August 31, 2015

Is Giving Tuesday a Waste of Time?



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 2, 2015

Periscope for Nonprofits: A Quick Guide & Review

FINAL Periscope-798x310

Caroline Avakian Headshot finalLive streaming has been thrust into the limelight recently with the release of Periscope — a free mobile app that allows any user to live stream from wherever they are. The whole concept of Periscope is to virtually place you somewhere in the world you would never be if it weren’t for the app.

Even as a nonprofit techie, I tend to look at new apps and platforms with a bit of skepticism because I don’t always think nonprofits should jump on the bandwagon of the next new shiny app that promises a lot and underperforms. That said, I do feel it’s important to keep updated on new tools, make an educated decision on whether it’s right for your nonprofit, and have a strong reason either way as to why or why not your nonprofit is using that social tool. I’ve noticed that having a well prepared answer at the ready is especially handy at board meetings when conversations start to drift to why your npo isn’t leveraging a certain social platform.

So when Periscope came along, I did what I normally do — I downloaded it to my smart phone and started playing with the app and paying attention to how others were maximizing its potential. I quickly realized Periscope could be a powerful broadcasting tool for nonprofits.

But how do you know if it’s right for your nonprofit and if it is, how do use it effectively?

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September 2, 2014

7 tips for your nonprofit communications plan

Photo by J.D. Lasica

How to maximize and follow through on your communications goals

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

John HaydonIf you’re like most nonprofit communicators, you have a list of specific quarterly or yearly goals. No doubt they include growing your e-mail list, acquiring new donors and increasing engagement on your Facebook updates.

But whatever your goals are, make sure they cover these seven tips below:

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July 28, 2014

3 powerful email marketing examples from the pros

Email Mktg

Tell stories of impact, use humor & cultivate relationships for more powerful email marketing

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

John HaydonAre you looking to breathe new life into your nonprofit’s e-mail marketing?

If so, you will love these tips three from my peers:

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July 10, 2014

8 ways to make social media matter


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

Post by Nancy Schwartz
Nonprofit Marketing Problem Solver & Coach at Getting


Pressure. You feel it. I feel it. Every nonprofit communicator and fundraiser out there feels it. Social media pressure, that is.

Whether the source of this anxiety (Am I keeping up? Do I have a billion Facebook likes or Twitter followers? Is my Instagram strategy driving action?) is your immediate boss, board chair, or colleague in programs, it’s there. The pressure to generate a social media miracle.

Breathe—There Is a Solution

You can boost marketing and fundraising impact, and you can deflate that pressure. Here’s how:

1.  Get to know your people. Research, via online survey or calls, where your current supporters are when it comes to social media.

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