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Monthly Product Update: March 2021

In today’s edition of our regular Product Updates, we’re looking at the new security enhancements that our team has added to user accounts to help make them even more secure, as well as the new feature that we’ve added to encourage Fundraising Page creation. Plus, we’re sharing how our CRM and customer success teams have created an enhanced onboarding journey for JustGiving’s charity members.

Progress bar testing

As someone who works for a charity, it probably isn’t surprising to hear that not everyone who shows an interest in your cause goes on to fundraise online. And when it comes to setting up an online fundraiser on JustGiving, we can see that not everyone who starts the process, goes on to complete setting up a Fundraising Page. As a result, our product team have recently been testing a new, visual way to help people through the process by adding a progress bar feature.

To test the impact of the progress bar, the team carried out an AB test on people setting up a Fundraising Page on JustGiving:

Group A (the control group) No change in their page view, so they do not see the progress bar and have no clear indication as to how many steps are left in the creation process

Group B – See a progress bar at the top of each page of the Fundraising Page creation flow, knowing how far along in the process they are

In total, the test was applied to 31,000 people who started the process of creating a Fundraising Page.

The results indicated that Group B – those seeing the progress bar – were the most likely to finish creating a Fundraising Page! The progress bar is now going to be a permanent feature helping more people to start fundraising online for your cause.

Improved onboarding journey

We want to help all charities to make the most out of JustGiving, including understanding how to user their dedicated charity account to enhance supporter stewardship and raise more money for their cause. Recently joined JustGiving? Got a new joiner on your team that’s not used JustGiving before? Our CRM and customer success teams recently came together to completely re-think how we can best help charity professionals that are new to JustGiving. The result? A new and improved onboarding programme, transforming the original three-email journey into 13 new, comprehensive emails!

The new emails, cover three important aspects of being a JustGiving member.

1) Set up: The new emails will support you in setting up your account, knowing how to navigate through your account and build custom reporting templates, and feel confident in launching new campaigns or appeals.

2) Getting the most from your account: If we notice that your supporter activity has changed then we’re on hand to give you advice and tips for engaging your audience. We’ve also created new emails that keep you up to date with the latest JustGiving features and how to use them.

3) Celebrating your success: From your first Fundraising Page, to your donations growing each month, it’s important to celebrate your big milestones. Our new celebration emails help you to know when your charity is performing well on JustGiving and gives you the recognition you deserve for doing an incredible job!

The improvements don’t stop there! The new onboarding emails also take into consideration whether your charity is completely new to using JustGiving, or whether you are a new user that has been added to an existing charity account. We believe in the work that charities are doing, and we want to be on hand every step of the way to help you raise money and do more good.

Account security enhancements

You may not know this, but we have our own specialised, in-house security team who work hard to keep your account safe and secure. We’re currently working on several new security features that will be added to accounts very shortly (keep your eyes peeled for next month’s Product Update blog…), but in the meantime we want to tell you about our new account password enhancements, including:

  • Increased password complexity to further protect user accounts for both charity and supporter user accounts. For example, users must know create passwords that are a minimum for 12 characters
  • Log in throttling to prevent brute force attacks. This essentially means stronger policing on repeated failed log in attempts, stopping people from trying to access your account when they don’t own the email address
  • A new password history feature to prevent repeated use of old passwords.

Tell us your ideas and feedback

As always, we like to end our Monthly Product Update blogs by telling you about the JustGiving Ideas Bank. All of the product updates, innovations and new launches are done with YOU in mind, so please do share your ideas and platform feedback with us! Tell us what you’d love to see on JustGiving by using our Ideas Bank.

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Candid launches ‘U.S. social sector’ dashboard | Philanthropy news

Candid has launched a U.S. Social Sector Dashboard, a free resource designed to “demystify” the sector by providing data on its scope, constraints, and potential.

Developed with funding from Amazon Web Services and Vanguard Charitable, the dashboard offers key data and insights about the makeup and impact of civil society, including previously unreleased statistics on the racial composition of leaders and funding flows to charities. According to the dashboard, the social sector, which employs 12.5 million people, comprises more than 1.81 million nonprofit organizations: 501(c)(3) charitable organizations (80 percent), which include public charities (73 percent) and private or community foundations (7 percent); 501(c)(4) advocacy and social welfare groups (4 percent); 501(c)(6) business associations (4 percent); 501(c)(7) social and recreation clubs (3 percent); labor unions and other 501(c)(5) groups (3 percent); and fraternal societies categorized as 501(c)(8) and 501(c)(10) organizations (2 percent).

According to the dashboard, religious organizations currently make up 18 percent of public charities, followed by those focused on human services (17 percent), community and economic development (15 percent), education (14 percent), sports and recreation (8 percent), arts and culture (7 percent), philanthropy and nonprofit management (7 percent), health (7 percent), and the environment and animal welfare (4 percent). In terms of funding flow, in 2018 public charities received $292 billion in contributions from individuals, $76 billion from foundations, $40 billion from bequests, and $20 billion from corporations; $174 billion in government support; and $1.6 trillion in earned income.

And among reporting nonprofits, 60 percent of CEOs identified as white, 10 percent as Black, 5 percent as Latinx, 3 percent as Asian/AAPI, 1 percent as Native American/Indigenous, 3 percent as multiracial/multiethnic, and 1 percent as additional ethnicities, while 17 percent did not disclose. Among board members, 66 percent were white, 15 percent Black, 7 percent Latinx, 5 percent Asian/AAPI, 1 percent Native American/Indigenous, 2 percent multiracial/multiethnic, and 0.4 percent additional ethnicities, while 4 percent did not disclose.

“Candid exists to get people the information they need about the social sector to do good. Many of our tools focus on one organization, one grant, or one issue at a time; that kind of focus can be critical for decision makers,” said Candid executive vice president Jacob Harold. “This new dashboard builds on that focus by offering a fuller picture of the social sector as a whole. We hope that this tool will help people build a better understanding of the nonprofit and philanthropic ecosystem and its central role in our society.”

(Photo credit: GettyImages/Prostock Studio)

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UW–Madison receives $20 million for Letters & Science building | Philanthropy news

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has announced a $20 million lead gift from brothers and alumni Jeff Levy (’72) and Marv Levy (’68, JD ’71) in support of a new academic building in the College of Letters & Science.

Construction on Irving and Dorothy Levy Hall, named for the parents of Jeff and Marv, is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2025. Once complete, the building will establish a unified home for the Department of History and nine other L&S academic departments, programs, and centers that currently are spread across eight facilities on campus. The five-story building will feature nineteen classrooms as well as a space where students can gather and interact informally with each other and their instructors to maximize collaboration.

The Levy brothers own and operate Phillips Distributing Corporation in Madison. Their commitment was contingent upon the Wisconsin state legislature and governor including the project in the 2021-23 state budget with $60 million in state support, which occurred earlier this year.

“We envision this vital new facility as a highly collaborative and state-of-the-art learning environment for all,” said College of Letters & Science dean Eric Wilcots. “We are immensely grateful to the Levy family for their support of this vision. Our students deserve classroom space that enhances interactive learning and engagement through cutting-edge technology. They also deserve a building that inspires, rather than intimidates. The Levy family’s gift will reverberate through future generations, touching many lives.”

“We are proud to help make this building a reality. We hope it will be a central educational location for the undergraduate experience at UW-Madison,” said Marv Levy. “Our hope is that by honoring our family legacy of charitable giving with this gift, we can offer to future generations some of the opportunity that the UW has provided us.”

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U.S. nonprofit sector uneven in impact and recovery, report finds | Philanthropy news

While nonprofits have contributed significantly to U.S. society and economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health of the sector is uneven in both impact and recovery, a new report from Independent Sector finds.

Based on aggregated survey and research data from multiple sources in four categories — financial resources, human capital, governance and trust, and public policy and advocacy — the second edition of the Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector (43 pages, PDF) found that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic varied by subsector and organization size, with arts organizations and those that rely on fees for service hit especially hard. Yet, even as 40 percent of nonprofits saw declines in total revenue and all subsectors except social services saw drops in gross output, the sector contributed 5.9 percent of GDP in 2020 — up 0.4 percentage points from 2019. And while 57 percent of nonprofits cut overall expenses, 64 percent suspended services, 44 percent reduced the number of programs or services, and 47 percent reported serving fewer people in 2020, Independent Sector’s Trust in Civil Society survey found that, as of early 2021, 57 percent of surveyed Americans had received nonprofit services and 84 percent expressed confidence in the ability of nonprofits to strengthen American society, up 3 percentage points from 2020.

According to the report, the sector’s advocacy efforts in 2020 helped secure notable federal resources that served as financial lifelines to nonprofits, particularly through the Paycheck Protection Program, payroll tax credits, and temporary universal charitable deduction. In addition, a study by Nonprofit VOTE found that voter engagement efforts helped reach underrepresented communities and narrow participation gaps.

The report outlines recommendations in each category to strengthen the sector, including prioritizing flexible funding, developing a shared understanding of equitable financing, promoting evidence-based practices to close workforce diversity and equity gaps, building capacity of virtual volunteering, improving the quality and depth of metrics for equity and “healthy” governance, improving digital access and literacy, and establishing public policy advocacy as a core competency of nonprofit management and governance.

“We have much to do to build the nation we, as changemakers, dream of becoming,” wrote Independent Sector president and CEO Dan Cardinali in the report’s foreword. “What can galvanize us to greater positive action? It’s that the everlasting human qualities of resilience, kindness, and collaborating for collective progress do not fade easily. They are within our grasp every day, giving all of us hope and confidence. The health of our nation is the sum of the richness and diversity of our members and sectors working together, elevating dignity, honoring our differences, and building for the common good.”

(Photo credit: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank)

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