betterplace.org presents: donors and opinions

The biggest innovation on our new project pages is the new tab „ Donors and Opinions“. Here you can find the list of all the donors as well as the opinions (former „advocates“) and the posts of the „on site visitors“. Fitting to the politic of transparency proper to betterplace.org, critical opinions and critical „on site“ report will be allowed. The little thumbs showing up and down and the little numbers just beside them, give a quick overview about the exact number of positive or critical opinions. Every donor counts as a positive opinion, because we think a donation is (almost) the strongest way to argue for a project.

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Directly on this site, there will be again the possibility to ask directly a question to the project manager, or to just tell an opinion. Furthermore „on site visit reports” can be related and donations can be done directly to the project. To give an opinion or to write an „on site visit report” will be possible only for registered users of betterplace.org, but anonymous donating will remain possible.

When clicking on the „on site visit report“, we are furthermore asking questions about the relation towards the project, as well as details about the source and the exact dates of the visit. Doing this, we hope that each visitor can make himself a broad opinion about the worthiness  of the “on site visit report”.

Written by on 30.11.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.

betterplace.org presents: the project news

The second tab on the new project pages is the „News“ tab. The little number behind it indicates on the first sight how many news have already been written.

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The news are written by the project responsible and give information about the actual status of the project. There are replacing the old „project blog“ that we had on the former project pages. Of course all the posts can be commented at any time.

Likewise, the blog posts concerning the out-payements and the forwarding of the donations will appear under the new tab „News“. So, every single donor can trace his donations and see transparently how the project manager is using them.

The right side bar from the „project overview“ will still appear when opening this tab. Like this, a donation to the project or to a single need will be possible at anytime.

Written by on 30.11.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.

betterplace.org presents: the new project overview

As mentioned in our blogpost yesterday, the project profile pages on betterplace.org will have a makeover this week. The project overview is the core element of these new pages. Since are some major changes in comparison to the previous project pages, we will now explain all the new points one by one.

Bildschirmfoto 2011-11-28 um 13.30.181. Project name: on top of the project page the project name still appears. Beneath that, the project manager and (if existing) the correspondent organisation are linked.

2. Project photo: the project photo is now much bigger than on the old project pages. When scrolling over it with the mouse, information about the other photos will show up. With a simple click on „show more pictures” a photo gallery with all the project photos will pop up. You will find more information about this here.

3. Geographical location: from now on the place where the project is situated will be shown on a bigger map. Inside the map there will also be a second project photo.

4. Progress bar: also the project bar, which is giving information about the current amount of financing of the project, was enhanced and placed in a more central position.

5. Project statistic: from now on, in addition to the progress bar, there will be project statistics, showing at first view how many people already donated to the project and the exact amount that is missing for full financing.

6. Project donation: with this donation button, the project page visitors can donate directly to the project. The project manager can then decide himself to which of his needs he wants to distribute to the donations. For more details about the different ways of donating on betterplace.org, please have a look at this blogpost.

7. Project description: this is the box for the project description. With a click on „read more“ the full project description will open. To close it, just click on „show less“. At the end of the project description there is the new field „more information“, which covers a links to the page news of the project, information concerning the registration date and gives some more information.

8. Project carrier: if the project was registrated under the patronage of an organisation, the organisation logo will appear at this place. A click on the logo leads directly to the organisations page on betterplace.org.

9. Donors: here the five most recent registrated donors on betterplace.org with an own user picture will be shown.

10. Information about the project: here, with a simple click donors and interested parties can get an answer on their questions, like the tax deductibility of their donations (only if the organization is a tax deductible in Germany) and the trustworthiness of the project. We are also indicating, that we are forwarding 100% of the money to the project manager (or carrier organisation).

11. Questions to the project manager: to guarantee a maximum of transparency, project page visitors can ask public questions. The question can be displayed in full by clicking on it. Then, if the project manager did already answer, the response will appear as well. With a click on ‘ask question’, a new question can be asked.

12. Needs: of course you can still donate to concrete needs of the project. The list of these needs is in the right side bar. A click on „see details“ will open more information about the single needs.

13. Completed needs: here you can find the full list of completed needs of the project.

14. Help to spread the project: at the end of the project page there will be 5 different ways of spreading the project: via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or by embedding a widget on an external website.

Written by on 29.11.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.

The new project pages on betterplace.org

We have been working on it for a while, now it is done: the new project pages are to be launched within a few days. The main aim was to develop a project profile page that is more clearly laid-out and more informative. Notably the topics transparency and community involvement will be accentuated. In the same time, we simplified the administration functions of the projects to be more easy to use for the project manager.

In this and the next blog posts, we will explain to you step by step the different functions of those new project pages. We will show you what has changed, where you can find again the elements you know from the old project pages and how the administration of the new pages works.

From now on, the project overview (more info here), the news (more info here) as well as the list of the donors and opinions (more info here) will be shown on three different subpages. The switching between those subpages will happen by a simple click on the upper tabs (like shown in the screenshot):

Blogpost 1.1
The right side bar (dashed and framed) gives information concerning the actual full amount of the donations, the numbers of donors, the actual financing percentage of the project and the amount of money that is needed for full financing. Below it you will find the different needs of the project.

What is probably catching your eye on the new project pages is the stronger focusing on the project photo: It is now bigger and thus more saliently placed. With a simple click on „show more pictures“ (which opens when you scroll over the picture with your mouse) a photo gallery with all the project photos will pop up.

Blogpost 1.2

Henceforth you will find a little map indication right next to your main project photo. There you will find the exact location of the project. Furthermore there will be a second project picture that will give an inside in the work progress of the project.

Project managers can enter the exact location of their project by their own. For doing that, just click on „administration“, then on „edit project“ and finally on “location“  to enter the exact location of the project. Also the project manager can choose what picture they want to use as the second, smaller profile picture. For doing that they click on administration, then on „manage photos“ and choose then the second picture by putting a check mark where it is said „ use as he second smaller profile picture“. Don’t forget to save. (Attention: This will only be possible, once the new project pages are launched on betterplace.org)

Blogpost 1.3

Written by on 28.11.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.

The five best ways to fundraise successfully via betterplace.org

Have you just registered your very first project at betterplace.org? Or are you already an old school betterplacer who did not receive much funding yet? No worries, in this blog you find five hints how to make your fundraising project a success.

1.    Inform everybody you know about your fundraising project!
Your project profile at betterplace.org is online – now you definetly should spread the word about it. Talk to all those persons that have been donating already and to all those that you know as interested in your work. Call their attention to your new tread at betterplace.org, ask them to leave comments as advocates or visitors and/or to make a (little) donation. The easiest way to solicit them so is by sending a personal e-mail or – if you have one – a newsletter with a corresponding announcement.

2.    Link your project with your homepage

People interested in your work do visit your website. That is why right at your homepage there should be a link that leads to a donation possibility at betterplace.org. Even better would be an integration of your betterplace.org-widget or donation button at your homepage. How that works is explained in detail here.

3.   Advertise offline, donate online
Even if you don’t have the email address of each interested person and each donor: more than 70 percent of your potential donors are online (numbers apply to Europe and the US). Thus, point to your presence at betterplace.org, for example, in your next printed newsletter, flyer or printed info letter. Then everybody can decide for him/herself how to donate best – offline or online via betterplace.org.

4.    Social media? For sure!
More and more people are using social networks such as facebook – doubtless some of the people interested in your project as well. So advertise your betterplace project in the web2.0. If you have a facebook fanpage you can even integrate our donation button or widget there.

5.    Donating without cash?
Donatiting without cash is possible at our platform as well. Besides monetary donations you can ask for donations in kind and/or in time, depending what you need precisely. Maybe thats also a way to get your followers engaged. Check out what others have asked for.

Written by on 2.11.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.

The donation button for organizations

Since January 2011 we provide a new tool for organizations: the betterplace.org donation button for the homepage of your organization. Practically it works like the integration of a widget at your homepage. Only instead of using the widget code you take the code of the donation button.

Best thing about this button is that you can integrate it at the facebook page of your organization, too. How that works will be explained here:

1. Firstly, you would need to install a facebook application that works with the computer language HTML – we recommend Wildfire App. For installation, please click at ‘Install this app’. If necessary log into your facebook account and accept the assignment of permissions. Then, the application ask to which facebook page it should be added – so choose the name of your organization page and click at adding.

2. Now you will be routed automatically to the facebook page of your organization and you need to enter your data. When done, click at ‚submit’. At the following page you act as follows: Switch ‚Fan gate’ off. Click at fans and non fans view at custom HTML. Copy the source code of the betterplace.org donation button into the field (you find this source code at your betterplace.org organization page at the right menue bar under ‚embed donation button external’). Then click at ‚save & preview’.

3. Done! Of course you can add more text around the donation button via this application in order to make the page more detailed and beautiful. Therefore, click ‚Edit settings’. As title of the field you can choose for example ‚donate now’ or the like.

4. Last step: now you will find at the left side of your facebook page besides the links ‘wall’, ‘info’, ‘photos’ and others the new link ‘welcome’. However, in future this link shall have the name ‚donate now’ or the like. To realize that, please click at the top of your facebook page right under its name at ‚edit page’. At the following page left click at ‚applications’ and in the list you look for ‚Wildfire iFrames for Pages’. Click under that at ‚edit settings’ and type in your prefered title, save it and – done. Good luck!

Written by on 2.11.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.

Collect money the simple way: the betterplace.org widget on your homepage

Bildschirmfoto 2011-11-02 um 12.14.57Have you registered a project or would you like to raise more public attention towards it? Then make your betterplace.org project visible at your/your organizations homepage. This can be done easily with the betterplace.org widget.

The widget looks like a little display window: it shows the profile photo of your project, its title and the current level of donations. By only one click on the widget the visitor of your homepage will be transferred straight to your betterplace.org project profile. At the left hand you see a widget example.

You can integrate it into your homepage by only a few clicks:

1. Log into your betterplace.org account and visit the page of your project.

2. Click at ‚invite network’ in the right navigation bar. If you are not the project responsible this link is named ‚spread the project’.

3. Scroll down the following page until point 4 ‚Via widget’. There you will find the source code that beginns with “<iframe”. Now copy the entire code and enter it at the favored place at your homepage. Done. If you don’t know how to do so ask your website manager. At the website of the organization Skateistan you can get the idea how it looks like in the end.

skateistan

By the way, you can also intergrate a widget at your facebook fan page. How? Simple: Instead of using the widget code you take the code of the donation button. More info on this matter can be found in this blogpost.

Written by on 2.11.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.

Oversee projects in a team

Projects at betterplace.org are always represented by one project manager who is recognisable as such at each project profile. If visitors of this profile wish to, they can easily can contact him/her and ask whatever they would like to know. However, most of the projects are taken care of by more than one single person – so how to oversee a project in a team? By using our access permissions!

In advance: assigning access permissions does only work for projects that run under an organisational profile, not for individual projects. Individual projects can always and only have one responsible!
In order to be able to assign access permissions to another person, this person needs to be linked with the organisation running the project. He/she got linked by firstly adding itself as employee. To do so, he/she needs to visit the organisational profile (for example, https://www.betterplace.org/en/organisations/wwf) and click the link ‚connect myself as employee’ at the menue bar on the right hand side. This request, secondly, needs to be confirmed by the responsible of the organisational profile at betterplace.org.

Now the project manager needs to visit the project profile and click on ‚edit project’ at the menue bar at the right side of the page (don’t forget to log into your account before!). At the following page he/she needs to click at ‚permissions“:

Bildschirmfoto 2011-10-26 um 15.25.29

Thirdly, it is necessary to assign a role to each employee. The roles are ‚No access’, ‚Full access’, ‚Editor’ and ‚Admin’. Additionally, each employee can be choosen to be the contact person/project manager. But what do the single roles mean?

  • ‚No access’ is self-explanatory: the employee has no access permission to the project at all.
  • ‚Editors’ can write new blogposts and upload project photos.
  • ‚Full access’ contains the same permissions as ‚editor’ plus the right to change bank account details, add new needs, answer questions to the project and request payouts.
  • ‚Admin’ has all permissions mentioned so far plus the right to transfer all those permissions to another employee of the organisation via the link ‚permissions’

Important to know: Only the one project manager/contact person receives the automatically generated e-mails from betterplace.org that, for example, inform about new donors or comments.

What does that mean in practise? Maybe you as project manager get support by the public relations department of your organisation. The person who supports you should then be able to write new blogposts and to upload new pictures. That is why you assign him/her the role ‚editor’. If the treasurer is supposed to gain better insight into the finances of your project, you assign him/her the role ‚Full access’.

If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail under projects@betterplace.org.

Written by on 26.10.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.

For project managers: how to payout your donations

betterplace.org is continuously upgraded, therefore new functions are regularly launched. We have now set up a new payout process, with which the project manager can request the received donations. In this blogpost we will explain this process step by step.

1. Log into betterplace.org and go to your project site.

2. Inside the navigation bar on the right side, you will find the link „request payout for needs“. This link is visible on all projects, which already recieved donations ready for payout. Ready for payout means that the donations where bestowed for at least 14 days to your project (or one need) and that a minimum amount of 20 EUR (for tax deductible organizations in Germany) or 50 EUR (for non tax deductible organizations in Germany) was reached.

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3. After opening the link, you will be directed to the summary page. There you will be able to see the total sum ready for payout. Underneath, you will be able to see how the total sum is distributed between the different needs. That is: How much money is ready for payout in each of your needs

4. At the right side of each need, you will find the checkbox „pay out?” If you remove the check mark by clicking on it, the need will NOT be payed out and will thus be available for the next payout.

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5. When you have chosen all needs that you want to be paid out (by putting a check mark under „pay out?“) Click on the right side on the button „Continue to check“.

6. On the next page the total sum will that you want to request for payout will once again be shown. Furthermore the bank account details are visible to which betterplace.org will transfer the money.

7. In the main part of the page  you are now asked to relate how the donations are going to be used. Do you still intend to do the same compared to what you named in the description of your needs? Or are you planning to use the money for something else because of current circumstances? For example; have the prices for shovels decreased and you are now able to buy shovels and a barrow? All the more transparent you depict the use, the more valuable this mode of documentation will be for the donor. Please note that your report needs to be at least 140 characters long.

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8. Under „tags“, you can now add key words – this step is optional.

9. Concluding, click then on „request pay out“. On the next page your payout request will be confirmed. As soon as the money transfer has been operated, you will automatically get an e-mail confirmation. Only in that moment your blog post about the use of the donations will be published.

You still have questions? The project & organisations team will be happy to help you. Just send an e-mail to projects@betterplace.org.

Written by on 26.10.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.

What is actually happening with my money when I donate via betterplace.org?

There are more and more people using betterplace.org for doing good together. That is great! As donating is the heart our platform and because for you, our donor, we want to make the „doing good“ as easy as possible, we are constantly adapting, modifying and optimising betterplace.org.  Meanwhile, there are five donatiion targets, to which you can donate: organizations, campaigns, fundraising events, projects and their project-needs.

For example we are setting up campaigns in case of emergencies or related to specific issues. For the current campaign pertaining to the famine in east Africa, we have chosen organisations that are successfully working since a long time in the region around the Horn of Africa. This choice of organisations is adapted depending on the situation. On the campaign page you are donating in a joint pool, which is used to achieve the goals of the particular campaign. In the case of East Africa for example, food, drinking water and medication have to be distributed as quickly as possible to the people there. We are regularly allocating the money that is filled inside the campaign-pool on equal terms to the needs of the different organisations.

Now we come to the more frequent receivers of donations: organisations, projects, project needs and fundraising events. Taking the example of the organisation Viva con Agua, we will show you the four different possibilities of donating and explain you what way your money is going until it reaches its destination.

111011_Geldflüße_EN

Fundraising target Organisation: You think that the work of Viva con Agua deserves to be supported and you would like to contribute to their work with a little donation for the drinking water supply in developing countries. But you don’t want to commit to a specific project. You have full confidence towards the project managers of the organisation and you would like them to decide about the designated use. Then the fundraising target organisation is the right thing for you: The project manager of the organisation will direct your donation to the needs of his ongoing projects. The project manager on location will induce the payment and use the money according to the project aim.

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Fundraising target project: On your Africa trip, you saw that the drinking water supply in some areas of Burkina Faso has an urgent need of amelioration. This would be easily done with the buying of latrines and handwashbasins for example. To make a concrete step towards an amelioration of the situation on the ground, you can for example use the new map locator in order to find an appropriate project in Burkina Faso. Then you can donate directly to this project. The project manager will then distribute the project donations to one or more specific needs and induce the payment. Now the project manager can buy latrines and handwashbasins.

Fundraising target fundraising event: Your homie Björn has a particular birthday wish. He wants to contribute to the amelioration of the drinking water supply situation in Uganda and has therefore launched a fundraising event. Björn, the fundraising-event initiator, has previously chosen a project he would like to support, for example „clean drinking water for Uganda“. After some friends of him donate to the project via his birthday-fundraising event, Björn will transfer the money to the project – for example to the specific need „ renovation of a flat well“. Now a water supply well can be build from that money.

Fundraising target project-needs: Needs are the smallest pools in which you can donate on betterplace.org. Needs are specifying precisely how a project is going to be accomplished and hence closely bonded to the project. If, like Björn, you want the water supply situation in Uganda to be ameliorated, you donate for the concrete need „ renovation of a flat well“. The project manager in turn, induces the payment and realizes what you donated for.

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Now you know what happens with your money, when you donate via betterplace.org and what way your donation is taking precisely. If you have some further questions: ask us! E-mail to change@betterplace.org.

Written by on 21.10.2011. Last updated on 15.10.2012.