We have had more than a few conversations around here about how many tweets per day is too much or too little. Over time I have come to believe if you want to inform your audience about the good work your cause does, or your need for support, or what the world would be like if your charity didn’t exist, you really have to focus more on content. Not that frequency or volume of posts is not important but your content overall should be both relevant and interesting to your followers. I have talked in earlier posts (or on video in my YouTube Channel) about the 80/20 rule, but on this video I talk a little bit about the social media rule of thirds when it comes to curating and developing content. Check out this video below for some tactics to keep your twitter content interesting and engaging for your followers.
Category: Nonprofit Management
I have to admit when I first set up a LinkedIn profile for myself – I really didn’t get the platform. It seemed like just a glorified online resume. Now I appreciate what the platform does for me personally as well as what it does for our charity. I interact a lot more with other professionals on this platform than some of my other personal social media channels. For our organization we will often post job ads on LinkedIn but we also know that if we post a job ad on our website and a few of our staff who are on LinkedIn re-post the link to their own network we will get quite a few more click thru’s as well as more applications. I personally will try to reach out to people who work in the sector. I am a nonprofit organizational leader so I know at some point I will be recruiting non profit finance people, fundraisers, social workers, non profit marketing staff. If I hear about someone who works in these areas who has a good personal reputation I will reach out to them on LinkedIn, I may not have a job today- but when I do I want them to see my ad. Anyway, in the video below I talk about some of the reasons- you as well as your organization should be engaged on LinkedIn.
No wise charity leaders out there or fundraising will be suggesting that their organization plan its Christmas appeal around covering administration costs this season. However as wise leaders understand we do have to invest in our administration or our fundraising to increase our ability to make the impact our charity is intended to make. Imagine if a friend suggested that you invest in the favorite companies stock. The company bragged that it invested no money on staff, operations ,technology or training and development. You might thing that this company might not be a good long term investment. However Marina Glogovac President and CEO of CanadaHelps.org, points out in her recent Huffington Post blogpost that this is what we do to charities when we expect them to direct donations. We encourage or demand of them that they spend money only on direct programs not the other things we would expect a for profit company to do. Below is a link to a vlog post that further covers this double standard we have for charities:
This week Children’s Wish in Alberta did what they do best. Granted a Wish, but while doing so they managed to get not only local media involved but also national media. Social media was on fire with stories about #SpiderMable. Check out this video to hear what happened.
Research demonstrates that spending your money “pro socially” can make you happier. Elizabeth Dunn in her research found that after giving people experience both positive mental and bodily affects. For a charity talking about the positive benefit to the nonprofits users is something that is often linked to a donors gift. It is not uncommon to hear your $100 means one new clean well for a certain village. We are less likely to talk about the benefit to the donor themselves in giving a gift. We might make reference to a tax benefit- but we are less likely to talk about the positive mental benefit of spending your money pro socially as Dunn’s research suggests. Maybe as charity leaders we should be posting this type of research on our websites. We all want to be happy- maybe we should start writing the happiness we are creating not only for our users but also our donors in our case for support.
CEOs from the worlds top companies are using Twitter and LinkedIn to spread their message and abandoning FaceBook altogether.
More findings from the Weber Shandwich study about Social CEOs
Many of the organizational leaders or board members involved in a charity -may have never used the services of their charity or for that fact any charity like yours. A great way to get direction on how to drive better performance out of your NPO is soliciting feedback from the users of that service,
I never feel that you can know enough or learn enough about how to do a better job leading the organization you work for. The great thing about being a professional or leader in this age is the abundance of information and material for learning that is available as close as on your phone, tablet or laptop. Here are a few more organizations I frequently check out as a source of new ideas.
Great website with blog-posts about everything to do with branding, marketing or communications for the nonprofit sector. The organization provides an interesting service to professionals working in the sector called “AskCharity”. The service is described as :” AskCharity is a free service designed to help journalists and charities work together. Journalists can use it to find case studies, spokespeople and information from a wide range of charities. Charities can use it to build their media contacts and coverage.”
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
This has to be the ultimate newspaper for Fundraisers. I have had a subscription for a while, but if you don’t want to jump in and invest right away, follow their website for a while and see if you find the articles to your liking. The website and subscription service covers pretty much anything to do with fundraising and philantrophy.
Even if you are not from Canada this site has some great resources (certainly if you work for a Canadian Charity you will find this site even more helpful). The organization is a critical support to the Canadian nonprofit sector. On their website they describe themselves in the following manner: ” Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization whose cause is Canada’s charities. Our three broad goals are to strengthen the sector’s collective voice, create opportunities to connect and learn from each other, and build the sector’s capacity to succeed.” Check out their site to find out more that this organization does for the sector, but also check it out for the resources they post online. They have guides for nonprofits for most of the critical areas important to running a charity. The organization also publishes the report Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating Data which is a great resource to understanding how Canadians give and volunteer. On a frequent basis the organization also publishes its Sector Monitor which tends to provide a lot of great information regarding emerging trends facing the sector. Imagine Canada polls nonprofit leaders and executives from across the country to prepare the report.
Now Blackbaud is in the business of helping charities, so it should be no surprise that their website is full of valuable resources. The link to their resource section is here:
I am a big fan of their gift range calculator an easy to use, valuable resource to use when planning a capital campaign or even planning out your annual campaign.
I also like Blackbaud’s white papers which are brief “how to” guides and primers. If you are a new leader working for a charity I am sure you will find something useful to you here. Even if you have been in the sector for decades and are planning to implement something new to your organization , like P2P fundraising you’ll find some useful information here.
Also in the business of helping nonprofits Convio like Blackbaud has a lot of valuable information on their website. Convio was so successful in what they do-that Blackbaud actually bought them a while back. Not unlike the Blackbaud site there are some useful tip sheets and guides for a number of fundraising. Convio does a few reports annually that help us compare ourselves to other charities in the sector. Be sure to check out Convio’s :” Charitable Giving Report, Peer-to-Peer Benchmarking Report and their Online Benchmarking Report. You will come away with some new ideas but also see how your nonprofit stacks up.
In any sector staying abreast of changes in your environment and changes and technology can make the difference for the success of your organization. This is certainly true for the nonprofit sector. Fortunately there are many on-line resources that provide a wealth of information for nonprofit leaders and executives. Here are just a few sites that I find myself checking out on a fairly regular basis to come up with new ideas and stay abreast of changes in technology and trends pertinent to the sector.
Charity Village and Charity Channel’
I first became aware of these sites when I was looking for my first jobs in the nonprofit sector. Both sites have nonprofit sector job postings and offer job alert features (emails will be sent directly to your in-box for positions meeting your criterion. Both sites have a library of on line articles and how to guides for a number of issues important to non-profit organizations (e.g. board development, volunteer management, fundraising budgeting, etc.) Charity Channel is a U.S site and Charity Village is Canadian. If we have an opening which is specific to the sector like a fundraising or a program operations role, Charity Village is one of our go-to sites for posting
This site has some really interesting posts on social media, fundraising, technology relevant to the sector and more. I like this site because at times their writers just seem a little ahead of the curve. Some of their authors are talking about trends that are going to happen before most of us are paying attention to them. They also tend to have great links to articles and material on other sites of interest.
The NonProfit Times
I tend to think of this website as the digital newspaper for the sector. If you are a fan of charities and all aspects of what they do and what it takes to operate them this is a good site for you. Very frequently I come across links on my LinkedIn feed to articles that I think will be really interesting. A good proportion of the time the articles are a link to this website.
Non Profit Technology Network (NTEN)
As the name of the site suggests this website and their related media focuses on the “tech” side of the nonprofit world. One of the nice things about this site is you can search for resources and links by job/role type. For example you can search for resources for:
This organization also produces a quarterly journal (NTEN Change: A Quarterly Journal for NonProfit Leaders). It is a visually appealing document with a lot of great material and you can sign up online to receive it for free. Another value on this site is the organization does research and produces bench mark studies in an few areas of interest to nonprofit leaders- and of course you can also download these studies for free.
One of my former board presidents was a big fan on this site; she used it to find a lot of useful information on board development, governance and board training. I like the site because it covers all aspects of nonprofit management – but I also like it because the organization does not take itself too seriously. After all a name like Blue Avocado- if you weren’t reading about it here you would not necessarily assume it was a site for nonprofit leaders. They also appear willing to make the odd tongue in cheek post. Today I noticed the post below posted on their front page. I had to go to the Charity Navigator Site for more information- oh right it is April Fools Day.
Charity Navigator Closes
From Lee Taylor, Hayward, California
“We realized it’s stupid to rank nonprofits based on a few unproven management indicators,” said leaders. “We apologize for all the harm we’ve done to good nonprofits.” When reached for comment, a nonprofit spokesperson said, “Ding dong the wicked witch is dead.”