There seems to be a fear in the traditional non-profit world in telling donors too much, or in revealing too much about your organization. I think there was a time when donors asked fewer questions and demanded less accountability. Today more than ever before donors want to know that their money is going to make a difference and is being used to the very best of its ability. What does that look like?
Many charities today ask you for a gift to do something and then put that money towards general greatest needs. A reader had a great comment in responds to my grassroots fundraising post. Many solicitation letters are written where donors are asked to give to this specific program but the money goes to the greatest needs of the organization. This is not always the case there are organizations where if you “buy a goat” or “sponsor a child” that money goes to that specific kid or for that specific animal you purchased. And I think that is incredible. But it doesn’t always work that way.
We in the non-profit world need to be very careful about what we say. If we are asking for money for X and give it to Y then that is a problem. You might say, “that is how it works” or “if I ask for general support my case is not compelling enough.” A great solution proposed by this reader is to explain what the costs involved in doing your organization’s mission are. This is often called creating equivalences. For example it might cost a homeless shelter $50 to feed 30 people or cost a relief agency $10,000 to put a fresh water well in Africa. You can ask for a gift of $30 dollars to help your homeless shelter then go onto describe the kinds of things that $30 dollars could do. Things like feeding people or providing them a bed for the night. But do not say the money will go directly to feeding people unless that is the plan for the money.
Here are some other articles on this topic:
Wall Street Journal- How Can Charities Make Themselves More Open
Donor Power Blog- More Donors are Growing Hard Noses
Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog- Open Up or Else
I’m excited to announce that the first beta of WordPress 3.9 is now available for testing.
WordPress 3.9 is due out next month — but in order to hit that goal, we need your help testing all of the goodies we’ve added:
- We updated TinyMCE, the software powering the visual editor, to the latest version. Be on the lookout for cleaner markup. Also try the new paste handling — if you paste in a block of text from Microsoft Word, for example, it will no longer come out terrible. (The “Paste from Word” button you probably never noticed has been removed.) It’s possible some plugins that added stuff to the visual editor (like a new toolbar button) no longer work, so we’d like to hear about them (#24067). (And be sure to open a support thread for the plugin author.)
- We’ve added widget management to live previews (the customizer). Please test editing, adding, and rearranging widgets! (#27112) We’ve also added the ability to upload, crop, and manage header images, without needing to leave the preview. (#21785)
- We brought 3.8′s beautiful new theme browsing experience to the theme installer. Check it out! (#27055)
- Galleries now receive a live preview in the editor. Upload some photos and insert a gallery to see this in action. (#26959)
- You can now drag-and-drop images directly onto the editor to upload them. It can be a bit finicky, so try it and help us work out the kinks. (#19845)
- Some things got improved around editing images. It’s a lot easier to make changes to an image after you insert it into a post (#24409) and you no longer get kicked to a new window when you need to crop or rotate an image (#21811).
- New audio/video playlists. Upload a few audio or video files to test these. (#26631)
If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on the WordPress Trac. There, you can also find a list of known bugs and everything we’ve fixed so far.
This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 3.9, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).
DEVELOPERS! Hello! There’s lots for you, too.
Please test your plugins and themes! There’s a lot of great stuff under the hood in 3.9 and we hope to blog a bit about them in the coming days. If you haven’t been reading the awesome weekly summaries on the main core development blog, that’s a great place to start. (You should definitely follow that blog.) For now, here are some things to watch out for when testing:
- The load process in multisite got rewritten. If you notice any issues with your network, see #27003.
- We now use the MySQL Improved (mysqli) database extension if you’re running a recent version of PHP (#21663). Please test your plugins and see that everything works well, and please make sure you’re not calling
- Autosave was refactored, so if you see any issues related to autosaving, heartbeat, etc., let us know (#25272).
- Library updates, in particular Backbone 1.1 and Underscore 1.6 (#26799). Also Masonry 3 (#25351), PHPMailer (#25560), Plupload (#25663), and TinyMCE (#24067).
- TinyMCE 4.0 is a major update. Please see TinyMCE’s upgrade guide and our implementation ticket for more. If you have any questions or problems, please open a thread in the support forums.
Lots of improvements
Little things go a long way
Please test beta one