Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Consulting Firm Helping Non-Profits Weather the Financial Crisis

Upleaf.com, a new consulting firm, is helping non-profit organizations strengthen their fundraising efforts and social impact through strategic online communications. In the current financial crisis non-profits are being forced to accomplish more with fewer resources, and many are struggling to survive. New technologies and comprehensive online communication strategies offer creative cost-saving alternatives with tangible results.

The tanking economy has created tough times for many non-profit organizations. Individual donations are down, corporate contributions are decreasing, and many local and state government grants have been cut.

Homeless shelters and food programs are overflowing and many organizations are now unable to keep up with demand. According to a report recently released by the Giving USA Foundation, charitable giving in 2008 was down 2% marking the largest decline in over 50 years.

Given these challenges, some non-profits are turning to the Internet to engage new audiences and boost their revenues. Over $15 billion was given online to US non-profits in 2008, according to a Blackbaud analysis of Giving USA data. This marks a substantial increase over the estimated $6.9 billion given online in 2006. Furthermore, a 2008 survey entitled "The Wired Wealthy" found that 51% of wealthy individuals reported that they prefer to give via the Internet, and 46% intend to make more of their donations online in coming years.

Tapping into this vast network of potential donors via the Internet may become a saving grace for many non-profits. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy (May 2009), the total amount of money that major non-profit charities raised online in 2008 increased over the previous year, with 26% more revenue generated from 43% more individual donors.

Creative and well-orchestrated online fundraising strategies can save costs while offering high returns, and new technologies make implementing those strategies easier than ever. Mass emailing offers a timely and virtually free way to stay in touch with constituents. New dynamic content management systems offer an alternative to traditional websites, and enable organizations to engage new audiences and build loyalty over time. Constituent relationship management tools offer highly efficient ways to manage relationships, projects, and grants, in addition to saving costs and increasing social impact.

All of these tools are part of a strategic online communications package offered by Upleaf and tailored to the specific needs of non-profits.

"We created Upleaf.com to offer affordable and creative solutions for non-profits" explains co-founder of Upleaf Elizabeth Beachy, who worked in the non-profit sector for 12 years. "We want to help them reach their project objectives with fewer resources, by harnessing the power of new Internet-based technologies. Part of our approach focuses on training non-profit professionals to manage their own online strategies, which saves them money in both the short and long-term."

Upleaf is a communications firm dedicated to increasing the social impact of non-profit organizations through strategic online communications. Upleaf offers affordable, creative solutions, tailored to the needs of each client.

Upleaf's management team pools years of private-sector marketing and strategic business experience with extensive non-profit fundraising and strategic communications expertise. The team is also trilingual and can develop online strategies and tools in English, Spanish and French.

In addition to offering information regarding the firm's online services, Upleaf.com includes a blog with advice for non-profit organizations regarding online fundraising and communication strategies.

For additional information on this news release, contact Elizabeth Beachy or visit http://upleaf.com.

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