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Thank you again to everyone who made GiveBIG on June 23 such a tremendous success for our community and the nonprofits that serve it! We’ve received a few questions from people regarding the big day, its results and costs, and wanted to provide an update here.
When will nonprofits know what they received through GiveBIG and the amount of “stretch dollars” they will each receive?
We are working to get this information out as quickly as possible. With over 18,000 donations made to over 900 organizations, it will take us a few days to compile the final numbers. Our goal is to let nonprofits know their totals by mid-week: the total amount of donations received, total number of donations made, and the proportional stretch dollars they will receive.
What are the fees and costs associated with GiveBIG?
The online processing fee for each donation is 4.5 percent of the donation, plus a $0.25 transaction charge — the latter of which is being reimbursed by The Seattle Foundation for donations made during GiveBIG. The processing amount includes standard fees charged by credit card companies, plus a charge from the online payment vendor Click & Pledge, and is in line with other vendors in the industry. (Of course, credit card fees are assessed anytime someone makes a donation with a credit card, whether it’s individually online or over the phone, or during a public event like GiveBIG.)
The Seattle Foundation does not collect any fees associated with contributions made through our website.
Why did The Seattle Foundation choose Click & Pledge as its online vendor?
After conducting substantial research into which vendor would be most appropriate for www.seattlefoundation.org, we determined that Click & Pledge offered the best services for our ability to facilitate donations to other organizations.
Click & Pledge offered the Foundation and the nonprofits on our site low percentage rates compared to competitors. Click & Pledge also waived all setup and monthly fees for nonprofits signed up through The Seattle Foundation; in addition, those nonprofits can use all Click & Pledge services on their own site as well, for no extra fee.
Are there any other fees for GiveBIG?
The Seattle Foundation covered outreach and media costs through partnerships with media sponsors to promote GiveBIG throughout the community. We also created a set of social media tools for all nonprofits to use in promoting their organizations during GiveBIG. Some nonprofits may have done additional promotions on their own.
For most nonprofits participating, GiveBIG was a very low-cost fundraising effort, particularly compared to other projects such as fundraising events and direct mail campaigns.
What has been the initial response from nonprofits participating in GiveBIG?
We’ve heard great feedback from participating nonprofits. We also received input from donor surveys that is very encouraging. For example, 70 percent of donors indicated that their GiveBIG donation was on top of or in addition to their regular gifts – meaning new money for local nonprofits.
How will GiveBIG work in future years?
We have gotten some early positive feedback about our inaugural GiveBIG event and at this point we would anticipate that any future events would be similar in structure and duration. While we were not able to have credit card fees waived or minimized in GiveBIG’s inaugural year, we will be looking at negotiating an even lower fee for future events, or finding a sponsor to cover some or all of these fees.
We just wanted to say thank you, thank you, for all your work in getting the word out about GiveBIG! All your efforts have worked–we’ve had an amazing response so far. As of 1:00pm–six hours in–we’ve raised $1.87 million with an incredible 8,307 individual gifts made!
We’ll continue to update you about all things GiveBIG today and in the days following. But we just really wanted to express our gratitude for your partnership and all your amazing hard work to make this event a success. We’re making history!
The GiveBIG Team
We thought some of our blog readers might be interested in learning more about how we have prepared for the amount of web traffic our site will receive on June 23.
For those of you who aren’t server experts, here’s the short version:
Our IT team planned ahead, increased our capacity, tested and retested our servers, and made backup plans for our backup plans.
For those of you with a more technical background, here’s the long version:
We researched other community foundations and their service areas to help us determine estimates for website traffic during GiveBIG. Based on our research, we expect our peak giving times to be morning, the noon hour and because of our partnership with Seattle Sounders another spike at match time.
Extensive planning was undertaken in order to identify the best response to each of a number of scenarios. Responses vary from relatively minor adjustments to internal resources to a backup plan that calls for the complete redirection of all traffic to an offsite emergency site that will allow for donations to be made while any issues are being addressed.
We originally designed our website to use a high capacity Hyper-V cluster and a load balancing appliance for the front-end web servers. Both the Hyper-V cluster and the load balancer provide automatic failover protection in addition to balancing the load among the available servers. In addition, the Foundation has 100 MB fiber optic bandwidth.
In preparation for the event, we conducted load testing to evaluate how the current configuration could handle expected web traffic. After reviewing the results, we made some additional adjustments and conducted additional testing. We worked with vendors to ensure that there were no outages planned for the day and that maintenance on the cooling in our server room was current.
If we encounter a problem with our website on June 23, our Twitter and Facebook followers will be the first to know. Stay in the loop by:
We’ve been pretty busy getting the website ready for June 23, so apologies for not posting to the blog for a while. But here we are already — GiveBIG IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK!
There are a few things we wanted to make sure and share with you before the big day:
- We’ve reached our goal of raising $500,000 for the stretch pool! Donations made through our website on GiveBIG day, June 23, will be stretched by $500,000, thanks to our generous donors and supporters.
- We have raised an additional $21,000 that we will use toward the awarding of “Golden Tickets” worth $1,000 every hour between 7:00 a.m. and midnight! Here are more details on how the Golden Tickets will work:
- Every hour, we will randomly pick one person’s donation from all donations made during the previous one-hour timeframe. Please note that we will be selecting a single transaction rather than an individual donor, so even if a donor makes gifts to multiple nonprofits during that hour, only one transaction (and thus only one nonprofit) will be selected for the Golden Ticket.
- An additional $1,000 will be given to the nonprofit that received the Golden Ticket donation, and will be given in the name of the individual who made the original donation.
- We will contact the winning nonprofit and winning donor and will also announce the winning nonprofits on our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the day. (Follow us to stay up to date!)
- We will be giving away 16 Golden Tickets worth $1,000, and one extra special Golden Ticket worth $5,000, which we will be announcing late in the day on June 23. However, the $5,000 ticket will work a little differently — we will be selecting the winner of the $5,000 ticket from ALL donations made during the day, not just during the one hour prior to awarding it. So don’t feel like you have to tell your supporters to stack all their donations later in the day to increase their odds of winning the $5,000 ticket– they will be eligible for it regardless of when they make a donation.
Please help us in thanking our generous partners and sponsors of GiveBIG on your websites, Facebook, and Twitter pages – they really have made it possible for us to hold this event!
MEDIA PARTNERS: The Seattle Times Company, KING 5 Television, 97.3 KIRO FM, 710 AM ESPN Seattle, 770 KTTH AM
SUPPORTERS: Tom and Sonya Campion, Davis Wright Tremaine, Lease Crutcher Lewis, Safeco Insurance, John Stanton and Theresa Gillespie, Swedish Medical Center, Bob and Juanita Watt, Wells Fargo
FRIENDS: Clark Nuber P.S., Colonial Consulting, Daniels Real Estate, Deloitte, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, K&L Gates, Norman and Constance Rice, Virginia Mason Medical Center
Looking for a new angle to promote GiveBIG to your supporters?
Extol the virtues of giving via credit card, especially giving in BIG numbers!
Nearly everyone carries a credit card with loyalty benefits, from airline miles, reward points, cash back, restaurant rewards and on and on! Encourage your supporters to GiveBIG online with a credit card and they’ll win too with reward benefits they can enjoy. One donor participating in a GiveBIG-style event in another city donated $49,000 through an online credit card transaction on the community foundation website. That seems really extraordinary to us (especially when taking into account the obligatory credit card fees), but perhaps there was some other motivating factor at work. We’re thinking airline miles!
Unfortunately for all of us, credit card and online donation fees are a reality of online giving. We have negotiated with our online donations provider, Click & Pledge, and they have waived any setup or monthly fees for nonprofits on The Seattle Foundation’s website. (The Seattle Foundation does not take any percentage from gifts made through our website.) Plus, we are calculating a nonprofit’s share of the stretch pool based on the amount of the donations before the fees are deducted. We recognize that organizations may choose to use the GiveBIG opportunity differently when they consider these fees and that’s okay with us. Only promote GiveBIG if it makes sense for your organization.
Of course, there are the other benefits of online giving. It’s easy and convenient, and people can give anytime and anywhere they have an internet connection. Our website has top-of-the-line security, too, so donors do not need to have any concerns about that. And finally, when donors give online at www.seattlefoundation.org on June 23, they’ll be part of history. It will be the biggest day of charitable giving in King County history and who would want to miss that!
That’s it for now…The GiveBIG team
We’ve had some nonprofit organizations ask us, “Why should we participate in GiveBIG?”
We think this is a great question, because in all probability, the chances that any one organization garnering a big portion of the stretch pool is fairly small. If lots of nonprofits participate, and lots of people donate money, GiveBIG will be hugely successful for King County, but the stretch pool will be “stretched” over more organzations resulting in smaller shares for the participating organizations. For a few hypothetical examples of the potential benefits of the stretch pool under various scenarios, go to our Frequently Asked Questions and view Can you explain how the “match” will work for GiveBIG?
So, back to the original question: why participate in GiveBIG? Consider these reasons:
- It’s a creative opportunity to get in front of your supporters at a time of year when donations are generally slower.
- Nearly everyone is motivated by a “match” (or a stretch!) of any kind, and GiveBIG provides that incentive for donors.
- In other cities, nonprofit organizations that participated in GiveBIG-style events reported that 30 percent of their donors on that day were new donors. Be creative in your marketing, and this could be the same for you!
- It’s fun! Organizations are doing all sorts of wild and crazy things to stand out on GiveBIG Day. What is your organization doing?
- You’ll make history, and be part of the largest day of charitable giving in King County history.
Until next time,
The GiveBIG team
We’ve just uploaded the latest in our series of short screencasts designed to help you make the most of GiveBIG below and at http://www.youtube.com/TheSeattleFoundation.
This latest video gives some simple tips for Facebook — how to get out the word and stay up to date on the latest GiveBIG news. And be sure to keep those GiveBIG RSVPs coming — it helps us get the word out and show your support for the event!
We’ve created a series of short screencasts designed to help you make the most of GiveBIG, and you can now check out the first one below, or at http://www.youtube.com/TheSeattleFoundation.
This introductory screencast guides you through finding your organization’s URL, creating your organization’s profile on The Seattle Foundation’s website, and also shows you where to find additional resources on our website.
Please feel free to share this with your colleagues and other organizations you work with who might not have heard about GiveBIG yet!