Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank You

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and not just because of the food.

What a great idea to dedicate one day of the year to giving thanks for life's many blessings.

I don't know about you, but I have SO much to be thankful for.  Here is a short list. I hope it inspires you to write your own.

Warmest regards,



1) I am thankful for you dear readers.  Thank you for reading my blog (for four years!) and encouraging me to keep writing even when I fear there is nothing left to say.  I feel so privileged to have this small space in the Universe to express my feelings and share my thoughts. 

2) I am thankful for the crazy nonprofit capacity building community.  Thanks especially to luminaries like Katya Andresen (Nonprofit Marketing Blog), Holly Ross (NTEN), Beth Kanter (Beth's Blog), Allyson Kapin (Frogloop), Kivi Leroux Miller (The Nonprofit Marketing Guide), Alia McKee & Mark Rovner (SeaChange Strategies), and Allison Fine, who work tirelessly and passionately to help nonprofits build a better world.  I'm SO honored to be part of the crew.

3) I am thankful for my mentors, Clint O'Brien and Bob Gilbertson, who taught me what it is to be a good leader (and follower) and continue to inspire me with their leadership every day.

4) I am thankful for Fundraising Success, especially Margaret Battistelli Gardner, Editor in Chief, who gave me a chance to write for a magazine!  Thanks also to Katya Andresen for sharing her column with me.

5) I am thankful for my husband Dan Moore.  You are the world's greatest coach and have a beautiful heart and mind.  Thank you for  indulging my never-ending (often boring!) monologues regarding how to improve the practice of nonprofit leadership, marketing and fundraising.

6) I am thankful for a special nine year old girl, who asks the most remarkable questions.  You remind me to stay focused on the important things in life like pillow fights, eating pie and singing really loud!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are You Happy?

 Are you happy?
  • Do you spend time each week on important things like yourself?
  • Do you have work or hobbies that you love?
  • Do you make time to commune with family and friends?
  • Do you spend your time, talent, and treasure wisely on things like helping others vs. buying more stuff?
If the answers to the questions above are YES, you get a hall pass.

If NO, keep reading.

I read a fascinating book this weekend called (what else?) Happy by Ian K. Smith.

According to Smith, 50 percent of our happiness is hardwired at birth.  (Yes, it's possible to be a natural born grouch!)  However, the good news is that the rest of our happiness is up to us!  And there is much that you can do to boost your happiness. 

You should read the book, but here are a few happiness boosting tips that jumped out at me.
  1. Start a gratitude journal. - Make a few notes EVERY DAY about the things that you are grateful for.  In addition to boosting your happiness, a gratitude journal will make you a better fundraiser because you'll get better at thanking your donors, volunteers and employees.
  2. Spend your money on things that last. - There is scientific evidence to show that how you spend  your money may be more important that what you make.  Spending money on others (aka CHARITABLE GIVING!) boosts happiness.  It makes those endorphins dance in our brain.
  3. Spend LESS time on social networks and more time with friends and family IRL (in real life).  It's also well-researched that people with strong social ties are happier than loners.  Make time to nurture your close relationships and develop strong ties with others.
  4. Choose your work wisely.  With commuting times at an all time high and work days growing longer in the U.S., where you work is key to your happiness.  We're not all lucky enough to get to choose our jobs but even if you aren't pursuing your preferred profession yet, find ways to make your current work day better.  Bring snacks for your team!  Send thank you notes to co-workers who brighten your day!  Take some time away from your work every day.  It's the small stuff that will lift your mood.
Happiness is not all up to us.  As mentioned, researchers believe that much of our outlook on life is hard coded at birth.  But the good news is that biology is only part of the story.  According to positive psychology, at least 40 percent of our happiness is variable and we can improve our own happiness by working at it every day.  

Make it a priority to make yourself feel better and by extension sow more joy in the world.  Being happy is your birthright, it's also a better way to live.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cool New Online Giving Infographic for You!

Every wonder how online giving has trended over time?  

If you're a geek like me, the answer is "YES!"

My company, Network for Good, has produced this cool infographic (feel free to share it with your fundraising friends!) for our 10th anniversary.

Check out how much online giving has evolved in the past 10 years.

My takeaway: Online giving is mainstream and it's only going to continue to grow! 

Translation: Get online today!



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's Scary About Nonprofit Communications?

Halloween is over but chances are there are a lot of things that still scare you about the brave, new, world of nonprofit communications.

My frolleague (friend and colleague) Kivi Leroux Miller, author of The Nonprofit Marketing Guide has launched the second annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey to identify all those creepy, crawly, communications critters that get under your skin!

Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey and share your thoughts about what frightens and fascinates you about nonprofit communications.  Deadline is Friday, November 25.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's Your Portable Potential?

Did you know that "in the U.S. more than a quarter of people own a smartphone" and "in the final quarter of 2010, smartphones passed global PC shipments for the first time in history?"

Clearly, we're going mobile as a society but what does this mean for your nonprofit?  

A: You need to determine if you need a mobile strategy and what mobile means for you!

According to the new e-book by Convio, A Guide to the Mobile Web: Best Practices for Nonprofits, you should be thinking about a mobile engagement strategy if one or all of the following conditions apply:

  • 5 percent or more of total visits to your website are coming from mobile devices.  (Use Google analytics or another analytics program to evaluate visits to your website.)
  • You have a robust social media strategy. According to Strong Mobile Trends for Leading Social Companies by Kleiner Perkins, "roughly 30 percent of Facebook's and 50 percent of Twitter's memberships are mobile users," i.e. it stands to reason that these constituents will access your site via their phones. 
  • You're looking for younger, donors, activists or members.  
  • You're planning on redoing your website soon!
Think that mobile may be right for you?  Determine the best mobile presence.

Now that you're convinced that mobile might be right for you, you need to determine the right mobile presence for your org.

My advice: Focus on mobilizing your website content first vs. creating an app or engaging in SMS/text

Apps are expensive and don't work unless you are super creative and find a really great hook for engaging your constituents.  SMS/text doesn't work either unless you organize BIG events with BIG stars or do disaster fundraising. 

What about content?

Going mobile is a GREAT exercise for a nonprofit because it forces you to determine how to STREAMLINE and SIMPLIFY your content to ensure that it is digestible and useful on a small device.  It also means thinking strategically about your top engagement priorities, e.g. e-newsletter sign-ups, advocacy calls to action, and donations.  (Important note here: You simply cannot smash all of your website content into your mobile site!)

You can mobilize your website by building a "basic browser-detection script" into your main website.  This may become a best practice in new website design. Another option (that I like!) is to build a 3 - 5 page mini site with opportunities for users to donate, take an action, read current news items, or share your cause with their friends.

Whatever you decide, mobile is here to stay.

Determine your portable potential and use this on-the-go, always-on, in-your-pocket channel to engage more people in your good cause!