GiftWorks: Nonprofit Fundraising Software

Philanthropy Day! (Month) Day 1

November 1, 2012 By Steve Fafel

Philanthropy Day is November 15th, but GiftWorks would like to honor and highlight a nonprofit each weekday in November! There are not enough days in November to thank every nonprofit in the world doing great things, but we are happy to bring to you one nonprofit each weekday in November, that is making a difference!

Today, let's meet:

Logo Feasibility study 015Family Health
Partnership Clinic in Woodstock IL, provides primary health care to those individuals in our community who are uninsured or underinsured through the volunteer work of 28 physicians and nurses. 

Our mission is that the Family Health Partnership Clinic will improve the health status of the community and reduce the negative economic impact poor access to care by providing a broad spectrum of services to the underserved with compassion and respect.  We recognize that as a community, we are responsible for each other.

Philanthropy Day provides a platform to bring to light the importance of giving back to one’s community. 

Thank you.

Cathy Patenaude     
Development Coordinator
Family Health Partnership Clinic

Thank you Cathy and the Family Health Partnership Clinic team for all you do! Happy Philanthropy Day (Month)!

Get To Know GiftWorks - Sales Rep., Cheryl Keener

November 1, 2012 By D Murphy

Each month we'll be highlighting a GiftWorks team member and getting to know them just a little bit more! GiftWorks software is nonexistent without you, the user and the wonderful staff at GiftWorks. So, let's get to know Cheryl Keener shall we!

Your name: Cheryl Keener
Title at GiftWorks: Sales Representative
A little blurb about yourself and some hobbies? Travel?  My hobbies are my children and grandson! Love having my grandson and planning activities for him and planning get together's for my family. Other activities are spending time with friends and being involved in my church. Always something to do there. An event, fundraiser and of course helping with those who cannot attend- the elderly. 

I love traveling, mostly day trips but my next big trip will be to Colorado Springs, CO next year to visit my brother and his wife.  Love the West and can't wait to do some hiking at Pikes Peak.  

Photo (7)1.     How long have you been with GiftWorks? 
5 years.

2.     What attracted you to working at GiftWorks?  The people here and the product.  The product and what it provides to nonprofits who make a difference in the world!  The people here truly care about what nonprofits do and having software that will help them in their mission.

3.     What’s your favorite Candy, and why? Chocolate, the dark type.  70% or greater and my favorite brand is Green & Black. 

4.     Favorite sport, and favorite team? Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers of course, I am a western Pennsylvania Girl.  

5.     If you could be an animal, what would it be? An Eagle. They are beautiful and I love to see them fly.  The Eagle represents America in many ways. I love America. 

6.     If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what movie would that be?  An old movie Rear Window with James Stewart, Grace Kelly  and Thelma Ritter -directed by Alfred Hitchock.  Love the build of the story and how they worked together to solve the missing Mrs. Thornwald.  Great Movie!  

7.     Who is your favorite Beatle?  Paul McCartney.

8.     Favorite board game? Monopoly love purchasing Park Place and Boardwalk and of course winning:)

9.     When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say? Smile:)  Especially if it's not the smelly type of cheese.  haha 

10.  If you could possess one supernatural ability, what would it be? To travel in time backwards and forwards. 

11.  If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Be Thankful and think about how to divide with my family!!

12.  If you could be instantly fluent in one other language that you currently do not read or speak, which would it be?   Spanish since so many in my area speak Spanish but I actually love French but not many people in my area speak French.  

13.  If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?  The Middle - fun show about a family and their daily lives, has a great spin on humor.  Love it. 

14.  If you could take credit for any invention, what invention would you select? The Radio, since it was the way people heard the news from the world in the early days.  Radio inspired many to branch to new technologies. Also, radio brought families together to sit around and enjoy music and commentary in the early days. Inspiring to me. 

15.  Would you rather be a boomerang or a Frisbee? And why? A boomerang since it always comes back to the thrower.  Seems intelligent to me, haha. 

Thanks Cheryl!

FREE webinar on Tuesday November 6th, 2pm ET! "Growing Your Nonprofit List" with Kirsten Bullock

October 29, 2012 By D Murphy

Be sure to join Kirsten Bullock and GiftWorks 
November 6th at 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET for our next webinar!

Growing Your Nonprofit List
Tuesday, November 6th at 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET
Click here to register

* Are you tired of being the ‘best kept secret’ in town?

* Are you frustrated that people just don’t ‘get it’?

* Do you know that you could have a bigger impact – if only more people were part of your nonprofit’s family?

It is possible to grow a larger – and more engaged – audience to help you advance your cause. In this webinar, we’ll be covering both online and in-person strategies for getting the word out and increasing your list size.


One often overlooked strategy to grow your list – just by making one minor change to something you’re probably already doing.

Ideas for getting your organization in the paper more often.

Tips for getting the most out of the three main social media platforms.

The importance of partnerships for list building (and program impact).

011812_Kirsten061_smKirsten Bullock, CFRE, MBA is an author and nonprofit coach who works with entrepreneurial nonprofit leaders to help them involve more people in their organizations and raise the money they need. Since 1995, Kirsten has worked with health care organizations, social service providers, national and local ministries, and international membership associations. Kirsten holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s of Business Administration.

Kirsten is currently serving as president of the Association for Fundraising Professionals Greater Louisville Chapter. She is an AFP Master Trainer, compiles Kirsten’s Fundraising Headlines Blog, and is the author of Simple Steps to Growing Your Donors and the Fundraising Jump Start Home Study System. When not working to equip and empower people in the nonprofit sector, Kirsten sculpts, is attempting to learn to speak Danish and enjoys living in the Highlands in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband Rob.


Thank you for your interest in this GiftWorks webinar.

You can always download a free 30 day trial of GiftWorks 
and also attend a 1-hour tour of all that GiftWorks has to offer.

Have a great day!
The GiftWorks Team

GiftWorks Guest Blog - Julia Campbell

October 25, 2012 By D Murphy

Each month Julia Campbell will stop by to share insight and tips for nonprofits looking to extend their organizations online reach.

How to Find and Engage Your Biggest Online Supporters – Part 3 of 3

Did you miss the first 2 posts in this series? Click to read Part 1 and Part 2.

In the past two weeks, I’ve blogged about ways that you and your organization can find your biggest online supporters, as well as ways that you can engage them to spread the word about your cause.

Today I will discuss the last, but most important, step in building relationships with your online supporters.

Acknowledge them!

Small__5405889438Many nonprofit professionals seem to forget this vital step in cultivating supporters (and that might be why they are driving away donors in droves). Don’t forget to say thank you!

Social media happens to be a fantastic way to acknowledge and reward online supporters.

1) Acknowledge, thank, celebrate, rinse, repeat! Identify and acknowledge the special people. You know, the ones who always comment on your blog (genuinely and with value) and share your Facebook posts. They might only have 45 LinkedIn connections, but their passion and interest is authentic and real – and often contagious. (I repeat, it’s not about the Klout, it’s about the passion.)

2) Say Thank You! Organize a “Thank You” campaign! Heather Mansfield of the blog Nonprofit Tech 2.0 lays out ideas for creating “Thank You” videos for your 2012 fundraising campaigns. (This can also work for nonprofits as a “Thank You” to their biggest online supporters.) Participate in Diane Darling’s “The Thank You Project”, where you hand write at least four personalized thank you notes per week. Blog about your Thank You campaign, post on Facebook and Twitter, share your Thank You process on LinkedIn. Your supporters and customers will appreciate the special touch and the personalized attention.

3) Pick a Facebook Fan of the Week. This is a simple, easy-to-use Facebook application to add to your business or nonprofit’s Page. It automatically highlights the person who interacts with your Page the most within a given week. Make this honor extra special and offer to highlight that Fan’s business or favorite cause for one week on your page, create a gallery of Fans of the Week on your website or make a special phone call to the Fan of the Week (if you have their information) to thank them for their engagement. You can also send them items such as a t-shirt, pen, coffee mug or other memento (with your logo on it of course)!

4) Give them something special. Special includes Exclusive access to events, reports, celebrities, thought leaders, discounts and offers. Nonprofits can team up with local businesses to offer exclusive discounts – for example, when the local business hits 500 fans on Facebook, they will donate X amount to the organization and offer a discount of 15% to all of the nonprofit’s Facebook fans. This way, the nonprofit and business will mutually benefit through cooperative marketing, and the fans will benefit by being able to help give back in a fairly effortless way. Another example: As a part of the Massachusetts Conference for Women Social Media Street Team, I am awarded a free ticket to the Conference and other enticing rewards. It’s a great way to get the word out about your cause while rewarding those who are donating their time.

5) Show the impact. This is the most important step. Your online supporters want to know that all their tweeting, Facebook posting and blogging has actually helped your organization. Otherwise, why waste their time? Demonstrate to them how their activities are helping you accomplish your mission, raise more money, serve more people and making the world a better place. Short videos are a great way to do this, but photos and testimonials are also very powerful.


Too many nonprofits online today seem to have a race-to-the-top mentality – who can get the most fans, the most followers, the most likes. However, it’s said that just 1% of an organization’s online fan base drives 20% of the traffic to the website and 75% of the interaction on the social networking sites. 

Focus your social media efforts on cultivating, engaging and celebrating your biggest online supporters and reap the rewards!

Ktphoto_120404_066We hope that you enjoyed this three part series! Please leave your comments below or continue the conversation on the Facebook Page.

Julia Campbell, principal at J Campbell Social Marketing, helps nonprofits reach new supporters and strengthen relationships with current ones using online tools. Email her at or call 978-578-1328.

photo credit: pjohnkeane via photopin cc


October 23, 2012 By Ewlacasse

“There’s never enough time to get everything done.”  You can say that again!  That’s why you want to get the most out of each thing you do.  And training others to tell your story is a win-win project.

Small__4253312588Plan a training session (after the year-end clamor dies down) and make it easy for others (both office staff and volunteers) to articulate your mission and engage your audience.  Not everyone is comfortable “making the ask,” but giving a little time and attention to those on your front line may result in double the productive contacts your organization has every week.

Your session should be fun, low-key, and conversational.  Tell valuable organization stories, and encourage others to talk about great conversations they’ve had.  Stir up a mountain of content that illustrates what you do, how you affect client’s lives, what the community knows (and doesn’t know) about you, and personal stories that touch the human heart.  Your trigger question might be:  “If there were just two or three things you wish more people knew about us, what would they be?”

Once everyone is comfortable and sharing, or ready to be shared with, ask the group to talk about places and situations where they’d want the message to be heard.  Not just speaking venues, but in discussions at community club meetings, over lunch, when someone is looking for volunteer work, when you’re asked where you work, on a blog  (“Hey, guys, celebrate!  We just rescued our 1000th dog!”)

Then role-play and practice how (give them some words) these tidbits can play out within their comfort zone.  The point is not to turn your people into automatons or salespeople, or make them uncomfortable, but to start them thinking about places where the opportunity already exists that they might naturally share information about your organization in their everyday conversations.

Repeat this training annually. And keep a constant stream of success stories flowing in your meetings.

Just as people might not know that they can qualify for a tax deduction by donating their old junker to the public television station, many people do not instinctively see the ways that their words and activities can enlarge the breadth and width of “buzz” about your organization. Teaching them these skills is a great gift to them and to your organization.

photo credit: DanDeChiaro via photopin cc

GiftWorks Guest Blog - Julia Campbell

October 18, 2012 By Steve Fafel

Each month Julia Campbell will stop by to share insight and tips for nonprofits looking to extend their organizations online reach.

How to Find and Engage Your Biggest Online Supporters – Part 2 of 3

Medium_253914821Did you miss Part 1? Click here to read it!

Last week I discussed ways that you and your organization can find your biggest online supporters,
called Brand Ambassadors.

So now, hopefully, you’ve found some online supporters that are ready and willing to spread the word about your cause, your event and/or your fundraising campaign.

What do you do with them?

1) Listen. Too often organizations want to just jump in and start promoting their particular agenda. Shouting and pushing will get you ignored in the social media space. Listen first - Follow your online supporters on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest. What are they sharing? What motivates them? What moves them to comment on a blog, to like a Facebook post, to retweet a link, to share a photo? Listen to their conversations, figure out what moves them and tailor make a strategy using this information.

2) Create content that people want to share. Much easier said than done. Spend some time and dedicate some resources to creating content that is well-written, original, compelling, timely, relevant and interesting. Tall order, but that’s what it takes to stand-out in the noise of social media.

3) Make your content very easy to share. Encourage commenting and other interaction by disabling strict privacy settings on your social media sites. (I never understood why an organization would have a Facebook page if they didn’t want comments on it!). Add social share buttons to all blog posts and email newsletters. Add like buttons to your website. More ways to enable sharing can be found here.

4) Write updates for them. Send out emails, Facebook posts, Tweets, etc. with suggested updates that the online supporter can simply cut, paste and share. Write them in several social media formats to let the online supporter choose where they want to share. For example, write “Tweet this! The @waterforlife campaign for fresh water is well underway – can you donate $1 to help a child now? #waterforall” rather than “Tweet about our fresh water campaign today!”

5) Don’t make it about you. Don’t say “Help our organization raise money!” That isn’t very interesting. Make it about the impact that they will have if they support you – how many kids do you help every day? How many animals are you saving? What would happen if your organization disappeared? What difference are you making?

6) Target online supporters based on their sphere of influence. Craft a personal solicitation to online supporters that wield a lot of clout to support you where they are most influential. them to share on Twitter (if they have lots of followers), post to Facebook (lots of friends/fans) or pin on Pinterest (many followers). Don’t ignore influencers and supporters on LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube. (MySpace is coming back too!)

7) Give updates on your progress. If you are looking to get a specific number of signatures on a petition, update your online supporters on your progress! Celebrate milestones in fundraising – “We’ve raised $5,000 – only $5,000 more to go!” People love to be part of success. Make these updates upbeat, short, and easy for people to share with their networks and a snowball effect will ensue!

8) Use hashtags to build community and monitor the conversation. Hashtags can be used on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. The best hashtags are original, memorable, easy to spell and short. Think #fail, #firstworldproblems, #womeninbinders, etc.

9) Celebrate your success at the end. Show your online supporters how they helped get you there! “We had 348 retweets and an increase in Facebook Reach of 567%!” You will need to monitor your insights to get this information. For more about measurement, read Beth Kanter’s insightful blog.

Remember, your online supporters are always looking for content to share with their networks. They support your cause already, and they are most likely looking for easy ways to get more involved. Give them easy instructions and compelling content and you will see your online reach explode!

Ktphoto_120404_066Stay tuned for part 3 of our special series How to find and engage your biggest online supporters – How to acknowledge them and cultivate their future support?

Julia Campbell, principal at J Campbell Social Marketing, helps nonprofits reach new supporters and strengthen relationships with current ones using online tools. Email her at or call 978-578-1328.

photo credit: Matt McGee via photopin cc 

Events: One More Thing!

October 15, 2012 By Ewlacasse

It’s Monday morning.  Friday night you hosted a special event, and now you’d just like to clean up your desk and get on to the next thing.  But, after all the time and energy you’ve expended pulling together Friday’s event, take one more step—to learn what’s worked and to document that insight for the next time.

A few days after the event, post some fun photos of the festivities and try a simple survey to capture impressions while they’re still fresh.  This is not a “on a scale of 1-5, how would you rate…” kind of survey.  It’s a few quick, and fun, questions in search of highlights you may not have thought of.  No matter what the answers, you’re sure to see your event from angles you haven’t seen before.

Questions might be:

              Did you meet new people?

              What part did you enjoy most?

              What new thing did you learn about The Organization?

              What could have been better?*

                             *May we contact you for more information?


The message you send by sending a survey is that you care about people/prospects/donors and whether your projects interest them.  You’re interested in more than how much money you’ ve raised.  And it gives you an opportunity to invite new people to become more involved in your event or your organization.  Any time you can engage someone in a spontaneous conversation, you’re likely to learn more than all the checklists you’re ever done.  And social media makes this easy to do!

 Let the input from the “survey” be the first step in planning your next event.  The fresh input from attendees will give your committee new ideas and new enthusiasm!

FREE Webinar - Drive Action & Raise Awareness With Website Landing Pages - Oct. 23rd at 3pm ET

October 15, 2012 By Steve Fafel

Join Jay Wilkinson of Firespring and GiftWorks Tuesday, October 23rd, at 3 p.m. Eastern time for a free webinar on how to "Drive Action & Raise Awareness with Website Landing Pages."

Drive Action & Raise Awareness with Website Landing Pages
Tuesday, October 23rd at 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET
Register here:

This session will provide a crash course on landing pages (including real-world examples) and how your organization can use them effectively to gain new supporters and volunteers, spread the word about your cause and increase donations.

You will learn:

·         What landing pages are and why they're important to your web strategy.
·         The biggest landing page mistakes and how to avoid them.
·         The importance of SEO and how to drive traffic to the right pages.

Attend this session and gain specific action steps that can be implemented immediately.
Firespring - Jay Wilkinson HeadshotJay Wilkinson is the founder and CEO of Firespring, a Nebraska-based marketing and internet services company with more than 3,000 clients on 5 continents. Jay has educated thousands on topics ranging from marketing to technology to the internet. As a board member of several nonprofits, he understands the importance of utilizing the web as a tool to communicate and build relationships with constituents. He has appeared on CNN and other news programs discussing how emerging technologies affect nonprofits and is considered a leading authority on the proper use of the web as a tool to enhance the core mission of any enterprise.

Hope to see you there!

Try GiftWorks FREE for a 30-day trial!

GiftWorks Guest Blog - Julia Campbell

October 10, 2012 By D Murphy

Each month Julia Campbell will stop by to share insight and tips for nonprofits looking to extend their organizations online reach.

How to Find and Engage Your Biggest Online Supporters – Part 1 of 3

 Small__1408755246The truth remains that even in the rapid-fire world of technology, the Internet, social media and mobile tools, the most effective form of fundraising is still the personal ask. People will not support your organization and your cause if they are not given a compelling reason to do so. And what better reason than because a beloved relative or trusted friend has asked them to?

 Consider these two scenarios:

 Scenario 1: You receive a form letter in the mail from a breast cancer research charity that bought your name from another organization’s mailing list. The letter is addressed “Dear Friend” and lacks any personalization. You are confused because breast cancer research is not even your passion – protecting the environment is.

 Scenario 2: You receive a personal message from a friend on Facebook asking you to sponsor her in a walk for breast cancer research, in honor of her mother. She writes in the first person about watching her mother suffer from the disease, and why she wants to help others. Breast cancer isn’t a cause you usually give money to, but you love your friend and you want to help.

 In which case are you more likely to donate? Clearly, Scenario 2.

 What if your friend posted the same gripping story on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and in her blog? What if she made it easy for you to share her story with your friends online? And for them to share with their friends?

 Result: The organization’s message would reach more people and it would result in more awareness and money raised for the organization. And it would be much more cost effective than blindly sending out another costly appeal letter. People who want to spread the word about your cause, raising money and awareness are by far your greatest online asset – if they are identified, engaged and acknowledged correctly!

 So where do you find these online supporters?

 1) Your email newsletter. Nonprofits should use their email list to send out clear and concise calls-to-action, and then determine who is opening the emails, who is sharing the content and who is forwarding the emails to their networks.

 2) Your social networking profiles:
• LinkedIn
– Use LinkedIn Groups strategically to find people who care about your cause and who are vocal online. You can now search LinkedIn profiles for Volunteering History and Causes.

• Twitter – Twitter is a perfect place to engage with supporters. It seems intimate when you are tweeting one-on-one with someone, but don’t be deceived – Twitter is a huge public forum that is buzzing at an astounding rate! See who is following your organization on Twitter and how active they are on the site. Do they ReTweet your content? Do they give you a #FF (FollowFriday) mention? Create a Twitter list of all the Twitterers who have shared your content and mentioned you.

• Facebook – You can see who your Fans are, but (depending on their privacy settings) you probably cannot see much about them other than their name. However, you can see who is liking, commenting on and sharing your content – thank them profusely! Try installing a “Top Fans” app on your page.

 3) Cross reference with your database. Make sure to cross reference your online supporters your donor and volunteer database. Are they there? Have they given? Have they attended an event? You will get to know them and see where their interests lie and where they have yet to connect.

 NOTE: You have to be actively using these tools to find your supporters – this requires an investment in staff capacity and resources.

 Two important things to remember:

• You can’t go by Klout score alone. I wrote about Klout score vs. passion in a previous blog post. A person doesn’t have to have millions of Twitter followers to be a thought leader or influential in their field. 

• Just because someone is influential does not mean that your cause will resonate with them
Think about how you cultivate major donors – a strategy that just includes contacting all the rick people in town is faulty and will get you blacklisted. Be strategic in who you contact to promote your nonprofit online and make sure it’s an appropriate fit. 

Ktphoto_120404_066Stay tuned for part 2 of our special series How to find and engage your biggest online supporters – So now we’ve found them – what do we do with them?

Julia Campbell, principal at J Campbell Social Marketing, helps nonprofits reach new supporters and strengthen relationships with current ones using online tools. Email her at or call 978-578-1328.

photo credit: lastquest via photopin cc

Tackle that Pile of Magazines!

October 9, 2012 By Ewlacasse

You know the pile I mean.  It might contain Chronicles, fund-raising magazines, consultant newsletters, marketing tabloids.  It piles up in the To-Do category and may never get tackled unless you’re home with the flu.

Small__4735298336Time to declutter your resources, lighten your load of guilt, and possibly identify those new ideas you assume you will get to someday.

1.  Take a hard look and decide which publications have been helpful in the past. They may all be helpful, but some will be more helpful to you than others because of learning style, favorite writers, relationship to your “industry.” (Some staff may be more inclined to the technical, others to the creative.)

2.  If you have staff that might share the reading research load, engage them.  Assign each one or two pubs that they like to read and report back on.

3.  Set aside a monthly working lunch where each of you brings something new to the table found in your reading.  (Of course, “Eureka!” discoveries can be shared spontaneously as needed!)

4.  Get rid of the stacks! And the guilt!  Publications that aren’t often useful or that no one wants to read shouldn’t be in your office.  If you need them later, you can always find them on the Internet.  Move those extras into the recycling bin!

photo credit: jekert gwapo via photopin cc

About GiftWorks

GiftWorks is fundraising software and so much more. It’s also a community of nonprofit experts and peers who help you make the most of your fundraising efforts.

GiftWorks helps you manage and cultivate donors/prospective donors, run effective fundraising campaigns, build targeted lists, send custom mailings and create robust reports. You can add GiftWorks Volunteers, Events and/or Online Donations for even more functionality.

GiftWorks is quick to set up and easy to use, so you can generate polished reports for your board in a snap. Best of all, GiftWorks is priced right so your big investments are in your mission, not your infrastructure.

Recent Tweets

About The GiftWorks Team

The GiftWorks team is made up of hard working and caring individuals who have a heart for nonprofit organizations and a passion for making great software. For the past 7 years, our focus has been giving nonprofits the software and tools needed to accomplish their mission. Every day, the salespeople, software developers, customer support representatives, and every other member of the team work hard to get GiftWorks into the hands of nonprofits and help them to use GiftWorks to advance their cause, raise money, and accomplish their goals.

Many members of the GiftWorks team donate their time, effort, and other resources to nonprofits in Lancaster, PA and the surrounding area. We trust that our efforts, in cooperation with nonprofits around the world, can impact our generation and generations to come.