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10 Time Management Tips for Nonprofit Communicators

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a consultant (and a former nonprofit communications director), it’s how incredibly busy nonprofit communicators are– -always. There don’t seem to be peaks and valleys, it’s all just climbing, climbing, climbing.

Pinterest Primer for Nonprofits

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Flickr: stevegarfield. My name is Gayle Thorsen…and I’m a Pinterest addict. Me and 21 million other users, more and more of whom are nonprofit organizations. The demographics of Pinterest–82% females with higher education and income levels–hold a lot of promise for nonprofits.

Trending Sources

Tooting your own horn

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I work with lots of nonprofit communication managers who are at various stages of desperation about how to prove the value of their work to their CEOs. I tell them they need to toot their own horn in professional, meaningful ways.

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Mobile giving: 4 trends nonprofits should consider

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flickr/closari. This is my second post based on information gleaned from a recent Common Knowledge webinar on nonprofit communications trends for 2011. This time the topic is mobile giving. Many believe that mobile giving reached a tipping point with response to the Haiti crisis last year.

Free digital storytelling tools for nonprofits

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Flickr/mysza831. A little holiday gift for you! A couple of times a year, I dig into the web to find free tools that can help nonprofits tell their stories in ever more engaging ways. Each time I do that, the range of options kind of astounds me.

Blogs vs. Facebook for Nonprofits

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(My 100 th post!). Over the past few months, I’ve helped a couple nonprofit clients who are ready to move into social media decide whether to go with a blog or Facebook. (I’ll I’ll talk about Twitter strategies in a future post. It’s kind of a different animal.). Most approach it as an either/or decision because of their limited staff resources. That’s a real concern.

Video roars into 2011; Nonprofits, grab your videocam

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flickr/John Biehler. I just took a terrific, free, Common Knowledge webinar on the five big nonprofit communication trends for 2011. It was beyond great; it was inspirational! So thorough and well-grounded in strategy-first.

A 5-step quide to social media strategy for nonprofits

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flickr/luc legay. Many nonprofits have already dipped their toes into social media. They see others doing it and figure they should be doing it too. So they jump on Twitter and create a Facebook fan page. Or they put event photos on Flickr, or buy a Flipcam to get videos on YouTube. Then what?

Augmented reality—Search moves from text to objects

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Hold onto your hats! I just read a Trendwatching report about the not-too-distant future when Search transcends Google and spreads to everyday objects.

Cultivate new supporters fast: A five-week “on-boarding” plan for nonprofits

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flickr/benkessler. I’ve already mentioned in past posts Common Knowledge , whose highly useful webinars I regularly take (did I mention most of them are free?). This time I want to share part of a recent CK webinar on building your email list.

Top mobile social media apps for nonprofits

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Flickr/Irish Typepad. Reminder: If you don’t have a great website and email strategy, you probably shouldn’t be focusing on social media yet. Those have to be your first priorities. It’s predicted that by the end of 2014, mobile (smart phone and tablet) access to the web will have outstripped desktop access. Think about that in relation to your current website and social media strategy. It’s time to start thinking/acting mobile.

Kick-ass Kickstarter campaigns

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Nonprofits should at least know about the potential of Kickstarter for crowd-funding small to medium-sized creative projects. Even if you don’t use this tool yourselves, your supporters and/or grantees might be interested.

Guest post: 10 things to consider when designing your annual report

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Linda Henneman, ThinkDesign. Over the years, I’ve been in charge of developing a dozen annual reports for large foundations. For some of them, I was lucky enough to work with ThinkDesign Group. Their award winning work is known for its powerful interplay of text and design. For this guest post on annual reports, it was a no-brainer to turn to Linda Henneman, creative principal at ThinkDesign. My nonprofit clients are producing annual reports this year, despite the economic downturn.

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To self (and staff): Great job!

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Flickr: Doug88888. When Marc Pitman asked us nonprofit fundraisers and communicators: “How do you say thanks to yourself?” The first answer that popped into my head was—yoga. The second was—a glass of wine and a long hot bath.

12 New Year’s resolutions for nonprofit communicators

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Flickr/alykat. Spend no less than three hours a week listening online to what’s going on in your field and what’s being said about your organization. This is how you stay in front of the curve. (Be

First step in strategic communications planning: Communications audits

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flickr/joebeone. If I had one piece of advice to give any foundation or nonprofit communicator in this new financial paradigm of thrift, it would be to develop a strategic communications plan. It may be your biggest conservation tool.

Use Pinterest to track media coverage

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There are lots of useful ways for nonprofits to use Pinterest, not only to engage their stakeholders but to carry out communications tasks.

Taking a break…

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I should have mentioned this earlier but I’ve been involved in a house move for the past yearand am taking a break from blogging at Impact Max. During the interim, you can follow me on twitter. I still manage to tweet

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Links to Love

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I don’t often do this, but I ran across some great posts this week that I wanted to share with everyone. Go ahead, take 10 minutes this weekend and skim through them! Blogs outrank social networks for consumer influence. Four skills PR newbies (or oldies) should possess.

Free Tools: Visual Timelines

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Tiki-toki. Facebook isn’t the only place you may want to use a visual timeline to tell the story of your organization’s evolution and accomplishments.

Nonprofits: New look for Twitter and LinkedIn profiles

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In the past few weeks, two big social media platforms—Twitter and LinkedIn—retooled the look of their profiles. And–no surprise—both changes focus on adding fantastic IMAGES. Nonprofits should get in on the action.

Free photo editing tools for nonprofits

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PIXLR. Visual content is online gold, especially for social media. But lots of nonprofits don’t have the money to hire great photographers or buy Photoshop, so they end up using lacklustre photos or no photos at all.

$7 for $15 Worth of Drink Dazzlers Shipped!

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Today over at Gaggle of Chicks you can get a super cute deal on the cheap: $15 worth of Drink Dazzlers for just $7 plus FREE shipping! Drink Dazzlers are adorable drink identifier tags that go around the neck of any drink bottle (or attach to the straw).

The CEO bully pulpit: Commentaries in the digital age

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Flickr/southtyrolean. I’ve wanted to post for a while about one of my favorite media tactics for nonprofits and foundations.

Social issue documentaries: Building a movement

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Here in the Twin Cities, we’ve just experienced an interesting media frenzy about a social issue documentary called Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story that was produced by the University of Minnesota and funded by various foundations and governmental agencies.

3 cool, creative, FREE communications tools for nonprofits

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Flickr/marcmo. It’s been too long since I’ve posted about free online tools, and there are some recent ones that deserve your attention. Depending on your audiences and communications strategies—these might make interesting new communications channels for you.

Nonprofits: Become a personal “content” shopper for your audiences

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flickr/Somewhat Frank. Content curation isn’t new, even though a lot is being written about it these days. Some nonprofits have been curating content on their websites and blogs for quite a while…maybe without exactly calling it that.

Tactics—Step 4 in strategic communications planning for nonprofits

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flickr/popculturegeek. This is the last in my series of posts guiding nonprofits through strategic communications planning. So far, I’ve tried to help you figure out your true communication objectives, your key audiences, and the kinds of messages and interactions that can motivate them.

The Empty Package–Nonprofits, Social Media, and Content Strategy

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flickr/minxlj. I’m delighted to see recent data about the nonprofit sector’s leadership in adopting social media. I’m also a little worried.

Summer Reading

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flickr/Spencer E. Holtaway. I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve really missed keeping up with the terrific blogs and books in the field that represent a nonprofit communications education all by themselves. Don’t let yourself make the same mistake.

Guest Post: Kivi Leroux Miller

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Kivi Leroux Miller is an author, trainer, coach, consultant, and president of Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com.

Strategic Communications Planning for Nonprofits—Step Three: Audience research and messages

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Flickr/3fold. Now that you know who your key audiences are and what you want them to do—it’s time to take a closer look at what kind of experiences and communications motivate them. Step three in the communications process—what do they need from you?

Nonprofits and Foundations: Don’t Forget the Infographics

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I’ve read many articles and posts over the past few years about the nonprofit sector’s inability to manage and share information effectively. Gee, I’ve even written a couple.)

DIY stratetgic communications planning for nonprofits: Step 2—Key Audiences

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After my last strategic planning post, I’ll assume you’ve made a list of the actions you want to happen in the world as a result of your nonprofit’s efforts.

DIY strategic communications planning for nonprofits

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Flickr/Sumlin. A while ago I promised some advice about strategic communications planning, and my next step-by-step posts will cover that topic.

Direct mail envelopes–five ideas for nonprofit fundraising

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(Another stellar quest post from nonprofit fund raising expert Rick Schwartz !). My family usually shops for groceries with canvas bags that I pick up at conferences.

Own the Room–Some great presentation advice

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flickr/constantly-Jair. Lots of us tend to underestimate the potential ROI from a great presentation. If we absolutely have to do one, we default to PowerPoint and spend as little time as possible in development and preparation.

Working Effectively with Consultants: Tips for Nonprofits

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flickr/oooh-oooh. Having now sat on both sides of the nonprofit desk—hiring consultants and being hired as a consultant—I’ve learned something about creating productive relationships between nonprofits and freelancers. So, I thought I’d share a few tips.

Nonprofits have two missions to balance–cause and corporate

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Before I start talking about strategic communications planning in coming weeks, I want to point out a fact that most nonprofits vaguely sense but few clearly articulate. You have two missions —a cause mission to change society and a corporate mission to sustain your organization.