- Thu, May 16 2013
- Filed under: Cause-related marketing
image via the Sparkologist
As I’ve often written on this blog, human beings are inherently empathetic. Our brains are hardwired to relate to other people’s experiences. When we witness or imagine someone acting, our neurons fire the same way they would if we were undertaking the same action. That’s why your heart races when your favorite athlete soars toward the basket or why the sight of a mother struggling to save her child from floodwaters causes you pain.
When we translate this empathy into helping another person, our brains have another reaction: We’re rewarded with happy feelings, thanks to a dopamine dose to our brain’s pleasure center.
That’s powerful stuff for nonprofit marketers.
You can read about how the science of giving relates to nonprofit marketing in Network for Good’s eBooks Homer Simpson for Nonprofits and Lisa Simpson for Nonprofits. And now I’ve translated these same learnings for companies looking to engage their customers through cause marketing programs. This new eGuide – The Brainiac’s Guide to Cause Marketing: How People’s Minds Really Work, and What That Means for Your Next Campaign – shows that if we get how people think, we can get them to do.
While the findings are geared toward a corporate audience, the lessons still apply to those of us who work in nonprofit marketing. Plus this is a great resource to share with your corporate partners. You can demonstrate true value as a partner in helping companies deepen their engagement with customers through cause initiatives with your organization.
The Brainiac’s Guide to Cause Marketing has lots of ideas to do just that.
- Wed, May 15 2013
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
Update: I corrected the links to the webinar, and they should be working now. Some folks had trouble accessing them earlier due to a coding error on my part.
Did you know that you could have fantastic pro bono marketing experts helping your organization? No? Then you should attend the next Network for Good webinar. Here’s the description.
Effective marketing is absolutely critical for organizations to succeed in winning hearts, minds and donations for their cause—yet 68% of nonprofits lack a dedicated marketing role. Does this sound like your organization? We can help.
Join Aaron Hurst, President and Founder of Taproot Foundation, and Meg Garlinghouse, head of Social Impact at LinkedIn, to learn how to harness the power of pro bono resources and professional networking to get top-notch marketing support for your nonprofit.
This free webinar will show you how to master these key skills:
-Learn what pro bono resources are available and the right way to work with them
-Find out how to use Taproot’s “Powered by Pro Bono” tools to find free marketing help
-Discover how to use LinkedIn to recruit professionals with marketing expertise for your board
- Tue, May 14 2013
- Filed under: Nonprofit leadership
Last year, I was talking about the critical importance of getting to the point quickly in meetings - and in messages - and a friend who is in the Navy taught me about BLUF. That’s the acronym they use in the military for Bottom Line Up Front. In a military setting, BLUF communications allow people to grasp the essence of a situation immediately and seek details only as necessary. It’s like a Cliff Notes for every situation.
More recently, a reader wrote me with this nifty list, also from the military. Always describe:
If you’re in a meeting that is focused on getting to the bottom of an important situation, these are great guides. Encourage people to cite their headlines from the start. It not only saves time, it ensures the communicator has a point in the first place.
- Mon, May 13 2013
- Filed under: Writing
I’m excited to announced that today, Characters Magazine is live. Master storyteller Mark Rovner and I founded this literary magazine to feature the writing of people who work for good causes and to inspire better storytelling in our sector. You can read it free online here. Thanks to everyone who submitted - as well as to the amazing editor and designers I highlighted in the following introduction included in the magazine. It was a labor of love to put this together, and I’m especially grateful to Mark for his partnership and creativity—as well as his willingness to take over the full reins going forward. He’s a Character, and so Characters couldn’t be in better hands.
This magazine was born over breakfast one year ago, when I showed Mark the moving short story I’d been reading on the metro that morning. It was a prize winner in the Mississippi Review written by my cousin, Elisabeth Cohen, and it launched an impassioned conversation about why storytelling matters.
The story was called “Irrational Exuberance,” which happens to be an apt term for the creative process. We fall in wild love with an idea, yet when we set it down in words, it becomes a deflated and devalued bit of what we imagined. This is the maddening twin truth of story. It packs such power that every other form of communication is flat and feeble by comparison. And yet, as Flannery O’Connor said it so well, “Most people know what a story is, until they sit down to write one.” A cracking good story could change the world, if only we could write it.
We are hell-bent on trying, along with you. That’s because we spend much of our waking hours working with good causes, and we know that there are thousands of people among us who hold within them extraordinary stories. That includes you. Maybe it’s the story of who you are or what you do or why you came to care for a cause. Maybe it’s an incomplete tale, a slice of everyday experience, that - if told - would transport us out of ourselves and thrust us into your shared space, never to be the same. We don’t know what your story is, but we do know this: You must summon the irrational exuberance to try to set it down. Because it will make a difference in a way that taglines, mission statements or technological bells and whistles cannot. It is a direct conduit to someone else’s heart, because it came from your own.
Because we think this is so important, we decided that morning to create Characters. It’s both a call to tell your story and celebration of good storytelling by people who are seeking to change the world. The first law of story is to show, don’t tell, so we are not telling you how to write a story (as if we could). We are showing you stories that matter. We called it Characters because in these pages are authors - characters trying to do good in the world - along with the characters within their own experience and imagination. It’s a motley, entertaining and inspiring crowd you will most certainly want to meet.
Thank you to everyone who brought together these characters. First and foremost, Elisabeth, who agreed to be its editor. It is only fitting as she was the original character who started this story. Taughnee Stone and Jake Van Ness created the stunning design, and we are grateful for their talents. And last, but most important, thanks to everyone who had the courage to tell their story, in public, in these pages and on the Characters website. You show a cracking good story can be told, and that we can write it.
- Fri, May 10 2013
- Filed under: Personal
I posted this on LinkedIn this week and thought I would share it with you. I was asked to write about what inspires me. I think “inspire” is perhaps not the right word given the tragedy I describe here. It was unspeakable. This is how it has shaped me, ever since. It held the fundamental lesson of life - one I should have known but just didn’t quite get till then.
I used to have a recurring nightmare: I was a passenger on a plane that plunged downward in a sudden death-spin. I would awake from the dream breathless and stare at glow of the bedside clock till I was certain I wasn’t dying. The nightmare repeated with haunting regularity.
Then a crash really happened – but I wasn’t on board.
Vietnam Airlines Flight 815 crashed at Phnom Penh airport on September 3, 1997. I was a correspondent for Reuters in Cambodia at the time, and I covered the story.
It was monsoon season, and the pilot tried to land during heavy rain and low cloud cover. The plane missed the runway, struck a stand of palm trees just beyond the airport and exploded in a rice paddy. Everyone on board – 66 people – was killed except for one child pulled from the wreckage.
There wasn’t much left of the plane except the tail, which stuck up straight in the field like a monument. The rest was shattered into smaller, unrecognizable fragments. An ambulance had slid into the mud at the crash site, its front tire submerged among the electric green of new rice shoots. There was no one left to rush to the hospital. Bodies were scattered, one nearly completely covered by a cloth. All that was visible was a hand, the fingernails neatly trimmed, clean and white like half-moons. I will never forget it.
I have thought of the poor souls on that flight ever since.
As I stood among their remains, something fundamentally shifted. There was sorrow, and there was also solidarity. I would be among the dead someday, and I saw that time would come as sudden and unstoppable and complete as the events of that rainy afternoon. Why bother fearing it in a dream? It would be my reality, just as it was theirs. But that last moment would matter little in the end. The preceding ones deserved the attention. Because every person on that flight would be remembered for how they lived, not how they died. As will we all.
Someone once told me that recurring dreams cease when you’ve finally received the message they are sending. After the horror of the real plane crash, I never again dreamed of an imaginary one. Perhaps I had finally gotten the point of the dream. It was not to wake up and realize I wasn’t dead. It was to wake up to the fact I was very much alive and to do something about that fortune with the unknowable but numbered hours left on the clock.
Steve Jobs said in his exquisite commencement speech:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Nothing is more inspiring to me than that thought. The fact of our inevitable end is not a nightmare. It is a wake-up call, as bracing and emboldening as a billion-bugle rendition of reveille. Rise and shine, it blares. Do that big thing in your heart now, right now, this minute, because you are alive and able.
- Thu, May 09 2013
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
A new Donor Experience guide is out from Crown Philanthropic Solutions. While it is written for community foundations and others providing giving platforms, the useful tips apply to all fundraisers. Here are some of the recommendations.
Online giving should be:
1. Social: Personal connections are essential, so donors must be able to easily share their cause with friends and family. Giving is often a way to bring people together. Says the guide, “Many families rally around charitable giving as the touch point to stay connected as generations grow up. This, in turn, provides a philanthropic home base as family members become separated geographically.”
2. Emotional: The giving experience should make donors feel closely connected to the cause. Says the guide: “The act of giving is an expression of gratitude and a search for meaning, which in turn leads to happiness. In a series of studies at the University of California, people categorized as “grateful” reported feeling 25 percent more happiness and energy—and 20 percent less envy and resentment—than ungrateful people. Americans want to be happy. And they expect their experiences with philanthropy to help get them there.”
3. Easy: Online giving must be intuitive, easy, fun and personally satisfying. “Online technology is evolving from a purely transactional medium to a powerful tool for delivering an enhanced donor experience,” notes the guide. “The winning tools in online philanthropy will be those that create a positive experience for donors—a trusted home for their giving—in a format that is intuitive, visual and as simple to navigate and use as Amazon.com, from a desktop or a mobile device.”
4. Reliable: “Transparency and transactional accuracy are essential, because in the end, charity is about trust.” Donors must trust the system and know their charitable investment dollars are being handled responsibly.
For more tips, you can get the full guide online here.
- Wed, May 08 2013
- Filed under: Social networking and web 2.0
Dan Zarrella is one of my favorite thinkers on social media, because he mines massive amounts of data and bases his recommendations on hard science. This is relatively rare yet needed in the field of social media marketing, and so he’s well worth following.
He recently analyzed 2.7 million tweets and concluded the following that people retweet when they are asked nicely as part of the original tweet. Conclusion? If you have something you want people to spread, ask them - with a pretty please.
- Tue, May 07 2013
- Filed under: Branding
Yesterday, I talked about brand reinvention. Today I want to talk about brand storytelling.
The biggest mistake people make in brand storytelling is they forget the party shaping your brand story is the person experiencing the brand - and not your marketing department. That’s why this cartoon is so apt.
Bad brand storytelling is:
1. Simply stating a vision or mission statement
2. Spewing jargon that describes what you do - rather than why it matters to someone else
3. Not interesting
Good brand storytelling is telling stories that emotionally plunge your audience right in the middle of your cause and stir them with your value to others. It has a heartbeat.
Here’s how it’s done.
- Mon, May 06 2013
- Filed under: Branding
How can people or nonprofits reinvent their brands? What does it take to remake who we are and how we’re perceived?
I’ve been thinking about these questions since having lunch couple of weeks ago with Dorie Clark, a stellar marketing strategist. Clark graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College at age 18 and hasn’t slowed down since. In addition to consulting and teaching, she writes for Forbes and Harvard Business Review and has a new book on personal branding called Reinventing You. (I finished my review copy this weekend and recommend it to those at a crossroads.)
As a branding expert, Clark has many interesting things to say about people and organizations who seek to fundamentally redefine what they stand for in the minds of others. I wanted to share four lessons I’ve learned from her, along with my own thoughts, here.
1. You have to start with the cold, hard truth of where you stand now. If you have a desire to rebrand yourself - or your nonprofit - you have to start with how you’re perceived in the present. Because a brand is not what you wish you were - it’s how other people perceive you right now. There may be a big delta between what you think you’re projecting or dream of being and how other people see you. In fact, there most certainly is. For individuals, Clark has suggests interviews and focus groups on you that shed light on strengths, weaknesses, and your current brand. Nonprofits can glean much by exercising the same kinds of listening skills. While you won’t hear everything you want, you will collect insights and positive qualities that give you a foundation on which to build - and ideas about how you should evolve.
2. Puffed up PR doesn’t reinvent anything. Shortcuts to closing the delta between an existing and desired brand don’t work. A new logo, inauthentic self promotion or trumped-up taglines can’t revolutionize your place in a market. There has to be substance to your efforts, and true reinvention is hard work. As Clark writes in her book, it might mean a person has to get training, make a host of new connections and develop a set of new skills to make change possible. A nonprofit may need a better strategy, a different approach to its donors or a drastic improvement in service. Which brings me to the fact that…
3. Real reinvention starts with showing your value to others. If you really want to rebrand, you have to solve a problem or address a true need of someone else. What you do for others, not what you say, is your real brand. I believe this is the single biggest factor of success for a person in a job or a company in a marketplace. People from Michael Milken to Al Franken have reinvented themselves by making a difference for years through research or public service respectively—as have brands like Harley-Davidson and Apple by focusing on giving people great product experiences. There was more than a change in words - there was a change in actions as well. And not just once but over time.
4. The reinvention story has to make sense - and tell the truth. You can stumble if you can’t create a narrative that helps people understand how a person - or a company - changed direction. People make sharp turns in their lives and so do companies. These shifts can be understood if they make intuitive sense and seem authentic. Clark talks about how people can go from one career to another successfully if they tell a story that builds a mental bridge between the two. The same is true for nonprofits. Provide a rationale for the transition, notes Clark, while showing you remain true to yourself. Then believe in the “new” you so others will as well. I’d add that if you’re rebranding your nonprofit, the same holds true. You need to make sure everyone who works with you believes you’ve become something new - and special - so they are united partners in the process of reintroducing yourself to donors and those you serve.
True reinvention is not easy - but for most people and organizations, it is necessary to do. As C.S. Lewis said, “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
We have to hatch - and hatch again. That means doing the hard and thoughtful work of creation and re-creation - and doing it right. Don’t be afraid to try. Reinvention awaits.
Photo courtesy of BigStockPhoto.
- Fri, May 03 2013
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
I’ve shared this before, but it bears repeating: Your organization should dwell in the intersection of this picture, which is a combination of thinking from Jim Collins’ hedgehog concept and BBMG‘s branding thinking.
If you don’t know which program to pursue or which message to choose, ask yourself: which reflects all three of these factors?
That’s where you focus.
- Thu, May 02 2013
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
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!
- Wed, May 01 2013
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
UNICEF Sweden has launched a new campaign that tells people who Tweet about their cause or like their Facebook page fail to make a difference - and could put a life in jeopardy. It’s essentially a shaming campaign, as outlined in this Atlantic article.
I don’t like to single out campaigns, but this one troubles me since it relies on emotion in a way that I don’t find constructive. Here are some examples of the campaign messages. The gist is, if you spread the word instead of donating, a boy could die and a child won’t be vaccinated. How does that make you feel?
Maybe Swedes enjoy this kind of message and approach, but I am skeptical. Here’s what I don’t like about the campaign.
1. Shame rarely inspires action in any culture. It just makes people feel bad - and turn away. Ask Brene Brown.
2. Mocking the action of spreading the word about a cause discourages one of the most powerful forces anyone can put to work for a cause - word of mouth.
3. It ignores the fact that social networks are supposed to be about relationships. It seems to be demanding a transactional mentality in a social setting.
4. I am not sure the organization did their audience research. A lot of assumptions are inherent in this approach. Are they sure people on social networks have never given to UNICEF? Do they have data suggesting social networking and giving are mutually exclusive (doubtful)? Are people active on social networks their best target audience for giving? Is forcing an either/or choice better for fundraising than letting people do both?
I bet this campaign will get people talking, but I doubt it will inspire giving. Which is deeply ironic given its message.
For a smarter way to look at so-called slacktivism, watch this. As Julie Dixon says, based on this body of research, “Influence is important.”
For the month of April, I’m hosting the nonprofit blog carnival. A carnival is a mix of contributions from bloggers and readers on a shared theme, and I chose the theme, “best advice.”
I asked you the following question: What was the one, best piece of professional advice you ever got and why? How has it transformed your work? I also invited readers’ best single piece of advice for people who work at nonprofits.
There was an incredible response. Here are your answers!
1. Don’t show your underwear. Sue Edison-Swift nails the metaphor! “When asked to create a unit brochure or report on the latest reorganization or when expected to communicate the inner workings of the central office, I find it helpful to note that the organization of an organization–its unit structure, its regional geography, its reporting hierarchy, its carefully crafted strategic plan–provides the foundation for getting things done. Another word for foundation is underwear, and while the support and structure of underwear is important, it’s best not to show your underwear in public. Communicating about the organization of the organization to insiders answers their who-what-when-where-how questions. Communicating about the organization of the organization to outsiders–AKA constituents, clients, volunteers, donors–does little to answer their questions: So what? Why should I care? How do I get what I need? What difference do you make? Organization = Foundation = Underwear. Keep it on the inside.”
2. You have to ask to get the donation. Kirt Manecke, author of Smile, says, “The one best piece of professional advice I ever got was from my late Uncle Gene. My uncle, Gene Balogh, was a professional speaker and salesman who traveled across the country giving seminars teaching the construction industry how to sell. I work in sales and he always reminded me, “You have to ask for the sale.” When I became passionate about helping good causes raise funds, he’d say, ‘You have to ask for the donation.’” He notes, “Instead of thinking of what you’re doing as fundraising, think of it as helping people invest in what they care about. After all, if they were not interested, they wouldn’t be talking with you in the first place.”
3. Get to know your donors on a deeper level. Pamela Grow of The Grow Report recounts a huge fundraising challenge and how it proved the importance of getting “into” the hearts and minds of donors. “Make it a point, whether through surveys, phone conversations, in-person meetings, email, intimate events, and social media, to figure out what makes them tick,” is her sound advice. “Translated simply: ‘getting’ donor-centricity is the groundwork for sustainable fundraising, period.”
4. Don’t take it personally. Tanya Cothran of Spirit in Action tells us, ” Emotion can be my greatest enemy. When fundraising for our organization, saying the “ask” out loud is a daunting task for me. I usually know the person I was talking to quite well and it is hard to come right out and talk about money, even more so to ask for it. But most of the difficulty in asking is because my emotions are all tied up in the question. If someone says no to donating, are they saying no to me? Is it because of something I said? Probably not! Most likely, the reason someone says “no” has nothing to do with me personally, but because of their particular situation or because the work of our organization as a whole doesn’t fit their giving priorities.” Great counsel for fundraisers. (Jennifer R. Bosk emailed with the same thought.)
5. Remember you get the board you build. Dani Robbins of Non Profit Evolution says in a refreshingly personal and honest post, “The best advice I ever got as a nonprofit CEO was “you will get the board you build.” Up until that day, which I will never forget, I thought that since I reported to the Board, I should stay out of it. Boy, was I wrong! In addition to giving up the power to influence who would become the future leaders of my organizations, and as such, my future bosses, I also passed on the chance to educate my board about their governance responsibilities. I failed to use my position to strengthen the board and through them to strengthen my agency. Up until that moment, I didn’t understand that building the board was my job.” She goes on to share how to do that.
6. Connect with African American donors. Akira Barclay of Giving in LA explains how to do it: “Cultivating relationships with African-American donors requires strong and sustained institutional commitment. Particularly if your institution is overcoming a previous lack of commitment to actively pursue African-American donors the connection will not happen overnight. But those willing to make a long-term sincere effort will realize a healthy African-American donor base, the results of a history of relationships, trust and experience as an honest partner.”
7. Be bold. Elaine Fogel of Totally Uncorked on Marketing says, “Strive to be a game changer. Be the change agent the organization needs. Don’t be afraid to make recommendations that can help the nonprofit move forward in ‘living’ its mission. Yes, do it gingerly. Do it gently, but as Nike says, Just Do it!”
8. Be polite. Incredibly, Shari Ilsen of the VolunteerMatch blog had David Mamet as a high school instructor. He was full of wisdom on writing, but she tells a surprising story of his best advice: “He said, ‘If you take nothing else away from this class, remember this one thing forever.’ And then he wrote on the chalkboard in big, underlined letters: ‘Be polite!’” Shari recounts all the ways this has worked in her career.
9. Ask for help. Cindi Phallen of Create Possibility says, “A brilliant mentor of mine once told me that the only competent people he ever saw fail, were the ones who didn’t ask for help. I was at the beginning of my career as a nonprofit leader, and thought I understood what he meant. But as the years went on, I realized how critical that point really is in the complex nonprofit world. I’m not talking about making a repair with duct tape and rubber bands. I am referring to the real stuff – like how to increase earned revenue, or suggestions for managing a difficult staff situation, or what are effective innovation strategies.”
10. Be your authentic self. Jenifer Snyder, Executive Director of The mGive Foundation, has a strong post on why to avoid the pressure to be a certain kind of leader. She notes: “We live in a world now where conformity – gender or otherwise – is valued less and authenticity is prized more. Be authentic. Be yourself. The world awaits.”
11. Effort makes the difference. Vanessa Chase of Philanthropy for All writes, “My wonderful dad, David Chase, told me that, “Good things rarely happen by accident,” back when I was in University. I’ve had this quote from him on a post note at every desk and in every planner I’ve owned for many years now. What I love about his words of wisdom is that they apply to so many situations in our lives and it reaffirms my belief that a solid work ethic will carry you through any tough situations; many of which have been while working as a fundraiser.”
12. Work smart, not hard. Jeanette Russell of Salsa Labs advises, “Working smart, not hard, is not a statement about how many hours you should work, but rather how to get the best impact from your most important resource - your time. I can’t think of one nonprofit who has the time and staff to achieve their mission. Time for many groups, is actually more scarce than funding and must be used with the greatest respect.”
13. Network. Empish Thomas of the Center for the Visually Impaired notes, “In today’s workforce, who you know is just as important as what you know. I feel that for people like me who are visually impaired, it is even more essential to network and build strong working relationships that can help lead to career success. Employment opportunities and career advancement for the blind and visually impaired are pretty low with only 30% of us working and I have been able to maintain my employment over the years primarily through my connections.”
14. Write talking points. Joanne Fritz of About.com for Nonprofits notes talking points are typically thought of as soundbites for media, but taking the time to prepare your key messages is vital for many professional situations, including board meetings and job interviews! “Talking points. I never leave home (or office) without them,” she tells us. I totally agree.
15. Just write. Jake Seliger of Grant Writing Confidential says, “Something can be edited. Write something.” As a writer I appreciate this advice: “Taking an infinite number of workshops is not going to make the blank page any easier. Having something, anything, on the blank page is better than having nothing.”
16. Done is better than perfect. Tom Peterson of Thunderhead Works notes, “Not surprisingly, if we’re doing nothing because we’re not sure what to do, if we’re waiting for it to be perfect, our results will be nothing. People who make a difference, who find ways to tackle social problems, usually draw upon many years of struggling with an issue before they break through.”
17. Know your purpose and care passionately. Claire Axelrad of Clairification says you should never go on autopilot and keep asking “why” - “If you’ve lost your passion, can’t get it back, or never had it, consider doing something different. You’re not doing yourself (or other people, or your community, or the planet) any favors if you’re merely phoning it in. Life’s too short. Do it differently, or do something else.”
18. Know relationships are the key. Terri Holland says, “Yes, people is where it’s all it in the non profit fundraising pool. You MUST develop relationships with anyone and everyone. Do not discount anyone out of that pool of people… relationships are golden and having those relationships with donors, potential, past or present is where the pot of gold lies at the end of the fundraising rainbow.”
19. Integrity matters most. Lori Halley of Wild Apricot asked her colleagues for advice and got many answers, including this one: “Never trade your integrity for a paycheck. You can get more money later, but you’ll never be able to buy your integrity back.” She shares more in her post.
20. Volunteer. Greg Albright of the Right Hook Blog says, “The reality is volunteering is just as much for you, your career, and your business. As a long-time volunteer and volunteer recruiter, I can honestly say volunteering has done as much or more for my career, my business, and my quality of life, as it has for the organizations I have been involved with.”
21. Finally, some readers shared some wisdom in emails. Beth Kling says do less, focus more. Paul Miller is on the same page: ““You will get pulled a thousand different ways working for a non-profit. As a development director, if anything you are asked to do does not further development efforts, don’t do it. Stay focused on development.”
22. Amy Kusek says someone once told her, “‘If you are not getting no 50% of the time, you are not asking enough.’ It has been helpful in so many ways including helping me not dwell on the “no” and to stay positive about getting back out to make an ask. It also helps you be gracious when you get a “no” which I think helps long term.”
23. Claudia Herrold emailed with good writing advice: “This is a piece of advice that is applicable to many communications channels, not just for blogging: write for your least engaged member, not your most engaged (we’re a statewide membership association of those engaged in philanthropy). Following this piece of advice means that I: stay away from use of jargon and acronyms; make sure to give background links and context; keep it short; and talk about what it means/how it applies to their work.”
24. For those of you looking for a job in the environmental field, Lori Whalen lays out a list of ideas on her blog.
25. Last but NOT least, Deacon Lesley-Ann Drake wrote me with a great closing piece of advice: “Start where you can start.” She says, “This was given to me by Bishop Frank Allen (retired) of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. Without that simple statement I would probably still be wondering if I should step off the cliff into the non-profit world, or not. The problems of this world are enormous and we can choose to be overwhelmed and frozen, or we can take that first small step and do something.” Amen to that.
Next month’s carnival is hosted by Erik Anderson at Donor Dreams blog. To participate, check out his announcement here. He is welcoming answers to the question, “If you could write an anonymous letter to a nonprofit board about something they do that drives you crazy, what would that letter look like and what suggested solutions would you include?” Should be a fun topic.
- Mon, April 29 2013
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
Network for Good, along with PayPal and Blackbaud, has been participating in the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s new online giving index. The Q4 2012 results are out, and you can see the data and compare it to your own experience at the Chronicle site here.
-After a sluggish summer, giving rebounded at the end of last year, with 8 percent more gifts totaling nearly 17% more dollars than the same period in 2011.
-Monday was the biggest giving day (probably a reflection of the fact that December 31, the biggest giving day of the year online, was a Monday in 2012).
-Most online giving occurred at midday during the business week. At Network for Good, we’ve seen this hold true year after year.
You can find more data here.
How does this compare to your year-end giving in 2012?
- Fri, April 26 2013
- Filed under: Fundraising essentials
At Network for Good, we generate lots of great, free content.
For today’s post, I wanted to highlight a great resource: our library of free ebooks for fundraisers. You can view and download the guides here. Learn about everything from mobile to social media to fundraising to behavior economics.