Freshly sharpened pencils. Check.
Scientific Calculator. Check.
45 pound backpack filled to zipper ripping capacity. Check.
The kids are back in school. Which means that fall is upon us and end of year fundraising is right around the corner. Are you ready? Do you have your end of year fundraising checklist? Well if not, then put on those new school shoes and get ready!
September: Clear the Decks
October: Plan for Year End Greatness
Next month in our quarterly magazine, npENGAGE, we’ll have November and December specific tips and action items for a successful end of year campaign. And if you are coming to bbcon (Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in DC), lucky you – you’ll get a first look!
You want to learn everything you can about marketing your nonprofit via Facebook. But you don’t have all day to learn it. No worries. I’ve done the searching, so you can do just the reading.
Quick & Dirty How-Tos
Stats & Research
You can also check out Sarah-the-intern's "How to Increase Facebook Engagement" for more ideas.
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.
We are just 40 days away from bbcon 2012, can you believe it? Since advocacy as a topic and a career are both near and dear to my heart, I wanted to give you a preview of some awesome advocacy content that you can expect to see.
First, my colleague Emily Goodstein will be presenting Out of the Box - Advocacy Superheroes. Here's the description of the session:
Use the power of Luminate Advocacy, right out of the box! During this panel discussion, we’ll feature three super heroes changing the world using Luminate Advocacy. We’ll talk about creating a smart strategy which makes the most of the Advocacy module, and allows your message to really shine. Join us for case study goodness, best practice gems, and strategy ideas too. Beltway insiders (and beyond) are welcome and encouraged to attend.
I took a page out of Emily's book and did a short interview with her so I could bring you all the details!
SH for CC: Tell me about this session at bbcon, "Advocacy Out of the Box." It sounds so interesting!
EPG: Advocacy Out of the Box is intended for organizations of all shapes and sizes who want to do more with the Luminate Online advocacy tool. We’ll discuss how to make the most of the product, you guessed it, right out of the box! No customizations necessary.
SH for CC: Who will be with you on the panel?
EPG: The panel will feature three speakers (in addition to yours truly).
SH for CC: What have clients been able to achieve with Luminate Online Advocacy?
EPG: Clients are changing the world, one click at a time! We’ll showcase a campaign that Rails-to-Trails Conservancy ran to retain funding for trails in addition to other modes of transportation. We will also discuss some of the great list building work that NARAL: Pro-Choice America has done through our advocacy tool, in addition to some advocacy work through the Luminate Survey tool from the online organizers at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
SH for CC: Why did you think this session was important?
EPG: I think this session is important since there is such good work that organizations large and small are doing with our advocacy tool. The tool is really powerful and it is most effective when coupled with some hard work and a great strategy. That's what we'll be discussing.
SH for CC: What is your favorite thing about bbcon?
EPG: Proximity to cupcakes at CakeLove. Oh, you mean the conference itself! It is a GREAT chance to network and learn from so many non-profits. I love walking the halls and chatting with people about their latest campaigns, celebrating their successes, and live tweeting the sessions.
SH for CC: Sounds great! So when is your session?
EPG: Monday, October 1 at 2:15pm. See you there!
See you there, indeed, Emily! I can't wait!
Another advocacy session not to be missed is the entertainingly-titled Screaming Monkeys, Roaring Lions: Making Noise vs. Making a Difference on Capitol Hill, presented by Bradford Fitch, President and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation. This one is Monday, October 1 at 10:00am. Here's what it's all about:
Despite the amazing growth of the advocacy in the last decade – in scope, tactics, and resources – little research actually exists on Capitol Hill’s perspective on what is effective, and what is counterproductive, in interactions with Congress. Add to the mix the rise of Social Media, and advocacy experts face a myriad of choices and challenges. Is your group seen on Capitol Hill like ROARING LION, motivating legislators to move quickly in a desired direction? Or, are you a SCREAMING MONKEY, just annoying your targeted lawmakers (and leaving a mess behind)? This program is based on research from the Congressional Management Foundation, which has a unique 35-year relationship with Congress. The CMF research is drawn from surveys of congressional staff; focus groups with congressional staff; and interactions and consultations with Members of Congress and staff.
Last year I co-presented a webinar with Brad, and I can assure you that he's a really knowledgeable and informative speaker. If you're trying to use online advocacy to make a real difference in Congress, then you should definitely attend this session.
Are you excited yet? Well, there's more! There will be well over 100 sessions at bbcon that span the range of advocacy, fundraising, analytics, professional development, CRM, financial management, and much, much more. You can read all about the other sessions at bbcon here. And if you haven't yet registered, there's still time! Just visit www.bbconference.com.
Ok, I'll admit it. I really love the show The Newsroom on HBO. I recognize that it's got its flaws, but frankly, I like it. Time will tell how it all plays out (am I the only one who thinks it's rapidly getting closer to real time?), but I was particularly struck by an event that happened in the second episode. Without hopefully giving out any spoilers, a character accidentally sends an email out to the whole company that was only supposed to go to one person. Cringe-worthy, indeed, this is the stuff of nightmares of anyone with email access. But, from time to time, it's bound to happen - and sometimes a lot more publicly.
As it turns out, no one is immune. Particularly now, in the 24-hour-news-cycle-oh-yeah-and-twitter times we live in, a public gaffe can potentially lead to some pretty nasty backlash. I'm sure most of you can think of several cases in the last couple of weeks alone where an easily made mistake has led to some pretty loud public outcry, with some pretty widely varying results.
So, how does a person or organization recover from an error like this? Well, there are a few articles offering advice, and all of them say pretty much the same thing: own it, communicate it, fix it, and learn from it. Easier said than done, I know, but it turns out, they're right. Hiding from a problem, victimizing your organization, blaming others, and committing common mistakes more than once are really the worst ways to reassure the public that you know the landscape - even if you truly are being wrongfully presented.
Now, I'm not suggesting that you go rolling over every time the public doesn't like what you're organization is doing. Nor do I think you necessarily need to send out a retraction when your email blast has something that's poorly formatted. Only you and your organization can and should decide when to execute on a correction if and when you feel its necessary. But, given the evolution of communication, it's just good business sense for your organization to have some sort of contingency plan, just in case things go awry. Then, you can just cross your fingers and hope you never have to use it.
I'd love to hear more from our readers about who has either dealt with this sort of thing, is dealing with it now, or has started working on their plans. It's a new era of communication, and the learning curve is steep, so any information you can share would be great!
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