January 4, 2016

5 Nonprofit Predictions for 2016

NONPROFIT PREDICTIONS 2016

Caroline Avakian Headshot final

Predictions are a tricky thing. They’re mostly comprised of strong currents of the present, past habits and a big dose of educated guessing. When it comes to nonprofits, there’s also an element of hopefulness that’s thrown in, at least in my list of predictions for 2016.

2015 has seen much innovation in technology and communication. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were recently approved and organizations and countries have started working towards the newly revamped goals. We’ve also seen the world change dramatically – terrorism in all its new iterations is ever present, and we’ll be seeing how nonprofits and global development and relief organizations respond to the current challenges on and off the ground. Here are my predictions for 2016 that reflect our changing global dynamics and expectations.

Social Media – Both large and small social good organizations will be capitalizing on hashtags in much more proactive and creative ways. We’ll be seeing more organizations use mainstream hashtags that aren’t necessarily exclusive to the nonprofit sector, such as #finance #innovation and #smallbiz to inject themselves into digital conversations that are related to their causes. We’re also going to be seeing the hashtags #globalgoals and #SDGS become increasingly popular unifying hashtags as social good organizations and countries come together to work on the newly approved United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We’re also starting to see nonprofits dip their toes into social livestreaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat, and the capacity it has to take us to places and share experiences largely unseen by supporters and donors.

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December 14, 2015

Asana for Nonprofits: How to Manage your Direct Mail Schedule

ASANA FOR DM

As a nonprofit fundraiser (and communications officer and technologist and…), I’ve developed sharp project management skills – it’s the key to wearing all of the hats!

My favorite project management tool for nonprofits is Asana, a web-based “teamwork without email” platform.

I use Asana to manage our direct mail fundraising and communications processes – a series of critical deadlines involving multiple team members and vendors – with ease.

Here’s how you can manage your nonprofit’s direct mail process with Asana, too:

1. Create a new project for your mailing

Start by setting up a new project in Asana. Write a descriptive title and include the drop date in the title. Using a standard naming convention will make it easier for you to keep track of multiple mailings. For example: Direct mail: Summer newsletter – 6/20/16

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December 11, 2015

A Facebook Donate Button for the News Feed that Might Actually Work!

A-Facebook-Donate-Button-for-The-News-Feed-That-Might-Actually-Work

john-haydon

Facebook is testing a new fundraising app that just might make giving as “social” as liking, commenting, and sharing.

Called “Fundraisers”, the app will include a set of fundraising features for charities and nonprofits:

 

  • Share fundraising campaigns with Page followers
  • Use photos and video to tell fundraising stories
  • Track progress toward a campaign or project
  • Update supporters when fundraising goals are achieved
  • Customize donation amounts
  • Get donations via credit card or PayPal

But this isn’t the first time Facebook has dabbled with fundraising features:

Facebook Donate Button for Ebola

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August 31, 2015

Is Giving Tuesday a Waste of Time?

GivingTuesday

 

Good question, right?

First of all, the data says it’s been hugely successful in the past. Over 15,000 nonprofits participated last year, raising over $45 million.

Yes, some nonprofits probably raised very little money. But Giving Tuesday is NOT just a 24-hour fundraising campaign. It’s a movement that your supporters are embracing, more and more each year.

How did your nonprofit do last year?

If you participated in Giving Tuesday before, you can look at several metrics to judge your past success.

Depending on your goals, you can look at:

  • Total donations ($)
  • Number of new donors acquired
  • Number of current donors who gave
  • Number of new emails acquired
  • Number of people who engaged with campaign (clicks, conversions, shares)
  • Engagement with follow up messages (email, social, etc)
  • You get the idea

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July 27, 2015

(VIDEO) Leveraging Periscope App for Social Good

Caroline Avakian Headshot finalAs a follow-up to my post on Periscope for Nonprofits: A Quick Guide & Review, I gave a video interview last week with Stephen Shattuck from Bloomerang. The interview covers how nonprofits can leverage Periscope – Twiiter’s new live streaming mobile app – to better reach and communicate with their supporters and donors.

I’ve been getting so many questions, and there’s been so much interest in this new app from the nonprofit community, that I thought posting this video Q and A would be an additional way to get the Persicope basics down, as well as some best practices and ideas on how your nonprofit can put Periscope to work.

Is your nonprofit using Periscope? Let me know in the comments! I’m doing a series of early case studies on Periscope for Nonprofts, and would love to feature how your nonprofit is leveraging Periscope for social or environmental good.

July 23, 2015

HatchforGood.org helps nonprofits tell their stories

HatchforGood

Caroline Avakian Headshot final

This past Tuesday, I attended the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in NYC. There’s always great content and discoveries to be made at the #SM4NP Conferences.  They tour around the country and are focused on providing great content and practical, tactical workshops and tools that nonprofits can put to work the next day. Full disclosure: I’m on their Leadership Council but I still know a good conference when I see one.

One of my favorite presentations came from Jereme Bivins and Jay Geneske from the Rockefeller Foundation. They were presenting one of their latest projects: HatchforGood.org. I had known about HatchforGood for a little while now but hadn’t given it a deep dive yet, so I was super excited to get this in-person primer at the conference.

Well, it’s really pretty great and it’s free. As the site tells us, Hatch acts like a concierge, connecting you to a suite of tools and a growing community to help you leverage storytelling to drive social impact and improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable around the world. The concept being that nonprofit’s stories don’t just materialize—they’re strategically planned, they’re creatively crafted, and they’re designed to achieve measurable outcomes.

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