My Communications Director is an Idiot

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

I’m friends with many nonprofit program and research directors who confide in me about their various scuffles with communications or fundraising staff in their organizations. Nothing strange there.

Make Your Nonprofit Messages Stick

Getting Attention

The best infographic ever. Absorb it, print out a full-size copy , and share with colleagues as a gentle reminder. Thanks to Wilf for creating under the dazzling influence of Chip and Dan Heath! Branding and Messages

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Testing 101: 4 Steps for Optimizing Your Fundraising Approach

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People are influenced by innumerable whims, impulses, and values. You never know what marketing and fundraising strategies and tactics will work best until you test them. That is why testing is a must for nonprofits. Don’t just trust your gut; run experiments.

#INTERVIEW: Debra Askanase, Socialbrite.org Strategist, Offers Useful Advice To Nonprofits Using Social Media

Non Profit Marketing 360

Debra Askanase, founder of Community Organizer 2.0 , is an “engagement strategist” who consults with nonprofit organizations on digital media. She is also a strategist for Socialbrite.

Health Care Social Media Review #14: Health Literacy Gems and Treasures


photo by Robin M. Ashford. We are all patients. Yet only 10% of adults have the knowledge and skills needed to understand important information about their health (yikes!).

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More Trending

Are mobile devices impacting your planned giving marketing plans?


Phyllis Freedman’s recent blog post pointed out that many nonprofit’s websites do not work on mobile devices. I knew she was right. But so what? Does it matter? That led me to take a look at some of the websites we developed for our clients.

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Pink Ribbon Cause Marketing for the Fisher-Woman

Cause Related Marketing

To find notable pink ribbon cause marketing to profile this month, I’ll bet I’ve looked at 150 different efforts for various nail polishes, shampoos, makeup, and perfumes, plus every kind of gew-gaw that can be be-sparkled, bejeweled and be-spangled in every pink tone.

Hey Slacker, high five!

Wild Woman Fundraising

Enclosed: A picture of me in the middle of writing an incredibly important blog post. Uh huh. Am I a slacktivist because I sign petitions but don’t go to advocacy days at the state capitol? What’s the point of slacker bloggers like me? Are you bored of slacktivism?

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How to Plan a New Website Without Your Head Exploding

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Jennifer Doron. If your website is stuck in the past, it may be time for an upgrade. Sounds daunting? Jennifer Doron of the Ohio Environmental Council shares how she approached the process of creating their new site to writing a novel. Guest Post by Jennifer Doron of the Ohio Environmental Council.

3 Steps to Great Nonprofit Messages (Case Study)

Getting Attention

Congrats to the American Library Association for designing this 5-star message for National Library Week, brought to my attention by an NBC correspondent who saw it on his way to work and shared it on Facebook. Here are the three elements that generate an instant “aha:” 1) An 100 m.p.h

Make Your Nonprofit Website a Positive Experience -- Even When Things Go Wrong

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Effective nonprofit websites help a visitor better understand your organization and inspire supporters to act. Great nonprofit websites go the extra mile to integrate their unique brand personality and call to action into every aspect -- even error messages!

#INTERVIEW: Mark Van Gurp, Osocio Blog – Showcases the Best Advertising & Marketing For Social Causes

Non Profit Marketing 360

Mark van Gurp is the founder of Osocio , an international blog devoted to showcasing the best advertising and marketing for social causes. Mark began an earlier blog, Houtlist, in 2005 as a personal collection of nonprofit ads.

Social Innovation and the Dogged Pursuit of Being Unreasonable


What’s Next? That’s the question The Social Innovation Summit asked us last week. Following the event’s hashtag #SIS12, I connected with Katie Ferrari, who’s passionate about storytelling for social innovation. I invited her to share her top observations from the conference.

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4 Keys to Raising the Money of Your Dreams

Get Fully Funded

Raising money can be easy or it can be hard – it’s your choice. There are two things that make fundraising easy: knowing (and doing) what works, and believing you can be successful. If you’re using tried and true fundraising and marketing strategies, you will raise money.

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Information alone does not change behaviour

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

I recently came across this interesting anti-smoking advertisement (see video below) from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation.

How To Brand A Nonprofit With Low Cost & High Impact

NonProfit Branding

Planning a cause-marketing collaboration? Discussing a fundraising or membership program? Gearing up your own branding campaign? Just looking for badges of affinity? Want to get the biggest bang for your branding buck?

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Innovative possibilities are right in front of your face.


Most of the time innovation is possible simply by taking what has already been created and mixing it up a bit. Let’s play the game. Mastercard - credit card payment. +. Paypal - allows payments to be made on the internet. +. Starbucks - uses a scanner to debit your prepaid card. +.

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Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Still an Active Cause Marketer

Cause Related Marketing

In the immediate aftermath of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s silly public missteps with Planned Parenthood (and KFC before that), a lot of pundits read the tea leaves and foresaw corporate defections from Komen’s sponsor list and public excoriation. So much for all that.

Pinterest Primer for Nonprofits


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.

Should Your Nonprofit Use Pinterest?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Should your nonprofit be using Pinterest? Surely someone in your organization has brought that question up by now, and you, like Andria below, may be wondering just how to use Pinterest effectively, if you use it all. Here’s Andria’s specific question.

Debate Highlights 9 Communications Lessons

Getting Attention

Note: Trying to be as neutral as possible here. If you watched last night’s Romney vs. Obama debate, you know that Romney reigned as the far better communicator. Reports this morning are consistent in that conclusion and even diehard Obama supporters have to agree.

How to Get Donors to Relate to Your Nonprofit -- and Give More

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Giving is personal. . The closer we feel to a cause, the more likely we are to give. Just how much do personal connections influence giving? That’s the question Rebecca Ratner, Min Zhao, and Jennifer Clarke explored.

#SOCIALNETWORKS: How To Promote Facebook Posts & Why You Might Not Want To

Non Profit Marketing 360

CecilyK on ‘MomCrunch’ blog says ‘No’ This past summer Facebook launched the opportunity to purchase ‘Promoted Posts’ that ? for at least a $5 fee ? would be promoted across the Facebookiverse.

The Secret Isn’t in the Sauce


It’s time to take off your floaties and do more than follow your passion. If you’re trying to figure out what career to pursue or how to make the biggest difference in this world, you’re going to be searching for a long time.

What are your nonprofit organization’s assets

Get Fully Funded

Step one in the Simple Success Fundraising Plan is to identify your assets. An asset is defined as a useful and desirable thing or quality. It can also be described as an item that can be converted into cash (real estate for example). So what does this have to do with your nonprofit?

A long overdue call to action on cyber-bullying

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

I watched Amanda Todd’s tragic video message today. Exactly one month and eight days after it was first posted and only five days after she committed suicide. Words can’t possibly express how it makes me feel. But that’s irrelevant anyway.

Within 2 Minutes She Owned a Piece of Our Souls.

NonProfit Branding

At a conference in Breckenridge last Thursday, Dawn Engle commanded the attention of 75 corporate and government leaders.Two minutes into her story she owned a piece of our souls! Now she’s about to inspire you. Standing at the podium, referring to her own extraordinary experience, she claimed: the only problem with having a damn fool [.].

What’s wrong with the words on planned giving websites?


Now that I have your attention, I’m actually going to tell you that the problem with planned giving websites doesn’t begin with the words. It begins with who is writing them. Is marketing planned giving at all like selling insurance? Let me ask you this.

Blended Storytelling With Branded Content

Social Media Bird Brain

Artist Unknown nce upon a time, there was a small nonprofit that wanted to infuse some extra pizzazz into its social communications. Big Data left them confused and social media marketers were now telling them that engagement was so Social Media 1.0. Storytelling continued to be one of the best ways to connect with their community, but how to do it in a fresh way? Curation Although. storytelling statistics newsfeeds small nonprofits segmenting infographics social communication curation

To self (and staff): Great job!


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.

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Infographics & Data Visualization: Not Your Grandmother’s Pie Chart – Part 1

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Infographics are all the rage, so I asked graphic designer Julia Reich to tell us all she knows about producing them. She’s written a four-part series we’ll share this week on the whys and hows of nonprofit infographics. Guest Post by Julia Reich of Julia Reich Design. Introduction.

Build a Compelling Tagline & Your Messaging Skills: Register Now—Starts March 6

Getting Attention

I’m so sorry! I forgot to tell you that I’m guiding a limited number of organizations to strengthen their messaging this spring. And there are just a few seats left for the next Message Focus Project , starting March 6. Learn more here.

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How to Get People to Say Nice Things About Your Nonprofit (and What to Do When They Don’t)

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“How do we get people to give our nonprofit great reviews?” I get asked how to do this all the time. It’s an important question in an era when charity rating sites allow reviews of nonprofits and anyone can proffer opinions good and bad online. Photo source: Big Stock Photo.

#PHILANTHROPY: Evidence Of ‘Emerging Charitable Markets’ & How To Tap Into Them

Non Profit Marketing 360

An article on yesterday’s E-Jewish Philanthropy caught our eye because the authors did a really interesting bit of research into the top givers in US in this calendar year. The study by Robert I. Evans and Avrum D.