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What Can Blogging Do for Your Nonprofit?

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If you’ve enjoyed posts on Communicate!, maybe you’d like to blog for your own organization.  Learn how.  Sign up for my webinar, sponsored by NPO Connect.

Blogging on a Mission, with Dennis Fischman

Your cause is important, but how often do your supporters think about it? Do you have the nagging suspicion that from one quarterly newsletter to the next, they’ve forgotten about the issues you work on…and you? Blogging may be your solution.

In this webinar, consultant Dennis Fischman, author of the Communicate! blog, will show you where to begin and how to succeed. You will learn how to pick topics that your supporters want to know more about, create an editorial calendar, and write material people will read online.

Dennis will help you answer questions like:

  • Should your blog be one person’s writing or can you pull together a team of contributors (while maintaining a consistent voice)?
  • How do you incorporate stories, photos, and video?
  • And how do you promote your blog through email, social media, and the other channels you have available?

To sign up for the webinar, go to http://npoconnect.org/content/blogging-mission-dennis-fischman. 

5 Lessons Moses Can Teach Us about Fundraising, by Michael Rosen

In honor of the Passover season, I’d like to share 5 Lessons Moses Can Teach Us about Fundraising | Michael Rosen Says… http://bit.ly/Qalj10.

I’d also like to wish Michael a chag sameach (happy holiday) and a refuah shleimah (complete healing of body and soul).  And my wish for the rest of you is: read Michael’s article.  It’s a good one!

 

Sharing the Season’s Greetings with Your Community

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Sending holiday greetings to your customers and community is a great way to let them know you’re thinking of them. But not everyone celebrates the same holidays.

Tonight, Monday evening, April 14, Jews begin celebrating Passover. Theravada Buddhists mark the New Year on April 15. Hindus observe Hanuman Jayanti the same day. Christians celebrate Holy Week from April 13 (Palm Sunday) leading up to April 20 (Easter Sunday). And Pagans look forward to Beltane on May 1.

How do you greet them all?

Ideally, you keep a record of which holiday each person on your list celebrates. Then, you send personalized email to each one. (If you’re not sure how to do that, I can help. Write me and let me know.)

If you haven’t kept those records, now would be a good time to start! In the meantime, feel free to cut and paste the second paragraph of this message into your email and social media. Add, “To all our friends who celebrate these holidays, we send our warmest greetings.”

Chag sameach to my fellow Jews, and a good and liberating holiday to everyone.

It’s Better to be Heard than to be Seen

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Touch your right eye.  Now, your left.

You have just put your finger on the most valuable commodity online.

Eyeballs are what you have.  Eyeballs are what the social media companies are selling.  Facebook is famous for selling you to brands, and now Twitter is getting into the act.  They will stick ads anywhere they can to offer more viewers to their advertisers.

That’s how they make money.

Nonprofit organizations have a different reason for being.  If you work at a nonprofit, you are trying to accomplish a mission.  Money may be a means to the end, but it is not an end in itself.

Nonprofits shouldn’t be in the eyeball business.  We should aim less to be seen than to be heard.

We should be telling stories so well that people continue to hear them all day, inside their heads.  We should be getting our readers to talk about us with their friends.

One person who “gets it” because they read your blog, post, or tweet is worth a hundred who just saw it.

 

 

How to Make Your Nonprofit the People’s Choice

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Who is Donald Berwick and why do I know his name?

Donald Berwick is one of five Democrats running for Governor of Massachusetts.  He’s not a career politician, and he hasn’t been in the headlines for years like some of the other candidates.  I know about him because of a story.

In their book Switch, Chip and Dan Heath illustrate their own model for bringing about change by telling a story about Berwick.

In 2004, 1 out of every 10 patients in the U.S. received defective medical care.  For instance, they “did not receive their antibiotics in the specified time.”  So, “thousands of patients were dying every year, unnecessarily.”  Dr. Donald Berwick set out to change that.

  • He proposed that the medical industry save 100,000 lives in 18 months, and he gave them six specific ways to do it.
  • He brought in a mom whose little girl had been killed by a medical error.  She told the hospitals, “I know that if this campaign had been in place four or five years ago, that Josie would be fine.”
  • He made it easy for hospitals to join the campaign (by signing a one-page form) and brought them together in conferences where they could see how others just like them were succeeding.

As a result. by the set date, the campaign had saved 122,300 lives, “the equivalent of throwing a life preserver to every man, woman, and child in Ann Arbor, Michigan.”

Because of this story, when Berwick decided to run for Governor, I knew his name.

There’s an election going on, and your nonprofit organization is one of the candidates.

You’re competing for volunteer time.  You’re competing for donor money.  Everyone in your community can choose from a slate of good causes and “cast their vote”–for you, for a similar organization, or for a completely different cause that also appeals to them.

You need name recognition to win.  No one will vote for you if they don’t know who you are.  But how do you make sure people hear about you, and remember your name?

Tell stories.

Tell stories that dramatize the problem you’re trying to solve.  Tell stories that give people hope that there are solutions.  Give them a chance to be the hero of the story by giving you their time or money.

When they choose between you and other organizations, make sure they know your name.  Then you’ll have a chance to get their vote.

Sandy Deden

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