Monday, October 22, 2007

I can't find my place of worship?

The donation badge search works off the GuideStar database (; that is a database of all the 501c3 public charities in the US. In some cases there may be a place of worship or religious organization that is not in the database, but you can get them added or send a link to this page to your place of worship and they can get themselves added.

-If your place of worship is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization as designated by the IRS, you can simply forward a copy of your Letter of Determination to GuideStar by fax at 757.229.8912 or mail to GuideStar, 4801 Courthouse Street, Suite 220, Williamsburg, VA 23188. Your organization should be added to GuideStar's database within 3-5 days.

-GuideStar can include your religious organization in the database if you provide them with the following information:

a) EIN issuance letter
b) Year founded
c) A denominational listing (i.e., Kenedy Directory, Lutheran Directory, state letter for churches)

Fax this information to 757.229.8912 or mail it to GuideStar, 4801 Courthouse Street, Suite 220, Williamsburg, VA 23188. Be sure to include your contact information in case they have questions about your request. Your organization will be added to the database within 3-5 days if it meets these requirements.

If you have additional questions, contact GuideStar directly.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I'm a place of worship; how can a Donation Badge help me?

Your place of worship can create a Donation Badge for your supporters - or you can ask your supporters to create their own. Here's how it works:

-You go to Network for Good to create a Donation Badge

-You can create as many badges as you want, and you can invite your supporters to create their own badges if they'd rather design their own, instead of using yours

-There's no charge for creating badges. The only fees involved with the program are the Network for Good transaction processing fees, which are 4.75% of transactions. We give donors the choice of covering that fee for the charity or deducting it from the donation.

-You can log in to your Network for Good Donation Tracking Report at any time to obtain information on the donors that have supported you through the badges

We've had hundreds of nonprofits participate create badges, and their organizations and supporters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can read about some of them here.

What is a Donation Badge?

A Donation Badge allows you to raise awareness and money for a charity, cause or house of worship. You can place it on your Beliefnet page and friends can donate easily, and you can keep track of how much you've raised.

Here are the steps to get started:

1. SIGN UP: Register at Network for Good's website by filling in the information in the 'Register To Build a Badge' section. The purpose for creating a password is so that you can come back to our site if you would like to edit your badge. If you already have a Network for Good account, you just have to log in.


-Choose a badge type; the default should be "Beliefnet", but if that is not displayed please choose this from the list.

-Why my cause is important to me
This is so you can tell your story; tell friends and family why you are passionate about a cause, your place of worship or a charity you happen to like.

-I have an image for my Donation Badge
This is if you want to add a picture or graphic to your badge. Click 'Browse' to find the picture you want that is on your computer. Once you locate it, click upload.

-I have a video for my Donation Badge
If you would like people to watch a video to inspire your friends about your cause, you need to have the video hosted elsewhere.

When you are finished, click 'Continue'.

3. CHOOSE YOUR CAUSE: This is where you search and choose the charity you would like your friends and family to support. When you are finished, click 'Continue'.

NOTE: The GuideStar database has over one million charities in its database. If you can not find your place of worship after searching using its exact name, you can contact them directly about getting added to the database.

a) If your nonprofit is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization as designated by the IRS, you can simply forward a copy of your Letter of Determination to GuideStar by fax at 757.229.8912 or mail to GuideStar, 4801 Courthouse Street, Suite 220, Williamsburg, VA 23188. Your organization should be added to the database within 3-5 days.

b) Religious organizations can be included in the database if the organization has its own IRS-issued employee identification number (EIN) and (b) a copy of the organization’s listing in a religious directory is provided (i.e., Kenedy Directory, Lutheran Directory, state letter for churches). The page listing from the directory can be faxed or mailed to GuideStar.

4. PREVIEW IT. Here you can view the Donation Badge you gave created so far. If you would like to change the details of your badge you can go back and make those changes. Make sure you check the 'I agree with the terms & conditions of using a Donation Badge.' box.

5. SHARE IT This page provides you the code you need to copy and paste to display your Donation Badge on Beliefnet or anywhere else online. If you are planning to post your badge online, copy and paste the Donation Badge website code. If you don't have a website or blog you can send the link to friends and family to display the badge.

Tips for a successful donation badge on Beliefnet

The best badges have a personal photo, a compelling and tangible reason to give, and a clear call to action. Use the limited space on the badge to make a strong, authentic appeal, and consider including your name in the text. Use the “my video” link to link to video or online slide shows if you have them.

2. Donate to Your Own Badge.

People like to feel they are part of a larger effort. It’s not inspiring to see zero donations on a badge, so donate to your own badge to get fundraising momentum started for your cause.

3. Post the Badge on Your Site, Blog(s) and Email Signature.

Put the badge on your website, blog or AIM Page. If you have a MySpace page, you can feature a link to the badge URL. You can also put a link to the badge URL in your email signature. Put a photo in the signature that is hyperlinked to the URL to grab more attention.

4. Send a Link to the Badge to People in Your Email Address Book.

Send the badge link to people in your email address book. Ask for donations and encourage these contacts to forward your email to others.

5. Ask Bloggers to Join Your Cause.

Go to htttp:// and search for blogs that are focused on your issue. Tell bloggers about your campaign and ask them to post on your efforts. They have a circle of active readers who are likely to care about your cause.