Fundraising Tips

We’ve run over 2000 silent auction events. Let us share what we’ve learned with you!



What is Periscope and how to use it?

Just when we thought that the world has exhausted the capacity for different types of social networks, Periscope appeared in March this year.

But what is Periscope?

Quite simply, it is a way of online streaming video over the Internet so that anyone can watch, even to interact with it. Touch the screen up to 500 taps per session, which generates colorful hearts are worn to video. You can also interact by writing questions or comments in the text box.

To become part of this new social media revolution here is all you need to do:

1) Download the free app from the App Store or Google Play for Android

2) Twitter login to your account, then you will be able to see your friends on Twitter, already registered in the Periscope.

3) Click the icon at the bottom of the screen to start the live broadcast. When you are ready to transmit, press the red “Start Broadcast” button and you’re live!

To contact the front camera rear camera, just double-tap the screen. You will see when the comments appear on the screen while broadcast, and you will see how many people are currently watching the live broadcasting.


Opportunities and Potential

When posting its first event, the world is filled with possibilities.
This article is for those who are looking for ways to promote its Periscope and increase their visibility.

Live Stream Your Fundraising Event
With Periscope you could easily broadcast your charity event or at least give people a sneak peak of what they are missing. You can stream live any important speeches or fun things that are happening throughout the event. Make sure to use your event # or any other #’s that are appropriate.

Questions & Answers Nonprofits Supporters Have
Added option for commenting from users, and viewing of recorded video comments appear in the right places. There is also a rating system in which users send virtual hearts to transmitting video. You could easily communicate with your beneficiaries or potential donor by providing information regarding new initiative. Based on their reactions a broadcast could be modified.

Event Interviews
Perhaps one of the most exciting and anticipated events of the year is the presentation of the new program or fundraising event you just have started. How great would it be to have a correspondent at your next celebration, benefit, fundraiser or conference that’s in charge of showing viewers around and chatting with honorees and guests? It’s a fantastic way to share these exclusive events with your community.

Need a quick feedback on your new project? Have an idea that you would like feedback on? This is a great way to share and get feedback.

Want to share some exciting news? New service you just started or received a grant? Give the audience an idea about what you are working on. If you have highlights from past or future stories, it is possible to do a “strip” with the presentation of them. If not, excited future viewers with a video explaining what will cover in your project or new initiative, but do not overdo it with information.

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Corporate Donation List 2015

Are you looking for donation items for your upcoming fundraising event? Hoping to provide more choices for your silent auction to increase revenue? There are companies all over the world that can donate items for your next fundraising event. From restaurants to airlines, major companies have programs where you can apply to request donation items. Get access to our 2015 Corporate Donation List!

Corporate Donation List 2015

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10 Blogging Ideas for your Nonprofit

10 Blogging Ideas for your Nonprofit (1)

It is often difficult for people who are into nonprofit blogging to generate ideas for their blog posts. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Promote upcoming events – Provide the details of interesting upcoming events, and highlight their interesting aspects like musical performances, high-profile speakers, and raffle giveaways.

2. Answer questions – You can start with Quora- it is a mine of blog post ideas. Here people ask questions, and anybody from the community can answer them. It is a knowledge base, just like Wikipedia, with an added advantage of being interactive! Notice what kind of questions people are asking and answer them through blog posts. This ensures that you are writing something that intrigues people. You can also follow Top 10 Non-Profit Bloggers and get ideas from their topics.

3. Recap a speaking event – Share videos, audios, important takeaways, and transcripts of any events that took place recently. All those who couldn’t attend it will definitely look for it!

4. Press Release – To share a new announcement, posting a press release is the quickest and the easiest solution that you can accomplish through nonprofit blogging.

5. Use the Google Keyword Research Tool – You can find some great topics using the Google Keyword Research Tool. If you search for some word, its shows related keywords that people are searching for.

6. Promote your members – It is a good retention strategy to share the success stories of your members. You may instead simply introduce the new members.

7. Teach ‘how to’ do something – The audience loves “How to” posts. Decide a genre related to your target audience, and write a blog relevant to it.

8. Interviews – The easiest way to generate content for a blog is to publish interview transcripts. You won’t have to make much effort in it, just add a few starting and concluding lines. You may interview your staff members, partners, volunteers, donors or anybody who might have something important to discuss.

9. Tell about your fundraising or advocacy goals – Let your readers know how much money your organization hopes to raise, and what the plans are after you have the money.

10. Run a contest – You want more & more people to be active with your blog? Offer a prize! Mention it on your blog that the readers stand a chance to enter into a draw, by doing some particular activity on your blog.

Do not consider blogging a heavy task that you need to accomplish for your nonprofit; simply follow these tips and source relevant content for your nonprofit blog.

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GestureTV: TOMS Shoes

social good

Featured Charity: TOMS Shoes

Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One®, a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased.

A simple idea has grown into a global movement: TOMS Shoes has provided over 35 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006, TOMS Eyewear has restored sight to over 275,000 since 2011 and TOMS Roasting Company has helped provide over 67,000 weeks of safe water since launching in 2014. In 2015, TOMS Bag Collection was founded with the mission to help provide training for skilled birth attendants and distribute birth kits containing items that help a woman safely deliver her baby.

TOMS humble beginnings happened unintentionally. While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: to create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake’s vision soon turned into the simple business idea that provided the powerful foundation for TOMS.

Over the course of its first five years, TOMS was successful enough in providing shoes for children in need. But Blake, having recognized other vital needs during his travels around the world, realized that One for One® could be applied to more than shoes. He developed the idea for TOMS Eyewear in which for every pair of eyewear purchased, TOMS would help give sight to a person in need. One for One®. In the fall of 2011, Blake released his first book, Start Something That Matters, offering his own amazing story of inspiration, and the power of incorporating giving in business. He references other companies and individuals who have been motivated and inspired to integrate philanthropy into their profession as well as their personal lives. The book became a New York Times best-seller. More importantly, it is Blake’s hope that Start Something That Matters inspires others to turn their passion and dreams into a reality.

From shoes to eyewear and now a book, Blake’s unique approach to business has awarded him with numerous accolades. In 2009, Blake and TOMS received the Secretary of State’s 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). At the Clinton Global Initiative University plenary session, former President Clinton introduced Blake to the audience as “one of the most interesting entrepreneurs (I’ve) ever met.” People Magazine featured Blake in its “Heroes Among Us” section, and TOMS Shoes was featured in the Bill Gates Time Magazine article “How to Fix Capitalism.” In 2011, Blake was named on Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world.

Before TOMS, Blake, a native of Texas who always had an entrepreneurial spirit, started five businesses. His first was a successful campus laundry service, which he later sold. Between business ventures, Blake competed in the CBS primetime series, The Amazing Race. With his sister, Paige, Blake traveled the world and came within minutes of winning the $1 million dollar grand prize. Blake is an avid reader and traveler. He is passionate about inspiring young people to help make tomorrow better, encouraging them to include giving in everything they do. His hope is to see a future full of social-minded businesses and consumers.

With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One.

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Upcoming Marketing Conferences that Nonprofit Professionals Should Attend in 2015


Alliance Management Institute Conference (Jan 4 – 7, Salt Lake City, UT)

Nonprofit Governance Symposium (Jan 8 – 10, San Diego, CA)

NYSSCPA Annual Nonprofit Conference (Jan 15, New York, NY)

Social Good Tech Week (Jan 27 – Feb 1, San Francisco, CA)

Nonprofit Resource Center Annual Conference (Jan 28)


Email Evolution Conference (Feb 2 – 4, Miami, FL)

Social Media Strategies Summit (Feb 10 – 12, Las Vegas, NV)

IMPACT Conference (Feb 19 – 22, Los Angeles, CA)

frank (Feb 25 – 27, Gainesville, FL)

Social Capital (Feb 25 – 26, Alexandria, VA)

Monumental Fundraising Conference (Feb 26 – 27, Washington, DC)


Analytics with Purpose: Insights, Inspiration, & Action (Mar 1 – 3, San Diego, CA)

NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference (Mar 4 – 6, Austin, TX)

Forum on Nonprofit Effectiveness (Mar 6, Tucson, AZ)

SXSW (Mar 13 – 22, Austin, TX)

Washington Nonprofit Legal & Tax Conference (Mar 18 – 20, Washington, DC)

NCRC Annual Conference (Mar 25 – 28, Washington, DC)

All Sports United Charlotte NC Sports Philanthropy Workshop (March 26, Charlotte, NC )

AFP International Fundraising Conference (Mar 29 – 31, Baltimore, MD)


Nonprofit Capacity Conference (Apr 2, Crystal City, VA)

Personal Democracy Forum (Apr 16 – 17, Warsaw, Poland)

World Social Marketing Conference (Apr 19 – 21, Sydney, Australia)

Conference on Diverse Philanthropy and Leadership (Apr 23 – 25, Atlanta, GA)

YTH Live (Apr 26 – 28, San Francisco, CA)

DIGIMARCON CRUISE (Apr 26 – May 3, Orlando, FL)


DIGIMARCON EAST (May 13 – 14, Washington, DC)

Women’s Philanthropy Program (May 18 – 19, Indianapolis, IN)

DIGIMARCON WEST (May 27 – 28, Los Angeles, CA)


CASE Annual Conference for Donor Relations Professionals (June 3 – 5, Providence, RI)

AMA Marketing and Public Policy Conference (June 4 – 6, Washington, DC)

2015 Fundraising Day in New York (Jun 12, New York, NY)

AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference (June 15 – 17, National Harbor, MD)

16th Annual Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers (June 22, Chicago, IL)


Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference (July 7 – 9, National Harbor, MD)

AMA Nonprofit Marketing Conference (July 13 – 15, Washington, DC)


DMA New York Nonprofit Conference – details TBA (Aug 4 – 5, New York, NY)

All Sports United Sports Philanthropy New York City Workshop (Aug 5, New York, NY)

Summer Marketing Educators’ Conference (Aug 14 – 16, Chicago, IL)


2015 Nonprofit Management Institute – details TBA (Sept 9 – 10, Stanford, CA)

Leading Change Summit (Sept 13 – 15, Washington, DC)


Opportunity Collaboration Conference (Oct 11 – 16, Ixtapa, Mexico)

Independent Sector National Conference (Oct 27 – 29, Miami, FL)

TechNow Conference – details TBA (Oct 29, Cranberry, PA)


Boardsource Leadership Forum – details TBA (Nov 9 – 10, New Orleans, LA)

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Top 10 Non-Profit Bloggers


A recent study by the University of Massachusetts revealed that the category with the highest percentage of active blogs is none other than the nonprofits. People now see social media and blogs as the most vital medium to communicate regarding non-profits as they are cost effective and have the widest reach than any other way to connect emotionally with the public. Are you wondering how do they do it? And who are the best non-profit bloggers in the world? Well, here is a list of the ‘Top-10 non-profit bloggers’, who according to us are doing a great job engaging the audience and offering excellent content.

1. Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog – The contributors Amy Sample Ward, Sean Stannard, and Peter Sims highlight the leaders, practitioners & innovative funders on and make sure that their followers are up-to-date with the major issues of the third sector.

2. Beth Kantor – Undoubtedly the most popular of all, Beth Kantor’s blog is the ideal blog for getting enlightening ideas, nonprofit fitness checks, and clever nudge towards zenith. The blog is full of resources and links to scholarly studies and other references that one must know about.

3. Kivi Leroux Miller – Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog gives useful insights on the relevant nonprofit marketing research. – Kivi Leroux Miller on her blog.

4. Marc A. Pitman is a master fundraiser. He knows the perfect strategy of marketing and promoting on social media. The author of ‘Ask without fear’ and the founder of will definitely aid you in finding the solutions to non-profits!

5. Chronicle of Philanthropy – Okay so Chronicle of Philanthropy is a site that is a host to several blogs. Some of these are on prospecting, international philanthropy, candid conversations regarding nonprofit boards & social media for nonprofits.

6. Mark Phillips founder of Queer Ideas The blog perfectly matches up its tagline ‘A bloody good fundraising blog’. You can expand your mind with the help of interesting and intelligent observations.

7. Alison Fine A Fine Blog– The blog’s author is Alison Fine, and is co-authored by Beth Kanter. This blog provides commentaries on videos, campaigns, articles and collateral on networking, fundraising, and social media. What more! You can find the links to Allison’s podcast interviews for the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

8. Nonprofit Tech for Good With 100,000 monthly visitors and more than one million followers on social networks, Nonprofit Tech for Good is a leading social and mobile media resource for nonprofit professionals. Created and managed by Heather Mansfield, Nonprofit Tech for Good focuses on providing valuable, easy-to-understand information, news, and resources related to nonprofit technology, online communications, and mobile and social fundraising.

9. Lucy Bernholz is the The author of She approaches the nonprofits as a 3rd business sector, and very often you can find her interviewing some big sector leader.

10. John Haydon is a digital marketing expert for nonprofits & charities. The list of his accomplishments goes endless and one can learn a lot from his journey and experiences.

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How to Start a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization


How to start a 501c3 nonprofit organization
If you have ever wanted to start your own nonprofit organization to start raising funds were providing an impact in your local community, it’s important to know the appropriate steps to make a legal nonprofit ensuring that your organization can succeed under the eyes of the law. Filing an official status requires real-time and organization but by following these tips you can start up your own 501c3 nonprofit organization that’s fully prepared.

1. Determine your cause and a name: This is a challenging part of starting a nonprofit but it’s very important that you choose a definitive cause or select exactly the type of service that you will be providing as an official nonprofit. After you have definitively outlined the type of service you will provide as a nonprofit you will need to come up with a marketable name and apply for your name with the states corporations division. Make sure to pick an original name as if your name is available you won’t be able to apply or file for articles of incorporation. Once you have determined the name that you can use you may have to pay a small fee in order to reserve the name for use.

2. Outline your mission statement and goals: Aligning a mission statement and goals is necessary to finding investors and establishing long-term goals for your employees and volunteers. Spend time working on your mission statement and make sure that it’s compelling so that you can use it in all of your PR material and advertising.

3. Work with an attorney to file all of the articles of incorporation: You will need an official attorney to help you with the paperwork from this step forward. It’s always best to look for an attorney that has some type of 501c3 experience. You can usually look for attorneys with this type of experience through the better business bureau or the State Bar Association. Don’t be afraid to ask other nonprofits for help in finding an attorney too.

4. File paperwork and establish financials: You will need to file incorporation statements, official statements with the IRS and several other legal forms which are outlined by your attorney before you can begin any type of official actions as a nonprofit. A federal employer identification number is a must. Once the paperwork has been approved and filed you can start to find financial donations. Sorting through all of these donations and establishing a budget may require the use of a CPA who has experience with nonprofits as well.

5. Board of Directors: From here you can establish a board of directors as well as look into various tax credits and breaks that your nonprofit organization may qualify for. During this stage you will want to hire professionals to help your nonprofit run more smoothly and begin to start creating change and accomplishing your goals.

For more information visit:

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5 Tips For a Successful Donation Appeal

Every charity fundraiser should include a donation appeal, also known as a raise the paddle, a direct donation, or Fund-A-Need. This is the moment for each and every guest to feel they have been a part of the cause. The donation appeal is the opportunity to give a donation of any dollar amount to the charity. It takes very little work on the part of the charity, but for this fundraising technique to bring in the most donations, there are 5 golden rules to consider.

1. Appeal to the heart, not the head

According to a recent study, conducted by Wharton School of Business, if organizations want to raise money for a charitable cause, it is far better to appeal to the heart than to the head. To put it another way, feelings, not analytical thinking, drive donations.
A heart appeal looks like this: Any money that you donate will go to Rokia, a seven-year-old girl who lives in Mali in Africa. Rokia is desperately poor and faces a threat of severe hunger, even starvation. Her life will be changed for the better as a result of your financial gift. With your support, and the support of other caring sponsors, Save the Children will work with Rokia’s family and other members of the community to help feed and educate her, and provide her with basic medical care.
A head appeal would be more like this: Food shortages in Malawi are affecting more than three million children. In Zambia, severe rainfall deficits have resulted in a 42% drop in maize production from 2000. As a result, an estimated three million Zambians face hunger. Four million Angolans — one-third of the population — have been forced to flee their homes. More than 11 million people in Ethiopia need immediate food assistance.

2. Provide a private option

When attending a charity event, guests are drawn to the cause, and invariably want the opportunity to participate by making a donation. Problems arise when the guy sitting next to you raises his hand and makes a $10,000 donation, when all you have to give is $50. The charity wants all donations regardless of size. Providing a private option allows each guest to donate the amount they are comfortable giving, without the entire audience knowing the amount donated. This can be easily facilitated using a mobile bidding platform that can send a text to the guests to guide them to the donation page on a mobile device.

3. Strive for 100% participation

It is important to know what your audience is capable of giving and providing donation amounts that suit your audience. For example, a benefit that is celebrating inner city students that are awarded scholarships for college may attract an audience that has less ability to give. Having the opportunity to give as little as $5 may be the right amount for some of the guests. You will have a satisfied and gratified audience if everyone is able to participate.

4. Have a professional lead the call

The biggest mistake that charities make is asking an inexperienced board member, executive director or even a celebrity to do the ask for donation. Unless this individual is experienced in this type of ask, it can be devastating to the effectiveness of the appeal. A professional auctioneer or associated individual who knows how to address the audience is crucial for the donations be plentiful. If there is confusion amongst the guests as to how or when to donate, they simply won’t donate and the charity will miss the opportunity.

5. Use your time wisely

Giving to a cause at a charity event is the primary purpose for guests to attend this type of event. However, this doesn’t mean that they want to spend half of their evening listening to an auctioneer or master of ceremonies asking for them to open their wallet. Most guests appreciate a quick and effective call to action. A donation appeal that calls for 8 – 12 donation levels with an auctioneer calling out the bidder numbers of all the donations at the various levels is time consuming, cumbersome and, quite frankly, boring. It is much better to allow any high donations to be highlighted (if the donors wants the recognition) then let the rest of the donations be made electronically via the guest’s mobile device. This will take a fraction of the time. Additionally, since all donations are added electronically, a tally of all donations made can be easily determined. If desired, the charity can share this total with the audience and there can be a feeling of fulfillment to cap off a successful event.

Interested in increasing revenue at your next fundraising event in the California? Contact the Gesture Team at or call 888.748.2323

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Use mobile bidding at your next golf charity event


To generate the most money from the event, many charity tournaments rely heavily on the après-golf silent auction. Gesture not only organizes your auction, catalogues the items and gets out the word to attendees; it also has a track record of at least doubling the event revenue of its charity partners.

Gesture accomplishes this by employing cutting-edge auction tips and ideas, such as pre-event bidding, a televised fundraising thermometer and real-time text alerts when and if you’re outbid.

Appropriately enough, Gesture’s functionality is as simple as A-B-C. Before or during registration, guests provide their cell numbers and receive easy instructions from onsite Gesture representatives on how to bid with their smartphones. Non-users get personal assistants.

The process eliminates those bid sheets and the competition and resentment they often cause among participants. Participants bid and instantly receive updates.

The flawless and fast checkout process typically completes all transactions and prints receipts within 15 minutes of the auction’s close.

Within 48 hours, Gesture provides a detailed report that serves as a robust and invaluable database of names, numbers, emails and information on who did the least and most bidding, which items received the fewest, most and highest bids, etc.

Interested in Mobile Bidding and Silent Auction in your area? Contact or call us at 888.748.2323

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7 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy for a Nonprofit

Social media is a very powerful tool these days for spreading the message across a wider audience. Many people use social media to interact with their friends and also try to know people with similar interests. People spend so much time on social networking sites and it gives great opportunity to the nonprofit institutions to communicate there. Here, we discuss seven really effective steps that will help nonprofit organizations to create impactful social media strategy.

Get access to our Nonprofit Social Media Strategy!

7 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy for a Nonprofit

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Social Media Nonprofit Marketing

Social media is a very powerful tool these days for spreading the message across a wider audience. Many people use social media to interact with their friends and also try to know people with similar interests. People spend so much time on social networking sites and it gives great opportunity to the nonprofit institutions to communicate there. Here, we discuss seven really effective steps that will help nonprofit organizations to create impactful social media strategy.

1) Define Your Social Media Goals
No effort is fruitful till the time we have a goal in mind. So, before proceeding, it is very important to decide on the goal which is to be achieved by the nonprofit institutions by making use of the social media. If the goal is set, the journey to reach that goal can be planned accordingly.

2) Research Your Current Market
A good research of the current market is required so that the social media strategy can be decided consequently. Unless the market is known, the strategy cannot be effectively implemented. To achieve the goal, efficient planning of the strategy is very important. Get an idea about the market, so that you can go ahead.

3) Content is King
The visuals like images or videos attract the attention initially but the content quality helps to attract the audience and impress them. Just a hype without quality is of no use. The audience of the present world is very wise and hence pays a lot of attention towards the content which is published on the social media regarding the nonprofit institutions. If it’s not great, the goal will not be achieved.

4) Create a Marketing Calendar
It is essential to decide when the strategy is to be implemented. A marketing calendar helps in organizing all the tasks which are a part of the strategy.

5)Get Social
Unless you get social and know the audience, it will not be easy to go ahead with the social media strategy. So, get to know the social media which you will use and get involved.

6) Connect Face-to-Face
Try to connect with the audience face to face so that they believe in what you represent in your strategy. Connection with the people in the market is very crucial for a successful journey.
7) Track and Measure
Once the strategy is implemented, it is important to track the progress with time so as to get an idea whether we are moving towards the goal or driving away from it.

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5 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Social Media to STAND OUT

social media nonprofits

Growing a social media presence generally takes time and we all know that time is a precious commodity that is in short supply in the nonprofit world.

Below are 5 ways nonprofits can use social media to help their organization stand out:

1 Share Stories
A majority of non-profit organizations have a rich and long history. You should post pictures and videos going back in time, dig from your archives. The history keeps fans engaged in your activities and proves your dedication to the organization and its cause. This aspect will help you get the message you want across to so many fans.

2 Donation Features
Thanks to the Donate Now button, instead of forcing users off Facebook and away from their friends, nonprofit’s can now accept donations in a pop-up window right on Facebook. Users can choose how much they want to give and either enter payment details or use ones already stored with Facebook. The pop-up can boost conversion rates and get more funds to needy projects.

3 Share Testimonials
Why not transfer client’s testimonials to your Facebook Page and bring the spotlight of your newsletter to a wider audience. More people will read the newsletter and you have the opportunity to bring across your messages.

4 Behind The Scenes
Post behind the camera footage of video and photos taken with a smart phone or camcorder showing how you, the directors, workers and volunteers come together to achieve your organization’s goal. Such behind the scenes footages will create personal relationships with fans and it becomes an easy task to get your mission across.

5 Use Video to Show off the Results
Believe us when we tell you donors always love to be updated about how the money they have donated is being used. Take videos and pictures of the things you have bought or services you have performed with the donated money. Always thank each and every fan for their contribution.

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Gesture Products

Make Hope Happen
is more than just a motto.

People want to act on what’s important to them, to contribute to the success of something that matters. But often the business of charity interferes with the experience of giving. Since 2011, we’ve partnered with organizations to capture each helping hand, each friendly smile, and each round of applause by turning inspiration into action.

Meet Our People

1,000+ Organizations have trusted Gesture nationwide

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