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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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

June 12, 2013

Content marketing: We’re all media publishers now

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Why nonprofits need to tell their stories by creating new content

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

JD LasicaI‘ve been to dozens of nonprofits’ offices, but there’s a phrase I’ve never heard uttered even once: content marketing.

Sounds kind of mysterious, doesn’t it? But when you strip it down to its essence, content marketing is just a way for organizations to tell their stories.

I was interviewed, along with marketer Greg Jordan, about content marketing for nonprofits at a new podcast from the Content Marketing Examiner moderated by publisher Martin van der Roest. Here’s our conversation:

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October 9, 2012

Video for your cause: Get giddy over Viddy

How 15-second videos are taking advocacy campaigning to the next level

This is the third part of a series on how nonprofits can use video. Also see:
• Part 1: What to consider when investing in video
• Part 2: 7 top video editing tools for nonprofits

Guest post by Mike Kondratick
Director of Strategy, See3 Communications

Nothing tells the real, impactful human stories of actual constituents like video. In the years that I spent as an advocacy program director, collecting user-generated video from our supporters – advocate stories, testimonials, and messages to legislators – was always high on the priority list.

These programs, no matter how well conceived or how good our intentions, were always difficult to manage. Folks would use a variety of ways to capture the video: Flip cams, their laptop’s camera, their smartphone, etc. The video got back to us in different ways: email, links to YouTube pages, posted to our Facebook fan page, etc. Organizing the footage to make the desired impression on potential advocates and/or legislators was a time suck. And, regardless of how well we crafted message points for our supporters to simplify the process and make it less stressful, the video that came back had varying levels of usability. In short, these programs were a hot mess. Continue reading

September 25, 2012

What to consider when investing in video

Hardware & software for telling your organization’s story through video

This is the first of a three-part series on nonprofits’ use of video. Also see:
• Part 2: 7 top video editing tools for nonprofits
• Part 3: Video for your cause: Getting giddy over Viddy

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, video producers.

Guest post by Stacy Laiderman
Senior Producer, See3 Communications

I‘m going to let you in on a little secret: Producing video in-house at your organization isn’t as scary as it sounds. More than ever before, organizations are using video as their primary vehicle for communicating their issues and telling the stories of their cause while the tech becomes easier for laymen to use. That’s not to say that you don’t need at least one professionally produced video. You do.

But organizations rarely have the budgets to hire pros to create every piece of video content. Creating your second-tier video content in-house is within reach. First, you need to know how to navigate the galaxy of good, bad and in-between products that is the video marketplace.

Here’s a roundup of gear and other things to think about from a seasoned producer’s point of view. Continue reading