Thursday, September 13, 2012

FREE Webinar for You on How and Why You Need to Build Your Email List

Building a nonprofit is not easy.  You need a compelling mission that matters to others, good management and, of course, money. 

You also need a market to "sell" to.  For nonprofits, this means you have to build a base of prospective donors to engage in your cause. 

I've talked about donor acquisition and list building on the blog and in other places

Today I want to highlight a FREE webinar on Tuesday, September 18 from 2:00 - 3:00 ET from the super smart folks at Copyblogger.  It's called From New List to Critical Mass: Grow Your Audience Without Content Marketing.  

According to Copyblogger, in this webinar you will learn:
  • What is a Minimum Viable Audience, and why you want one 
  • The right ingredients to organically grow a healthy opt-in list
  • How minimum is minimum?
  • Reading your audience’s mind: the right and wrong way
  • What the "lean startup" trend can teach you about building an audience 
Register today.  It's FREE!



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The 5 Steps to Running a Successful Business aka Nonprofit

Running a nonprofit is no small feat and that is why I appreciate Josh Kaufman's five rules for making your organization a success.  (Isn't it lovely when you find an elegant concept that simplifies the complex?!)

According to Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, every business MUST do the following to be viable.  He's talking about for-profits but his ideas apply to any thriving organization, including nonprofits.
  1. Deliver value that OTHER people want.  Every successful business provides something - of value - services, products, ideas - to others.  The operative word here is OTHER. Value is in the eye of the beholder.
  2. Tell people about this value.  Every successful business TELLS people about the value they offer.  This is also called Marketing.
  3. Sell this value.  Every successful business gets MONEY in exchange for the value they provide.  This is called Sales in for-profits and Fundraising in nonprofits.
  4. Deliver this value.  Now that you "told me and sold me."  You have to deliver!  Every successful business does what they say they will do to keep customers and donors happy!
  5. Manage your finances, especially cash!  Money is not an end in itself but it is a MEANS to an end.  If you want to be able to improve your products and services, enter new markets, raise more money for your programs, capitalize your grantees, and pay your employees, you need cash!  Every successful business figures out how to manage money and bring in more cash than goes out!
That's it!

Of course, that's not quite it.  Running a business aka a nonprofit is a little more difficult.  Still, I agree with Kaufman, that at its core, this is what organization-building is all about.  Follow these five steps and you will succeed!



Monday, September 3, 2012

Want to Achieve Something Great? Remember WHY Your Organization Exists in the First Place.

Thomas Friedman had a very compelling editorial in the New York Times on Sunday called, It's Still Halftime in America.  Here is the introduction.
"I sat through three days of speeches at the Republican convention here, but I confess that my mind often drifted off to thinking about Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the Moon.
Armstrong’s passing really touched me, especially coinciding as it did with this election. Why? Because the America that launched Armstrong was an America that was embarked on a great and inspiring journey — one that spawned breakthroughs in science, medicine, computing and physics that made our country, and the world, a better place. What journey are we on today? Balancing the budget? Expanding health insurance? These are vital tools, but healthy to go where and balanced to do what?"
Don't worry.  Friedman is not bashing the Republican Party and neither am I.

Instead, Friedman is frustrated with the lack of VISION from BOTH parties.  This struck and resonated with me.

This is not a political blog.  Instead, I'm sharing Friedman's piece with you because I think he is on to something very important - the Why.

As leaders, we have to want more than a WIN, we need to remember WHY we are fighting in the first place. 

Raising more money.  Engaging more members.  Increasing the budget.  Working long and hard nights.  These are noble pursuits IF they help us to achieve our missions.

Never forget that we fundraise, market, sell, and engage more members in order to achieve an END, i.e. to ensure that fewer children go to sleep hungry at night.  To get better health care for the elderly.  To clean the air.

Don't fall into the political trap of getting stuck on winning for its' own sake.  Never forget WHY you do the work you do.  Keep it front and center in your heart and mind.  This will surely help you, your colleagues and your organization to reach the moon.

Warmest regards,