Tag: donors

Unleashing Cascades of Generosity

Leave a Comment January 12, 2015

A book excerpt from Matterness: What Fearless Leaders Know About the Power and Promise of Social Media by Allison Fine:

Karen Klein was riding a school bus filled with middle-school children in Greece, NY, on June 19, 2012. Karen had been safely delivering children to and from school for twenty-three years, but as much as that Tuesday was like any other day on the bus, it was also profoundly different. The yelling and taunting that routinely occurs on school buses across the country spiraled out of control that day, and rather than aiming their cruel verbal fusillades at one another, three seventh-grade boys aimed it at Karen — and a fourth videotaped it on his cell phone. (more…)

Is Your Cause Ready To Matter More To People This Year?

Leave a Comment January 12, 2015

For an excerpt of, "Matterness" click on the image.

Here Are Five Steps to Get You Moving in the Right Direction from Allison Fine, author of “Matterness, what fearless leaders know about the power and promise of social media.” For an excerpt of Allison’s book, click here.

  1. Think Abundance. Do you spend more time in meetings discussing what could go wrong or what could go right? Is your organization afraid of what people out there could do to harm your organization, or are you excited about engaging in their natural creativity and enthusiasm? Are critics treated as whackadoodles intending to do harm or as friends who are frustrated and want you to do better?
  2. Start Speaking With Not At Your Constituents. Stop using social media to just broadcast messages at people and start using them to ask real questions the answers to which are important to your efforts.
  3. Work with Your Crowds. Get in conversation with your crowds wherever they are. Ask them to do something creative with you, learn something together, gather information and intelligence, co-create an event together – before your ask them to buy a ticket!
  4. Gather Your People On Land. Gather ten or so donors together in someone’s home and talk about your cause with them. Discuss whether and how you make them feel like they matter. Do your communications feel personal? Does it feel like you only communicate with them to ask for money? Are they learning more about the cause?
  5. Figure Out What Scares You Most About Social Media– And Do It. Find a friend to teach you how to tweet, and spend a half an hour a day on Twitter. Talk to a critic on your blog, directly, like a human being, for the world to see. Encourage your younger staffers to use social media to talk about the organization (with some ground rules and talking points) and let them make mistakes. The sky won’t fall – I promise.
    Allison Fine is among the pre-eminent guides to the social media revolution. Her new book is Matterness: What Fearless Leaders Know About the Power and Promise of Social Media. Matterness explains how and why people and organizations are better together with social media. It implores organizational leaders to stop focusing in the mythical fears keeping them locked behind their walls and to start working with rather than at people. In the end, the book explains that we don’t need better people; we need better leaders

Busting the Myth of Overhead: What Really Matters in Charitable Giving

Leave a Comment December 29, 2014

Image courtesy of Charity Defense Council

It’s the home stretch for donors to make tax deductible charitable gifts in 2014.  To help donors choose wisely during this season of giving, some websites focus on overhead costs to judge a nonprofits’ effectiveness. But contrary to popular belief, overhead costs don’t tell the whole story. “Don’t ask if a charity has low overhead.  Ask if it has big impact,” according to entrepreneur and author Dan Pallota. (more…)

How Nonprofits Can Keep the Momentum Going After #GivingTuesday

Leave a Comment December 10, 2014

This year “GivingTuesday” generated at least $45.7 million for nonprofit organizations.  That’s up roughly 65 percent from 2013 according to givingtuesday.org.  Here are five ways to keep that momentum going through December and beyond:

Cultivate Social Media

Interact with donors and viewers on social media by thanking them, re-tweeting, or replying to direct messages.  For example Irwin Naturals, an alternative health company, posted a picture showing how their fundraising project helped a retirement home decorate for the holidays.

Also amplify your message with visuals and infographics.  Utilize free tools like Picktochart, Visuall.y and InfoActive.  You can find the top 12 websites at http://www.practicalecommerce.com/.  Another option is to upload and edit videos with your iphone using videolicious and camtastic.

Tools like storify or tagboard.com can showcase mentions to donors.  This tagboard from GreatNonprofits’ 2014 Top-Rated awards exemplifies how nonprofits are using videos, testimonials, and awards in their social media.  The Cambodian Children’s Fund combined a visual of their clients with the award.  Summit Adventure featured one of their participants talking for 30 minutes about the impact of their program.  You can also use certificates like the one on the right. (more…)

#GivingTuesday is Here! …Now What?

Leave a Comment November 5, 2014

So the day we’ve all been waiting for is here!  #GivingTuesday – a national movement and brainchild of the 92nd Street Y– The idea is to create a daylong national effort to help charities raise money online during the holiday season – and right on the heals of Cyber Monday and Black Friday.  We’ve been preparing for months. But what do you do when the day is here?  Here are tips depending on who you are!

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Most Often Asked Questions About Donor Communications

Leave a Comment May 14, 2014

Article written by Tom Ahern

I’ve found that most donors just browse – they don’t really read our materials. Considering the time and cost involved, why keep sending them?

I teach a workshop called “Writing for Results.” It’s about winning new donors and keeping existing donors. The first thing I tell the audience is this: donor communications are NOT about reading; donor communications are about getting people to ACT on your behalf — either now or later. What does a newsletter do for a charity? It helps retain donors. Not because they read the articles and decide they’ll stay, but because you show how you love and need them as they skim the photos and headlines. (more…)

Spring Cleaning for Social Good!

Leave a Comment March 14, 2014

Four Ways Your Spring Cleaning Can Be Used For Social Good.

Housebound by bad weather? Why not do a little pre-emptive spring cleaning. Start small; maybe you have a linen closet or a bookshelf that could use some pruning. Don’t think of it as chore, but as a way to pass along items you no longer need to someone in need. Here are four things you can do: donate books, linens, clothing, or if you’re selling on eBay, donate a portion of the proceeds. You’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel and how much you can help. (more…)

Nonprofit Love: Two FREE Online Events from GuideStar You Won’t Want to Miss

Leave a Comment January 30, 2014

Guidestar – our partner – has declared February the month of February Nonprofit Love (we concur!).  To help nonprofits, Guidestar is launching a series of webinars that are coming up in February. Both of these webinars are topics we at GreatNonprofits care about – transparency and feedback. And, we’re speaking at one of the events. So please, come one, come all. Register for the events below. Collectively, we can’t wait to have you.

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2014 Golden Globe Nominees: Celebrities and The Causes They Care About

Leave a Comment January 3, 2014


As the Hollywood awards season begins to rev up, all eyes are front and center on the celebrities who will be strutting their stuff at the Golden Globes.  Celebrities receive much critical acclaim for their work on the silver screen, but beyond the glitz and the glamour of showbiz, many of these household names are quietly serving on the sidelines as active philanthropists.  Many celebrities are doing far more than just writing a check or turning up at a gala or cocktail party – some of the headlining nominees at this year’s Golden Globes are passionate volunteers, advocates, or founders of their own nonprofit organizations.  Here are some of the 2014 Golden Globe nominees who are dedicated to causes far away from the lights of Hollywood.

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5 Strategies for Choosing the Right Charity

Leave a Comment October 10, 2013

David Bakke, a Money Crashers contributor, discusses strategies to save money and find ways to give back and make a difference.

When it comes to choosing the right charity, you’re going to want to do your homework. Because of recent economic struggles, Americans have less disposable income on-hand to donate to our favorite causes than we once did. This means that when you do donate, you want to make sure ever dollar counts. To make sure you direct your charitable dollars to the right place, follow these five tips… (more…)

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