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.
At our organization we love it when children or youth decide to do a fundraiser for us. There is little that resonates with our stakeholders more than hearing a story about kids helping other kids. We tend to refer to these fundraisers as Third Party Events. Our chapter is fairly small local charity when compared to some international or national charities, however the funds raised by these third party events is by no means insignificant. For the fiscal year that just past groups doing third party events raised a million dollars for us- that is a lot of penny carnivals and lemonade stands.
However as important or maybe more important than the dollar figure is the behavior inspired by these junior philanthropists. In the video below I talk about two of the youth who made a big difference to our charity. I will also talk about some of the ways we recognize and reward youth philanthropy (not that they are looking for any rewards).
On average Canadians gave $531 last year to charity. In Alberta the average was a little higher at $596.96 per person. Although it would not be surprising if this average amount drops a little this year due to the dropping price of oil and the effect on the local economy. These stats came from an article last week in the Calgary Herald. The article was based on a recent Statistics Canada report. As an organizational leader for a nonprofit I am always thrilled to read any report about how people express there generosity and how they donate to charity. In the video below I talk about the top 5 ways listed in the report as the ways Canadians give to charity. Some of the ways will definitely not surprise you -but one or two just may.
If you have read any of my blog posts you will know that I think social media is a great way for a charity to create awareness, talk about their mission and cause, and gather new supporters to assist them in doing all of the above. If you have a low cost communications or marketing tool like Twitter, you do have to do some investing to make the platform an effective in meeting some of your marketing objectives. Mostly I think this investment will be in the form of investing staff time and salary into not only posting on the site but also engaging followers and potential followers. The other day when I posted a video of strategies to grow up to 100,000 followers there was at least one strategy that I did not describe all that well. In the video below I try to add some clarity to one of mu tactics listed in the previous video as well as describe some new strategies to increase your twitter following.
A lot of what we do as charity leaders- is pretty serious business. Also the people we help or work with are often going through very serious at times dire situations. As a leader it is important to create a culture where fun or some laughing occurs- both on the part of your staff and volunteers as well as for and with the people you serve.
Periscope is currently the fastest growing social media platform out there. Earlier this week Kim Garst published a blog post about the 6 reasons your business needs to be on periscope. When I read the blogpost I knew right away that at least 4 of these reasons were great reasons for Charities to be on periscope. If you haven’t checked out Kim’s blog here is the link -she has a lot of great content on all of here social media channels- so check her out:
The video link below talks about the 4 reasons I think your charity should be on periscope, and of course it was originally broadcast on periscope:
I don’t think nonprofit leaders should go out of their way to make themselves look foolish by any means, but I think providing a little levity can also be a good thing. Those who work in the nonprofit sector know how hard our staff and our volunteers work. Many of us are surrounded by people who we become quite close to going through hardship, stress or illness. Our own leaders train our staff how to personally cope with this stress while still remaining effective, supportive and empathetic. Many nonprofit staff are familiar with trying to solve the worlds problems with limited and scarce resources. Our fundraisers would tell you how hard they work to raise much needed revenue so that we can fulfill our important missions.
This all sounds pretty grim- but the reality is most days most of our staff would tell you how great it actually is. With that said I personally feel that a leader should never take themselves too seriously and occasionally they should be willing to do something that puts them at risk of seeming a little foolish. Clearly they should not do this just to look foolish, but of course they should be willing to do this to further the mandate of their organization or its ability to remain sustainable.With all that said, last month I decided to take my own advice and not take myself too seriously. The video below was taken on parascope last month and is a point of view video of me running our Rock the House Run in Ronald McDonald’s shoes- enjoy
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.
In Alberta Oil and Gas is a big driver in the local economy. Some Albertan’s don’t like to admit this but if the price of oil is low (which it is now) it has a strong impact on our local economy. As NPO leaders we know ultimately this has an impact on our fundraising so we need to be prepared to take corrective and purposeful action. This short video speaks to a couple of strategies your small charity can use to respond in an economic crisis.