Tech Thursday: Put a Form on It!

Do you have a website without a form on it? We’re here to give you some ideas- from contact forms to surveys, there are tons of ways a form could benefit your website, make your life easier, and make customers happy!

Tech Thursday: Online Fundraising

In this week’s video, we discuss some things to keep in mind when you’re fundraising online, whether you’re doing a campaign for a specific date/event (i.e. you’re running a race for charity or are a pizza place that wants money for a new oven) or want your business to take payment on a continuous basis though a donation form. Things to keep in mind include “All or Nothing” campaigns vs. Flexible Funding, the amount that your fundraising company of choice will keep, and at what point your funds will be released to you (especially if this is money that you’re counting on).

In terms of ongoing money intake, we like to use Stripe because a) it integrates with just about any software, b) it has consistent processing fees, and c) it’s easy to use which encourages people to give money. It’s amazing how much more likely people are to donate money when they perceive it as easy.
We kept the video a bit shorter this week, since we spent most of the day yesterday moving into our new space (yay!), so please forgive our (ahem, Kassie’s) zombie-like mode.

Marketing Monday: Giving Tuesday 2014

Not matter how you feel about giving money, donating, tithing, or volunteering, I think we can all agree that it’s fun that online has their own version of Cyber Monday in the way of Giving Tuesday. Sure it’s a poke at the consumerism of the season and vaguely self congratulatory but it’s hash tag heart seems to be in the right place.


It started a few years ago as a hashtag and a way to raise awareness about non-profit causes but now they’re a lot more organized. There is a website and coordinated efforts between Crowdrise (an online donation platform), Indiegogo (an online fundraising platform), the White House, and others.

If you look at the Giving Tuesday logo, you’ll see it’s a pretty clever mixture of a hashtag and a heart. Nice!givingtuesdaylogo

Whether you give your time or money or both, Giving Tuesday asks that we all give something today.

Leading up to this event, we have seen lots of marketing efforts in the way of educational videos and the use of the hashtag #UNselfie on especially the more visual social networks like Instagram to raise awareness about giving to those in need. Here are some things last week already showing up:


Despite being a global idea, the Giving Tuesday website is highlighting campaigns in specific geographic areas as well:


It also seems as if organizations have taken this time to use this time to educate their user base. This Heiffer International post and accompanying infographic I thought were particularly good examples of taking the opportunity to have a conversation:


So we hope you consider doing something, online or offline, for Giving Tuesday. It’s a great sentiment and something we could all stand to remember this time of year where we spend lots of money to realize we could spend some of our finances and effort on something that makes a bit more impact than that scarf your brother probably won’t even like anyway.

(And if you know someone who needs one, we’re doing online donation forms for dayz.)

Happy #GivingTuesday!

Tech Thursday: Why You Should Have an Online Donation Form

Some statistics:

In 2013, 33.6% of all donations to charities occurred in the last 3 months of the year. In 2012, $24 billion in donations happened online.

Does your business have an online donation form? With the season of giving just around the corner, make it easier for your donors to give back. More people (especially millennials) are likely to give back online, plus, having this form directly on your website makes it more likely that they will follow through (rather than get annoyed by PayPal).

If you don’t already have an online donation form, but want to get one set up on your website, we can help! Start getting your donations here.

Three Ways To Help Someone After A Tragedy: A Captain Nemo’s Case Study


Thursday morning, I woke up to the shocking news that one of my favorite businesses burned to the ground overnight.

Captain Nemos was a restaurant and bar in Bass Harbor. Run by the Cousin’s family who relocated here from Alaska and opened this place, it was an eclectic building that looked like a lighthouse and, from one of the daughters, the whole place was “build from stuff we found at the dump”.

Anyone who has ever been here has commented on the mismatched chairs, children’s artwork on the walls, and the feeling like you’re hanging out in your friend’s living room much more than a seedy bar. Ever since discovering it for myself in 2011, I have loved coming here with local and visiting friends.

Here are several bleh pictures I took with my iPhone in case you too would like to experience this place virtually:



Now Nemos could have just coasted along as a dive bar if they wanted I’m sure. But it didn’t. They regularly held fun and new events, like ugly sweater and toga parties, and created an outdoor seating area with a small bonfire area for chillier nights. They were trying new things while being true to who they are, something all businesses should try to do.

The family lived on the property too, meaning that the fire also took their primary residence.

This is all tragic but since then, people have stepped up to help. And this sense of community is really the reason I live here.

In less than 12 hours, each of the following events happened:

A website, with needed items, was established.
The vehicle in this case a Facebook group. Someone created a document in this group where people could add items and sign up to donate items. If you are more technical, you can set up a basic website with or (The one thing with Facebook is it can get chaotic so having the admin of the group be the coordinator might make the most sense!)

The great thing about this is everyone has stuff lying around but having an exact person who needs it can be really motivating to go through your stuff with a more close eye. Also in the days ahead in particular, having things like pots and pans and towels is going to help in the immediate aftermath.

An online fundraising campaign, to raise capital, was created.
In this case, a GoFundMe page was made to raise money and collect messages/well wishes.

Money is always needed but, until insurance is processed and losses are calculated, it can be hard to tell where to put the cash. So having a short term campaign to raise funds (and having that take a few weeks or months) is actually alright.

A real life event, for more immediate cash, has started to be planned.
Through the Facebook group, a hall has been rented, a local band has offered to play, and local businesses have offered items for an auction. This live event will allow more ‘offline’ people to participate in the effort and create more community awareness about the event. It’ll also give the family support since they’ll be able to see how much people care about them at the event.

And if your neighbor experiences a tragedy, you can do one (or all) of these things too. Really a combination of online and offline events, a combination of cash and item donations, and a collection of support (letters, emails, Facebook messages, phone calls, visits) will help people cope.

Because we’ll all have our turn needing help, which makes giving when we can even more important.

Proud to have been to Nemos.
Proud to be in a community that supports local families and businesses.
Proud that in this tragedy, we can all have some hope, love, and support for the Cousin family.


Darthia Farm: An Experiment In Social Giving

A couple years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Cynthia Thayer, a local author who hired me to train her on how to use her Wordpress blog and also happens to run an organic farm. (This is a very Maine thing: to have two seemingly completely separate careers going at one time but often artfully combining them.) I also knew her through my friends Tom and Beth Walsh who happen to be a next door neighbor and farm share recipient of Darthia Farm.

Sunday, tragedy struck the farm when the barn burned and the animals inside died.

Tom called me up Tuesday morning and wanted to have a website set up right away. Wanting to turn this around quickly without any up front costs to Tom, Cynthia, or anyone else, I threw up a donation page on Give Forward and shared it to my Facebook profile. It was interesting to spend relatively little time on something (besides researching First Giving and other sites like it to narrow down the service I’d use) completely blow up online.

Here’s a screenshot of just how my Facebook friends and business pages I follow shared the news:

The true power of sharing... and beyond the people I regularly keep in touch with, I can't even track the shares through Facebook anymore!

The true power of sharing… and beyond the people I regularly keep in touch with, I can’t even track the shares through Facebook anymore!

If I click for further sharing information, here’s some even deeper data:

Social media sharing acts kind of like compound interest: one share could result in many more over time.

Social media sharing acts kind of like compound interest: one share could result in many more over time.

Now I can see this data because I’m on Facebook and happen to be friends with hundreds of people. The true test of if a campaign is working is ‘Is it driving traffic to the website?’ and ‘Once people get to the site, are they acting on your call to action?’

The results as of 11:30 this morning:

It’s nice to see how social media is helping to spread the word about this farm. Small businesses and individuals do have power to get messages across and these online channels and can help the word spread faster.

Thanks to all who donated so far and will donate. I’ll update this blog entry periodically with results of the campaign.

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