- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
Transcript: Live Ask the Guru Session with Sarah Koch
Kristin: Hi and welcome back to the ‘Gear up for Giving, Ask the guru’ sessions from Case foundation. We are here after couple of weeks on the west coast; we are back in Washington DC for the last session with Sarah from causes on Facebook. Causes on facebook as many of you know has been used by hundreds of thousands of people to raise over 30 million dollars for the causes that they care about. So, we are really excited to have her to talk about what they are doing. Before we get started with Sarah, I want to say thank you to all of our partners for Gear up for Giving, the Goldhirsh Foundation, See3 Communications and Flip video. While I am mentioning the Flip video if you are enjoying this session or if you have seen some of our sessions before this one, go ahead and take up the survey on the right side of your screen and tell us know how we are doing, what you found useful about this session. You will be you entitled to win a Flip video and $250 for your cause. Also I wanted to mention if you had missed our other sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays this month, you can still watch the video and access the transcripts which will be on casefoundation.org
Now this is Sarah, we have announced that we are doing the next America’s Giving Challenge on the 7th of October and our partners, causes and Parade magazine. Causes is our technology platform so we want to make sure that the other one had the chance to ask all the question about causes on Facebook, how to use it and how they should the people involved and raise money in that tool. We have been getting lot of questions regarding causes during Gear up for Giving but we have been holding most part of them so that Sarah could answer them today since she is our expert
Kristin: Sarah do you want to start talking about the basics. What is causes and how do we use it.
Sarah: Sure, that would be great. Causes has been here for about two and half years now, it was begun as an application in Facebook with the idea, there is already a social network out there how do we elaborate that social network to create some lasting impact and change. So we developed lot of tools for non-profits to help them out when they are using the features as well as tools for individuals who are really passionate about an issue.
So if you haven’t got started on causes yet, the first thing to do is make sure you have a facebook profile. Once you have taken care of that you can search for the causes application, add the application and you can start browsing causes, looking for cause that your friends are in or starting a cause for something important to you and issue that you are interested in or the cause for your nonprofits is working on. Once you decide what you want to do there, usually I help the nonprofits or the individual activists getting started if they are coming up with a good issue which they want their causes to be focused on; getting that all setup, picking and engaging, cause image and mission & vision, to explain the people what your cause is working on and then most importantly getting to recruit people, getting the word about what your cause is doing. That’s where we have some really important ways where nonprofits can really spread the word of what you are doing on causes and link it with the other things that you are working on. So, that would be anything from highlighting your newsletter, featuring it on your website, getting your board members involved which is something I really think is interesting because you would surprised to know how many board members have a facebook profile or have friends with facebook profile and really get humped up to reach out to their network to change the way. They can contribute more than merely attending the monthly meetings or if they are a super active board member they may start recruiting in a way that is really transparent and really engaging.
Kristin: Great, a lot of people have asked “I thought causes on facebook was for just individuals who want to raise money for something that they care about.” Can nonprofits also start causes for themselves?
Sarah: Great question. The thing to remember is that, everyone who works for your nonprofit is an individual. So technically it’s an individual starting a cause but you can be strategic about it. You can say like this team of people are going to start a cause and going to be working on and that’s going to be a nonprofit that is active. That’s the difference, individuals can start causes for something that they believe in that you as a nonprofit don’t have to get involved in. They start doing the work on their own and you can take a really proactive lead by starting your own cause for an issue or program that you are working on or reaching out to people who have already started causes on that and say “Thank you so much for the work that you are doing, we as a nonprofit have a lot of resources around this issue. How can we help?
Kristin: Great. I am going to start with a question that we got on the email. If you still want to email your questions, you can do that at ‘email@example.com’ or if you are already on Twitter, you can tweet them using the ‘#’ tag ‘# AGC’ so that we can find them and then you can also chat on the window below this screen. The first question that I am going to take from email has two parts actually. The first part is “Should nonprofits ask their facebook supporters to join both, as cause members and a fan or should they just one approach?” and this is a pretty common question that we have seen. You know there are profiles, there are fan pages, there are groups, and there are causes. It’s like you are in facebook you don’t know what to do, I am sure there different answers to this question. What do you think is the most strategic approach as far as how to use the different visas?
Sarah: Yeah, that’s a fantastic and definitely one of the questions that I get the most. The first thing to establish is that while fan pages and causes could both be representing your organization they are very different, they are different not only in the way that they are setup and the tools that they give but in the way that you can actually reach out to your supporters and find what kind of strategy that you want to have on each of these features. So let’s start with the fan page. The fan page was developed by facebook because they didn’t want companies and people having personal profiles but want individual people and this really hits home to what makes facebook successful which is the idea of authentic identity. So everyone who has an individual personal profile on facebook should be a real person using their real name interacting with their real friends and that’s what we capitalized on. Causes as well are using authentic identities and authentic networks.
So fan pages were developed so that companies and nonprofits could have a presence on facebook that wasn’t using a personal profile in a way that they didn’t want. So it’s great that you can’t put there for your nonprofit and say ‘this is our nonprofits’ main presence on facebook’. Now it’s also a really great way to push information out. So when they update their face page you can post a status message from a fan page that goes out just like from a personal profile, so it goes into your stream on your newsfeed. That’s a really great way, what I think as an advantage is that you can post multiple short messages to people, it’s not really an aggressive form of communication. It goes out in a newsfeed, and if people happen to be on the facebook at the time when you post the message they get it.
One of the disadvantages is that you cannot guarantee that people are seeing your information, just like a friend of yours could have posted some photos and you could have missed it because you don’t go to their profile very often and you didn’t see their newsfeed. So, it’s something nice in a way that you can get in touch with people more often without being overwhelming to them but causes is great because when you are running a certain campaign or when you are doing something that is very important that you have to reach out to people right away, causes has the tools to do that. That’s why causes is based not just for disseminating information but for actually running campaign. So the nice thing is that you can build a community on the cause similar to building a community on the fan page but it’s mobilizing the people and leveraging the community, to actually run a fundraising drive, start a petition, do something dealing with activism or share a media haydom that’s raising lot of education about the issue that you are working on. Those are all the things that you can do on your cause and that is how you can build that community and mobilize it actually to take action. This doesn’t mean that you should just use a cause over a fan page; it does mean that when you want to take strategic action it is good to do that on the cause. Post a message on the fan page that it is happening in the cause so if they want to get involved in the campaign more than just raising the awareness and seeing updates that you have, they have a place to do that.
Kristin: I think you kind of addressed the second part of the question which was “is it worth generating entirely different content for causes and fan pages if you have both?” so we do not reiterate.
Sarah: Yeah, I think it’s important to know that you don’t have to generate a material for a cause versus a fan page. They go out to totally different places, the information that you post on the fan page goes out to the newsfeed, the information in the cause can be in the cause or can be sent as an email notification and so you can think of it as sending it out in a few different ways so that people could see it depending on what they look at. So it’s the idea of, if you have it auto pulled you post in your e-news letter you may also put that up on your website because you are not sure where people are looking. So you can feel comfortable about posting information in multiple sites especially since people are getting two emails, they are not getting an email from the fan page and email from the cause and since things go in the stream they might look or not look as they wish but you are not overwhelming them on the information you are just making it more accessible to them.
Kristin: That makes sense because you could have people who are just a fan or just a cause member. You want to make sure that both get the information.
Sarah: Yeah, definitely and that’s one thing that is tough to know is how much of those gets overlap. I talk to several nonprofits that say that they don’t know for sure but they think that they are different communities on the cause versus the fan page. so when they do post the same information for the groups they get very different types of comments and different types of discussions that go on based on those. They have seen different reactions and they really enjoy the fact that they get diverse comment happening in two different places.
Kristin: I am going to a question from chat and it’s about giving donations, it says “We have many causes raising money for us but when we receive our checks from Network for Good it’s very hard for them to tell which cause had raised the money. Is there a better way to track?” you know if you are fortunate enough to have multiple people who have causes for you, is there a way to track who raised the money.
Sarah: That’s one of the things that we realize at causes that we need to build up for you. We put in our nonprofit partner center and I do think that it is important to have as much transparency about donations as possible. So that you can honor what cause people donated to if you are doing that automatically or if you different issues and you want to make sure that the money goes to the issue that people donated for. So if you are a nonprofit partner, you can login at ‘nonprofits.causes.com’ and if you are not a nonprofit partner you can still go to the same website and create your account there. There is no fee for the basic service and it’s open to any 501(c) (3) non profits or Canadian sharing.
So anybody who is fundraising on cause we actually just launched the new upgraded partner center this week so there are a lot of great new features in there but specific to donations there is a tab in the partner center that says fundraising so that’s where you can find a list of all the donations that has been mad with the name of the person who gave the donation with a link to their impact page on causes. So you can easily thank them. How much is the donation for? What cause they donated to? And when the donation was made?
There is also a downloadable excel spreadsheet so that once a month when you get the check from Network for Good, you can download the spreadsheet, sort the data by cause and see “Ok we got the October check, for the month of September” because the checks come once a month on the 15th for the previous month. So on October 15th you get your checks for the month of September, you can verify the spreadsheet and say “Ok we got 15 donations, 5 from this cause, 5 from this cause and 5 from this cause” and you can very easily see the total donations for each one. So it’s very easy to keep a track of that and make sure that you are helping your internal counting as well as dividing up the money from the different causes.
Kristin: That’s fantastic, since you have mentioned that, why don’t you back up little bit Sarah and talk about the partner center and how people have to become partners and what are the various features that people can expect from a part center.
Sarah: Sure, I would love to tell you more about that, I am really excited about the new upgrade that we have done and we have put in a lot of time and research to find what nonprofits really need and we have given you a set of tools that is really going to help you to enhance your experience on causes and understand your supporters more. Let’s start from the very beginning, if you are not a nonprofit partner there are two different ways that you can sign up to be a nonprofit partner, you can go to ‘nonprofits.causes.com’ and click ‘Create a profile today’ or if you are already on your cause you can click where it says ‘all donations for this cause goes to’ and it will list your nonprofit as your beneficiary, you can click on that link and it will take you to your nonprofit profile. This is a resource page that link to every cause that benefits you. The idea is, it’s a place for your nonprofit to put up some information who want to know more about who the donations are going to and if you are not a nonprofit partner yet you would find a link at the very top that says. ‘You are not a nonprofit partner, claim this profile’ and it will take you to the same website ‘nonprofits.causes.com’ where you can sign up to be a partner. It’s a very simple process, you just need to verify your EIN just to make sure you are signing up for the right organization because if you are a branch of the Red Cross and you sign up as Boys Drill group that’s probably not going to help you.
So we want to make sure you are signing up for the right organization and that you’re actually someone who works for that nonprofit. We do ask to use your organizational email so when I am looking at your application I know that you really work for this nonprofit and that your trying to create the profile, because there are people that randomly sign up for something and obviously are not working for that nonprofit so we try to be as diligent as possible and make sure that those applications don’t get approved and only nonprofit sign up for the nonprofit program. It’s just an extra step for precaution to make sure that we are protecting you. Also on the application we ask you to upload your logo and the contact information and that’s pretty much it. Once you get approved you will get an email saying “Welcome as a nonprofit partner” and you can login at ‘nonprofits.causes.com’.
The login information is what you put on the original application as your user name and password, so when you fill it up make sure you make a note of it. But if you do forget it you can request an email for the reminder of your username and password from the login page. So, once you are done with all these and I promise it would take less time than I took to explain. You can login with the user name and password and you will be directed to your partner center. So the basic thing that you would see there is a new dash board that gives you information about your supporter base. So it will show how many causes benefit your organization, how many members is there. There is a really nifty graph about cause growth that will show the growth of your causes and your membership details and it will also show you progresses made on your active petition and some other information. The next tab you will see is the causes tab and this is one of the newest additions to the partner center, this has the ability to create affiliate causes. An affiliate cause is a cause that you recognize as one that either supporting your campaigns, working on your issues or doing something that you feel really lines up with what you’re nonprofit is doing.
So you can request that cause become an affiliate cause of your nonprofit and that gives you the ability to communicate directly with the cause administrators as well as post bulletin to the cause members of that cause and become an administrator of that cause. You can also do things like edit the cause, upload a new image if you had taken a real good picture of an even or a picture of the service that your organization is doing so it gives you some great benefits.
When you request that a cause to become an affiliate, you need to get the administrators’ approval because it’s an important two way relationship. But it’s a great way to get more involved in the cause supporting you and to develop a relationship with the cause administrators. In the rest of the partner center you would see ways to post bulletin that I talked about, to setup some donor choices to make greater impact on your donations.
So you can actually say “$25 will actually pay for a block of geese” and that when people give the donation they understand the impact that it’s making you can also setup petitions at the partner center. So make sure to check that out and for more information you can always go to causes exchange at ‘exchange.causes.com’
Kristin: Great. I am actually going to go after something you mentioned about “block of geese” because we had a question from chat “Is that a charity gift, are there any charity gift. Do I create a charity gift that will benefit my nonprofit?”
Sarah: Great question, so currently we are not expanding any charity gifts we still have the same number when we launched two and half years ago. We are not planning of expanding anytime soon and if we do it’s going to be one of the things that we want to improve the feature before letting people make charity gifts. We don’t really want to be just a badge on your cause. We want to be something that people actually use a lot and engage with. We are reviewing it now and when we figure out a really great way it will expand but I was just talking to a group of nonprofits and I got a great comment from lucent world relief, they actually started using donor choices which you can create from the partner center as more or less like a charity gifts. They have setup a few different donor choices that represent things they are buying. They are doing things like “$25 would buy a block of geese” and have created a set of donor choices that represent real things and it seems like charity gifts to people. So, when they make that donation they actually feel that they are buying that thing. That’s a creative way to use the feature and it’s a great way to get the people involved to really highlight the impact.
Kristin: That’s a great tip. If you don’t have a charity gift that benefits your cause you can quantify what a certain amount of money would buy and I think that’s always effective in fundraising because will exactly know what their money can buy and help somebody. Especially with these small donations, it helps them see that $10 or $20 can make a difference.
Sarah: People always appreciate transparency. I am going to be much more likely personally to donate to a nonprofit where I know what they are spending my money on and what types of things the donations go to rather than an organization that keeps all kind of close to their chest and doesn’t really tell you what your donation is doing, because you don’t really know what they are doing. Even if you can’t say that we guarantee that this money would go exactly here, giving examples of what the money goes for and creating those stories and being as specific and as transparent as you can, will always help the people relate to your work better.
Kristin: Great. I am going to take another follow up question from twitter, when we were talking about the groups and pages. Someone is asking, “Can I somehow export my facebook group to a fan or a cause page?” so you have already got a group that you have been building, how do get them to sign up to join your group and how do you get to them in your cause. It’s there an automatic or strategic way to do that.
Sarah: I don’t know between the groups and fan pages I don’t think there is a way to do that but I am not really sure because those are directly run by facebook and causes is a separate thing. But I do know that related to cause there isn’t way to directly move a group or a fan page into a cause just like there isn’t a way to consolidate two causes together. So it’s really point that you know what you are getting yourself into and then it is not easily transferable but here is the thing, this is what I always think of when people ask me this question. Let’s say you have a group, say that it has a thousand members on it and you really want to make sure that those thousand members keep getting updates from you.
So, what you can do is, you can let them know that you are switching from a group to a cause, provide with the link, give them the update and make sure you don’t close down the group right away so that if they go back they get the information. The thing is that your good supporters your quality activists are going to move over and if people see and decide not to take any action or aren’t going back to your group, having the people in your cause won’t be productive anyway because they are not the action takers. Even if you give them a simple thing to do to make them stay involved and if they are really interested they are going to do that and those are the people that would boast your numbers probably make you more frustrated when you plan to do major campaign thinking you have enough people and they really aren’t going to do that.
I think that even numbers are really important, anytime you can reach out to people whether it’s effective or not they take action. When it comes to campaign and you want to gain that momentum you can probably find those people again, they’ll find you or they would not have made to your campaign anyway.
Kristin: I think that a great point which goes to all the social media that we talked about. In our earlier Gear up for giving people have asked how I get lot of followers on twitter, how do I get lot of people on my fan page? and the same goes with causes, it’s not as much about the number because someone is not going to be engaged and not going to communicate with you, they don’t really care about your cause then it’s not that helpful to just have them as nobody in the room. So, I think that’s a good point for all the social media.
Kristin: We have so many questions. I am going to another one from chat which from someone who is new to causes, they said “Am I understanding that if we have several campaigns, capital scholarship etc., then we should have a cause for each and post info specific to that campaign to that cause?” So, if I am a nonprofit and I have various campaigns for separate things, should I create separate cause for each one?
Sarah: That’s a fantastic question and this is probably one of the things that I love strategizing with nonprofits the most. Here is I think the general questions to ask yourself before you make a decision. I think the first question is; what would you create these causes around? If your organization has multiple issues that have different supporter bases then that makes sense. Think of it this way, the Red Cross does those disaster relief work and love services work. So when you go to donate blood there could be someone who could be really interested in helping out with disaster relief but who doesn’t really care of blood donations or anything like that, you don’t necessarily want to send updates and information on both of those issues to the same communities because you actually could lose some supporters who would think like “I came for this cause because it’s about hurricane relief but now all I am getting is updates about this. I don’t want to know about this, I am going to find a different cause.”
So if you do think that you have supporters for different issues, different programs, different things that you are doing, don’t completely over lap. Definitely go the way of having multiple causes based on issues. Then you’ll probably keep those people more engaged and have better updates about what’s going on each of those issues as well as recruit new people who might not necessarily know that your organization is doing this issue. So when they search for something like disaster relief they would find your cause and would think that this is something that I care about. So I think that’s one of the most important things that you really need to think about. Also it doesn’t really hurt you if do think that your supporters really support your organization, what you are working on and you are still focusing on the same type of service but in different ways, then it’s probably okay to have one cause.
If those people are going to be the same type of community and you are approaching for the service that you do in a different way, then probably those people will react positively and will be in the same group for people that you want to give the updates to. So that’s how we look at it and it doesn’t hurt to get started with just one cause in the beginning. Get that going, start building moment, make a note of something that everybody who support your organization, can identify with or the strongest issue that you have, might be one of the most successful causes that you have; get that going, see how you feel, see how your supporters are reacting and then you can always make a decision of “Okay if we start the second cause what would that be? How do we approach it? How would it be different? How would our community be different? And you can actually ask the cause community that you already have would they be interested for a cause like this. Would you update here or should we start something new? Just see what the cause community says because you would be surprised with the great feedback that they give and if you do decide to do something different you probably have supporters behind you who are going to be the first ones to go to that cause, help you recruit or doing that jointly with you.
Kristin: I am going to take another question from email about “What are some of the effective fundraising strategies?” we know if we want to fundraise; there a lots of things we can do in causes but fundraising is what it is most know for. So how can people more strategically fundraise for causes?
Sarah: Yeah, I can definitely highlight couple of different ways that I have seen, trying to give some successful examples. The first thing that I really love is Birthday wish, we started birthday wish early this year and it went incredibly successful in making donations both really personal as well as getting people involved that might not been involved before or just to really build the momentum behind. The way the birthday wish is that, we send out email to people 30 days before their birthday, if their birthday is on facebook that’s how we access the information and we’ll send an email saying “Hey your birthday is coming up. Happy early birthday! You can start a birthday wish”; you can choose any cause that you are in and raise money for that. So people can start clicking on it right away and start making the birthday wish, select a cause and make a personal message for why do they really care about this cause. Why are you going to raise money for this for you birthday, messaging like “you don’t have to take me out for dinner for my birthday, don’t have to give me a gift but please donate to this and here is why, here is what it means to me”. You know some of those that I have seen was incredibly personal and incredibly impressive and told me about my friends that I didn’t know before. So, it’s a great way to let your friend know what you care about and how they can help you doing that on your birthday. So we help you to send reminders to your friends, post your status message, give you lot of tools to make sure that you can reach out to people in the best way possible.
So, that’s a fun new tool that you can use, there’s also the ability to send out a link for birthday wish for all of your cause supporters which is something I think is great for nonprofits. If you are an administrator for your cause, click on the admin center which is under the cause image, one of the tabs there will be birthday wish. Under the birthday wish tab you can copy and paste link if someone’s birthday is in 30 days they can click on that link and it will automatically get them started setup a birthday wish that goes to your cause. That’s a way to really use direct messaging not just say ‘Oh sir birthday wish and by the way if you think of it while you are doing it setup for our cause’ but it should be like ‘If you want to setup a birthday wish for our cause, click on this link and we will get you started right away’. So that’s a great way that you can really enforce the people what you are doing and if this doesn’t help this will definitely.
Tip number 2. Just make sure to explain the Impact, explain why it’s important, explain were the funds are going and not only will that work in a birthday wish cracking the message to friends and families, they can say this nonprofit is working on this, these are the types things that the money is going to go to but it also build effective fundraising blogs. You put up a fundraising blog that says “we want to raise $5000” and that’s really all that you are saying or we would want to raise for our organization. People don’t understand what that means, even if you have done a good job of saying these are the good things that we did in the past, asking them to donate without saying what you are trying to accomplish often tries to make feel like, they don’t understand where the money is going, they don’t understand why you are asking for it now. Have you picked up some arbiter blog? It’s really good to say, we have set a goal for $5000 because we are going to accomplish ‘x, y and z’, here is how you can help.
Make it really tangible, provide as much information as possible and while you are doing a fundraising goal like that make sure to check back with your members, say “this is how many donors we had, this is how much we have accomplished and here is how much is left and maybe try to highlight a top fundraiser or a top donor or somebody who started a birthday wish for you and that made to raise $500 for your cause, appreciate those people, make sure to thank them personally and acknowledge them to the cause community because the cause is a community and there is a certain level of social acknowledgement when people take action on the cause. I am going to be more likely to join a cause if you invite me Kristin and if you donate then I would think that you are really supporting this campaign maybe this is something that I should get more active. That’s what makes doing something in social networks or doing something where there is a community really strong.
Sarah: I think being strategic when you are talking about fundraising making sure that you are clear about the impact that you are doing. Another idea, if your organization has any kind of corporate relationships or existing corporate sponsors is to do a cause sponsorship. We have done a few of those this year starting Ben and Jerry’s back in January, we sponsored common cause with their inauguration base theme of Yes we can, the one that we currently have is a million dollar matching campaign sponsored by Aflock for the aflock cancer center. We are winding down the campaign, the last time I checked I think we are within 170 thousand out of the million dollars. So they are getting little close. They way they have done is a dollar for every person who join the cause and matching every donation that has been made. So it’s a great way to both incentivize people to join the cause and include their friends as well as saying we are giving up this money if you guys are able to donate and willing to donate we can match that. It kind of doubles the impact of all donations and really get the word about what is being going on. So based on a really great job you have the incentive that’s there for the sponsorship which is a really important thing as well as they have been posting some really great media, some links and articles, some wonderful videos, some really cute videos. So transparent and obviously about what the cancel center is doing to make the people feel that they are actually involved and receiving what they are giving which is definitely very important. So that’s another option if you are interested and if you have a corporate sponsor, make sure to contact them.
Kristin: I am going to take a follow up question from chat about birthday wish. Someone says I love birthday wish application. I did it on my birthday. But they are wondering if there is something to setup similar for the holidays. Christmas is coming up. Is there anything, you know unfortunately, your birthday comes only once in a year. If you missed it or if you want to just do it again, is there something up like that?
Sarah: So there is nothing yet. But it is something that we are thinking about. It’s something that I think that is really interesting and engaging and it’s something that we are thinking about here at causes. So, if there is something we are able to do, we will definitely announce it on cause’s exchange. You guys can take advantage of the opportunity.
Kristin: Okay. Someone else from chat is wondering if they can use the cause to support international non-profits.
Sarah: You can use the cause to support the international work. But at this time we can accept donations only to US 501(C3) non profits and Canadian charities. That doesn’t mean you can’t start a cause to raise awareness about what’s happening or what that non-profit is doing; definitely worked with some non-profits that are based in other countries where they start a cause, they got a community and they are doing advocacy work. They can include a link to their website or something. They don’t keep track of the donations on the cause that remains on the website.
We only keep track of the donations made on the cause. But it’s still way to increase awareness; take advantage of the social awareness and still talk about what work is done. You know, because your awareness about what your organization is doing is always a really important thing to do. You know, building those more people who know your organization is, know what you are doing and give them different ways of getting involved. That’s still valuable or you can try to forge alliance service with existing US social media non-profits. You know, maybe there is somebody that’s already doing that work in the area or the issue that you are. You talk to them and you can make a partnership and work with them on that.
Kristin: As mentioned with this sort of situation where there is a non-profit that is not located in the US; people are not always going to donate. When you ask them to join a cause; sometimes they will join but they won’t donate. You know, if it’s someone who’s not going to donate, what are the benefits in having them as part of your cause and what are the other actions they can take via causes if it’s not donations.
Sarah: That’s a great question. So, there are a few different strategies you can have on causes and few different things you can do. And I like to use the word strategy because it is really important to working out what kind of strategy you want to have, what’s your plan is and what your goals are. And you can have different plans and different goals when you are approaching causes. I talk to non-profits that are like you know we want to use this to raise awareness of the issue we are dealing with. We don’t necessarily want to fund raise right now. We might want to do that in the future. But this is our goal right now. There is nothing wrong with that. You know, the goal that your organization is doing is that you know you’re doing to fulfill the mission of your organization however you see fit.
That’s a really great way in using the community in different ways that line up with what your needs are. It’s fantastic. So that can be anywhere from raising awareness, educating people about your issue, getting the world heard about what you are working on, doing advocacy campaigns. The petition tool is a great way to do advocacy work. Our largest petition broke I think 3.3 million people now which deals with genetic markers testing for Breast cancer. I know we also had several hundred petitions that have been made by non-profits which is something else do from the profits center nonprofits.com, causes.com and you can also do fund raising type of work.
I think that when you are approaching fund raising, the important thing is to really make sure that you set up a community who can support your fund raising campaign and that you kind of built things strategically and built them in a way where in you have already developed the community, built the relationship, got them engaged and then you ask them for money. Because if you build a cause of 100 people and put up fund raising for $25000; first of all that is probably not going to be achievable. Second of all, you are already going to start alienating your cause members by having them feel like you given them huge ask like how we can do that. You know, that’s going to start them feel nervous and it will cluster you as a community. So making sure that, you are sequencing things appropriately, building up communities who can support the goals you have and making sure that if for some reason, you don’t achieve the goal you made; still thank the people who had give it you. Maybe next time around re-assess how approach the goal, what the goal was. You know try to make it a little bit realistic. Or ask cause members what they think the goal should be, maybe if they decide what the goal is, to get there together as a community is much more likely to mobilize when the campaign starts to take part in that.
Kristin: Great. I am going to go with another question from email which is how much people donate normally on causes?
Sarah: That’s fantastic. So, the median donation is $25 on causes. Use median, you know somebody gets $5000. But the most common donation is $25. So it is good for people to ask for $25. It’s pretty reasonable to ask for small amounts from people. I mean what causes is really great at is giving anybody the opportunity to take part. So, anybody can join them a cause. You know, if they are able giving $10 or $25, can be really impactful because that’s how we reached $13000000 on causes right. You know it is really lot of small donations. And I think that it makes it much easier and more acceptable for the individual to give $10 or $25 on causes. I definitely in my life have been like I can get only $10 and I should send it to this organization. I feel really sweet sending them a check for $10 even though they would love that. I am sure that the non-profit would absolutely appreciate that. But personally I am comfortable and it is just a personal thing that everybody approaches it differently. But I like that on causes.
I can give that and actually it’s encouraged, it’s easy and you know may be I will give $20 if I have $20. So, that’s people building mentally. Much easy for people to give you know very easy and affordable for them to give.
Kristin: Great. Another question we have from chat is I have noticed that there are few causes that you have created to support my non-profit. Is there a way to merge these all?
Sarah: So, there isn’t a way to merge causes. Each cause median is separate. I think it depends on what cause they are working on. It doesn’t really hurt to have multiple causes especially if they have different administrators. If there are different administrators, they are going to approach differently, they are going to have different resources and the community and people that they gained has come from networks gained with administrators. So, people are connected and people who are connected. So, that’s going to be different people and people will know different people and might want to approach things in a different way. So, you don’t want to be managing 10 exactly same causes; especially if you are the administrator of all 10 causes. But don’t be afraid to have multiple causes, because those community members are still being important. One thing though is that if you do have multiple causes, you know I just approach on the same way when talking about groups. You know, if you send people message and say and trying to consolidate things, make more successful campaigns, you know you are going to have this cause to move over. Probably get the people who are active to move over. You can always see how they go and try to just look how it is set up look at how it’s best for your non-profit and Look at the resources that you have. But don’t be afraid to try things that are little different. And you can always try it out for couple of weeks, couple of months; see how you feel, see how your resources have been sent out and see how the cause median responded.
Kristin: Okay. Great. Another question from e mail is that can’t relay to should I communicate if I am a non-profit professional? Should I communicate to other people who have causes which benefit my non-profit? Is there a way to do that easily?
Sarah: So I think that really depends on what you want to accomplish to do that conversation. You know, if you are willing to give that causes to the resources or if you just want to thank them you know we really appreciate your work. Those are really positive ways to interact with cause’s administrators.
And it’s very easy to send them the message when they are on the cause administrator’s right hand column put on their name and on their impact page. It can be a general message and things like that. Really, if you have some time and interested in some time to improve your relationship, you know that’s a really great way to support and help out cause administrators that have already done something to you. When we call unaffiliated activists people who don’t work for your non-profits.
It is probably because they really care about that. So passionate about what they are doing, can capitalize on and use that passion to compliment the resources that you have. And to really spur up great campaign and great strategy. So, I have to say generally though you should respect the cause administrator, the community that they built, You know definitely non-profits are sometimes like I want to come and take over this cause; but that’s not acknowledging the work that have put in it and it is like disregarding the great activist that you could use to build more successful campaigns. Usually the great way to approach is to thank them for the work they have done and ask them how you can help. You know maybe you would say, if you are interested, I would co-administrate your cause and see what we can do together. But it’s often worth recognizing what they have put a lot of work into this and see how they think that you can help. Just like asking a community what they think you should do for the next campaign. People appreciate being asked, people appreciate being thanked for the work they’ve done and seeing what the next steps are that you can do it together. I’ve known some really great causes that has flourished after the non-profit has offered for help and worked with the cause administrator who indulged most of the times in the cause and now has a non-profit employee administrating with him and it gives a really great perspective. You can add the more personal stories of the cause administrator along with the resources and the information from the non-profits. So, it gives two different perspectives and a lot of different kinds of resources you know multiple ways that the cause administrator feel engaged and involved.
Kristin: Great. We have another question from chat which is about the Affleck Cancer Center cause. It says Hi Sarah, I just logged in for the Affleck Cancer center cause. How often should I be sending out announcements to members without frustrating them?
Sarah: It is a good question. That’s really fun. This is one of the administrators of Cancer center cause. You doesn’t want to over communicate. How often should you be doing? The great thing is you have three different ways to communicate with people. You can post something on the cause which is only living on the cause. People don’t hear that there is something new. They go to the cause and see something new. So, you can also send it as a notification which is a red flag that pops up on your facebook profile or you can send it as an e mail. So, I think it really depends on what you are working on. You don’t want to send people lot of e mails if it doesn’t have relevant content or there isn’t something very time sensitive like need to do this now. If there is a very understandable reason when you approaching the end of a campaign to be like ok we need to do this like let’s get going.
You know we have two days to accomplish our goals, send e mails on both the days. People will probably understand think you are hitting your goal. But if you are not working on a campaign together on the cause and you just sending out e mails, probably people will get feel little overwhelmed and you do not want to get information from you that didn’t need to go out on e mails. So, I think it depends on if you are working on something that’s sensitive and what kind of content you are putting on the announcement and also just kind of being creative about using notification and sending something out like that. People tend to look at the notifications a lot. Because you are already in Facebook and see the little red flag out there. Ok, sure I will check out what’s happening there. So, I think it will depend on that. And I think firstname.lastname@example.org is doing a great job of bouncing out their announcements. It is actually the limpas foundation of America. So they post updates to the cause and announcements that they only post to the cause which is allowed to people probably like three times a week. So, anytime that somebody goes back, there is kind of new information here. But they only send out an e mail maybe once every two weeks or something like a notification once in a while and then there is actual campaign they can keep it up. But the nice thing is they are posting new information and sending out e mails that are very content focused and something really interesting or really important opportunity to people on the cause. People already feel that they are engaged and already been seeing updates from that on the cause. They know that the cause is active so that when a campaign does happen; these people are kind of known what’s going on. You don’t have to re-teach them about what the cause is about.
Kristin: Great. A question from email. We had a couple of questions actually about causes tool bar and which I am actually not familiar with. So I think may be some other people will not be familiar with either. So, maybe you can just quickly say what the causes toolbar is and I think one of the main question is how do I direct people to the causes tool bar when they join my cause.
Sarah: Good question. So the link to go to the causes tool bar is aps.facebook.com/causes/toolbar.
Kristin: I hope someone puts that on the chat.
Sarah: So, that’s where you can download the causes tool bar. And it lives on the browser and the idea behind that is that every time you search for something, it donates a penny or two to the cause you choose. So, when I put in search, it will tell me how much money I’ve raised already. So far I’ve raised only 40 cents. I think I need to use the causes toolbar more. But then it tells me what cause it raised for if I click on that if it raised on one wall and will pull up the list of all the causes that I am in. So I can select a different one. And when I select a different cause, the total I’ve raised I think is zero. I haven’t raised any money yet for the new cause I have selected. If I go back to my first cause and have that money totaled for you. My browser doesn’t say this; but I’ve heard that some browsers also have a number on it which says around $12000 raised. So, it’s not just for your cause but it’s about the entire tool bar. So, it’s important to keep track of how much you’ve raised on the left hand side by your search and how much is raised by the whole tool bar. Maybe if you think that you haven’t done, I guess $12000 in 1.2 million searches. You know that’s a kind of good way to keep it as perspective.
Kristin: Okay. And then how do you invite people to add that if you have a cause. How do you invite people to add that to their browser?
Sarah: So, I don’t think there is a way to directly invite people. But, you can just send them the link and say this is the really great way to easily raise money for this cause for this non-profit. Go to this link, add the causes tool bar and you will be start raising money. Make sure to tell them to select their cause. It is something that you are sending it to your cause members, sending out to people who are supporters of your non-profit. It is something that you can put it on the newsletter. Website is just another way to support this.
Kristin: Since we just have a couple of minutes left, since causes is the technology path before the giving challenge which launches in six days; we wanted to make sure that everyone had all their questions answered about causes, they had some time to play around, and which you know causes was offered to host a group of webinars which will be helpful because you can actually see the screen as they’re going through and not just have to try to find it on your browser pictured in your mind and so do you want to talk a little bit about when those will be. The full calendar is on the case foundation website under the gear up for giving section. If you want to mention what those will be and what people can expect from this.
Sarah: Definitely. So, we have the full list of webinars in the causesexchange.com. The first think you will see there is actually gear up for giving session. But then I talked earlier about the new upgrades department center. We have decided that it will be pretty important to run through all of those things especially, your non-profits want to take an active role in participating in the giving challenge. You know they are really strong. These are great tools that you can reach out to causes and really build their strong presence for the giving challenge. So. We are going talk specifically about the department center tomorrow. Tomorrow is Friday October 2nd. That’s going to be at 2 PM and the link to register for that is on causes exchange and then next Tuesday Matt Meghan is going to speak on networks for good non-profits 911. Karl which is also going to run down through things about the department center.
The link to register for all of these is on causes exchange. And that’s going to Tuesday October 6th 2 PM. And then the webinar that we are most excited about is on Wednesday October 7th at Ohio. All these states are also in Eastern Time. The giving challenge starts next Wednesday 3 PM. So an hour later, after the webinar you are ready to go after the webinar to run down all the details of the giving challenge like you know first of all some tips on how you can be competitive, how you start recruiting people to your cause, what are the primaries are, how you can really start doing some fund raising on giving challenge and so, we will talk about all those details next Wednesday 4 PM EST. And then a day after that, Thursday October 8th we are going to do a really comprehensive how do you use this causes effectively. So, anywhere from recruiting, fund raising, running effective campaigns.
So, we are going to talk about all those tools and strategies. And talk about how specifically you can implement all those ideas in the giving challenge. If we want to have all the causes to be as competitive as possible so that we can get a really great challenge going. And then on Tuesday October 13th and Tuesday October 20th we are going to discuss in giving challenge check in just to kind of talk about how things are going and answer any questions you guys have. So, it’s going to be much more of an open format kind of like this. It is kind of giving a brief summary of what’s happened in each of these weeks of giving challenge and then see what success stories you guys had or what questions you still have about the giving challenge if you are little bit late to the game how to already get started how come you get involved in the game and just kind of see how we can help you your cause get competitive and really get the challenge gets going.
Kristin: Great. There will be a lot of opportunities for you to learn more about causes and if you are just catching the end of this broadcast then we will have the video up like we had all of our live with guru sessions taped up; up on our website later today and also have the transcript available if you want to go back and search for one specific question will be available to do that too. And I want to thank Sarah for coming today for all those great information and for doing all those webinars later this month. So, that’s really helpful. Thank you so much.
Sarah: Thanks for having me. We are really excited to work with the Case foundation and Pride magazine to do the giving challenge. I hope all you guys got some good tips. And come back next Wednesday, we will be all set to participating.
Kristin: I also want to say one more time. Please go ahead and take the survey on your screen, it’s just a couple of minutes. You will be entitled to win a flip cam and $250 for your cause. And thank you so much for the entire Gurus’ who have joined us for all of these sessions as well as See through Communication and Goldhrish Foundation for all their help. I hope you’ve enjoyed all of our free giving challenge gear up for giving sessions and please take advantage of the resources we have on our sites and we had fun. So we hope you had fun too. Thanks.