Well, we’re a few days late… but this morning WizeHive celebrated our own version of National Pancake day with flapjacks and other tasty treats for everyone! No breakfast foods were off limits with special requests being whipped up by our in-house chef and lead-gen specialist, Maura . The entire office still smells of pancakes and syrup. Now it’s time to get back to work, but needless to say, pancakes were a great start to this Thursday morning!
In our latest release, we focused on many updates that enhance user experience for administrators and applicants.
A Better Applicant Experience (Especially for Applications with Many Pages)
To provide a better applicant experience, we have added tabs with clickable links on multi-page applications. Now, in addition to using the “previous” and “next” buttons, applicants have the option of selecting the specific page of the application they would like to visit, and navigate between pages of the form by clicking the tabs.
A Time Saver for Administrators
As we’ve mentioned before, follow up forms let you deploy additional forms that collect supplemental data from applicants or grantees. If you run many different programs, you may want to include the same (or a very similar) follow up form as a part of each program. You can now copy follow up forms from one workspace to another.
Checks Before Submission
When including an essay component to your application, you’ll find that applicants will often write their contribution in some type of word editor and copy and paste that set of text into the application form. Setting a word limit for these essays encourages your applicants to write a submission that is easily manageable for your review team.
With the latest update to WizeHive, the system now cuts off the words to fit within the allowed word limit and also flashes a red alert to the user to warn them of their lengthy submission.
Dogs on Deployment is a non-profit providing military families with an online network to connect with volunteers willing to board their pets during service commitments. DoD’s 2014 Military Pet of the Year and Mascot Competition is underway, so we caught up with President and Co-Founder, Alisa Johnson to see how it’s going!
In the second year of their annual contest (but just their first year using WizeHive) Dogs on Deployment was able to increase entries by more than 400%. Voting is currently open, and after only a few days more than 2,000 votes have already been received! See more about this great contest below.
There’s still time to vote, so be sure to view the entries and vote for your favorites here - voting ends March 2nd. We’re excited to see who this year’s military pet of the year and mascot will be!
Like DoD’s idea of running a mascot competition? WizeHive Buzz is the perfect platform for your organization to get started today!
Update to Form Printing
For the last six years, WizeHive’s goal has been helping organizations make better decisions around their data while simultaneously cutting costs through the reduction of paper use and time spent copying and collating documents. More than one million users later, we’re still focused on that same goal.
In this release, we stayed focused on that goal by adding a feature that allows you to select the attachments you want to print when printing applications in bulk.
Updates to our printing feature can be found in the Actions tab or on the application form itself (see below). In this example you would have the option to print all forms and files, or just the “MET Intake Forms” or “CleanEarthProposal.pdf.”
Follow Up Form Custom Messages
Follow up forms let you deploy additional forms that collect supplemental data from applicants or grantees. In order to provide your applicants with a clear message as to the status of their follow up forms, you can now customize the text that they will see upon saving their form as a draft, and a separate message for applicants who have submitted their form. This customized message should clear up any questions your applicants may have regarding the status of their application, whether it has been received, and what, if any, next steps need to be taken.
It was great to see a WizeHive customer and leading wildlife conservation organization, World Wildlife Fund, featured in an infographic from Blue Host for their success with an online video campaign that saw over one million views just a few weeks after its launch. We love seeing our customers mentioned for doing great things and making a difference in the world.
The infographic, “Social Media for Social Good,” shows how some very successful nonprofit organizations have leveraged social media to supplement their campaigns. This can be a very effective method to give your campaign an extra boost, but this made us think… What if your organization doesn’t have a strong social following? What other ways can nonprofits fundraise and increase awareness about their cause at the same time, without breaking the bank?
The answer: pay per vote contests.
Pay per vote contests are where an organization runs a contest, encourages entries from it’s members and then has it’s membership and their friends and family pay to vote. Like a regular contest a pay per vote contest raises awareness, drives engagement, and grows your database. But they also offer the benefit of generating contributions and helping fundraising efforts.
While some people associated with your organization may be reluctant to enter a pay per vote contest, knowing that the money goes to charity helps eliminate hesitation. In this regard we tend to think of a pay per vote contest as a modern day “bake sale.”
One example of a great pay per vote contest was run by the DCH Foundation. They used it to raise money for breast cancer awareness. The contest asked participants to submit a decorated bra to help celebrate breast cancer awareness month. Their fifth Bras for a Cause contest saw twenty submissions tabulating over 1,800 total votes. Although the contest is over, you can still check out the entries here.
A pay per vote contest is a great way to raise money for your nonprofit and can give your organization a fund raising and awareness boost! Get started with a WizeHive pay per vote contest today!
We will shortly be making a change to the “Sign In” link that appears on our main home page (www.wizehive.com) that we wanted to let you know about. In the past, the ”Sign In” link took you right to the sign in screen so that you can enter your WizeHive username and password to log into WizeHive. Starting next Tuesday, February 11, clicking “Sign In” will take you to a drop down menu, shown below. You can then click on the Application Processes or Contests link to get access to your WizeHive applications:
Note that this will NOT impact anyone submitting applications or accessing our voting portals.
If you like, you can avoid this step by adding a bookmark (app.wizehive.com/users/login/
People love contests. They love them so much that they don’t mind spending their hard-earned cash to enter them for a chance to win the grand prize. If you’ve started a new business and want to build your brand, contests are a great way to get people to flock to your company. Not only will people happily volunteer their personal information to enter your contest (instead of their money), but they’ll stick around, if after more research they’ve deemed your brand and product or service valuable.
With that said, here are ways to ensure you’re running an effective online contest that’s helping you build your brand.
Decide What Kind of Contest You Want to Run
Essentially, there are four kinds of contests you can run: 1) sweepstakes, 2) video, 3) photo, and 4) essay. The kind of contest you decide to run matters because each one attracts a different audience. Although video, photo, and essay contests will provide you with loads of content on your profile page, they require more effort from the participant when entering.
Video and photo contests are effective because of their engaging nature. People are drawn to videos and pictures, and like the ability to rank or vote on them. McGraw-Hill Construction ran a photo contest where the winning images were to be included in the June 2013 issue of the Engineering News-Record. The contest saw over 1,500 submissions and was a success. If engagement is your goal, a photo or video contest is a great option.
Ever heard of the acronym, “KISS”? It stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” Entering your business’s social media contest shouldn’t seem like a burden on the participant. The easier it is to enter, the more participants you’ll have. Ask participants for only information that you want to gather from them (i.e. their name, age, and email address).
When it comes to promoting your contests, don’t just post the contest on your site and hope for the best. Take advantage of your presence on social media platforms and include links in email newsletters.
Pick a Prize That’s Relevant to Your Brand
Although offering prizes like monetary jackpots or cool electronic gadgets like new Samsung cell phones will satisfy your contest participants, you should also try to give some of your products or services away as your prize too. Better yet, bundle a chunk of cash or new cell phone with your product or service. You’ll really get people smiling.
Study Your Data After the Contest is Finished
The purpose of your contest is to gather information and build new relationships with potential customers and clients. Find a platform like WizeHive Buzz that will not only collect data, but also organize it so you can further progress your business’s marketing efforts in the future.
Running a contest is easy, and entering one is fun, from the participant’s perspective. Use a contest to build your brand and gather valuable information that you can use in the future when marketing your business.
We’ve received a lot of great feedback from our interview with Andrea Holovach of the Society of Petroleum Engineers back in November. You might remember that Andrea discussed the benefits SPE identified after moving their scholarship management to WizeHive and how they were able to increase their application inflow by 2400%!
We’ve been thinking of a way to share more of Andrea’s story. What better way than a webinar!?
Today, we’re happy to share that Andrea will be hosting a webinar, Increase Your Impact: Move Your Grant, Scholarship, & Award Applications Online to discuss how your organization can obtain the same successes SPE has achieved since moving online. Join us on February 20th for a session with Andrea to learn about how your organization can do the same. The presentation will run 35 minutes and then we’ll have 10 minutes for question and answers. We can’t wait to see you there!
Andrea joined SPE International in 2005, after a brief stint in the corporate world. Although her association career began in marketing, she found her home within the membership team. With a degree in International Relations, Andrea enjoys travelling the world in support of SPE’s over 2000 volunteer leaders. When not at SPE, Andrea spends all of her spare time with her husband and two young boys. While Texas is her home base, you will often find Andrea wearing the green and white of her alma mater, Michigan State University.
Each May, the St. Gallen Symposium calls 600 top level executives from around the globe to meet with young students, academics, researchers, entrepreneurs and young politicians to debate some of today’s most pressing issues in the fields of politics, society, and management. Students apply for this award each and every year hoping to be selected as one of the lucky winners, and for more than 25 years, the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award has been given to some of the world’s brightest young minds.
As one of the world’s largest and most prestigious essay competitions of its kind, the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award is presented to 100 students each year. One of the most unique things about this symposium is the fact that, it not only invites the “Leaders of Tomorrow” but is even organized by the next generation of leaders, namely 25 students from the University of St. Gallen.
We recently had a chance to speak with Arjun Muralidharan, former Strategic Development Director of the St. Gallen Symposium, about the symposium and how moving to WizeHive has helped streamline their application process.
Finding a system that works
“We’re a student organization, so we can’t afford a large data center just for a day, so with the advent of cloud computing, we decided it was time for a change,” said Mr. Muralidharan of switching to WizeHive. The symposium was looking for a partner that was experienced in providing online solutions in the field of competitions and process management.
During their search for a new system, Arjun and his team were looking for a product that was both 1) cost effective and 2) able to handle the needs of their program, but also 3) simplified to the extent that it could also be managed by students. Not only has switching to WizeHive helped to ease the application process, but it has also helped St. Gallen increase their application inflow by 40%.
Arjun continued, “I’d go further and say that it made our process much more efficient, and streamlined it in the sense that out of the box, WizeHive solved a lot of our to-and-fro file handling problems. We could easily communicate with our participants, we could easily ask for additional files, handle the forms, evaluate the forms, import our forms, all out of the box with fairly minimal customization which is a big plus for us.”
Stability & Support
“Once we switched to WizeHive, I think the biggest benefit for us has been the stability of the system.” Not having to worry about daily maintenance or performance issues, ample time could be spent on planning, marketing, promotion, and dozens of other tasks to help grow the already flourishing program. “In our previous solution, just using it on a day-to-day basis led to crashes due to performance issues, due to the enormous amount of data that can be handled – if you think about all of the PDF’s, all of the video files, all of the media assets – led to extreme stability problems for us which were expensive to scale for.” The ability to center their time and efforts around the award was crucial. “One thing that really stands out for me in WizeHive is the way it allowed us to really focus on the actual competition rather than the technology behind it… it really helps us to focus on the product and not on the logistics of it.”
The team at St. Gallen’s also has an implementation specialist (and a reserve specialist) at WizeHive who knows the ins-and-outs of their system and is just a phone call away. “I think it was critical in choosing WizeHive, as well, that we made sure that we had a partner we could count on. That we can call at any time basically, and that helps us set up the competition in a way that’s sustainable.”
Needing high levels of anonymity, finding a system that would adhere to process was an integral part of their search. The St. Gallen’s review process is highly complex as it consists of four stages and two separate juries. St. Gallen’s first jury consists of thirty doctoral candidates from the University of St Gallen and the ETH Zurich, two of the top schools in Europe who help evaluate applicants during the first three rounds of the competition. During the fourth round, a jury made up of journalists, economists, and other high ranking business leaders choose the winners of the competition. Arjun spoke about how receptive the jury has been to using their new system. “The jury is very happy with the standard that WizeHive’s solution provides because of its ease of use and handling of applications. And our jury was convinced with WizeHive’s solution, which is an important aspect for us because we take professionalism very seriously.”
A special thanks to Arjun Muralidharan and Rolf Bachmann for help with this article. To learn more about the St. Gallen Symposium, please visit stgallen-symposium.org
No matter what you think of social media, your customers are using it. It’s such an important marketing tool that 88 percent of companies polled by eMarketer planned on including social media in their 2014 advertising budgets. With more competition in the virtual marketplace, it’s going to take more than the occasional clever post to reach new customers. Developing a strong online presence is just the first step towards achieving great brand recognition. You can spark their interest by launching an engaging and creative online contest.
Online contests serve as a great medium to drive engagement, gain awareness, and grow your database. Here are four WizeHive customers that ran contests to achieve their goals.
Nonprofit organizations that rely heavily on word-of-mouth advertising can reach the masses with a photo contest. The Battery Conservancy held a contest called “Draw Up a Chair” that was recently featured in the New York Times. Design students and professionals submitted designs for movable chairs to be placed in New York’s Battery Park. The contest was designed to motivate people to be more involved in their parks and give more flexibility to park-goers. Warrie Price, president of the Battery Conservancy said, “The public is demanding more from their urban environments, from great parks to great design.” See more about America’s Design Competition including some of the great entries here!
Contests can be a great way to raise awareness, too. The iDon’t Drink video contest was launched by The Idaho Beer and Wine Distributors Association (IBWDA) in an effort to stop underage drinking. Students between the ages of 12 and 18 are encouraged to create and submit videos describing how and why they avoid drinking alcohol. Video contests work so well because of their “shareability.” People love to share videos, and using them as a means to gain awareness for your foundation or cause can be a great way to strengthen your online presence.
Grow Your Database
Sometimes a contest is the best way to help grow your database. In Canada.com’s Lego Movie contest, contest applicants submit a Lego video and some personal information for a chance to win a $1000 gift card to Toys ‘R’ Us. This two-prong approach creates opportunity for re-pins through the contestants board and enables you to gather important personal information for future marketing purposes. Another example is the Rockies Program Competition, also known as The Rockie Awards. This global media competition has 27 categories and presents winners with their award at the BANFF World Media Festival. This is a great initiative for programs wanting wide media coverage and recognition.
You went through all the trouble to gain leads—don’t let your efforts go to waste. Follow up online and offline with e-mails, newsletters and, if you gathered addresses, direct mail. Avoid spammy marketing; focus on providing your prospects with information they can use. Become a trusted source they can turn to for help, and you’ll remain top-of-mind when your services are needed.