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August 8, 2012

The GoodTwo blog is now located at Please visit us there!

Three Ways to Make Your Online Fundraiser Stand Out

July 9, 2012

With online giving topping $20 billion and growing by 35% or so year over year, having a fundraising website is an essential part of any nonprofit, school or community organization’s marketing mix. But with so many online fundraisers operating at once, there are a few drawbacks:

Oversaturation: Online fundraisers are easy and often free to set up. As a result, the number of opportunities to give online can be overwhelming to potential donors. The large number of options can paralyze someone’s decision-making, or it can force them to filter and ignore online fundraisers because they’re so inundated with them.

Easy to Ignore: Online fundraising can be easier and more cost-effective for the nonprofit–in theory. But it’s much easier to delete an email or ignore a Facebook post than it is to hang up on a live person or walk away from someone you’re speaking with–or even to toss a letter without opening it. Because we’re inundated with online fundraisers, it’s easy for us to ignore what’s put in front of us, or to be extremely choosy about which communications we decide to pay attention to.

So if you’re considering an online fundraiser, or just need a way to boost engagement and donations to your current fundraiser, what are your options? Here are three tips for helping increase the engagement and visibility of your online fundraiser:

Image1. Demonstrate Impact: Many times, donor pages just ask for general or suggested donation amounts. Recent studies have shown that people are more likely to donate if they understand the exact impact their gift will give. Suggest gift amounts by letting your potential donors know what $5, $50 or $500 will do for your organization and the cause you’re supporting. Make it tangible.

2. Be Personal & Original: This is especially important if your fundraising appeal is personal–as in, you’re soliciting family members and friends for donations. But even if you’re a larger organization, avoid stock photos and mission statement language. Instead, tell a moving story, explain why you’re in the business of supporting the cause, or use the opportunity to speak about how donations have made an impact in the past. If you have the opportunity, allow someone who’s been directly impacted by your organization to write for your donor page, or record a video interview and upload it.

3. Consider the Ask: Online fundraising lends itself perfectly to social network sharing. We encourage you to provide social sharing tools on any fundraising page because the more ways to get the word out about your cause, the better. But consider what you’re asking people when you post a link to your page to Facebook or tweet about it. For many people, sharing the link, liking it, commenting on it, or retweeting it makes them feel as though they’ve “done their part,” even if they haven’t donated any money. Be specific in your ask on social networks and try to incorporate some of the information about how valuable their $$ donation is to your cause. Better yet, cultivate an email list that you can send personal notes to. Email is more of a call to action to donate than Facebook or Twitter, for many people.

What are your techniques for keeping your online fundraising efforts fresh, relevant and effective?



Friday Afternoon Reading

June 29, 2012

We’re hours away from the weekend, so if your productivity is waning this afternoon, check out some of the links from around the web that will get your creative fundraising juices flowing…or at least stimulate a great to-do list for next week! Enjoy and feel free to leave your own must-reads in the comments.

  • Study: You Can’t Use the Economy as an Excuse Anymore: The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports on The Cygnus Donor Survey. The bottom line? Donors want to see results, and blaming the economy is wearing thin. Lots of insights as you look for fresh ideas to engage your donor base.
  • Local Bank Gets 20,000 Facebook Fans Through Cause Marketing: It’s the best in cause marketing: the bank meets its marketing goals, area charities benefit, and customers feel as though they have directly contributed to a cause. Plus, the numbers are astounding…the Bank of Ann Arbor has nearly caught up with behemoth JP Morgan Chase’s 20,071 fans.
  • Save Time on Twitter: Most nonprofits now have a Twitter presence, but maintaining it can be cumbersome. Check out Inc.’s five tips for streamlining what you do on Twitter. 

And food for thought–a few fundraising campaigns that have caused a stir this week. What do you think of them? Innovative or unwarranted?

  • Bullied Bus Monitor Donations Top $500K: The story caught the attention–and sympathy–of the nation, but as donation for the bus monitor pile up, some question if the moral of this story is being lost.
  • Obama Capitalizes on Wedding Season: Who needs a gravy boat when you can combine your wedding day with politics? Many are grumbling over this move from the Obama campaign. What do you think–innovative or tacky?

Enjoy your weekend! 

Small Brands Can Do Cause Marketing Too

June 18, 2012

For most small brands and businesses, the word cause marketing has an expensive ring to it. “It’s for the big guys,” they think, “the ones with Corporate Social Responsibility departments. Entire teams dedicated to donating millions of dollars to some wonderful cause–that’s not for me.”

Cause marketing comes in many shapes and sizes, but the beauty of it is that it actually can be shaped to any size business that wants to participate in the nonprofit ecosystem and make a difference while also gaining a valuable marketing tool. From asking patrons for donations to a particular cause you’ve aligned your company with to donating a portion of proceeds from particular items or promotions to causes, there are feasible, tangible ways that your business can participate in a cause marketing program without breaking the bank.

Of course, the intangible benefits of cause marketing are easy to see. It feels good to help, plain and simple,and knowing that your business is contributing to a larger cause is a great way to boost morale. But as it turns out, if you’re a marketer, there’s an even more compelling reason to start cause marketing initiatives: they drive business. Your brand gets exposure to a new audience of people–the supporters of the cause–and may get a second glance on a crowded shelf due to your association. Check out these statistics from Cone Communications, a leader in the cause marketing research space:

  • 83% of Americans wish more of the products, services and retailers they use would support a cause.
  • 41% of Americans say they’ve made a purchase because it was associated with a cause or issue in the past year.
  • If associated with a cause…
    • 19% will buy a more expensive brand.
    • 46% will try a generic or private-labeled brand.
    • 61% will try a new brand or one they have never heard of.

So if you’re a smaller business or brand, how do you start a cause marketing initiative that will help elevate your brand, increase sales and make an impact on a great cause? Here are some tips to get you start thinking about it:

  • Allow your customer to have a direct impact. There are a couple of ways to do cause marketing: you can pledge a donation from your business, or you can donate a portion of proceeds from a customer’s purchase. Most Americans say they prefer that they be able to directly impact a donation by tying their purchase to money sent to a cause, rather than just knowing the company they support will be sending a lump sum.
  • Allow your customers to have a say. A recent study of young adults demonstrated that one of the most important things to Millennials in getting them to make small donations was having a connection with a cause. It follows logically that giving your customers options about where their money will go is an excellent way to help engage them in the process and amplify your campaign across several different audiences. (That said, don’t spread yourself too thin–you want donations to have an impact, so limit the beneficiaries.)
  • Work with smaller nonprofits. If you’re a smaller business, it makes sense to work with smaller nonprofits. Here at GoodTwo, we see many small nonprofits looking to just raise a few hundred or a thousand dollars for a project by partnering with brands willing to donate a portion of sales to their cause. By working with someone smaller or local, your dollars will have a bigger impact, the cause will be more personal and you’ll have the opportunity to connect on a different level than if you work with a larger organization.
  • Find a cause that aligns with your business. At GoodTwo, we are part marketing machine and part matchmaker. We try to find merchants that make sense for the causes we have onboard and causes whose audience of donors align with our brands and merchants. For example, if you sell pet products, find appropriate pet-related organizations like shelters to work with. If you’re a health food store, is there a healthy kids initiative in your area with which you can partner? Think like a marketer as much as you think as a do-gooder: which causes are your customers most likely to support, and which causes most likely have supporters you’d like to turn into customers?

If you’re a small business that’s run a successful cause marketing campaign, we’d love to hear from you on how you did it. There’s more info and stats on running a cause marketing campaign for businesses and brands on our website,, as well.

Apply to be a GoodTwo Web Development/Design Intern this summer!

June 13, 2012

GoodTwo ( is a startup organization that provides a fundraising
platform for nonprofits where donors receive rewards and also a promotional platform,
which allows brands to secure new customers while participating in cause marketing
efforts. This is a great opportunity for the right college student or recent grad to be part
of the startup scene! You will work on enhancing our platform, updating the website,
assisting with daily operational tasks and more.

What we are looking for:
To thrive with GoodTwo, you need to be willing to work hard and be a critical thinker/
problem solver. We are also looking for people with backgrounds or knowledge in web
development and graphic design. You will work closely with the founders of GoodTwo,
so this is a chance to have your voice heard and to make the impact you are hoping for.

This is not your average summer office internship! GoodTwo is a startup – so this means
that amazing opportunities for learning and being a real park of the team are available.
We are looking for people who are highly motivated, driven and excited by our concept.
Basic web and graphic design skills required.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to
explaining why you would be a good fit.

Apply to be a Marketing/Ops Intern with GoodTwo this summer!

June 13, 2012

GoodTwo ( is a startup organization that provides a fundraising
platform for nonprofits where donors receive rewards and also a promotional platform,
which allows brands to secure new customers while participating in cause marketing

What we are looking for:
To thrive with GoodTwo, you need to be willing to work hard, be a critical thinker/
problem solver and a solid writer. We are also looking for people with backgrounds
or knowledge in marketing, web and graphic design. You will work closely with the
founders of GoodTwo, so this is a chance to have your voice heard and to make the
impact you are hoping for.

Duties and responsibilities will include:
– Basic operations including: project management for brand promotions and
fundraisers, management of creative assets and getting promotions finalized and
functioning on the website.
– Customer service including: responding to emails, handling basic customer
service requests, etc.
– Other tasks including: web design and copywriting (depending on background
and needs).

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to
explaining why you would be a good fit.

Apply to be a Sales Intern with GoodTwo this summer!

June 13, 2012

Looking for a summer internship?

GoodTwo ( is a growing startup located in Boston, MA. GoodTwo’s fundraising platform allows nonprofit organizations to run case marketing campaigns that reward their donors with offers and deals fro brands while providing the brands with a new consumer.

What we are looking for:
To thrive with GoodTwo, you need to work hard, be a critical thinker/problem solver and be outgoing. We are also looking for people with a background, knowledge, or interest in sales and startups. Applicants should have excellent communications skills, be comfortable on the phone and making sales calls, work well in both a group setting and independently, and be self motivated and driven.

Duties and responsibilities will include:
You will work closely with the founders of GoodTwo, so this is a chance to have your voice heard and to make the impact you are hoping for. This is a great opportunity to improve your networking skills and create new connections. Your responsibilities and duties will shift as the business grows and day-to-day demands change.
-Sales research: researching and developing a database of companies interested in collaborating with GoodTwo.
-Targeted sales: making calls for the brand side of our business. You’ll be calling into brands and businesses of various sizes to help create offers that will appeal to our fundraisers.
-Sales activities: contacting prospective vendors and managing deals.
-Customer service: responding to emails, handling basic customer service requests, etc.

This position will require interns to make outbound calls to businesses. Applicants should be comfortable making sales calls.

➢To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to explaining why you would be a good fit. Please put “Sales Internship” in the subject line of your email.

Free Coffee and the Kindness of Strangers

August 10, 2011

Many of you have probably already heard about Jonathan’s Card, the social experiment currently flying around the Internet as people question whether Jonathan Starks is crazy, philanthropic, shilling for Starbucks or just a dude who stumbled upon a great social experiment. (If you don’t know about the card and the controversy around it, Mashable has a great explanation.)

Basically, Jonathan loaded up a card with $300 and put it on the Internet. He then told people to go buy themselves a coffee. We do love our free stuff, so as you might imagine, the American public quickly took Jonathan up on his offer and started drinking their free lattes. We’ve all been to Starbucks, and $300 isn’t going to last too long if you’re slurping venti Frappucinos, so Jonathan also offered people the opportunity to fill the card coffers. And then he put the balance on Facebook and Twitter. And within a couple of days, Jonathan had accumulated thousands of followers, all of whom are just interested in how much cash is on this card. The amount put on the card is pushing $9,000 as of this writing and according to Mashable, cash has been added to the card more than 500 times.

So what of all of this, aside from the fact that I figured I’d let everyone know there’s caffeine to be had even if you left your wallet at home today. Well, to be honest, at first I just thought it was a refreshing story with a refreshing lesson: Even when no one is looking, people do the right thing. Maybe not even the right thing in this case, because let’s be honest, not being able to get at your free Starbucks because Jonathan’s card is low isn’t exactly the worst problem in the world. But the fact of the matter is that when people took something, in this case a coffee, a lot of them felt like they should give something back. They wanted to give someone else a coffee. They got something of value and they wanted to pass it along. As a human, it’s nice to be reminded that people are inherently responsible if you give them the chance.

But there’s more to this story, because as they say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The way that Jonathan’s Card burst onto the scene should also be a lesson for all of us in both how to get an audience and what to do with them once we’ve got ’em.

Jonathan didn’t really take a huge risk with this experiment. He loaded up $300. When’s the last time you could get 10,000 Twitter followers for $300? Jonathan’s card got picked up by the online press because, quite frankly, we’re all so darned shocked when people just give us stuff. (Not companies. People. Who are giving us cash out of their hard-earned paychecks.) And when they just give us stuff without getting credit or even knowing who they’re giving it to, well, that hits a nerve. Get a little crazy. Next time one of the interns tells you about a nutty idea they have for a promotion, listen. Don’t blow up your brand or violate your base, but ask yourself what the cost of getting a little crazy is, and then, just maybe, go for it.

It’s not just about how Jonathan got those followers, though, it’s the fact that now that he’s got them, he’s providing them with relevant information they care about–namely, the amount of money on the card and whether they can get a free caramel macchiato. Jonathan’s an app developer and now he has a huge platform, but he’s not promoting his app development skills to his audience. He’s just talking about the balance on his Starbucks card because, frankly, that is all they care about. As long as the Starbucks card is active, Jonathan will have engaged Twitter followers who trust the info that he’s giving them. Pretty amazing.

I’m sure I missed something. What do you think of this whole Starbucks experiment? How would you use the platform Jonathan Stark just magically built? And, if you grabbed your free coffee, let us know what you got.

Politics and Deals? A Cool New Way to Use GoodTwo

July 28, 2011

A few weeks ago, we read about a Massachusetts politician who was thinking about running a Groupon for one of his fundraisers. Dan Winslow is a Massachusetts State Representative who’s a little bit different than most state reps you might know. Dan is Tweeting. He’s Facebooking. He has mobile giving set up. We met with Dan when we saw he was interested in doing the Groupon, and we were impressed. He’s an energetic guy who’s passionate about his campaign and interested in trying new things. As a startup, we love hearing that enthusiasm–as a startup that focuses on helping anyone raise money for anyTHING, we thought that there might be a way that we could all work together.

And so GoodTwo’s first political fundraiser was born. This isn’t just new for us or for Dan–this is new for the country. Dan’s campaign team filed a request for a ruling with Massachusett’s campaign finance office to ensure that they’d be able to do an online deal. This week, the state handed down the ruling: online deals for politicians are a go. This is especially cool for us because it’s in our home state and because we love to pioneer. So here we are! Dan will have his own GoodTwo page, just like all of our other fundraisers, but instead of cool deals from restaurants and spas, Dan’s deal will be a discount on a cocktail party fundraiser he’s putting on this fall for Boston’s young professionals.

If you’re curious about the details and how this will all work, you can check out this article in The Boston Globe. We can’t wait to start working with politicians from every party and state to help them raise money while reaching the population of supporters that loves to get a deal and share with their friends! And, of course, we’d love to hear what you think of all this, so leave us some feedback in the comments.


Ways to Donate From The Bottom of Your Empty Pockets

June 28, 2011

In a perfect world, we’d all be able to write out big checks to every charity, drop change in every cup, or say “Yes” every time we’re asked for a dollar at the checkout stand. But the reality is, many of us have had to cut back in recent years, and that includes our charitable donations. Luckily for those of us pinching pennies, some smart companies have come up with amazing ways for us to donate money to worthy causes without actually putting out a dime of our own money. The money has to come from somewhere, of course, and in the case of each of these programs, we can thank the charitable-minded execs at some big companies who can spare a little cash for a great cause. But you need to do  your part to get the bucks from the company to the charity! Check out some of these amazing cause marketing programs that don’t cost you a cent.

It just takes a couple of minutes–or in some cases, seconds–of your time as you go about your daily tasks to make a difference in the lives of people all over the world. Also, check out Free Charity Donations for updates on great ways to make a difference for FREE!
There are so many great ways to donate thanks to generous companies. What did we miss?