Messages Nonprofits Can Use to Raise Awareness

Messages Nonprofits Can Use to Raise Awareness

Last month I encouraged you to stop focusing on the medium (the package into which you stuff your content) and to begin making the message (the “goods” you have that will be useful and relevant to your target audiences) your center of attention. I told you to stop thinking “marketing communications” and to begin embracing “content marketing.” Bottom line: … [Read more...]

Content Marketing and Social Media: What Nonprofits Must Know

Content Marketing and Social Media for Nonprofits

First, you need to be doing content marketing. Second, content marketing is not a synonym for social media. Nor is it a synonym for social deployment. “Marketing communications” seems to be the term with which nonprofits are most familiar. Does this sound like you: “We’re the best kept secret around.” “No one knows what we do.” “If folks understood the … [Read more...]

Is Your Nonprofit Blog Donor-Friendly? 8-Point Checklist

Is your nonprofit blog donor friendly 8 point checklist

Next to email, blogs are the most mature form of social media. They’ve been around the longest, and they’re pretty tried-and-true. As nonprofit leaders Allison Fine and Britt Bravo remind us in Building Better Nonprofit Blogs, they’re an awesome place for ongoing, substantive conversation that builds sustained relationships.  And they're a great place to … [Read more...]

21 Ways to Use Nonprofit Social Media: Care, Be There or Be Square

21 Ways to Use Nonprofit Social Media #nonprofit #npo

  Social media. It’s just a tool. If it doesn’t serve your ends, don’t use it. But, and this is a really big 'but,' it’s hard to imagine a scenario where it won’t serve your ends to some degree. Assuming you want to create greater awareness for your cause and to persuade more people to support you. The digital revolution has democratized … [Read more...]

The Answer to Finding Nonprofit Donors: Social Media

finding nonprofit donors in social media

For profit marketing experts are bullish about using social media to generate new leads: “At least 58% of marketers who have been using social media for three years or longer state that it has helped them boost sales. On average, marketers spend between four and six hours on social media each week. While marketers do struggle with lead generation and … [Read more...]

Blog + Social Media: Not Your Mom’s Donor Acquisition / Retention Plan


Over a decade worth of compelling research from Adrian Sargeant and Penelope Burk shows nonprofits are losing up to 70% of donors before they ever move up the proverbial donor pyramid. This is why I recently declared the pyramid dead. Now we have a vortex – an energy circle. The way the vortex works is through a maelstrom of online communication. It’s not … [Read more...]

11 Warning Signs Your Nonprofit Social Media Might Actually Raise Money

11-Warning-Signs-Your-Nonprofit-V3 copy

Oh no!  Does that mean you might actually have to take it seriously? You’ve no doubt heard that social media sucks for fundraising.  And that may have made you relax, since you now thought it wasn’t something you’d really have to add to your portfolio.  Well… yes and no. It all depends on your plan, and how you work it. And if you learn to work it … [Read more...]

When Does $ocial Media Translate to Non Profit Donations?

When-Does-Social-Media-Translate-to-Non-Profit-Donations-V2-compressor copy

Later. Much later. There’s no ‘$’ in social media. Just a plain old letter ‘s.’ John Haydon hit the nail on the head when he proclaimed “social media stinks for fundraising.”  That’s not to say you can’t raise a dime or two, especially in a tsunami, but for most nonprofits that’s not what social media is going to be best for. No. For most nonprofits who … [Read more...]

How Social Media Toppled the Donor Pyramid – What that Means for Nonprofits

How-Social-Media-Toppled-the-Donor-Pyramid-V1 copy

Digital toppled the donor pyramid. Actually, it crumbled it… slowly, surely, until there was nothing left but an empty frame.  A triangle on paper.  The donors no longer fit inside of it. Now we have a vortex -- an energy circle. But first, let’s give a nice eulogy to the golden triangle. The donor pyramid was a great model for linear thinkers like me. It … [Read more...]

Raise Your Hand to Take Charge of Your Brand: Who Owns Digital Content in Your Nonprofit?

Raise-Your-Hand-to-Take-Charge-of-Your-Brand-V1 copy

Who owns digital? Where does the buck stop? These are questions I hear all the time. No one wants to be in charge, or even have to think about this too much. Folks just want it to magically happen. You want the ‘secret sauce’ but don’t want to cook up the dish.  You want content to go viral, but don’t want to put in the work to make it happen. In a fast … [Read more...]

Social Media Influencers or Ambassadors? How to Identify Them

Social-Media-Influencers-or-Ambassadors-V2 copy

The power of peer-to-peer recommendations Recently, a new report by Pew Research showed that, for the first time, social media has definitely downgraded other media. According to this study, the viral effect of ¨word-of- mouth¨ and peer- to-peer recommendations now has more impact on users and consumers than traditional advertising. Statistics that just … [Read more...]

Social Media: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore – 9 Adaptive Tips for Fundraisers Using Social Media

Social-Media-Its-Not-Just-for-Kids-Anymore-V1 copy

When’s the last time you found it easy to get a group of prospects together at a house party? Or to schedule a meeting between a prospect and your E.D.? In this busy world it’s becoming more and more challenging.  But there’s another way: Fundraisers using social media. It’s time for fundraisers to reinvent their relationship with social media.  Stop … [Read more...]

Does Your Nonprofit Need a Social Media Manager?

Does-Your-Nonprofit-Need-a-Social-Media-Manager-V3 copy

This is a question I’m asked a lot. And for 2013 it’s kind of a funny question. In fact, late last year Mark Schaefer wrote a blog post that had me laughing out loud. He titled it: Your 2013 Social Media Strategy: Grow a Pair. He was writing about for-profits who haven’t a clue where to fit social media into their existing management infrastructure and … [Read more...]

How Social Media Complements Nonprofit Donor Moves Management

How-Social-Media-Complements-Nonprofit-Donor-Moves-Management-V2 copy

How can social media complement nonprofit donor moves management? I’ve said this before. It bears repeating.  You are stuck. Yes, you. You may have been the best major gift officer on the planet five years ago.  But that was then. This is now. The buying/giving market has fundamentally changed. Why it’s the end of business as usual: Donors have … [Read more...]

24 Ways to Use Pinterest Trends to Drive Fundraising and Cause Awareness

Ways-to-Use-Pinterest-Trends-to-Drive-Fundraising-and-Cause-Awareness-V1 copy

Years ago, while working for a human services agency, I stumbled upon the fact that the most clicked-on item in our e-newsletter was the ‘Recipe of the Month.’ It really had very little to do with our mission, but we wanted to offer something ‘tasty’ that would assure folks opened our emails. The recipes were from clients, staff and volunteers; we then … [Read more...]

3 Great Social Media Apps for Nonprofit Fundraising and More

Great-Social-Media-Apps-for-Nonprofit-Fundraising-and-More-V2 copy

Nonprofits always have an uphill battle -- how to get the most value while spending very little money. After all, as much of the money a nonprofit can generate is meant to help the cause itself. Social media marketing is one low-cost tool that can help. In this post I’m highlighting 3 cool platforms that are helping nonprofits get the most bang for their … [Read more...]

10 Truths about Social Media’s Impact on Nonprofit Fundraising and Marketing

Truths-about-Social-Medias-Impact-on-Nonprofit-Fundraising-and-Marketing-V3 copy

Nonprofits wanting gifts should give them.  Relationships work that way. And relationships count for everything. Getting and retaining donors (and, really, any type of constituent) is all about building and stewarding relationships.  Satisfying, long-term relationships; not quick transactions. And lasting relationships are measured by the mutually sustaining … [Read more...]

What Fortune 500 Community Managers Can Learn from Nonprofits about Social Business

What-Fortune-500-Community-Managers-Can-Learn-from-Nonprofits-about-Social-Business-V2 copy

We’re really hung up on technology these days. And jargon. We use terms like “social media” to describe a range of practices – from digital communications to any form of customer-centered marketing that embraces the ways in which people interact, inform themselves, form communities and co-create within the current zeitgeist.  Then we mix it up with terms … [Read more...]

It’s the Engagement, Stupid: 6 Keys to Building a Blog to Strengthen Your Nonprofit’s Supporter Base

Its-the-Engagement,-Stupid-6-Keys-to-Building-a-Blog-to-Strengthen-Your-Nonprofits-Supporter-Base-V2 copy

"Newspapers are just blogs that get ink on your fingers." Stephen Colbert Blogs are media.  They’re also social.  They aren’t rocket science.  You can build a great blog.  But why would you want to?  Aha!  That’s the question too many nonprofits fail to ask.  So ask.  Seriously. Take a moment.  I’ll wait. “If you don't know where you are going, any … [Read more...]

3 Essential Building Blocks to Kick-Start a Successful Nonprofit Social Media Strategy: Website, Email and Something Else

Essential-Building-Blocks-to-Kick-Start-a-Successful-Nonprofit-Social-Media-Strategy-Website,-Email-and-Something-Else-V1-compressor copy

Nonprofit marketing got a lot more complicated over the past decade as we evolved from Web 1.0 (internet) to 2.0 (social media) to 3.0 (mobile). Too many nonprofits still view the technology as largely disruptive, and potentially unnecessary [is someone in your organization still calling this a ‘fad’?]. This mindset allows folks to bury their heads in the … [Read more...]