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GuideStar Blog

Follow-up to Webinar Discussion with KIMBIA


Below is a follow-up to the questions submitted by participants during the November 9 GuideStar-hosted webinar, Giving Power: New Fundraising Tools.” To view or hear a live recording of the presentation, please click here.

Q: For what kinds (sizes) of organization is KIMBIA a good solution? Can small organizations deploy some of the fundraising strategies you discussed or is this mostly for large-scale organizations? Is there help from KIMBIA or others if we don’t have the resources to execute some of the larger campaigns?

These are great questions and we’ve grouped them together, because our answers are the same no matter the size of your organization. We have customers that span the entire spectrum, from start-ups to established national-class fundraisers. The KIMBIA platform is built with the understanding that you already know the best ways to reach donors and get them to participate in your cause. Therefore, the software you use should be flexible enough to allow for whatever fundraising idea inspires you. Good ideas will work no matter the size of the organization. In fact, smaller organizations have the most to gain from trying something new online. Many of the examples we showed in our Webinar were from groups without a long history of online fundraising, but who try something new and see dramatic gains.

Not only should the software allow for new ideas, but it should allow them to be done efficiently, with little to no cost to the organization. We work with our customers everyday by listening to their ideas and showing how they can be executed in KIMBIA today. The platform doesn’t force you to execute online fundraising strategies that we’ve deemed to be best practices. The only best practice we recognize is that which works best for you.

Of course, there are some more advanced applications where KIMBIA is integrated into very specific Web marketing programs. In those cases, we have people here to help provide services for special projects. Some of the Power Packs and Giving Event Solutions we offer are services packages where we work with you to build some of the most common, proven applications on KIMBIA. If you require help with a more extensive marketing/fundraising program that includes KIMBIA, we work with many partner firms who can consult, design and build a solution just for you.

Q: How important is it to modify content pages so each event or activity has a different look? Or, is it okay to give them the same look with new content and the same donation form?

This question goes to the heart of what we call “contextual giving.” Contextual giving works for two important reasons. 1) By placing a donation form on the same page as the content that is inspiring a gift, you make it substantively easier for a donor to execute their transaction. 2) By making the context of the form match the content of the page, there is less cognitive dissonance for the donor. This makes it more likely that the donor will have a better giving experience throughout the transaction process, and be more likely to give again in the future.

How you design your contextual forms is completely up to you, but we always want to encourage you to experiment. Editing the content of the forms (i.e. messaging, ask array, questions, & confirmation messages) is very easy to do in KIMBIA. You can try multiple messages for the same core form, or you can try many different forms on many different pages. Forms are free: build and use as many as it takes for you to find the fundraising formula that works best for you.

If you are interested in testing how different forms work compared to each other, we offer a site-review and A/B test service package to help analyze your fundraising performance and make recommendations to improve it.

Q: How do you communicate with third-party organizations to get them to include your donation form on your Web site? Do you find that third-party sites are reluctant to place donation forms on their site due to competition for dollars?

One of the great benefits of the KIMBIA system is the ability to place a fully secured donation form anywhere on the Web. There are several different strategies and methods for sharing forms that we’ve observed from our customers.

First, at the most basic level, every KIMBIA form has the option for you turn on sharing settings. When you do so, sharing links to popular social networks and an embed button appears at the bottom of the form. Clicking “embed this form” exposes a one line piece of KIMBIA code that can simply be copied and pasted directly in to any Web page or blog that accepts standard HTML. This is a completely viral method in that anyone who views the form has the ability to embed the form on a site of their own. Once embedded, your organization maintains complete and exclusive control over the content and functionality within the form. Any money processed through a form on a third-party site goes directly to you with no additional setup necessary.

The next sharing strategy that works extraordinarily well is one implemented by the community foundations that have deployed giving events on KIMBIA. (i.e. 2010 Challenge, and Nashville Flood Relief) In these cases, one organization stepped up to accept donations in a coordinated campaign on behalf of many other organizations. They used their leadership positions in their respective communities to publicize the donation widgets and inform participating NPOs and local media on how they could obtain them. Third-party sites were quick to take advantage of these tools because in the same amount of time it would take to post a link to another site, they could post a fully-functioning form and keep visitors on their own Web pages while still participating in a charitable effort.

Surely there are many other situations in which KIMBIA’s sharing functionality could be used to benefit your organization. Exactly how you decide to promote your embeddable forms is up to you. Third-party sharing may not be right in every fundraising situation, but having this unique functionality available to you opens up a world of strategic options previously thought impossible for online fundraising campaigns.

You may continue this discussion with KIMBIA by visiting or by emailing

Bob.jpgThe preceding is a guest post by Bob Ottenhoff,  Chief Executive of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. With an entrepreneurial spirit, strong technology focus, and a quest to make an impact in the world, Bob has the ability to take an organization and lead it into strong performance, sustainability, and industry leadership.

Topics: Events Webinars GuideStar