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PhilanthroBuzz - January 2012
Tips for Nonprofit Partners 
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We Give 100%
Welcome to PhilanthroBuzz!  We're so pleased to have you as part of the UniversalGiving community.  Our goal is to help partners like you receive more donors and volunteers to support your efforts.  That's why 100% of every donation goes directly to you.  We hope 2012 is full of growth and success!  Please read below for Successful Stories & Tips.  
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Success Story
Congratulations to Build Change for their phenomenal effort last year! Build Change received more than $7,000 through UniversalGiving in 2011. We talked to Colette Liddell at Build Change to learn from their success.
  • Handwritten thank you notes are worth the extra time. Colette said, “Our donors tell us they really appreciate the personal touch. While it would be easier to print out letters, it’s the one big thing we’ll continue to do even as we grow.”
  • Being specific in your ask allows donors to give to people rather than organizations. According to Colette, “UniversalGiving allows us to showcase specific activities and break giving down to impact.  By being explicit and saying ‘Train 5 students in Earthquake-Resistant Construction,’ donors know exactly who their money is helping."
  • It’s good to be light-hearted.  An engineering firm that supports Build Change did a Twitter campaign asking people to respond to a holiday-themed question. For each response they donated $5 to Build Change.  Build Change forwarded the opportunity to their network and received record results. Colette pointed out, “What we do at Build Change is serious – it’s about earthquakes and tragedy. This allowed us to balance our message and convey a light-hearted spirit.”
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Best Practices from our Top Partners
We reviewed our donations in 2011 and took a closer look at our top performing NGOs to see what we could learn. While our top seven NGOs were unique and varied – ranging in annual budgets as small as $32K to as big as $29 million – here’s how they were able to best utilize the UniversalGiving site:
  • Gift Packages – most donations came through our gift packages. They ranged in amount from $10 to $1,000 and were for specific, tangible items. For example, gift packages with titles like, “Give $25 to nourish a child for a month” worked better than “Help to fight hunger.”
  • Photos – colorful photos make giving feel more personal, compelling, and legitimate.
  • Include a link to UniversalGiving on your site – for small NGOs, this can add credibility by showing your work is supported and vetted by partners.
  • Publicize awards – not only do awards draw people to your site, but they also provide donors with a sense of trust. Donors are constantly asking “How do I know my dollars will be used well?”  If you are not yet “award-winning” there are many opportunities to nominate your organization!
  • Keep your UniversalGiving account up to date – the only way for us to raise money and recruit volunteers on your behalf is to have current giving opportunities! Update your account today.
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