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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

    • Expanding our Strategic Services team further!

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      Zuri Group, a global fundraising operations and technology services company, today announced that Brandon Ferris and Jennifer Lui-Cooper have joined the company as senior directors of strategic services and fundraising counsel. These fundraising experts join Zuri’s dedicated team to help Zuri’s client’s maximize their resources to generate better philanthropic returns.

      Ferris and Cooper will partner with Zuri’s president of strategic services, Christopher M. Cannon, CFRE, to provide clients with a new level of strategic management services. These services, which blend best-in-class strategic, operational, and talent management with Zuri’s extensive fundraising technology services, will afford Zuri’s clients with a comprehensive guidance and support network. “Zuri Group has always supported talented fundraising teams as they tackle new technology. The addition of Ferris and Liu-Cooper will offer our clients a broader set of strategic services,” Cannon stated.

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      Ferris has served nonprofits as a frontline fundraiser and an operations expert. His recent application implementation counsel work as a member of Blackbaud’s education vertical provides Ferris with a deep technical, operational, and organizational understanding about aligning technology with programs. As a fundraiser for independent schools on the West Coast, he brings an understanding of donors’ needs to his strategic work.

      Cooper joins Zuri from the University of Delaware, where she directed the university’s advancement services. Cooper brings extensive expertise to Zuri Group. She has served as a consultant for many of the nation’s leading fundraising organizations. She recently served two terms on the Association of Advancement Services Professionals board and has been a thought leader for fundraising operations since leading development services at the University of Oregon. In addition to exceptional hard skills around technology and operations, Jennifer has been lauded for her soft skills both as a manager and as a leader in nonprofit organizations.

      “Zuri’s services continue to expand from design, development and delivery of effective technology, online and social tools to tactics that engage constituents to building the best possible business practices and team to make operations effective. Operations and talent management—from securing to retaining the right staff and everything in between, represents a sizable gap in our industry. Brandon and Jennifer are industry leaders with day-to-day management and coaching skills that make them ideally suited to serve our clients’ needs,” said John Murphy, CEO of Zuri Group.

       “Zuri Group is growing in exciting ways. Our services will augment the superb strategic, operational, and technical counsel we already offer to clients,” said Cooper. Ferris agrees with the potential for our clients: “Zuri’s organizational culture, with an emphasis on life-work balance in a fast-paced, highly technical 21st century, fosters the right balance to build a new breed of fundraising counsel that aligns great operations, great talent and great employers,” said Ferris.

      For additional information, visit www.zurigroup.com

      11/12/14

    • What do bananas, cookies and the Village People have in common?

      By Karen Collins

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      What do a bunch (actually a “hand”) of bananas, four dozen tombstone shaped cookies, and a few fireman hats, police hats, and construction worker hats have in common?  All a part of my go-live readiness kit for clients.  That’s right.  When a client is about to launch a new product, these are the items that equip me for the job.  “Why?” you ask?                        

      It’s all about perspective.  You, as the client, have spent more months than you want to count preparing for the launch of your new technology platform – checking data, updating workflow, coaching staff  and now it’s time to celebrate!  Except you are too tired to do so.  However, this is a really exciting time and your team needs to be energized and enthusiastic about this new venture.  Sure, you are a little scared and concerned that the change management tactics won’t work, but right now is not the time to think about that.  Now is the time to push forward and rip the Band-Aid off.  It’s time to lay the old system to rest and never look back.  It’s time to wear your new system pom-poms and shake them around!

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      I’m done; no more clichés.  OK, there might be a few more.  But, seriously, launching a new system should be a time of celebration.  The tombstone cookies with “RIP <old system>” inscribed using delicious icing will take your team’s minds off of the fear of the unknown.  The hats will show the team that we are prepared to roll up our sleeves and work hard (“construction worker”).  We are here to put out any initial fires launching a new system may bring (“fireman”).  We are ready to apply the new business rules defined with the new system (“police officer”).  If only we had a good metaphor for an Indian chief during go-live week and we could add a Village People skit into our song and dance (because that joke is never used during go-live week). 

      The bananas?  Up until this time, you have seen me bring healthy snacks onsite to encourage focus and energy during our design sessions, data validation, and system readiness preparations meetings so I am not about to stop during go-live.  With all the fun and excitement, we still need to be focused on tying up loose ends in preparation for a full system launch. 

      A few things to consider during any go-live:

      1. It’s ok to run parallel systems for just a bit, but not forever.  We have this grand idea that go-live will be a single day affair, but in reality you may need to have both systems running for a small (think in a matter of days, not weeks) period of time.  Just have a plan for synchronization and an end-all date to the old system.
      2. Change Management is not instantaneous.  You will spend months preparing and a few more months implementing the change management tactics you prepared.  We are all human and no one really likes change, so be patient with your colleagues.  The “but we’ve always done it this way” or “it’s just too complicated to change” will eventually go away and the new system will provide efficiencies that may never be vocalized by end users, but certainly realized by stakeholders.
      3. You will likely wear all three hats initially, but that’s expected, and will ease with time.  You will put out change management fires, you will enforce new business rules, and you will dive into the system and work through initial hiccups.  Just remember (and we will remind you of) the initial business requirements that led you to embark on this new system adventure and that those needs are now resolved with the new system.
      4. You’re not alone.  Zuri Group is not going anywhere because our work is not complete the moment you flip the switch on your new technology system.  Our partnership will continue past go-live to ensure your team has everything you need to sustain effective usage of the new system in day-to-day operations.

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      Regardless of what system you implement, Zuri Group will be there to ensure the implementation runs smoothly, that your initial business requirements are met, and that your team feels 100% supported through the launch process and beyond.

      Thinking of embarking on a new system implementation and need assistance in best practices, project management or testing?  Contact Zuri Group today! 

      11/10/14

    • #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.

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      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

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      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

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      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.

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      06/24/14


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    • We mentioned we helped 2 organizations launch their #nonprofit fundraising technology recently; here's a deep dive into go-live week for one of them. Enjoy!


      What do bananas, cookies and the Village People have in common?
      zurigroup.tumblr.com
      By Karen Collins What do a bunch (actually a “hand”) of bananas, four dozen tombstone shaped cookies, and a few fireman hats, police hats, and construction worker hats have in common? All a part of my...
    • Second go-live week within a span of three weeks? That's what we do here at Zuri Group! This time, we launched UC-San Diego onto #Blackbaud CRM! Such a great feeling!
    • Our #nonprofit client, Webster University, chose Zuri Group to lead their #fundraising database transition project. We went live last week! More information to come on the experience, but here's a sneak peek into go-live week.