2017 Blog Recap

Did you miss any of our Accreditation Guru blog posts during the past year? We published nearly 25 informative articles on topics ranging from accreditation preparation to nonprofit management to issues affecting the behavioral healthcare field. Below we have highlighted some of our most popular posts from 2017 that may be worth a second look for your organization as you beginning planning for the New Year. Thank you for being loyal followers in 2017. We look forward to providing you with more informative posts in 2018! Here’s to the happiest of New Years!


Nonprofit Management and Boards of Directors

Behavioral Healthcare

AG’s own Corporate Social Responsibility

And don’t forget our popular series “Accreditation in Action,” which highlights organizations across the country and how they benefit from being nationally accredited.

Happy reading!

Add “Donate Now” Button on Facebook in Time for #GivingTuesday

The giving season is right around the corner and now is the time to be sure that your nonprofit is ready spread your mission and acquire those much needed donations this holiday season!

Celebrating its fourth year on December 1, #GivingTuesday will bring people and organizations from around the world together for one common purpose – to celebrate generosity and to give. Founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y, in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday now engages more than 30,000 organizations globally through the power of social media and collaboration. According to GivingTuesday.org, since the first #GivingTuesday, online donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving have seen an increase of more than 470%! Nonprofits cannot afford not to get in on this extraordinary opportunity.

One way to do this is to take advantage of Facebook’s recently launched “Donate Now” call-to-action button available (free of charge) for nonprofits to add to their Facebook pages and link ads that will connect donors directly with an organization’s donation page, making it faster and easier to donate than ever before. Many nonprofits already realize and take advantage of the value of a strong social following; by adding the “Donate Now” option, nonprofits are able to more readily turn online engagement into meaningful monetary support.

Here are our tips for making the most of these two giving opportunities:

  • Planning and preparation are key – assemble your fundraising team and begin planning now to inspire generosity
  • Add a #GivingTuesday message to your nonprofit’s website, Facebook page and other social media outlets to build momentum and reach all of your followers
  • Use the #GivingTuesday hashtag in your nonprofit’s Tweets – this will make your organization discoverable to anyone searching #GivingTuesday
  • Don’t consider #GivingTuesday as a one-day event – begin December 2 by connecting with your newly acquired and existing donors sharing the results of their generosity and how it will impact those you serve – in other words, create goodwill
  • Always engage and thank your valued donors – not just on #GivingTuesday – but the whole year through; long-term relationships can last a lifetime
  • While monetary donations are crucial for nonprofits, we can’t underscore the importance of volunteer efforts – encourage donors to get creative and give time for volunteering; those who can’t afford a monetary donation may be inspired to contribute in this way, making it a win-win for everyone involved
  • Reference your “Donate Now” button in your Facebook and other social media communications and dedicate specific content that make users aware of the button and perhaps how donations will be used
  • Pay attention to who is taking advantage of the “Donate Now” option; as with any campaign, information is key and analyzing and understanding who these givers are will go a long way in helping your nonprofit build sustaining donors

Free tools and resources for #GivingTuesday can be found at www.GivingTuesday.org.


Using #GivingTuesday to Spread Your Message

#GivingTuesday is a day when people and organizations from all over the globe come together to give back. On the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, people around the world will unite for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. For nonprofit agencies that want to spread the word about their mission and secure sustainable donors, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday has become a global movement that has engaged over 10,000 organizations worldwide. Free to all nonprofit agencies, #GivingTuesday will provide you with all of the resources you need to take advantage of this extraordinary day.

Here are some examples of how your nonprofit can benefit from participating in #GivingTuesday:

  • Launch a new fundraiser or giving platform with national/international press to expand and generate greater funds
  • Celebrate efforts and announce totals on #GivingTuesday
  • Send online and direct marketing communications to donor community to inspire early giving
  • Activate your social media constituency – or start one! – for a social media campaign
  • Get a matching grant or offer something new (a new video or photos) for donors
  • Create a volunteer day for giving back in your community

The possibilities truly are endless. For additional information, visit www.GivingTuesday.org.

How do you plan to participate in #GivingTuesday? Please share your ideas here.

Supporting and Appreciating the Essential Nonprofit Donor

Nonprofit organizations put forth much effort, and often invest significant resources, into soliciting and maintaining a steady stream of contributions from committed donors. However, once the donations are received, what many nonprofits often overlook is the necessary practice of appropriately showing appreciation for and valuing the donors themselves. By overlooking this key component, nonprofits are depriving themselves of an important perspective. As public agencies dependent upon external donations, the better we understand and meet the needs of our public stakeholders, the more likely our chances of establishing the long-term donor relationships that are paramount to the successes of our organizations.

When a donor decides to contribute to your organization and its mission, it is often because he or she feels that the services you provide are helping to fill an essential gap in the community or perhaps there is a more personal connection to the services you provide. Whatever the reason, the donor specifically chose to support your agency. Therefore, donors want to feel a personal connection with the clients that were and continue to be aided by your organization.

First, it is important to take a close look at how your agency currently thanks its donors for their contributions and how it goes about fostering donor relationships to keep them dedicated to your organization’s mission for the long-term. Staggering statistics from the 2012 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey have reported that for every $100 of new funds raised, $100 was lost due to downgraded or lapsed gifts. Further, for every new 100 donors secured, nonprofits lost 107 donors through attrition. Appropriate and thoughtful action is required on behalf of the nonprofit agency to stay way ahead of this astounding trend.

Once your organization has a solid understanding of its current (and potential) donor base, it is time to focus on the needs of the donors to begin building those vital long-term relationships. Often donors want to feel a personal connection with clients that have benefited from the nonprofits that they have supported. Consider providing a detailed update (as well as appeals) rather than simply relying on short form letters or tweets. Building that personal connectivity to your mission fosters long-term dedication.

Share progress with your donors, no matter how small. What matters to them is that they feel like they are making a difference. Show them the little things, too, that are just as important to advancing your cause and improving the lives of others. Perhaps a personal testimonial or an impressive statistic will make a lasting impression. Send a special invitation – without soliciting for another donation. Perhaps to your next free event, a behind-the-scenes tour, or simply a volunteer activity that will connect them personally with those that directly benefit from their continued contributions. The possibilities are endless and, rest assured, the little creative effort it takes on behalf of your organization to reach out to your donors will come back to both you and your clients for many years to come.