The murky waters of government employment and political neutrality

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Many public servants (not all of course) are well-informed about government and politics in general. A sub-set of these public servants are passionate about their political beliefs and/or passionate about politically sensitive topics. Even if this last group stops engaging in these topics online, it has already built up a permanent digital history that someone (media, political party, troll, NGO, etc.)

Five 2018 Political Campaign Trends that Nonprofits Should Use Too


As the 2018 midterm elections near, it’s likely hard to ignore the ads, phone calls, mail pieces, and emails from political campaigns in your area reminding you to vote. Although the election-year onslaught of political marketing can sometimes seem excessive, in many ways it is extremely effective and offers a unique example for nonprofits to follow. Taking a little extra time to add a personal touch can make all the difference, for political campaigns and nonprofits alike.


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3 things every fundraiser needs to consider before they talk politics in front of their donors


I don’t have any data on this whatsoever but something tells me that a good number of fundraisers might lean left when it comes to politics. Could you be alienating them by assuming that their politics align with yours? Bottom line: Whether you lean left or right, be very careful with your political discourse unless you are absolutely sure about your donors’ leanings.

Get over your discomfort and politely ask for money

Fundraising Coach

How to politely ask for money. Too often, our own beliefs about money get in the way of our asking politely. Then you won't have to worry about how to politely ask for money. The post Get over your discomfort and politely ask for money appeared first on I recently tweeted "your discomfort with asking is getting in the way of a donor's joy in giving. So get out of the way!" ( Click here to tweet that. ).

#CIVICS: Nonprofits Should Watch Their Politics On Their Social Networks

Non Profit Marketing 360

We are supposed to be involved in politics because we are called to be engaged citizens. If the personal, the political, and the nonprofit mix, your organization can be challenged in court ? To avoid such risks, Pollak and Canas suggest writing a universal disclaimer on the blog or comments site, something to the effect that any endorsement or criticism of a political candidate reflects the views of the individual poster, and not those of the organization.

Mobile Politics

The Agitator

Pew terms 26% of adult Americans “mobile political users.&# 12% of adults used their cell phones to keep up with news about the election or politics. Don't Miss these Posts Hot Research mobile advocacy politicsPew Internet Research published some good stuff during the holiday break. For example, a report on mobile use in connection with the 2010 US congressional elections.

#SocialNetworks: Primary Politics Offer Models For SM Strategy

Non Profit Marketing 360

Whatever your political affiliation, don’t let divisive partisanship cause you to ignore what works for your organization. Nonprofit Barack Obama Business communication Marketing and Advertising New York Times Non-profit organization Online Communities Politics Rate of return Republicans Return On Investment ROI Social network Twitter United States White HouseClick to enlarge.

What Nonprofits Can Learn from Political Campaigns

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Political campaigns, especially in presidential years, are great testing grounds for new communications and fundraising techniques that eventually transfer over to the nonprofit world. Howard Dean revolutionized small-dollar online giving and Barack Obama was the first to integrate mobile/texting both for campaign advocacy and fundraising. I wonder what we’ll learn about in the coming year? Well, nevermind all that for now.

Personal, Political, and Professional

The Nonprofit Consultant

Much like the age-old saw about not discussing religion or politics at social gatherings, this is meant to avoid controversy, and, more to the point, not give any work associates reason to disagree with you (or terminate your job, etc.). The only possible area of controversy is the political. Then, yesterday, following news of the death of George McGovern, I wondered why I am not more overtly political on this blog.

Online Politics Update

The Agitator

For those who study how political campaigns use the online channel, and advocacy groups in particular should, here’s a recent update from ClickZ Politics … the latest in political use of Twitter, mobile, and the ‘plain old’ web. Your donors will be receiving a blizzard of political persuasion and fundraising messages in the next four months. advocacy communications issue fundraising online advocacy online fundraising politics

Are your politics hindering your fundraising?

Fundraising Coach

Fundraisers: Stop the political vitriol! We need to participate in the politics of our communities and countries. Unless your cause is political, your politics can seriously hinder your fundraising. Ask politicsA few weeks ago I sent a version of this to my Fundraising Kick subscribers. But I’m seeing someting that will seriously impair your fundraising so I wanted to share it with you too. If we live in a democracy, we need to be active.

Youth And Online Politics

The Agitator

Here’s a good Independence Day read for our American Agitators in particular, but for all who want more insight into how online tools are re-shaping political participation amongst youth (15-25 year-olds) … Participatory Politics: New Media and Youth Political Action , funded by an arm of the MacArthur Foundation. And of this group, fully 90% either vote or engage in traditional institutional politics. candidate, campaign or political issues.”

Learning From Political Digital

The Agitator

The political guys say they’re looking for audiences (folks sharing some key online behaviors), as opposed to targeting sites. For a broader update on campaign and issue advocates’ use of digital media, check this latest report from ClickZ Politics , where you’ll find that the Obama campaign is on pace to spend $35 million on web ads. advocacy communications Don't Miss these Posts issue fundraising online advocacy online fundraising politics

Leverage The Political Noise

The Agitator

The Chronicle of Philanthropy just headlined a story, Political Gifts Don’t Hamper Philanthropy , based upon Blackbaud data indicating that charitable donations don’t really diminish in an election year, despite the intensity of political solicitations. First was the relatively puny scale of US political giving — about $6.3

Politics On Social Net Sites

The Agitator

Pew Research has just published findings on social nets and political activities. Here are some key findings: 36% of social networking site (SNS) users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in keeping up with political news. 26% of SNS users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in recruiting people to get involved in political issues that matter to them. pew internet project politics social networking

Politics On Social Net Sites

The Agitator

Pew Research has just published findings on social nets and political activities. Here are some key findings: 36% of social networking site (SNS) users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in keeping up with political news. 26% of SNS users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in recruiting people to get involved in political issues that matter to them. pew internet project politics social networking

Guidelines and Sample Policy on Nonprofit Political Activity

The Nonprofit Consultant

In these contentious political times, those of us in the social services field may feel the need to be more vocal about policies that effect our clients and our missions, while simultaneously facing pressure to "not rock the boat" or be controversial. Perhaps you have board members who (wrongly) believe that nonprofits cannot play any role in politics, and don't want you to take a stand on those very questions where your voice is most needed to be heard.

Best U.S. Political Ad Of 2016

The Agitator

have been inundated with political ads of all kinds. Agitator readers in the U.S. An estimated $4.4 billion in TV spending alone. Up from $3.8 billion in 2012. Enough is enough. Too much”, as Grandma Craver used to say, “will make a dog sick.” Sadly, most fail the basic test of informing viewers on the “why” of a candidacy, not to mention the “what” and “how” the candidates will perform if elected.

Digital Political Campaigning

The Agitator

As this report from ClickZ Marketing news indicates, political video ads have surged in this election season, to the point where inventory is scarce — and significantly bid up in price — in hotly contested markets. Tags: Don't Miss these Posts advocacy communications fundraising issue fundraising nonprofits online activism online advocacy online fundraising online publishing online video politics social networking

Target Audience: A Lesson from Politics

Mission Minded

It’s election season. While you might get tired of the constant commercials, news clips, and solicitations, we have to give a nod to the candidates and their campaigns. Because perhaps more than anyone, politicians know their audience. And, just like our nonprofit branding clients, knowing your audience is the first step in creating the brand, […].

Political junk mail can hurt your fall fundraising letters

Fundraising Coach

NPR did a great piece on political direct mail. According to NPR, if you thought the political ads on TV were bad, you haven’t seen anything yet. Political junk mail is about to hit. Political mail slows down all mailings, at least for the smaller nonprofits–which are most of us. If you’re like many nonprofits, you’ve sent a fall fundraising appeal this month and you plan on sending one towards the end of the year.

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Connecting Protests to Political Power

A. Fine Blog

But they couldn’t move it enough to match the power held by Republicans inside the political system. We progressives have a bad habit of assuming that large numbers of people supporting our positions is the same as gaining political power. When we lose statehouses in places like Florida and Texas, the key levers of political power like the ability to gerrymander districts into Rorsach tests of political affiliation, are lost with it, often times for a generation.

Will Political Fundraising Harm Your Bottom Line?

The Agitator

As Bernie Sanders’ Presidential campaign nears the $150 million mark in small gift (average $27) fundraising, and as record amounts pour into the rest of the Presidential primary campaigns, there’s no doubt that nonprofit CEOs and Boards will be wondering: How will all that political giving impact support for our organization this year?

ClickZ Politics & Advocacy

The Agitator

ClickZ, an online marketing news service, offers a feed focused on online political and advocacy marketing. Agitator readers in the cause world might want to check it out. The latest edition includes an item on how Urban Ministries of Durham (in Durham, North Carolina) is using the mobile app Foursquare to draw attention to homelessness in the community. Check it out.

From The Political Online Fundraising Front

The Agitator

It pains me to do this already in July 2011, but here’s a rundown on what the emergent 2012 political campaigns are doing with respect to online fundraising. This report from provides several articles for you political groupies, covering Obama, Romney, Palin, Bachmann, Pawlenty, Huntsman … and even Ann Coulter. As always, my interest in this political propaganda is chiefly from the perspective of … Anything here for us legitimate, principled fundraisers?

Celebrity Advocacy: Do Stars Influence Issues & Politics?

Sea Change Strategies

In a celebrity-obsessed society, how effective are A-listers at focusing public attention, support and advocacy on our causes? Kenneth Jost with CQ Press just released a fantastic whitepaper that explores the good, the bad and the ugly of celebrity advocacy. He takes an amazing historical look at celebrity involvement in charities over the decades ( Comedian Milton Berle hosted the first TV telethon for cancer research in 1949).

Politics Of Online Ad Targeting

The Agitator

This tool, aimed more at legislative advocacy, has backing from both sides of the political aisle. Tags: Don't Miss these Posts advocacy communications fundraising online activism online advocacy online fundraising online publishing online video politics If you’re in the biz of targeting online ads for member acquisition, fundraising or issue persuasion, here are two articles that illustrate the data-driven capabilities that exist.

Voter Tools and Resources for 2012: Political Ad Sleuth

A. Fine Blog

The best place to begin is with the fantastically fun Political Ad Sleuth sponsored by the Sunlight Foundation in partnership with FreePress. Individuals register on the site to help crowdsource the source of political ads. There has been an avalanche of political ads broadcast this year the origins of which (meaning who paid for the ad) are hard to ascertain (thanks Supreme Court for the Citizens United decision !)

Making The Most Of A Charged Political Climate

The Agitator

Recent news of the fundraising results of Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign — $33 million in the last three months from a base of 2.2 million donors who give an average of $27 — got me thinking about the various problems and opportunities faced by vastly different types of organizations.

Political Campaigns Have Changed the Way We Communicate

Social Marketing and Social Change

Tags: Social Media New Media Politics Social Marketing Social Media

Why Your Nonprofit Needs to Get Political – Now

J Campbell Social Marketing

It’s time that even the smallest of nonprofit organizations steps up to the plate and gets political. The post Why Your Nonprofit Needs to Get Political – Now appeared first on JCSM. Nonprofits Budget proposal IRS lobbying politics soapbox TrumpThere is little doubt that Trump’s presidency has been unwelcome news for most of the nonprofit sector.

Recently There Are Concerns By and About the IRS and Its Oversight of Political Organizations In This Election Year

Seeking Grant Money Today

Many political organizations wishing to acquire or retain their 501(c)(4) charitable status also collect donations without reporting from whom or where the donations came and how much those donations were. Watchdogs claim that the right these political organizations have to raise tax free dollars without having to provide any true charitable service is not just unfair, but leading to a lack of real welfare programs in a wake of many dollars being raised tax free.

Art and Politics - Field Style

Mission Paradox Blog

One of my favorite political blogs is Al Giordano's The Field.    In this excellent post, Al talks Obama's Stimulus, the Arts and the implications for the NEA.

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Grants for Photojournalists Telling Compelling Social, Political, And Cultural Stories

Seeking Grant Money Today

The Grants for Editorial Photography program is designed to provide professional and student photographers with the creative freedom to create compelling social, political, and cultural stories. From The Foundation Center. Deadline: Various Getty Images Offers Grants for Editorial Photography and Nonprofit Work Getty Images has announced a new round of Grants for Editorial Photography and Grants for Good.

Research: Just how much do faith, ethnicity, politics and age affect giving?

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

I recently posted some fascinating information on ethnicity and online behavior; now there’s a study on various donors by religion, political persuasion, ethnicity and age and it, too, may reveal some surprising things. The study also looked at the influence of political persuasion, ethnicitiy and age. Most popular among people in the 45 – 69 age group and political moderates and liberals. Making sweeping assumptions about donors and activists is dangerous.

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Grants for Nonprofits Using Art to Address Root Causes of Economic, Political, and Social Injustice

Seeking Grant Money Today

Deadline: April 25, 2011 Left Tilt Fund Invites Grant Applications for Social Justice Projects The San Francisco-based Left Tilt Fund is a private nonprofit social justice foundation that funds organizations and artists working to address the root causes of economic, political, and social injustice through community-based organizing, education, legal advocacy, and other innovative means. From The Foundation Center. [As

Development Fatigue

A Small Change

Politics & Motivation Are you experiencing “Development Fatigue”? Many donors go through “Donor Fatigue” when they have been asked too often for a donation but that’s not what I’m talking about. Do you ever feel like you have been asking too much and just don’t have any more “development” left in you? I think this happens to the very best of us. We have to wear a lot of hats in the development world from motivator to advocate, solicitor to coach, and many more.

Oh No! Not Another Good Idea

A Small Change

Politics & Motivation Do you ever feel like you have way to many ideas? Or do you feel like you have a lot of great ideas and things you want to do but never end up with time to get them done? How do you manage your good ideas? Do you ever find yourself partway through a new book on fundraising and are overcome with the number of programs or techniques you want to change?

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Happy Birthday to Me!

A Small Change

Politics & Motivation If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s my birthday. Birthdays seem to be the only day of the year everyone is okay with someone tooting their own horn. So here it goes… A Small Change has sort of been a life’s work for me. There have been incredible moments, I’ve met amazing people and its been a fun ride. To be clear I’m not giving it up. But I am no longer going it alone either.

Apply Today for FREE Fellowship to Learn More About the Role of the Internet in Fixing Politics!

Marketing for Nonprofits

This year’s focus is “Can the Internet Fix Politics?” Want to learn more about how the Internet can fuel your public policy efforts? Interested in fine-tuning your social media skills for greater advocacy success? Fenton Communications , a well-respected public interest communications firm, is offering a 10 FREE fellowships to 2010 Personal Democracy Forum conference. The conference will be held June 3 - 4 in NYC.

The Art of Phone Follow Up

A Small Change

Politics & Motivation board members follow up phone calls solicitation Follow up calls use to be the least favorite part of my job. It can be a lot of mental work to sit down with a list of phone numbers and make call after call after call. But, the more I started to make follow up calls the more I started to like them. How else can an organization keep in touch with a large number of constituents in a short period of time?

Revitalizing Fundraising

A Small Change

Politics & Motivation We work in a challenging profession. There is a lot about what we do that is exciting but a lot that can sometime feel overwhelming. My wife and I recently had a baby. I use to think I had some measure of selflessness in me. Getting married I started to get a vague idea that life was not all about me. When we had a baby I was forced to come to terms with the reality that life really isn’t about me anymore at all.

Grants for Independent Film Or Radio Projects Relating Critical Social or Political Issues

Seeking Grant Money Today

The fund invites applications for projects of all genres that address critical social and political issues, combine intellectual clarity with creative use of the medium, and demonstrate understanding of how the production will be used for progressive social justice organizing. From The Foundation Center.