Qgiv Fundraising Lab Recap: How to Use Social Media & Digital Strategies to Build Community and Drive Donations

Fundraising Lab

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During the Qgiv Fundraising Lab on October 13, 2020, nonprofit fundraisers gathered for the last workshop of the year to learn inspiring new ideas for virtual fundraising, digital communication techniques, and tips to optimize their online donation forms ahead of the year-end giving season.

Attendees heard from industry thought leaders Julia Campbell and Josh Hirsch on how to use social media and digital communications to keep donors engaged, learned six tips for improving donor conversions on online donation forms from Qgiv Nonprofit Education Manager, Abby Jarvis, and heard real-world case studies of nonprofits who have launched successful virtual fundraising campaigns from Jennifer Mansfield, VP of Customer Experience at Qgiv. Attendees also joined in a live Q&A discussion with the workshop presenters to discuss their personal questions and challenges.

Here’s a quick recap of each session for more details:

How to Use Social Media & Digital Strategies to Build Community and Drive Donations

Presented by: Julia Campbell, Principal | J Campbell Social Marketing  &
Josh Hirsch, Social Marketing Content Manager | Susan G. Komen

With 3.96 billion active social media users around the globe and 43% of those users spending more time on social media this year, it’s clear that social media is not going away any time soon. During this session, Julia Campbell and Josh Hirsch shared how behaviors on social media are changing—more people are using social media for news and research like a traditional search engine. They shared a few key strategies to help nonprofits build community across social media to support donor retention efforts. Your 3-part digital strategy framework should look something like this:

  • Clarify – Build your roadmap and define your goals
  • Captivate – Collect, craft, and share the right content
  • Cultivate – Commit to your cadence and calendar

To learn more, check out this article on How to Create a Workable Social Media Plan for Your Nonprofit.


6 No-Fail Tips for Donation Pages

Presented by: Abby Jarvis, Nonprofit Education Manager | Qgiv

Did you know that 83% of the people who land on your donation form won’t make a gift? That leaves room for a ton of improvement! During this session, Abby shared how making a few simple changes to your donation form can have an immense impact on your fundraising. In no specific order, she explained these six tips for optimizing donation forms to convert more donors online:

  1. Make it mobile
  2. Use your form to reiterate your story
  3. Be intentional with donation amounts
  4. Offer recurring gift options
  5. Reduce time spent on form
  6. Remove distractions

Bonus tip: Make donors feel secure with trust indicators! Read more about donation forms and building for the donor experience in an interview with Cristina Ordaz, here.


Virtual Fundraising: Examples and Q&A

Panel: Jennifer Mansfield, Julia Campbell, Josh Hirsch, & Abby Jarvis

With many nonprofits and donors remaining socially distant, it’s clear that virtual fundraising is here to stay. Qgiv customers continue to inspire us with clever campaigns and new multifaceted virtual events, but the strategies behind their decision making have remained consistent. There are six things Jennifer Mansfield, Qgiv’s Vice President of Customer Experience, encourages nonprofit fundraisers to do:

  1. Continue to communicate the “why”
    There’s a lot of noise on digital channels that can distract your supporters, so make it simple and easy for them to understand how they’re making an impact on your cause.
  2. Don’t replicate, innovate
    What you did in the live setting may not resonate with your virtual supporters. Don’t be afraid to scrap your original plans and start over with your team. You may be pleasantly surprised by how it pushes you to be better.
  3. Use your resources
    Brainstorm with your team, reach out to your colleagues and vendors. Ask questions. Everyone is going through a similar challenge right now, and someone else may suggest something that inspires your next big idea.
  4. “Throw spaghetti at the wall”
    Have a brainstorming session to discuss what’s working. What’s not? How do we get to where we want to be? Then have an open forum for people to throw out thoughts and ideas. There are no right or wrong answers. Write all of those ideas down and talk about them to see what sticks. Just like you do when cooking spaghetti.
  5. Be open to the challenge
    With every challenge comes new opportunity. Without the overhead of live events, you have the opportunity to raise even more for your cause and directly impact your mission. Stay savvy, be flexible, and remain open to new ideas.
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
    It’s so important to not go silent right now. Your donors want to hear from you. You may be the positive voice they need right now.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these case studies from Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass and Junior Achievement of Northern California.


Listen to the full workshop recording below and keep an eye out for 2021 Fundraising Lab dates and announcements!

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