Monday, November 30, 2009

Free TeleConference on Year-End Fundraising for you!

The holiday season is in full swing and that means that year-end giving is here as well. I hope you're ready to receive a boatload of donations but in case you need that extra push to propel your fundraising program into high gear, check out this teleseminar, sponsored by my new org - Care2.


The Procastinator's Guide to Year-End Fundraising TeleConference December 3rd

Join Alia McKee and Mark Rovner from Sea Change Strategies, as well as Kathryn Powers of Conservation International, and moderator Eric Rardin of Care2 on December 3rd at 2PM EST for a great discussion on 11 critical action steps for mobilizing your donors and raising money.

Participants will learn the most successful fundraising strategies including:

  • How to create compelling fundraising campaigns that motivate web visitors to make a donation on your website.
  • Which easy fixes you can make to your donation page, so that donors complete the donation process.
  • How to communicate with donors before, during, and after they donate money online to your nonprofit and build long lasting relationships.

The Procastinator's Guide to Year-End Fundraising Presented by Care2 and Network for Good

When: Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 2PM Eastern Time.

There are a limited number of teleconference lines, so please take a moment to sign up now. It's FREE!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Do You Think We'll Ever Come Up First In Google Search?

If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

If a donor searches Google and your organization doesn't appear in the results, does that mean that your nonprofit doesn't exist?

I don't mean to get all existential on you but in this day and age when 88% of online adults use a search engine to find information, it's a reasonable question.

"OK," you say. "I get it."

"But how do I ensure that my organization magically appears on page 1 or 2 of Google results when someone types in "melting ozone layer," "human rights"or "health care reform?""

Good question.

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer. Blogging will help improve your organic search engine ranking as will sticking to a regular schedule for updating your website. However, you may also want to try advertising on Google.

Luckily, NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network) will be your guide to the prickly Google Ad Words forest. Check out these upcoming webinars:


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No More Bull

Commentary On Trust With Larry Checco

Check out this new NPR podcast featuring my frolleauge Larry Checco, Principal, Checco Communications.

Larry reminds us that great brands are not built on bull#$&!. On the contrary, great organizations are build on transparency, accountability and responsibility.

Can your donors, members, advocates and employees trust your organization? Do you live by your word? Do you apologize and take responsibility for your mistakes?

Take heed. It's VERY hard to earn back trust. Better to be clear, honest and open in all your dealings with all your stakeholders all the time.



Monday, November 9, 2009

What Blogging Can Do For You

I love blogging.

I love having a voice on the issues I care about.

I love being part of a community of people with similar ideas and passions.

I love when people respond to my words and ideas.

I also love the fact that blogging has helped me to land my last two jobs and build my professional profile. How? People find me through Search.

If you are still debating the who, what, when and why of blogging for yourself or your organization, check out this paper from Compendium Blogware.

There are lots of reasons to blog, one is to help ensure that people can find you when they're looking for you online. In this paper, Chris Baggott outlines how blogging helps you master this very important marketing skill.
"The key to success in marketing today and marketing in the future is that you need to be found on the search engines." In fact, 44% of all web interactions begin with search. And while billions are spent on Pay Per Click (PPC) and other ad-centric strategies, nearly all of the clicks on search results come from an organic area...It doesn't take much to come to the conclusion that the strongest acquisition strategy in a marketer's arsenal is high rankings in organic search." - Chris Baggott
If all of this is Greek to you. Let me break it down.

Click on the screen shot above. I googled "marketing for nonprofits" and this is what I found.

1. The links in white on the left hand side of the page are "organic search results." These are the links that Google considers most relevant for this keyword search. Google is telling you - "go to these sites, they have information you want."

2. The links in yellow above and on the right hand side of the page are "paid results," i.e. someone has paid money to have their advertisement shown for this keyword. Google is telling you - "go to these sites, these businesses say that they have the information you want."

Get the difference? Good.

Here's the rub, according to Marketing Sherpa Search Benchmark Study, "to say that 99% of people click on organic search results would be an understatement." In other words, organic search is where it's at.

From writing titles for your posts to using keywords judiciously, Baggott's got some great ideas and data on how blogging can help you get found in Search.

I hope you'll check this paper out!



Note: I'm not endorsing Compendium's software.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Are Online Communities Just As Segregated As Offline Communities?

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free. Rosa Parks

Check out this interesting piece on NPR's All Things Considered called, Facebook, MySpace Divide Along Social Lines. The interviewer speaks to several young people in San Francisco about how they view social networking sites.

"No one uses MySpace," says 17-year-old Halie Pacheco, a student at The Urban School [an elite school in San Francisco]. She likes Facebook. "It's safer and more high class," she explains.

Sixteen-year-old Nico Kurt lays out his view of the MySpace users this way: "It [MySpace] seems trashy to me. The only people who use it are trashy people."

"I have friends who are white. ... They are mostly on Facebook. That's why I use Facebook. My brown people are on MySpace."

Call me naive but was disturbed by the veiled racism and classicism in the first two comments. More important, I was disturbed by the warning that online communities are just as segregated as offline communities.

According to danah boyd, a researcher for Microsoft, "Young people — and for the most part adults as well — don't really interact online with strangers," she says. "They talk to people they already know. You have environments in which people are divided by race, divided by class, divided by lifestyle. When they go online they are going to interact in the same way."

Segregation anywhere is distressing. But it's particularly distressing online because it invalidates a central promise of the Connected Age.

New technologies finally enable us to build tribes across time and space. This promise can help us to break down the barriers that bind us and build new communities across culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender.

What's your experience online? Does your online posse look just like your offline community? Or are you stretching yourself to reach for people who are not like you? And conversely, are you sharing your own unique experiences with lots of different people? Finally, if you are meeting people across lines of race, class and gender how do you do it?


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Fine (Yet Simple) Art of Saying "Thank You"

Here is my November column in Fundraising Success. Enjoy!

BTW, thank you, dear reader for being here and reading my blog. :)

It's a familiar scene. I'm in line at the grocery store. A young girl and her mother are ahead of me. The girl is poking at the food items on the conveyor belt, running her hand up and down the gray metal. In an effort to distract her, the clerk compliments the young girl on her dress. Embarrassed and surprised by the clerk's attention, the young girl slips behind her mother. Almost as if by rote, the mother pipes up in a syrupy-sweet voice. She asks, "What do you say?" The girl, now hiding from the clerk's view, peeks out from behind her mother's leg and whispers, "Thank you."

Thank you — two simple, familiar and important words that have been etched
into us since birth. As fundraisers, we all know that saying them is a core part
of any successful program. But not all thank-yous are created equal. Here are
some suggestions for making yours 
stand out. Continue reading...