.com/projects/102522-circle-of-champions-2020

Bloomerang (This database allows nonprofits to combine volunteer information as well as sponsorships and corporate gifts): https://bloomerang.co/; Golden House uses this platform for donations, etc.; https://www.goldenhousegb.org/give-support/donate/

GiveGab: https://www.givegab.com; The Greater Green Bay Community Foundation uses this platform for its Give Big Green Bay events each February

32 auctions: https://www.32auctions.com/ The Greater Green Bay Chamber uses this platform for its Annual Luncheon/Dinner silent auction

Kindful: https://kindful.com; The Oconto Area Humane Society uses this platform for its virtual dog walk

Salsa: https://www.salsalabs.com/

Giveffect: https://www.giveffect.com/

Blackbaud/Raisers Edge: https://www.blackbaud.com/

Fundly (crowdfunding platform): https://fundly.com/

CharityNet USA: https://charitynetusa.com/services/fundraising/

Many, Many More.

Let us know which virtual fundraising services you like to use! Likewise, contact us for advice and opportunities to collaborate on your next online fundraising campaign. We’ll open our tool chest of marketing strategies to find an approach that will make you money.

COVID-19 Guide to Virtual Nonprofit Fundraisers

online nonprofit fundraiser planning

No doubt, economic times are tough due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonprofit organizations that rely on in-person fundraisers are especially hard hit due to the Coronavirus regulations that discourage in-person gatherings. Despite this challenge, we believe money is still flowing into the charitable organizations. Charitable, 401 (c)(3) corporations do so much good for the community. People continue to support their favorite causes. Even if they can’t run a race, walk a 5K, or bid at an auction, many supports are still willing to donate. An online nonprofit fundraiser is a worthwhile alternative to consider.

In this article, Bill Koehne of Packerland Websites and Joan Koehne of Writer to the Rescue share ideas regarding digital/traditional media promotions to make your online nonprofit fundraiser a success. In related articles, we list 12 virtual fundraising services that make money and tips for conducting virtual nonprofit fundraisers. We are happy to collaborate, so contact us with your fundraising vision. We’ll open our tool chest of marketing strategies listed below, and find the right approach that leads to a successful online nonprofit fundraiser.

Add Fundraising Page to Your Website

Create a fundraising page on your website that explains the benefits of giving and includes a donation button. Share the page URL via your organization’s social media channels. Add a pop-up and/or advertisement and Donate Button to your website’s Home page for one-time and year-round giving. We can help you determine the best marketing strategy, give direction and assist with page development.

Create a Media Release/Ad

Create a media release and advertisement and send these to the local news outlets asking for free publication. Ask your sponsors to share the releases with their contacts. We can write and format media releases to industry standards and create attention-getting, educational, attractive ads with a clear call to action.

Publish and Distribute an e-Newsletter

Publish the ad/media release and photos in the organization’s newsletter, if you have one. Ask your sponsors to share the newsletter with their contacts. We can compile information, write, format, and publish newsletters that reinforce the organization’s brand and promote the fundraiser.

Launch an email marketing campaign

Launch an email marketing campaign through Constant Contact or another provider, using email addresses on file for potential and past donors. Be sure to send a thank you email as a follow-up. Ask your sponsors to share the email blast with their contacts. We can craft email marketing campaigns that encourage the audience to open, read, and give.

Implement Social Media Campaigns

social media campaign for online nonprofit fundraisers

If your organization has a Facebook page, it only takes a few clicks to create a Fundraiser. Promote the fundraiser in posts, videos, testimonials, image, etc. Publish on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. if applicable. Ask your organization’s members to share posts on their personal pages. Ask your sponsors to share the posts on their social media sites. Add a donate button to social media pages. We currently manage Facebook accounts for several clients, publishing bi-weekly posts along with images, slide shows, photo albums, videos, events, etc.

Send Direct Mail to Your Address List

Send a simple, attractive flier to the contacts on your address list. Include an easy-return envelope. Ask your sponsors for the addresses they are entitled to share. We can write promotional messages for nonprofit fundraiser fliers. We collaborate with a local printer for final design, printing, and mailing.

Conduct an Online Auction

Virtual auction services are available to display prizes, register bidders, manage an auction, and collect secure payments. You would be responsible for soliciting prizes from sponsors, taking and publishing photos of the prizes, writing descriptions, setting opening bids, delivering the prize, etc. Auctions make money. However, the set-up, promotional campaign, and follow-up require time and effort.
We can assist with all aspects of an online auction.

Solicit Donors for Matching Gifts

Invite a major donor to match the gifts you collect. In return, you mention the donor in promotions. Encourage employees to request a matching gift from their employers. We can write compelling letters to donors telling a nonprofit organization’s story, the purpose of the fundraising campaign, and how the donor can make a difference.

Find Success with Your Online Nonprofit Fundraiser

Nonprofit fundraising is challenging during the best of times, and the COVID-19 pandemic adds a new twist. Transitioning from an in-person fundraising event to an online nonprofit fundraiser is a strategy worth considering. For assistance with marketing strategies that lead to successful online nonprofit fundraisers, contact Bill at Bill@PackerlandWebsites.com or Joan (AKA, the Wonder Writer) at Joan@writertotherescue.com.

How to Conduct Virtual Nonprofit Fundraisers

live stream of nonprofit fundraisers

Despite the obstacles nonprofit organizations face today, these institutions are still improving the lives of others. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, securing funds to continue their mission is a bigger challenge than ever. In so many instances, COVID-19 changed the approach to nonprofit fundraisers. To comply with Coronavirus precautions, some nonprofits created virtual events, like those for runners, bikers, and walkers. Additionally, organizations are holding drop-off food drives, virtual artistic and musical events, and fundraising campaigns of all sorts. Certainly, we believe the power of giving is flourishing, even during a pandemic. So, how can you take advantage of this generosity? What is the best route for your nonprofit fundraisers?

Hosting Virtual Nonprofit Fundraisers

In this article, we share ideas regarding live-streamed virtual fundraising events that result in successful nonprofit fundraisers. In related articles, we list 12 virtual fundraising services that make money and a COVID-19 Guide to Virtual Nonprofit Fundraisers. Packerland Websites and Writer to the Rescue are eager to collaborate!

Hosting a live-streamed virtual fundraising event on Facebook, Zoom, or another streaming platform allows you to interact with your target audience in real time. Live-streamed events bring a personal touch to fundraising that’s not available in other types of donation campaigns. Additionally, cyber-fundraising is cost-effective and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. You generate excitement for your nonprofit without worrying about the risk of group gatherings or the need for social distancing

With a live-streamed fundraiser, you have a golden opportunity to showcase the good work you do. Show and tell your story through video, featuring speakers in a setting related to organization. Keep it fun. Keep it simple, and transition smoothly from one topic to another.

Sharing Essential Elements with Livestream Audience

  • Who are you? Tell about your organization’s history, membership, how to become a member
  • What do you do? Mission, recent activity, major projects
  • When does the fundraiser begin and end? When will you use the funding?
  • Where does your organization make an impact? Your home base and the region you cover
  • Why raise money? How will people make a difference by donating?
  • How do people donate? This is your call to action – invite people to donate securely online through your website or a crowd funding service. Tell about any matching funds or incentives for donors, like prize drawings, swag, or freebies.

Adding a Personal Touch to Fundraising

A live-streamed virtual fundraising event on Facebook or Zoom brings a personal touch to fundraising. Cyber-fundraisers cost less to plan and host than in-person events. These events not only promote your charitable work, they also affirm how donors are making an impact by giving. For assistance with setting goals, writing outlines and scripts, and creating announcements and marketing strategies, contact Bill at Bill@PackerlandWebsites.com or Joan (AKA, the Wonder Writer) at Joan@writertotherescue.com. For more tips about virtual nonprofit fundraisers, visit “How to Plan and Host a Virtual Fundraiser.”

The Power of Learning: PW Team is Back to School

Back to school for team. Learning

“Hire someone smarter than I am.” That’s what I tell myself when I recruit employees, and I’m pleased to say that the Packerland Websites team is getting smarter every week. As part of our corporate culture, Packerland Websites provides ongoing company time and tuition reimbursement for continuous learning. Fostering a learning environment on the job helps to motivate and grow employees, while at the same time, improves quality and performance for clients.

Benefits of Learning

Above all, continuing education gives our staff the opportunity to study something worthwhile, add to their knowledge base, and do their best work. Not only are team members learning something new, they also share what they learn with one another, magnifying the impact of a single class. The investment is well worth it, and our customers reap the benefits.

Q&A with the Packerland Websites Team

Check out this Back-to-School Q&A to find out what these tech geeks are learning and the effect it has on website design and customer relations. Let’s turn it over to Packerland Websites developers Tom, Noah, and Miranda. (Click here to read about what Mike is learning.)

Tom Norman
Tom Norman
Noah Roberts
Noah Roberts
Miranda Schlise-Gomez
Miranda Schlise-Gomez
Q: What have you studied recently?

Tom: In the past year I returned to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to continue to improve my skills, namely Database Management and PHP coding. (Hypertext Preprocessor, abbreviated PHP, is the programming language that gives structure and style to a web page.)
Noah: I’ve been working on my JavaScript skills. (JavaScript is a programming language that helps engage a user with interactive elements.)
Miranda: I’ve been getting into the Google family – Google ads, Google analytics, and G Suite.

Q: What is your resource for your studies?

Tom: I’m using Udemy, which is an online educational resource.
Noah: I use the online courses available at edX and also have been reviewing the textbook I read in college.
Miranda: I’m mainly learning via Google, working hands-on with Google ads, Google reps, and Google Skillshop (This is where I earn my Google ads certification).

Q: Why do you want to learn about this topic?

Tom: PHP is the backbone to WordPress, and being able to better understand its functionality will allow me to continue to build quality websites.
Noah: I really would like to add more interactive behavior to our websites to create more visually appealing, custom web pages.
Miranda: I’m learning about Google ad certification for a few reasons. The main reason is to give clients confidence. They know we are doing our best to make sure their ads perform at the top. Another reason is to offer professional digital marketing strategies to more of our clients. We do it right and take this marketing piece off their plates. Finally, for a personal reason, this is something I really want on my resume.

Q: What has been the most valuable part of ongoing education?

Tom: Keeping my brain sharp and keeping current in coding languages.
Noah: Just keeping my brain moving. It’s easy to become stagnant and dig yourself into a rut. Learning new things and refreshing my knowledge keeps my designing and development new and fresh each time.
Miranda: The most valuable part has been the confidence I’ve gained from having new skills. When I was younger, I did not put much value on education. Now I realize how much it affects a person’s overall self-worth.

Q: What surprised you about continuing education?

Tom: How easy it was to jump back into the classroom without feeling awkward about learning next to people half my age.
Noah: How much I enjoy it! It’s not boring, but very valuable.
Miranda: That I would enjoy it!

Q: What is your dream topic to learn about?

Tom: I’m open to all topics. I don’t necessarily have one that I have to learn about.
Noah: Shockingly enough – photography. I took a couple photography classes at NWTC, and I’m only a couple courses short of a Technical Certificate in Photography. It would go hand-in-hand with creating high resolution images for our websites.
Miranda: For websites, I would love to get into more of the front-end design side. In general, I’d love to study psychology. It would be interesting to see how to incorporate psychology into website development and design.

Instilling a Lifelong Love of Learning

Technology is every changing, and the Packerland Websites team is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest and greatest coming down the pike. For all students and staff heading back to school, enjoy your first day – and study hard all year! The Packerland Websites team hopes you develop a lifelong love of learning.

What’s New? Chat Bot & Support Ticket

Working with Packerland Websites just got better. This month we rolled out two new customer relationship tools – a chat bot and an updated support ticket. The chat bot links you to a team member to answer your questions on the spot. The bot offers an easy way to communicate with us during business hours. (If nobody answers, leave a message and someone will respond later.) The other new tool, the updated support ticket, offers more assurances that we received your ticket and are working on your request.

Here’s how the support ticket works. Immediately after submitting a request, you will see a pop-up message that says: “Thank you, your support ticket has been sent.” The pop-up message is a new feature we added to give you peace of mind. The message confirms that your ticket is in our support system.

A follow-up email reconfirms that we received your support request. This email includes the details of your request, showing the issue to be resolved. This is another new feature. Once our team resolves your issue, you receive a confirmation email. This email announces that your support request has been addressed and completed.

Support tickets are resolved within three business days, and tickets take precedence over emailed requests. To access the support ticket, visit the Contact Us page on Packerland’s website and click the Submit a Support Ticket button.

We value our relationship with you and continue to seek out new ways to respond to your needs. The chat bot and updated support system are designed with you in mind. The ongoing security, functionality and performance of your website is important to us. These new tools help us to offer the very best in customer service and website maintenance. Let us know how we can update your website to your liking.

Website Developer Intern Joins Packerlands’ team

Website developer intern Adam JeanquartAdam Jeanquart is expanding his knowledge of website development as a summer intern with Packerland Websites.

“I hope to learn the ins and outs of different parts of WordPress and get some practical application of what I learned in school. I also want to learn the routine and what to expect in general in the workplace,” said Jeanquart, a student at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Jeanquart is on track to graduate with a Website Developer Associate Degree at the end of the summer semester. This is his first professional experience in the industry. Currently, he works as a baker but will look for full-time employment as a website builder after graduation.

When researching local companies for an internship, Jeanquart contacted Packerland Websites because of the company’s positive reviews from clients. He said he enjoys interacting with the Packerland team and working on websites. Additionally, he enjoys gaining new insights into website development.

“There is a good deal I am learning here that wasn’t taught in school,” he said.

Bill Koehne, owner of Packerland Websites, said he is excited to welcome Jeanquart to the team.

“Adam already has a solid foundation in website development from his classes at NWTC, but there’s so much more to learn about the industry. He’s gaining valuable experience by shadowing our team and working with clients. I’m confident he’ll reach his goal of finding full-time employment as a website developer,” Koehne said. “

To learn about website development or internship opportunities with Packerland Websites, contact Koehne at 920-826-5901.

Why Social Distancing is Bad – Seriously

My husband, Bill, the owner of Packerland Websites, never liked the term Social Distancing. He thinks it should be called physical distancing instead. As an outgoing extrovert, he doesn’t like the thought of being distant from anyone. Here’s his suggestion: Change social distancing to socializing at a distance.

Worried about the Coronavirus?

Life is far from normal, and everyone is affected by the Coronavirus in some way. Additionally, we are dealing with a lot of uncertainty. Not only are we worried about catching COVID-19, we’re also concerned about job loss, personal finances, the economy, the future… That’s a lot to handle alone, but it’s easier to deal with these worries when family and friends support you.

social distance during COVID-19 andCoronavirusStay Social

Bill’s advice is to stay social. Connect with family and friends with a phone call, text, Facebook Messenger or Portal, Snapchat, online games, etc. In your social circle, include grandparents, neighbors, and others who might need a friend. By sharing a conversation and a laugh, you reduce the risk of isolation, boredom, and loneliness.

Working Remotely, Yet Still Connected

We’re following the rules and physically distancing ourselves from others. For example, members of the Packerland Websites’ team are working from home. While we’re physically distant we’re also making an effort to stay connected. Currently, Bill is in an online video conference with Packerland Websites’ employees.

Social Distance as a Family

Our son, Will, is an epidemiologist (How many parents can say that?) and is part of the City of Philadelphia’s response to the Coronavirus. He says it’s an exciting but stressful time to work in public health. He answers a lot of questions from the public and has been our expert on COVID-19.  Will joined our family’s video chat on Friday night and suggested we chat more often. We all liked the idea.

Stay Connected

In many ways we can work and socialize at a physical distance yet stay connected. Maintaining social relationships contributes to a positive attitude during these challenging times. So, make someone’s day by sending a letter or sharing a story, photo, joke, or words of encouragement. Be social!

Packerland Websites Partners with Dynamic Designs

Packerland Websites Dynamic DesignsPackerland Websites and Dynamic Designs Unlimited have forged a new partnership, as of Jan. 1, 2020. Local businesses, municipalities, and organizations now have two great companies working for their success. Packerland Websites will provide website management and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services to clients previously served by Dynamic Designs.

“We’ve known Bill Koehne and his team at Packerland Websites for quite some time, and the decision to team up with their organization was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” said Tammy Brzeczkowski, of Dynamic Designs. “They have a similar corporate culture, values and belief system – an organization that is truly focused on their clients’ success.”

Dynamic Designs, 1142 Mountain Bay Drive, will continue to provide digital and traditional marketing services including:

  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Geo-fencing
  • Marketing consulting
  • Promotional products
  • Branded apparel

In addition, Dynamic Designs will continue to sell SEO and website packages, which Packerland Websites will develop and maintain. Bill and the Packerland Websites’ team bring a fresh perspective to clients previously served by Dynamic Designs.

“This is the time of year when I’m reminded that websites don’t take snow days,” Bill said. “A website works 24/7 to represent your brand, and we take the time to design and maintain the right website for you, We combine marketing and SEO strategies, both on and off the website pages, to help our clients meet their goals.”

Since 2011, Packerland Websites has grown from a single owner to a team of five professionals, each with their own strengths. Bill’s background is in business administration. He believes in building websites around a marketing plan to address specific goals. Packerland Websites’ three developers, Mike McGraw, Miranda Schlise-Gomez, and Tom Norman, build and maintain effective, secure, and user-friendly websites. Joan Koehne manages the content writing division, Writer to the Rescue.

Volunteer Center of Brown County Wins Free Website

Volunteer Center
Bill Koehne, owner of Packerland Websites, presents a stocking filled with a free website to Ruth Paquin, of the Volunteer Center of Brown County.

Congratulations to the Volunteer Center of Brown County, the winner of the free website in our Give Back to Nonprofits contest! We’re excited to award the prize to this worthwhile organization. Volunteers are the heart of a community, so this is a gift that keeps on giving.

Every year, the Volunteer Center matches over 10,000 volunteers with over 180 local nonprofits. Additionally, the center’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) places over 300 volunteers in 28 different organizations, and the Reading Coaches for Kids program places over 80 volunteers in four different school districts, assisting over 250 children.

We applaud the efforts of the Volunteer Center of Brown County and look forward to creating an effective, secure, and user-friendly website.  We received more than dozen nominations from well-deserving nonprofit organizations, and we thank everyone who applied.

 

Advanced Paragraph Plugin by Packerland Websites

Advanced Paragraph Plugin makes impact on Gutenberg Editor

Packerland Websites is excited to introduce a custom WordPress plugin that makes it easier to hyperlink files and edit content. Created by developer Mike McGraw, the open source Advanced Paragraph plugin debuted Sept. 11. It’s free to use and available for download here. WordPress introduced the Gutenberg editor in December 2018, and the Advanced Paragraph plugin makes Gutenberg more user-friendly.

So, what does the Advanced Paragraph plugin do? Three things.

First, the plugin adds a “Packerland Websites” category in the block search.

Second, the plugin extends the Gutenberg Editor to the full width of the computer screen. Gutenberg’s default editor is one-third width of the computer screen and centered. Occasionally, this narrow design makes it difficult to edit the content in the Gutenberg blocks. For example, it’s easier to edit columns with a wide-screen view.

Third, the plugin adds an Advanced Paragraph block to efficiently hyperlink files on a website page. This allows you to easily move from one document to another.

  1. This block acts just like the paragraph block, but it has two extra buttons.
  2. These buttons open the media library for you to select a file of your choice. Files include images, PDFs, or other files in your media library.
  3. Once you have a file selected, the plugin will copy the URL of that file into your clipboard then close the media library.
  4. After that, you can use the normal hyperlink feature to make a clickable link to that file

Efficiently creates internal, outbound links

Hyperlinking is a valuable way to direct your audience to worthwhile information. You can crosslink pages within the same or different websites. In addition, you can hyperlink to graphics, PDFs, or other files that you want your audience to see. The Advanced Paragraph plugin is an efficient way to create these internal links and outbound links.

Please note: You can transform this advanced paragraph block into the default paragraph block and the default paragraph block into the advanced paragraph block.

The Packerland team is excited to make this plugin available to our clients and to the general public. We’re committed to improving user interaction features so you can achieve your digital marketing goals. If you find any bugs in the plugin, please let us know.

We hope you find the Advanced Paragraph plugin to be a valuable tool for adding and editing content in WordPress.

WordPress Advanced block plug-in