Our Charity Dynamics retained strategic services clients receive weekly status updates that allow us to plan and track initiatives that help our clients reach their digital communication and fundraising goals.

Each week, we share the most innovative ideas we see in the industry and look for ways to keep our clients on the cutting edge. Here are three of our favorite ideas from the last month:

  1. Refresh your email acquisition campaigns

The Huffington Post recently added more tips from various experts to its “Secret to Building an Email List of over 100 K” advice post. This is a great place to peruse industry-spanning strategies and get some inspiration on methods of gaining new email subscribers beyond e-news pop-up promotions.

A few strategies:

  • Exit screens. Some people hate these with a passion. But it’s hard to argue with results if you have a compelling, timely and relevant message that hooks someone just as they leave your site.
  • Incentives for sign ups and/or referrals: maybe a board member is passionate about keeping people informed about your cause and will donate $5 for every new person that signs up for updates.
  • You might be a nonprofit, but you can still have fun with a good, old-fashioned giveaway contest. You can often start, power and promote these from your social media profiles.

2. Apple Pay now lets nonprofits take donations 

Apple announced this week that its payments service, Apple Pay, will now support the ability to make donations to nonprofits, starting immediately in the U.S. This includes Apple Pay on the web, where it can be integrated into websites’ checkout flow, as well as within mobile applications. The changes are rolling out just ahead of the holidays, something participating nonprofits hope will have a big impact on their ability to raise funds during this time of increased charitable giving.

How does it work? On mobile, users can use TouchID to make an instant gift. Meanwhile, on the web, users click the Apple Pay donate button in Safari, then confirm their payment via their iPhone or Apple Watch. Apple Pay today has tens of millions of customers, and is adding one million more per week. Apple Pay transactions have also increased by nearly 500 percent year-over-year, for the September quarter. According to one Apple executive, more transactions were made in September 2016 than across all of fiscal 2015.

In other words, there are now enough customers on Apple Pay for this launch to have a measurable impact on giving programs. Both Blackbaud and DonorDrive have announced integration with Apple Pay is now available, with more announcements expected to follow quickly from other fundraising platforms in the coming weeks.

3. How many fundraising emails are you sending in December?

According to the recent study from M+R campaigns, organizations that send more emails raise more money. They recommend at least 5 to 7 fundraising emails during the month of December to support a strong year-end campaign. This also helps compete with the deluge of emails your audience will receive from other nonprofits, and retailers pushing holiday their sales. Now obviously you can’t just send the same email over and over again. That would be silly. Instead, each email needs its own hook.

Here are just a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Consider:

  • The year in review
  • A personal message from the executive director
  • A “State of the Union” video message from the CEO
  • “Why I give” message from benefactors
  • Notable milestones from 2016
  • A “Thank You” for everything supporters have done in 2016
  • A matching gift with an expiration date
  • Last chance to make an impact in 2016
  • Get started early on 2017 resolutions


About Charity Dynamics Strategic Services Retainers:

Charity Dynamics Strategic Services Retainers are planned, hours based, ongoing engagements where project teams collaborate on the short and long term needs of the client. A strategic retainer allows for flexibility and access to the full diversity of expertise on the Charity Dynamics team including consultants, web developers, analytics, designers and UX experts. Raise more money, reach more donors and make a bigger impact by leveraging our team to meet your digital fundraising and communication goals.