What’s New in ePhilanthropy

This week’s torrent of news centered around Susan B. Komen’s decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood, the torrent of outrage which eventually caused them to reverse their decision.  What’s even more amazing is that Planned Parenthood supporters stepped in to make up the loss by special contributions, similar to in the past when funding was taken away.  Congratulations to Planned Parenthood for quickly activating their dedicated constituents;  shame to Komen for ruining its branding with such a poorly thought out decision.

So Facebook is going public.  How will this affect its relationship with its many devotees, which is expected to increase to 1 BILLION later this year?  It’s a bit sad that Convio, not long after going public, agreed to be acquired by its long term competitor, Blackbaud, apparently to take advantage of a financial windfall.  (Also see my recent blog post.)  It will be interesting to watch the path Facebook follows once its loyalties move mostly to its shareholders.

Pinterest seems to be very popular lately.  Have you used it yet?  With all the social media tools available, Small Act (via my friend Shana Masterson) suggests you choose carefully how many you can manage.  (I’m posting regularly on Twitter and Facebook, but less so on LinkedIn and Google Plus so far, trying to find content which is appropriate to each platform.)

After they donate or take the actions you request, do you make sure to thank your donors? Here are some tips from Guidestar and a quiz from Network for Good.

Are you getting good response from your email marketing efforts?  Use these 7 tips for appeals and also 5 Best Practices for Increasing Email Subscribers Engagement.  (And go here if you need help in getting them to sign up to receive your emails.)

Thinking about getting a tablet, such as the iPad or Kindle Fire?  Here’s a good article to read first.

What’s New in ePhilanthropy

If you’ve been wondering when you can build your nonprofit page on Google+, now’s the time.  Heather Mansfield offers help on How to Create a Google+ Page For Your Nonprofit. Also view this video by John Haydon.  Here’s Beth Kanter’s take.  But the jury is still out on whether Google+ pages will prove to be as popular as Facebook pages.

Frustrated trying to keep up to date with Facebook?  Get help in John’s Tactical Guide to Recent Facebook Changes and sign up for next month’s bi-monthly Facebook features update from Common Knowledge.

Planning to roll out a new website with Drupal?  Have you already launched, but finding it difficult to manage how to manage content edits and approvals?  Join Michelle Misner and I on Nov. 29 to learn How the NYPL Successfully Project Managed a New Drupal Website.  (It’s free if you’re a Nten member!).

Speaking of Nten, I’ve just signed up for next spring’s annual Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco.  Please register now to lock in the lowest rate.  It’s always the premier event of the year for the #nptech community.

It’s year-end fundraising season again.  Get a jump start by reviewing Farra Trompeter’s online fundraising tips, Convio’s How to Get Your Holiday Appeals Opened and Jeff Brooks’ reminder to Avoid Common Fundraising Mistakes, e.g. remembering that you are not your donor.  And of course, don’t forget to plan a multi-channel campaign.

If you’re in NYC, join us at next week’s 501 Tech NYC event;  this month we’ll chat about Google for Nonprofits.  Also if you manage a nonprofit website, sign up for the next quarterly gathering of the Not-for-Profit Webmaster Round Table, planned for mid-December.

What’s New in ePhilanthropy

Most of us are still figuring out what works and what doesn’t in social media.  For help in developing conversations instead of one-way communications, review John Haydon’s 16 Ways to Get Comments on Your Facebook Page and Robin Stephenson’s Twitter Community Organizing Rules for Non Profits.  Especially on Facebook, you’ll need to try different approaches before you find out what works best with your constituents.

Having engaging content to share in our multiple communication channels is a continuing challenge.  Per Kivi Leroux Miller, here’s how ASPCAPro Manages Content Creation, which reinforces why regular editorial meetings / calendars are so helpful in developing ideas and planning your outreach.

If you think you’ve heard it all about storytelling, consider M&R’s Storytelling and the Art of Email Writing.  Hint – you need to understand what motivates someone to give before you can write effective fundraising copy.  Veteran storyteller Andy Goodman provides more tips in Storytelling: The First Best Thing.

If you’re always wondering what day/time is best for emailing your constituents or posting on social media, view HubSpot’s recent presentation The Science of Timing, as well as Blue Sky Factory’s When is the Best Time to Send Email.  And don’t forget to integrate social media into your website so you use one channel to support the other in building your audience.

Finally, Jeff Brooks offers 20 Ways to Be Donor Centric which includes some familiar but useful reminders such as paying attention to the content and promptness of your gift acknowledgements.

What’s New in ePhilanthropy

When you present, do you get frustrated with attendees who seem to be paying more attention to their phones / computers than to your presentation?  In her presentation this week on the Trainer’s Social Media Tool Box, Beth Kanter explained how to use social media to enhance your sessions by encouraging sharing of information.   A new book, the Back Channel, details this phenomenon in more detail.  (If you’re still waiting until the end of your talk to take questions, you definitely need to see Beth’s notes.)

Jeff Brooks also spoke on a Network for Good call on what not to do in online fundraising – slides are available here.  (Hint – if your figures are not growing, you’re missing something.)

Do you maintain a database for advocacy that’s separate from your main donor database?  Care2’s webinar on Connecting Advocacy to Fundraising showed how activists can also be top fundraisers, if you take the time to cultivate them.   Activists also consistently open emails more frequently than other supporters.

If you need help in selecting tools for your organization (who doesn’t?), take a look at Idealware’s just released Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits.  Laura Quinn’s organization has always provided great information through her web site, blog and enewsletter.  I helped with some edits for this book – it is definitely worth getting.

Now that there’s so many ways to communicate with constituents, are you taking the time to make sure your messaging is consistent and on brand across channels?  See notes from Kivi Leroux Miller’s talk this week on Integrating Your Website, Email Newsletter and Social Media Sites.  Also see Blackbaud’s tips on Multi-Channel Engagement.

Like most nonprofits, Idealist has having some challenging times and has asked for our help.  Ami Dar’s work has long benefited the nonprofit community.  Please help.

Finally, are you helping your constituents to run their own fundraising events, or do you only help with events run by your organization?  If so, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Read Independent Fundraising Events Bring Big Returns, which links to a recent white paper by Blackbaud and Event 360; you can also register for a webinar on Feb. 3 to learn more.