Office a little dead this week with the 4th of July holiday? Hearing crickets instead of coworkers (and no, I’m not talking about the Austin cricket infestation)?
Sometimes…OK most of the time, a slow week like this can be great for knocking through projects. But sometimes it can bring you to a standstill if everyone you need to work with is out enjoying an extended holiday. If you fall into that latter category, this blog’s for you! Here are 5 things you can do, sans coworkers, partners, donors, anyone at all, that will keep your mission on track.
Happy Fourth of July!
We live in a world of touch. Nonprofits touch lives with their mission and passion in working to solve the world’s crises. Individuals touch lives by taking a stand for something we believe in by walking, or marching or running for a cause. Technology touches us, and we touch technology. On average, Americans spend 2.7 hours a day socializing on their mobile devices. “Touch” technology is all around us.
As mobile phone usage increases and technology advances, it seems we now have the world at our fingertips. Whether I’m sitting in bed and catching up on email, out shopping and comparing the prices with the online store, or trying to register for a 5k run this Saturday, I’m touching technology. Literally. Of the 4 billion mobile phones in use on this planet, over 1 billion of them are smart phones. In a study by Microsoft tag, it is predicted that by 2014, that internet usage on mobile phones and smart devices will exceed that of laptops and desktops. That’s in less than two years. And, the growing number of smart devices that use “touch” technology tells us that it’s time to kick adaptation into high gear. In comes responsive web design. And, in comes responsive web design built into the newest release of Luminate Online. [And the crowd goes wild!]
To state it very, very simply, responsive web design is a principle in which websites are coded in a way so that no matter why type of device you are viewing a site on, that site will look nice. Using an iPhone, tablet, laptop or gigantic monitor to view your favorite website? If the site is coded using responsive design technologies (like HTML5 and CSS), then it doesn’t matter what size device you are using; it will render properly. With responsive web design employed on a site or application, the site or app will adapt to your screen size and input device. While it’s actually very practical in terms of technology, it sure feels like magic!
The Luminate Online team and TeamRaiser product are adapting as well. Our upcoming release will feature a re-designed TeamRaiser event registration process which utilizes the latest and greatest in responsive web design technology. What does this mean for your event participants registering through TeamRaiser? They will experience a much, much smoother registration process and will be able to easily complete registration no matter what device they use. [And the crowd goes wild again!]
Here’s a quick rundown on the key benefits:
Sound fantastic? Current TeamRaiser-using organizations may click here for more information.
As I mentioned in last month's podcast interview with Judi Sohn, following Blackbaud's acquisition of Convio, I'm super excited about the increased pool of talented coworkers that I now have to interview for the Connection Cafe. This being the first interview that I scheduled after the acquisition was completed, I wanted to do something that represents how our teams have come together over the last two months. I thought one neat way to do that would be to do my first joint interview on the Connection Cafe with more than one subject in the conversation.
Today's conversation is with Watt Hamlett and Troy Walker. Both are Solution Engineers on the Enterprise Presales Team with me. In fact, Watt and I were hired at just about the same time. While I've only gotten to know Troy recently, I'm just as impressed with him and proud to be working with him. In today's podcast you'll hear more of their thoughts about the role of a presales consultant, how our teams have come together over the course of the acquisition, and what we have learned so far.
Connection Cafe Podcast 9 - Watt and Troy
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The better you steward and recognize donors, the more they will give over time - as advocates, volunteers, and through giving. So how are you weaving donor recognition into your communications?
Take a fresh look at your stewardship and cultivation strategy. Think ahead and be proactive in your recognition, are you utilizing interactive tactics to thank and recognize donors?
When was the last time you interviewed a corporation or individual about why they gave to your organization? Write up an article for your eNews, but don’t focus so much on who the company is, but instead why they believe your mission is worth wild and how their investment will make a difference. Looking for people to interview? Look beyond the board or a major donor. What about the couple who has been giving you $250 for the last 10 years? There is a story and it’s more relatable to your base than the person who gives $250,000.
Your website is prime real estate; think beyond a donor profile. What about an interactive donor wall that you update quarterly or monthly? Don’t just list names; what’s the point really? Make it interactive and engaging. Link some of the names to a picture, a quote, a video, a media release or a website. While you’re giving visitors a reason to read the list you’re also recognizing the people that support your mission.
Do you list your donors in the annual report, post it on your website and announce the publication via email. If you’re worried about other people searching for names, convert the PDF into images, which makes the content unsearchable.
What about social media? Instead of posting a donor story, ask the donor to post a story about why they gave to your mission. Utilize their circle of friends and influence by asking them to engage with you on your social media assets. Be even more timely, while you’re at the playground renovation with the local beverage company, tweet updates and post pictures from the event – show the impact in action.
And don’t forget to keep the focus on the mission, your supporters and investors should be thanked appropriately, but it’s even more important to link their gifts to impact so people can see philanthropy at work.
Blackbaud CEO Marc Chardon and Outcome Guide Hal Williams have joined forces on a Huffington Post series "The Imperfect Storm" to examine the current nonprofit environment. Varying circumstances and key shifts in the sector are coming together to create the potential for continued rough times.
The first shift Marc and Hal identified was nonprofits needing to engage donors. As their article says "Donors don't just want to give money. They want what we call 'personal discovery' that involves a give and take of information, shared by both the donor and the organization. They want to advocate, volunteer, test things out and be a part of the cause. They want, through all of their gifts, to find meaning."
The second shift "nonprofits need to define themselves by their results" is the cornerstone of today's article. Marc and Hal argue that "moving to a clear report card of results, published annually, puts nonprofits in the outcome business, which is where they should be."
In thinking about your organization, how are you addressing these two shifts? Are you consciously engaging all, most, some or any of your donors? How are you reporting back on your successes? What outcomes are you tracking and how?
Read today's full article and share your experiences, ideas and quuestions in the comments below.
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