Dear friends, users, and partners of betterplace.org,
This year, betterplace.org celebrates its tenth anniversary. From the beginning on, it was our vision to make the world a better place – with technical solutions that make it easy for helpers to collect donations. Less complexity, less costs, easy solutions for the good people out there – that is our goal.
More than 20,000 social projects have used our solutions since 2007; more than 43 million euros have been collected for the social sector. We are especially happy about the growth of the recent years: More than 13 million euros were donated in 2016 alone.
But this gratifying development also has its drawbacks: our own refinancing as a charitable organisation and a social enterprise. With every new organisation that uses betterplace.org and with every donation that we enable, our own costs rise.
Up until now, we have relied on two solutions in order to finance those organisational costs: With betterplace solutions we market digital solutions for corporations that want to make the impact of their social commitment visible and more effective. Also, in addition to their donation to a social project, we ask our donors on betterplace.org for a voluntary contribution towards the operation of the platform. In both areas we registered important successes and growth. In the past 9 years we have therefore been able not only to forward 100% of all donations to social projects, but also to cover all external and internal transaction costs. That way, we provided an additional 1 million euros for the social sector.
While the use of betterplace.org has grown in a positive way, the growth of those pillars of our refinancing has its limits. The transaction costs incurred with each donation have risen to an amount that is no longer feasible for us.
In this light we have decided to put the refinancing of betterplace.org on a broader base. Our solutions for corporations and the voluntary contribution towards the operation of the platform will remain in place. In addition to that, betterplace.org will start retaining a portion of any donation to finance the transaction costs. In the long run, just 2.5% of each donation will help us to cover these costs sustainably as a non-profit organisation. Exempt from this are donations which are collected via external donation platforms operated by betterplace.org. Our partners, sponsors and companies involved bear the costs for these portals thereby making it possible to forward 100% of all donations.
With this new contribution betterplace.org will be ready for many years of further growth and millions of donations for the social sector.
Our mission will not change in the future: We want to make donations easier, more efficient and more effective so that social organisations can concentrate on the important work they are doing. For this purpose we are going to develop unique new solutions over the course of 2017.
We are looking forward to turning them into action together.
Björn Lampe, Carolin Silbernagl und Timo Kladny
Management Board gut.org gAG
Written by Leonie Gehrke
on 13.03.2017. Last updated on 13.03.2017.
As of November 1st, 2016, certain changes will take effect at betterplace.org. From that date onwards, the right to collect donations via betterplace.org will be restricted to those organizations that have been recognized as being charitable in nature by the German or Austrian tax and revenue authorities.
Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic. They explain what’s behind the change, what will happen to the affected projects, and which alternatives are available to you, the project sponsor.
Learn more about the changes
Written by Leonie Gehrke
on 12.09.2016. Last updated on 28.09.2016.
videos on project pages
After we received many requests for this feature now it is possible to embed videos on the project pages. Yay! The video is gonna be displayed instead of the home picture. The only condition is that you first have to upload the video on youtube. This URL you can easily include in your administration area – and immediately your supporters are closer to your project.
To give you a better overview on how many donations you already got and how much we paid out to you we provide a new useful overview. This overview has a shape of a table and automatically all payouts are listed in. You gonna find this schedule in your administration area with the button „request payout“.
customizable reason for transfer
Often we received the question if it is possible to change the reason on the bank’s statement to an individual one when requesting a transfer, because normally the reason is preset by our system. The background is that especially bigger organisations can facilitate the account keeping while e.g. entering own cost centres or group numbers. And exactly this is possible now. For every payout you can add the purpose with such a hint.
create your own donation form
Our demand on ourselves at betterplace.org is to create your Online Fundraising effective and easy as possible. Thereby we see that one of the most important tools we got is our donation form, which you can include in your webpage. So you enable interested visitors of your webpage directly to support you. Just as safe and easy as you know it from us. You do not have additional expenses because the administration of the donations is still handled on your project page on betterplace.org. And with this „integrated donation form“ your supporters can also set recurring donations.
But every homepage is different. That’s the reason why the form has to be individually customizable. This is quite easy now with our configurator. You can choose your own color code or you can change the suggested donation amount and the payment frequency (one-time, monthly, quarterly, yearly).
Written by Leonie Gehrke
on 29.07.2016. Last updated on 1.08.2016.
The betterplace.org offer for volunteering has changed. In order to improve our quality, only current and active volunteering offers are now online.
While setting up a project for volunteering you can now choose between three different possibilities:
– “any time / by arrangement“
– “regularly / long-term”
– “at a certain time / at a certain period of time“
The last point allows you to look for a volunteer at a certain date or time. You’re organising a summer fair and need a motivated supporter for this day? A volunteer search with a precise date will be deactivated when the date has elapsed. But don’t worry: You will be informed via email and you can immediately edit, update and activate your page.
From now on volunteer projoects have a duration of six months
The search for permanent volunteer changes, too: After six months, we will ask you via email if the searches are still up to date. In that case you can easily decide with one click if you want to maintain, update or deactivate your search. Maybe you already have found a volunteer with betterplace.org.
New activities for volunteers
More and more organisations are looking for volunteers on betterplace.org apart from the Mainstream offers. That’s why we enlarged our list of criteria. Programing Homepages, editing pictures or updating the Facebook channel are just a few examples of tasks. Therfore you can now specificly indicate that the volunteer offer is about “PR/Social Media“ or “programing“.
For any questions or feedback, please contact Leonie email@example.com
Written by Leonie Gehrke
on 20.08.2014. Last updated on 20.08.2014.
At betterplace.org we rely on transparency and accountability! This does not only mean that projects ask for financial support for particular needs but also that the project manager should be accountable for the allocation of the received donations.
⌲ What has been achieved thanks to the donated money? What differences have been made? What problems need to be tackled? Are there any further news?
Information regarding those questions should be communicated continuously to the donor by the project manager. This is why every project has its own news section where current information can be shared and followed. This area has been revised recently to add new features. Project managers can now design more attractive news entries that include photos, videos or buttons.
Moreover, project managers now have the option to send important news as a newsletter to all donors. This important deature is meant to help them maintain a closer relationship to their supporters. Through this channel project managers can thank donors for their support, involve them in the progress of the project through continuous updates and ask them for further support and participation. It is important to note that there won’t be any automatic emails informing donors about recent news entries anymore.
Writing an appealing newsletter is not difficult. Project managers will find useful advise regarding the best ways to communicate with donors here:
⌲ write an exciting news entry
⌲ publish your news on your project page
⌲ send a newsletter to your donors
Written by Yvonne Scheurer
on 8.08.2013. Last updated on 8.08.2013.
Are there any news regarding your project? How is your work progressing? All this can be published in the news section on your project page on betterplace.org. At the moment we are changing the current notification system to add new features. This is important to guarantee that your donors will have an even easier access to recent project information which is important to increase their loyalty.
Our developers have divided this transformation process in three phases:
1. New notification system:
Donors have now the chance to decide which supported project they want to receive information from. Starting June 1st 2013 this applies to donors that have decided to donate anonymously as well.
2. New notification mails:
Up until now, donors just receive an email with a notification that a new blog post was published on the supported project page. Instead of that they will now receive the complete blog post as an email to read it right away. There will be a new design for these emails that will reach a wider audience (as explained in phase 1)
3. New design and improved notification mails:
You will be able to design your post in the news section more extensively: integrate photos and videos, format the text and insert buttons. This will help to address your donors more effectively and to integrate a call to action. At the same time, you can decide which posts should be sent to your donors via email and which shouldn’t.
Status: week number 30
All these new features will be explained in detail in a separate newsletter. If you have any questions about the new notification system just sent us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Björn Lampe
on 4.05.2013. Last updated on 5.07.2013.
Written by Anica Samleit
on 6.03.2013. Last updated on 6.03.2013.
When you check the about betterplace.org page you will find one of our key ideas: „On our platform people who want to help meet people, who are in need of support.“
We believe that betterplace.org is a great opportunity for project managers, especially from small projects around the world, to introduce their idea to make the world a better place to the community. We even encourage project managers over and over again to spread the word about their projects. By now we have about 4.000 projects listed on betterplace.org, so if you don’t raise your voice, nobody will ever find your project or donate for your cause.
We also believe that betterplace.org makes it easier for donors to find a project they want to support. Some people register to browse projects to find the one that looks just right to them. Some people sign up only because they want to support one specific project that they know from before.
Lately there has been several donors contacting me because they were receiving messages from project managers asking for financial support. This causes mixed feelings for the donors: On the one hand they want to help, on the other hand they most likely have given something already. Sometimes one donor gets several messages, all asking for financial support – it is simply not possible to support all of them. Often this resulted in so much frustration that users decided to leave betterplace.org.
So, this is my call to you, the donors: Please don’t get mad when a project manager wants to introduce you to a project. The decision, whether you want to support the project or not, ist totally up to you. Nobody wants to push you to do anything. If you have the impression that one project manager is really spamming you with messages, report him/her.
And this is my call to the project managers: Please try to keep it to a minimum with messages to people you don’t know. Contacting people you have some sort of a relationship to is much more fruitful. Is there any family member, a collegue or a friend out there that does not know about your betterplace.org-page yet? Besides asking them for financial support, you can also ask them to help you to reach out to more people by forwarding your message to their friends.
What is your opinion about it? Have you ever been contacted by a project manager in need of financial support? Are you a project manager who wants to share his point of view about it?
Let’s discuss in the comments below, and feel free to send tweets to @betterplace_org to join the conversation!
Written by Anica Samleit
on 11.06.2012. Last updated on 15.10.2012.
On the betterlace.org project pages you can read the following text concerning their trustworthiness: „We suggest that you support projects, when you know the carrier organisation or the project responsible, or if a trustworthy person recommended the project to you – or if the web of trust convinced you of the project’s trustworthiness.“ Now, what is the exact meaning of „web of trust“?
The Web of trust is meant to give the page visitor an overview over the project and gives an answer to the following questions: shall I trust the project? Shall I donate to the project? We from betterplace.org think that beside the important role of the project carrier and the project-carrying organisation, notably the people who already donated are warrantors for the trustworthiness of the project. Therefore we created a new tab called „donors and opinions“ on the new project pages.
There you will find all the people, which already donated to the project. Next to their entry, a little Euro icon is shown. You will also find the positive or negative opinions of persons who expressed themselves about the project. Next to their name you will find the correspondent thumbs up or thumbs down icon. Finally on this page there are also the comments of users, which have been „on site“. Next to their report there is an icon with the words „on-site“. Out of this three group of people – donors, opinion givers and on-site visitors – interested parties can get a broader impression of the project. To filter the entries, simply click ‘Show on site-reports and opinions only’. Then you will see on the first look all the different opinions of people, which have been on-site, or just opinions of those who gave their general opinion about a project.
In addition to the described elements and the project description itself, the tab „News“ is also an inherent part of the web of trust. There, the project carrier reports on all the current events around the project and also about how the donations are actually used.
And sometimes a picture can tell more than a thousand words and thus the project pictures can reveal a lot about the evolution of the project. When scrolling over the project photo with the mouse, there will be a little reference about the amount of other photos in the gallery. The gallery itself is to be opened by a simple click on the main project photo.
All this elements are part of the web of trust indicator on betterplace.org. Some organisations, which present a project on betterplace.org, extend this trust network, by putting some further information about themselves on their project pages. Like external distinctions, official seals or via a positive celebrity statements. Finally, it remains your own decision to figure out what you see as the most important factor inside the web of trust. We from betterplace.org can only give you a lot of different ways to inform yourself the best you can.
If now you feel like checking out a few projects, than have a look on our PROJECT OVERVIEW or find interesting projects on our MAP VIEW. If you log in to betterplace.org via Facebook, you will also be able to see who of your friends is part of the web of trust of a project. How this is working exactly, is explained here.
Written by Anica Samleit
on 16.12.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.
The new project pages are not only giving a lot of new features to the page visitors, the administration of the project pages will change too. Everything that the project manger needs to know is resumed in this blog post. First of all: nearly all the administrative functions can be accessed directly from the new tab „administration“.
Under Project you can edit your project, write new blog posts (that will appear under „news“), manage your photos (for example to set up the second profile picture as we explained in this blogpost), edit your organisation and delete your project (as long as there has been no donation to it). Caution: transitionally, when clicking on the different administration tools, you will be directed to the old administration pages. However, all changes will be shown immediately on your new project pages. The old administration pages will be adapted during the next weeks.
Under Donations, you can forward your project donations towards your different needs, as well as ask for the payout of your collected donations. The respectively available sum will be indicated.
Under Needs you will be able to add new needs to your project at any time.
In the future, we will put more functions in the administration tab – please be patient.
The administration of the different needs will be in the right side bar:
There you can translate your need descriptions (if you are maintaining a bilingual project) and indicate when you raised money from elsewhere. As long as there has been no donation on the need, you can also edit or delete it. From the moment a first donation has been done, editing will not be possible anymore.
If you have further questions regarding the new project pages or its administration, you can contact our support team at any time. Just send an e-mail to email@example.com
Written by Anica Samleit
on 30.11.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.