5 Fundraising ideas for nonprofits


1. Host a walkathon

Even if your organization does not focus on healthcare, you can never go wrong with promoting a healthy, active lifestyle. For added fun, make it a themed walkathon: let participants do the race in costumes, or have them bring their pets. If hosting the walkathon is too expensive, you can opt to sell merchandise like shirts or put up a snack kiosk at the event instead.

2. Do an art auction

Auctions are a great way to raise funds for a cause, promote budding artists, and find great pieces of artwork. You can organize auctions for paintings, sculptures, decorative art pieces, and other handicrafts.

3. Partner with a restaurant

Organize a joint fundraiser to bring more customers for the restaurant and to earn a percentage of the profits for your organization. It can be a cafe, a hotel, a pastry shop, or preferably a family restaurant — since this fundraiser works best if you have a wide network of contacts: your extended family, your officemates, church group members, or classmates.

4. Cut/Shave for a cause

Hair donation may not seem very common in the Philippines, but it is not unheard of. Participants can pledge to shave their heads or beards, or even just cut off several inches of their hair in a ponytail, to raise funds or awareness for an organization.

5. Create and sell

A straightforward fundraiser—many young adults in particular would love to buy customized crafts like journals, bottlecap keychains, handmade soap, desk calendars, water bottles, and even tie-dye shirts!

Akubo Tip: Import & Update Import Contacts

Adding numerous contacts into a database is a difficult task as well as cleaning your database. A lot of time should be dedicated just for that task. In Akubo, you can import your contacts from an Excel or CSV file as well as doing an update import. Below is a sample format of the Excel file.


1. On the main page of Akubo, click Others, then Import & Export.

2. On the Import dropdown, select CONTACTS from Excel or CSV file.

3. Click Choose File to find the file from your computer that you want to import. Click Upload.


4. Next is matching the columns of the spreadsheet with columns in the database. The matched columns will be in green.


If your file contains duplicate names, you can check on the setting that will not allow duplicates to be imported. You have the option to check for duplicates by: Name/Organization, Email, Both Name and Email, or Custom Field.


You can use the setting Assign Country to set a country value only if there are no other value in the Country column in the spreadsheet or if all the contacts are from the same country.


If you want to add the new contacts to a specific group, you can use the setting GROUP: Add all imported entries to the group. From the drop-down menu, you can select an existing group or create a new one.


5. Click Import.


If you’re cleaning your database, you can do an update import by exporting the contacts and after updating them in MS Excel, import it back to Akubo.

1. Export the contacts first. On the main page of Akubo, click Others, then Import & Export.

2. On the Export dropdown menu, select CONTACTS to CSV.


3. Select the contacts you want to export. You can select all contacts, by group or by individual contacts.

4. Next, select the fields you want to include in the exported file.


Note: Don’t forget to check Contact ID. The Contact ID will help Akubo identify each contact when you do an update/import.

5. Click Create CSV File (MS Excel), then Export.

6. After editing the contacts in MS Excel, import it back to Akubo. On the Import & Export page, click on the link UPDATE CONTACTS using Excel or CSV file under the Import dropdown menu.

7. Click Choose File, and the select the file you wish to import. Then click Upload.

8. Next step is matching the columns of the spreadsheet with the columns in the database. Matched columns will be in green.


9. When merging/updating contacts, you can merge by the following options: Name/Organization, Email Address, Contact ID, Both Name and Email Address or by Custom Field.



Note: When choosing the column to check for merging, it must have a unique value. Example is if you select email address then there should be no contact in the database that has the same email address listed on the spreadsheet. If there are duplicates, Akubo will not import the contact until the duplicate is removed. It is suggested that you use Contact ID since it is unique to each contact.

10. Click Import.

Akubo Tip: Tracking your donors

You may have some donors in your database who haven’t donated since 2014, for example, or some who haven’t donated at all. Now is a good time to get in touch with them through a mailer.

In Akubo, you can view a list called Lapsed Donors: it’s a list of donors who have donated before, or have not given since, 2014. For this tutorial, we will get the list of donors who haven’t donated since 2014 and even those who have never donated to your organization yet.

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Akubo Tip: Creating an email subscription form

One way to gain recipients for your newsletters is to have an email subscription form on your website. With Akubo, you can create a subscription form, and the sign-ups will be automatically saved to your Akubo database.

Here is the code that you can put in a text widget on your website (this code will also work for websites that don’t use WordPress).

<form action=”″ method=”POST” onsubmit=”if (email.value == ”) return false; alert(‘Thank you for signing-up for our email newsletters.‘)”>

<input type=”text” name=”first” placeholder=”Enter First Name”>

<input type=”text” name=”last” placeholder=”Enter Last Name”>

<input type=”email” name=”email” placeholder=” Enter Email Address” style=”font-size: 11px; background-color: #E6DFD5; width: 120px” />

<input style=”background-color: #ECCC67; color: #FFFFFF” type=”submit” value=”Sign Up“/>

<input name=”oid” type=”hidden” value=”enter your OID here” />

<input name=”url_success” type=”hidden” value=”website address to go for success sign-up” />

<input name=”group” type=”hidden” value=”Website Email Sign-up” />


It checks if there is a value on the email field, and after subscribing, a confirmation window will pop up. You can customize the style and text on the confirmation window.

For the above sample, the confirmation text is Thank you for signing-up for our email newsletters, while the text for the submit buttons is simply Sign-up.

It is also necessary to include the OID in the code. An OID identifies your Akubo account and is displayed in the Auto-Forms section in the Settings page.

First, you have to enable Auto-Forms.


Copy your OID value, then find the OID line in the previous code and place it.

<input name=”oid” type=”hidden” value=”enter your OID here” />

The url_success tag will have the URL of the page that will appear if the submission is successful.

<input name=”url_success” type=”hidden” value=”website address to go for success sign-up” />

The data gathered by this form will be stored in your Akubo database.

Best of luck!

Last week we bid farewell to two long-time employees. We’re very happy to have worked with Myla, our operations manager, and Patrick, one of our software engineers, over the past 3 years!

One of Akubo’s first employees, Myla has always been full of energy and makes everyone, including our student interns and remote co-workers, feel welcome to the team. Patrick is less sentimental, yet he leaves his mark with his tongue-in-cheek humor. We wish both of them the best of luck as they move on to their next chapters in their careers.



Bug Tracking


by Carlos Resurreccion, System Administrator

The only thing that is constant is change they say. So software systems likewise will require change over time due to changes in user needs, change in technology, or just because it’s not working right (i.e. buggy), among other things.

The changes to the software need to be recorded or tracked in order to know who did what on which part of the system and how it was done. These recorded information can then be used to coordinate work among developers to avoid overlapping of work assignments, identification of finished and unfinished tasks, and provide a ready-reference for future tasks of similar nature, etc. But even a one-man team can benefit from recording such information to better organize the development effort, especially when the system being developed has a level of complexity.

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Akubo at Campus Devcon: Five lessons about UI Design


Recently we attended the Campus Code DevCon, held at the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos last February 28.

Partly sponsored by Akubo, the forum aimed to boost students’ academic learning with trends in the IT industry and discussions on bug tracking, version control, and design. Among the guest speakers were two members of our team. I was one of them.

When I was first told to talk about UI design, I was not sure if I was the right person. I started to create user interface mockups for Akubo projects two years ago. I learned on my own, and I still have a lot to learn. So I reminded myself: every UI designer starts as a beginner.


What is UI?

Decades ago, if you wanted a computer to do something, you had to use a programming language and type a command. It was just a screen and lines of code.

Eventually we were introduced to computers with an interface, and a mouse cursor. Most of us know the old (Windows) design: the gray pop-up windows, chunky buttons, checkboxes, desktop icons.

The design may already look “ancient” next to the ones we now see today, especially on smartphones. But still, old or new, they’re both examples of UI design.

UI stands for user interface, and it’s more than just the colors or graphics. UI design is the look or layout of the product, and everything that the user sees or clicks (or presses, on a touchscreen device). A Sign Up button, the menu, the links on the sidebar, the familiar What’s on your mind? field in Facebook, the Photo Stories of Instagram — these are all parts of a user interface.

Five Lessons

You’d think that after two years I’d find it easy to create designs for our projects at Akubo. That’s not always the case. But I did learn a few things, and so every time I begin to work on a mockup, I remind myself of five things:

1. Who will use it?

Is your software/app for kids or adults? Millennials, teachers, or parents, who may not be very tech-savvy? Once you understand who you’re designing for, it’s easier to plan out everything else: what information you need to show, how to organize the pages, the style of the graphics or illustrators, the colors, even the font families and the writing style.

2. Work with shades of gray

A tip I learned only recently — build your mockup with monochrome colors first. Worry about the colors, gradients, and fonts later. This way, you can focus more on the layout and the technical aspects of the design. It’s also an exercise to test your skill and your creativity, and you’ll learn to make your product look great and usable, even in black and white.


3. Be consistent

The red traffic light always means Stop, whether you’re here or in another country. It’s the same idea in UI design. The buttons, links, and text headers are there to guide your user around your product, so they need to be easily recognized. If your Cancel buttons only have red borders, then all Cancel buttons in all pages need red borders. If you use an X icon to Close a page, use a different icon for Remove or Delete options.


4. Use simple language

Most bad examples are error messages. “404 Not Found?” or “Syntax Error?” might mean something to programmers, but it’s a foreign language to ordinary users. The user doesn’t know what it means. Or what went wrong, how to fix it, or when it will be fixed. When that happens, you’re basically leaving your user in the dark, and the experience doesn’t give your product a good impression.

5. Copy and deconstruct

If you’re new to UI design, it’s hard to create something from scratch, or something original. That’s why we learn and practice by copying.

The idea is not to plagiarize — it’s to sketch out the skeleton of a design. When you copy a design, you break down every element of the product. The tabs, headers, sidebars, positions of the sections and even sizes of the buttons.

Slowly you’ll understand why the design worked for that product, and why it might or might not work for a product like yours.


This article was written by Joy Martir, a Design & Communications Specialist at Akubo.

Akubo V2: New Settings Page

With the release of Akubo V2, we introduced a new layout. Now, there is a new look for the Settings page. The features are still the same, but with enhancements. This is what’s new with the Settings page:


The tabs are now on the left side of the page, and the different sections under each tab are on the right side.



Opt-out Survey

When you send out emails, there is an option for your recipient to opt-out/unsubscribe from your future emails. You can create a survey to see why your recipient opted out or unsubscribed.

In Settings, go to the General Configuration tab.

Click Update, across the Opt-out Survey section.


On the Email Opt-out Survey popup, you can enable Opt-out Survey and define possible reasons.



Opt-out Survey Report

If you enabled Opt-out Survey, you can get a report that shows which contacts opted out and their reasons why.




In the new Settings, you don’t have to drag a Group to turn it into a Subgroup or to delete it.

Under the Groups tab, there are 4 buttons on each group on the list, one each to:

1. Move a Group to a Subgroup

2. View the contacts in a Group

3. Rename a Group

4. and to Delete a Group


To move a Group, click the Move icon and select the parent group on the popup.


To unlink a subgroup from its parent group, click on the Unlink icon.

Note: Only 10 smart groups are allowed per account. Smart Group is a dynamic group and it automatically group contacts that fit its query. Smart Groups created using the old Advanced Query won’t work in Akubo V2. It will still shows in the contact’s record but it won’t group new contacts. To make it work, you have to create a new smart group.


Transaction Fields

You can hide/unhide transaction fields such as categories/sub-categories, accounts, and payment methods instead of deleting them.


Manage Fundraising Campaigns

There is now a way to manage your fundraising campaigns. You can now enter data like the campaign’s amount goal, the start date, and the end date.