We’re thrilled to introduce the pledge4good website widget, which allows you to embed information about your favorite pledges onto your website or blog.
Simply visit www.pledge4good.com/widget, search for the pledge that you would like to embed in your site. The results will provide 2 (!) lines of code that you can copy and paste into your website or blog. You can also click “embed this pledge” on the right hand menu of your favorite pledge and get the embed code right there.
For those techies out there, you can even fully customize the look of the widget using CSS.
You can see a preview of the pledge4good widget in action below (searching for the term “half marathon”). We can’t wait to see the great pledges that you’re creating be even more effective fundraisers for your favorite nonprofit.
Vik and Lenny
A few months ago, we introduced you to our new mascot, Forgee. Well, we are pleased to announce today that Forgee was only the first step in revamping pledge4good to make the site more intuitive, simple, and, yes, more visually appealing. Our goal has always been to make pledge4good the most effective website to fundraise with friends, and we think pledge4good 2.0 is a significant step towards achieving that goal. Coming back to the redesigned pledge4good.com, you’ll find:
These are only a few of the changes that we have implemented on pledge4good.com over the past few months. We hope you visit us soon and let us know what you think. Email us thoughts, comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vik and Lenny
At pledge4good, we constantly are thinking about payment processing fees as we want to ensure that as much of donor’s generosity is received by our partners, whether charities or universities. As such, we closely follow Square, a start-up revolutionizing payment processing for offline, retail merchants. Square recently announced a new pricing plan for merchants that does away with the complication of variable rates for different types of payment transactions—i.e. keyed vs. swiped, card not present vs. present— introducing a fixed $275 per month per merchant fee below certain volume levels.
While we applaud Square for finally bringing transparency to the area of payment processing costs for merchants, we think our retail friends should be cautious in rapidly embracing the Square’s new pricing plan. While Square has significant momentum—they recently announced a deal to take on all payment processing for Starbucks in the U.S.—Square, despite its cost transparency, can be more expensive than the standard merchant account offered by your bank. In particular, Square appears more expensive for offline merchants:
We built a handy calculator for merchants to determine whether Square and its new pricing works for them. You can find it here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Av3_04cA_hyjdEE3bi0zem9HZDB4WDQwdE5LemZlOGc.
Please email me at email@example.com with any questions you have about using the calculator or the contents of this blog post.
Building a strong social network is vital to nonprofit success. As such, for our friends who are “socially-oriented” in both meanings of the word, we compiled this quick list of feeds to follow. These accounts will not only help you expand your network, but provide cogent advice for nonprofits and the socially-conscious on twitter. As Confucius said, “When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate him.”
With over 400,000 followers, Beth Kanter takes the top spot on our list. Simply stated: every nonprofit stands to benefit from reading her blog, “How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media.” Beth’s blog posts will certainly help jumpstart any organization’s social media strategy. Additionally, she regularly tweets engaging content about her travels and work with nonprofits (she is currently documenting her time in Cambodia with some great pictures!).
While Beth can help you get acquainted with the social media world, following Nonprofit Orgs is a great way to connect with other charities. In keeping with their mission is “to serve as a portal to all nonprofit organizations on Twitter,” they only follow nonprofits and nonprofit employees, forming a rich network of third sector streams.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in nonprofit work, and the same can be said for their twitter stream. Some claim that Twitter’s greatest gift is real time news, and @philanthropy makes it easy for your nonprofit to keep up with headlines affecting the sector.
TwitCause is dedicated to helping nonprofits on twitter—a noble aim that may convince you to follow them. If that isn’t enough, every Thursday TwitCause highlights a nonprofit and works to promote them through their growing network.
As with The Chronicle of Philanthropy, following @npquarterly ensures you stay up to date on important nonprofit sector news.
This is the twitter account of Bill Fitzpatrick, founder of the nonprofit American Success Institute. While his profile may seem quirky, he delivers solid advice and interesting commentary on a regular basis to his large following.
The importance of online donating cannot be stressed enough (which is why we built pledge4good!). Network for Good provides “practical, free fundraising trainings for nonprofits, and resources and software that make it as easy to donate online as it is to shop online.” As online donations increase, you need to stay up to date.
The Gates Foundation does philanthropy right. With a huge war chest and tireless effort, the foundation has not only improved the lives of millions across the globe, but also changed the nonprofit sector in America by focusing on sustainable development. In short, we find it important to keep an eye out for nuggets of wisdom from this feed.
While we won’t include him in the top ten, Bill Gates (and Melinda Gates) both have personal Twitter feeds that many nonprofits will find useful. Presently, Bill seems to tweet much more on his work with the foundation than with Microsoft, so he is definitely worth a follow.
Charity:water may be the strongest nonprofit account on twitter. They have well over 1.3 million followers, and they are constantly pushing out engaging content. Following @charitywater is a great way to gauge best practices for how a nonprofit should operate their Twitter account.
Beautiful. Livestrong regularly tweets fantastic content, but they made the top ten because of their wonderful style. Any nonprofit trying to make a name on Twitter should take a moment to look at Livestrong’s profile. Their distinctive colors and polished look are certainly to be admired by those looking to better brand themselves.
11) Shameless plug: @pledge4good
Sorry! We had to give ourselves just a little mention. We constantly tweet nonprofit related news, fundraising tips, social media tips and other useful information. We also spotlight nonprofits and the socially-conscious on a regular basis. Give us a follow if you like!
Overview: Back on My Feet is a national nonprofit organization focused on building self-sufficiency within the homeless population through a combination of running and educational, job training, and employment opportunities. The Baltimore/DC chapter of Back on My Feet (“BoMF B/D”) came to pledge4good in March of 2012 looking for a unique online solution to engage its extensive base of volunteers and “Member” beneficiaries, recruit new donors, and spread information regarding their unique poverty alleviation and homeless empowerment efforts in the Beltway area. Together, pledge4good and BoMF B/D developed a plan that took advantage of pledge4good’s unique pledge technology to build an organizational fundraiser around the everyday running of BoMF BD’s volunteers and Members. As described below, the BoMF B/D greatly exceeded its fundraising goal, as supporters ran ~11,000 miles and raised $13,500 due to motivation provided by pledge4good’s goal-based framework. BoMF B/D’s Communications Director Jackie Truncellito noted: “[v]olunteers are more receptive to messages from peers,” and pledge4good provided a platform which engaged volunteers as “people got that pledges correlated to miles run was a bit more fun than just donating.”
Baltimore and DC Runs Description: For the month of June, each member of the entire BoMF B/D chapter was asked to track how many miles he or she ran. Goals of 6,000 miles and 2,000 miles were set, respectively, for the Baltimore and DC sections of the chapter, respectively. As illustrated below, some supporters joined the Pledge created by BoMF B/D to donate for every 100 miles the chapter ran during June, while others created pledges tied to their own individual running efforts, with all of this activity easily viewed on a single Campaign page. Both the Pledge (http://p4g.us/PIf) and Campaign (https://pledge4good.com/campaigns/baltimore-runs) pages provided the ability to easily donate, share on social media, track fundraising progress, as well as post multimedia and comments.
The Result: BoMF B/D surpassed its fundraising goals:
Hello, my name is… Forgee. Chant with me, For-gee! For-gee For-gee!… If you visited pledge4good.com last week, you might have noticed my chip-chirpy face welcoming you across the site. I wanted to introduce myself. But, since I have no Klout, can’t code, Skype, QQ, or even wink, I had to wait for my caring colleagues at pledge4good to introduce me. Wait? This is the blog? Ugh, so much for caring colleagues. Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about myself:
If you would like to meet for an Arnold Palmer, go for a bike ride, or team up to dominate the American Museum of Natural History scavenger hunt, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
As we noted in a recent blog post, pledge4good has rolled out a new Group Sponsorship feature (you can see an example here: http://p4g.us/PLQ)! With this new tool, groups of friends and colleagues can collectively support an organization’s beneficiary, such as:
Similar to our Pledge feature, pledge4good’s Group Sponsorship capabilities take advantage of:
Join organizations such as the Nanubhai Education Foundation—whose existing Group Sponsorships of classrooms and students can be found in the “Sponsorship” tab on their profile (https://pledge4good.com/charities/nanubhai-education-foundation — and contact pledge4good co-founder Lenny Fishman (email@example.com) to learn more.
This past Saturday, at the Microsoft-hosted NYC BarCamp 7, I gave a presentation titled “Save Your $100K: MBA Lessons for Hackers” to an engaged audience of technology professionals. The presentation highlighted eight non-obvious, often under- appreciated lessons that I took away from my MBA (I recently graduated from UPenn / Wharton’s program) and have applied to managing pledge4good in just the last few weeks! Some of the topics that I covered include: HR management, contracts, fundraising, and inventory management.
Upon the audience’s suggestion, I uploaded the presentation to SlideShare (the embed is below) to make it available to others. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions (the audience had several questions about contracts and fundraising, in particular) on the topics presented, or if there are additional topics you would like me to address through this blog.
Please note that this presentation was created for an in person discussion, so many details were omitted from the slides and presented verbally. I am happy to flesh out any details you believe are relevant to you or your business on the blog or via email.
Our efforts to improve our easy-to-use donation tools continue! We wanted to share with you some of the exciting new features that make donating through pledge4good even more fun, casual, and social, including:
We hope that you take the time to explore pledge4good’s new features, create a new pledge, or join a friend’s pledge. If you have a favorite nonprofit that you think might benefit from the tools that we are building, please email us the organization’s name and let them know about pledge4good.com. Thanks again for using pledge4good and please keep the feedback coming!
If you maintain your organization’s Facebook page, you should know that Facebook just announced that they will be transitioning all nonprofit Fan Pages to the new Timeline design. To make your life a bit easier, we thought that we would quickly summarize the major changes:
For readers that have transitioned to Timeline on their personal Facebook profile, you may know that Facebook is looking to emphasize the “story” on the Timeline over the content on an “Info” tab. Following this transition, it will become ever more important for your organization to carefully curate content on your Facebook Fan Page in order to provide existing and potential donors a rich feel for your organization, mission, and impact.