Favorite Quote: "My mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention."
Interests: Travel, New Media, My dog, Tex-Mex, Writings by Thomas Friedman, "The Office"
Fun facts: My goal is to travel around the world. This year I took a trip to India and for my next big trip I hope to go to Australia.
Posted by Taylor Shanklin at Jul 02, 2012 10:37 AM CDT
Categories: Constituent Empowerment, Fundraising, Technology
We live in a world of touch. Nonprofits touch lives with their mission and passion in working to solve the world’s crises. Individuals touch lives by taking a stand for something we believe in by walking, or marching or running for a cause. Technology touches us, and we touch technology. On average, Americans spend 2.7 hours a day socializing on their mobile devices. “Touch” technology is all around us.
As mobile phone usage increases and technology advances, it seems we now have the world at our fingertips. Whether I’m sitting in bed and catching up on email, out shopping and comparing the prices with the online store, or trying to register for a 5k run this Saturday, I’m touching technology. Literally. Of the 4 billion mobile phones in use on this planet, over 1 billion of them are smart phones. In a study by Microsoft tag, it is predicted that by 2014, that internet usage on mobile phones and smart devices will exceed that of laptops and desktops. That’s in less than two years. And, the growing number of smart devices that use “touch” technology tells us that it’s time to kick adaptation into high gear. In comes responsive web design. And, in comes responsive web design built into the newest release of Luminate Online. [And the crowd goes wild!]
To state it very, very simply, responsive web design is a principle in which websites are coded in a way so that no matter why type of device you are viewing a site on, that site will look nice. Using an iPhone, tablet, laptop or gigantic monitor to view your favorite website? If the site is coded using responsive design technologies (like HTML5 and CSS), then it doesn’t matter what size device you are using; it will render properly. With responsive web design employed on a site or application, the site or app will adapt to your screen size and input device. While it’s actually very practical in terms of technology, it sure feels like magic!
The Luminate Online team and TeamRaiser product are adapting as well. Our upcoming release will feature a re-designed TeamRaiser event registration process which utilizes the latest and greatest in responsive web design technology. What does this mean for your event participants registering through TeamRaiser? They will experience a much, much smoother registration process and will be able to easily complete registration no matter what device they use. [And the crowd goes wild again!]
Here’s a quick rundown on the key benefits:
Sound fantastic? Current TeamRaiser-using organizations may click here for more information.
Posted by Taylor Shanklin at Mar 07, 2012 11:00 AM CST
Categories: Constituent Empowerment, Content Management, Fundraising, Nonprofit Trends, Usability
Spring is in the air. (Breathe it in.) Can you hear the pattering of feet hitting the pavement, or smell the Gatorade as it splashes into rows of cups at the “fuel stations”? That’s right – event season is well upon us! While your participants are airing up their tires or breaking in their new pair of running shoes, there may be some tune-ups you can make to their experience with your event website.
If you are gearing up for an upcoming event, there are five essential elements you should have on the homepage of your event website. Check out the list and then check out your event homepage. If you don’t have these items front and center, add them. It will make things easier for your participants AND you.
If your event is just around the corner and you don’t have these items on your event homepage, I would still urge you to add them. There are plenty of folks who will register last minute or, like stated above, wait until the last minute to check for details on where to go and at what time.
Happy running, walking, cycling, swimming, climbing and jump roping!
Posted by Taylor Shanklin at Nov 23, 2011 09:25 AM CST
Categories: Constituent Empowerment, Nonprofit Trends, Social Media
Everyone is talking about social media these days. Many common questions come my way: How can I get my social media program off the ground? How can I integrate social media marketing efforts with other channels? How can I use social media to raise money? How can I engage my constituents through social media? However, one of the questions I don't get as often is: How can I use social media for stewardship?
Following up on one of Julia's points in her blog yesterday, I'd like to focus in on how you can use social media to show "how their contributions have helped," as she put it. Social media has still not quite yet proven itself to be the best fundraiser. However, I don't think anyone can deny what it is good at; and, that is sharing information. When developing your social media strategies and plan, think first about playing to its strenghts.
The holidays are a fantastic time to thank all of your supporters. Let's say that you send out an email ask this holiday or for end of year. Once all dollars are in and calculated for that particular ask and after the holidays are over and we are heading into January, think about how you can let your donors know how much they really helped. You may be planning an email to go out as a follow up and thank you message. But, think, too about using your social media channels to share your results and thank your donors. This can be as simple as a Facebook post or tweet that says, "Thank you to all of our supporters. We were able to raise $x this holiday that will help us do x." Or, "Thanks to you, we were able to feed x number of people this Thanksgiving".
Now, let's get even more creative. Did your organization do some sort of gift, food drive or animal adoption this holiday? Do you have photos? (Hint: If your event has yet to happen, remember to take photos or appoint a volunteer with the job!) How about posting an album on Flickr, or even turning your still photos into a video slideshow. There are plenty of tools out there - that are free - which help do just this. Check out VideoSpin, for example. If you are putting a video together, and sending out a print piece in the near future, how about putting a QR code on that piece that your constituents can scan and be taken to that "thank you" video? There are many ways you can thank your supporters. I'll leave you with a few of my favorite examples from some amazing organizations:
Enjoy and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
P.S. Scan this QR code for a special thank you message from Convio.
You may have been planning your end of year appeal messages for the past couple of months, or are getting started on this now. You probably already have or will put a lot of thought into the content and overall tone of your messages, and perhaps are working across departments on integrating your message into other media channels. All of that work is an important part of planning and developing your end of year campaign.
But, ask yourself this? What is going to make a possible donor open this message? How can I stand out? Have I thought about my subject line yet?
Let’s face it, your constituents are very likely going to be receiving end of year appeals from organizations other than your own. Maybe some they are those less involved with, and others they are more involved with. Amongst all of the clutter we know to be in our inboxes it is important to think about how to stand out in the crowd. Your heart-warming story that you have spent hours developing and integrating with other messaging will only get read if your e-appeal is opened.
That being said, if you have already written your subject lines, I’d like to urge you to test them against these tips. If you haven’t written them yet, then it’s time to get started. When writing your subject lines, keep these four things in mind:
If you have the opportunity to run a test of subject lines with a small group of constituents, that is fantastic. If your email marketing tools allow for split testing, then select a small audience, split it in half and test two subject lines with this group. You can see what performs better with your constituency and then send your message(s) out to the rest of your audience with the tried and true subject line. If you’d like to download a full article on this topic, click here.
Have fun with it and post any follow up comments or brainstorming ideas here!
Posted by Taylor Shanklin at Sep 07, 2011 10:06 AM CDT
Categories: Constituent Empowerment, Volunteerism
I'd like to keep it simple today and encourage you to do a little exercise in motivation inspired by a couple of recent Seth Godin blog posts, particularly one from today. While I had plans to post on a case study, this morning while thumbing through my emails I came across a call to action from Seth to do something very specific on End Malaria Day, today. It made me stop to think more about why we are all here at this particular web address and why do we want to read about online fundraising. In short, I think the readers and contributors of this blog in some way want to do something great to change the world for the better. Well, today is your day to start or to perhaps reevaluate how you are making that happen.
Seth urges his readers to do three things that will spread the word and help support funding for nets. Simply put, he said:"What would happen if you did that? What would happen if you stepped up and spent a few dollars? Here's what would happen: someone wouldn't die."
Today, I'd like you to take out a post-it note. Write this on it: Today is my day. Each day is your day to do a little more, to make a little more progress.
Take that with you everywhere you go. Post it up on your monitor, on your bathroom mirror, on your car steering wheel. Put it simply, like Seth. If people take action - simple action - for the cause you are passionate then about what will happen? Will a life be saved, will a child learn how to read, will a hungry man be fed?
Be clear with your constituents and keep it simple. Remind them that today is their day as well.
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