Delight Your Donors with these 5 Holiday Fundraising Ideas

Tis’ the season to be jolly. It’s also the season of giving! From the Network for Good’s Online Giving Index, 30% of annual giving occurs in the month of December. Be sure to let your donors know that they’re on the “nice list” this year by using these 5 unique holiday tips to give back.

Happy Holidays

1. Send a Personalized Video

Gone are the days where holiday cards were the method of spreading Christmas cheer. These days, videos are a great way to wish happy holidays to your loved ones. Put a spin on this idea by recording personalized intros with your team for a video outlining how your donor’s funds have helped in the past year. Using footage of giving in action is a great way to let your donors know how much you appreciate them, as well as showing them the impact of their donations.

il_fullxfull.524386655_m1bw2. A Drawing Fundraiser

Have your organization host a raffle where the prize is holiday themed, like a skiing trip, or a catered family Christmas party. For a given amount, donors will be entered into the drawing, with an incentive to earn additional entries for larger donations. However, using this fundraising technique usually results in only one donor receiving a gift. Your non-profit can use social media platforms to inform each donor, regardless of their donation amount, how their money assisted someone during the holidays.

CommitChange’s Donor Management tools can assist by easily tracking how much each donor has donated. You can also see and share how much money the fundraiser has collected.

12 days

3. “12 Days of Giving” Social Media Campaign

Social media campaigns are a great way for non-profits to reach a large number of people. Every day, your organization will highlight a local restaurant or local business. Social media followers will share your organization’s photo each day, including the hashtag #12DaysofGiving. Those who share the photo can go to the restaurant or business, show that they reposted or shared the promotion, which entitles them to a percentage off of their bill/purchase. Also, your organization can arrange for a percentage of the sales to benefit your non-profit. This way, people who have not yet before been formal donors can give to the organization.

Use CommitChange’s Campaign Management tools to track the success of the campaign and share it with your followers and donors.

keep calm4. Host a Party Inviting All Past Donors

A holiday party is a great time for donors to mingle and meet others who are involved in in the cause they care about. One way to make your party stand out could be by having a local, well-known or even celebrity philanthropist give a speech highlighting why your organization’s mission is so important. Another way to set your organization’s party apart could be by having those who have been helped by the nonprofit attend the party and personally thank donors for their help. No matter which way you choose to make your party one of a kind, a holiday get-together is a great way to show your donors how much you appreciate them.

CommitChange’s Event tools can assist your organization in selling tickets and registering attendees for the event, as well as informing them of the time and date of the event, and which other donors are attending.

tacky xmas race5. Ugly Sweater Christmas Run

A great way for donors to have fun while promoting your organization would be to host an ugly Christmas sweater run/walk.  Donors will pay a registration fee to take part in the race. Partner with local restaurants and bars to provide free food and drinks to your donors at the end of the race. Also provide them with a t-shirt and swag bag to take home.

This event can again make use of CommitChange’s Event tools in helping your organization track the success of the event. This can also help in promoting it in the future, should it become an annual event.

For more information on Commitchange, please visit our website. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter for the latest updates!


LSU PR: Unresponsive?

How many students can say that they love where the go to college? I can say, I do. I love my school! The atmosphere gives me a sense of our culture, the professors are passionate about their work and our sports fans are out of this world.

I live and breath purple and gold.

However, there are some aspects of the school that scare me quite a bit. It seems like I am constantly receiving a text message from the LSU Emergency Text Messaging System about a shooting or robbery near campus. Although I feel as if our campus is a safe haven, this is not always the case.

On July 8, 2011 two men were arrested for numerous accounts of armed robberies on the LSU Lakes.The robbers were stealing the joggers valuables and cellphones.

Personally, I had a friend who was walking on state street at 8 a.m. to class. A man in a white van jumped out of his vehicle and stole his expensive smartphone. Although the man was later found, my friend was scared to walk to class due to the robbery.

Just a few months ago, a man was found dead in a ditch by Tigerland. Although Tigerland has a distasteful reputation, the man who was found actually lived in the apartments nearby. His girlfriend claims he was simply walking to the gas station to get a coke. Police believe it was a gang-initiation taking place that night.

Rape crimes against women have taken place around LSU apartments on Stanford Avenue and Lee Drive. My lovable boyfriend, Joseph Groner, lived at OneLakeShore Place, where one of the rapes occurred.

“It is such a quite and peaceful place to live. I’ve never had any problems with my complex, until then.”

Although some of these crimes have occurred near and on LSU’s campus, It makes me feel uncomfortable and frightened. Am I the next victim?

Although the LSU Emergency Text Messaging System is a great way to keep students alert about the issues that arise near and on LSU’s campus, I believe the University PR should play a role of speaking out about LSU’s image.

I believe our PR needs to show LSU in a brighter light. Instead, it seems as if they are unresponsive toward the rapes, armed robberies and deaths that surround us. As a student, I definitely want to know that my campus will do everything it can to provide a safe place to live and learn. Instead, people are scared of State Street and the LSU lakes at night.

For more about me, check out my other social media pages!

Social Media and The Trayvon Martin Case

It seems like the media can greatly influence the thoughts of murder cases through social media outlets. Every day, the media can shape our thought process in ways we never thought about. Have you ever seen a coca-cola commercial and realized you were suddenly thirsty? The media can even shape our opinion on buying the latest or newest gadget around town. I’m sure you’ve said to yourself, “Doesn’t the new Ipad commercial look amazing?! I need to get one now!” If any of these events has happened to you, then your mind has been shaped by the media that surrounds us.

More recently, the media has had a frenzy with the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

The case occurred in Sanford, Fla. when George Zimmerman was a part of a neighborhood watch team. A 17 year old African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin, was holding a bag of skittles and an iced tea when he was shot by Zimmerman for being “suspicious.” The first image I saw of Trayvon showed him as a loving, young and polite boy. However, other images of Trayvon have surfaced the internet. Does this more recent image of Treyvon make him seem more dangerous in your opinion?

George Zimmerman believed that  Trayvon was a threat to the neighborhood. Others would disagree. In the midst of this debate a Florida law gives a potential “victim” the right to:

  1. Stand their ground and not retreat even if such retreat is possible. Most states demand that you first take advantage of a retreat strategy if that is possible before using deadly force.
  2. Use deadly force if they believe they are being attacked or about to be attacked.

This trial is a very heartbreaking and extensive case as new sources and reports are making it to the surface.

From recent news, a source claimed that Zimmerman was being attacked by Trayvon, which caused Zimmerman to fire his gun. However, video surveillance taken from the police station show Zimmerman’s face, unharmed without any scratches.

Although the 911 tapes have not been released, some claim Zimmerman made a racial slur to the dispatch regarding Trayvon.

It’s quite possible that the media is not releasing everything there is to say or see from this trial. Was this an act of racial violence, or an act of self-protection? The media is very capable of keeping a story one-sided throughout a case like this. All we can do is hope that the case will be settled soon and that the families of Zimmerman and Trayvon will find peace and justice.

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Baton Rouge goes crazy for flicks!

In national movie news, The New York Times best seller trilogy, ‘The Hunger Games“, by Suzanne Collins is finally coming to a theater near you on March 23. 2012.

The PR team for the opening release has been fantastic in my opinion. New and exclusive clips appear on afternoon television shows such as Ellen and E!News , which keeps the viewers at the edge of their seat.

In Louisiana news, Tom cruise is filming a sci-fi movie at Celtic Media Center titled “Horizons”. The movie is set in future where the earth is polluted and destroyed. Tom cruise plays a soldier who is sent on a deadly mission to battle mysterious inhabitants. The film originally began as an original comic book idea, but to Kosinski’s surprise it would make for a great movie script. The director of the film, Joseph Kosinski, also directed the Disney action flick, Tron: Legacy.

Leonardo DiCaprio is currently living in The Warehouse District in New Orleans to star in his upcoming film “Django Unchained“. The film is written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The movie plot summary deals with a reed slave named Django who assists a German bounty hunter in exchange for help getting revenge on the Plantation owner who has kidnapped his wife. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx are some of the other actors staring in the film. The film will wrap up in New Orleans in June 2012.

Film New Orleans Director Katie Williams said, “This is a high-profile project with great talent and an acclaimed director. Films of this caliber have a powerful impact on our local economy, and reflect the confidence of producers and studios who continue to choose New Orleans as a filming destination. ‘Django Unchained’ is just one of the many high profile projects we expect to film in New Orleans next year.”

I believe the new movie opportunities in Louisiana will bring a lot of attention to our wonderful state. Tourists will begin to realize that we are more than what “Swamp People” portrays. More movies are being filmed in Louisiana due to our cheaper film taxes. Movies such as “Twilight” and “Battleship” were some of the popular movies that were filmed in our state over the past few years.

Besides our very unique culture, Louisiana could use the recent spur of filmings to our advantage. By doing so, we will captivate tourists who are passionate about movies.

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Snooki’s Pregnancy and The Game’s Distasteful Controversy.

It seems as if Nicole Polizzi (Snooki) is the talk of the town nowadays. Snooki is well-known for her crazy antics on the MTV show, “Jersey Shore”. The show contains multiple drunken mishaps and random strangers hooking up, while the cast lives a care-free party life.

Although Snooki was approached by reporters on the topic of her being pregnant, she denied the rumor. Eventually, news came out that her boyfriend, Jionni LaValle, would become a father for the first time.

All hell broke loose, and a few jokes from some brave comedians started to appear.

Zach Braff tweeted: (March 1): ”Snooki is pregnant. I hope that fetus enjoys Jaegermeister.”

It was rumored that Snooki and her Jersey Shore roommate, Jenni Farley, were scheduled to start a spin-off show of the Jersey Shore titled “Snooki and JWoww vs. The World.” Rumors have questioned the pregnancy as a tool to boost the television shows ratings.

It’s obvious no one is taking this pregnancy seriously because of Snooki’s outrageous behavior during filming of the Jersey Shore. If i were a part of her PR team, I would want Nicole to give the interviewers a positive and “new” Snooki who is clean (alcohol wise), and will cut down on the partying significantly. The world needs to see that Nicole is ready to take being a mother seriously.

On another note, California rapper, The Game, caused a disgusting controversy at one of his concerts in Australia.

In the video, The Game pulled a woman up on stage and he wanted he continuously asked the woman to expose her breasts in front of the crowd. When the girl refused many times, one of the band members started to grope the woman on stage. Once again, she refused and the rapper pushed the woman off the stage.

After the controversy hit the news, The Game reported to his twitter and said:

“n—— be givin these hoes too much power”

The Game is also facing charges for spitting on his female fans during his concert at a club in Australia.

I’m not sure if The Game has a PR rep (if he does, then they have been unresponsive towards the mess), but he can forget about a woman representing him as a client and getting him out of this HUGE mistake. I could never represent a client that is so disrespectful toward women, but it seems as if the rapper needs a PR team to keep his distasteful actions into place.

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PR nightmare at the 2012 Oscars and Grammys

Who doesn’t love watching some of the most famous celebrities walking the red carpet and performing live for millions of viewers on television?

On February 26 2012, the 86th Annual Oscars was held at the Kodak theatre. Sacha Baron Cohen is a British comedian/actor that is known for taking his act just a little too far. While walking the red carpet, Cohen dressed up as his character for his new movie, The Dictator, and “spilled” the ashes of Kim Jong II over Ryan Seacrest’s expensive tuxedo. However, the ashes turned out to be Bisquik pancake mix.

Sacha Baron Cohen is The Dictator

Although Cohen was immediately thrown out of the red carpet event, Seacrest kept his cool on camera. From a PR standpoint, Cohen was desperately trying to promote his new movie and stir up a good laugh. Personally, I thought the publicity stunt was harmless and all in good fun. To be honest, Seacrest had to have known that he was up to no good–I would advise Seacrest to stay away from interviewing him again.

At the 2012 Grammys, Chris Brown was allowed to perform twice on stage, and he even won a Grammy for best R&B album. Although Brown is a very talented individual, a lot of celebrities disliked the idea that he was allowed to perform after his physically abusive encounter with singer/pop star, Rhianna three years ago.

Seth Rogan made a joke about the singer being allowed to perform at the Grammys: “You say a few hateful things, they don’t let you within a few hundred yards of the Oscars,” Rogen said. “You can literally beat the s— out of a nominee and they’ll ask you to perform twice at the Grammys.”

After Brown won the Grammy, he turned to twitter and posted: “HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That’s the ultimate f— OFF!”

His tweet was eventually deleted by his PR staff later that day, but the damage had been done. Brown added fuel to the fire when he immaturely posted a tweet about his win for all twitter followers to see. In my opinion, his tweet should have looked something like:

“I am blessed to have won a Grammy this year. I hope America will give me a second chance so I can become a new man. Thank you for all of my fans who have continued to support me.”

Although Brown’s PR staff can work with him to improve his image to the public, Brown seems stubborn and unwillingly to do so. If that is the case, it would be best for his PR staff to move on from a client who does not want help and find another client to work with.

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Non-profit Project!

Hello, My name is Brooke Hidalgo and I am a junior attending Louisiana State University.

My group and I have been assigned to complete a project working alongside with SCVNGR to help bring awareness to local non-profits within the area. We have decided to work with an outdoor organization for our project. Originally, I wanted to work with animal non-profit organizations, however it seemed easier to work with a well-known organization with lots of activities and facilities that have already been established. I was excited to be able to choose our own non-profit because it brings us closer to those who are less fortunate than us. My role in our big project is the “Strategy Director”. This means I am responsible for developing unique advertisements for our non-profit, while also communicating effectively to my group and the organization.

To put it simply, SCVNGR is a gaming application for your smart phone that actively engages you with the application. Users of SCVNGR can “check-in” around areas in Baton Rouge and compete challenges at those locations. By doing these challenges, you can receive special rewards from the companies. This gaming application is very different from foursquare because you are actively receiving points and prizes for completing challenges. SCVNGR can ultimately help jump start an organization while also bringing new customers in.

If our plan to work along with our first organization fails, we have chosen to work with the non-profit, Yelp. I personally have a special place in my heart for this organization because back in the summer of 2011, I adopted a precious puppy. Yelp takes adoptable dogs from kill shelters and shelters them until the dogs can find their forever home. Yelp currently posts pictures of adoptable animals on their facebook page…you just can’t resist those puppy eyes!

As a future career, I would love to work with animal abuse associations to put an end to animal abuse through out the nation. I believe this project will jump start my career because I will have hands on experience working with another outdoor organization. I believe PR specialists can spread the word of organizations in a clear and professional manner (although sadly, this is not always the case). It is important for my generation to understand the social media and how it works, especially in my future job profession. I look forward to learning more about SCVNGR and being a part of a team that cares about bettering our local organizations.