Getting Attention

Are Your Messages Repeatable & Retweetable?

Getting Attention

G uest post by Sam Horn. Are you preparing an important communication? Whether it’s a report to your boss or board, [annual report, or donor thank-you campaign], its success depends a lot on whether people can remember what you said. Because if they can’t, all the hours (weeks?)

July 23 Free Webinar: Launch Team of Passionate Messengers

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Learn how to ask, train, and support your team in this free webinar on July 23. Register now. We all have an incredible resource right in front of us — our colleagues, board, donors, volunteers, and members.

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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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4 Steps to Year-End Balance, Energy, & Focus (Beth Kanter)

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There’s no better gift than learning from a friend. And what a treat I had recently, learning self-care at work techniques from Beth Kanter , a fellow speaker at the JCamp 180 conference. We all know how pressured year-end is, especially on the fundraising side.

2 Weeks into 2019: Where are You Headed?

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This updated marketing plan template takes you from big-picture goals to the right methods, activities, required skills, and budget, and impact! Preview the plan template here. Eeesh! Those New Year’s resolutions—including the ones we set for marketing and fundraising work—are so hard to keep.

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. .

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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Which Story to Share? (G.R.E.A.T. Stories)

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Sometimes we have so many strong stories available that it’s hard to select the best ones to feature in a specific campaign. At other times, it seems impossible to source the right story or find a fitting one to harvest from the story bank. I’ve been there.

3 Tools Power Ambassadors to Year-End Wins

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We all have an incredible marketing and fundraising resource right in front of us— our colleague, board member, and loyal volunteer ambassador s. But most of us look right past them! You STILL HAVE TIME to launch your team of messengers to advance your year-end campaigns.

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Avoid this Communications Don’t – “Our Organization Needs Your Input”

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That’s the subject line of this morning’s email from our local Jewish Community Center (JCC), asking for my input on its member survey. My immediate response was to delete it because it’s all about the JCC’s needs and not about what us members need. At least that’s what the subject line conveys! Has your organization ever alienated its audiences doing something like this, something totally narcissistic ?

Photos to Fire Up Year-End & Protect Privacy

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Flickr: AFGE. Dear Nancy: Our last two year-end campaigns were centered around client stories, each powered by a photo or two. We got fantastic feedback on these stories and I planned to feature similar profiles this year.

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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.

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.

Thrive thru Year End: Together!

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So many of you have reached out to me recently in total panic, asking for guidance because you’re stressed to the max by pressures of launches, giving day, and year end. Then there’s the biggest one—the pressure of unrealistic expectations (especially your own).

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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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!

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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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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Prep Today for #GivingTuesday 2017

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

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!

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.

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.

Photos to Ignite Year-End & Protect Privacy

Getting Attention

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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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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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.

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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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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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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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.

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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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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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.

5-Star Storytelling Success Story

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Guest blogger, Julie Brown, Program Director at the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation. Julie is intrigued by storytelling, and the opportunity it offers to inspire donors and volunteers to act.

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.

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.

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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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.

Connect as Powerfully as Lupita Nyongo’o: Messages Matter @ Oscars & Nonprofits

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Take 3 minutes to listen to this incredible speech. Relevance rules at the Oscars too.

In the Beginning: Nonprofit Founding Stories

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Guest blogger, Julie Brown, Program Director at the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation. Julie is intrigued by storytelling, and the opportunity it offers to inspire donors and volunteers to act.

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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.

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