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Client Successes

Campaign early starts
It’s never too soon to begin work on major annual campaigns. Zuri Group recently launched the new 2015 Walk-for-Wishes campaign sites for Make-A-Wish regional chapters (held every Summer). This site is a hub for volunteers and donors: providing resources, custom community chat boards, and advocacy tools to drive donations and build community around their important mission.
Petchat: Live Adoption Chat
Interacting with site visitors directly has never been so easy, and live chat is a powerful tool for meeting new visitors directly and capturing useful information. PetChat is a robust realtime hosted chat solution for answering questions and engaging visitors, built on the MyLiveChat platform with direct CMS and adoption feed integration.
Calls-to-Action Made Easy
Are eyou making it easy for your donors to support you? Zuri Group builds and implements wide variedy of custom donation and advocacy forms. These custom portals are mobile-friendly, beautifully designed and easy to use. For PanCan's Purple Light campaign ZuriGroup developed a sharp custom hybrid donation/registration form.

Building Relationships

Zuri Group functions as an extention of your organization’s team. Our expertise expands the capabilities of organizations’ Web Development, Technical, and Integrated Marketing abilities. See some of our past and current clients.

Providing Solutions

We are trained professionals, certified developers, strategists, and designers who help deliver a successful online presence for nonprofits. Learn about our Services.

News & Social

The Zuri Blog

    • #icebucketchallenge – A Look to the Future

      By Karen Collins

      When I entered into the nonprofit consulting industry in 2006 my first client was the ALS Association of Philadelphia.  At the time, my knowledge of the disease was limited. By 2012, I knew too much – that was the year my mom passed away from ALS.

      A few weeks ago, if you asked 10 people on the street “What is ALS?” you would have received blank stares from 9 of them.  They might have known Lou Gehrig or Steve Gleason or even Pete Frates.  Today, you might hear “I did / my friend did the #icebucketchallenge for that!” Or they might rattle off a list of celebrities dousing themselves in ice — “I saw Jimmy Fallon or Justin Timberlake or Blake Shelton or Drew Brees or Paul  Bissonnette (the best one yet)…do the #icebucketchallenge!”

      It’s most marketer’s dream for a social media campaign to light up like the #icebucketchallenge, but does social buzz translate to donations? In this campaign, it certainly has! As of Monday, August 18, The ALS Association has received $15.6 million in donations compared to $1.8 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 18). These donations have come from existing donors and 307,598 new donors to The Association.

      On a personal level, I am thrilled that this disease is at the forefront of every social media portal, college and pro sports team practice, late night TV show, and news broadcast. But what does this mean to nonprofits supporting ALS and what can other organizations learn from it?

      Many marketers are spinning their mental wheels wondering – how was the #icebucketchallenge so successful and how can I replicate it? "8 game-changing marketing lessons from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" is a good read for you.  The more direct question for the ALS Association is – what are they going to do with the 307,598 and rising new donors?

      Do you treat your #icebucketchallenge supporters – let’s call them “challengers” – like your existing supporters? Absolutely not!  Your existing supporters have likely been touched by the disease (did you know every 90 minutes a person is diagnosed with ALS?), but you can’t guarantee that about challengers.

      In order for you to turn challengers into recurring donors, you must treat them differently. And carefully.  You need to cultivate their novel exposure to ALS and help them understand how their support can extend beyond some ice in a bucket. 

      Nonprofits have been struggling with this concept since the emergence of peer-to-peer fundraising.  Challengers come to your organization through supporting someone else who is passionate about your cause. Your direct donors are linked to your organization and mission, however “challengers” are linked to someone who is linked to your organization. There is a degree of separation you must overcome.  How do you do that? 

      Well, you start with what you have – their email address! Let’s simulate how an ongoing relationship might develop. We’ll call this the Challenger’s Campaign:

      1. Your initial email should thank your challengers and provide awareness about the disease.  This should be done immediately in your donation confirmation email.
      2. Timing is everything.  The hype is still out there, which means the window of continued participation is still open.  Your next email (and first ask) should be why they took the #icebucketchallenge and if they know someone who suffered from ALS (future campaign change: it would be great if you captured this information on your viral campaign’s donation form!). Don’t forget to thank them again for being a part of this amazing campaign and tell them you will let them know the total impact soon. The information you gather will allow you to further segment your newfound supporters into smaller groups where you can carefully and personally navigate them into a sense of awareness and urgency with the hopes to move them into a recurring donor, or better yet a major donor category.
      3. The hype will eventually fall and incoming donations will plateau back to normal levels.  However, you must make good on your promise to update challengers on the viral campaign’s success.  Thank them again for being a part of such a sensation.
      4. Now wait.  Give them a chance to bask in the feeling of success.  Meanwhile, find another challenge. Reach out to one of the celebrities who participated and ask them to match $1 for $1.  No celebrities?  No problem.  Ask an existing major donor for a matching gift campaign.  It allows you to highlight their devotion to you and appeal to something you already know about your new donors: they like challenges.
      5. Issue the new challenge.  Segment your challengers based on the information you previously gathered and don’t forget to be mindful of their initial donation level with a dynamic ask string.
      6. If possible, deepen your marketing to push for that second gift. On average, nonprofits only get a second gift from 27% of first-time givers. It’s true! That means the ALS Association is at risk to lose over 100,000 new donors who are currently excited about supporting ALS! The solution? If the budget allows, invest across the board in all channels – mail, online advertising, ongoing email promotion, personal cultivation, etc. If budget constrains, spend time analyzing your audience and isolate the strongest segments to cultivate. If you’re going to have a marketing problem – this is the one to have!

      And now for my #icebucketchallenge video in memory of my mom:

      08/15/14

    • Google Analytics - Capturing Visitor's In-page actions with Event Tracking

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      Google Analytics is a powerful tool for understanding how visitors interact with your website. While its core tracking robustly follows visitors as they navigate through pages, this tracking does have its limits.

      Limitations to core analytics tracking?

      What if you want to track an outbound link to another site? Your social media buttons? A video being played? A PDF or other document being opened? A Flash, AJAX or other embedded or in-page element? These are among many useful visitor actions that Analytics simply cannot track by default, but are important to know. 

      This is where Event Tracking comes in!

      Google provides Event Tracking as a tool for recording complex visitor interactions. This means you can track what a user is doing after they load the page – monitoring actions such as clicking on a slider, downloading a PDF, or counting embedded video views…all trackable as unique “Events”. Event Tracking is highly flexible - an object-oriented snippet of code that is manually dropped onto any pages that already have normal analytics tracking present - triggering in-page buttons or clicks as unique ‘Events’ and passing to google via javascript.

      Let’s take a look at how these “Events” on a page get passed. Let’s say we have a link to Twitter, a social media button on our page that we would like to track clicks of. Our Event command would be built like this:

      ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘social buttons’, ‘click’, ‘twitter’)

      The ‘send’ and ‘event’ are required instructions that tell the core GA tracking code (that your site would already have) what sort of command this is. The last three are customizable for each Event you wish to create: a category, action, and label specifically (with dozens of optional custom fields, such as numerical values, mobile app ID tracking, and more). 

      With the above Event constructed, we can now turn our attention to the desired siteside element to be tracked. Whether it’s a button, a link, a video, or a slide, we’ll be triggering this Event with some basic javascript.

      For our above Twitter example, a simple image link (with the css id of #twitterbutton on our site) is triggered with jquery like this:

      $(‘#twitterbutton).on(‘click’, function() {

        ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘social buttons’, ‘click’, ‘twitter’)

      });

      Any page object can have this Event Tracking applied to it as long as it can be targeted with javascript. The sky is the limit with what objects you can track as Events.

      Reports within Google Analytics will now display this Event’s data (via Behavior>Events) in the backend. Events are also reported as realtime (Realtime>Events) which allows for easy QA and functionality tests. The category, action and label commands have now become unique data points within Analytics, which can have myriad reports run against them.

       image

      Zuri Group can help with all aspects of Event Tracking, from coding up and deploying trigger scripts in your site’s code, to developing intelligent and organized naming schema for the categories, actions and labels that make Event Tracking reports easy to read and interpret. 

      07/11/14

    • Mobile Donation Forms: A No Brainer.

      By Molly Kelly

      image

      You know it’s true. You have seen the stats, you have heard the buzz and you have reviewed your site analytics. So why are 84% of nonprofit donation landing pages still not optimized for mobile? And more importantly, why isn’t your donation form optimized?

      Maybe you think it will take a long time or require lots of internal politicking. Maybe you think that you just don’t have the budget or your online donation system will not allow you to do it.  These reasons are simply not true anymore.  Responsive or mobile-specific donation forms are here and easy to accomplish. As Mobile continues to grow as a medium through which nonprofits engage supporters, it is more important your landing page and donation forms are quick and easy to use. More than 48% of emails are now read on mobile devices. This means having a mobile-friendly approach to engaging donors has never been more important.

      How many supporters are you losing because you are not mobile ready?  Check your Analytics.  Your reports will tell you how many mobile users you have and what pages they are visiting. You should be documenting where in your donation pipeline you may be losing these mobile donors. By reviewing your stats you can benchmark your success.

      What do your mobile users want?

      • A design that is optimized for the device they’re on
      • Quick access to the most important content
      • An interface that is familiar (App-like)
      • Easy-to-use navigation and actions

      image

      Taken from American Jewish Committee’s mobile donation form

      The good news is that today’s development systems will allow you to program a mobile-specific template for your transaction forms without having to redesign your whole site.

      What are the advantages of a mobile form?

      • One Goal: The form design and layout are completely optimized for the mobile user.
      • Fast: Donors experience quick load time.
      • Efficient: With easy to click suggested amounts, fields that serve the appropriate key pad based on type and auto-fill features, your donors experience a reduced time to completion. This reduces your abandon rates and builds affiliation with your organization.

      Once you have tested your forms, site detection code should be added to your desktop form to direct those mobile users to the interface that is made for them.  This will ensure that both desktop and mobile donors have an experience that has been tailored to their needs.

      Now that you are live, continue to monitor your Analytics. Monitor your progress but be flexible to make adjustments if needed. 

      Staying on top of new trends and changes does not have to be as hard as it seems.  You can take a first step and meet your donors there, giving you time to plan and initiate your overall mobile strategy.

      image

      06/24/14

    • Learn from someone else’s #fail

      By Karen Collins

      “Don’t talk politics or religion if you want to stay friends.” Good advice from my grandmother, who rarely steered clear of the two. Without launching into a deep discussion around personal opinion, I want to talk about South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the social media blunder she committed this week. Have you seen it? Maybe it’s not national news, but it sure is local news down here in Charleston, S.C.

      tweet

      That’s a way to get the education conversation started, right? Truth is, she had more to say after the ellipses, but her social media settings are set to share all posts across multiple platforms. While this seems like a good idea in theory, Gov. Haley fell victim to the differing truncation points in various social media platforms. Don’t be a victim. Know your platforms and take the time to craft messages appropriate for each platform. I know you feel those extra 10 minutes you spend adjusting the words to avoid the cursed ellipses are better spent responding to an email from your boss, but I bet Gov. Haley’s Social Media Coordinator feels differently after Monday’s situation. I can assure you the conversation with his or her boss was awkward at best.

      Gov. Haley does not intend to stop educating South Carolina children and if you follow her on Facebook or Instagram you would know her full plan. However, her Twitter followers got a big kick out of her social media post. Unlike email, social media allows users to remove posts just as quickly as they put them up, but cross posting decreases the ability to filter and retract a post if necessary. So, let’s learn something from someone else’s #fail and remember to check and adjust your posts before they go out.

      post

      Helpful cheat sheet of max characters for Social Media:

      • Twitter: 140 (ideal 100-120)
      • Facebook: titles get truncated at 100 characters
      • LinkedIn: 700
      • Pinterest: 160
      • Tumblr: 500
      • YouTube: 5,000
      • Instagram: No limit
      • Google+: No limit (headlines ideally no longer than 60 characters)

      If you have the time, you might find this article interesting. It discusses the researched ideal length of several key online platforms from Twitter and Facebook to blog posts and email subject lines.

      06/10/14

    • The Reading Rainbow Campaign: Why Was It Successful?

      By Taylor Wood

      It’s a fundraising story that used all the best buzzword floating around these days: Millennials. Infographics. Viral social media. Kickstarter. 

      It worked. 

      When news broke that LeVar Burton of Star Trek and Reading Rainbow fame was starting a Kickstarter to bring Reading Rainbow to “every child, everywhere” it spread like wildfire. The goal was simple and two-pronged: expand the Reading Rainbow app and web content, and make the Reading Rainbow materials for classrooms free to schools in need. 

      The goal was to get to $1 million in 35 days. 

      It took 11 hours. 

      As I type this on day 3 of the Kickstarter, the numbers only keep increasing. At midday (Eastern) the Kickstarter has raised over $2.6 million with approximately 39,000 backers. That comes out to an average gift of around $45. (Numbers are all approximate as they literally change by the second.) 

      Before I continue let me clarify: I am not here to pass any judgment – good or bad – on the efficacy of the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter mission. I am interested in  why this particular campaign, this particular Kickstarter, this particular tactic worked.

      My theory: Don’t get caught up on the buzzwords. Look just a little deeper.

      The Millennial Impact Report has a lot of great information about mobilizing the generation, but one stat and image that stands out is this one: “69% of Millennials give because they feel inspired.” 

      Read that again for full impact: “…because they feel inspired.” 

      Millennials aren’t giving because you have a Kickstarter or crowdfunding site up. They aren’t giving because you have an infographic. Like donors of all ages, they are giving because they are inspired

      When you mix inspiration  with a healthy dose of nostalgia you’ve got a recipe for viral success. I posit this campaign would have been as effective with a  donation page instead of a Kickstarter page. The Kickstarter just happens to have a better user experience than most organizations’ donation forms. 

      The recipe wasn’t Kickstarter + Celebrity Endorsement + Infographic + Social Media = Millennial donations. This recipe was simpler: 

      Piqued interest that has an easily spreadable tag (Reading Rainbow)

      + Information about the cause that was easy to understand (clear graphics and statistics)

      + Ease of use on the donation form in question (in this case, the Kickstarter page)

      = Mobilized donor base of Millennials

      So, this is all well and good in theory, you  might be saying, but what does that mean for nonprofits? 

      The answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all key to success with Millennials. If you can drum up nostalgia, great. Imagine what Millennial males would give to win a date with Winnie Cooper from the Wonder Years! Or what someone would pay for the Orange Couch from SNICK! Millennials clearly jump at the opportunity to indulge their own nostalgia along with being inspired by a great cause. But what you should take away  are two key points that  this Reading Rainbow movement executed successfully: 

      1. Make your donation forms easy to use. That doesn’t mean that you have to go over to Kickstarter or Crowdfunding. Donors are not responding only to these concepts. Donors ARE responding to the ability to do things like charge Amazon accounts directly with 2-3 clicks.

      2. Inspire your donors personally. Donors need to feel like what they are giving matters to THEM. Their donation needs to go to something they can understand. Instead of trying to bring donors into your organization,  connect with their memories, their inspirations, and their lives. 

      Raising the type of cash flow in the amount of hours LeVar and team did won’t be replicated easily or often, but lessons can be taken away from it. Remember: there is room for a huge growth and mobilization in the “middle class” of donors when mobilized correctly. I’ll be interested to see the next one.

      05/30/14


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