Getting Attention

Get the Right Story to the Right Journalist: Media Relations Success

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So many organizations I follow or work with have become strong and savvy communicators. It’s thrilling to see nonprofits like yours put communications to work effectively despite time, talent, and budget constraints. .

7 Steps to Ethical Storytelling (G.R.E.A.T. Stories)

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Does the protagonist of your story know what she’s getting into—how you’ll use her story, and the risks are of sharing it? Probably not, if you’re like most communicators. Let’s change that.

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5 Ways to Connect in Uncertain Times (Midterm Elections & Beyond)

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Every election season is a barrier to connection, with people overwhelmed by 24/7 messages from multiple campaigns via multiple channels. But connecting this fall—through the noise of so many contentious midterm elections—is particularly tough.

Share G.R.E.A.T. Stories to Advance Your Goals

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Best Buddies International. Like many of you, I’ve been working with storytelling for more than a decade now. And, like many of you, I know we need to do it better. We use too many over-simplified stories—black-and-white stories that don’t ring true.

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This ONE Thing Transforms Your Marketing & Fundraising

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Flickr: Robyn Anderson. The opportunity you have in front of you today is SO big, that it’ can seem overwhelming. …. You’ve decided to take another look at your engagement practices (Yea, yea, yea!), rather than just doing it.

Photos to Ignite Year-End & Protect Privacy (Ask Nancy)

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Flickr: Martha Coakley. Dear Nancy: I saw how stories about our clients—powered by a photo or two—fueled our last two year-end campaigns. They were highly successful and I planned to feature the same kind of profiles this year.

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5 Ways to Connect Despite Election Frenzy

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Every election season is a barrier to connection, with people overwhelmed by 24/7 messages from multiple campaigns via multiple channels. But connecting this fall, with a presidential campaign as contentious and bizarre as the Clinton-Trump contest, is tougher than ever.

3 Facebook Engagement Wins – Part 1: Straight from the horses mouth

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Thanks to guest blogger Rachel Carnegliaa, a nonprofit marketer and graphic designer promoting parks, trails, and green spaces at the Austin Parks Foundation. . Hey, I have the inside scoop on Facebook, from Facebook (take it with a grain of salt, I guess), and I want to share it with you.

3 Ways to Stay Safe from Cyber Attack

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Yes, this has to matter to you. The current global cyber attack , built on ransomware, could wreck your communications impact and a lot more. If or when your organization gets hacked, it’ll bring all activity—including communications and fundraising—to an absolute standstill.

3 Tools to Fuel Fundraising Ambassadors

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We all have an incredible fundraising resource right in front of us— our board member, colleague, and loyal volunteer ambassador s. But most of us look right past them, much less make it appealing or easy for them to participate and succeed!

40k to 4 Million Views! Boost YOUR YouTube Video Views (Case Study)

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Guest blogger Mark Horvath founded and leads Invisible People who shares how to boost your YouTube views from meh to magnificent. BTW, Mark’s video version of this post features a extra tips not found here.

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Prep Today for #GivingTuesday 2017

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It’s #GivingTuesday 2016, the best day to do vital prep work for #GivingTuesday 2017.

How to Spot & Gather Strong Stories

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When you gather compelling stories—about beneficiaries, donors, or volunteers, or other players—to share in campaigns, thanks, and other communications, you gain a powerful complement to your data and anecdotal understanding of the people you want to engage. Together, these insights forge a shortcut to engaging hearts, minds, and wallets. But it can be tough to source the right stories.

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3 Techniques to Avoid Getting Overwhelmed in 2017

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Guest bloggers Beth Kanter & Aliza Sherman wrote The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit , a must read for communicators & fundraisers. If there is one thing we can agree on, it is that that last quarter of 2016 was especially stressful.

Heartfelt, Relevant Messages Build Bridges (Case Study: StoryCorps)

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This morning’s election news dug into the divide that’s fracturing the U.S. Hearing the stats on how deep and broad these divisions are—rural vs. urban, men vs. women, those with post-secondary education vs. those without—wasn’t surprising.

5 Must-Haves: Your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Toolkit

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Guest blogger Rob Wu is CEO of CauseVox, a crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising platform used by nonprofits to create fundraising websites. Today, fundraising extends far beyond motivating people to donate. We want engagement, we want other actions, and we want to build a relationship!

Photos to Ignite Year-End & Protect Privacy

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Flickr: Martha Coakley. Dear Nancy: I saw how stories about our clients—powered by a photo or two—fueled our last two year-end campaigns. They were highly successful and I planned to feature the same kind of profiles this year.

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Let Your People Do the Talking (Do It Differently: Part 1)

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Our first post in the 2016 Do-It-Differently series, featuring fresh ideas from the field. Thanks to Renee Thompson, director of philanthropy, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Tested Turnaround!

4 Easy Ways to Get Closer & Boost Action

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There’s a proven way for your organization to start and strengthen vital relationships with the people whose support, loyalty, and actions you want—donors, volunteers, and even staff (too often overlooked here). This approach is easy to learn and execute.

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7 Steps to Passionate Volunteer Messengers

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You face an uphill battle to recruit volunteers and retain them at ever higher and more effective levels of engagement. For those of you with small or all-volunteer organizations, there’s absolutely nothing more important.

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It’s Today! Google Test Your Website

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Thanks to guest blogger Jen Boland, of Beaconfire. Today’s the day. If your website isn’t responsive or optimized for mobile devices, you should be worried. Because… As of today, Google has hugely increased mobile-friendliness as a key ranking signal in search results.

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Surprise: Shortcut to Messages that Connect

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Shaping messages to be relevant to the people we want to to engage and spur to action is the most reliable path to productive marketing. Relevance rules! But there’s more you can do, once you get to relevance.

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3 Facebook Engagement Wins – Part 1: Straight from the horses mouth

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Thanks to guest blogger Rachel Carnegliaa, a nonprofit marketer and graphic designer promoting parks, trails, and green spaces at the Austin Parks Foundation. . Hey, I have the inside scoop on Facebook, from Facebook (take it with a grain of salt, I guess), and I want to share it with you.

Still Time! Turn Colleagues into Powerful Year-End Fundraisers

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We’re counting down to the year-end giving finish line. Are you banging your head against the wall yet? Joking aside, it may seem like your team’s hard work and limited resources aren’t enough. Yet you know how much you could bring in, if only…. Good news! There is a way to move past this seemingly insurmountable barrier this year —Launch a team of messengers to drive your year-end campaign to a strong finish.

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This ONE Thing Transforms Your Marketing & Fundraising

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Flickr: Robyn Anderson. The opportunity you have in front of you today is SO big, that it’ can seem overwhelming. …. You’ve decided to take another look at your engagement practices (Yea, yea, yea!), rather than just doing it.

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Launch Your Team of Year-End Fundraisers: Free Training Th Oct 6

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Register Now: Thursday, October 6 at 1pm EDT. Join me to learn how to turn your board, staff, and loyal volunteers into a team of passionate and engaging messengers.

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Proof Point #2: Email Subject Line Length Matters, SOMETIMES

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Welcome to our Proof Point series—highlighting research findings to use when advocating for the marketing approaches you know are right. . Email subject line length DOES MATTER, as proven by Mail Chimp’s research on open rates for 200 million emails.

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Take 10 Minutes: Get Data to Do Comms Right

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Kivi Leroux Miller’s annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Report is one of my “go to” resources for boosting client communications impact.

5 Steps to Consistent Communications (+ Instant Connection)

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Whether you’re all in on year-end fundraising or working in some 2017 prep, I bet you have some pretty ambitious goals to meet. You wouldn’t be reading this otherwise. Here’s a proven but frequently overlooked method to help you get there: consistent communications.

Make Social Media Matter More: Part 1

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Pressure. You feel it. I feel it. The pressure to generate social media miracles. It’s still there, even this many years in.

Break the Rules! You’ll never look back

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Wake up, girls and boys! It’s time to change our ways. Here’s the thing: I’m a rule follower, and I bet you are too. After all, nonprofit communications isn’t the Wild West. Rules are made to be broken , at least once in a while.

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! Jackpot of Comms Skills & Inspiration: #17NTC

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Liz Polay-Wettengel is National Director of Marketing and Communications for I nterfaithFamily , a Jewish non-profit based in Newton, MA. For three years in a row, my colleagues from InterfaithFamily and I have participated in the annual Nonprofit Tech Conference (from NTEN ).

Considering Consulting to Nonprofits? Advice from the Pros

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Guest bloggers, Julia Reich, a designer and brand strategist at Stone Soup Creative and Marlene Oliveira, a copywriter and communications consultant at moflow and founder of the Nonprofit MarCommunity recap their #15NTC session on nonprofit consulting.

Summer Shifts in Communications? Please share here!

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Hey you! I’d love to know how you adapt your organization’s communications for summertime impact, for a blog post! Do you: Change timing. Shift topic, tone or language to make it more seasonally relevant. Adapt your campaign focus, channel and/or frequency. Tone it summer—light and fun.

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4 Doable Steps to Donor Love—Via Mal Warwick

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Donor communications that connect—that appreciate, energize and activate your prospects and donors—are THE key to fundraising success. That’s nothing new. What you may not know though, is how few organizations do donor communications well. So if that’s your organization, you’re not alone!

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5 Ways to Stay Smart & Engaged

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She got me… The rain was pouring down this morning as our daughter, Charlotte, was getting ready to walk to school, so I caved and drove her. And I’m glad I did. Because as I dropped her off to join the gaggle of noisy, drenched kids waiting outside the middle school, I started thinking.

Want to Fire Your Online Engagement System?

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Guest blogger Maureen Wallbeoff, Vice President at Firefly Partners , brings a people-focused, collaborative influence to the Firefly team and clients. . If the title of this blog post resonates with you, you have lots of company. .

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Inside Scoop: Powerful Testimonials from Your Peers

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Guest blogger Karen Petersen is a 12-year veteran of nonprofit fundraising. She currently serves as Director of Annual and Planned Giving at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology , in Huntsville, Ala. In my previous life, I was a TV reporter. My favorite part of the job was interviewing people and weaving their words together with mine to construct a compelling story. Little has changed since I changed careers. In fundraising, we are all storytellers!

Storytelling Secret Sauce—Via Maya Angelou

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When I heard that Maya Angelou had passed away this week, I was saddened, humbled and hugely appreciative. Unlike most writers (especially poets and memoirists) or activists, Dr. Angelou made herself and her perspective accessible and relevant to all.

Last-Minute Valentines: Still time!

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From soulful to silly, heartfelt to heavy, no matter the approach, organizations like yours are using Valentine’s Day to get attention and motivate the actions they need this week and beyond. You still have time to leverage Valentine’s Day TODAY if you act now.

13 Paths to Productivity & Satisfaction—Nonprofit Staff & Consultants

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Welcome to the Nonprofit Blog Carnival round-up on The Work Behind the Work —the methods and tools you use to stay focused, productive and happy on the job (or the barriers that keep you from getting there). Alas, most of us can’t count on a sunny afternoon at the pool to recoup.

Show-Not-Tell Message Power (Case Study: Breast Cancer Action)

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Breath this in deeply. It’s a strong model of that golden communications rule: Show, Don’t Tell. Here, on its Facebook page, Breast Cancer Action (BCA) zigs rather than zags, with memorable results. See post in full size here.

Nonprofit Disaster Communications Done Right (Case Study)

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Here’s the hot-off-the-presses story I just received from Leili Khalessi, Communications Manager at Red Rover. Leili and her colleagues have done a terrific job responding to the deadly tornadoes and torrential rains that are wreaking havoc with our lives, and those of our pets.