Wed, June 03 2009

Tell me something smart: Please help me with my 500th post

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fun stuff •

I’ve been at this blogging thing a while… so long, in fact, that I’m closing in on my 500th post!  That’s only a number that matters to me, sadly, so let’s talk about what matters to YOU.  For my 500th poast, which should occur within the next month unless I really go slack, I want to post 500 words that reflect your wisdom.  Because after 500 posts, I certainly welcome new ideas.

Please, dear readers, send me one sentence that says what you wish you’d known sooner about nonprofit outreach/marketing/fundraising.  What gems can you offer the folks struggling out there?  If you could give a new hire one piece of advice, what would it be?  If you wish you didn’t keep forgetting some basic truth, what is it?

I’m going to turn these gems into a post of 500 words.

Help me out!  Comment here with your responses…

  • Comment: (16)   


It’s not about being everything to everyone; It’s about crafting a clear, concise, and radically different organization that means much to a select few.

Posted by Tony Pantello  on  06/03  at  04:19 AM

Think before you act! It’ll save you endless frustration, time and $... and ensure you’re doing the most with the marketing & fundraising resources you have.

Posted by Nancy Schwartz  on  06/03  at  03:08 PM

I learned this when I was fourteen and then I forgot again. Don’t ask me why.

Go door to door, explain why you are knocking on their door and ask for their help. I you believe in your cause, you will find many other who do too.

What advantage does a fourteen year old have? When you say you believe in something, people tend to believe you. So, what do you need to do to make people believe you? I don’t think it is about the clever packaging, but about the passion of your conviction.

Posted by Niels  on  06/03  at  03:20 PM

You can’t get good without practice. If you stay behind your desk, waiting to “get good” before going out to tell your story, you’ll never “get good.” You MUST go out and present people with the chance to get involved with your cause, way before you’re comfortable doing so, and certainly before you’re “good” at it.

Posted by Joel Preston  on  06/03  at  07:17 PM

Know your audience and adapt your message to them to maximize effect.

Posted by Taryn Baranowski  on  06/03  at  10:48 PM

Giving is not only talking about money.
Giving is also doing something with your heart. Try participate for yourself in a nonprofit. Driven volunteers are always needed on different subjects.
You are in control with instance effect!  This is not always the case with giving money…

Posted by Sergio Felter  on  06/03  at  10:55 PM

A nonprofit organization is still a business.  Don’t ignore those business “tru-isms” because you think they don’t apply to a charity. 

One of my professors once said that most nonprofits fail because its run by someone who has great passion for the cause…but little business sense.  If you’ve got passion - that’s the hard part, just bring some business skills into it and you’ve got the major pieces for success!

Posted by Amy Shropshire  on  06/04  at  01:03 AM

Find babysitting, pet sitting and other co-ops in your area. Once you’ve found them, let them know about your non-profit organization. Many co-ops organize fundraisers for non-profits in their local area, so contacting co-ops in your area, could pay off for you.

Don’t just contact the co-ops and send them information about your organization, though. Keep in touch, and if they organize a fundraiser or two to help you, offer to help them as well.

Posted by HelpingHero - Find/create a babysitting co-op  on  06/04  at  04:27 AM

Twitter, Facebook, blogging, newsletters, e-mail blasts, brochures, press releases, internal communication, etc. You can’t do it all. Figure out what you must do and what you can do well that will set you apart, master those, and stay focused.

Posted by Karen Washbush  on  06/04  at  03:08 PM

Audience, audience, audience. Always think about what they care about, are dealing with, are motivated by. You (communications pro) might be part of that audience, but you must always be thinking outside of yourself. Start every email, every newsletter article or blog post, with an a specific person in mind that you are trying to reach.

Congrats on your 500th post! That is a lot of wisdom and encouragement!

Posted by Zan McColloch-Lussier  on  06/04  at  03:58 PM

Know what and who you are, and be the best of that you can be.

So many non-profits spend all their time trying to be some other non-profit. But why be a copycat? Copies always lose resolution.

Posted by Tamsen McMahon  on  06/04  at  05:31 PM

Reach out to young people (for volunteers, board members, staff, etc.) or you will surely die as your supporters do.

Posted by Clover Frederick  on  06/04  at  06:06 PM

Tell a good story. I can’t emphasize enough to my nonprofit clients how important it is to tell stories about their work instead of talk about themselves.

Here are some ideas on what makes a good story:

Posted by Elizabeth Turnbull  on  06/08  at  03:41 PM

It takes time.

I keep forgetting that.

Posted by Barb McMahon  on  06/08  at  05:31 PM
Katya Andresen's avatar

Thanks everyone, I can’t wait to post all your words of widsom!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/09  at  02:16 AM

Don’t just market and fundraise to people, connect with their passions and forge relationships—a donation to your cause is nice, but a supporter of your cause is better.

Posted by Jeremy Sony  on  06/25  at  05:06 PM

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