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Top 10 Change.org Best Practices for Nonprofit Admins

September 21, 2009

Please Note: All nonprofits in the United States that have an entry in GuideStar.org are also on Change.org. You can access your nonprofit’s profile and the Change.org tool set by signing up for a Nonprofit Admin account. Now on to the best practices:

1. Brand your organization’s profile on Change.org.

Nonprofits can easily design their profile on change.org to match their website and other social networking sites. Once you brand your profile, then your actions, fundraising projects, fundraising pages, etc. are also branded which definitely results in more donations and action participants. Learn More: Nonprofits can now brand their own profiles on Change.org!

2. Send “Thank You Compliments” to all your donors and fundraisers on Change.org.

Donors on Change.org love receiving compliments and they often result in repeat donations. It’s especially important that you compliment your donors that have opted out of providing their contact information to your organization. It’s the only way to further engage them! [See  Compliments]

3. Ask your supporters to create a fundraising page for your organization.

The number one reason people donate to nonprofit organizations is because they were asked to by either a friend or family member, or the nonprofit organization itself. The same is true of fundraisers. They need to be asked. There are hundreds of thousands of kind-hearted, generous individuals out there on the Web. Your role is to empower them to fundraise on behalf of your organization.

That said, promote your “Start A Fundraising Page” link [View Example] on your website, in your email newsletter, on your MySpace profile, your Facebook Page, and your blog. Imagine if you had 100 fundraisers out there on the Web asking their friends and family to donate to your organization! Fundraisers on Change.org usually raise between $50 and $2,500 for their favorite organization and numerous new donors. All you need to is ask them to fundraise for your organization and your core supporters will be more than happy to oblige. Fundraising pages have the most success during the holidays, so now is good time to be thinking about asking your supporters to create fundraising pages for your organization this holiday season.

4. Create an E-mail Petition.

E-mail petitions are by far the fastest an easiest way to build your Change.org community. Unlike other online petitions, Change.org e-mail petitions send an e-mail to the target each time someone signs on. When people sign on, they also become members of your Change.org community and 10% of those will also provide your organization their e-mail when then sign on (which can be downloaded to an Excel spreadsheet from your Admin Dashboard). Learn More: 15 Steps to Launching a Successful E-mail Petition Campaign on Change.org

5. Get active in Cause communities!

Change.org has numerous Cause Communities and each one is guided by a blogger who is an expert in their field. Send each blogger a Supporter Request and let them know about your organization and the actions your organization is creating on Change.org. As you may have noticed, each Cause community has featured actions and nonprofits. Building relationships with the bloggers and participating in their Cause Communities is an way to possibly receive extra promotion on Change.org. And of course, bloggers love blog comments!

6. Post at least 2 “Asks” a week.

A little bit like a Tweet with a call-to-action, Asks [for Help] are an easy way to keep your profile current on Change.org. Asks also show up on Change.org’s Help Nonprofits Page and will be soon integrated into Cause communities!

7. Use our “Take Action” and Fundraising Widgets.

After you create an e-mail petition, you can grab a “Take Action” widget that you can posted on Blogs, MySpace, etc. Fundraising widgets are located in your Admin Dashboard. To see an example, of the widgets live, please visit the Nonprofit Organizations MySpace.

8. Grab Web 2.0 icons from your Admin Dashboard and post them on your Web site, Blog, Facebook Page, etc.

Not only can you link to all your social networking profiles on your Change.org profile, but they have also created a tool that will allow you to grab the html for these icons to post them on other social networking sites. Learn More: Need Web 2.0 icons for your Website, Facebook page, MySpace profile? Just copy and paste!

9. Put a Change.org “Donate Now” button on your Facebook Page, Blog, Website

Many nonprofits limit their Facebook fundraising to using Causes, but not everyone wants to donate via Causes. Using the Static FMBL App on Facebook, you can very easily add a Change.org “Donate Now” button to your Facebook Page, Blog, Web site, etc. Learn More: HOW TO: Add a Donate Now Button to Your Facebook Page, Blog, Website

10. Post fundraising projects that are $10,000 or less.

Individuals are very unlikely to donate to fundraising projects with large dollar amounts because they want to contribute to a project that they known has a good chance of being fully funded. In addition to your General Fund fundraising project, post at least one or two more projects, but keep them at $10,000 or less. [View Example]

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