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The Latest Fundly Product Enhancements

12 Apr

Hello everyone!   I’m excited to update you all on some of the recent Product updates we have made to the Fundly platform.  We’ve been busy (as usual) and pushed out yet another round of engagement enhancements that will lead our users to successful fundraising!

Supporter and Donor Commenting!
Have you ever wanted to leave a message for your friend after you have donated or supported them?  Now you can!  Any donor or new supporter is prompted to add a comment that will show up in the Pulse or be sent as a private email to the page owner.  Since we launched this feature we’ve seen an overwhelming number of people write messages to their friends and fundraisers (over 60%!).  Looks like everyone was just waiting for us to launch this!
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New Dashboard Welcome Screen! Charts Charts Charts!
We’ve begun a major transformation on the welcome page of our dashboard!  Yes, we finally have charts!  Now every fundraiser can see a visual representation of how their campaign is doing.  There are 3 tabs to the chart:
  • $ Raised ,
  • Supporters, and
  • Pageviews!

Each chart is interactive allowing you to see when you sent an email, or posted to Facebook and how many new supporters and donors you got as a result!  Happy Analyzing!

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Supporters Tab
We’ve got a new tab for fundraisers to help them track their overall progress. It includes the ability to view Supporters, Fundraisers and Team that have joined your cause!  Each tab will show overall fundraising amounts per team or fundraiser, so you can instantly see who  your top fundraisers are and which fundraisers have a ton of potential, but just need a little encouragement!
Supporter, Fundraiser and Team data is available for download with certain pricing plans.
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Events!  
We’re officially entering the events space and we’re gearing up to release a bunch of event specific features!  Take a look below for another sneak peek of an upcoming event page!
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Is Fundly the fundraising world’s Easy button? Kind of, but not really…

22 Mar

From time to time an interesting question comes up in our initial conversations with customers as they ask  “How exactly does Fundly help me raise donations?  Do you provide me with donors? Access to new potential supporters? If I connect my campaign to Facebook, won’t people come in droves to donate like I’ve seen on so many of your successful case studies?”

At first glance, it may certainly seem as though Fundly is the secret sauce driving outsized donations for organizations that use our platform.   However, Fundly is just one piece of the puzzle in successful crowdfunding.  Organizations must have an existing base of supporters that they can tap into in order to effectively crowdfund.  Once that is in place, Fundly’s platform is able to kick-in and turbo charge the fundraising process in two ways:

Fundly Simplifies the Ask:

Ask any volunteer what the biggest barrier to fundraising is for them and the response is almost always related to the “ask”. The fear of imposing on someone on behalf of something you care about can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and let’s be honest it can be a drag to get out there and pound the pavement. I know, I’ve sold countless Makahiki tickets as a Cub Scout in Hawaii.

This is where Fundly starts to shine! Countless design and development hours have gone into a ridiculously simple and easy product that allows anyone to create and promote a cause in just minutes.  Seriously, check out this page created by an 8 year-old! From there Fundly automatically begins updating each volunteer’s Facebook Wall and other social networks with posts about their fundraising activities. That means little to no effort is required of volunteers to “ask” their friends and family members to support their cause.

Fundly Enables You to Tell Your Story:

You have a unique and powerful story to tell.  There’s a reason that you and your colleagues invest countless hours and a great deal of energy promoting your cause.  Your ability to harness this story and tell it will directly influence your fundraising results. Fundly helps you and your volunteers to tell your story in three ways:

  1.  Parent/Child Campaign Relationship: Fundly campaigns are built in hierarchical layers, with child campaigns pulling content from their parent campaign. In other words, if you invest the time upfront to develop a compelling story for your campaign, as volunteer fundraisers sign up to fundraise for your campaign their pages will seamlessly pull your original content onto their volunteer pages as well!
  2. Visual Media: A picture is worth a thousand words and meaningful videos can be incredible catalysts for creating positive emotional connections and driving donations.  Fundly’s current site and upcoming design enhancements feature visual media front-and-center, meaning you can showcase your cause with a variety of assets and medium.
  3. Templates Galore!: As a part of our effort to make social fundraising as simple and pain-free as possible we’ve developed all sorts of compelling templates geared for different audiences including volunteer fundraisers, donors, and casual supporters. These templates allow you to quickly spread an effective message that directs people back to your campaign page so you can reach as many people as possible.

Fundly isn’t a silver bullet for your fundraising needs…  But it can be a powerful enabler that allows you to more simply and fully access, expand, and strengthen your existing community of supporters.

Give a Fundly campaign a spin if you haven’t already, and we’re always interested in hearing your thoughts, comments, or questions!  You can reach me anytime at curtis@fundly.com.

The Latest Fundly Product Enhancements

21 Mar

Hi everyone, I’m Will, part of the product team here at Fundly. As always, we’re listening to your feedback, and working on ways to improve our product so that you reach your fundraising goals and impact the causes you care about.

We’ve been seeing that a lot of you are using the email system on our dashboard as a really effective tool for you to gain supporters and donors! With that in mind, we’ve made some improvements that we’re really excited about. I’ll share a couple that will help make you a fundraising machine:

Action Oriented Email Templates

Having trouble getting donors? Team members? Fundraisers?

We understand that pulling the right thing to say out of thin air is difficult, so we’ve created a handful of email templates for you. You can use them to build personalized emails that ask your friends for their help in making your campaign successful. Each template has a different purpose and specific calls to action that make it very easy for your friends and family to understand how they can help:

  • Get Supporters,
  • Get Donors,
  • Get Fundraisers (you’ll only see this if you are a campaign owner),
  • Invite Team Members (you’ll only see this if you are a team captain),
  • Send Thank You,
  • and even a Custom Blank Email for any other emails you would want to write.

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Save and Preview Email Templates

Using our default messages in the email templates as a launching pad, you’ll be able to easily customize and personalize your emails so that they really speak about your cause to your friends and family.

Once you edit the messages in the emails templates, you can preview your emails before sending them out to ensure their quality and you can even save those emails for later!

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Connecting to Gmail and Yahoo

We know that getting new supporters, donors, and fundraisers through our email system was challenging since finding, copying and pasting your friends and family members email addresses can be tedious. We now aim to solve that problem by allowing you to simply import your contacts from GMail and Yahoo by connecting your GMail or Yahoo email accounts!

Don’t worry. Just like before, you can still send emails to your existing supporters, donors, and fundraisers by clicking on the ‘Add From List’ button.

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Once your GMail or Yahoo email accounts are connected, you can quickly type in the names of your friends and they’ll show up just like they do when you send an email directly from your GMail or Yahoo Inbox!

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Revamped Look for Email Templates, now Optimized for Action

We’ve revamped the aesthetics of our emails, but more importantly, we’ve optimized them to drive results.

While it’s still early, our data shows that the effectiveness of these new email templates has improved dramatically. We’ve seen a 160% increase in click-through rates for emails sent through the Fundly Email system!

Here’s an example email sent from the Get Donors email template:

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Last Call!

One of the many ways we make you successful in raising money for the cause you care about is our “Two Days Left Reminder” email.

When your campaign has only two days left and you haven’t reached your goal yet, we automatically send out an email to all of your supporters to help you make one last push to reach your fundraising goal.

Last week, we also revamped our Two Days Left Reminder email to look better and make it more effective.

We’ve succeeded! By increasing the urgency and making the call to action very clear, the effectiveness of this email has skyrocketed with an 825% increase in donation conversions!

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Sneak Peak of Fundly 2.0

We have collected all of your feedback, mixed in the insight from your successful campaigns, and baked it with Fundly love. We’ve come up with a drastically improved version of campaign pages with visual storytelling, allowing you to better communicate your causes’ mission through video and pictures.

Stay tuned!

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We are always trying to make our product more effective and easier to use, and I am excited to listen to your feedback. If you have any suggestions or ideas for improvement, please email me at will@fundly.com!

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A Mission to make everyone a philanthropist.

11 Mar

A Mission to make everyone a philanthropist.

Check out how our Customer Experience Officer (CEO) “does what he loves for a living” in Business News Daily…

Every Fundraising Platform Claims to be Social. How do I Tell the Difference?

7 Mar

Hi guys… it’s me, CEO of Fundly.  I recently changed my title to Customer Experience Officer (keeping the same acronym, but focusing where my heart is–with our customers!)

Because I care about you and your success, I use this blog to communicate openly with you in a way I think will help you.  It doesn’t do me or Fundly any good to convince you to try something that won’t work.  If you should use a platform other than Fundly, I’ll tell you.  And if you are trying to use Fundly, but you have mis-set expectations about what it will do for you, I’ll tell you that too!

So this post is interesting, because I’m going to unveil some things that seem self-serving, but I really am just trying to get at the truth.  If you have comments / questions / corrections, please let me know!

Libby Leffler, head of social good for Facebook, has hosted Fundly a number of times at Facebook HQ–to work on product, to review roadmap, and to participate in her non-profit advisory council.  When Libby saw what Fundly was doing with Facebook’s Open Graph, she said, “I don’t think you guys know how advanced you are.  I haven’t seen anyone else in the fundraising space doing as much with Facebook Open Graph as Fundly is.  You should do a press release or something!”

“I don’t think you guys know how advanced you are.  I haven’t seen anyone else in the fundraising space doing as much with Facebook Open Graph as Fundly is.  You should do a press release or something!”

-Libby Leffler, Facebook

  • 90% of Fundly’s referral traffic comes from Facebook
  • 20% of overall Fundly donations come from Facebook
  • 90% of Fundly users authenticate with Facebook
  • The value of a Facebook-authenticated user grows over time and eclipses that of an “email / password” user in 4 months
  • Fundly generates over 1M Facebook OpenGraph impressions per month, growing at 1,900%

“Okay,” you say… “this all sounds impressive, but can you break it down for me?”

Sure.

The bottom line is that no other social fundraising platform is Open Graph certified, and it really, really matters.

  • Blackbaud:  no
  • Rally:  no
  • Razoo:  no
  • StayClassy:  no
  • Crowdrise:  no
  • Donor Drive:  no
  • First Giving:  no

Let me be clear.  All of these platforms use Facebook.  You can see ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons, you can use Facebook to register / authenticate….  many of them “seem” quite social.  But here is what they don’t do and can’t do and why it matters:

  1. They don’t automatically notify your friends when you set up a new campaign
  2. They don’t automatically donors’ friends when their friend has donated to a campaign
  3. They don’t let friends know when their friends have supported a campaign
  4. They don’t prioritize the donors to show  you when you land on a campaign based on whether or not they are *your* friends
  5. They don’t integrate mobile with social (combine your cell phone address book records with your Facebook friends list)
  6. They don’t incorporate your specific friends into the emails you receive about a campaign

In short, they leave the bulk of the value of your community untapped.

Let’s take a case in point to drive home the importance of this distinction.

  • Annual 5K run
  • 100 runners–all amateur fundraisers
  • $100K target, all in

It’s scary to be a fundraiser!  Amateur fundraisers don’t necessarily know what to do, and you don’t have time to teach all 100 of them.  It has to be dead simple.  Meanwhile, they have assembled an impressive personal network that is available to them.  This is who they will approach to sponsor them on the race.  But if left to their own devices, they would type 5-10, maybe 25 names into an email, send it off, and then wait.  They may send 1 or two reminder emails, but most people would feel at that point like they were being a nuisance, and they would leave it there.

Putting ‘like’ and share buttons on campaign pages doesn’t change this.  The fact that you or your fundraisers created their accounts using Facebook authentication doesn’t change it either.  The only thing that changes this is AUTOMATIC actions that the fundraiser doesn’t have to think about and that remind his/her network enough times for them to take action.

And the average person–no matter how good a friend they are–needs 7 reminders to take action on something.

So here is what the Fundly platform would do above and beyond what any of the participants do on their own through their own email or through “like” or “share” buttons:

  • Post to each runner’s Facebook timeline when they launch their campaign
  • Post to each donor’s timeline when they donate
  • Post to each supporter’s timeline when they support
  • Notify all friends of donors and supporters when they donate or support (by email)
  • Notify all supporters and followers by email when the campaign hits 25%, 50%, 90%, and 100% of goal

Each of the emails would feature pictures of the recipient’s friends who are involved to drive a better sense of community.

All in all, for a $100K campaign, you could expect:

  • 1,600 donors & supporters
  • 1,440 who connect their Facebook networks to your campaign
    • 500,000 “friends of friends” who can see all activity their friends take on your campaign
  • 1M Facebook impressions for your campaign
  • 10,000 campaign update emails that are personalized with people’s social connections

These social activities simply do not happen with platforms that do not leverage Facebook’s Open Graph API.  And the result is that you miss out on millions of brand impressions, thousands of new donors, and 20% of the money you could otherwise collect.

Don’t take my word for it.  Sign up on any of these platforms using your Facebook credentials, and then go to your Facebook timeline.  Did anything show up there?  Donate on any of them and then go to your Facebook timeline.  Did anything show up?  If not, then the platform you are using is not leveraging Facebook Open Graph, either because they don’t know how, they haven’t been approved by Facebook, they don’t think it is important, or they haven’t gotten around to it.

You owe it to yourself to choose a social fundraising platform that is truly social.  This is how you will reach the friends of your friends and build and grow your community.

Questions?  Comments?  Fire away!  djboyce@fundly.com

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Fundly’s Fit

6 Mar

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Brave Fundlings show up twice a week at 7:30 am to be tortured by Jeff Kazmucha, our crossfit trainer.  In this picture we are pretending to be happy.  We actually want to puke.

5 Mar

Hello Fundly Community!

I am stoked to be here at Fundly and wanted to take a moment to share why I joined Fundly and what I hope to bring to the table.

Why Fundly?

I looked at a number of startups before joining Fundly, and there were several distinct reasons why this opportunity stood out:

  • Quality of the Team: The first thing that impressed me about Fundly was the high-caliber of the executive team.  The people Dave (our CEO) has recruited, from sales to engineering and everything in between, have deep experience and are at the top of their game.  Everybody quotes Steve Jobs on this, but it’s so true: “Build a team that pursues the A+ players. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players…in a startup, the first ten people will determine whether the company succeeds or not.”  Fundly’s got a team stacked with A+ players, and I’m thrilled to work with and learn from them.
  • Leading Technology & Product: Our product team has and continues to push the limit on creating a product with a user experience that is unparalleled in the market—it’s dynamic, intuitive, and powerful.  Our engineers have built the Fundly platform using the latest technology and development methods out there.  Ruby on Rails? Check. HAML? Check. Coffeescript? Check.  If those terms don’t mean anything to you, it’s okay—rest assured that it means a faster, simpler, and more convenient fundraising experience for you!  And let’s be honest, anyone that has been on the site knows it looks sleek and beautiful!
  • Opportunity for Impact: Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, Fundly has the tremendous opportunity to impact the world for good.  Crowdfunding in the way Fundly is approaching it has the potential to be a truly disruptive phenomenon (there’s a reason innovation guru Clayton Christensen is on our Board of Advisors), democratizing the world of fundraising by making it so much easier for individuals to share and give to efforts they care about–in short: enabling more people to give more to meaningful causes.  That’s a cause and a journey I’m excited to join.

What Do I Bring to the Table?

I’ve spent a large part of my time working with non-profits and social entrepreneurs—organizations like Ashoka, Acumen Fund, Kiva, and Teach For America.  The culture, insights, and innovative program models that these incredible organizations possess will be leveraged on behalf of the organizations we work with.

I’ve taken a somewhat circuitous route to Fundly, but one that I think will serve the customers that I work with well. Most recently, I spent time at innovation and growth consulting shop Innosight, founded by Clayton Christensen.  From working with hospitals in India to strategizing in boardrooms with Fortune 500 CEOs, the structured thinking, strategic planning, and impact-oriented innovation training that came with that experience will be applied towards helping our non-profit customers achieve their goals.

I’m passionate about seeing each one of our customers succeed, and look forward to meeting and working with many of you over the coming months.  Feel free to contact me anytime at curtis@fundly.com.

Curtis