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Archive for April, 2012

Tweets Into Action: What Does the Data Say?

Today I’m singing the praises of George Weiner, CTO at  George has produced and published a series of Prezis that do a remarkably efficient job of explaining some useful “how-to’s” when it comes to social media.  This link takes you to his Prezi “What Does the Data Say?” demonstrating moving Tweets into Action.  George takes the reader through steps thusly: Gather > Analyze > Act.  Check it out!  I think you’ll like it and how George goes about teaching us about potential from social media.  He tweets as @georgecaweiner.

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Building a Following for Your Special Event

Of course you were enthralled with my March 13, 2011 post, “Special Events That Fit” So you know how to build a fundraising event that works for your nonprofit.

Today we’re going to take a look at how to build a following of participants and volunteers who get the “nudge” to be part of something successful that moves you closer to accomplishing your mission.

First and foremost, you and the event are well organized.  You’re working off a timeline with checklists and your committee knows that your nonprofit clients are counting on them to deliver so we get the max return possible.  We’re growing net revenue every year so we can deliver more mission to our primary customers.

Second, the committee, the board, the staff and friends of the event know the importance of engaging our networks. If we’re Facebook fans, we’ll use it to recruit more participants and ask others to pledge.  We’ll let colleagues at work know we’re “all in” for this event, and hope they’ll catch the enthusiasm you have and want to help out in some way. Volunteer. Donate. It all works.  And if there’s a newsletter, we plug the event at least once if not twice in the company newsletter.

Third, we have incentives and a recognition plan that add to the fun and attract more people to be a part of it.

The object here is, once the event is over and we’ve reported our financial results, people who participated will look back fondly on the experience and park a spot in their brain and in their heart for next year’s event.  Which, of course, will be bigger and better than ever!

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Role of Board in Launch of Major Gift Program

Last week I wrote about fundamentals for Major Gift success:

  • Annual fund donor database with at least 20% renewal rate
  • A senior staff member who gets how Development works
  • A Development Committee with members who know and are connected to generous donors

If these three pieces are in place, you’re working from a base that can work for you.

And one of the key three is a Development Committee.  And if not that, a core of board members who have connections, who contribute to your annual fund, and advance your brand because they truly get the mission.  It’s entirely possible for a nonprofit to decide in 2012 that it wants to get to a Major Gift level and get very intentional about building resources (see bullets above) that will contribute to your first Major Gift campaign when you’re ready to go.  It might be 2015 or 2016 before you are ready.  But you can get there.  With a strong strategic platform to work from, the world will be your oyster.

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