Online Giving Through Razoo

givemn.org Blog

    • Give to the Max Day helps one nonprofit add a staff position

      Posted December 12/20/11, 2011 by Guest blog by Kathi Eilers, Jabbok Family Services (0 Comments)

      Winning the prize for top small non-profit as well as placing in the top 10 is huge for our organization. We are so very grateful for the generosity shown during the Great Minnesota Give Together. We hoped a few big gifts would help us hold the number one spot … and people really came through.

      Jabbok Family Services is a nonprofit serving low-income families and youth in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis through high-quality, low-cost childcare, family support, and youth programming. It operates a one-of-a-kind childcare center providing part-time childcare that is focused on early childhood education and school readiness. For parents it provides family support advocacy and parent group learning sessions. Jabbok also operates a family oriented, year round youth center that provides academic enrichment, social and emotional development, and life skills training for youth ages six through 18. Both of Jabbok’s programs help to build healthy families and self-sufficiency. 

      Jabbok operates on a very small and tight annual budget. Each year, we hope to increase our impact by offering more services … providing early education-focused childcare and afterschool programs to more children. That has been difficult in the last few years with the adjustment in our economy. So, our strategy for improving our impact has been to improve efficiencies in our services. We have enhanced our program’s outcomes and scheduled events strategically, using our professional staff dollars most efficiently. We rely heavily on volunteers to help deliver the quality programs that the children, youth and families deserve and have come to expect, as Jabbok has “fine-tuned” our work in the Whittier neighborhood. For Jabbok, the additional money from Give to the Max Day simply means additional professional staff.  

      My plan is to re-project this year’s revenues and the next few years’ cash flow and add hours to some of our existing staff. We will likely hire a new teacher for the INSTEP program. We can now say that the Great Minnesota Give Together created a job as well!

      Read More
    • Give to the Max Day Strategy: Sajai Foundation 'Amazing Walk'

      Posted December 12/20/11, 2011 by Guest blog by Nicole Harrison of Social Nicole Online Marketing (1 Comments)

      You may have seen a woman walking, biking, and riding her way toward the Mall of America on Give to the Max Day last week - but did you know why?

      More 47,534 donors and 3,978 nonprofits participated in Give to the Max Day this year, but only one had the crazy, yet inspiring, idea of walking 30 miles through Minnesota November weather to raise awareness for childhood obesity - the Säjai Foundation.

      In just their first year of strategic involvement in Give to the Max Day, the Säjai Foundation’s “Amazing Walk” brought together 84 donors who gave nearly $11,095 - and that was matched!  Close to $22,190 was raised during and after that amazing 30-mile walk!

      How did they do it?

      Because of the success of Give to the Max Day, it has become a challenge for nonprofits to stand out and be noticed, especially if their budgets and donor bases are more limited. Together, SocialNicole Online Marketing and the Säjai Foundation came up with one crazy spark of inspiration that prompted an outpouring of generosity on November 16. Proving that, while planning and strategizing are key to any successful campaign, a bit of creativity and a willingness to step outside the box can make an amazing difference.

      As SocialNicole and the Säjai Foundation prepared to tackle Give to the Max Day we began with the idea of doing something radical to draw attention to Säjai’s mission – ending childhood obesity. Someone threw out the crazy idea: “How about Melissa walks from her house to the Mall of America, on Give to the Max Day?” That crazy idea became not just a crazy idea. It became the theme of Säjai’s Give to the Max Day event.

      On Wednesday, November 16 Säjai president Melissa Hanson successfully walked, biked, and rode in an escort van the 30 miles from her home in Maple Grove to the Mall of America. She even helped save a stray dog during her trip! What got her there? The spirit of Give to the Max Day! You can catch a glimpse of Melissa in the GiveMN Thank You video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gld9D8-5MQU

      It’s all part of the plan

      How did we convince her to test her physical strength and actually walk 30 miles on Wednesday, November 16? We drafted a plan. Even crazy ideas need a plan. SocialNicole outlined for the Säjai team the steps to generate much needed buzz on Give to the Max Day, motivate Säjai donors as well as the nonprofit’s network of peers, programming partners, and even participants, and make Melissa’s walk worth it.

      Key Points in the Säjai plan

      • By crafting a strong overarching message, and leveraging the social media tools that have made Give to the Max Day successful, Säjai was able to hook their audience into donating to reach their matching grant of $10,000.
      •  Giving levels were designed to incentivize donors. For example, every $1,000 raised that day allows a volunteer to walk in Melissa’s place for a mile. For every $5,000 raised Melissa was able to ride her bike five miles. This encouraged donors to pitch in and help Melissa out.
      • A customized email outreach was put into place for targeted donors to secure gifts throughout the day on November 16.
      • Board members volunteered to phone a list of targeted donors to confirm their commitments for Give to the Max Day.
      • Social messaging examples were crafted for Säjai’s Facebook and Twitter followers, allowing them to easily re-post and multiply their giving reach.
      • Media outreach included customized community alerts and ongoing communications with local media outlets.
      • A follow up plan was implemented immediately after Give to the Max Day to ensure that the new donors felt welcomed into the Säjai Community.

      For more on the story of Säjai Foundation and SocialNicole’s idea for the “Amazing Walk” and the key points in their plan, check out “The Säjai Foundation & SocialNicole- 30 miles and a mission.”

      We at SocialNicole feel privileged to have helped Melissa and Säjai Foundation meet and surpass their goal – raising money and awareness for the important issue of childhood obesity.

      Read More
    • Eliminate the achievement gap in Saint Paul

      Posted December 12/5/11, 2011 by Guest blog by the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation (0 Comments)

      (Editor’s note: GiveMN is an affiliate of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, as is the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation. We’re proud to share this news about their $50,000 Challenge grant helping eliminate the acheivement gap in our community. You can donate today and have your donation matched at http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Saint-Paul-Public-Schools-Foundation)

      “You are a great tutor. Thank you for helping me read.” Brong, 3rd grade student

      Help the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation reach more students like Brong by participating in the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation $50,000 Challenge through a donation of any amount. Your gift will be doubled and can help a child learn to read and excel at math.

      With over 2,000 tutors serving at 30 tutoring programs and 41 schools, the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation is working to eliminate the achievement gap in Saint Paul. These high-quality tutors reach an incredible 6,500 students both in and out of school. Why?

      Because Saint Paul is facing a staggering achievement gap between students of color and Caucasian students. Test scores from 2010 show that 80% of Caucasian students are testing proficient and less than 50% of students of color are testing proficient in both reading and math.

      Research shows that children need to be reading at grade level by 3rd grade and achieve proficiency in algebra by 8th grade to be prepared for success in school and life. Every day, high-quality volunteer tutors help students in Saint Paul Public Schools learn to read and excel in math.

      The Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation is a non-profit organization made up of businesses, education leaders, and community leaders committed to academic excellence in schools.

      “The Foundation is playing an important role in our community, building effective programs and partnerships in support of academic success.” Matt Kramer, President, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce

      How can you help support this great work?

      By donating any amount to the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation or by spreading the word about this incredible grant opportunity.  Donate now.

      The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has generously provided a $50,000 challenge to raise awareness and funding support by providing a dollar-for-dollar match for all first time donors secured by December 31st, 2011.

      What does this mean? If you’re a first time donor, your gift will be doubled!  Are you a previous donor? Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Otto Bremer Foundation!

      For more information about the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, the Tutoring Partnership or either of our matching grants, visit our website: http://sppsfoundation.org/

      Read More
    • Giving to the Max Strategy: Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners

      Posted December 12/2/11, 2011 by Lenore Franzen, Marketing Communications Manager, Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners (0 Comments)

      When Give to the Max Day was introduced 3 years ago, Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners was delighted. Give to the Max Day coincides with the beginning of our annual campaign, the Sleep Out. By early October, we already have our theme, key messages, and a detailed communications and promotions plan in place. Give to the Max Day serves as a campaign booster, injecting early energy and collective buzz.

      Many of the efforts to promote Give to the Max Day dovetail with efforts related to our campaign. Our approach is to leave no stone unturned. Securing a matching grant is key. It creates an incentive for other donors and gives us a strong financial start to our campaign.  We also relied on the hefty toolkit GiveMN provides: the webinar, personalized thank yous, QR codes, and a status widget for our web site. We relied heavily on social media (regular e-blasts, our website, e-newsletter, Facebook and Twitter) and our print newsletter to get the word out. We also promoted Give to the Max Day at every face-to-face meeting.

      Our Sleep Out Campaign places a lot of demands on our development and marketing staff. This year we were fortunate to have two interns assisting us during this busy period. They kept our web site current and created a specific communications plan for using social media around Give to the Max Day. We met weekly to check in and make sure we were doing everything we could. Using press releases and direct pitches, we let local media know about the Sleep Out and Give to the Max Day. We also participated in the livestream at the Mall of America. On Nov. 16, we even set up a laptop in our lobby to encourage giving on the spot. Admittedly, we’re competitive, so we loved checking the leaderboard throughout the day, especially when we jumped into first at 9:04 p.m.!

      Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners took first place on Give to the Max Day largely because of our generous community and, in particular, the donors who provided the match. Sure, our all-out efforts to be prepared and to promote it using the many tools GiveMN provided made a difference, but in the end, we owe our success to the 466 donors who made it happen. Our first-place finish has created additional buzz that we hope will last until we reach our overall campaign goal of $1.8 million!

      Read More

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    • Give to the Max Day helps one nonprofit add a staff position

      Posted December 12/20/11, 2011 by Guest blog by Kathi Eilers, Jabbok Family Services (0 Comments)

      Winning the prize for top small non-profit as well as placing in the top 10 is huge for our organization. We are so very grateful for the generosity shown during the Great Minnesota Give Together. We hoped a few big gifts would help us hold the number one spot … and people really came through.

      Jabbok Family Services is a nonprofit serving low-income families and youth in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis through high-quality, low-cost childcare, family support, and youth programming. It operates a one-of-a-kind childcare center providing part-time childcare that is focused on early childhood education and school readiness. For parents it provides family support advocacy and parent group learning sessions. Jabbok also operates a family oriented, year round youth center that provides academic enrichment, social and emotional development, and life skills training for youth ages six through 18. Both of Jabbok’s programs help to build healthy families and self-sufficiency. 

      Jabbok operates on a very small and tight annual budget. Each year, we hope to increase our impact by offering more services … providing early education-focused childcare and afterschool programs to more children. That has been difficult in the last few years with the adjustment in our economy. So, our strategy for improving our impact has been to improve efficiencies in our services. We have enhanced our program’s outcomes and scheduled events strategically, using our professional staff dollars most efficiently. We rely heavily on volunteers to help deliver the quality programs that the children, youth and families deserve and have come to expect, as Jabbok has “fine-tuned” our work in the Whittier neighborhood. For Jabbok, the additional money from Give to the Max Day simply means additional professional staff.  

      My plan is to re-project this year’s revenues and the next few years’ cash flow and add hours to some of our existing staff. We will likely hire a new teacher for the INSTEP program. We can now say that the Great Minnesota Give Together created a job as well!

      Read More
    • Give to the Max Day Strategy: Sajai Foundation 'Amazing Walk'

      Posted December 12/20/11, 2011 by Guest blog by Nicole Harrison of Social Nicole Online Marketing (1 Comments)

      You may have seen a woman walking, biking, and riding her way toward the Mall of America on Give to the Max Day last week - but did you know why?

      More 47,534 donors and 3,978 nonprofits participated in Give to the Max Day this year, but only one had the crazy, yet inspiring, idea of walking 30 miles through Minnesota November weather to raise awareness for childhood obesity - the Säjai Foundation.

      In just their first year of strategic involvement in Give to the Max Day, the Säjai Foundation’s “Amazing Walk” brought together 84 donors who gave nearly $11,095 - and that was matched!  Close to $22,190 was raised during and after that amazing 30-mile walk!

      How did they do it?

      Because of the success of Give to the Max Day, it has become a challenge for nonprofits to stand out and be noticed, especially if their budgets and donor bases are more limited. Together, SocialNicole Online Marketing and the Säjai Foundation came up with one crazy spark of inspiration that prompted an outpouring of generosity on November 16. Proving that, while planning and strategizing are key to any successful campaign, a bit of creativity and a willingness to step outside the box can make an amazing difference.

      As SocialNicole and the Säjai Foundation prepared to tackle Give to the Max Day we began with the idea of doing something radical to draw attention to Säjai’s mission – ending childhood obesity. Someone threw out the crazy idea: “How about Melissa walks from her house to the Mall of America, on Give to the Max Day?” That crazy idea became not just a crazy idea. It became the theme of Säjai’s Give to the Max Day event.

      On Wednesday, November 16 Säjai president Melissa Hanson successfully walked, biked, and rode in an escort van the 30 miles from her home in Maple Grove to the Mall of America. She even helped save a stray dog during her trip! What got her there? The spirit of Give to the Max Day! You can catch a glimpse of Melissa in the GiveMN Thank You video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gld9D8-5MQU

      It’s all part of the plan

      How did we convince her to test her physical strength and actually walk 30 miles on Wednesday, November 16? We drafted a plan. Even crazy ideas need a plan. SocialNicole outlined for the Säjai team the steps to generate much needed buzz on Give to the Max Day, motivate Säjai donors as well as the nonprofit’s network of peers, programming partners, and even participants, and make Melissa’s walk worth it.

      Key Points in the Säjai plan

      • By crafting a strong overarching message, and leveraging the social media tools that have made Give to the Max Day successful, Säjai was able to hook their audience into donating to reach their matching grant of $10,000.
      •  Giving levels were designed to incentivize donors. For example, every $1,000 raised that day allows a volunteer to walk in Melissa’s place for a mile. For every $5,000 raised Melissa was able to ride her bike five miles. This encouraged donors to pitch in and help Melissa out.
      • A customized email outreach was put into place for targeted donors to secure gifts throughout the day on November 16.
      • Board members volunteered to phone a list of targeted donors to confirm their commitments for Give to the Max Day.
      • Social messaging examples were crafted for Säjai’s Facebook and Twitter followers, allowing them to easily re-post and multiply their giving reach.
      • Media outreach included customized community alerts and ongoing communications with local media outlets.
      • A follow up plan was implemented immediately after Give to the Max Day to ensure that the new donors felt welcomed into the Säjai Community.

      For more on the story of Säjai Foundation and SocialNicole’s idea for the “Amazing Walk” and the key points in their plan, check out “The Säjai Foundation & SocialNicole- 30 miles and a mission.”

      We at SocialNicole feel privileged to have helped Melissa and Säjai Foundation meet and surpass their goal – raising money and awareness for the important issue of childhood obesity.

      Read More
    • Eliminate the achievement gap in Saint Paul

      Posted December 12/5/11, 2011 by Guest blog by the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation (0 Comments)

      (Editor’s note: GiveMN is an affiliate of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, as is the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation. We’re proud to share this news about their $50,000 Challenge grant helping eliminate the acheivement gap in our community. You can donate today and have your donation matched at http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Saint-Paul-Public-Schools-Foundation)

      “You are a great tutor. Thank you for helping me read.” Brong, 3rd grade student

      Help the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation reach more students like Brong by participating in the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation $50,000 Challenge through a donation of any amount. Your gift will be doubled and can help a child learn to read and excel at math.

      With over 2,000 tutors serving at 30 tutoring programs and 41 schools, the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation is working to eliminate the achievement gap in Saint Paul. These high-quality tutors reach an incredible 6,500 students both in and out of school. Why?

      Because Saint Paul is facing a staggering achievement gap between students of color and Caucasian students. Test scores from 2010 show that 80% of Caucasian students are testing proficient and less than 50% of students of color are testing proficient in both reading and math.

      Research shows that children need to be reading at grade level by 3rd grade and achieve proficiency in algebra by 8th grade to be prepared for success in school and life. Every day, high-quality volunteer tutors help students in Saint Paul Public Schools learn to read and excel in math.

      The Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation is a non-profit organization made up of businesses, education leaders, and community leaders committed to academic excellence in schools.

      “The Foundation is playing an important role in our community, building effective programs and partnerships in support of academic success.” Matt Kramer, President, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce

      How can you help support this great work?

      By donating any amount to the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation or by spreading the word about this incredible grant opportunity.  Donate now.

      The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has generously provided a $50,000 challenge to raise awareness and funding support by providing a dollar-for-dollar match for all first time donors secured by December 31st, 2011.

      What does this mean? If you’re a first time donor, your gift will be doubled!  Are you a previous donor? Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Otto Bremer Foundation!

      For more information about the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, the Tutoring Partnership or either of our matching grants, visit our website: http://sppsfoundation.org/

      Read More
    • Giving to the Max Strategy: Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners

      Posted December 12/2/11, 2011 by Lenore Franzen, Marketing Communications Manager, Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners (0 Comments)

      When Give to the Max Day was introduced 3 years ago, Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners was delighted. Give to the Max Day coincides with the beginning of our annual campaign, the Sleep Out. By early October, we already have our theme, key messages, and a detailed communications and promotions plan in place. Give to the Max Day serves as a campaign booster, injecting early energy and collective buzz.

      Many of the efforts to promote Give to the Max Day dovetail with efforts related to our campaign. Our approach is to leave no stone unturned. Securing a matching grant is key. It creates an incentive for other donors and gives us a strong financial start to our campaign.  We also relied on the hefty toolkit GiveMN provides: the webinar, personalized thank yous, QR codes, and a status widget for our web site. We relied heavily on social media (regular e-blasts, our website, e-newsletter, Facebook and Twitter) and our print newsletter to get the word out. We also promoted Give to the Max Day at every face-to-face meeting.

      Our Sleep Out Campaign places a lot of demands on our development and marketing staff. This year we were fortunate to have two interns assisting us during this busy period. They kept our web site current and created a specific communications plan for using social media around Give to the Max Day. We met weekly to check in and make sure we were doing everything we could. Using press releases and direct pitches, we let local media know about the Sleep Out and Give to the Max Day. We also participated in the livestream at the Mall of America. On Nov. 16, we even set up a laptop in our lobby to encourage giving on the spot. Admittedly, we’re competitive, so we loved checking the leaderboard throughout the day, especially when we jumped into first at 9:04 p.m.!

      Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners took first place on Give to the Max Day largely because of our generous community and, in particular, the donors who provided the match. Sure, our all-out efforts to be prepared and to promote it using the many tools GiveMN provided made a difference, but in the end, we owe our success to the 466 donors who made it happen. Our first-place finish has created additional buzz that we hope will last until we reach our overall campaign goal of $1.8 million!

      Read More