Touch Football Australia will be reporting live on the game on the TFA Facebook and Twitter pages, so if you are unable to make the event, be sure to be visiting these pages regularly from 6.30pm tonight. Highlights of the three matches each day will be able to be viewed on the TFA YouTube channel shortly after each day’s games conclude, while match reports will also be able to be viewed on the TFA and event websites.Be sure to send in your messages of support on our Facebook and Twitter pages or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them on the website. Good luck to the three Australian teams!There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with the 2012 Trans Tasman Series, which will be held at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex from Thursday, 26 April to Saturday, 28 April 2012, including in the following ways: Websites: www.austouch.com.au www.transtasman.mytouchfooty.com Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #transtasman2012 in your tweets) YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus
Continuing on the Thanksgiving theme of gratitude, here’s a wonderful thanks to donors from the Humane Society. (Hat tip to Alia McKee for sending it to me!)This is a great model to follow! Click on the image below or go here for the full experience.
I recently hosted a guest post by Jay Love on the great donor exodus. He covered how to determine how many donors you are keeping – and losing. Today, he’s back with another guest post to discuss WHY they leave. Please share this post, because understanding why donors quit is the first step to getting them to stay. The author, Jay Love, is the former CEO of eTapestry. He is currently CEO of Bloomerang and SVP of Avectra while serving on numerous local and national nonprofit boards. By Jay LoveWith the extreme importance of the topic my title introduces, you would think there would be a large amount of research and hundreds of articles about it. Unfortunately, that is not the case.The cornerstone of support and funding of most charity causes around the world is a dedicated group of loyal supporters. For smaller charities, this may be less than 100 people including the board of directors. Larger charities rely on the support of thousands of multi-year supporters from various channels. How in the world then could this phenomenon of “loyalty to a cause” not be studied as much, if not more so, than the fuel economy in vehicles or weather patterns in Antarctica? Should not every charity in the world know what causes sudden or the not so sudden departure of its loyal supporters and design methods or systems to alleviate those causes? My previous guest blog post for Katya outlined how even a small 10% improvement in donor retention could double the lifetime revenue stemming from your donors in your database. Therefore, the incentive should be there!As I did in my previous post, I am going to compare research pulled from the commercial sector. In this case, we will look at why a commercial customer leaves. Are there parallels to the reasons why donors leave? Can the immense amount of research compiled by commercial business on this topic and more importantly the systems designed to reduce the likelihood of those reasons happening be copied in some manner? My answer is yes! Notice the comparison of reasons in the Nonprofit Donor Loyalty Primer below. (Problems viewing this infographic? Go here.)The research is pulled from our chief scientist Adrian Sargeant and from The Rockefeller Corporation Although both sides of the image show why the customers or donors are heading to the exit, there is a higher percentage based upon the ability to financially afford on the donor departure side. This is not surprising since supporting a nonprofit is discretionary compared with purchasing food or paying for lodging, transportation, clothing, etc. The biggest lesson for nonprofits, which rely on donor support for all or some portion of their operating budget, is how vital proper communication processes and messages are. Notice how the following items add up to 53% of the reasons why donors leave:1. Thought the charity did not need them 5%2. No information on how monies were used 8%3. No memory of supporting 9%4. Never thanked for donating 13%5. Poor service or communication 18%Just imagine what a solid communication plan built upon a top notch CRM/Database solution could do for each item above. Since loyalty is based upon strong relationships and relationships grow via proper and regular communications, efforts in this area can provide huge upward surges in loyalty and financial support! What do you think is it worth the extra effort here?
It’s been a long week, so a short thought today.Have you ever noticed how very young kids’ drawings usually don’t feature a person’s neck? Have you wondered why?My theory is that if you’re two or three years old and your perspective is low to the ground, you don’t see people’s necks when you look up. You see a head sitting on arms.I can’t think of a better analogy for marketing. Marketing mandates that we look at the world through the eyes of our audience and communicate from that perspective. The process of pushing into a foreign frame of reference can be hard, but when we do it, we find its value. Everything looks wildly different from that perspective. And our work must meld to its crazy contours. This is the mind-bending fun that is our profession.
I continue to work my way through the many great reader questions! Thanks for all of them.Today’s question: I’d like to create copy for the subject line for emails that will encourage people to open them. Amazing Results .. Update .. News .. doesn’t seem to work well, especially when trying to reach potential donors. The space is very limited so there’s no room for an explanation of what’s in the email. Any suggestions?Here are some ideas for better subject lines.1. TEST: Before you send out an email blast, test two different subject lines with a smaller subset of your list. Do this always,so you get smarter all the time. 2. PERSONALIZE: Use something personally relevant to the reader to grab attention.3. BE INTERESTING: Make your subject line oddly short, long or different. Above all, make it interesting. My friend Kivi Leroux Miller talks about bad subject lines being a wrapper (example: September Diabetes eNews) and good subject lines being the candy in the wrapper (example: 6 ways to manage your diabetes). Make it interesting, so people open the message in the first place.4. BE FRESH: Don’t say “update” or “news” each time. Focus on what’s actually new!5. BE BRIEF: Put key information right up front since subject lines get cut off. 6. INSTILL URGENCY: Make it clear why your email matters now — “three days left to give”7. BANISH SPAMINESS: Run it through a content-checker, avoid all caps and shun exclamation points.If I had to choose just one of these to convey, I would think it’s #3. My best advice for building a following is to create wonderful content and reflect it in the subject line. People open the emails they know will contain something of value. Provide that value. The rest will follow!For further advice, I recommend Copyblogger’s tips for better email. You can find that here.
Today, I’m answering another reader question:What are your suggestions for approaching corporations about giving to our non-profit? The ones with grants have specific request methods. Others give to charities, but it often seems sort of a random process, such as who has the ear of the president this week. What’s the best way to handle this?Here are four quick thoughts for Judy. For more thoughts, read what Wal-Mart and other companies had to say on this topic here.1. Know the company – do they have a formal grant process with clear objectives for social good or is it more ad hoc? Do your homework on the corporation and frame your issue according to what you learn about the company’s top philanthropic and business agendas. What can you find out about the individual you are approaching? How does your cause speak to what the company or individual cares about?2. Get to the heart of your cause and why it matters to people. It’s important to reach the heart not just the mind. Tell stories and use examples of the difference the company could make – just don’t forget to tie that message back to #1!3. Talk about how the cause drives business interests in addition to social good. Is your cause a way for the company to draw a distinction from competitors, a way to build employee engagement or a means to boost the brand in your community?4. Start small if you’re hitting a wall. Propose a simple, small grant for a pilot project. That will be easier to get approved – and once you show the impact, you can use that success to ask for more.
Image via the Traditional Fundraiser’s Coloring BookBecause I’ve been posting a lot about the state of the fundraising field – and the critical role of boards in bettering it – I wanted to invite you to a free Network for Good webinar, Building a Strong Board for Fundraising Success. It’s next Tuesday, April 30 at 1 p.m. Eastern. (If you can’t make that time, register anyway, and we’ll send you a recording after the event.)Here’s a description of what we have in store.Nonprofits everywhere are challenged to engage board members to solicit support and donations but let’s be real, that’s a really hard thing to do! Arming your board with the right tools can make all the difference: clear understanding of the fundraising expectation, knowledge about your organization’s cause and mission, and the confidence to pull-off “the ask.”Board “whisperer,” Dick Walker, will join Network for Good for a Nonprofit 911 webinar to present resources and practices that will help you shape your board into a rockstar fundraising resource for your organization.Be sure to tune in to this free event on Tuesday, April 30th at 1 p.m. Eastern; you don’t want to miss this! Register now.
I co-presented a session at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, “Creating Habits for Social Good: Use Behavioral Insights to Get Your Audience Hooked on Your Web Experience.” If you missed it, now is your chance to hear it! I’m re-presenting it as a free webinar on May 14.Here is the description:The bar is higher. As a cause website, it’s no longer enough to just be informative. You have to engage and delight your users throughout their web experience. By applying insights from social psychology and neuroscience, companies like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook have created addictive user experiences and you can do the same. See3’s Allan Burstyn will join Network for Good’s Katya Andresen and together, they’ll explore these concepts and how they can be applied to your organization’s online efforts. They’ll cover how your organization can harness the hardwiring of the brain to achieve social good. If you’ve ever been stymied by unresponsive online constituents, this session is for you!Register here.
HyperlinksWhat should I hyperlink to?In addition to keywords, you’ll also want to include three to five hyperlinks in your press release. Good places to link to include your home page or about page, related websites, a landing page for a contest or event, and your social media pages.Where should I put them?Spread out your hyperlinks throughout your press release with no more than one per paragraph. Watch out for using too many hyperlinks! Otherwise, search engines may flag your release, making it less likely to appear in search engine results.Can I hyperlink my keywords?Unfortunately, hyperlinking keywords won’t earn you extra points because hyperlinks and keywords do the same thing-they encourage your press release to move up the list of search results. By hyperlinking a set of keywords, you’re creating a redundancy that could actually lower your search engine ranking.To learn more about PR tactics for your nonprofit, access the archived presentation of Nonprofit 911: Free PR Help for Your Nonprofit. KeywordsWhat are they?Keywords are the most relevant single words or phrases that are commonly searched for in top search engines. Outside of the headline or subheadline, the use of keywords is the most important aspect of your press release, so spend time on it to make sure your press release gets the attention you desire.Why are they important? The tough thing about modern press releases is that they must be written to appeal not just to people-but also to search engines. If a search engine doesn’t notice it, then a human won’t find it, and if it doesn’t appeal to a human, then no one will read it. The first step in making your press release search engine friendly is to use appropriate keywords.How can I choose mine?Google Adwords is a useful free tool for helping you choose keywords. You can search for the keyword that will be the most effective for you and see those that are competing with it. For example, if you search for a keyword and only three articles come up, your keyword might be too narrow. But if 500,000 appear, you might need to make your keyword more specific. Avoid generic terms such as “nonprofit organization,” because on any given day, 600 press releases might go out from nonprofit organizations. Great keywords can also involve your cause and location.How do I use them? Find two or three keyword phrases that apply to your press release and use those a few times throughout. A good rule of thumb is to put the first keyword in your headline, put your second in the subheadline, and alternate them throughout the body of your press release. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting a website’s visibility to search engines, but how can you actually make your press release appear first in search results? Jessica Pajak and Tyler Ragghianti of PR NewsChannel share some tips on how to use keywords and hyperlinks to elevate your press releases.
In The Generosity Network, philanthropist Jeffrey Walker and fundraising expert Jennifer McCrea team up to show how a shift from transactional to transformational philanthropy can help your nonprofit accomplish even bigger goals. The book is a deeply inspirational instruction manual for forging connections that can move your mission forward. Beyond inspiration, this dream team of social good offers plenty of practical advice for fundraisers looking to build meaningful relationships with donors and partners. One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the focus on understanding the emotional roots of relationship building and learning to create true partnerships with major donors and community leaders through trust. As you might expect, transparency is paramount.From The Generosity Network:“Today’s best nonprofits recognize this truth. They welcome two-way transparency, even when it’s difficult or stressful—and that includes being willing to entertain tough questions and challenges from well-intentioned supporters. Painful conversations, they’ve found, can be a path to discovery, learning, and growth.”To fully embrace the idea of transparency, Jeffrey and Jennifer say that nonprofits need to first understand the vulnerabilities of donors and partners, including:— the importance of personal or public recognition. Some donors want public recognition, others prefer to stay out of the spotlight.— the intensely personal reasons for giving. Each donor’s motivation for giving will be unique.— how much connection the donor wants with your organization. Some donors may consider their gift connection enough, while other donors crave ongoing involvement.— the experience your charity represents in the donor’s life. Has there been a life-changing experience that drives them to give to your cause?— any concerns the donor may have about giving, such as how the money will be spent or how much of a difference can be made.Of course, it’s still critically important for organizations to practice openness when forging partnerships and bringing on new donors. You can show your commitment to transparency by being open about these three factors:Your mistakes and missteps. Be as open about your failures as you are your successes. Show what you’ve learned and how you’re improving. Don’t try to hide mistakes—as we have seen all too often, this usually backfires.How your strategy has evolved. Changing course isn’t something to be ashamed of, it shows how your organization is growing and adapting along with changing circumstances.Your areas of uncertainty. Be upfront about what you don’t know or areas of weakness. This can help you identify strategic alliances, but also lets partners know you are a real organization, with imperfections like all others.The book is officially available today, and you can learn how to create your own Generosity Network in our free webinar on October 1 at 1pm EDT. Jeff and Jennifer will be our guests and will share their insights to help you build a network of partners that will create lasting results for your organization. Register now to reserve your spot.
Credit: Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection If a supporter donates on your website, does she see the same call to action when she visits your Facebook page? If your messaging doesn’t match, your potential donor may be confused and second-guess giving to your nonprofit. Help your fans keep giving with these four tips to consistent donor communication! 1. Keep your colors cohesive …When someone visits your virtual house—Twitter page, website, donation page, landing page, etc.—does he have one user-friendly experience, or does each “room” look like it has a different personality? Keep your colors and branding consistent across every single web site, social media outlet, and print document you share with others. If your email is purple but your landing page is yellow, your donor might feel lost and immediately leave your page.2. … Except for your Donate button!Is your donate button or call to action easy to find? If not, your button might be blending in. Your donate button shouldn’t clash, but it should be bright, bold, and easily noticeable. Try looking across the color wheel to find a good color; for example, if your page is mostly blue, use the opposite color (orange) for your button.3. Make your messaging match … 4. … Especially for your Donate button! When you’re running a campaign, make sure the landing page for your donate button reflects that. For instance, if you’re asking supporters to give to your year-end campaign in your November emails, put that message on your donation page. You want supporters to think, “Great, I can’t wait to donate to their year-end campaign!” And not: “Is this how I donate for year-end???”Using uniform appeals across all of your emails, websites, and social media will help your supporters recognize your nonprofit and encourage them to donate. If you need help creating a branded donation page or need a new page for your next campaign, contact Network for Good for help. Does your email say, “Download a free brochure on AIDS prevention,” but your landing page reads: “Learn more about AIDS”? In this case, visitors could wonder, “What about my brochure?” To get your fans to take action, choose one message or story and use it everywhere: your home page, landing page, emails, and social media. Make it extremely clear what you want and what your visitor can expect to avoid any confusion.
Need help with your final appeals of the year? There’s still time to register for our free webinar happening today.Here’s what I’ll cover in this session:— How many messages you need to send these last few weeks of the year— What you must include in your appeals to inspire giving— When to send your appeals for maximum impact— Examples of great appeals for you to copy— Plus, we’ll leave plenty of time for your questionsBonus: If you register for the webinar, you’ll not only get the recording and slides from the session, we’ll send you a free copy of our year-end appeal template to help you craft your final appeals. (Or, you can use it to check the messages you already have scheduled.)I hope to see you there!Free Webinar: Create Amazing Last-Minute Fundraising AppealsTODAY: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 1pm ESTRegister Now(Can’t attend the live session? Register anyway and we’ll send the recording of the presentation, slides, and free appeal template straight to your inbox!)
This is a test. I repeat, this is a test. I’ve got a few questions to run by you to figure out if your nonprofit’s website is doing all it can to bring in donations. 3. Do you have an e-newsletter or a downloadable asset to collect email addresses?A) Yes!B) We have an email list and send a newsletter out every few months.C) We have a snail mail newsletter that goes out semiannually.D) No, should I?If you responded all As, it looks like you have everything covered. Congratulations!If you answered D, make it your goal to build a quality email database. Google Analytics is a lifesaver in terms of getting to know your website visitors’ habits, but it can only track so much.Give people a reason to hand over their email address in exchange for something they wouldn’t otherwise have access to, whether it be an insider’s guide to fundraising success or a newsletter with priority registration for your events. Make it clear that when someone gives you their email address for a downloadable asset, they’re automatically opting in to your subscriber list. Give them the ability to opt out. An email address is the beginning of a relationship with a visitor who could potentially become a donor, so be mindful of the content and frequency of the messages you send.So, how did you do? If you’re 0 or 1 for 3, don’t worry—the best part of the web is that it can change! The time you spend improving your site to be more donor-friendly will be rewarded with more donations in the long run, just wait. I truly believe you will have little to no trouble accomplishing the steps we just walked through.Emily Lonigro Boylan is the founder and creative director at LimeRed Studio, a creative services firm in Chicago that works with groups that inspire positive change. LimeRed works with nonprofits, higher education, and social enterprises that promote the people, programs, and ideas that make people’s lives better. According to NTEN’s Staffing & Investments Survey Report, the average nonprofit organization has 0.7 full-time staff members allocated to “web” work and 0.7 allocated to “online/digital” work. Let’s face it, 1.4 people can’t possibly spend as much time maintaining and updating an organization’s website as an outside firm could. Many of you are the web/online/digital person at your organization, right? And we’d all be millionaires if we had a nickel for every well-meaning comment or email we’ve received that encourages us to try a new tool, make the site copy more meaningful, and, most importantly, get more donations.I’m happy to report that the three things I recommend will be fairly easy to implement and will make a difference in your donor efforts. (Want some step-by-step guidance? Download our eguide, “How to Create an Effective Nonprofit Website.”)So, back to that test.1. Is your site responsive?A) Yes!B) Somewhat …C) I’m not sure.D) What’s responsive?If you answered A, pat yourself on the back and move on to the next question. For the rest of us, let’s talk about what makes a site responsive.Most of us have accessed websites on mobile devices. In fact, a few people might be visiting your website on mobile devices right now. If your site doesn’t respond to users on specific devices, they’ll have more reason to take their eyeballs elsewhere.Imagine a first-time visitor experience: Jane comes home from work. She makes dinner and sits down to watch a few days’ worth of The Daily Show while she catches up with friends. She scrolls through her newsfeed on her iPhone’s Facebook app and sees that a good friend in another state is running a marathon to raise money for cancer research. Jane wants to support her friend from afar, so she clicks the link in her friend’s post and ends up at the beneficiary organization’s site.It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book—Jane’s ability to donate will depend on whether this site works on her phone. Otherwise, she’ll have to wait until she goes back to work and remembers to donate. Jane is a busy woman; do you really think she’ll remember to do that? Probably not. 2. Is your donation form easy to use?A) Yes!B) There are five questions, is that easy?C) There are three pages of five questions, is that easy?D) I get a lot of error complaints, so maybe not.If you answered A, you’re 2 for 3. Go on to the third question and see if you passed the website donor test with flying colors. If you answered B, you’re on the right track, as long as those questions are simple and essential. If you answered C or D, we’ve got some work to do so let’s get to it. (Need some help setting up a donation page that matches your website? Check out DonateNow!)Getting people to your site is most definitely the first step. But once they’re there, how easy is it to donate no matter where they are on the site? Donation forms run the spectrum from stunning and touching to disastrous and annoying. It’s best to make the form simple and don’t ask for too much. Handing over hard-earned dollars should be a joy, not a chore.No matter how simple or complex your organization’s donation forms are, regularly test the checkout experience. Check it from different browsers and make sure you’ve got a confirmation and thank you email set up to send within minutes of the donation processing. Acknowledging and thanking donors—whether they’re regulars or first-timers—should be a given, but not everyone is on top of that essential step.That reminds me of one more thing you could add to the checkout process to strengthen your relationship with potential, new, or ongoing donors.
We’re really excited to have this year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference right in our back yard here in Washington, DC. If you’ll be in town for the conference, please make sure you stop by and say hi. We’d love to see you!Here are all the ways you can get in touch with Network for Good while you’re at NTC:NTC Science Fair: Visit us at booth #235 to meet our team, take a picture in our photo booth, pick up some NFG swag, and learn about how to make the most of Network for Good’s online fundraising tools. Don’t forget, the Science Fair is open to the public. So even if you’re not registered for the conference, come by to say hello!Breakout Sessions: Join our Director of Content Strategy, Caryn Stein, for two breakout sessions on Friday, March 14, 201410:30 am: The Amazing Data Show: How Donors Are Giving and How Nonprofits Are Investing in Our Growing Digital Landscape3:30 pm: The Power of Technology and the Millennial GenerationProgressive Party: Come meet the whole Network for Good team and help us celebrate processing $1billion in donations! We’ll be providing food, drinks, and tons of fun on Friday, March 14, 2014 from 9-11pm ET in downtown DC.We hope to see you at one (or all!) of these events next week.
Do you know how supporters feel about your organization? What are people saying about your cause online? All too often organizations are so busy promoting their next campaign or event they fail to pay attention to managing their reputation. If you’re not actively monitoring and managing how your nonprofit’s brand is perceived, your fundraising and marketing efforts will suffer. This week, we have a must-see webinar for anyone working in the sector. Dr. Dionne Clemons, nonprofit communications expert, will join us for a free webinar all about understanding and managing your nonprofit’s reputation. She’ll show you how to create a plan for actively managing and safeguarding your brand. If you need some help planning for crisis communication, brand monitoring, public relations, or social campaigns, you will not want to miss this.Take Charge of Your Nonprofit’s ReputationTuesday, March 25, 2014 1pm ETRegister now.(If you can’t attend the live session, go ahead and register so you can get the recording and slides delivered shortly after the event.)
Nonprofit communication is changing-and not just because of social media. Thanks to content marketing, instead of simply keeping donors up to date, nonprofit communicators and fundraisers are directly tying more long-term goals to communication and seeing great results. Here are the three reasons why you don’t want to miss out!1. Content marketing uses the great stuff you already have.Is your nonprofit putting out unique information, like a blog covering community development, data on homelessness, or white papers about animal welfare? Content marketing means using your existing content to attract people (like donors) to your cause. Putting out irresistible content can encourage people to connect with you because they want to know more. But when you’re just keeping them up to date with a newsletter or asking for money with an appeal, you’re not giving them anything, so your message can seem like an interruption.2. Your “partners” will eat it up.With so much emphasis on “finding your target audience,” “identifying your target audience,” and “messaging for your target audience,” it can be hard to rethink who you’re talking to and why. Instead of focusing on your supporters and their demographics as a “target” to be aimed for and an “audience” to broadcast at, think of your supporters as your partners. Although it’s still a good idea to segment the people you’re communicating with, it’s important to think of them as people who are interested in dialogue. By engaging in content marketing and truly informing supporters, you can develop a back-and-forth conversation that encourages regular communication and lays the foundation for a lasting relationship.3. It’s the first step to becoming a favorite cause!The more you participate in continuous dialogue with your supporters, the greater your chance of becoming a favorite cause. If donors put you at the top of their list, you’ll reap huge rewards: more donations over time for bigger amounts and more regularly. And how do you remain a favorite cause? You keep communicating!Okay, so how do you do it?Stay tuned for part two of this article: developing your nonprofit’s unique voice.
Editor’s note: Did you miss Social Media Week? Don’t worry, every week can be Social Media Week for your nonprofit with the advice in this guest post from Social Media for Nonprofits founder Ritu Sharma.If your organization is looking to get in on the action, here’s a day-by-day breakdown of some easy-to-implement, yet highly effective tips to get your social engine humming.Monday: Create an Editorial CalendarThe typical nonprofit only allocates .25 full time employees to social media, and actually, you’re better off if this is split between several people with different perspectives and areas of expertise. Let those voices shine. How do you coordinate efforts? A content or editorial calendar is a simple tool that clarifies who is posting what, where, and when: a simple spreadsheet or a Google calendar suffices nicely.Tuesday: Find Your Killer Pix & VidsFacebook and Twitter posts with photos attract twice as many likes, comments, shares, and retweets. Imagery is key to both grabbing attention and engaging folks: in fact, charity:water’s Photo of the Day tweets are a huge part of what drove them to 1.4M followers. And videos? Ronald McDonald House Charities relies on video storytelling to help bring the impact of their work to life in their Season of Giving campaign. Sharing these clips on social media has increased the number of responses and prompts others to tell their story. Wednesday: ABT— Always Be TaggingSocial Media for Nonprofits keynote Guy Kawasaki says that taking the extra time to tag supporters in photos and videos is crucial. And think about it on a personal level: when’s the last time you got an email from Facebook saying you’ve been tagged and you didn’t click through to make sure it wasn’t a horrible photo of you? Once you get people to your page, then the engagement can begin and they can help take your message viral.Thursday: Keep it SimpleRemember to keep your posts pithy and to the point: less is more. The optimal tweet is 130 characters says Facebook for Dummies author John Haydon, and incredibly, he discovered that Facebook posts should be kept to 80 characters to maximize impact. So keep it simple and short: that’s part of the secret to going viral and engaging the “Kevin Bacon” effect, says Nonprofit Management 101 author Darian Rodriguez Heyman. But end those posts with a question to double response rates— people are much more likely to chime in if you ask vs. tell them something.Friday: Follow the LeadersMany nonprofits find Twitter perplexing. The simplest, cheapest, and best way to grow your follower base there is to follow others, especially those who are leaders in your field (i.e. other nonprofits, academics, journalists, etc.). Typically 20-30% of these will follow you back, plus you’re also creating a pool of resources that can give you a sense of what’s going on in your industry. Be sure to be a good twitizen and retweet valuable posts: it’s a great way to build up social currency.About Ritu Sharma:Ritu Sharma is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Social Media for Nonprofits. Under her leadership, the world’s only series dedicated to social media for social good has earned a 92% approval rating from over 4,500 nonprofit leaders across the world. She is a public speaker, consultant, and event planner and heads up programming, marketing, and event logistics for the series. Previously, she produced Our Social Times and Influence People’s North American Social Media Marketing and Monitoring conference series and started a web development and social media business, which leveraged an international team of programmers and designers across India, Romania, and the US.
Using an established press release distribution service will help your nonprofit get more attention. Many nonprofits and small businesses want to know exactly what they can expect from a press release before they sacrifice a dime of their precious marketing budget. Press releases are not the holy grail of marketing and promotion, but they are utilized by for-profit companies and you shouldn’t overlook them when assembling your nonprofit promotional arsenal.Make sure you have realistic expectations for how you can use them and what they can do: 1. Get press from a large news agency.The potential upside for a press release is very high. Your news release can get picked up by a large news agency or journalist or you can end up with a radio or TV interview. Large publicity like this can be a huge win for a nonprofit organization with little exposure.Getting contacted by a large news agency is a rare occurrence, so it’s important to keep your expectations realistic. The more substantial and unique your press release is, the more likely you are to obtain positive results.For many press releases, news sites will “pick up” your news release and publish it on their site. These news sites will link directly to your press release page which will further increase your overall exposure, search engine rankings, and traffic.2. Yield better search results.Whenever you send out a press release, make sure to use an established press release distribution service. This ensures your press release will have a prime location on the distributor’s site. It’s not unusual for the web page of a press release to have first page rankings in search engines within hours of publication, especially since it can link to specific keyword phrases.3. Send more traffic to your website. With traffic flowing from news sites and your press release page to your own website, expect an increase in traffic to your website for several weeks after the press release is published. Expect to receive a few hundred new unique visitors in the first few days after publishing a release.Need some ideas for press releases for your nonprofit? Here are some tips:If you’re a new organization, write a release to introduce your organization and its purpose. Use your organization name in the title of the press release to help people find your organization and help searchers find your new organization.Have a great new hire? Let people know where she came from and how excited you are!If you’re planning an event, a press release can be a great way to get increased exposure to your event and website for a few weeks or months before the event.Do you have a name of a product, service, or person in your organization that can use some increased popularity? Write a press release on the topic and use the name in the title of the press release to rank well in search engines.Ryan Bowman runs WebEminence.com where he builds simple informational websites on a budget for nonprofits and small businesses. He also provides digital marketing tips on his YouTube Channel.
You can visit Giving USA for a free summary, or to purchase the full data set and reports.How do these stats line up with your own fundraising results? Chime in below and let us know how you use reports like Giving USA and what other data you’d like to see . The latest Giving USA report was released today, showing that total U.S. charitable giving increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2013. Overall giving grew 4.4% last year to an estimated $335.17 billion, with donations from individuals driving much of the growth that sees giving inching closer to pre-recession levels. Some highlights: Giving by individuals increased by 4.2%, while corporate giving declined by 1.9%.Individual giving made up 72% of total contributions in 2013.Donations to faith-based organizations were the biggest chunk of overall giving (31%) when segmented by organization type, although gifts to this segment were flat compared to 2012.
The Internet has emerged as a fantastic tool for nonprofit fundraising. There has never been an easier way to contact your supporters, share ideas, and — best of all — get them to promote your cause to their friends. It’s also very easy for donors to give money to your organization with just the click of a mouse button. No driving, searching for checkbooks, or mailing donations. They just have to tap in an amount, hit send, and they are done!The best crowdfunding sites make it easy for you to get your message out and for donors to make their contributions. So what should you look for in choosing a crowdfunding platform?Customizable – You must be able to display your brand and use your logo, colors, images, etc. You also need to be able to tell your story. Nonprofit crowdfunding isn’t going to garner online support if it is just a payment page. Your crowdfunding platform has to allow you to share your mission and engage donors.Simple Technology – There is no reason for you to have to employ an IT staff or programmers just to put up a nonprofit fundraising site. Platforms are available that let you easily copy and paste your text and drag and drop your images to make your page look good.Multiple Fundraising Pages – You want an unlimited project size for your nonprofit crowdfunding. You can link together multiple campaigns to reach a much broader audience, and you also want your crowdfunding platform to allow you to share your stories. It can’t be over-emphasized just how powerful stories are to make people feel connected to you.Built-In Social Media – Those little social media logo buttons are invaluable for getting donors to share your posts with their networks. Be sure they are easy to find and in an accessible part of your page.Security – Any time you are asking for money, you will be asking someone to trust your system with access to their financial information, such as credit card information, and possibly even passwords. Check that the crowdfunding platform you are considering is secure and that the individuals who are running it are experienced and known in the industry.Visual – A picture paints a thousand words, and video raises that exponentially. You want to engage people on an emotional level, and you’ve got to have pictures and video to reach them and to make your site more enticing than any others that are vying for your visitors’ attention.In addition to confirming the above, be sure that any crowdfunding sites you commit to are supported by live, knowledgeable support staff who can help with setup and who will also be available as time goes by and questions arise. Contact us at 1-855-229-1694 with all your questions and to get a demo of our powerful crowdfunding software, GiveCorps.