Introducing Fikas for Social Good
CommitChange now hosts Fika for Social Good events in the MidWest, an informal series of discussions for nonprofit leaders and tech professionals.The fika is a Swedish concept; it's a time to take a break from your day and enjoy coffee, snacks, and good conversation. In 2015, I first experienced the fikas at The Blue House, a New Orleans coworking space that focuses their fikas on starting conversations that benefit the community in their Central City neighborhood. They bring in speakers from local nonprofits, government agencies, and the community at large. While I was working from the Blue House, they had to...
Digital Security for Nonprofits
CommitChange now hosts Fika for Social Good events in the MidWest, an informal series of discussions for nonprofit leaders and tech professionals. During our most recent meeting, we discussed data and digital security. Between the years of 2004 and 2016, I worked directly for nonprofits in one capacity or another, and as the Director Nonprofit Advocacy for CommitChange, I continue to work with nonprofits to help optimize their digital strategies. Part of my job over the years has been to help nonprofits keep their data and digital accounts secure. At our most recent fika, we discussed a few simple and rel...
Three Stages of Open Source Fundraising
Open source projects are fun because they're collaborative and instantly gratifying. As a codebase expands, the project takes shape. Making a funding plan often seems like just one more bleak necessity that distracts from the fun parts of shaping code and building community. It can be easy to ignore that fact that open source is just one facet of a growing maker community. People are producing their own podcasts and documentaries, coming together in maker spaces, and forming collectives around missions and artistic movements. The world of open source projects isn't very different; in order to build something b...
Open Source Support and Transaction Update
The biggest news is that we’re going to securely open source the CommitChange platform, making our core technology available to the general public; we’re doing this in order to accelerate the development of tools and services for nonprofits, and to help improve the overall quality of fundraising infrastructure.
A Quick Primer on Community Building
CommitChange now hosts Fika for Social Good events in the MidWest, an informal series of discussions for nonprofit leaders and tech professionals. During our most recent meeting, we discussed community building.
Open Sourcing Independence
As the world speeds forward and the political and humanitarian climates shift at what seems like breakneck speeds, open source tech is racing to keep pace and provide free frameworks to the global tech community to provide solutions to many of the issues that stifle solutions to our broader global problems. It is our belief that open source initiatives are the future of nonprofit software as developers work with organizations and networks to change the world. Here are some of the groups we’re watching
Happy New Year from Team CommitChange
Happy New Year, everyone! Hand on my CommitChange heart, we’ve been so happy to have worked alongside you in 2016 and we truly do look forward to working with you even more in 2017!
Resources for Nonprofits and Techies
CommitChange now hosts Fika for Social Good events in the MidWest, an informal series of discussions for nonprofit leaders and tech professionals. During our first meeting, we discussed resources for nonprofits and professionals to use in business and in building connections.
Nonprofit Spotlight: Animal Legal Defense Fund
The status quo is no longer cutting it in the United States. Every day we are inundated by news outlets and social media with the problems our society faces. At CommitChange, we accept the current issues in the U.S. and abroad as reality, but we actively work to support and educate our nonprofits, and many others, to help them raise funds in order to actively address and start working through the problems that have been slowly chipping away at our futures. This is the second in a three part series we will publish over the next few weeks that spotlights the good work of some of our most forward-thinking nonprofits.
Nonprofit Spotlight: Bitter Root Water Forum
The status quo is no longer cutting it in the United States. Every day we are inundated by news outlets and social media with the problems our society faces. At CommitChange, we accept the current issues in the U.S. and abroad as reality, but we actively work to support and educate our nonprofits, and many others, to help them raise funds in order to actively address and start working through the problems that have been slowly chipping away at our futures. This is the first in a three part series we will publish over the next few weeks that spotlights the good work of some of our most forward-thinking nonprofits.
Introducing Mark Leonard
My name is Mark Leonard and I am the new Partnerships Manager at CommitChange. Professionally, I have worked in the nonprofit sector for a decade. In that time, I have seen good times and bad, and most everything in between!
CommitChange's Response to the Orlando Murders
What happens when you reach your limit, and don't feel like you have enough to give? For some, that moment is paralyzing. For others, it is an invitation to take action. CommitChange wants to help LGBTQA organizations take action as a response to the tragedy in Orlando.
'Integrity 2.1' Platform Update
International Advocacy and the Rise of the Remote Worker
As remote work becomes more accepted in the nonprofit world, international organizations are taking notice and finding the right people for the job, no matter where they live.
Donation Page Designs We Love
Looking for donation page inspiration? With flexible donate buttons and custom branding, it's easy to make your organization's donate page look like a million bucks. Here are a few of our favorites:
Millennial Nonprofit Fundraising Lessons
The single easiest way to increase online giving is by improving your donation forms and making the giving experience easier for donors! It's surprisingly, almost embarrassingly, easy. The trick is to simply reduce the distance between a donor's passion and their transaction. Long, clunky, or ugly forms will create donor friction and significantly increase their drop-off rate.
CommitChange's Guide to Sparking a Nonprofit
Best Practices for Top-Notch Emails
Fighting Hunger: A Thanksgiving Tradition
The Shifting Landscape of Supporters: Harnessing the Power of Storytelling Across Generations
Simple is Better: Shorter Forms, More Donations
Donor friction results in countless lost donations. Is your online giving strategy falling victim to poor conversion optimization? We'll share three strategies for reducing donor friction and increasing online giving.
Cognitive Science and the Art of the Ask
At a recent gathering of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in New Orleans, Dr. Russell James, a leading researcher in the effects of philanthropy on the brain, presented some of his findings on how language can impact planned giving. Though his presentation was narrow in focus, his findings can be easily be applied to all forms of nonprofit messaging and "asks." Here are five steps nonprofits can take now to improve donor outreach from Dr. James's PowerPoint presentation "Words that Work: The Phrases that Encourage Planned Giving."
Nonprofit Spotlight: i-ACT
On the morning Fatna became a Darfuri refugee, she witnessed her husband being killed in her village's marketplace. Before he died, he told her, "Get the children and run!" With no real time to process what she had seen, she walked home, gathered her six children, and led them on foot for ten days across the desert to Chad. Since 2003, approximately 480,000 people have been killed and 2.8 million displaced in the Darfur Genocide.
Nonprofit Spotlight: Open Hands Overflowing Hearts
Kayla Perry was a recent high school graduate when she discovered she had a rare form of pediatric cancer. She dedicated her life to eradicating the disease and founded Open Hands, Overflowing Hearts, a nonprofit that has since raised more than $500,000 to help fund cancer research.
Online Donation Tools for Nonprofits
There are dozens of online donation tools for your nonprofits, but here's a list of our favorite resources to safe your organization time and money.
Nonprofit Donation Software Guide
Enjoy our nonprofit donation software guide, which helps you navigate online giving software in a clear and engaging way.
Nonprofit Spotlight: FitLot
FitLot is a New Orleans nonprofit dedicated to turning blighted areas into connected fitness parks in the neighborhoods that need them the most. FitLot is currently running a campaign on CommitChange to raise funds for a fitness park along the Lafitte Greenway in the historic Treme. All contributions will go directly to the purchase of materials for this project.
Donation Processing Best Practices
Nonprofits raise over $20 billion every year through online donation forms, but how can you give your organization a tactical advantage? This article explores ways CommitChange helped nonprofits increase giving by 75-180% through donation form optimizations.
Big News: CommitChange Has Acquired Philanthrogeek!
We've had a lot of news lately here at CommitChange! Our incredible development team launched major transaction upgrades, lowered credit card fees to 2.2%, added event features, and even launched built-in email functionality. Today we can announce yet another big move in building our team. We acquired Philanthrogeek.com, and its founder, Nathaniel James, is joining the team as our new Director of Strategy and Partnerships.
Nonprofit Spotlight: Portlight Strategies
Portlight Strategies was founded in 1997 to facilitate various projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work all over the United States.
Millions of Philanthropists
What has stood in the way of millions of individuals counting themselves as philanthropists has been the misperception that they don’t give enough to make a difference like those big foundations do. For any single person, that is mostly true. Aggregated, however, the individual is mighty. Aggregated, the crowds can do things even the large foundations cannot do.
Engage your Community with Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
In the past few years, peer-to-peer fundraising has been one of the most powerful tools in the fundraising toolbox. Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to more actively engage your current supporters and for them to take part in some of the work required for your organization to be able to make an impact.
CommitChange Launches $250K in Software Grants Program
We are very excited to announce our Grant Program that will provide $250K in fundraising software to help nonprofits around the country modernize their technology infrastructure. 25 nonprofits will be selected to receive a 3 year implementation of the CommitChange Supporter Management Tier.
Give Local America 2015
Give Local America is an initiative that began just last year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of community foundations and the vital role they play in local philanthropy. The CommitChange team is excited to once again be able to participate in this great day for local giving in our two communities, Silicon Valley and the Greater New Orleans Area.
An Exciting Update from CommitChange
At CommitChange, we've always been focused on providing best in class fundraising tools for your nonprofit. Now you can connect those tools to a robust database to manage donors, cultivate relationships, and much more. We're excited to announce the Supporter Management Plan for nonprofits!
Donation Processing Guide for Nonprofits
Nonprofits raise over $20 billion every year from individual donors and that number is growing rapidly as internet usage becomes ubiquitous and smartphones proliferate, even among older supporters. In the midst of this cultural upheaval, it’s critical that nonprofits have the tools and skills they need to adapt to a changing fundraising environment. This guide will cover the basics of donation processing and will help you maximize gifts.
Let's Celebrate Earth Day
At a time in which we are experiencing climate change that has affected various regions and creatures, it is important we stand together to protect the Earth we live in. Celebrations like Earth Day are the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for environmental issues and they are a great way for each one of us to get involved.
Nonprofit Spotlight: San Mateo Police Activities League
Since 1997, San Mateo Police Activities League (PAL) has provided recreational, educational, and leisure activities thousands of San Mateo youth. Supported by a volunteer board of directors and a staff consisting of police officers and city employees, PAL is building a stronger and safer community through San Mateo’s most valuable asset: kids.
Connect With Your Donors Through Storytelling
The art of storytelling is not one that is easy to master, but once you begin to understand why it’s important and how you should be telling these, you’ll be able to tell better stories that will keep your donors connected to your organization.
Nonprofit Spotlight: Amputee Blade Runners
Running prosthetics are not covered by insurance plans and are considered “not medically necessary," this organization helps amputees keep an active and healthy lifestyle. Their goal is to provide running prosthesis to at least one athlete in all 50 states by the year 2016.
Nonprofit Spotlight: Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA)
CommitChange recently sat down and had the opportunity to chat with Daniel Holloway, Development Associate. In his words this title, “translates to being the database guru and overseeing the overall marketing and design for the organization”. Being the data aficionados that we are, we are always looking to learn more about the fundraising challenges our clients; Most importantly, we wanted to know about the people that make up CORA.
Your Nonprofit's Social Media Questions Answered
With the variety of social networks and content currently available online, it can be a bit intimidating to create pages that represent your organization, especially if you’re new to social networks. Here are some of the most common questions we usually come across from nonprofits when it comes to the early stages of building up your social media channels.
Why Many Nonprofits are Struggling to Reach the Millennial Donor
We will admit, Millennials are a complicated group. However, despite having all of this background knowledge on Millennials and their beliefs, why are many nonprofits are still struggling to capture donations from Gen-Yers?
The Two Simple Keys to Keeping Donors
In the nonprofit world, we’re always on the lookout for new supporters. Whether it’s a foundation that might award us a grant, a corporation we hope will sponsor our big event, or an individual we’d love to write us a check, we just want MORE.
6 Hashtags Every Nonprofit Must Keep Up With
“What is aggregated content?” “Why should my nonprofit keep up with hashtags?” Fear not, we’re here to explain all of that!
Does Bad Software Hurt Nonprofits?
The short answer is yes. If your data-tracking systems need their own organization charts or binders full of complicated instructions, then your software infrastructure is definitely broken.
Finding Your Nonprofit's Voice
Your voice is your nonprofit’s personality and it is the best way to identify with your supporters. Not sure what your nonprofit’s voice sounds like? Does your organization even have an identifiable voice? Follow these exercises and tips and find it!
Optimize Your Website To Enhance The Online Donation Process For Your Donors
Simple adjustments to your website and your donation process can have a significant impact on your fundraising activities for the year. As the percentage of online donations processed each year continues to grow, it is important your nonprofit's website is fully optimized to enhance your donor's experience.
How To Engage and Retain Your Donors in 2015
Recent studies and surveys show that the key to retaining donors in 2015 lies in communicating with your donors constantly through quality content. Engage and retain your donors this year with these tips!
Lower Processing Costs for Donations
We're now able to lower the processing costs from 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction to 2.4% + 30 cents per transaction.
Holiday Fundraising Secrets for Procrastinators
Ok, so you’ve just realized that the end of the year is fast approaching, and you haven’t done anything to prep for an end of year fundraising campaign. It’s not too late!
Last Minute #GivingTuesday Tips
#GivingTuesday is around the corner, and hopefully by now you have a plan to participate. Check out these last minute ideas to get your campaigns and fundraisers going on December 2nd.
The holidays are fast approaching. Check out our strategies to make the most out of this giving season.
Thursday, October 9th, CommitChange hits the Big Easy for #NOLATech week. Come check out one of our 2 sponsored events.
Win a whole year of our $79/month Essentials Tier by entering our fall giveaway.
Best Practices for Building a Campaign
Running a capital campaign for your nonprofit this season? Check out our five tips to make your campaign a success.
Calling All Early Adopters
We're proud to announce that we've finished our first complete feature set for CommitChange, and now have two pricing tiers available.
4 Helpful Tips for Your Next E-Appeal
The e-appeal will help advance your mission if it is engaging andmoves your supporters to take action. Best practices rely on well-established truths, so to nurture your donors and move them to give, remember to:
5 Tips to Improve Recurring Donations
Creating sustainable revenue, predicting cash flow, and improving donor engagement all become easy once a nonprofit develops a solid recurring giving program.
Mark Cuban, an Acquisition, and Record Numbers
We're one step closer to changing the world! But let's back up for a second. When we started this adventure in 2012, I never imagined our scrappy little team would have an opportunity to disrupt an industry that impacts billions of lives. Now that mindbogglingly ambitious possibility is several steps closer to becoming reality.
Launch Changed Our Lives
We never imagined that attending LAUNCH would lead to an investment from Mark Cuban, a radically improved business model, and an opportunity to disrupt one of the largest industries in the United States.