All Charity Dynamics retained services clients get weekly status updates that allow us to keep track of all the various initiatives our teams are collaborating on.

Throughout the year, we share the most innovative ideas we see and look for ways to keep our clients on the cutting edge. Here are three of our favorite ideas from 2014:

Add an Element of Delight to Your Emails with Animated GIFs
We’ve been excited to see some creative, impactful animated GIFs in our clients’ emails recently that have really resonated with constituents. Litmus (an industry standard email testing and analytics company) has noticed an increase in animated GIFs in emails as well and has a great article on the pros, cons, and how-tos behind the trend.

Tip: Make sure the first frame of your GIF work as a static image, as not all email clients will render the animated GIF correctly. You can also include a link to view the message online or to a separate landing page with the animated GIF, so constituents have a better chance of seeing the GIF in action.

Check out these great examples:

Beyond the Lightbox with Modified Pop-Ups
Experiment with modified pop-ups. Less obtrusive than the standard lightbox, these pop-ups can slide into view anywhere on the screen (bottom right corner is the most popular placement). Depending on your messaging, there are a variety of enhancements to choose from: you can time the pop-up to appear after a certain amount of time spent on a page; the message can be styled to match design; it can stick to the screen and stay in position as a user scrolls; the pop-up can show up on specified pages if your message is content-specific, etc.

Gift Catalogs: Donations Inspired by Your Real World Impact
Developing an online gift catalog that illustrates the services you provide is a creative way to solicit donations and demonstrate the impact of a donor’s gift. You can raise awareness by tying a donation amount to meaningful action items specific to your organization (books for at-risk youth, animal shelter blankets, meals for the homeless). Accompanying visuals can really help catalog items resonate. There is also an opportunity to allow donors to “purchase” a catalog item in honor of someone else with eCard dedications, which is a great alternative gift idea!

Check out this Volunteers of America catalog example built with Luminate Online eCommerce.