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Posts Tagged ‘networking’

Join the Social Media Conversation: Sunday May 1 8:00 PM EDT

Looking forward to an hour on Twitter Sunday May 1 8:00 PM on #CargillChat on Twitter with @CargillCreative Bob Cargill. The guy with the marketing sensibility that points us in smart directions on how to build Nonprofit communication effectiveness by applying social media tools. Relationship Fundraising means we first build the relationship. The donations follow when the donor gets the impression that your nonprofit is delivering value to a client base s/he feels some empathy for. It’s about the good you deliver to customers. The nonprofit is an empty shell if it’s only promoting its own survival. It’s about the primary customers you serve and how they value your service. Social media are tools that help deliver that story.

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Nonprofit CEO: Integrated. Not Isolated.

You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s lonely at the top.” Well, there’s a lot of truth to that. Which is why, in part, Paul Harris started Rotary International in Chicago way back when. To develop a place for fellowship and sharing among business leaders in a community. So there could be a place to do good work for the community together. Yes, that certainly was part of it. But on another level, lunch at Rotary is a time and place for leaders of businesses, law firms, accounting firms and nonprofit organizations to gather and do a bit of problem solving. Because really: Whom can you comfortably share a problem with? When you have an issue that needs resolution and you’d like to talk it out, it’s helpful to bring it to a group of peers who can serve as a bit of a sounding board to hear the issue and give you some feedback. Of course, it needs to be done in confidence, in a trusting way, understanding that no one will go blabbing about the issue to others. So for the nonprofit executive dealing with a thorny personnel matter that doesn’t have legal implications, but is a challenge and the CEO would like some common sense (not necessarily official HR or legalese) help in sorting an issue out, talking with peers can be very helpful. So a sounding board like Rotary, or a Chamber of Commerce committee, or another community gathering place where peers gather and can freely, comfortably talk can be very helpful in sorting out an issue. In this way, the sense of isolation an executive feels can be neutralized a bit. It can feel just a bit less lonely or isolating. This is why many savvy nonprofit board executive committee members encourage their CEO’s to join Rotary and to freely network with other nonprofit CEO’s in the community. All of this helps keep the organization on an even keel. Life isn’t perfect, but trying to keep the seas smooth is helpful to all concerned.

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Social Media for the Nonprofit Community: How to Assess All the Options?

Some of you may be familiar with Ken Burnett and his book, Relationship Fundraising (2nd. Ed., Jossey Bass, 2002) which I vamp shamelessly to my clients and my students in my marketing and fundraising classes at Northeastern. A fine book. If you raise money for a living, you want a copy by your side. Particularly his Essential Foundations of Fundraising: 28 bullet points that are quick, helpful reminders of important basics to fundraising best practice.
For example: “Don’t just ask people to give.”
It’s about the relationship first.

And it was written some years before the advent of the Social Media movement.  Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. YouTube. Pinterest. And lots lots more.

Most successful development professionals in the world of nonprofits get the concept of Relationships. Many of us are familiar with the teachings of Ken Burnett. And of course Kay Sprinkel Grace, the indefatigable giver of workshops on great boards and great fundraising.

Now all of this has a new level of complexity with the advent of Social Media. Where does it fit? Recently, I mentioned Debra Askanase who tweets as @askdebra and whose Community Organizer 2.0 is helping nonprofits get into focus with Social Media. Clearly, one size does not fit all. Each of us can apply the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) Goals process to Social Media as part of a well-thought-out marketing strategy for our nonprofit organization.

A smart fellow I rely on for advice and guidance in this area is Bob Cargill, who Tweets as @CargillCreative and whose blog at www.anewmarketingcommentator.com is a great source of current…and I mean immediate….thinking on application of Social Media in a variety of work and other settings.  I  recommend even if you aren’t a twitterati at the moment, that you sign up for Twitter and follow Bob.  Within a week you will have been linked to loads of thought leaders in Social Media and begin to formulate your own perspective on how you will apply these tools to your nonprofit.  Among other things, Bob very generously speaks with my nonprofit marketing classes at Northeastern University, and co-hosts a tweet-up in Sudbury MA you might want to know about, and will learn about if you follow Bob.

The idea is to identify bright communicators and network mavens who have something of value to share on the subject. This will help you determine where you want to go with Social Media.  It’ll provide a new layer of potential for your relationship fundraising efforts.

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Measuring Return on Engagement

I heard Debra Askanase present on this topic at the Nonprofit Consultants’ Network annual open forum in Boston on May 18th.  Debra blogs and consults as Community Organizer 2.0. Her work helps nonprofits, among other things, determine best way to measure impact. Check this blog post out on determining how to measure impact of social media as well as the impact the nonprofit is having on its community. http://bit.ly/Kl2oda. Topic of this particular post:  Measuring Return on Engagement of Community Commitment.  Nonprofit leaders wonder, justifiably so, whether it’s worth while to dabble if not immerse in social media.  Debra can help you answer this question.

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Board Essentials: Part 5: Hearing Our Customers

Fall of 2010, I did a Board Essentials series on nonprofit governance.

Opening with “Parameters” that govern how nonprofits operate, I moved on the “Roles” of Board members, “Strategic Work” of Boards, and wrapped up with how Board members can “Engage Networks” to help advance the nonprofit they care most about.

This year, the series will focus on the nonprofit’s marketplace: where and how staff and volunteers find and work with its customers.

And let’s start this off in listening mode.  Of course, we’ll have messages we want to communicate. We’ll have a brand to uphold. Our nonprofit will articulate goals and strategies to move our mission forward and we’ll want to let our friends, supporters, stakeholders know what all this is.  But first and foremost, we must listen.

What floats the boat of our donors?  What has motivated them to give to our cause in the past?  What is the special value we’re bringing to our clients?  Or, as Peter Drucker would instruct us: our Primary Customers.  What are we delivering that keeps bringing them back to us for service? That makes them want to tell the story for us?  That earns the support of their families to our cause?  Let’s first and foremost hear what our customers have to say to us.   And let us reflect those messages they have for us back in our words to our target audiences about mission, values, goals, brand….clearly, succinctly.

The better we hear, the better response we’ll get back from our primary (client) customers and supporting (donors, volunteers) customers.

 

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