Vote for our sessions at the 2014 Nonprofit Tech Conference

Donordigital is excited to have put forward ten session proposals for the 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference taking place in Washington, DC, March 13-15.

We invite your support for our proposed sessions by casting your vote on the Nonprofit Technology Network website:

Where Do I Start? Hands On Tips & Tools to Jumpstart Your Multichannel Fundraising Program

Start at the Start: Using Storyboards, Wireframes, and Mood Boards
How to properly start an online design project.

Transform Blackbaud/Convio Modules to Present a More Dynamic User Experience

Be the Star of Any Screen: Design and Implementation in the Mobile Age

50 Live Online Tests
Where you should begin a testing program, and how to invest limited resources in the most valuable tests.

Become a Jedi Master of Persuasion – and get better conversion rates on your donation pages
Persuading a visitor on your donation page to complete the form and click the donate button is a top objective for any online program.

A Gift a Month, That’s All We Ask – Building and Sustaining A Monthly Giving Program
An interactive case study of the No Kid Hungry monthly giving program, The Hunger Core.

Peer-to-Peer Perfection – Taking your tools to the next level
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a rising star in the online fundraiser’s toolkit, and research is showing that it is delivering very strong fundraising results as donors get friends and family involved in their campaigns.

Managing the Changing Landscape of Facebook Marketing

Turning Slacktivism into Activism: ROI of Online List Building
Hear from a number of nonprofits about their experience building a program to convert constituents acquired from list building efforts to ongoing advocates and donors.

Michael Stein is a Senior Account Executive at Donordigital, the online fundraising, marketing, and advertising company. Contact: or phone (510) 473-0364.

Join Donordigital’s session at 8th Annual Bridge Conference

Donordigital is pleased to present a session with two innovative clients at this year’s 8th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference, which takes place July 31 to August 2, 2013 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center in Washington, DC.

The session we are presenting is part of the Digital Track on Friday, August 2, 2013 from 8:15 to 9:20 am, and is entitled:

Are You Ready for Year-End? Case Studies of Winning December Fundraising Strategies.

It’s no secret that the last few months of the year represent major dollars for fundraising programs. But what are the best strategies and techniques to stay in front of your audience, across channels, while not overdoing it? Join us for a review of several programs with successful 2012 results, along with tips for ramping up your program.

Session speakers:

  • Eric Overman, Vice President of Digital Strategy, Donordigital
  • Katharine Vuille, Associate Director of Direct Response Marketing, AmeriCares
  • Joan Wadkins, Senior Director, Giving Programs, Be The Match Foundation

Announcing the 2013 IMAB Integrated Marketing Award winners

On Saturday, April 13,2013, at the Nonprofit Technology Conference awards luncheon, the Integrated Marketing Advisory Board (IMAB) which Donordigital participates in, announced the winners of its second annual Integrated Marketing Awards. The Integrated Marketing Awards recognize nonprofit organizations showing exemplary leadership in the area of integrated marketing.
  We congratulate this year’s winners, who exemplify the sector’s use of integrated, multi-channel marketing campaigns or programs.

Winners by Category:

The Donor

Canadian Cancer Society in Saskatchewan won in the category of The Donor for demonstrating how an integrated marketing campaign or program had an impact on donor satisfaction and the donor experience. The organization committed to integrate every campaign in 2012 so that no event or campaign was conducted through a single channel only. Donors were encouraged to participate as volunteers and advocates, and advocates and volunteers were encouraged to donate.

The Organization

The Ontario SPCA and British Columbia SPCA, both leading animal welfare organizations in their respective provinces, won in the category of The Organization, demonstrating how an effort across the organization aligned strategy, structure, culture, or skills to impact the organization’s ability to integrate its marketing efforts. The organizations worked together to share management, expenses, marketing and work in bringing a successful fundraising event from Australia to Canada.

The Practice

The American Diabetes Association, an organization leading the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by diabetes, won in the category of The Practice for sharing its real world case study highlighting best practices in the field of integrated marketing. The organization quickly spun up a highly integrated “Giving Tuesday” campaign around their Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes walk.

The IMAB is privileged to honor these organizations that are demonstrating best practices in the field of integrated marketing. We’ll feature case studies from these organizations in future posts, so stay tuned for more details!

Eric Overman is the Vice President for Digital Strategy and Integrated Services at Donordigital, the online fundraising, marketing, and advertising company.

National Parkinson Foundation celebrates 10,000th Facebook fan

Donordigital joins in celebrating with its client National Parkinson Foundation in reaching its 10,000th Facebook fan.

Donordigital worked with National Parkinson Foundation to run a Facebook Ad campaign with the goal of recruiting 10,000 new Facebook fans. Each new fan helps NPF give away an Aware in Care kit to people living with Parkinson’s. The kit features tools and information to share with hospital staff during a planned or emergency hospital stay.

Through a combination of organic and paid efforts on Facebook, National Parkinson Foundation reached a social media milestone – 10,000 Facebook supporters! To optimize the paid efforts, Donordigital tested ad creative and audiences to identify the strongest messages and most receptive audiences.

NPF is passionate about expanding their work on social media, and this celebratory picture proves it. Kudos to NPF for sharing this celebration picture with their 12,278 (and counting) Facebook fans. To support NPF’s great work and help them give away an Aware in Care kit, click here.

Meet Donordigital: Matt Burghdoff, Senior Account Executive

Matt Burghdoff is Donordigital’s newest Senior Account Executive.  Matt joins the team with many years of experience in online fundraising.  He previously worked at Grizzard serving a number of nonprofit clients.  Prior to that he managed online fundraising activities at Operation Smile.  Donordigital’s blogger-in-chief Michael Stein asked Matt a few questions.

Michael: You have a background in multi-channel integration strategies for nonprofits.  What does multi-channel integration means for nonprofits in 2012?

Matt: Multi-channel integration boils down to one voice with multiple outlets and variations.  Multi-channel strategy is about making sure you have a presence wherever constituents might be, and that presence conveys the spirit or brand of the organization.  Regardless of whether I follow your efforts through email updates, print mail, or tweets, I should have the same sense of who you are as an organization, where you’re heading, and where I as a supporter or donor fit it.

For a nonprofit, or even for-profit company, audiences are consuming knowledge about you and your community through TV, Facebook, emails, online news stories, etc.  It’s increasingly important to provide information in the medium they are most comfortable with.  If you’re not where they are, they’ll never become your supporter and brand evangelist.

That said, it’s also critical to keep in mind the Return on Investment of these various efforts. There are LOTS of different channels available to get information to your audience, but nonprofits have limited resources – money and labor. Don’t spend your time focusing on a mobile giving campaign with only 5 people signed up when you’ve got 20,000 email addresses that can perform better.  Put your resources into cultivating those 20,000 emails into a strong program, which will deliver a much better ROI, then use that ROI to cultivate the next most-important channel to your supporters.

Michael: For nonprofits that have both a Mail and an Online program, what are some key strategies for success?

Matt: Constituent tracking instead of channel tracking is more critical than ever.  That is the single biggest hurdle nonprofits need to overcome if they’re going to succeed.  Your audience doesn’t see themselves as “Mail Recipient” or “Digital Recipient,” and quite frankly they’re not going to stay pigeon-holed into those groups because you ask them.  People move across channels at will and sub-consciously, and nonprofits need to be able to track their behavior to get real measurements on their programs’ effectiveness.  Organizations which break out of the silo tracking will have a real edge in measuring – and improving – the true effectiveness of their programs.

Michael: What are a few standout highlights from Year-End fundraising 2011?

Matt: The real trend that I’ve seen, and you’re not going to like this, is a slight drop in response rates to traditional fundraising practices.  What this means is that getting an actual donation from a standard traditional direct response device – such as an Annual Fund message – is having less and less impact with a digital audience.

The bright spot is that less traditional “asks” are having greater and greater impact.  Donors seem to be responding better to programmatic success stories – in more of a conversational than marketing tone – which offer genuine proof of effective services.  It’s probably a symptom of the general market trends towards measurable results that we’ve been seeing for years, but its impact is accelerating greatly.  People don’t want to be marketed to, and donors are getting increasingly cynical, with the upcoming elections not helping the situation.

Michael: What does the coming year look like in terms of email programs for nonprofits?  Will that channel grow, shrink or remain the same in terms of impact?

Matt: Think about it this way: your existing supporters should be finding their way to your website through emails you provide them, to ensure that they actually find you and not a competitor.  Approximately 60-80% of direct mail donors will go to an organization’s website before being willing to cut a check, and that doesn’t factor in that email is – for most organizations – the single biggest online fundraising method.  Online giving is also growing exponentially year over year.  I’d consider a good email program pretty important.

Michael: With so many donors and supporters using their smartphones to read their email, what does that do to email messaging that is essentially designed for larger screens?

Matt: It’s more important than ever that we follow the general rules of email – short, sweet, and to the point.  We have to remember the 3 second rule: If I can’t figure out what this is, what you want me to do, and why I should do it in 3 seconds or less, you didn’t do your job.  We have a tendency to treat emails like a long, drawn out conversation when really an email is the doorway to a deeper conversation.  With emails, we want to give the audience something to react to – a touching story, a compelling ask, an urgent advocacy need – and then let them react by donating, posting the stories on their Facebook accounts, or coming to our website to learn more.  Long, drawn out emails not only are difficult for smart phones, but they slow the audience’s ability to react.

Meet Donordigital: Anthony Blair-Borders, Senior Web Designer

Anthony Blair-Borders
is Donordigital’s web designer, a role that is integral to many of the client projects throughout our agency.  Anthony joins the team with many years of experience in advertising, digital design and art.  Donordigital’s blogger-in-chief Michael Stein asked Anthony a few questions.

Michael: Describe your advertising background  working as an art director and creative.

Anthony: I began my career in print design, illustration, and storyboards. My evolution into the digital space began when I decided to make my own online portfolio and I subsequently taught myself HTML. I quickly realized that knowing how to code added a brand new, marketable skill set that was in high demand. And, as I expanded my developer’s toolkit, I began to recognize that design for the web is a completely different beast from print design. Print is largely about working with static graphics that interact with an audience in very specific ways, but design for the web is dynamic; it moves, grows, shrinks and flows based on ever-changing content and ever-evolving technology. The web is also about user experience and interactivity. Needless to say, this was all very exciting stuff to learn about. And it continues to evolve and present new challenges all the time, which for me is pretty exciting.

Michael: Your bio says you’ve won some awards.  

Anthony: In 2007, I was working on a series of enterprise-level direct mail pieces for a telecommunications giant. These were really expensive, complex pieces that were going to CEOs and corporate heads and featured all kinds of strange materials like vinyl and metal and were often folded together with the complexity of Origami. The particular piece in question was for walkie-talkie service. While concepting, I was inspired by Eric Carle’s children’s books The Very Quiet Cricket and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. When opened, the piece chirped like a walkie-talkie (and consistently startled everyone in the agency it was so loud) and worked as a flip book with a call-and-response on the left-and-right flip panels. No matter what panel you flipped to, the result was the same: there was a problem, but our client’s service got the job done.

Michael: What interests you about working at Donordigital,?

Anthony: Traditional advertising always left me feeling a little flat. I loved the work and making gorgeous things, but I hated that huge amounts of my time were spent selling products and services that I very rarely cared about. But I love working with non-profits, because at the end of the day I feel like I’m using my skills and talents for something worthwhile. So far, I can truthfully say that I love working with all of our clients — though I have to admit that PETA comes up with some really interesting projects, especially during the holidays. Secret Santa and PETA Presents were both big fun and big challenges

Michael: You bio says you often donate artwork and illustrations for various local charities and events.

Anthony: Years ago I had an opportunity to provide illustrations for a Couture for the Cure fashion show and sketch art gallery sale. I was asked to work for a milliner who made all of her hats on the fly without working from sketches, so I was basically tasked to make sketches of her hats for the art sale. But I was inspired by the quirkiness of her hats and so I drew them being worn by whimsical, faerie-like creatures. The hat designer was pretty perturbed that I didn’t make straight-up fashion sketches, but they turned out to be very popular and I sold all of them. The best part of the experience was getting to take part in the fashion show and the whole process. It was also my first gallery show, so that was exciting as well.

I’ve also worked multiple times making posters and T-shirt graphics for benefit concerts for OneAtmosphere and SF Climate Challenge. I’m a bit of a music nerd, and I’ve always had a fondness (well, obsession, really) with concert posters and album cover art, so getting to make posters is great fun.

Climatepalooza 2010 with CAKE

Climatepalooza 2010 with CAKE Concert Poster

Michael: What other passions and hobbies inspire you?

Anthony: I’m a fine artist in my spare time. As an artist, I draw inspiration from a wide array of sources, from traditional painters like Paul Klee and Max Ernst to lowbrow artists like Joel Sorren and Jeff Soto. I also grew up with a big collection of comics by Jean “Moebius” Giraud, who was a huge influence. I also find inspiration in nature, architecture, fashion, music, science fiction and fantasy literature, comic books, pop culture, video games, personal experience… just about everything. I soak it all up, purée it in my subconscious, and pour it back out. I guess I’m the artistic equivalent of Jamba Juice.

The Guitarist

The Guitarist, acrylic on watercolor paper, 2007

Right now, my big focus is on my family. My wife and I have a 1-year-old and I spend almost all of my free time with them. Watching my child grow and develop has to be one of the highlights of my life. I love music. I’m one of those guys that used to work in a record store and has big opinions about bands, producers, and composers… and I used to be real snotty about it, too. I’ve mellowed out quite a bit in my old age, thankfully, and I’m less cranky about which Beatles album is best (the correct answer is Revolver). Finally, I’m really into science fiction and fantasy literature and comic books. I’m also big into video games, though since I have a toddler at home, I don’t get as much time for them as I used to.

Donordigital expands strategic and creative leadership and opens Washington, DC office

Donordigital announced on June 1, 2011, the hiring of online fundraising veterans Eric Overman and Adam Ruff. Eric joins the agency as Vice President for Digital Strategy and Integrated Services, and Adam as Vice President, opening Donordigital’s new Washington, DC office.

Eric Overman comes to Donordigital from Grizzard Communications, where he built their current digital and interactive practice for nonprofit clients. Previously, Eric led online marketing at Operation Smile, where he launched the organization’s first interactive department, drove direct marketing integration, and initiated its social marketing program. During his tenure, Operation Smile won the Nonprofit of the Year Award from the Direct Marketing Association for excellence in direct marketing creativity and strategy. In 2009, Eric won the American Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Award.

Adam Ruff has broad expertise in integrated nonprofit fundraising and political campaigns. He was formerly Vice President of Blueprint Interactive, Vice President of Interactive Marketing at MSHC Partners, and Political Business Manager at Blue State Digital. Most recently his work won a 2011 American Association of Political Consultants “Pollie Award” for the “NO on 23” campaign in California, and in 2010 he was named to the Aristotle Democratic Campaign “Dream Team.”

“Eric and Adam have proven track records in innovative fundraising for nonprofits and political campaigns,” said Dan Doyle, President & CEO of Donordigital. “We are excited that the creative and strategic expertise they bring will enhance our clients’ leadership in the online space.”

“It is a tremendous opportunity to join Donordigital at this time, when online integration and new media fundraising has emerged as a critical component to engaging donors,” Overman said. “Donordigital is committed to presenting innovative creative and strategic online fundraising solutions to their clients, and I look forward to working with the great team already in place and an exciting group of clients.”

Share Our Strength: Getting to 100,000 “No Kid Hungry” pledges

For our new client, Share Our Strength, the anti-hunger organization that connects children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives, we’re working to get 1 million Americans to take the No Kid Hungry pledge.

You can sign the No Kid Hungry pledge on the organization’s homepage or on its own microsite.   You can also sign on a tab on Share Our Strength’s Facebook page.

Corporate partners across the U.S. are also helping to promote the pledge via their websites and email newsletters.

We’ll also use search engine advertising,  email acquisition services like, and some chaperoned emails to hit the goal.

Take the “No Kid Hungry” pledge now!