June 23, 2014

5 tips to start your nonprofit thought leadership plan

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Thought leadership can be one of the most effective communications strategies for nonprofits

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

Caroline AvakianEvery so often, change makers and nonprofit leaders are unsure about how to activate the most powerful resource they have — their intellectual capital.

Organizations can be treasure troves of big ideas just waiting to be unleashed and shared with the world, but these same organizations can have limited resources and small or non-existent communications and marketing teams more focused on sharing information and trying to drum up support in an overcrowded charity marketplace. Continue reading

June 16, 2014

3 ways Milaap is changing the face of giving

Milaap creates sustainability by blending crowdfunding and micro lending

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

Shonali BurkeIcould begin this post by regurgitating any number of statistics on the sensory and information overload we all experience these days, but I won’t. We all know that that’s the world we live in. Technology has really broken down barriers to information and while that’s mostly a good thing, it can be really overwhelming as well.

As a result, breaking through the digital clutter these days is tough. So what do you do when your cause depends on you doing just that? How do you make sustainable giving a reality, so that both your cause and supporters benefit? Continue reading

June 4, 2014

Using social media shortcuts to increase productivity

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14 IFTTT recipes to hack social media marketing

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

John HaydonIf you’re not familiar with it, IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a free utility that automates tedious online tasks.

For example, updating Google spreadsheets with retweets, updating profile pictures across networks, or uploading Instagram pictures to DropBox.

Basically, it’s a digital personal assistant who takes care of repetitive tasks, based on simple if/then rules. The automated tasks you create with IFTTT are called recipes.

Here are 14 IFTTT recipes for nonprofit marketers:

Continue reading

May 27, 2014

Using POST to create a social media strategy

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The POST method is an easy-to-remember framework for creating your strategy.

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

John HaydonThere seem to be countless tools available for social media marketers. Tools for managing social media, measuring it, and even for creating content that looks amazing!
Yes, technology can seem like a godsend.

But if you don’t have a solid strategy, you’re going to waste a lot of money on a lot of tools that promise a lot of results.

What does a social media strategy look like?

The POST method (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) was originally coined by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in their book Groundswell (Harvard Business Review Press) is a proven framework for developing a social media strategy. Continue reading

May 19, 2014

How nonprofits can extend their reach & build community

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Sharing with your audience on multiple levels is key

Post by Teddy Hunt

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

teddy-huntNonprofit organizations have to reach their audiences effectively in order to find supporters and donors for the cause at hand. Social media offers nonprofits the very platform they need to get their voices heard, but going the social media route doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. In order for your nonprofit to extend their social reach, here are a few pointers that’ll help turn your nonprofit into a social media darling.

Get your story out there

As a nonprofit organization, you’re always working on telling your nonprofit’s story to your social media audience in the best way you can. You need to let your followers know what you’re trying to accomplish in a straightforward way while also giving your mission a personal touch.

There are many ways to go about telling your nonprofit’s story, but no matter how detailed you get with your mission, always remember the three w’s: who, what, and why. Who is it your nonprofit is helping, what is your nonprofit doing to accomplish its goals, and why has your nonprofit chosen its charitable field on a personal level? Continue reading

May 12, 2014

The power of vulnerability on our social communities

Scott MacEachern (1)
Thoughts from Erwin Penland’s Food For Thought Conference (photo of Scott MacEachern by Amy Randall/Erwin Penland)

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

Caroline AvakianWe talk a lot about the newest ways to connect with our supporters and donors, all the latest digital marketing trends and apps that are aimed to engage, build community and inspire. But one of the things we don’t talk about that much is vulnerability and the inherent power that it has over getting a story to stick and helping to build trust, loyalty and openness in our digital communities.

I recently attended Erwin Penland’s seventh annual Food For Thought conference in Greenville, South Carolina. Food for Thought is an “unconventional convention” that celebrates the intersection of creative thinking, digital marketing, entrepreneurialism, social responsibility and food. The three-day conference brings together some of the country’s leading entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders and chefs.

One of the things that really stuck with me is how many of the presenters courageously shared personal and professional stories, and came from a place of deep vulnerability in front of their audience. It was arresting, surprising and deeply engaging. You could hear a pin drop during many of the presentations. Not your typical plenary, to be sure. I couldn’t stop thinking about these presenters and their stories; their stories somehow became my stories. It made me want to learn more about them and share what I had learned with others. Continue reading