It’s like being on a fun, frustrating, exhilarating, challenging, scary, exciting, loop-de-looping rollercoaster you (for some crazy reason) choose to stay on.
Sure, you could hop off at anytime, but you’re committed to the mission—and that’s what makes you so awesome!
For many nonprofits, social media is a big part of their growth strategy. But an additional, oft-overlooked aspect of growth is time management.
After all: You can grow the biggest social following in the world, but if you’re spending all your time on social media, how are you going to make time to do the world-changing work your followers are invested in seeing you do?
Social media scheduling apps to the rescue.
What is a social media scheduler?
Social media schedulers allow you to create lots of social content at once, assign times and dates to that content, and have the content posted to your social media accounts automatically at those times.
The idea is that, instead of spending time updating your social media accounts multiple times per week, you’ll save time by spending just 1 or 2 days a month writing all those posts out at once, after which you can spend the rest of the month doing the millions of other important things your nonprofit needs to do.
If you decide to try a scheduling platform, you and your team will find a content creation cadence that works best for you, whether that’s creating content once per week, once a month, or even quarterly.
Do I really need to fuss with social media in order to grow my nonprofit?
The short answer: Yes. Generally speaking, there’s a lot of value in leveraging social media for growth, as more and more people turn to social media to keep up with their favorite nonprofits’ events, activities, and fundraisers than ever before.
In the end, there’s no one Most Correct™ way to grow. Behind every nonprofit, big or small, there’s a different (inspiring!) story surrounding how they acquired their donor base.
4 Free Social Media Platforms We Love (And How to Use Them)
There are so many scheduling platforms out there. Some with tons of bells and whistles (and a big price tag.)
But we’re going to keep it simple and just stick 4 that have the option for free accounts. (Our platform is free—shouldn’t these be?)
Zoho Social (our favorite)
Also, we’ve posted links to tutorials below each list of pros and cons. That way, if you’re at all worried about losing time fumbling around on these things due to a learning curve—well, don’t!
People are most inclined to share content from other people, brands, and organizations whom they feel a connection with. So craft your brand and your content as if you were an individual trying to make friends with a certain type of person.
Take heart: You’re at an advantage. 84% of people say they share content as a way to support causes that mean something to them. So publish compelling stories about the work you’re doing, your needs, your progress, and your vision.
Don’t forget to take a few minutes here and there to reply to comments, engage in conversations with your followers, and share others’ content too.
How to promote your Giving Assistant fundraising page fast using your social media scheduler
Once you’re all set up with a social media scheduler you like, turn to your Giving Assistant dashboard. There, you’ll find lots of time-saving content you can easily copy and paste into your scheduled posts.
Click Fundraising Tools, then Messaging on the left-hand side of your dashboard.
Click Facebook (also great for Instagram captions) or Twitter, and cycle through the different messages available to you. Click “refresh” to see other caption options.
Copy the messaging you want, then paste it into your social posts with your favorite images. You can also use a free web-based app like Canva to easily and quickly create graphics to attach to your posts!
Tip: Consider writing at least one original caption or Tweet promoting your Giving Assistant page—but this time, tell your followers how their cash back microdonations can add up to help you in big ways over time. Tell them what small donations of $2, $5, or $10 can do for you and the community or cause you serve.
Additionally, raise more by looking out for Giving Assistant deals (like these), coupons, or Double Cash Back events they might be interested in, and schedule those into your social media calendar as well.
Share the love (automatically)!
Social media schedulers make it even easier to raise more cash back donations by sharing your Giving Assistant fundraising page more often, and will ensure all your followers feel included, valued, and capable of getting involved on a regular basis—no matter how much time or money they might have.
Scenario: Last year, Middletown Animal Rescue joined Classy, enabling them to power individual, peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising campaigns for the first time.
That holiday giving season, around a dozen of their local community volunteers launched personal, online fundraising campaigns to benefit the animal rescue. Over the next few weeks, they shared their campaigns with their friends and family, ultimately raising an average of $250 per volunteer by year’s end.
But it was Sarah, a high school student, who broke the record.
By sharing her campaign and asking her social network to shop online through Giving Assistant, in addition to making direct donations towards her P2P campaign, this animal-lover raised over $300. That’s an extra $50 over the average amount raised per participant that would go to purchase food, shelter, and loving families for more of Middletown’s displaced pet population.
Sarah’s secret to her big fundraising win? Microdonations: individual donations that average less than $10 each. (If you were thinking her secret was Giving Assistant, you’re still a little bit right!)
The 3 Superpowers of Microdonations
Microdonations are small, good things that “add up” (as is our mantra here) in big, meaningful ways. Not only do they provide nonprofits a viable (often significant) long-term financial boost, but they also empower communities, making it possible for more people to give and inspiring them to give together.
Superpower #1: Accessibility
While not everyone can make big, direct donations, almost anyone can “give small,” which enables, encourages, and empowers more people to give. Leading to…
Superpower #2: Engagement
One of the top reasons people say they don’t donate to nonprofits is because they feel like they can’t give enough for the donation to actually matter. This perspective changes, however, when donors believe that others are making small donations along with them.
Countless Giving Assistant user interviews have shown us that these nonprofit supporters are more inspired to give when they know others are giving along with them, because they’re more confident those small donations they’re able to afford will, in fact, add up to something meaningful.
Superpower #3: Awareness
And what do you get when micro-givers believe that giving collectively is the key ingredient in making microdonations meaningful?
Sharing. Conversations. Communication. Increased awareness of your cause. Nonprofits’ giving communities—and their action communities—grow, as more people feel empowered by their giving, regardless of the size of those gifts.
And when it comes to microdonations, the more the merrier.
Putting it Together: P2P Fundraising, Classy, and Giving Assistant
Giving Assistant is just one tool you have in your arsenal that makes it easier for your P2P campaigners to capture those microdonations and boost their fundraising, engagement, and awareness efforts for you.
Even more importantly, while your nonprofit’s bottom line undoubtedly benefits from the fundraising boost these microdonations provide, it’s also empowering for your campaigners. The more they raise, the more proud and confident they feel. And the more confident they feel, the more they’re inspired to help lead your mission within their communities.
Once set up, your campaigners can invite their friends and family to contribute to their fundraiser by joining Giving Assistant, shopping, and making their cash back microdonations, in addition to continuing to make their direct donations—an incredibly easy ask for your campaigners.
On average, P2P fundraisers see as much as a 20% boost in donations when they invite their communities to use Giving Assistant, in addition to contributing their normal, direct donations.
According to the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, 1 in 4 teenagers say they’ve endured the painful effects of bullying. The good news: Most acts of bullying can be stopped within 10 seconds when peers take action in a supportive, non-threatening way.
Credit: Brad Rutter Agency, Voice Against Bullying campaign for Generations Against Bullying
That’s the power of an Upstander, a peer who pledges to become a part of the solutions aimed at sinking a nationwide concern that affects millions of children each year. And, at the center of it all, is Generations Against Bullying (GAB), a nonprofit organization on a mission to create healthier, safer, learning environments for everyone.
Victims of bullying rarely see adult intervention come to their rescue, in part because bullies don’t typically victimize their peers in front of teachers, counselors, or administrators. Instead, most bullying takes place in the presence of other students. And while some kids speak out; most just don’t know what to do, or are understandably afraid of retaliation. Furthermore, peer reluctance to intervene creates an environment that allows bullies to thrive by inadvertently communicating, through inaction, that a bully’s behavior is acceptable.
GAB’s Approach to Combating Bullying is Different
Unlike most anti-bullying efforts that focus on the dynamics between bullies and victims, Generations Against Bullying concentrates on building up the confidence and influence of bystanders—those who typically see a peer getting bullied, but oftentimes stay silent or uninvolved. GAB takes a more hands-on approach, offering an all-inclusive, anti-bullying solution that transforms bystanders into Upstander—the designation given to students specifically trained to provide immediate victim-support.
The Upstander Peer Ambassador Program (UPAP)
GAB empowers students to step in and act whenever they see a classmate being victimized. Participants of the Upstander Peer Ambassador Program are equipped with the tools and skills they need to identify bullying, and diffuse uncomfortable situations in a calm, non-threatening manner. Peer Ambassadors also attend workshops where they learn how to provide positive support in various situations, including camps, sports, and the cyber world.
Student Upstander Peer Ambassadors are essentially the backbone of GAB programs, and the organization says that without them, it wouldn’t be possible to create and maintain the kind of environments that discourage bullying.
GAB also works alongside Peer Ambassadors, educators and sponsors to create life-changing experiences for students, schools and entire communities, such as:
Celebrity speaking engagements lead by role models including professional athletes, pageant winners, musicians, actors and authors. These speakers are invited to attend GAB events in order to help foster interest in the program and motivate more students to become Upstanders.
School assemblies that send an uplifting message to students, spread awareness, and also provide a platform for productive discussions about bullying to unfold.
Sponsored community movie night events that highlight the disturbing effects of bullying through a film screening and Anderson Cooper follow-up report.
Puppet shows (featuring unique characters called ‘GABits’) that use realistic scenarios and positive messages to help create an anti-bully culture on the elementary school level.
An “Introduction to Buddy Bear” event (GAB’s official pet ambassador) that helps address the connection between bullying and animal abuse. A program involving Buddy Bear teaches compassion and love, as well as how to respect, care for, and forge healthy relationships with animals.
In addition to the Upstander Peer Ambassador Program, GAB holds the distinction of maintaining one of the “Top 20 Bullying Blogs on The Web,” and effectively uses their website to deliver inspirational video messages, information on community services and events, and a directory of resources to help bullying victims.
GAB relies on sponsors and fundraising programs to continue touching the lives of students across the U.S. with their speaking engagements, open houses, community events and the above-mentioned programs.
Giving Assistant shoppers can also help advance GAB’s goals. Simply select Generations Against Bullying as your nonprofit of choice to donate all or a portion of your cash back savings to a good cause.
These responses were provided by The Salvation Army. Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your organization!
Tell us about The Salvation Army
We’ve been helping people for more than 150 years! We were founded by a man named William Booth who was a bit of a rebel. He challenged tradition for the sake of action and made a huge difference in the lives of people in need. As we look ahead into the next 150 years, we take that tenacity with us.
What is your organization’s overall mission?
Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. It is our faith that motivates the work that we do, sharing the love that we’ve received so generously.
What are a few goals your organization has been focusing on this year?
We’re definitely focused on ways to connect with the community, whether that’s creating new opportunities to meet the specific needs of your hometown or finding new ways for people to volunteer or give online. Otherwise, we’re doing what we’ve always done, which includes helping disaster survivors, addressing food insecurity, overcoming poverty, assisting the unemployed, combating addiction, loving the elderly and above all sharing God’s love for everyone.
Can you discuss some of your major successes?
Success in Salvation Army terms is the smile on the face of a mother who can now feed her child; the elderly man who received sustenance and a shoulder to cry on. Over the past year, we’ve continued to serve and rebuild in communities that were impacted by last year’s disasters. Recovery is a process that lasts long after the news crews leave. We also recently opened several homes and made available incredible resources for human trafficking survivors.
Can you share a few alarming stats that have low awareness?
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery—a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 40.3 million people around the world.
What can we do in our daily lives to help support your cause?
Take a moment to recognize the need around you. There are hurting people in need of your care and kindness and you can start in your own homes and workplaces. A warm smile and a genuine listening ear can go so far to create connection and build hope. Consider an ongoing donation to The Salvation Army as a way of supporting your neighbors in need.
First, we assess the needs of each community in which we serve. We work to understand the obstacles and challenges native to that area. Next, we build local programs designed to offer immediate relief, short-term care, and long-term growth in the areas that will best benefit the community. Then, we offer the local programs to the local community, working to continually optimize their efficacy via spiritual, physical, and emotional service. Without the support of the donor, none of this would be possible.
What has been your experience with Giving Assistant?
We’re excited to be a part of it and I love seeing the flag pop up when I go to new sites. It gives me so much respect for the brands I’m shopping. I’m also pleasantly surprised to see how many brands are participating!
Tis’ the season to be giving…and what better time to catapult into the charitable season than on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving? Giving Tuesday is a global phenomenon, where end-of-the-year giving and holiday donations are at an all-time high. But, here at Giving Assistant, instead of having just one day to collect extra karma points, you get an entire week with our Double Cash Back, Double Giving Event. From November 27 to December 3, spread out your generosity much farther with the help of double cashback from participating stores/brands (like the ones listed below), which means charities of your choice get to enjoy double the donations this holiday season.
Home to Oakley Authentic Prescription lenses; Limited Edition MotoGP shades; the ultra-lightweight Women’s Training Collection; and eyewear offering PRIZM™, the brand’s latest lens technology, Oakley inventory offers much more than their iconic polarized sunglasses and sports-ready eyewear. You’ll find custom options, motocross goggles, and a handful of creative collections, like the winterfied, OneObsession Snow Collection. There’s also an impressive selection of jackets, hoodies, snow helmets, backpacks, and boardshorts that you can earn double cashback on.
Offering double cash back on the hottest brands in clothing, accessories, shoes, bags, electronics and many other gift-giving standouts, QVC has something for everyone on your holiday list. It’s here that you’ll find Vitamixes on sale; blindingly affordable Diamonique jewelry; Amazon deals galore; and so many new arrivals, it’ll make your head spin. Just some of the brands to look forward to on a QVC shopping spree include FitBit, Beats by Dr. Dre, Samsung, Sketchers, Dooney & Bourke, Dyson, Apple, and IT Cosmetics.
The online oasis of MR PORTER is packed with award-winning menswear, accessories and gifts that boast over 450 worldwide fashion statements at any given time. Constantly adding new items three times a week, you’ll find Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Tom Ford sold alongside the likes of limited edition Pirelli watches, Luis Morais diamond cuffs, Brunello Cucinelli leather/suede sneakers, and Bottega Veneta cufflinks. Here’s your chance to double your cashback on the ultimate holiday splurge!
Invest in clothing that stylishly stands the test of time, and your smart shopping skills will not only stretch your wardrobe’s reach out a little farther, but also saves money. COS is a wizard at transforming modern designs to create functional pieces oozing with longevity that include solid color, wool wrap cardigans; simply striped pajamas; uncomplicated polos; and cashmere scarfs. The brand caters to both men and women, and there’s even a Baby Collection to browse with many hammydown-worthy gems. A versatile, flexible wardrobe is only fingertips away…just like the double the cashback savings you’ll earn.
Holiday lights won’t be the only thing sparkling this season. A new pair of eyewear not only enhances the look of your eyes, but can also really let your personality shine. With new arrivals at every turn, an inventory stocked with affordably-priced, optical pizzazz offers plenty of options that encourage men, women and kids to embrace the latest eyewear trends. Shop vintage-style stunners, gemstone embellishments, oval lens, studded frames, as well as bold colors and patterns – and that’s just a taste of what to expect from Zenni Optical.
Double the Donation to the Nonprofit of Your Choice
When looking for a good cause to send 1-100% of your doubled, cash back windfall to as an automatic donation, we’d like to introduce you to the following organizations:
Pencils of Promise: The global initiative of Pencils of Promise concentrates on increasing access to quality education through building schools, supporting teachers, and improving literacy rates. As a result, the organization’s efforts have helped reduce poverty, prevent disease, empower women, and advance education goals in Ghana, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Laos. And, 100% of your online donation goes towards PoP programs. That’s because the nonprofit keeps their operation afloat solely through private donors and charity events.
Camp Kesem: Operating free summer camps for children impacted by a parent’s cancer, Camp Kesem is a Stanford University-founded program fueled by the passion of college student leaders. Since 2000, Kesem has increased its ability to serve more kids, expanding to over 100 chapters in 40 states throughout the U.S. In 2017, over 100 week-long sessions were held at Camp Kesem, with more than 7,000 children being able to attend. That’s 10 times the number of children the camp could support ten years ago!
Salvation Army: Investing in and building programs for those touched by poverty, natural disasters, abuse, hunger, homelessness and addiction, the Salvation Army is ‘dedicated to doing the most good’ for communities and individuals in distress. Helping those is need since 1865, their influence impacts the lives of approximately 25 million Americans annually, with a presence felt in 130 countries across the globe.
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin: Protecting an area that boasts a fascinating combination of land, water and biodiversity attracting over 2 million visitors annually, the EAC plays an important role in sustaining the unique natural resources of West Marin. Your donation goes towards the education and environmental advocacy programs of one of the only local organizations of its kind to take on extensive (sometimes decades-long) campaigns that address threats to the environment.
After participating in our Double Cash Back, Double Giving event, don’t forget to keep an eye out for more holiday deals and steals with the help of ourGiving Assistant Button, which you can download now, if you haven’t already.
This post is authored by Drawn from Valor, a partnered nonprofit.
Let us paint a picture for you: Imagine that you have a child or a family member who has been displaying unusual health symptoms. You take them to the doctor and you wait for test results. You are anxious and scared because you just want to help them feel better. Then, you get the diagnosis. It’s Type 1 diabetes. Now, the doctor gives you a lot of information, all of which you apparently have to learn right now. It seems like a whole new language! How can anyone learn all of this? What if you make a mistake?
Enter Drawn from Valor. Drawn from Valor is a nonprofit animation studio that uses the power of animation to educate and empower children and families who are facing life changing physical or mental health issues. It’s our goal to help them live longer, happier, healthier lives by providing them with the resources they need to understand their conditions.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE SO FAR?
Drawn from Valor’s first project,Kara and the (Not So) Dire Beastie was released in July 2018 as part of a new and innovative tool to help kids and their family members learn about Type 1 diabetes. The New Onset Diabetes Educator (NODE) contains an interactive eBook that tells the story of Kara, a young girl who has just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Through NODE, we follow Kara on an 8-episode animated journey of discovery as she learns to manage her condition.
Her adventures bring her into contact with new friends like Sir Rynge and the RedBlooded Knight who help her care for her pal, the Dire Beastie (a play on words for diabetes). The “Beastie” represents a cell in the body. He needs a special key, which stands in for insulin, to unlock his mouth so he can eat. Normally, he is a happy blue Beastie, roaming the kingdom eating “glueclose” (i.e., glucose). He becomes “Dire” when the keys go missing. At the end of the story, when Kara learns how to manage her diabetes, she realizes the Beastie is not so dire. Our hope is that children following along will feel the same way, will have learned the disease is manageable, and know they can live full, happy lives with Type 1 diabetes. You can learn more about Kara and her adventures here.
WHY ANIMATION AND WHY ARE WE EXCITED ABOUT GIVING ASSISTANT?
Studies have shown that children learn and understand material better and at a more rapid pace when it is presented in animated form. Additionally, because of their visual nature, animations are particularly well-suited for explaining topics and issues that may be hard to understand otherwise. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; one second of animation can literally be up to 30 pictures or more.
Animation is very expensive to create. It costs us approximately $225 per second…or nearly $94,500 for a 7-minute episode. While the cost of producing animated videos is high, they can help countless people, and we offer the animations for free on our website and across social media
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) estimates that 40,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes annually. If each of those patients used Giving Assistant and raised $2.37 through their purchases, together they could fund an entire series!
WHAT IS NEXT FOR DRAWN FROM VALOR?
While we have several projects planned, we are currently focusing on The Tales of the Golden Acorn, a series of free animated short films being created to help educate and empower young people who are directly or indirectly impacted by trauma. The series focuses on the effects, issues, and strategies for living with trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in a family setting.
While the subject matter is weighty and serious, the tales have been created specifically for young people – and are designed to bring the viewer on a journey of adventure and wonder as they learn.
Ultimately, the goal of Drawn from Valor is to empower families to transform their lives for the better regardless of the health challenges they may face. We hope that you’ll select us as your nonprofit of choice on Giving Assistant’s platform.