Unleashing Cascades of Generosity

January 12, 2015 at 12:00pm Leave a Comment

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…)

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

January 12, 2015 at 11:45am Leave a Comment

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
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The Promise of Charity: A Gift to Yourself and Others

January 9, 2015 at 11:10am Leave a Comment

The traditional season of giving may be coming to an end, but there is still time to give back or make a meaningful contribution to the community. But how do we get started? What groups should we give to in our community? (more…)

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10 Tips for Effective Video Storytelling

January 8, 2015 at 11:10am Leave a Comment

Creating a video for your nonprofit organization can be a daunting task.  But the benefits of getting behind the camera, or in front of it, are worth it.  “1.8 million words is the value of one minute of video,” according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.  Videos inspire people to get involved or donate to a cause.  It is estimated that 100 million internet users watch online video everyday.  If you’re ready to get started, here are some simple guidelines for creating a video narrative: (more…)

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Keeping Warm from Head to Toe

January 7, 2015 at 03:19pm Leave a Comment

The holidays may be over, but the good will and spirit of sharing doesn’t have to stop.  In fact, the winter weather continues for at least a couple of months and we have far too many neighbors and residents in our cities spending frigid nights outside, with no shelter. If you were overcome by activities over the holidays, maybe now, in the new year, you’ll have a chance to help those in need.  Here are some organizations that work year round, collecting warm coats, shoes, and blankets. Hopefully you will be moved and encouraged by their stories to help those in your own community who are in need.

A “bag of love” filled with a handmade blanket, a stuffed animal, and a few of life’s necessities give a child a sense of security in uncertain times. Top-rated by GreatNonprofits in 2014, Bags of Love, based in Eugene, OR, has distributed over 5,000 bags to children in crisis since 2008. As one volunteer states: “…each person plays an important role in making Bags of Love reach as many children in our community as possible, whether it is sewing bags and quilts, filling bags or delivering bags, serving on the Board, or helping with fundraising events.”

In partnership with firefighters, Rotary and other civic clubs, local

businesses, and community agencies, Operation Warm provides brand new winter coats to at-risk children who live in need. The gift of a brand new winter coat brings a child happiness and warmth and empowers her to attend school and play outside on cold winter days. Located in Chadds Ford, PA, Operation Warm helps kids across the US.  “Working with this organization has opened my eyes not only to the problems facing the underprivileged in our country, but that there are thousands of volunteers and campaigns to do something to stop it.” (more…)

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McDonalds, Costco and Macy’s—Largest US Employers Provide Most Generous Donations

December 29, 2014 at 10:28am Leave a Comment

With only a few more weeks before the end of 2014, we encourage nonprofits and individuals to take advantage ofthe billions of dollars in employer matching funds available.

At least $10 billion in workplace matching funds go unclaimed each year; often, corporate employees do not even know about the opportunity for their employer to match their charitable gifts.  (more…)

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

December 29, 2014 at 12:01am Leave a Comment

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…)

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GreatNonprofits 2014 Data Report

December 22, 2014 at 12:14pm Leave a Comment

It’s been a great year, everybody! To wrap up the year, here are great infographics of GreatNonprofits’ Data Summary for 2014! (more…)

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How Nonprofits Can Keep the Momentum Going After #GivingTuesday

December 10, 2014 at 03:51pm Leave a Comment

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…)

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GreatNonprofits Welcomes New Board Members and New Board Chair

December 10, 2014 at 11:18am Leave a Comment

GreatNonprofits welcomes Parker Blackman as the new Board Chair, and new board members Bill Crane, former VP of at LinkedIn, and Reed Colley, CEO of FlightPath!

Parker Blackman is the Founder and Principal of Parker Strategies. Previously Blackman served as Chief Operating Officer and West Coast Managing Director at Fenton, the largest public interest communications firm in the nation.  During that time he successfully led the San Francisco office, established Fenton’s Los Angeles office, built the firm’s digital capabilities, and led the transition from a public relations to an integrated communications firm.

Blackman served as partner and lead strategist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, First 5 LA, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Playworks. He has consulted for movement leaders including Arianna Huffington & Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

“Parker Blackman will be a terrific asset for GreatNonprofits. His work at Fenton in organizational leadership and communications strategy was legendary,” said Mal Warwick, who is retiring after eight years as board chair. (more…)

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