Make an Earth Day Pledge to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

March 12, 2015 at 12:20pm Leave a Comment

Earth Day is right around the corner.  It’s the perfect time of year to do some spring-cleaning and reduce your carbon footprint.  The Carbonfund.org Foundation recommends making these changes to work toward a carbon neutral lifestyle. (more…)

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The Science of Happiness

March 11, 2015 at 08:07am Leave a Comment

What does science tell us about happiness?

What does it mean to be happy? This question has occupied humanity at least since we stumbled out the caves, yet it remains difficult to define. The Greek philosophers pondered happiness 2500 years ago, and it was enshrined in the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776 (history of happiness). Today, entire isles of bookstores are dedicated to the topic. We know through experience that some people are innately happier than others, and that some things promote happiness. But now the nature of happiness isn’t just for the philosophers to debate, it is now a hot area of scientific research. The psychological study of happiness is known as “positive psychology.” The neurologist call their inquiries into pleasure and happiness “hedonics.” (more…)

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GreatNonprofits Social Media Kit

March 10, 2015 at 04:57pm Leave a Comment

To help you field more reviews, GreatNonprofits is publishing this comprehensive Marketing and Social Media slide presentation. Use this resource to get on the list or spread the word of your nonprofit’s stories of impact. If you prefer word documents, check our slideshare account for this guide.

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New Text Message Review Feature Offers Nonprofits Instant Feedback

March 5, 2015 at 11:37am Leave a Comment

Ninety-eight percent of text messages are read and the majority are opened within three minutes of being sent, according to Techipedia.  In comparison 84% of Facebook news feed stories aren’t viewed, 71% of tweets get ignored and 88% of emails go unopened.  To leverage the power of texting, GreatNonprofits created a new SMS, or “short message service”, review feature. (more…)

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Little Kids Rock

March 5, 2015 at 07:52am Leave a Comment

Little Kids Rock

It started in 1996 with one teacher in one classroom. Frustrated by lack of music education at his school, David Wish offered an afterschool guitar class and Little Kids Rock was born.

During the past 13 years, Little Kids Rock has donated more than 43,000 free instruments and provided music lessons to over 325,000 underprivileged kids in 12 states and Washington, D.C.

Fast-forward to 2014, when Little Kids Rock partnered with Berklee College of Music to launch a three-year roll out of “Amp Up NYC,” an expansion of Little Kids Rock’s Modern Band program. Its goal is to reach 60,000 kids in an additional 600 schools in New York City, the largest school district in the U.S. (more…)

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3 Tips For Responding to Negative Feedback

March 4, 2015 at 08:00am Leave a Comment

This article was originally a post published by Cami Bird on LocalVox’s Blog.  View the original post here.

One of the biggest concerns small businesses have when they start getting reviews online is that they have no control over them. Whether they are negative, positive, indifferent or flat-out incorrect, a small business owner can’t just take them down.

With 79% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, that concern is quite valid.

But, just because you cannot control what is being written doesn’t mean you can’t control how your business is perceived online.

Don’t be afraid of a negative review; 68% of consumers trust reviews more when there are good and bad ones. People have differing opinions and rating scales. The fact of the matter is your business can never please 100% of your customers and people want to see that, otherwise your reviews seem fake.

Second, when you get a negative review, it’s not the end of the story. The ball is now in your court and you have the opportunity to act.

Responding to Negative Reviews

The key to responding to negative reviews is really just responding. There are ways to effectively respond, but not responding means you aren’t even trying to change your customer’s mind. You’ve worked hard for your business. Don’t let someone tarnish your integrity over something you can fix or reassess.

Additionally, you’ll want to respond quickly and with emotions set aside. This moves into effective responses. While having an ‘epic’ response to a bad review can take your story viral, it doesn’t do much for your actual customers.

3 Steps to Effective Review Responses

Breaking it down to the most basic parts of a response, these three steps keep things terse and on point with the customer’s concern.

1. Acknowledge Their Pain

Start your response by acknowledging your reviewer is upset and apologize for their bad experience.

You want to keep this as short and to the point as possible as to not give your upset customer something else to rage about. Don’t make excuses about their experience, just acknowledge it has happened and you regret it did.

 
2. Take the Conversation Offline

Before writing anymore in your response, end it by asking them to discuss the matter more in private. Not only does this take the chance of further negativity away from the public eye, but it shows that you care about each customer’s experience.

3. Resolve the Issue

Resolving the issue may not end in both parties walking away happy, but it does mean ending the conversation with an understanding.

After following the first two steps you have done more than what is expected to treat your customers well, even those that don’t want to be customer’s anymore.

If they contact you privately, discuss their experience and possibly offer them a discount (if feasible, but shouldn’t be the answer to every negative review) or ask for a second chance. Whether they take you up on the offer or not is irrelevant, the fact that you are addressing their concerns it what matters.

Facebook Issues

On Facebook and Google My Business you can respond to reviews, which is great for your search results and Page ‘Like’s, but, specifically on Facebook, sometimes you cannot actually see all the reviews.

Some people have certain privacy settings that allow only their Facebook friends to see what they have written, making it even more important to monitor and respond to the reviews you can on the network.

While Facebook will hopefully fix this issue soon, it would be wise to have the Contact Form app added to your Page for disgruntled customers to always be able to get in touch with you. Push for those who are not happy with their experience to contact you directly.

Don’t let digital word of mouth hurt your company by not speaking out! By giving your customers a chance to review you on Google and Facebook you not only get feedback on your business, but have the ability to influence how your company is perceived by prospective customers.

Take back some control of your reviews, first by monitoring for them and second by responding to every negative review, as well as occasionally positive and moderate ones.

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Who’s Ready for an Alternative Spring Break?

March 3, 2015 at 08:00am Leave a Comment

 

In the dead of winter, who doesn’t daydream about the upcoming spring break or summer vacation?  Did you ever consider planning an “alternative break,” donating your time and energy to a community needing help while having fun?  To help inspire you we’ve come up with a list of ideas.

(more…)

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How to Get Your Press Release Noticed

February 26, 2015 at 04:36pm Leave a Comment

Securing media coverage for your nonprofit organization can be frustrating, especially when you take the time to send a press release and never hear anything back.  But journalists are on a tight deadline and don’t have the time to respond to every pitch.  In order to make your press release stand out, follow these three simple strategies:  pitch a relevant story angle, write like a journalist, and add a personal touch.

The number one question newsroom editors ask before covering a story is “why should I care?”  To make your story matter it needs to have a timely angle or tie into a local/national trend.  For example if you are promoting water conservation, lead in with a startling statistic about California’s drought or an upcoming event like Earth Day.  Another strategy is to pitch a follow-up piece on a story the journalist has covered in the past.  If the reporter did a story about overcrowding at an animal shelter, suggest they meet with your no-kill nonprofit about how to get more cats and dogs adopted.

It is also important to make the information in your release easy to find.  “Put the contact information right up top followed by a sentence or two summarizing what it’s about,” recommends Danny Willis with the Bay Area News Group.  Business jargon or over-the-top statements are red flags for media professionals.  The easier you make it for journalists to cover a story, the more likely your story will be picked up.

Finally when you are ready to submit your release, send it to reporters or producers personally.  Journalists rely on a handful of interview contacts for most stories, so the goal is to get on their short list.  Reporters are always looking for passionate experts locally, who are willing to be interviewed at a moment’s notice.  Build relationships with journalists in your city and then follow-up with them personally after sending a press release.  If a media organization does reach out, never turn down an interview request because as the old adage goes “any publicity is good publicity”.

For other ideas about how to get press coverage visit GreatNonprofits’ Social Media and Marketing Kit at http://goo.gl/z45Qvo.

Brittany Freitas is a media professional, with 5+ years of experience producing and reporting local television news.  You can reach her at brittany@greatnonprofits.org.

 

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A Day in the Life of an Everyday Hero at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

January 15, 2015 at 03:24pm Leave a Comment

Muttville Founder Sherri Franklin

At the crack of dawn, Sherri Franklin awakens to a household full of old dogs. Franklin is the founder and CEO of San Francisco based Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.   On any given day, she has a dozen grey muzzles of all sizes camping out at her Potrero Hill home. Franklin had always had a passion for animals, dogs in particular, and more specifically, senior dogs.  As a volunteer for the SF/SPCA, she saw too many older dogs get passed over for adoption. One day, she rescued one—saving it from certain euthanasia and finding it a new home. Her ad-hoc rescue work grew, and in 2007 she founded Muttville. (more…)

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GreatNonprofits: 2014 Review and What’s in Store for 2015

January 13, 2015 at 01:26pm Leave a Comment

Find out what we've built and what's in store.

Thank you for using GreatNonprofits. This past year we experienced tremendous traffic growth that allowed us to increase visibility for nonprofits. Here’s a quick overview of what people are saying, new features, and what’s in store for 2015.

Infographic

80% of Donors Said Reviews Influence Donations

“GreatNonprofits is a valuable tool in helping decide what organizations to donate to.”
GreatNonprofits user

Computer with GreatNonprofits Logo

Reviews Engage Volunteers

“GreatNonprofits is another source of validation that really engages volunteers in sharing their experiences about a nonprofit that they care about.”
First Graduate

2014 at a Glance

This year was a year of growth and increased visibility for nonprofits. With this growth, GreatNonprofits is now the largest source of community information about nonprofits.  Here are some facts at a glance, plus new tools we’ve built (see infographic):

  • GreatNonprofits pages were viewed 13 million times (up 50% from 2013!)
  • More than 40,000 reviews were added to bring reviews to more than 200,000
  • 1,700 nonprofits were voted Top-Rated
  • We extended reach by growing social media: We now have more than 55,000 followers on Twitter and more than 36,000 likes on Facebook
  • We launched a new mobile-friendly website
  • We introduced new donation functionality for all U.S. nonprofits
  • We launched SMS reviews. Now users can submit reviews by text. No Internet required.
  • We syndicated reviews to more partner sites, such as Foundant
  • We were gifted a new video website for nonprofits, the GivingLibrary.org (more…)
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