I was recently asked to post on LinkedIn what I thought would be a big trend in our sector in 2013.My response is that there is a huge power shift brewing in philanthropy, and in 2013 it will turn old school charity on its head. And you shall see it, if you are paying attention. The consumer, not the nonprofit, will be the source of innovation and growth.Meet the growing base of mobile device-wielding, “asset-light” consumers who have already revolutionized everything from education to finance to publishing to photography. Philanthropy is next, folks.Read the full post at LinkedIn here.
If you are seeking to be more creative in 2013, I strongly recommend Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative. I spent this past weekend reading and re-reading this unconventional little book, and it was a revelation.Above all, it reminded me that the opposite of “garbage in, garbage out” is “ideas in, ideas, out.” Or “brilliance in, brilliance out” if it’s a really good day. Your mind is what you feed it. So be happy if you have endless curiosity about what smart people think. I certainly do.If you want to be more creative this year, read, watch and look at smart things. “Ideas in” yield amazing ideas from you. The more you fill yourself up with an array of brilliance, the better thinker you will be.New year’s resolution? Steal like an artist. Steal Like An Artist Book Trailer from Austin Kleon on Vimeo.
Do nonprofits have to pay to get their content seen on Facebook? We wanted to get the scoop, so Network for Good’s Katya Andresen turned to Facebook expert, John Haydon. He provided easy-to-understand, practical insight on the most common questions about Promoted Posts on Facebook.Katya: Do you have to pay to play to have success on Facebook these days? Should you do promoted posts and if so, how?John: No, you do not have to pay to play to have success on Facebook these days. But you do have to publish awesome content. Again, Edgerank is nothing new for Facebook Pages. Updates from Pages have never reached all of their fans. But Pages with awesome content reach more of their fans, and some even go further than that, like George Tekai’s page.Promoted posts are certainly an option to reach more fans. However, promoting posts alone will not create success. As you know, you have to do many things right to be truly effective on social media.As Alison Carlman points out in her experiment on using Promoted Posts, you have to have a goal, and you have to measure what works for your organization. They also learned that Promoted Posts did increase engagement and net revenue on posts they promoted.How to think about promoted postsWith promoted posts, all you’re paying for is an increase in reach. There is no guarantee that you’ll get more comments, likes and shares, even though that’s what you want for long-term success (the more comments, likes and shares you get on a post, the more you’re leveraging true word of mouth).So the key to investing your ad dollars wisely, is to ONLY promote posts that are already getting a lot of likes, comments and shares. You do this by ranking your most recent posts by virality within Facebook Insights (the analytics tool every Facebook Page has).Two benefits to promoting high virality posts1. You will get more likes, comments and shares from the promotion.2. You’ll increase organic reach for your Page updates.An example of how this works Let’s say you have a post that 20 people have talked about (liked, commented on, shared) among 200 people total who saw that update (reach). If you pay for this update to reach an additional 2000 people, it’s reasonable to expect that the update will receive approximately 200 likes, comments and shares, when adjusted for affinity.What does “adjusted for affinity” mean? Many people who see this promoted post have a lower affinity for your Page than people who are see this post organically. This is why they’re not seeing your posts in the first place. When you promote a post, remember that you’re promoting it to fans who haven’t talked about your posts much before (low affinity), and that they’re not as likely to talk about your post as someone who sees it organically (high affinity). In the few pages I’ve analyzed (10 pages), this adjustment seems to be about 20%. Using this adjustment with our example, the total number of likes, comments and shares would be around 160.People who hate math should just know one thing: if you promote posts that are already getting a higher number of likes, comments and shares, your promotion will yield much more value than if you promoted posts that have a low number of likes, comments and shares. Another way to say this is this: if you promote posts that are not already interesting, you are throwing money out the window.For more insight, check out John’s video on getting the most out of promoted posts and a blog post on extending your Facebook reach.(This article was adapted from a post that originally appeared on Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog.)
(Snow-themed smartphone case from Zazzle)I’m in chilly Minneapolis for the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). On the theme of technology, I wanted to share this new overview of mobile from Business Insider. (Available here.) Take a look – it’s a useful set of data that underlines the importance of your organization ensuing that people can read your emails and donate to your cause on their smartphones.I spent the past year working with the Network for Good team on mobile, and this type of data prompted us to create a special mobile donation flow for our nonprofits on our DonateNow service. I’ll be talking about that process – and my overall thoughts on mobile – with PayPal here at the NTC on Friday. I’m also be co-presenting on behavioral economics with Allan Burstyn on Thursday, as well as co-hosting the The 5th Annual Marketing and Fundraising Meet and Greet later that same day with Kivi Leroux Miller, Farra Trompeter, and Nancy Schwartz. You can also find me at the Science Fair, which I’ll be kicking off Thursday afternoon. If you’re here in snowy Minnesota, come say hi.If you’re not here, no fear. I’ll share the highlights here on the blog. You can enjoy the updates from your (hopefully) warmer home base.
2. Forgetting that we’re not the audience.The messages that appeal to us aren’t the ones that necessarily resonate with others. Every assumption should be suspect until we understand our audiences’ mindsets. When we assume our audience thinks the way we do, we are at odds with the principles of marketing. We must think like the people we want to reach if we want to succeed.3. Treating marketing as an afterthought.Marketing and communications are often tacked on to a good cause’s efforts at the last minute. In treating nonprofit marketing as an afterthought, we deprive ourselves of the great benefits that marketing can bring to all our work. A marketing mindset throughout every dimension of our cause can help us design more effective projects, better meet the needs of people we want to help, win us more donations and support, and motivate people to act. If your nonprofit message isn’t getting through or your nonprofit marketing campaign isn’t making a difference, it is probably due to one (or all) of these three reasons.1. Falsely assuming that information results in action.It’s tempting to assume that if people have information, they will act on it. But sadly, information doesn’t equal action. We know it’s healthy to exercise every day – but that doesn’t mean we’re going to do it. Inertia is a strong force. Good causes are forever in conflict with the status quo and business as usual. We can’t just lay out information. We need to create a compelling reason for taking action that beats doing nothing. In marketing terms, we need to improve our reward and lower our price.
Having trouble using your Good Card? We’re here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org* Note: Donations made using a Good Card must be equal to or less than the value of the Good Card. You can use your Good Card to support more than one charity, but you must make each donation separately.** Note: The purchase of a Network for Good gift card by Dell represents a charitable contribution that may be deductible for tax purposes by Dell. Dell Employees, Customers or Partners who receive a Network for Good gift code from Dell are acting as the designator of the specific Network for Good charity that Dell is donating to, and thus are neither giving a tax deductible donation nor receiving taxable income. The Network for Good tax exempt ID number is 68-0480736 You received a Good Card. Now it is time to choose the charity(ies) you want to help. Redeeming Your Good Card is as Easy as 123: Locate a charity by using the search box or by selecting one of the recomended charitiesClick on the “Donate Now” button, enter a donation amount*, and select “Add to Giving Cart”Click on “Redeem A Good Card” and enter your Good Card Redemption Code (ID#)Thank You! You have just spread help and hope with your Good Card.Trying to designate a specific chapter/program/etc? Simply write-in the information using the Designation section of the Donation Page. Type in a charity name or use keywords Keywords:Charity Name:City:State:Select a stateAlabamaAlaskaAmerican SamoaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFederated States of MicronesiaFloridaGeorgiaGuamHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarshall IslandsMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaNorthern Mariana IslandsOhioOklahomaOregonPalauPennsylvaniaPuerto RicoRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirgin IslandsVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingSelect a stateSelect a stateAlabamaAlaskaAmerican SamoaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFederated States of MicronesiaFloridaGeorgiaGuamHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarshall IslandsMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaNorthern Mariana IslandsOhioOklahomaOregonPalauPennsylvaniaPuerto RicoRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirgin IslandsVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingZip Code:Category:Select a categoryArts and CultureEducation and TechnologyAnimals and EnvironmentHealthHuman ServicesInternationalCivic and CommunityReligionSelect a categorySelect a categoryArts and CultureEducation and TechnologyAnimals and EnvironmentHealthHuman ServicesInternationalCivic and CommunityReligion
Network for Good’s Digital Giving Index shows that 10% of all online donations are made in these last few days of the year, with a high concentration of gifts coming in during the final hours of December 31. Reaching out* to these “generous procrastinators” is a big opportunity to boost your year-end campaigns and meet your fundraising goals. This wave of generosity also offers the opportunity to welcome new donors and rekindle and strengthen relationships with those who’ve given before. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing tips and resources for retaining these donors. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your big wins of 2013 and your hopes for 2014. Leave a comment below and I’ll share some of your highlights in an upcoming post. *If you haven’t yet sent a final fundraising reminder, drop whatever you’re doing and send a short, to-the-point email to supporters who’ve not yet given this season. Download my recent free webinar for a copy of our last-minute fundraising appeal template.
Want to learn to create infographics like this one from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? Sign up for our free webinar Infographics 101. 1. Release data with an infographicInfographics are a fun way to visualize data in a shareable format. Successful infographics highlight relevant data that truly interests people in a visual, aesthetically pleasing way. (See a nice gallery of nonprofit infographics from The Chronicle of Philanthropy for some examples.)Want some help with your own infographics? Register for our upcoming Nonprofit 911 webinar, Infographics 101, for an introduction. It might be old news, but it’s still true: Visuals trump text. Content with compelling images experience 94% more views on average than content without images.Nonprofits can harness the power of visuals to help boost their online presence, generate an engaged social media following, and share information with supporters and donors. Here are 10 ways your nonprofit can leverage visuals online and off. 2. Enhance storytellingStorytelling is an essential part of nonprofit marketing. Images enhance stories and create an emotional connection to characters and your cause. Do you include images of the people or animals your nonprofit impacts, like the St. Bernard Project did in their Faces of Katrina campaign? Including real faces will help your donors feel an emotional connection to your cause.3. Highlight quotes and factsHave a great quote from a conference? Make it shine by overlaying the quote on an interesting picture from the conference. Have a powerful fact to share? Couple it with a graphic and share it on social media to add visual interest. This type of visual is a great idea for nonprofits who want to share facts and quotes on Facebook. 4. Create a collection Many organizations have a set of images from a special event or volunteer day that participants and donors would love to view. The perfect way to share these images is through a collection or Facebook album. The Best Day Foundation, an organization that plans adventure activities for children with special needs, shares collections of their Best Day events (and tons of smiles!) on their website.5. Show your funny side with memes Because memes are typically funny or adorable, they’re great visuals and very shareable. The National Wildlife Federation made one that totally fits the bill by poking fun at the popular “Hey girl” meme featuring actor Ryan Gosling.6. Document events Having a photographer at an event can prove helpful days and even years after the event is over. Here are some ways you can use these photos:Share event images with donors in a newsletter or event recapShow event success to sponsorsUse the photos for future promotional activities for the next eventCreate a historical archive of the organization’s main events and activitiesThe Arts Council of New Orleans used a Facebook album document their May Arts Market.7. Showcase behind-the-scenes activities Behind-the-scenes photos can help organizations show supporters that there are people just like them making sure the mission of the organization is lived out every day. Public radio station KSER uses behind the scenes photos to show the normal and exciting things that happen at their station.8. Make your website shine When you think of your organization’s website, what are the first words that come to your mind? Are the images blurry and stretched stock images or are they crisp, professional photos that truly exemplify your organization’s mission? Your website should be your nonprofit’s home base online, so make sure the photos boost your organization’s image. Our friends at Care2 have great tips about how to choose appropriate images for your website.9. Organize and directNonprofits can spruce up emails and websites by adding visual cues to help donors and supporters find the information they need. Using icons to organize content like an email list sign up, donation page, petition, volunteer opportunities, and wish lists can help supporters quickly navigate to your prime content.10. Spread the love It’s becoming more common for Facebook and Twitter users to dedicate their profile or cover image to their favorite nonprofit during special campaigns. Think of it as a digital bumper sticker. Parents of Girl Scouts were encouraged to share this image to show their support on Facebook.
Next week, I will join PayPal’s Tanya Urschel to present a free webinar, Mobile Impact 301: How to Raise More Money via Mobile. This event is part of the Mobile Impact series offered in conjunction with BetterWorld Wireless and TechSoup. The session will take place on Thursday, June 19 at 2pm EDT — register now to reserve your spot.Tanya and I will share the best practices in mobile fundraising to help you optimize your nonprofit’s mobile experience and increase your online results. You’ll get the inside scoop on the latest research on mobile usage, learn how to engage donors in a mobile world, and find out how to take advantage of the rise of smartphones. (Bonus: Network for Good and PayPal will release a new mobile fundraising whitepaper next week, so you’ll get first dibs on your copy by attending the webinar!)To tide you over, here are 7 juicy stats to help you think about how mobile might affect your nonprofit fundraising and marketing efforts this year:58% of all American adults are now smartphone adopters. Source: Pew Tweet this.66% of emails were opened on either a smartphone or tablet in Q1 2014. Source: Movable Ink Tweet this.34% of cell Internet users go online mostly using their phones. Source: Pew Tweet this.The average person in the US spends 3.3 hours per day on their smartphone. Source: ExactTarget Tweet this.The volume of donations made via mobile grew 204% in 2013. Source: PayPal Tweet this.Video traffic represented 53% of all mobile traffic at the end of 2013. Source: Cisco Tweet this.By the end of 2014, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth! Source: Cisco Tweet this.
Our daughter, Charlotte, recently started sixth grade, and the pumped-up energy at school that first morning really got me thinking.“Back to school” is one of the definers of fall as we know it. It’s right up there with apples, the changing colors of the leaves, and Halloween.Here are all these kids marching into the unknown for nine months of learning and growth. Some are thrilled to be starting again, others are longing for the pool or camp, but all have this incredible opportunity to be exposed to new content, to digest it in the context of what they know now, and to arrive on the far side with a fresh perspective and new skills. I’m envious!Few of us have this kind of formal growth opportunity, but ongoing intellectual and creative growth is vital. It’s the only way to ensure that our marketing and fundraising content is relevant while fueling our personal satisfaction.My call to action for you and me? Let’s reclaim back to school. Let’s schedule some learning—via conversation, reading, participating—into every day, even if for only five minutes. Learning is energizing, positive, and productive, but you have to make it happen.Here are the five main methods I use to keep learning: 1. Read and watch content (blogs, e-newsletters, social media, books, videos) in the field, from nonprofits in all sectors, and from expert marketers—in the nonprofit world and beyond—and fundraisers. This helps me keep current on trends, models, needs, tools, and news.2. Scan the world news, and process how it affects your work and the perspectives of the folks your organization strives to connect with.3. Participate in hands-on group workshops and webinars, so I’m doing rather than just digesting. For me, the doing reinforces learning like nothing else.4. Push myself to take on the next new challenge, and make sure there’s always a “next challenge” to tackle. Right now I’m focusing on developing several new training modules and a new small-group online learning program. You may think about how to meet the needs of an underserved part of your community or tackle a new donor segment.5. Synthesize what I learn with what I know and share that with you in blog posts, e-news articles, speaking gigs, and training. This is the linchpin of my learning program, pushing me to put it all together—for you! I guarantee I get my learning by scheduling it every day in “ink” on the calendar. This time-blocking approach works wonders for me.Starting today, reclaim back to school as your own. Schedule time daily to stimulate your mind, nourish your soul, stay on top of the world you’re working in (and communicating into), refine your perspective, and build your expertise and impact—all prerequisites to creating the relevant content and calls to action that best engage the folks whose help you need to move your mission forward!How do you keep learning even when your professional development budget is zilch? Please share your learning habits and favorite resources in the comments below!With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build the strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.