July 7, 2016

Building your Nonprofits Thought Leadership Capacity

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Caroline Avakian

Content marketing has risen to the forefront in recent years as an important tool (if not the most important) in the nonprofit communication toolbox. It’s about creating great content on your blog, through social media messaging, email, quarterly and annual reports, case studies, whitepapers, etc.

At its core, content marketing is about communicating wisely with your supporters. The nonprofit, social enterprise or organization is providing value by creating and sharing information, innovative ideas, and insights that makes your supporter smarter and in the know. You become a resource. The result, much of the time, is that you earn the trust and loyalty of your supporters and donors. You no longer interrupt them with “messaging” but invite them into a conversation they find value in, that resonates, that they deem worthy of sharing with others, that makes them come back and ultimately invest in you.

The issue with creating great content is that often change-makers and nonprofit leaders are unsure about how to activate the most powerful resource they have: their intellectual capital. Nonprofits can be treasure troves of insights, experience and expertise, just waiting to be unleashed and shared with the world, but often the best of ideas and expertise lies dormant within the walls of an organization.

The Readiness Dance: Share your insights despite the misgivings

There are many reasons why organizations keep their most valuable thoughts and findings internal. I call it the Readiness Dance. People will say, “Our data isn’t completely ready yet – we’re not 100 percent clear internally on our direction with this project,” or something similar. While I completely advocate for presenting breakthrough insights that are research-based and clearly thought out — in fact, that is the essence of true thought leadership — very often it’s more about that “readiness” variable. It’s less about how analyzed the data is and more about how comfortable and confident we are in sharing our ideas and insights with the world.

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June 6, 2016

When Your Biggest Enemy is Being Perfect

cult of done manifesto - better than perfect

john-haydon

You spent five hours on that blog post to get it perfect, and you still haven’t published it.

You can’t find that perfect image for Instagram, so you don’t post anything.

And forget about video – you’ll never get that perfect so don’t even try.

Done is better than Perfect

Perfect slows everything down. Perfect can never be agreed upon. Perfect never gets done.

Are you daunted by perfectionism? If so, here are a few ways to tame the perfectionist in you:

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May 16, 2016

Using Virtual Reality for Social Change Work

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Caroline Avakian Headshot finalVirtual reality is a newer medium that has the potential to revolutionize the way many global development and human rights organizations communicate their work. It also presents an opportunity to virtually bring supporters, donors, and all others curious about the work being done on the ground, right to the communities and people they would otherwise not have access to.

The award-winning, “Clouds Over Sidra” a virtual reality film that was released in January of 2105, was one such film. It follows a twelve year-old girl named Sidra in the Za’atari camp in Jordan — currently home to an estimated 84,000 refugees from the Syrian civil war. The groundbreaking film shot for the United Nations using the Samsung Gear VR 360-degree platform, is the first ever film shot in virtual reality for the UN and is designed to support the UN’s campaign to highlight the plight of vulnerable communities, particularly refugees.

Since the success of “Clouds Over Sidra” there has been some buzz on how nonprofits and global development organizations might be able to leverage virtual reality to build awareness of their causes.

One such organization taking on virtual reality is Trickle Up. Trickle Up is a global poverty alleviation organization that works with the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people to help them achieve financial independence and social connection. I spoke with Tyler McClelland, Trickle Up’s Communications Officer, to learn more about what the learnings, challenges, and best practices were for them as a smaller organization, taking on VR for the first time.

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May 5, 2016

How to Build a Marketing Funnel Your Donors Will Love

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john-haydonFundraising is quite a different game then it was even just a few years ago. Mobile and social media has donors constantly distracted (and bombarded) with messages from friends, brands, and competing causes.

For nonprofit marketers this shift means embracing a donor-centric approach that moves from interruption to invitation.

For example, Human Rights Campaign often presents a fundraising ask only AFTER a supporter signs a petition. Their assumption (a correct one) is that people signing a petition are more likely to give.

After signing a recent petition supporters were encouraged to buy a t-shirt:

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April 4, 2016

3 Core Twitter Strategies That Will Never Die

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john-haydonTwitter followers will be more likely to retweet your content if they like, know, and trust you. But where do you start? How do you develop a strong network on Twitter?

One way to think about building a stronger network on Twitter is to focus on three core Twitter strategies: Search-Building, Raft-Building, and Klout-Building

 

1. Search-Building Twitter Strategies

An important part of any online strategy is search. How will people find you when they want to find you now? How will people discover you when they’re trying to solve a problem?

But how does Twitter help you get found – both on Twitter and Google?

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March 16, 2016

Should Your Nonprofit Use Snapchat?

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john-haydon

Snapchat is a mobile app that lets users share photos and videos that are deleted in 24 hours. Snapchat users share snaps (temporary videos and photos) privately with a few friends, or as stories with all their followers.

What people love about Snapchat

You might be wondering why someone would use a social network that deletes everything they share.

If you’re wondering this, you were probably born before the internet. You never had “that talk” with your parents about being safe online. And you never had to worry about a potential employer digging through your Facebook updates. Which is why millennials love Snapchat.

The best thing about Snapchat is that all posts are deleted by default. So snappers don’t need to worry about an everlasting online persona.

Snapchat explains:

Our default is delete. Conversations are ephemeral unlesssomeone chooses to save or screenshot them. And if they do,we do our best to make the sender aware. Just like a face-to-face conversation content stays impermanent unless someone goes out of their way to record it.

Snapchat by the numbers:

  • Launched in 2011
  • 100 million users
  • 6 billion video views every day
  • 86% of Snapchat’s users fall into the 13 – 37 age range
  • $100,000 is the minimum ad spend for brands.

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