Gr8pevine and Your Website

“How does Gr8pevine work on my website?”

We’re glad you asked! As you know, Gr8pevine will be available for usage June 1st!

After an organization has created their fundraising pages (this can be used for donations, events and memberships), there is an area where the Org Administrator can view the page URL or use one of our pre-designed buttons on their website.

Here is where the Org user can view the URL or share button code for their campaign.

But, we wanted to give you a preview for how the button will look on your website (we will be adding 3 new button sizes next week) and the giving experience for donors.

A few things to note

  1. Donors will be prompted with a warning screen to for extra security.
  2. Donors can learn more about the organization or fundraiser through the description section.
  3. Organizations can customize the page by changing the header, page image, and colors.
  4. The giving page allows donors to pay for multiple campaigns.
  5. Donors can create one-time or recurring gifts starting on the date of their choosing.

Want to see how it works? We knew you would! Click the button below for a demonstration!

(Note: This is a demo account, so you cannot make a real donation.)

If you like what you see, contact us today to get started!

1-855-583-7843 / info@testifycommunications.com

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Schools & Text Messaging: How can we incorporate technology?

Our primary business here at Testify Communications is to help organizations (1) increase donations and (2) effectively communicate with their target audience. One of our newest clients is a school in Southeastern Michigan.

So what are you doing? Letting kids text in the classroom? Well, we’re glad you asked. 

Yes, text messaging could be used in the classroom or as a way for teachers to get in front of their students, outside of the classroom, but we are using it to get messages directly to the parents by circumventing the students in the process. Here’s how it works:

  • Parent A signs up to receive mobile alerts from their child’s school.
  • Parent A receives messages from school about half days, report cards, parent teacher conferences…all the things older students do not want their parents to know about.
  • Student A (Parent A’s child) skips 1st hour: Parent A receives a text at the beginning of 2nd hour informing them their child is/was absent.
  • Student A has a disciplinarian problem and get’s suspended: Parent A receives a text and phone call about the situation and a reminder text about the upcoming conference with the Dean of Students.

These are a few examples of what we are doing to keep parents in abreast of everything they need to know regarding their child’s school experience. Before approaching schools with this idea, we talked to parents first; here’s what some had to say:

“I love the idea of receiving up-to-the-minute updates about my child’s behavior.”

“My kid always forgets to bring home classroom notes and flyers from school. This would certainly help me get the information I need.”

“It would be ideal to receive a text message in the morning informing me that school’s closed [for weather emergency] than to sit in front of the TV waiting to see it on the news.”

The examples mentioned above are what we strive to help schools effectively address. One of the awesome things about our text program is that it is web-based, this means an administrator can send a weather emergency text message from any computer with internet access.

Does our program interest you? Would you love to receive this type of communication from your child’s school? Are you a school administrator and think text messaging would be a great fit for your school?

Give us a call at 313.202.6756 or email us to set up a 30-45 minute appointment. We’d love to hear from you and help you connect, communicate, and contribute.

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Road Trip!: Cleveland Praise Fest

Many of us remember September 11 as a day that shook our great country. Some see it now as a day to come together and celebrate the bravery of lives lost and the resiliency of our great nation.

9/11/01 Never Forgotten

This year, we spent Sunday, September 11, 2011 at the Cleveland Praise Fest. The 5th annual interdenominational service was held at Quicken Loans Arena and the 3,000+ attendants included civic leaders, clergymen, and television personalities. 

 

 

 

The 2-hour service included words by Cleveland pastors, rabbis, and politicians sprinkled with praise and worship songs sung by a mass choir and praise team. One of the speakers was U.S. Representative Marcia L. Fudge, who is also a past national president of Delta Sigma Theta (Lauren: Hi Soror!).

It was our first time visiting Cleveland, and our  Arena family in Cleveland. We were lucky enough to get a tour of the arena and meet some of the team members that keep the arena ticking!

We look forward to next year and if you’re ever in Cleveland the second weekend in September, visit the Greater Cleveland Praise Fest to see solidarity in action. If you’re not visiting Cleveland that particular weekend, don’t worry, it’s only a 3 hour drive from Detroit.

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QR Codes: They’re everywhere…

You’ve seen them on posters or in magazine ads. Those squares of squiggly white and black, static looking nothingness. (We even have them on our business cards and pamphlets) But unless you have a smartphone with a QR reading app, you may not have given them much notice. If you are in this small-and-shrinking crowd, you’d better get used to these funny little boxes because they are becoming one of the most succinct and prolific means of transmitting a large amount of data using a relatively small amount of space. Quick Response or QR codes are similar to the barcodes found on the bottom of your favorite box of cereal, the back of your most recent novel or on the price tag of that shirt you picked up yesterday. The difference is, where a traditional barcode can hold about 20 numerical digits, QR codes are two-dimensional and thus can hold thousands of characters of information.

Here! Give it a try

Scanning this unassuming graphic can immediately whisk your mobile browser to a company’s website, a picture, a mobile business card, or my favorite- a coupon for movie popcorn. Yum. Our own QR code directs you to our contact landing page where you can pretty much access any method of contact we have.

Many Japanese industries have been using QR codes for years and it’s safe to say this isn’t just a faddish bit of tech that will soon wane and be lost amongst the annals alongside 8-track tapes.  If anything American use for the codes has spread from public signage to coffee mugs, water bottles and even t-shirts. I saw a code posted on the side of a bus once but I’m not sure that’s a route I’d prescribe. Trying to whip out a smart phone to scan a vehicle speeding down the highway at 65mph may not be the best way to get product information.

If you’d like to delve into the QR pool, don’t worry. It’s super easy and inexpensive. QR code generator sites like Kaywa and Kimtag (which also does NFC tags- more on those later) are free and don’t require any particular tech acumen.

As cool as our initial tag looked, the colors were too light to be read when printed.

One word to the wise though, if you’re going to use colors other than black-and-white, make sure you have enough contrast to allow the scanner to read them. As cool as white on yellow may look, no one is going to be able to read that. Accessing these symbols with your smartphone is equally easy and free. Going to your app market and searching “QR Reader” will elicit a variety of options. Personally I use Google Goggles but that’s just because of the zillion other features it offers. Really almost any barcode reader will do.

So, let us know if you’ve used or seen any QR Codes being used in inventive ways. Happy scanning friends!

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Road Trip!: Assemblies of God 54th General Council

Our CEO stops for a moment to pose at the booth

August is starting off on a great note for Testify Communications. Last week we went on the road to attend the annual Assemblies of God General Council in Phoenix, Arizona. (Talk about HOT!) Hundreds of churches and ministries were represented at this 4 day conference  as well as a myriad of young people showcasing their talent in the Fine Arts competitions.

This being our first conference of this magnitude, there was a TON that we learned and took away from this experience- more of which will roll out with subsequent posts. Aside from meeting some really amazing people and connecting some churches with viable tech options for their ministries, it was truly awe-inspiring to see what’s happening in other areas of “The Body.” Talking to people who are so passionately convicted about what they’re doing has confirmed our resolve to serve in our little niche with all the heart and determination we have. We’re really excited to see all that’s happening in The Church and even more excited to be a part of it.

Can’t wait to give more updates! Until the next episode…

PS- Check out our website for more info: http://www.testifycommunications.com/

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Crowdfunding: Globally financing small business one person at a time

Entrepreneurs are masters of thinking outside of the box (the good ones anyway) and that is an especially useful skill when it comes to financing all of their incredible ideas. With bank purse strings still tight from the series of unfortunate economic events in the past 5 years, start up business are looking outside the typical financial institutions for money. Now they’re asking you!

Crowdfunding is a community investment effort in which entrepreneurs, artists, writers, politicians, and the like, ask the community to financially support their efforts. It’s part social investment and part good ol’ fashioned donation. Unlike getting a bank loan, there is no pay back and no interest. Unlike having a venture capitalist invest, donors do not own any stake in the company/artist/etc.  However, unlike simply asking for money, there’s an expectation that by “investing” in this effort, the community at large will benefit. So for instance, if you have the next great invention and we as a community fund it, we expect that the community will be somehow enhanced by your success.

It’s a pretty old concept but in recent years the prolificity of the internet has given crowdfunding the shot in the arm it needed to take off on a global scale. Personal websites and blogs have the benefit of speaking directly to their target audience because hopefully they already have a fair amount of traffic. There are also sites dedicated to this purpose like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. (for more sites check out this list) Here, entrepreneurs set a target amount that they’re trying to raise and begin campaigning to reach it. People who are looking for great ideas to help out can browse the site and find projects that they’d like to fund. The donor makes their pledge and if the goal is reached, the entrepreneur gets the whole amount. The benefit in using these sites is that donors are assured of the projects legitimacy and the project gets more potential visibility. On the downside, many sites take a small percentage of your donations and if the goal isn’t reached- no money for you.

In addition to actually getting the funding necessary to produce a project, crowdfunding can be somewhat of a litmus test for just how your idea will be received. If you can get people excited enough to give money to an idea for which they haven’t even seen the final product, you’ve demonstrated consumer support- which can be a nice bargaining chip with trying to secure other investors. Now these donors feel connected to your effort. They’ll follow your progress to see how you’re doing. They feel like they’re a part of your team and will potentially tell others. We love stories of the underdog’s triumph and feeling like we gave a little push to a little engine that could resonates with the scrappy fighter in all of us.

So if you’re looking for financing options (and let’s face it, who’s not?) you might want to consider this grassroots take on fundraising while it’s still the hot new thing.

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Testify Communications: What exactly do we DO anyway?

So you’ve checked out the website, you’ve seen our tweets, you’ve liked us on Facebook– and you’re still not really sure how Testify Communications fits into your life. There are tons of ways actually! Our objective is to help faith-based and nonprofit organizations better serve their audiences by facilitating mobile/internet based ways for them to connect, communicate and contribute. The services are fully customizable to the needs of the client and our system allows donors to schedule one-time or recurring payments to your organization.

Connect: Email Messaging 

Few organizations utilize the full potential of their email capabilities. With Testify Communications, your email can be so much more than a simple black and white correspondence. Rich templates allow you to send an exciting and personal email with all the important information that might have otherwise been lost or thrown away in a pamphlet or bulletin.

Communicate: SMS Messaging

In the past decade many people have re-prioritized their cell phone from a “want” to a “need.” It’s no secret that even when people don’t have time to answer the phone or check a voicemail, they’ll readily scan a text and respond sooner than returning a call. So the tool of being able to easily send a mass text to a group to update, remind, or inform has instantaneous benefits. Plus, our platform includes tons of options for your audience to communicate with you through text surveys, text to screen, text-to-win campaigns, and real-time polling. Think of being able to build your contact log by asking people to text responses to pertinent questions and those responses will automatically populate a spreadsheet. Imagine your high school conducting homecoming elections by texting a keyword in to central line and all of the results are automatically tabulated. With SMS messaging, connecting with your congregation/members/audience is quick, instant and convenient.

Contribute: Online Giving

You can buy groceries with a debit card, purchase gas on a credit card, and pay most utilities online. Why not have the same spending option in the non-profit sector? Testify Communications provides an online giving portal for donors to be able to donate using credit/debit cards or ACH. These donors can set up recurring payments or just make a one-time gift. And because this is all done through one comprehensive web portal, organizations can easily send automated thank you response emails, generate giving reports, and create specific giving campaigns for different purposes.

So you see Testify Communications is more than an fun logo and a bunch of techy-tweets. We’re busy revolutionizing the way you connect with the people who matter most to your organization. Contact us to find out more. Til next time!

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @TestifyCOMM and like our Facebook page  http://www.facebook.com/TestifyCommunications

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