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DIY Fundraising Portal
Call-to-action driven custom designs and layout enable effective advocacy. The ability to create personalized pages allows participants to engage their friends and family effectively, and form community around a cause. Taking action has never been so easy or customizable!
Campaign early starts
It’s never too soon to begin work on major annual campaigns. Zuri Group recently launched the new 2015 Heart Month campaign site for the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada (held every February). 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.
Mobile Donations
Mobile donations are rising. Are you making it easy for your donors to support you? Zuri Group built and implemented a custom mobile device-optimized Sphere donation form for Dana Farber's 2014 Radio-Telethon event that automatically redirects a user to the mobile form if they reach the main site via a mobile browser.

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

    • 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

    • 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.

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      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

    • Communication Demands Are Changing – Are You Changing With Them?

      By Taylor Wood

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      Taken from M+R Benchmarks Study, found here

      Attention nonprofits: you’re in for some tough love. Just remember that is exactly what this is. Love.

      I recently stumbled upon a blog post on Lifehacker titled, to the horror of nonprofit professionals, “How Can I Donate to Charity Without Getting Harassed By Them Later?”. Their subtitle on Facebook is, “Yes, you can donate to charity without being spammed for all eternity.” Here is where the tough love comes in, nonprofits: this is what the next generation of donors think of your organizations. Crowdfunding is not the solution – donors simply want more power over the communications they receive. People want more control of their solicitations and the lack of options is driving donors away.

      (A small bit of background as to why this Lifehacker article is poignant: Lifehacker is a blog dedicated to “Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done” (source). Many of their articles are tech-oriented, but, as the name might imply, they are mainly about “life hacks” or, put more simply, life tips. Lifehacker has approximately 1.3 million followers on Facebook alone, many of whom are dedicated and interactive. Their blog posts spark immense amounts of discussion. I say this not as a Lifehacker follower myself, but simply to illustrate the point that generally Lifehacker has a pulse on what I refer to as “the next generation of donors.”)

      Here are some of the “tricks” Lifehacker gives: 

      • Go to charitynavigator.com and find out if the organization sells your information
      • Send back all appeal cards directly and have in writing that the organization no longer contact you
      • Ask for a manager the next time you are called to be removed
      • Stop splitting your money between charities
      • Use a donation app to donate anonymously
      • Never donate if you are called because the charities farm those out to telemarketers who claim a huge chunk of the proceeds

      What we can learn from these tips: 

      1. Constituents do not want their information sold or shared
      2. If constituents ask to be removed from your lists, they mean it
      3. Constituents do not understand transaction fees
      4. Allowing constituents to communicate/donate anonymously is becoming more and more important, to the point they will go through a third party if it is guaranteed anonymity, even at the cost of more dollars to the actual organization

      The comments section of this article became animated quickly. Stories of charities hounding donors for money, nonprofit employees defending their tactics and telling people need to lighten up and realize this is how things work, and everything in between sprang up almost immediately. Within this heated thread, there were a few main themes  that provide some valuable insight into the perceptions of today’s donors: 

      • Large nonprofits are corporate monoliths with unlimited resources that waste the money given by donors by throwing it into appeals for more money
      • Calendars, artful appeals, return address labels, etc. do not do anything to help dispel that image
      • Donors feel more comfortable giving their money and information to local charities and feel that their dollars goes further
      • It is extremely disrespectful to sell the information of the donors that are supporting your organization
      • Solicitation across multiple channels can very quickly irritate your donors and cause them to remove themselves from your social networks 

      Let me remind you these are the perceptions donors seem to carry right now. The good news is that perceptions can be shifted

      The question becomes: how can we change these negative perceptions and help this next generation of donors realize that not only are their donations appreciated, but that your organizations are to be trusted? Crowdfunding seems to be the hot suggestion of the day, but I would like to posit that donors do not see a difference between donating to and crowdfunding a large organization. Crowdfunding is a symptom – true perception change is the cure.  

      1.  If you are selling donors’ information: Stop now. This is the very first and most important step to your adaptation to the digital age of giving. Your donors need to be able to trust their donation is funding fund a cause they believe in and their personal information remains private.
      2. Give very explicit options and explanations of what people are opting into. Preferably this includes frequency options as well.
      3. Make sure your donors know their information is not being sold. State it on the “why donate”. State it in the privacy policy. State it whenever people ask.  Wherever you say it, say it clearly.
      4. Allow constituents to follow other avenues of interaction – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are some of these examples – if they do decide to opt out or make a donation and do not immediately opt into communications
      5. If a constituent asks for no interaction with you – listen to them. Make sure you are asking them if they want to opt out of a type of email list or the entire organization. Although this may require giving up communications with potential donors, it save the organization from bad press in the future. 

      It might sound scary and against tradition. Giving users these explicit options might go against the “don’t call attention to opt-outs” mentality nonprofits have employed for so many years. However, the tide has turned. The world of digital and print communications has shifted and your constituents want to control who contacts them and how they receive this communication. The choice becomes yours: let them have it, or risk letting them walk away forever. 

      05/20/14


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