This blog will help you win loyal friends for your nonprofit organization. I'm Dennis Fischman, and I approved this message.

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Which Social Media are Right for You?

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Small nonprofits can ROCK social media. Here’s how.

Are you on Facebook or Twitter but don’t really know what to do with them? Do you wish you had the time and the budget to do social media like the big kids?social media

Small nonprofits, take heart! You have unique advantages you can use to make social media your own.

In The No-Nonsense Nonprofit Guide to Social Media, I guide you step by step.

  • Learn how to read your audience’s mind and give them content that will make them loyal friends of your organization.
  • Find out how to choose the right social media and how to turn every single idea into ten blogs, posts, tweets, and videos.
  • Understand how to make your social media support your fundraising.

I wrote this ebook especially with you in mind. The practical approach  you’ll find in The No-Nonsense Nonprofit Guide to Social Media will help you start small and grow your social media into an important part of your organization’s work.

Social media can help you build stronger relationships with your donors, clients, and supporters. Doesn’t your good work deserve that support?  Order the ebook today and get started on rocking social media.

Dennis

How to Win Loyal Supporters

Call it a funnel.  Call it a cycle. However you see the process of winning loyal supporters for your nonprofit organization, there are three steps you want those supporters to take.

Know. Like. Trust.

No matter how strong you, your programs or services may be, you will still be ignored by prospective donors, volunteers, and other supporters until they know, like, and trust you.

My colleague Patrick McFadden wrote about this for small businesses.  It is just as true for nonprofits.  So, do you want to be ignored?  If so, you can stop reading right here.  If you want supporters, though, read on!

The “Know” Stage

It’s a truism: people can’t support you if they don’t know you.  So how do we get our nonprofits to be known?

  • Word of mouth. If their friends tell their friends about you–face to face or through social media–that’s the most powerful recommendation.
  • Blogging. Answer the questions people are wondering about and they will come back for more.
  • Social media.   Yes, you can use Facebook, Twitter, etc. to put your words out there, but it’s even better to find people who should be supporting you and actually talk with them.  That’s why they call it “social”!

The “Like” Stage

Just because they know your organization’s name doesn’t mean they want to talk with you.  (You’re not trying to pick them up at a bar.  You want a real relationship!)

So, you must get permission by a) being likeable and b) giving them a good reason to want to hear more.

“Likeable” is Dave Kerpen‘s trademark.  The same qualities that make us likeable in real life can help our organizations win likes on Facebook (for instance). We ought to think like the people we are trying to attract and give them what they need.  Read his book for good advice on how to do just that.

What should nonprofits give their prospects to get permission to email them? Patrick McFadden suggests we “give” them:

  • Easy ways to find what they need on our websites (including landing pages designed just for them)
  • Information in their inbox–news they can use
  • Expert advice in the form of an ebook

The “Trust” Stage

While you’re developing “the Know” through articles, posts, and referrals, “the Like”  through your website, newsletter, and ebooks, you’re still not fundraising.  Be patient.

As Patrick says, “Trust is perhaps the most important step and yet it’s not one you can simply manufacture through one or two tactics – it comes together through a collection of things.”

  • Write blog posts that readers are eager to read.
  • Deliver your newsletter or email updates consistently.
  • Educate.  Don’t promote.
  • Post content on your website that’s so valuable reputable websites will link back to it.
  • Participate in social media by sharing great information and helping others find what they want.
  • Help your prospective supporters before you ask them for help.

What’s one thing your organization does to get supporters to know you?  Like you?  Trust you? Please share it below in the Comments section.

What Nonprofits Can Learn from Peter Pan

People say there’s a part of me that’s got to be permanently twelve years old. I love children’s books.

In my house, there’s a shelf of them: some picture books, some chapter books, some classics, some translated into Spanish.  And I should probably take them off my taxes as a professional expense.  They have taught me how to write.

What can children’s books and their big cousins, YA fiction, teach us about telling our companies’ stories?

  1. Start with an improbable hero.  Zoom in on one person.  An ordinary person, because our readers need to identify with him or her.  That could be Harry Potter or Halla from Travel Light–or it could be your nonprofit’s client.
  2. Give them a challenge. It’s not a story if nothing’s going wrong. Here’s your chance to show the problem that your client faces (whether it’s poverty, illness, bad schools, or bad air) and make it real to your reader.
  3. Show their character.  When she struggles, your client shows who she really is.  She has no superpowers or magic: only the qualities that make her human.
  4. Give them helpers.  Of course, this includes your organization.  But this is  your golden opportunity to…
  5. Bring the reader into the story.  J.M. Barrie did that overtly in Peter Pan: “If you believe,” he shouted to them, “clap your hands; don’t let Tink die.”  Most do it more subtly. But if you ever refused to come in for dinner until you finished the chapter, you know what it feels like to take the hero’s place.

Great writers make us feel that the ending of the story depends on us.

When you write newsletters, appeal letters, blog posts–even Facebook posts and tweets–how do you make your supporters into the hero of the story?