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Just a few hours away from the start of GiveBIG 2013!
Some of you may end up processing credit card donations for your donors tomorrow. Please DO NOT just go to your donation page on our website and enter them in there, especially if you have several to enter in a row. This can often cause your donations to be flagged as fraud! Instead, please visit your Click & Pledge “Virtual Terminal” by logging into your account and processing them there.
To learn more about how to do this, visit the “How to process a credit card payment for a donor” topic on this reference page. This page also includes information on other issues you may run into with your Click & Pledge account: http://www.seattlefoundation.org/nonprofits/GiveBIG/Pages/GiveBIGandClickPledgeresources.aspx
We’ve heard that some of your donors are so excited about GiveBIG that they have already started making donations! If this is the case, then you can actually back out donations using your Click & Pledge account. Here’s how:
Please note: before you back out a donation, you should probably check with the donor first to make sure they are OK with backing out the donation and making it again on May 15. We have actually heard of some donors in the past who have let the nonprofit keep the donation, but still make another donation on GiveBIG day, too!
This information has been on our GiveBIG Resources for Nonprofits page for a while, but as we keep adding more resources to the page, we realize that it is not very prominent anymore! So, we thought we would use the blog to help get the word out that:
We will “stretch” all donations up to $25,000 per donor, per organization. This is the first year that we are setting a limit on the amount that qualifies for funds from the GiveBIG Stretch Pool.
This change in policy affects a very small number of donations that were made last year, and we have contacted the nonprofit organizations directly to let them know. We are hoping that with this small amendment, we will help level the playing field for smaller nonprofits and help the Stretch Pool go further for organizations that rely on smaller donations.
So, what does that mean for your donors? If a donor gives your organization $35,000 through GiveBIG, we will stretch the first $25,000. You will still receive the full $35,000 donation but only the first $25,000 will qualify for stretch funds.
Another example: Let’s say one donor gives you two donations at some point during the day: one for $20,000 and one for $30,000. Same deal: you will receive the full $50,000, but only the first $25,000 will qualify for stretch funds.
Keep in mind that the majority of donations made last year on GiveBIG day were $50 or less (with an average gift size of $190), yet we still raised a total of $8.6 million, including donations, Stretch Pool funds, Challenge Grants, and Golden Tickets!
Thank you for your understanding and as always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions on how to make this event an even stronger success for our community, nonprofit organizations and the generous “Everyday Heroes” who contribute through GiveBIG!
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 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
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
Several questions have come up recently—from both nonprofits and fundholders alike—wanting to know if gifts from donor advised funds at The Seattle Foundation are counted toward the amount eligible for stretch dollars on GiveBIG Day, June 23. And unfortunately, the answer is no. Our donors/fundholders made a gift to The Seattle Foundation to establish their funds and they received an immediate tax deduction for their charitable contribution to us. Grants that are recommended by our fundholders from their funds still go through a review and approval process. Given the nature of GiveBIG, we can’t maintain this level of review and approval for the influx of donations we’re expecting will come in through our website. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t encourage your supporters who are also fundholders at The Seattle Foundation to make a donation to you through our website on June 23 via credit card. And, of course, we will encourage our fundholders to make credit card donations through our website that day. We have shared information with our fundholders about GiveBIG and have explained to them that gifts made from their funds on that day will not be eligible for the stretch dollars. But if you receive any questions on this topic, please let them know that they can contact us directly and we’d be happy to help them.
Welcome to our GiveBIG blog for nonprofits. We hope that you will find this to be a useful tool in sharing ideas with us and your peers, gaining new information to maximize giving to your organization on June 23, and getting excited about the big day! Also if you haven’t already, please “Like” us on Facebook and RSVP for the GiveBIG event to receive reminders and updates.
Our webinar for nonprofits was on Tuesday, April 26, and we got a ton of great questions from participants. Thanks so much for your participation. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see the webinar yet, it’s available in its entirety on the GiveBIG Nonprofit Resources page. You can also download just the slides from the presentation.
We’ve also posted on our website responses to all the questions asked during the webinar, so be sure to check those out. But for this first blog post, we wanted to really focus on two major themes that people had the most questions about during the webinar.
1. What is the deal with Click & Pledge? Is Click & Pledge the only way to make a donation on June 23?
This issue might require revisiting the whole history behind Click & Pledge. But before we do that, the bottomline is: you don’t have to have an individual Click & Pledge account to participate in GiveBIG and receive donations. But you do have to have a nonprofit profile on www.seattlefoundation.org in order to participate on June 23.
When we launched the new Seattle Foundation website in September 2010, we invited nonprofit organizations to set up a profile on our website and sign up to receive online donations through our site. In order to process these online donations, the Foundation chose Click & Pledge (which we’ll refer to as C&P) and their merchant banking partner TransFirst to help with the processing of these online donations. We chose C&P for a number of reasons, including: 1) C&P allows us to set up an “umbrella” account where we can manage online donations for a number of different organizations or initiatives–none of the other online donation services we were looking into offered that option; and 2) By signing up to have a profile our site, C&P waives any monthly or setup fees for nonprofits. So even if C&P charges a 4.5% fee + .25 per transaction on all transactions that go through our website, the cost works out to be either lower or comparable with other online services.
So, if you are a nonprofit organization with a profile on our website and you can receive online credit card donations through it, then your organization has a C&P account—because C&P is the only way that you can receive online donations through our website. If you have not signed up for a C&P account and currently cannot receive online credit card donations through our site, then don’t worry—you will still be able to receive donations on June 23 (because of the “umbrella” account feature of C&P mentioned above). The difference if you don’t have your own C&P account is that the Foundation will manage the disbursement of those donations for you.
So, long story short: the only way we can track the donations made through our website on that day in order to be able to calculate how much of the stretch pool your organization will receive is to use our already existing online donations provider, Click & Pledge. (For more on Click & Pledge and TransFirst, you can also read the merchant account questions on our website.)
This question brings up the second major theme that came up during the webinar:
2. What is the deal with the “match”? How will that all work?
So first of all, this is a phrase that you’ll hear a lot from here on out: “stretch pool.” This refers to the pool of money we are working hard to raise, so that we can stretch the amount of money that you receive through donations on June 23. The Seattle Foundation has already contributed $250,000 to that pool and we are calling on local businesses to make contributions to it as well so that we have at least $500,000 in stretch funds. We are calling it a “stretch pool” rather than a match because we are not matching donations dollar for dollar. For a number of community foundations who have done similar charitable giving events in other cities around the country, we’ve been able to learn from them on this one—for some, when they first did this type of event, they did it as a one-to-one match and they were so successful in getting people to give on that day that within half an hour, they had received more donations through their site than the total amount of the matching pool—so the matching funds were gone in half an hour and all subsequent donations weren’t matched. So, rather than matching dollar for dollar, your share of the stretch pool will be a percentage of donations your nonprofit receives of the total online contributions made through www.seattlefoundation.org on June 23.
For those of you wondering, “so how much will my organization receive from the stretch pool on June 23?” we don’t know the answer to that question yet because we don’t know how much the stretch pool will end up being and we don’t know how much will be raised on June 23. But here are a few scenarios based on what we think the match pool and amount raised will be:
Let’s call our first nonprofit example Save the Planet. By June 23, the Foundation has raised a stretch pool of $500,000. Save the Planet receives $40,000 in donations through TSF’s website on GiveBIG day, while GiveBIG as a whole raises $1 million for nonprofits. In this scenario, Save the Planet has received 4% of the total donations made on June 23 and would receive 4% of the stretch pool, which would be $20,000.
Here’s another example for a nonprofit we’ll call For the Children. In this scenario, TSF has raised $400,000 for the stretch pool. For the Children receives $7,000 in donations through the TSF website and GiveBIG as a whole raises $2 million for nonprofits. For the Children has received 0.7% of the total donations and would receive 0.7% of the stretch pool, which would be $1,400.
Here are these two scenarios plus one more in chart format, based on varying levels of stretch pool and donation totals (FYI, within the next couple of weeks, we’ll be confirming the total amount of stretch dollars):
|Total Stretch Pool||Total Donations Raised on
|Donations the NPO Received||Percentage of Total Donations Raised||Stretch Dollars Received||
TOTAL RAISED (Donations + Stretch)
As you can see, it really depends on the total amount you receive compared to the total amount raised on that day for all nonprofits. Something to look forward to following on June 23!