Not only is it had to hold others’ attention for very long on a web site or in an email newsletter, it’s increasingly difficult to connect to your attendees during presentations (and often to colleagues during meetings). Many of us are constantly checking our mobile devices to participate in social networking sites, a phenomenon clearly described in Cliff Atkinson’s recent book, The Backchannel. So how can we use this as an opportunity to connect with more people instead of viewing this as a problem?
Social networking sites like Twitter allow event attendees to report on a presentation while it is taking place. This means that you can reach many others who are not able to attend in person. Below are some tips which I’ve taken from the book and from my own experience as a presenter:
Create a hash tag (#) that can be used to reference comments on Twitter
Use a presentation home page to link to slides and to provide a communication channel with the audience after the live presentation has ended. Don’t forget to reference your web site, SlideShare, Twitter, relevant blog postings and videos on YouTube
Have a colleague monitor the backchannel while you present – it’s a bit challenging to do both yourself and still concentrate on what you’re saying
Take ‘Twitter breaks’ to acknowledge what is being said and to respond to comments / suggestions
Include more graphics and less words in your slides. If you’re reading information from your slides, you’re not going to hold people’s interest
If necessary, modify presentation based on feedback you receive while you speak. Don’t be afraid to change tactics if your audience is not engaged.
Encourage live participation throughout your talk, not only at the end. I’ve often attended talks where there is so much information presented, there’s little or no time left for questions. Don’t let this happen to you.
Less is more. Have a handful of major points you want attendees to remember (and to tweet). Don’t try to communicate too much.
Find out who is attending your presentation before you speak so you can customize your materials. It’s helpful to ask some questions of the audience on site, but it’s much easier if you take the time to research in advance.
Learn from great speakers, such as Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki and Beth Kanter. Watch how they engage with the audience and use feedback from attendees to communicate their message.
Few of us are naturally great speakers, but it gets easier with practice. Join a group like Toastmasters if you want to improve your skills and seek out every opportunity to speak to groups.
My take: smaller organizations such as Charity:Water will continue to take the lead on showing larger nonprofits how to raise funds and engage constituents in a variety of new ways. Larger organizations are still trying to deal with what Clay Shirky‘s observation during his year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference: nonprofits have already lost control of their branding and messaging .
According to the Foundation Center’sPhilanthropy News Digest. “some of the nation’s largest charities…have seen only modest gains in online donations…because many of them have been slow to embrace or aggressively market their Web sites as a platform for giving.” So this may be more a result of a lack of marketing than to a slowdown in the growth of online fundraising.
e-commerce platform integrated with your constituent database.
creative team that creates effective copy, images and video
production department that standardizes email content.
list of online prospects that eventually become donors
consultants and analysis that provide actionable recommendations.
Steve suggests that there are other costs, such as the correspondence team that responds to inquiries and training / developing staff that are also part of developing effective online strategies..
Pew / Internet released areport on cloud computingthat estimates 69% of online users are now using hosted applications and/or storing data online, but many are concerned about how this information will be used by online vendors.
eJewishPhilanthropy’sBrand Sharing 2.0suggests that to make the most of Web 2.0 tools, nonprofit organizations give up some control over their organizational identities and “allowi their strongest supporters to use these organizational brands as an extension of their own personal online branding efforts,” offering examples from the Salvation Army, National Geographic and the World Wildlife Fund.
Does online fundraising offer a huge opportunity for most nonprofits? Yes. Does this mean that the more traditional direct mail methods should no longer be used? No! Many other bloggers recently discussed this issue:
I agree with Seth’s point that online fundraising clearly is not meant to replace direct mail fundraising. Some people may always respond best to direct mail, while others enjoy doing everything online. The real challenge, as Seth points out, is to convert the donor to an active supporter of an organization’s cause, or who encourages others to get involved. Whether a donor gives offline or online, getting someone to get and stay engaged has the biggest benefit for our organizations.
GetActive, NetSquared and Squidoo have combined to put together a list of the59 Smartest Organizations Online, nonprofit organizations that are using the latest technologies to engage their constituents. There are undoubtedly many NPOs that will be familiar to you, but many that were completely new to me. Squidoo was created by Seth Godin, who has authored several fascinating books, such asPurple Cow.