April 8, 2014

3 tips to get more out of conferences

storytelling-at-NTC

Here are some ways you can maximize your experience at events

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, marketers, managers, educators, journalists, general public.

Caroline AvakianConference season is well underway. Last week at the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference, the keynote speaker and Echoing Green president, Cheryl Dorsey, began her great talk with some hints to us attendees on conference best practices.

So allow me to share those helpful tips with you all. They’re easy to manage but pack a big punch, and you’ll be glad you set these in motion when you get back from your next conference.

Start with the end in mind

1What are the top three things you want to get out of this conference? Whether it’s meeting a particular attendee or speaker or gaining a better understanding of how to create a social media strategy for your nonprofit, the more specific you are, the likelier you are to walk out of that conference feeling satisfied and accomplished.

Also, something that stood out to me as being really powerful was that Cheryl mentioned being conscious of not only meeting those who can help you, but those who you can help as well. They are equally important. Continue reading

March 24, 2014

5 fundraising tips you can learn from JetBlue

jetblue_airport_kiosk - NEW

Keeping your donate pages simple and foolproof, like the airline’s kiosks, is the name of the game

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, general public.

John HaydonAll nonprofit marketers should fly JetBlue at least once. Just to use the check-in kiosks. If you’re not familiar with them, take a look at the one shown above.

Most of us hate the check-in process at the airport. The mixed up flights and delays. Making sure your bottles of hair products and lotions are all in order. And TSA guards, although I find them pleasant most of the time.

JetBlue isn’t going to change the TSA, but they have made make the check-in process painless!

1. No needless info: The welcome screen tells you exactly what to do (swipe your credit card or enter a confirmation number). They don’t describe every step you’ll need to go through, just the step you need to know right then.

Are your donation pages overcomplicating things with  needless information? Continue reading

March 19, 2014

Disrupting the nonprofit sector

ntc crowd
A scene from last year’s NTC (Photo by JD Lasica).

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

Caroline AvakianThe 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference, which took place last week in DC, is a conference that so many nonprofit tech and communications staffers look forward to every year because of the great sessions, useful tips and tools, and awesome people committed to using technology to advance social good.

I was pretty excited when I saw that there was a “Disrupting the Nonprofit Sector” session. I like forward-thinking panels of this type because I look to conferences for two things: practical tools and updates on my sector that I can use straightaway on Monday morning, and importantly, sessions on the future of our sector. Continue reading

March 10, 2014

SourceRise: Connecting nonprofits/NGOs to journalists

Arya & Caroline
Caroline Avakian, SourceRise founder & CEO, with Arya Iranpour, Chief Technology Officer and founding engineer (Photo by Maulin Mehta)

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, journalists, educators, general public.

JD LasicaWhile a number of promising Web 2.0 social enterprises have launched in the past few years, SourceRise, which just soft launched in beta last week, is showing great momentum right out of the gate. SourceRise, founded by our very own Caroline Avakian (managing partner at Socialbrite), connects journalists and bloggers to sources at international NGOs and nonprofits in an effort to diversify the voices represented in the news and to increase the number of well researched, compelling development and foreign news stories in traditional media.

Last week I interviewed Caroline to find out more about SourceRise and how it’s building bridges between the media and nonprofit sources.

In a nutshell tell us about SourceRise and how it connects journalists and bloggers to NGO and nonprofit sources.

SourceRise is a social enterprise that directly connects journalists to sources at international NGOs and nonprofits. In a time when international news gathering budgets are shrinking at record rates, it is becoming more difficult for major news outlets to independently cover international and development news stories. Via a network of journalists and expert global NGO sources, SourceRise enables development foreign news reporting rooted in real time, accuracy, and deep context. Continue reading

March 3, 2014

How to entice your board into the social media waters

boardroom

Find inducements & show them the payoff

This is the second part of a two-part series on making the case for your social media plan and initiatives. Also see:
Getting your board on board with social media

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, social media managers.

Caroline AvakianGetting your board engaged and on board with social media can prove to be a challenging task at many nonprofits. But your board members want to make a difference and have a real-world impact, right? Otherwise, why are they there.

So we’ve assembled this short list of ways board members can help support your organizational goals via social media.

• It is important to start small with your social media requests and to frame their initial engagement with social media around organizational programs that they understand are important to support. For example, you might want to ask them to do three LinkedIn updates around your upcoming gala or benefit. It’s important to be very specific about the asks and have them understand what the end goals and deadlines are. Continue reading

February 24, 2014

Getting your board on board with social media

This is the first of a two-part series on making the case for your social media plan and initiatives.

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, social media managers.

Caroline AvakianYou get it, your team gets it, but how do you make sure all the directors on your board understand the value that social media can bring to your organization? Some board members may know it’s an activity your nonprofit should be engaging in but still feel it’s something that can be relegated to an intern instead of making a real resource investment in social media. Sound familiar?

Explain the role of social media

If you’re having a debate over whether to spend time on social media, you’re having a discussion that was valid five years ago, but society has moved past that. The era of one-way communication is over. The conversation today should be about your organization’s expressed programmatic goals – with social media being the means, not the end. Continue reading