There’s a new kid on the nonprofit blogosphere block. It is both an all encompassing one-stop-shop and a tailored-to-you destination. I may be quite biased but I think it is going to knock your socks off.
Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I am pleased to present to you npENGAGE.
To know npENGAGE is to know three key elements.
First, npENGAGE is home to nine blogs, each customized to a different need of the nonprofit sector. As a reader, you’ll have the flexibility to consume information across the whole spectrum or to just subscribe to the individual blog that speaks to your needs and interests.
npENGAGE’s blogs are
Second, npENGAGE is built on the content from five leading nonprofit blogs, including Connection Café. The content of those five blogs will populate the npENGAGE archives and ensure that each individual blog within npENGAGE starts strong. This will give npENGAGE the unique distinction of being a new site with years of proven, useful content already present.
Third, Connection Café will redirect to npENGAGE starting this weekend. If you are an RSS subscriber to Connection Café, your feed will be automatically updated with the main npENGAGE feed. From there you can decide if the main feed is right for you or if one of the more specialized feeds is a better fit.
If you have questions about npENGAGE or your Connection Café subscription, please ask in the comments below or by email.
Finally, thank you so very much for being a part of Connection Café. Your feedback, passion and sense of mission inspired our bloggers to contribute every week. We look forward to more of the same in our new home on npENGAGE!
See you there!
I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a house that really prioritized thank you notes. There were other things that were stressed, but I think writing thank you notes was one of the most important lessons that my mom instilled in us. She made writing thank you notes enjoyable—good note cards, fun pens, festive stamps. And she also saved the particularly nice or well written or beautiful thank you notes she received.
I think there is a great lesson that non-profits can learn from my mom (well, there are many lessons you can learn from her, but this one is particularly fitting). If someone makes a donation of time or money to your organization, you should send a thank you note.
...Well actually they do. But lately, I've noticed an interesting trend: I post something on Facebook that I think is fascinating, hilarious, or some deep revelation into the mysterious world of Miriam Kagan, and my social sphere reacts in...dead silence. Failed in my effort to get instantaneous gratification at my own personal awesomeness through likes and comments, I am subsequently delighted and confused by friends who say things like "your Facebook status the other day made me laugh out loud" or "you know, it seems from your Facebook posts like your coworkers are really funny" a few days later, when we are say having coffee.
While my inner social addict silently pouts—"if you liked my status so much, why didn't you actually 'like' it and show the rest of my social universe how awesome you think I am?”— the fundraiser and strategist in me can't help but think how this kind of behavior and interaction applies to ways nonprofits are trying to engage with their constituents.
Advice abounds about tricks and tips for engaging the social sphere. You should use certain key words. Post your comments in the form of a question. Post photos—people like pretty things. Ask for photos – people think they are good at taking them. Respond to comments. Retweet. Pin things. Pin things in a very specific way. Make videos. Annotate them. Animate them. And all of these are certainly appropriate tactics to be found in the social marketing toolkit for constituent engagement.
The part that's still very tricky for most is measuring the impact of these activities. So we start with the industry-wide best practices: How many people like you on Facebook? How many should? Is 10K enough, too little, too many? Not sure?
Try calculating a ratio of how many people comment and/or like and/or share your posts divided by how many like your page. So maybe that gets you an “engagement” ratio. Similarly, how many retweets? Hashtag mentions? Video views? Clicks on embedded links? Conversions? If your embedded donation form isn't getting traffic, does that mean your FB page has no ROI?
A little trickier, but doable, is calculating your most engaged supporters' social media reach: if they repost your post, how big is their network? If they share your video? Retweet you? What is your followers' average Klout score? Metrics, metrics, metrics.
But there is a different kind of reach that is much harder to calculate: the word of mouth/human network reach. How do you measure the impact of motivating and activating your network offline or via word of mouth and the direct or indirect influence social media efforts are having? How do you value the actual impact of your “inactive” social media connections?
Marketers are certainly working hard to figure this out. Media mix attribution models attempt to measure the relative influence of “supporting” channels to ones where an action or purchase is actually made (maybe I saw the promotion on FB but didn't click on anything, then bought an item from the catalog). Social CRM and social media appends attempt to connect social media with constituent and consumer profiles to track integrated interactions (note: this is mostly only possible for consumers with relatively lax profile settings. As in, if you can't find me on Facebook, you can't connect me to the Miriam you have in your CRM).
While measuring the ways humans chose to spread information and WHY on any given day they chose a specific method to do so may never be a 100% data driven, there are some additional approaches to consider in trying evaluating the indirect influence of your social media efforts:
And PS: not that you asked, but my most popular Facebook post ever (generating over 30 comments and a subsequent 5 hour debate over dinner with some friends), was from a question I remembered a professor asked us during an ethics and values class in college: “If someone handed you an envelope that had your entire future written down in it, would you open it and read it?” Would you?
When the American Diabetes Association made the decision to focus on promoting self donations in their 2011 Tour de Cure fundraising campaign, they increased the number of participants contributing to thier own fundraising efforts from 2% in 2010 to more than 37% in 2011. There is no doubt this strategy contributed to the event’s 19% growth in online donations that year.
How can your organization see this kind of success? Here are four ways to promote self donations in your next Peer to Peer Fundraising campaign on TeamRaiser.
In addition to all of the above mentioned it is important that you include information about self donation opportunities in all communications about fundraising. All fundraising activities should include the importance of kicking off your fundraising with a self donation.
Today's post was prepared by Nancy Palo, a Senior Consultant in Blackbaud's Strategic Services team with an specialty in TeamRaiser and peer-to-peer fundraising. She brings more than 10 years experience in the event fundraising experience, including 8 years with National MS Society where she raised more than $30 million.
“When does someone become a philanthropist?”
An interesting question I heard at the MCON conference a couple of weeks ago. And one that makes me asks, are nonprofits overlooking their millennial donors and prospects? (Those are the folks born after 1980.)
Communicating and engaging millennial donors and volunteers is different than other generations. The 2012 Millennial Impact Report shows...
When you’re crafting your strategy for reaching out and engaging this generation here are a few things to consider:
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