Thursday, October 1, 2009
The 2009 Donor's Choose Social Media Challenge officially starts today! DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need.
If you care about public schools and have friends and family members who care about public schools too, consider creating a giving page.
This campaign is an excellent example of:
1. Connecting with influencers (like bloggers and Twitterers) to ask them to leverage their networks to raise money for you. According to the DonorsChoose website, "last October, over 150 bloggers devoted their time (and various methods of persuasion) to help inspire their readers to give over $270,000 in classroom projects via the DonorsChoose.org Blogger Challenge, reaching over 65,000 public school students in need of essential learning materials."
2. Using technology to encourage peer to peer fundraising. Also called distributed marketing/fundraising, peer to peer fundraising can be powerful.
Thinking about empowering your supporters to support you? Check out these tools you can use!
P.S. I first learned about the 2009 Donor's Choose Social Media Challenge on Amy Sample Ward's Version of NPTech.
Monday, September 29, 2008
More interesting than the prizes is that fact that this contest, similar to last year's America's Giving Challenge, reminds us to STOP viewing our best members/donors/advocates as individual advocates and instead START thinking of them as powerful FUNDRAISERS in their own right.
Seth Godin, marketing guru, calls this "Flipping the (Marketing) Funnel." He elaborates on this KEY marketing concept in this FREE paper.
Consider giving the folks who love you most the tools they need - like the MySpace and PayPal widget - to share your cause with their friends. Ask them to "spread the love" for you!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Part of the beauty of the new online tools, like blogs, wikis, charity badges, and social networking sites is that they are easy to access and use. However, just because you CAN use them doesn't mean you SHOULD.
The best rationale for using a new technology is whether or not it will help you to achieve your organization's goals. For example, DON'T blog to blog, blog with the goal of increasing your membership, sharing information with your donors or learning from clients. On the other hand, DO add charity widgets to your fundraising mix if you have a robust individual giving campaign and a concrete, feel-good case for support.
I know, I know, it's not fun to be left out of the mix. But it's also not fun or responsible to waste precious resources on tools that don't add value. Be creative and keep learning but keep your eyes on the prize - achieving your mission and making the world a better place.
Joni Podolsky, author of Wired for Good: Strategic Technology Planning for Nonprofits has this to say about the right use of technology. (We LOVE this book!)
"Technology is a wonderful tool, but it can be a hindrance when the process it
is meant to improve is inherently flawed. Only after processes are examined and
documented should staff have creative discussions about how technology can
increase capacity and improve effectiveness."
Again, don't focus on CAN, focus on SHOULD.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
"The program aims to show how anyone and everyone can have greater impact in their community and bring more support to the charities and causes they care about.
Here's how it works!
Participants use charity badges to promote their causes and help their charity get $50,000. Or they can simply give to a cause to help it qualify for a $1,000 award. The America’s Giving Challenge runs from 3:00 p.m. EST on December 13, 2007 through 3:00 p.m. EST on January 31, 2008.
Learn more here!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I had a great time talking yesterday at Lipman Hearne - a marketing and communications firm that exclusively serves nonprofits. They are launching a cool, new branding campaign called The True You. Check it out!
They asked me to provide my (humble opinions) on how nonprofits and the consultants that serve them should approach marketing and communications in the "Connected Age," a term I first heard from Alison Fine. Here is what I had to say. It loses some of the translation without my voice but hopefully you'll get the point and find it useful. Cheers!
P.S. Have any of you worked with any great marketing and communications firms lately? Specifically, I'm looking for great advice on messaging for a new product launch. Recommendations?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
A widget is a piece of content that you can paste on your website, blog or social networking page. Widgets can contain pictures and text. See GlobalGiving's "Give Love" widget at right.
The great thing about widgets is that many sync up with donation platforms like PayPal. By clicking directly on the widget your friends, relatives, co-workers, donors, and volunteers can make an immediate contribution to your cause.
Many individuals are using widgets to raise money for the charities that they care about. Many nonprofits are using widgets as part of their viral marketing/fundraising efforts.
There are several services on the Web where you can create widgets for FREE including SixDegrees.org, Change.org, chip in, and Widgetbox. To learn more about how individuals and nonprofits are using charity widgets to raise money for their cause read this report.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
It contains valuable information re: how "Wired Fundraisers" are using new technologies (especially charity widgets) + their skills at connecting to "generate more donations for charities' vital missions."
Here are the key points:
1. When Wired Fundraisers Talk, People Listen: Wired Fundraisers are regular people with a cause and a keyboard, and they are proving highly effective at fundraising for their favorite charity in an ever-widening personal sphere of influence online. That’s because today, the messenger matters even more than the message. People trust messengers they know, like friends and family. These messengers naturally communicate in the most effective ways – through personal means, in a conversational tone, and with great stories. A promotion from a
charity can’t compete with that level of intimacy, authority or authenticity.
2. Not Every Wired Fundraiser Is a Champion: The successful Wired Fundraiser has a relatively rare combination of true passion and a means to lend a sense of urgency to their cause. Not every Six Degrees fundraiser or Facebook Cause is a winner, but a proud few – the superactivists - are very effective, raising $9,000 on average and reaching 150 people.
3. Technology Gives the Wired Fundraiser Special Power: Widgets and social networks make personal fundraisers more effective for four reasons. Widgets – bits of code that enable you to generate and place content anywhere online, including on Facebook pages or blogs – make it possible for personal fundraisers to take their message anywhere they communicate online, including social networks where messages spread very efficiently. They make it possible for the fundraiser to
evangelize in their own way, in their own words. Because they make fundraising so easy, widgets attract a new group of fundraisers. Importantly, widgets also make it easy and convenient for friends and family to give instantly, when they feel an impulse to give. That means more donations to more causes.
4. Smart Charities Embrace the Wired Fundraiser: Technology enables anyone to be a fundraiser, anywhere online. The control over the message is in the hands of the Wired Fundraiser. Wise charities see this as something to embrace rather than something to fear. They tap into the opportunity to spread their message further, by new means, via new messengers.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Here is a GREAT post on web-based resources for nonprofits. I found it on the 501(c)(3) tech club listserv, which is run by NTEN. You should sign up.
I especially like their suggestion that blogging software may be a good option for folks building new websites. See also my post, "Why Build a Website When you Can Build a Blog?"
A few tools that are missing:
1) Charity badges from SixDegrees.org. (See sample badge from NPower above.)
2) Donate now button from Network for Good
Others? Got any good and cheap resources for creating/editing videos?
Monday, August 27, 2007
I don't know about you, but one of the best things I learned in Kindergarten was to cut and paste. "What has that got to do with the Web," you ask? EVERYTHING - if you believe Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion. Here is what he has to say.
Imagine for a moment that you can take any piece of online content that you care about - a news feed, an image, a box score, multimedia, a stream of updates from your friends - and easily pin it wherever you want. Once clipped, you can drop the content on your desktop, an online start page like Windows Live or Pageflakes, “the deck" of your mobile device or even “a crawl” on your Internet-connected television.
This isn’t some far off vision. It’s the near-term future. It’s the coming era of the Cut and Paste Web.
According to Rubel, the new Web is about individuality and the ability to create your own collage. So rather than paint a static picture of your nonprofit, give your supporters the organizational colors, words, sounds and images they need to create their own unique montage.
For a great example of the Cut and Paste Web, check out the Give Love widget at right by Global Giving, new NPower ON! customer. They are SO SMART to incorporate these portable items into their marketing mix. By giving their supporters this slice of code - packaged up in this cute graphic - they are increasing the potential that their mission and message will spread.
To learn more about how to create a widget for your organization, visit SixDegrees.org and read Let's Go Widget Shopping on Beth's blog.