Nickel and Dimes, Low-Tech Fundraising Can Bag You Big Bucks


Over the past three months we have been working with Kids’ Harbor, Inc. a child advocacy center located in Central Missouri who works to help prevent, intervene and follow-up with children and families who are dealing with child abuse issues.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and in a area like the Lake of the Ozarks we have had to deploy not only traditional fundraising techniques but also  low-tech and crowdsourcing options to raise money and awareness.

These tactics can be surprisingly effective.

Tactic 1:  The GO BLUE! Campaign.  What is that you say?  The GO BLUE campaign was created seven years ago to allow people, businesses and communities to actively engage in child abuse prevention activities on their own terms.

The premise is simple, every Friday in April, you ask people to wear blue, light up local buildings blue or get great cities like St. Louis to make their fountain blue.  (Do check to make sure that the Cubs are not in town before doing this one, we learned from experience:)


Tactic 2:  Sell some blue t-shirts!  People want to support your work and GO BLUE! Selling them the swag makes it simple.  First, by having a t-shirt with the same logo, brand and message, you’re crowdsourcing your campaign.  As is the case with Kids’ Harbor, local banks, grocery stores and retain outlets are selling shirts and letting their employees dress down on Fridays.  What a great way to raise some awareness and dollars.  Also, if you buy great t-shirts people will wear them year round.  BONUS.


Tactic 3: The Small Stuff Counts Too!  As nonprofits we love the big bucks, sponsorships and large donations but don’t overlook the power of the small stuff.  Kids’ Harbor recruited over 20 businesses across their region who would be willing to partner during child abuse prevention month and put out a fundraising bucket.  Little donations add up fast.


HubSpot has recently started a series on tips and tricks for Coin Canisters that I encourage you to check out here.

In this age of online fundraising and big capital campaigns (which we love here at the RGG) it is important to remember, sometimes the nickel and dimes add up and low-tech solutions can bag you big bucks!

Want to make a donation to Kids’ Harbor?  You can do it online here.  

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Where do Nonprofits Spend Their Time on Social Media (New Data)

Social_BEEdia_Explained-4Our Nonprofit Madness tournament opened for voting today and it has been very exciting.  This is our second year and it is so much fun to learn about 16 amazing organizations that are working hard to make life better in our communities.  Check it out.

Since Nonprofit Madness is all about getting people to vote online for your organization I thought I would share this article from the smart people over at HubSpot about some new data they have collected about where nonprofits spend their time with social media.

They recently surveyed over 9,000 small-to-medium sized nonprofits in the U.S. and Canada and there was some interesting highlights.

  • An overwhelming majority of nonprofits list Facebook as their primary social network.
  • Most nonprofits do not have a documented social media strategy.
  • Goals are varied and diverse, about half are measuring results.
  • Responsibility typically falls to only one employee.
  • Tracking the social media accounts of donors within a donor database is a rare practice.

See the blog here.  

Oh, and if you are one of those Nonprofits that don’t have a strategy, email us.  We can help.


Are Facebook Clicks Totally and Utterly Meaningless?

This week, Facebook’s Head of Measurement and Insights, Brad Smallwood, came out and said something that seems to go against traditional thought when it comes to online advertising and campaigns: clicks don’t matter. At least not as much as we seem to think they do. In a blog post on the HubSpot blog, Corey Eridon looks into that argument.

The argument Smallwood makes is that clicks help marketers measure campaigns, but they don’t drive any actual value. So basically, marketers are getting really good at measuring how seemingly invaluable their Facebook ad campaigns are. That’s a bleak picture to paint.

Actually, Smallwood cited research from Nielsen in his talk that showed a 0.07% correlation between high click through rates and sales. He also cited data from Datalogix that 99% of sales generated from online branding ad campaigns came from people who saw ads, but did not click on them.

As a result, Smallwood recommended marketers focus on three things:

  • Impressions - Getting your brand out in front of consumers is valuable to marketers and generates actual sales, per the data cited above.
  • Reach - According to the Facebook Studio post that recapped Smallwood’s talk, much like a TV ad, online ads — and by extension Facebook ads — deliver “on average a 70 percent higher return on investment.”
  • Frequency - You need to establish the right frequency of people seeing your ad so you hit a “sweetspot” for each campaign. For example, marketers might want to reallocate high frequency impressions to the people seeing too few impressions — they said those that did this saw a “40 percent increase in ROI with the same budget.”

Hmmm… I kind of see what he’s getting at with the focus on reach and frequency. I mean, you can’t argue that the right reach and frequency don’t play a huge part in the effectiveness of any marketing or ad campaign. But it’s hard to get on board with the “clicks don’t matter” mindset, especially as a marketer that needs to prove ROI down to the dollars and cents.

Continue reading this blog post…