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Spring is here (well, maybe not in Boston but everywhere else)!

With it comes new energy, fresh ideas, and the motivation to try new things – on your nonprofit social media accounts! 

If you want to dust off the cobwebs, open the windows, and get rid of the crickets, here are 30 different things you can try that will spice up your accounts. 

The best feature of this social media menu is that even small shop nonprofit social media managers can carry these out on a shoestring budget.

Read, select, prioritize, pick, choose, implement! Let’s get started.  

If you want to learn a proven, battle-tested system for creating nonprofit social media marketing campaigns, check out my online course track with TechSoup! 

Facebook:
  1. Post more video. Video posts on Facebook receive 59% more engagement on average that any other kind of post. Take out that smartphone and document a day in the life of your organization in short, 10 second video clips. 
  2. Start a Facebook Group. Facebook Groups are organized around issues, topics, and identities rather than brands and organizations. Groups function as specific communities of people who interact directly with each other rather than through the middleman of a Page. Nonprofits can use Groups to create a forum for feedback, host discussions, and provide a select group of people with exclusive content.  
  3. Go live on Facebook. Use Facebook Live when you want to broadcast from events or activities and interact with your supporters in real time. You can field their questions, read their comments, and share powerful stories with your community as they unfold.
  4. Share educational info. How To posts, Top 10 lists, educational graphics, and thought-provoking articles about the issue you are solving will help you increase trust and build your community on Facebook.  
  5. Explore Messenger Chatbots. Chatbots aren’t the future, they are being used daily on Facebook. Nonprofits are using chatbots to answer basic inquiries, to activate supporters around in-the-moment advocacy actions, and to build up email lists. Beth Kanter curates a great list of nonprofit chatbots: Nonprofits and Bots
Twitter:
  1. Tweet more video. According to Twitter’s online video playbook, videos are 6x more likely to be retweeted than photos and 3x more likely to be retweeted than tweets with GIFs.
  2. Research relevant hashtags. Use Twitter itself or a platform like Hashtags.org to find out what’s being used around your cause. You may think that #endfur is a great hashtag, but if everyone is using #stopfur, then you will missing a chance for exposure.
  3. Share useful tips. Twitter is a great place to find and curate educational articles and information with your audience. Be The Match uses Twitter to dispel myths and misconceptions that people may have about donating bone marrow:
  4. Join a TweetChat. Twitter chats exist on any and all topics and issues. I recommend being an active participant in several TweetChats before starting your own, which can be time-consuming to promote and maintain. Instead, explore and participate in other TweetChats around the issues that you are working on.
  5. Use Twitter Lists to your advantage. You don’t have to officially follow a Twitter user to put them on one of your Lists! Lists can be public or private. They are a great way to turn off the Twitter feed firehose and display only the tweets that you want to see, grouped together. Creating such a list saves time and creates community because people will appreciate being added to your public lists.   
Instagram:
  1. Show your human face. If your Executive Director or other spokesperson is willing and able to set up and maintain a personal Instagram account, by all means, encourage this! People prefer to connect with people on social media, much more than brands and logos. Having a personalized presence can increase your reach on Instagram and create deeper connections with donors and supporters. For example, TOMS shoes and their founder and social entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie maintain separate Instagram accounts, showcasing different visual styles and points of view. International nonprofit Pencils of Promise and their founder Adam Braun also have separate, but complementary, Instagram accounts.
  2. Tell stories. Instagram is one of the best platforms for visual storytelling. Feature staff, volunteers, donors, clients, community partners in your stories. Highlight one person or a very small group at a time and write a longer caption (2200 character max) to get more engagement.
  3. Be real. For example, @doctorswithoutborders consistently shows the good, the bad, and the ugly in international development work, not afraid to share images that are often hard to look at but are breathtaking in scope;
  4. Use Instagram Stories. Stories allows users to share many moments during their day in one cohesive story that disappears after 24 hours. Since they don’t stay permanently on your profile, they are perfect for in-the-moment happenings and events that need to be documented as they happen. The benefit of this type of content is that you can experiment and share video and photos with your followers that doesn’t fit the carefully cultivated visual style of your overall Instagram account.  
  5. Increase your followers with hashtags. Track Maven reported that posts with more than 11 hashtags get the most engagement. When choosing which hashtags to use on your particular photo, research what others use on similar posts, and what hashtags make the most sense for your nonprofit and your mission.
YouTube:
  1. Add closed captions. 85% of social media videos are watched without sound. In addition, adding subtitles and closed captions make your videos accessible to a wider audience, and those with hearing impairments.
  2. Create custom thumbnails for your videos. 90% of the most-watched videos have custom thumbnails. Use a graphic design tool like Canva.com or Adobe Spark to get free templates.
  3. Remove ads. To remove advertisements that play before their videos, nonprofits need to register with YouTube for Nonprofits.
  4. Add clickable links. Direct viewers to external websites with Link Anywhere cards, a special card type that lets you to link to any external URL. You can create call-to-action overlays for your videos, which appear as soon as the video begins to play. When users click on the overlay, they’re directed to your external website.
  5. Publish your PowerPoint slide deck as a video. If you have a report, announcement, or a presentation that can be converted to PowerPoint, you can create a video file from the slide show and upload the video to YouTube. 
LinkedIn:
  1. Publish on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a built in publishing platform where you can share long-form posts, blogs, announcements, videos, and more.
  2. Share video. Video is not as widely shared on LinkedIn, so it’s still a big way to stand out and grab attention. You can share video inside your profile, in your published posts in LinkedIn Publisher, or in your status updates.
  3. Make your Company Page pop. So many Company Pages on LinkedIn are bland and boring. Add colorful, emotive channel art to your Page and share stories that resonate.
  4. Budget for Sponsored Updates. Sponsored updates allow you to show your posts to new audiences.The best part is LinkedIn’s robust audience targeting, which allows you to select who sees your posts by skills, job title, region, industry, and more.  
  5. Make yourself findable. Beyond your nonprofit’s official Company Page, it’s important on a professional networking site like LinkedIn that employees make themselves accessible and discoverable. Do this by including relevant keywords in your headline, adding your city, and inserting samples of your work into your profile.
Pinterest:
  1. Create Pinterest boards around your services. Think of animal advocates posting photos of pet care items and people happy with their pets.
  2. Share helpful resources. These could be in the form of how-to videos from youTube or Vimeo, articles, news, infographics, white papers, webinars, podcasts – anything and everything that your audience would be interested in.
  3. Collect impact stories and visuals of your work. After school programs could post photos of art projects, camps could share videos of outdoor activities. Agencies could pin pictures of beds, kitchens, clothing and other comforts.
  4. Ask for support with a specific wishlist. Food banks could share photos of the items that they most need and want in each season.
  5. Curate a vision board. Your vision board would represent the future that you seek to create: Domestic violence programs posting photos that represent happiness, safety and support.

Let me know what you would add – leave your ideas in the comments! 

The post 30 Quick Ways to Spice Up Your Nonprofit Social Media Accounts appeared first on marketing for the modern nonprofit.

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In March, Mark Zuckerberg promised a new direction and a new future for Facebook – and for the Internet.

In a 3,200 word blog post, the Facebook founder and CEO declared that Facebook would shift its focus away from public posts to “a privacy-focused communications platform.”

This pivot was a long time coming.

Months and years of terrible headlines, data breaches, Russian election hacking, and more have resulted in Facebook earning the worst reputation on privacy of any major social media or technology company in the world.

So what does this shift to privacy look like in practice?

And what does it mean for nonprofit social media managers, who have built up communities on the site, and who attempt to connect with fans and followers every day?

For more on the latest trends in social media and how they relate to the nonprofit sector, be sure to subscribe to this blog and never miss a post! 

5 steps nonprofit marketers can take to cope with Facebook’s shift to privacy:

1) Don’t panic.

We’ve been here before.

Facebook makes dramatic changes and introduces new features all the time, so do the other major social media platforms.

We can’t control it, so we have to roll with the punches and adapt as necessary.

But beware of mission drift – don’t jump into something if it doesn’t make sense for your nonprofit’s goals.

If your current Facebook strategy is working for you, continue using it.

Continue to focus heavily on sharing photos and videos, as visual storytelling wins on Facebook every time.

Even with this shift to privacy, Facebook is best used by brands to:

Build trust and credibility.

Your followers are continually asking themselves, “Why should I listen to you? Do you know what you are talking about?

Are you a trustworthy place to put my money? What are you doing that is making a difference around this issue I care deeply about?”

Elicit an emotional response.

Make people inspired and proud to be a part of your community.

Demonstrate impact.

Prove to me that not only is this a problem to which I need to pay attention, but that your nonprofit is the right one to solve this problem.  

What changes have you made in people’s lives or in the community?

2) Have an escape plan.

How are you getting these people OFF Facebook and onto your email list?

If you are building your list in an ethical and permission-based way, you control your list of email subscribers, and you can bring it with you across platforms.

Double down on building up your email list. For more advice on how to do this, get the free ebook, How to Build Your Nonprofit Email List Using Your Website & Social Media.

3) Make a plan to interact more in Groups, or form a Group for your nonprofit.

One of the most notable features of the Facebook interface overhaul is that the new Groups tab is placed right smack in the top middle of the menu bar when you log in.

You now get updates from your Groups front and center as well as personalized recommendations for new Groups to join.

It’s clear that Facebook engineers want Groups extremely visible and they are going to start promoting them even in their other areas like Watch and Marketplace.

Facebook says that more than 400 million of its users “belong to a group that they find meaningful” and that 1.4 billion people are using at least one of the tens of millions of groups on Facebook each month (even if they don’t belong to the Group).

Your nonprofit Facebook Page can join and interact in Groups if you are not comfortable engaging as yourself.

(NOTE: This depends on the Group Settings – some Groups do  not allow Pages to join.)

You can also start a Facebook Group for your audience. Remember that Groups are created around topics and interests, not brand identities.

If you want to learn how to create a Facebook Group for your nonprofit, get the free ebook, The Essential Guide to Nonprofit Facebook Groups.

4) Make sure that you are promoting your Events through the platform.

Facebook REALLY wants you to get off your phone and do stuff in real life with real people (a rather ironic move considering they are one of the companies responsible for our smartphone addiction).

The redesigned app is supposed to make it easier to discover relevant and interesting Events in your neighborhood and your community.

Events now have a more prominent place in the new menu next to the Groups tab.

What I like about the redesign is that it is much easier to find Events, organize your calendar, and filter Events.

I can now easily check ones that I am hosting or that I created, ones that my Facebook friends are hosting, and ones that are open to the public.

If your nonprofit runs any kind of event, offline or online, create an Event page, invite friends and followers, add details, and put some money into promotion.

For more information, get my free Nonprofit Facebook Events Checklist.

5) Experiment with Facebook Ads to promote specific initiatives.

Three simple ways to use Facebook Ads:

  1. Promote Event pages.
  2. Promote Fundraisers.
  3. Lead people to your website or to sign-up for your email list.

For more specific advice on how to leverage Facebook Ads for your nonprofit, read this post from Whole Whale: 6 tips for an effective Facebook ad campaign.

Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game

Facebook changes all the time, without warning, and without much regard for the brands and organizations that have spent years building communities on the platform.

Remember that we are only renters on social media – we are renting space, renting attention, even renting fans, since we don’t get their contact information to make deeper connections.

What’s your Facebook strategy going into the second half of 2019?

More resources:

Facebook is redesigning its core app around the two parts that people actually like to use

Facebook Unveils Redesign as It Tries to move Past Privacy Scandals

Facebook’s Future is Private Groups, for Better and Worse

The post What Facebook’s Shift to Privacy Means for Nonprofit Marketers appeared first on marketing for the modern nonprofit.

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It’s like Christmas – the Instagram Donation Sticker is finally here!

Yes, it may seem like a shiny new object to chase around.

But I have 3 reasons why fundraisers should at least pay attention:

1) People of all ages love Instagram, especially younger generations.

Seen as a respite from the trolls of Twitter and the political fights of Facebook, Instagram has remained a relaxed, beautiful, carefully curated oasis.

2) In a landscape of stagnant social media platform growth and engagement, Instagram Stories (where the Donation Sticker lives) continue to be a marketing beacon of hope.

In the age of algorithms stealing our fans and followers, Instagram Stories continually experience growth in number of users, reach, and engagement.

3) Even if your nonprofit is not active on Instagram, it’s important for nonprofit fundraisers to understand social media fundraising trends in order to make educated, informed decisions for their organizations.

In a previous post, I laid out 5 steps to get started and prepare your nonprofit digital strategy to use the Instagram Donation Sticker.

What Is It?

The Instagram Donation Sticker is part of Instagram’s Stories feature, which lets users share photos, videos, music, and more in posts that expire 24 hours after they are shared.

For an in-depth, step-by-step guide to using Instagram Stories for nonprofits, join me for a live, 90-minute webinar: How to Amplify Your Nonprofit’s Cause with Instagram Stories

NOTE: Stories can also live longer than 24 hours if you download them to your phone and share them in other places, or if you add them to your Instagram Story Highlights section.

Why Fundraise on Instagram? 

This is the wrong question to ask.

The question should be: “Why NOT fundraise on Instagram?”

As I’ve explained in previous posts, social media tools are not trends – they are a way of life for millions of people, and they have fundamentally changed marketing and fundraising. Forever.

Not only are 500 million people using Instagram Stories each day, Stories are poised to take over posts in the Instagram News Feed in terms of engagement and popularity.

Facebook created the Instagram Donation Sticker because of their huge, demonstrated success with their platform’s Charitable Giving tools, which, as of November 2018, had raised over $1 billion for nonprofits on Facebook.

People are using these tools to give money to and raise money for causes they care about, and it’s important for nonprofits to understand how they work before writing them off completely.

How Does the Donation Sticker Work?

Nonprofits and individuals create an Instagram Story, add the Donation Sticker and start raising money.

For a nonprofit to be eligible to receive donations through the Donation Sticker they must:

  1. Sign up for Charitable Giving Tools on Facebook;
  2. Link their Instagram and Facebook Accounts;
  3. Switch their Instagram to a Business Profile.

If you have completed any of these steps, you do not need to complete them again.

Once you’ve completed each of these required steps, your organization’s Instagram account is eligible to raise money on Instagram Stories.

100% of the money raised using the Instagram donation sticker goes to the nonprofit. Read more on this here.

Note that your nonprofit must be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the US – it’s only available right now in the US, with plans to roll it out to other countries soon.

For an in-depth, step-by-step guide to using Instagram Stories for nonprofits, join me for a live, 90-minute webinar: How to Amplify Your Nonprofit’s Cause with Instagram Stories

How Can Nonprofits Use It?

There are two main ways that the Instagram Donate Sticker can be leveraged to drive donations.

Nonprofits can use it in their own Instagram Stories.

Open your Instagram account, create an Instagram Story, add the Donation Sticker, and start raising money.

I made a donation to Best Buddies when the sticker rolled out, and this is how it looked as a donor:

Best practices for raising money on Instagram (and on any platform, online or off):

  • Grab attention with colorful, eye-catching visuals.
  • Use data and statistics to shed light on the problem.
  • Share helpful, valuable information on the issue.
  • Describe where the money raised is going to go.
  • Share compelling stories of the people that are going to be impacted by the funds.
Individuals can add it to their Instagram Stories to raise money for the causes that they care about. 

Miley Cyrus used the Instagram Donation Sticker to raise money for her charity, the Happy Hippie Foundation.

Encourage Supporters to Fundraise for You On Instagram

If you decide you want to pursue fundraising on Instagram for your nonprofit, share with your supporters that this is a fun, easy-to-use, secure new tool they can use to help you accomplish your mission.

The same strategies apply here as apply to getting people to raise money for you on Facebook.

1) Email supporters.

Instagram provides a helpful email template for you to adapt when spreading the word about this tool:

Hi [First Name],

We have some exciting news! As a supporter of [your org name] you can now use a sticker in Instagram Stories to fundraise for us. The Instagram donation sticker lets you tell the story of why you support us and fundraise.

This [month] we are asking our supporters to use the new Instagram Donation Sticker to help us raise money for [Insert description of specific program].  As a supporter of [your org name], you can help us raise awareness and fundraise for [impact made]. Every $[XX] raised is [impact created]. Create an Instagram Story, add a donation sticker and share with your friends.

For instructions on how to create an Instagram Story go here.

Learn more about the donation sticker here.

Thank you for your support!

[Your org name]

Share examples of people using the Instagram Donation Sticker and explain how it works.

2) Create an Instagram Fundraising Toolkit to put on your website for people interested in learning more. 

The Toolkit should feature photos, videos, and evidence of impact.

Downloadable files are best, as individuals can use them to create their own Instagram Stories and fundraisers.

For an in-depth, step-by-step guide to using Instagram Stories for nonprofits, join me for a live, 90-minute webinar: How to Amplify Your Nonprofit’s Cause with Instagram Stories

Questions That Remain How will I know if people have donated to my fundraiser?

Swipe up on your story to view the total amount raised and donations made by each person.

You’ll receive an activity notification when someone has donated to your fundraiser.

If you have more than 10k followers, you will only receive notifications from people you are following who are also following you.

A total amount raised notification will be sent after a fundraiser Story expires and if it raised more than $0.

How does my nonprofit receive donations made on Instagram?

Once money raised for your organization reaches the $100 or equivalent minimum donation payout amount, it becomes eligible for a payout.

Funds will roll over until the payout amount reaches the $100 threshold per nonprofit.

Payouts take 2 weeks to process and will occur bi-weekly as an ACH or direct deposit to your organization’s bank account.

Do people get a notification of how much they raised before their sticker ends?

You can swipe up on your story to view the list of people who donated, how much they donated, and the total amount raised.

You’ll also get a notification on the total amount you raised after your fundraiser story expires (if you raised more than $0).

What do you think? Are you going to start raising money using the Instagram Donation Sticker? Leave your thoughts in the comments. 

The post How to Raise Money On Instagram Using the Donation Sticker appeared first on marketing for the modern nonprofit.

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Nonprofit marketers from small to large organizations are leveraging social media platforms to grab attention, pique interest, and inspire curiosity in their programs and services.

However, many nonprofit social media campaigns fall flat, launch to crickets, and don’t get results for their organizations. 

Some nonprofit social media managers blame the tools and the algorithms (that’s not YOU ), while instead they should be examining and analyzing their own campaign collateral to see what they can improve.  

Based on my experience designing and implementing successful nonprofit social media campaigns, I have taken note that there are certain elements and characteristics of campaigns that work and inspire, vs. those that are stagnant and ineffective.  

For step-by-step instructions on how to use Facebook birthday fundraisers and giving tools to set up a campaign for your nonprofit, join me on a new live webinar! Learn more and register here. 

How can you get your next social media campaign to catch on and take off like wildfire?

Here are 5 ways to inspire more engagement and participation:

1) Be provocative. 

Gary Vaynerchuk says to “make your marketing strategy around attention – nothing else matters.

While I think effective marketing requires more than just attention, it is certainly the most important first step to a viral social media campaign.

If you can’t get people to notice, how will you get them to share it and to take action?

In order to raise awareness around declining honeybee populations, Pornhub developed the online campaign “Beesexual”.

Via this new channel, Pornhub users can scroll through so-called “bee porn” which are really short video clips of honeybees foraging and flying around and doing their thing.

Pornhub makes a donation for every bee porn video watched on the site.   

To celebrate World Toilet Day and draw attention to the global sanitation crisis, Water Aid launched the Give a Sh*t app and social media campaign.

Create your own customized poop emoji with their graphics and share it with a statistic such as: Almost one in three people globally –2.3 billion – do not have a reliable toilet of their own.

The ring campaign from Plan International UK catches your eye and makes you read on.

It was designed to get people talking about the destructive and dangerous consequences of child marriage.

Nonprofits who want to grab eyeballs and get people to take action cannot be afraid to cause a little conversation and debate. If you are boring, you get ignored.

2) Incorporate peer pressure and competition.

Never underestimate the power of peer pressure and the spirit of friendly competition!

When a friend dumps a bucket of water over her head in a public forum, shares a video on social media, and specifically calls YOU out in front of all of your friends, you are going to feel pretty crappy if you don’t participate. (And the other friends involved won’t let you forget that you were challenged and tagged – trust me!)

Peer pressure means leveraging personal relationships to get people to ask their own networks to participate.

A stranger or a corporate representative asking me to take action on social media is not compelling and I won’t pay attention.

However, if it is someone I know and trust, doing something unexpected, and personally calling out other people that I know to follow suit, I am much more likely to stop scrolling.  

DoSomething.org encourages teens and younger adults to create teams to complete five social change actions in five days to make the world better. Team members compete to score points by doing a new action every day.

3) Make the campaign VERY shareable.

When planning your social media campaign, think through the most shared types of content across the web.

Live video is #1, with on-demand video a close second, and photos and graphics after that.

Incorporate these types of eminently shareable content into your social media campaign to ensure maximum reach across social networks.   

Embed share buttons on the campaign page on your website, include social sharing instructions in any email communications, leverage text, chatbots, any form of communication at your disposal to encourage people to share.

When you give people the tools to share and explicit instructions on how to do so, they are much more likely to follow through.

When people share their good deeds immediately, it makes them look and feel good.

Think about why people share content on social media in the first place – to showcase our values, our ethics, our worldview – to demonstrate what we stand for, and to look good to others.

4) Give absurdly easy instructions.

I’ve seen it all too often – social media campaigns that require me to do at least six different things to participate, to enter, to share it with my networks.

Don’t ask me to like, to share, to comment, to make a 5 minute video, and to call everyone in my contact list.

The more obstacles that you put in your audience’s way and the more actions you ask people to take will result in fewer conversions and much less engagement and action.

Ask these questions when planning your social media campaign:

Is this something that everyone can do?

Is this something that people of all ages will understand how to do?

Is this action easy to understand and easy to carry out on a mobile device?

Remember, if it’s a social media campaign, people are most likely accessing it from their smartphones.

5) The campaign relies on word of mouth.

Not to keep talking about it, but this is the key element that led to the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

People didn’t just complete the challenge, make a donation, and then go about their business.

They were required to pick one or more people to tag and challenge publicly – and asked the community to hold them accountable for completing the challenge, and nominating others, and so on.

It’s self-policing at its best!

No begging people to share, to tweet or to post – the word of mouth aspect is built directly into the challenge.

When someone is tagged, an even wider network discovers the challenge and learns about the cause. Brilliant!

How do you incorporate these elements into your nonprofit social media campaigns? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 

The post 5 Ways to Get Your Nonprofit Social Media Campaign to Catch On appeared first on marketing for the modern nonprofit.

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Love it or hate it – Americans are addicted to their phones.

The vast majority of us – 95% – now own a cellphone of some kind.

77% of Americans own smartphones, those extremely powerful mini-computers in the palm of our hands.

This is up from just 35% in Pew Research Center’s first survey in 2011 of smartphone ownership.

Rather than lamenting our love of screens and mobile apps, innovative entrepreneurs are figuring out a way to make these powerful handheld computers work for the social sector.

Too often nonprofits want their donors, volunteers, and stakeholders to fit into a fundraising mold that they themselves created and perpetuate – writing checks, attempting to give via clunky websites, physical phone calls (does anyone do that anymore?), and the like.

While these traditional approaches are valuable and can yield great results, nonprofits do need to be thinking about OTHER kinds of stakeholders and prospects, and how they search for and acquire information about the causes they care about.

You know, those younger generations that we all covet and want to connect with?

(Caveat – Not only “young” people use smartphones and social media. Many Boomers and Gen X-ers are reliant on their smartphones for shopping, bank transactions, scheduling, and more.)

I came across two forward-thinking mobile app companies that are thinking strategically about they myriad of ways in which people are already using their devices – and they are fitting their business models into people’s existing behavior, rather than trying to change human nature.

Point app – Connecting would-be volunteers to local volunteer opportunities

As reported in the Columbus CEO magazine: Madison Mikhail Bush was sitting in her dorm room one evening, feeling frustrated.

“It was 11 p.m. and I knew that with my phone, I was able to order any type of food I wanted for delivery,” Bush says.

“But there was a soup kitchen down the street and I didn’t know how to help.”

She tried to call the soup kitchen on the phone several times, but found the process to be cumbersome, tedious, and just not worth her time.

Then she looked at her phone – the device where she made most of her purchasing decisions.

She thought, “What if there’s another way?”

What if signing up to volunteer at a local organization was just as simple and easy as ordering food, booking a flight, or making a purchase – using your smartphone?

So Bush designed the mobile app Point, which allows users to pick the causes they are interested in and indicate when they are available to volunteer, for example, mornings or weekends.

The app them finds local needs that fits those parameters.

In total, 30 nonprofits local to Columbus, Ohio and more than 1,000 individuals users are officially using Point.

Mille app – Tinder for charity

Rachel Klausner, Millie founder and CEO, wants younger people  – specifically millennials – to become more PROACTIVE about giving.

“The way that millennials tend to give is through these random one-off, peer-to-peer asks,” she told Fast Company.

“It’s very reactive giving. And I was wondering, ‘Can we make people more proactive and thoughtful about giving?’”

Klausner then analyzed the different features of the popular mobile apps to which people were already addicted, to see what they had in common.

While nonprofits do not directly get the individuals contact information, Millie is building a messaging feature into the app for organizations to connect with their donors through the app.

Nonprofits also have the ability to add modules to their profile that highlight in-person activities like volunteering or events, and can target them around specific zip codes.

For users, the act of giving is fun, and there is a sense of urgency with gamification features such as countdown timers and comparing your giving history to your friends.

Donors pre-load their accounts with cash, and they can lend funds to friends.

What do you think about these mobile apps? Can you see your nonprofit organization using them, or would you use them as a donor or volunteer? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

The post 2 Mobile Apps that Will Change the Nonprofit Sector appeared first on marketing for the modern nonprofit.

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Nonprofits, no matter their size or mission, are working to change hearts and minds around important issues every single day.

Whether you are trying to get new members for your performing arts center, to entice people to adopt dogs and cats, or to create advocacy actions around climate change – you are in the business of persuasion.

To persuade is “to move by argument, entreaty, or expostulation to a belief, position, or course of action.” 

In his writings on how to become a great public speaker, the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) described three “modes of persuasion”. 

These modes – Ethos, Pathos, and Logos –  are the essential elements required to convince your audience of your viewpoint. 

In order to collect, craft, and share stories that will move people from passive to passionate, let’s explore how Aristotle’s 3 modes of persuasion can be used to improve our nonprofit storytelling.

1) Ethos – The ethical nature

Ethos is the part of the story that establishes trust and credibility.

Think about the last time you attended an event with a speaker or a webinar. Before they speak, the host reads their bio and highlights some of their biggest accomplishments.

This is to establish “ethos” and prepare you to listen to what the speaker has to say.

Great branding also falls under ethos, as the brand is meant to elicit trust and authority.

When crafting your story, think about the questions that the audience may have:

Why should we listen to you?

Why should we believe what you are telling us?

Ethos in nonprofit storytelling can be created by:

  • Using language that is appropriate to the audience – no jargon or acronyms that they won’t understand.
  • Finding a compelling, authentic character to tell their story. Authenticity establishes credibility – this person has been through it. They know what they are talking about.  
  • Brand reputation. Is your organization established and credible? Do you have integrity?

Humans of New York has established a brand that people trust and turn to for inspiration every day:

View this post on Instagram

(1/3) “It was obvious from the very beginning. Abnormal wrist and ankle movements. No eye contact. Poor eating patterns. She didn’t sleep until she was 2.5 years old. And she never liked to be rocked or snuggled. There’s a groove you get into with a child– and we just never got there. The bonding didn’t happen: not for her, and not for me. Those first couple years were so dark. Every day I thought it was going to get better. I’d tell myself: ‘I’ll get it right today.’ But I never did. Our pediatrician didn’t have any experience with this stuff. I never even heard the word ‘autism’ until she was two years old. And I’ll tell you what: it was a relief to finally hear that word. To finally learn there was something wrong… but let’s not say ‘wrong’— something different about her. It wasn’t just that she didn’t like baby food. Or that she didn’t want her mom. It was something else. It was something different. When I walked out of the doctor’s office that day, it was the first time I felt like I wanted to defend her. It was the first time I felt like we were on the same team.” (Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi, UAE)

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on Mar 31, 2019 at 9:46am PDT

2) Logos – The logical rationale

Logos is the part of the argument – or story – that appeals to logic and reason.

This makes the story make sense, and encourages us to pay attention because this is a problem that needs solving.

Questions to be asked when forming the Logo piece of the story:

Why is this issue important?

Why is this story vital to understanding this issue?

What is the problem?

Does the evidence support you?

Logos in nonprofit storytelling can be created by:

  • Interspersing facts and statistics within the story.
  • Using analogies to make the problem easier to grasp and understand.
    Citing other authorities on the issue.
  • Sharing case studies backed up by data around the issue.
  • Facts, statistics, analogies, citing other authorities, social proof

In Hungry Kate: The Girl with the Belly Ache, The Community Foodbank of New Jersey highlights the problem inside the story: Kate is one of 400,000 kids who struggle with hunger in New Jersey.  

Hungry Kate: The Girl with the Belly Ache - YouTube

3) Pathos – The emotional appeal

Ethos is important for establishing the credibility of the story, and Logos is vital to get us to understand that this is a problem we need to do something about.

However, no story can be truly effective without Pathos, the emotional appeal. We like to think that our rational side is in charge, but it rarely is.

We know that emotion is an essential element in getting people to take action.

We are saturated in story, we are saturated in messages competing for our attention.

Only stories that resonate at a deeply human, universal level, beyond a recounting of “things that happened”, are going to move people from passive to passionate.

One of my favorite nonprofit videos is Eunice’s Dream: A Poem from Kibera School for Girls.

Rather than pulling heartstrings and making me feel sad, it inspires me to help other amazing girls like Eunice accomplish their dreams: 

Eunice's Dream: A Poem from Kibera School for Girls - YouTube

Effective storytelling involves a deep understanding of human emotions, motivations, and psychology in order to truly move an audience. People do what the heart tells them, and then they rationalize their decisions using logic and reason.

How can you use Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in your nonprofit storytelling?  

The post 3 Essential Elements of Nonprofit Storytelling That Persuades appeared first on marketing for the modern nonprofit.

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The winds of change are blowing hard at Facebook, and the potential implications for nonprofit digital marketers are huge.

To put it lightly… Facebook has been battling some significant negative press coverage lately. 

Not only in terms of gigantic and widespread breaches of data privacy, but also devastating breaches of trust.

When Chris Cox announced his resignation from Facebook after being a key leader there for over a decade, the writing was on the wall.

Cox helped design the very first iterations of the Facebook News Feed (which people HATED in the very beginning, remember that?) and developed it into the powerhouse that it is today.

The big, hairy, audacious problem with the News Feed is that the spread of information is based on the algorithm.

And the Facebook algorithm values engagement – over truth, over facts, over (and often at the expense of) everything else.

The content and the posts that get the most shares, comments, and reactions spread the fastest – at any cost.

On March 6, Zuckerberg posted a 3200 word manifesto about his new “privacy-focused” vision for Facebook.

In it, he laid out his statement of intent to move Facebook’s share-it-all culture to focus more on private messaging, ephemeral stories, and more encryption.   

What Does This Mean for Facebook Marketing?

Zuckerberg’s pivot to privacy is most likely a response to the increased calls for government regulation and antitrust lawsuits, and even reports of Facebook’s negative impact on mental health.

It seems to be intended to eliminate the problem rather than thoughtfully come up with a way to solve it.

Benedict Evans wrote:

“Much like moving from Windows to cloud and ChromeOS, you could see getting rid of News Feed as an attempt to remove the problem rather than patch it.

Russians can’t go viral in your news feed if there is no news feed.

‘Researchers’ can’t scrape your data if Facebook doesn’t have your data.

You solve the problem by making it irrelevant.”

It seems safe to assume that New Feed has peaked, and Facebook is going to start downplaying it in favor of new privacy features.

While we don’t know the exact implications and the layout for these upcoming changes, as social media marketers, we need to be prepared for another so-called Facebook-pocalypse.

My recommended strategy in a nutshell: Don’t delete Facebook just yet.

68% of U.S. adults use Facebook, with 74% of users visiting the site daily.

Nearly three-quarters of women in the U.S. (74%) use the platform, compared with 62% of men.

While it is stagnating in growth, it’s not bleeding members as previously reported, and it remains a powerful tool in the digital marketing toolbox.

Double down on a strategy to get your Facebook fans onto your email list.

Since we do not control Facebook, and since they move the cheese on us frequently, savvy digital marketers focus on getting Facebook fans to engage on other more permanent platforms, such as email.

Drive people to your email sign-up page, with a compelling call-to-action.  

For 10 ways to build your email list using social media tools, check out this slide deck.

Begin experimenting with ephemeral content – Facebook and Instagram Stories.

Once posted, Stories are viewable for up to 24 hours, not appearing in the main News Feed or Timeline of the app.

Social media bloggers and researchers have speculated that the News Feed on Instagram and Facebook are going to be usurped in popularity by Stories.

Buffer found that Instagram Stories ads deliver exponentially better results than other types of social media ads.

Zuckerberg shared that users now share more than 1 billion Stories every day.

Over on Instagram, 47 percent of users find that Instagram Stories helps them be more authentic in their communication with friends and family.

Explore Facebook Groups.

Groups, both private and public, shouldn’t be affected by the drawing down of the News Feed, as they are smaller and more private.

For more on how to create a Facebook Group for your nonprofit, get my free ebook The Essential Guide to Nonprofit Facebook Groups.

Continue to use Facebook Live to connect with your community and build your movement organically.

Facebook Live remains one of the best ways to leverage the Facebook algorithm’s love of engagement.

Live video receives 10x the engagement as on demand video, and Live videos are watched 3x as long. 

What did you think of Zuck and co’s privacy announcement? What do you think it means for the News Feed? Let us know in the comments! 

The post Is Facebook Getting Rid of the News Feed? What Nonprofit Marketers Need to Know appeared first on marketing for the modern nonprofit.

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Another Nonprofit Technology Conference has come and gone, and WOW did the week FLY by!!!

This year’s conference was in Portland, OR – one of my new favorite cities!

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much in terms of sight-seeing, but I loved what I did experience.

At this year’s NTC I really outdid myself, presenting four times – two breakout sessions and two tactical sessions (the same one, presented twice).

As usually, the attendees, the volunteers, and the NTEN staff who make it all possible were friendly, enthusiastic, and absolutely wonderful.

There is really no other conference community out there as warm and welcoming!

On the first day, I did manage to attend two amazing sessions as a participant and observer, as well as have a complete blast with friends old and new.

Here are the highlights from my sessions and my experience at the conference:

Having fun at the #19NTC Official Party with Amy Sample Ward and Amanda Guest

Envisioning a Digital-First Nonprofit: Mindsets and Skillsets for Transformation

On the first day of the conference, I helped facilitate an interactive session with three of the most talented nonprofit rock stars around: Beth Kanter, Marco Kuntze and Josh Hirsch.

The focus was to get people thinking as a group about concrete strategies that they could employ to move their organizations higher up on the Digital Maturity Matrix.

The session was a typical Beth Kanter special, highly energetic and participatory (no PowerPoint here!) with different colored post-its, sharpies, and group exercises.

For the collaborative notes and the session evaluation, click here.

The Accidental Techie’s Guide to Creating Awesome Online Learning Experiences

On Thursday, I got together with the brilliant and charismatic Daphne Lagios, Courses Specialist at TechSoup and Maureen Wallbeoff, Nonprofit Digital Strategist and Technology Coach.

Our session focused on specific ways to design an online learning experience for your program or service, how to choose the best LMS (Learning Management System), how to design and create the content of the course, and how to become a stellar trainer.

The participants were tasked with writing down the titles and one sentence description of their future online course or experience, and they did a fantastic job!

For the collaborative notes and the session evaluation, click here.

10 Simple Digital Ways to Build Your Nonprofit Email List

Something new this year at the NTC was the introduction of short and sweet 30-minute tactical sessions, presented twice, back-to-back.

I was pleased to present one of these tactical sessions with my fellow Nonprofit Social Media Nerd Josh Hirsch, Director of Mission and Communication at Susan G. Komen Florida.

Josh hand-crafted a completely unique Goonies-theme slide deck for our presentation!

We incorporated tools like Menti to create an interactive word cloud around the question “When you think of email marketing, what comes to mind?”

We also used Slido to crowd source questions, not all of which we could get to – we plan to address the overflow questions an upcoming Nonprofit Social Media Nerds Facebook Live special.

Other highlights:

**I attended a packed, standing room only session with Beth Brodovsky of the Driving Participation podcast, called Making, Managing, and Marketing a Podcast. The session was incredibly informative and very helpful as I plan my next adventure!

**The only other session I was able to attend as a participant and not a presenter was Using Online Communities to Unlock The Full Value Of Partner Networks. This session was useful because it featured case studies and best practices in online community building from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and Stellenbosch University.

**Tim Sarrantonio, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Neon One, coordinated a fabulous, small group dinner at Modern Times Brewing. Great conversation, delicious craft beer and vegan food was enjoyed by all, and we had a focused conversation (no phones!) around the provocative and important question: Are humans necessary for fundraising?

Watch the video below to get our thoughts and a recap of the dinner:

Did you attend #19NTC? What were your thoughts and impressions of the conference? Leave them in the comments! 

The post Everything I Loved About #19NTC – the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference – A Recap appeared first on marketing for the modern nonprofit.

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Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of articles, written by my fundraising heroes, that are a little bit grouchy on the subject of social media fundraising. I’m here to give you my side of the social media fundraising argument – because I know that it works.

You may be saying, “Oh, sure, Julia, you have to stick up for social media. That’s your JOB.” (Insert eye roll and cross arms, maybe stamp foot for good measure.)

Well, there’s a reason that it’s my job. I made up my job. No one created a job description for me when I started out. I happen to believe firmly in the power of digital tools to build movements. You can’t build a movement without attention, participation, and investment.

Social media – when done STRATEGICALLY and CORRECTLY – is the perfect way to do all three of those things.

Beyond the possibilities for marketing and fundraising, social media represent a total revolution in the very way in which humans interact and communicate with each other. You can vilify them all you want – and you certainly would be justified in doing so in some cases – but these platforms have entirely changed how we discover, share, and discuss information.

It’s funny to look back and see that in 2012 A recent Associated Press-CNBC poll showed that half of all Americans thought that Facebook is a “passing fad”. 2 billion people later, no matter if you love it or hate it, I think we can all agree it’s here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

Social media are not simply hot tech trends, shiny objects, or advertising platforms. The individual channels may come and go and the tactics and techniques will change, but the vision of a world connected is here to stay.

The main points I have to make:

There are some serious myths out there about social media. It seems to me that some people still think of social media as a fad, or a trend, or a shiny new tool. Guess what? It’s not. The younger generations don’t even remember a world without social media. A world without posting, sharing, tweeting. You may recoil in horror, and you may pine for “the good old days” (sometimes I do too, trust me), but they are gone. Dead and gone.

Social media is not a thing. It’s a complete revolution in the way that humans communicate. It’s not going away, in fact, it’s just getting more and more baked into our online daily life.

And it’s not just the young’uns either – Pew Internet found that baby boomers are the fastest demographic joining social media networks. Forbes reported that 82% of boomers who use the internet have at least one social media account, and they have an average of 4.6 social media accounts, with Facebook and LinkedIn as the leading platforms.

This isn’t about you. Pamela Grow said in today’s Grow Report newsletter: “Julia, there’s nothing more important than your donor data. Honoring it. Protecting it. OWNING it. Instagram is now accepting donations for nonprofits. Yawn. I don’t care and neither should you.”

I strongly disagree with this point of view. You don’t own or control your donor data in the first place. They can unsubscribe, delete your emails, not listen to you, ignore you, etc. They can leave you at ANY time. If you are lucky enough to have their permission to email them or contact them, treasure it. If you don’t have their permission, they wouldn’t be a good long-term prospect anyway!

It’s like the old adage in Sex and the City – “He’s just not that into you.” It’s hard for fundraisers to hear, but if a donor does not want to give you their email address, you should respect that, shake it off, and move on to those that DO want to hear from you.

It’s pointless to argue. Sure, you can ignore Facebook Fundraisers, or the Instagram donation sticker, or YouTube Giving Tools. They are here to stay, and people love using them. Have you heard of Twitch livestream fundraising? Over $40 million was raised on Twitch for nonprofits in 2018, and over $100 million in total has been raised for charity since the site launched in 2011.

This is about normalizing giving, and making it a part of our daily life.  

This isn’t about us, or our donors. This is about normalizing giving, even small gifts. If giving is seen as cool, and trendy, and something that everyone is doing, this is only beneficial to all nonprofits. If we see our friends and family fundraising and donating to causes that they care about, then we are much more liking to seek out causes and participate in philanthropy.

Articles saying that social media fundraising is worthless completely miss the point. Our donors are using social media, no matter how much we wish they were not. If they decide they want to give on those platforms, they will – no matter how much we wish they would give on another platform that we control. Ignoring or scoffing at social media fundraising is done at the fundraisers’ peril.

I’m happy to debate this further! What are your views on social media fundraising? 

The post Fundraisers – You’re Missing the Point of Social Media Fundraising appeared first on marketing for the modern nonprofit.

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