Friday
Feb272015

Wrap Up of Nonprofit Llama Drama

Did you catch the llamas on the loose yesterday? They were all the rage, and some nonprofits ran with it too.

If you missed it, let's quickly recap: Described as the "Bonnie and Clyde of llamas," two llamas broke out of an Arizona retirement home and instigated a high-speed llama chase across the state. The Twittersphere erupted, nonprofits spoke out, and the llamas were on everyone's radar.

The nonprofits who used the llamascade to their advantage tied the incident to their cause. It's critical to be flexible and able to curate content relevant to events in real-time, while making it relatable to your audience and in this case fun.

How did you your nonprofit use the llama drama to your advantage? And if you didn't jump on the bandwagon, how can you envision tailoring these types of events to your audience when they are quickly unfolding in realtime?

Friday
Feb272015

Awesome Sessions and Events to Supercharge Your #15NTC

The Nonprofit Technology Conference holds a special place in my heart and my calendar. This year, #15NTC brings the party to Austin, TX. Besides an agenda that's chock-full of fun parties, juicy sessions, and inspiring speakers, NTC is also a chance to reconnect with colleagues, meet other professionals, techies, and organizers in your movement and network.

Whether you need help gearing up to implement a new cloud software solution, you're experimenting with mobile messaging, or reviewing your online fundraising campaigns, NTC is a great opportunity to learn from others' experiences.

Here are a few of the events and sessions on my radar as I plan for 15NTC. 

#NTCBeer

Tuesday, March 3rd 7pm

Many thanks to Peter Campbell for keeping this tradition alive! #NTCBeer, now in it's 7th year, will help kickoff NTC in a big bubbly way. RSVP on Facebook.

Wearable and Mobile Tech: What it Means for Nonprofits

Wednesday, March 4 1:30-3:00pm

Mobile technology is taking over! From apps to beacons, drones, and mobile ad targeting, this session will review new possibilities mobile tech is creating for nonprofits and how you can make smart investments in mobile. http://sched.co/1z3V

Does Your Content Strategy Now Trump SEO? Trends and Tips to Help You Get Found in 2015

Thursday, March 5 10:30am - 12:00pm

Information discovery is changing. People learn about news or issues through Facebook first. So what does that mean for your SEO strategy? What can you do, as a nonprofit, to get found? Learn why your content strategy is now so essential for getting your message out, and how to get noticed online in 2015 without spending a fortune. http://sched.co/2GO9

Building Diversity, Accountability, and Empowerment into Your Organization

Thursday, March 5 1:30pm - 3:00pm

An honest assessment of where we’re falling short and strategies for moving forward will help us build welcoming, sustainable communities for social change. http://sched.co/1z4X

Sex, Lies, and the Internet

Friday, March 6 • 10:30am - 12:00pm

This panel will wrestle with how to fight online harassment and online mobs, and why it matters to all of us in the nonprofit community. http://sched.co/1z4Z (Note: I'll be moderating this panel. Stop by and say hi!)

Igniting the Plenary Stage

Morning of Day 1 and 3

This was one of my favorite parts of last year's NTC. Ignite sessions give presenters 5 minutes and 20 slides to share a unique story. Listen up, it goes quickly! Check out the lineup of Igniters here.

Online NTC

Can't make it to Austin? Check out the online NTC. There are a ton of great sessions available live and moderators are great at taking questions from the online audience.

What are you looking forward to? See you in Austin!

Tuesday
Feb172015

Digital Adoption Survey Aims to Learn More About the Digital Divide 

How do online services and Internet access help you and your team deliver services and programs, and connect you with the people you serve? A new Digital Adoption Survey  explores how organizations keep staff connected, from offices to virtual teams, as well as how the Internet factors into program or service delivery.

NTEN and Mobile Citizen are teaming up for this survey to better understand online technology and digital inclusion among nonprofits and the communities nonprofits serve. Throughout this digital adoption survey, we define digital divide as any barrier that prevents people from being able to access technology.

With this survey, NTEN and Mobile Citizen also seek to better understand how your organization’s communities influence the technological decisions your staff and board make. We hope this research provides an initial benchmark that we can all learn from and build on together.

Data from the survey will be shared in multiple formats this Spring,including a full report, webinars, and case studies. Better understanding the tools and needs of nonprofit staff and the community will also help develop resources, educational programs, and other content in the near future. But to get this information, they need your help.

We're calling on all nonprofits to take this short and important survey. All survey participants can enter a drawing for a $500 Amazon Gift Card! The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Your answers will remain anonymous and will be reported in aggregate only.
Saturday
Feb142015

Infographic: 10 Things To Consider In Your Social Media Strategy 

Remember the early days of social media when you did not have to cut through all of the noise and things felt more like a community rather than a popularity contest? I can't begin to tell you know how many nonprofits I talk to these days who are just interested in vanity metrics - gaining followers and FB Likes rather than focusing their social media on building relationships with the closest people to you, your community and then the network, followed by the crowd. This is a key principle in the book Amy Sample Ward of NTEN and I wrote about in our book Social Change Anytime Everywhere.

I recently came across this infographic that broke down some interesting social media related data points, especially related to how we think about distinct networks on social media and how your biggest advocates tend to have the fewest followers. According to the infographic, Twitter has 6 distinct networks. Some of this clustering can also be applied to other networks like Facebook.

1) Polarized Crowd - This crowd tends to be divisive and is often quite political.

2) Tight Crowds - These people come together to share similar interests.

3) Brand Clusters - These focus on brands (including nonprofits), events, and trends.

4) Community Clusters - People who cluster together to discuss or rally around events.

5) Broadcast Networks - These focus on media outlets and famous people.

6) Support Networks - These focus on companies or services with customer support.

If your nonprofit is not thinking about engagement around similar clusters consider tweaking it. You will foster better conversations among your community and deepen supporter engagement for your organization. For example, your advocates are tight crowds that share similar interests (your organization mission being a core interest). Your nonprofit also serves as a support network for your advocates, volunteers, and donors. Think of your presence on social networks as part of your "suppporter care team." 

Be sure and also check out the rest of the infographic below that includes other good data such as how quickly people expect for you to respond to them on social media and the best time and day of the week to post.

Thursday
Feb122015

Report: Insights Into Nonprofit's 2015 Digital Strategy

Now that we're settling into the new year, it's time to reassess your goals you set for the year. If you are a regular Care2 Frogloop reader, I know that digital was a key part of your plans. Right? Ok, even if it wasn't, we've got some news for you. Care2, hjc, and NTEN just released data they collected from 473 nonprofit professionals to bring you the 2015 Digital Outlook Report.

The report notes that while not every organization's approach to digital strategy is the same, this research identifies an outlook with definite trends and paths to success. This success becomes visible when connecting digital strategy (in its many forms) to broader themes in nonprofit marketing, communications, and fundraising. Though, it's critical to remember that even though cross-sector benchmarks are incredibly valuable, what works for some organizations may not work for yours so you always need to be testing to see what sticks.

With that in mind, here are some of the highlights of the 2015 Digital Outlook Report:

  • Dedicated Digital staff. It's a full time job. Unfortunately, more than half (56.81%) of respondents noted not having any staff dedicated to digital strategy.  
  • Focus on Visual Storytelling. 68.4% of survey respondents plan on using more video this year than last. About 63% plan on focusing more on images, and 58% plan on doing more infographics. Data visualizations can provide appealing hooks for press, and infographics frequently generate an impressive amount of media and blog coverage for the organization releasing them. 
  • Get to Know your Donors.Charities who had created personas of their ideal donors were more successful in converting leads to donors and first-time donors to second-time donors. Of those creating personas, 62% (compared to 55%) of respondents converted leads to donors within the first three months.
  • Develop a Digital Content Strategy. We know there are lots of reasons that you might not have a fully fleshed out digital plan, but nearly 65% of respondents cited budget constraints as the primary restriction for planning new digital strategies.

The report dives even deeper into digital strategy for 2015, so read the full report here for even more suggestions and insight into what nonprofits will be taking on. What are your goals for digital strategy this year?

Thursday
Jan292015

Is the Humans of New York Community Every Nonprofit's Dream?

Good fundraising can make or break any nonprofit, but what makes truly good fundraising? One of the most important factors for success is a highly engaged community who is extremely passionate about your mission. Humans of New York (HONY) is an amazing example of how building an engaged community inspires people to rally together and raise money for an issue they are moved by.

Humans of New York is the project of Brandon Stanton, a photographer who brings the world daily doses of the beautiful, scary, infinite, and intimate realities of people across New York City, and occasionally, the world. On Facebook alone, HONY has close to 12M Likes. Each of HONY's posts receive 2K to 10K+ comments and shares.

A week ago, Stanton profiled a student from the Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a middle school in Brooklyn, with the highest crime rate in New York City.

The student gushed to Stanton about his principal:


When we get in trouble, she doesn't suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter.


Shortly after, the principal (Nadia Lopez) was profiled, and the story inspired an incredible crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for her school, led by Stanton. To date, the campaign has raised over $1 million, which is $900,000 more than his original fundraising goal.

Originally the fundraising campaign was going to fund a 6th grade class trip to Harvard. Since many of the students have never left New York, she wanted them to know what it felt like to stand on the campus of one of the world's top schools, and know that they belonged.

The campaign immediately resonated with the HONY community and it took off.

Check out these stats:


  • It only took 45 minutes to raise the initial goal of $100,000.

  • The average donationto Humans of New York’s fundraiser for Mott Hall Bridges Academy is $27, much less than other for-good fundraisers.

  • Over $890,000 has been raised in 6 DAYS. As a comparison, HONY print sales have raised nearly $500,000 for charity, which is also a significant accomplishment.


After the campaign surpassed its fundraising goal, Stanton announced that all funds raised beyond $700,000 will be reserved for a scholarship fund available to the graduates of Mott Hall Bridges Academy.

 

It's an incredible fundraising story and demonstrates the real power of building an engaged community and the type of impact they can have in crowdfunding campaigns. But make no mistake, crowdfunding campaigns are not easy to pull off. Many don't reach their fundraising goals. If your nonprofit wants to test crowdfuding campaigns, you'll want to incorporate these 7 key crowdunding tips.

For HONY, the success did not happen overnight. It took years of building a community and engaging them in the simple everyday life of New Yorkers from all walks of life.

So how does HONY's crowdfunding campaign compare to other nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns? The average donation to the HONY crowdfunding campaign is about $27. That's significantly lower than the $88 average donation to nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns, according to Rad Campaign, my web agency's research on behalf of Craig Newmark, of craigconnects, where we looked at the effects of crowdfunding. You can see the dataset here in this infographic.

Over the course of our research, we spoke with prominent crowdfunding platforms such as Causes, Causevox, FirstGiving, StayClassy, Razoo. Other key findings were:


  • On average, more than 28% of crowdfunding donors will donate again.

  • Fundraisers who receive their first donation during the first 3 days of the campaign are more likely to hit their goal than those who don't.

  • Over $9,000 on average is raised on nonprofit campaign crowdfunding pages, significantly less than HONY.


What has inspired you the most about Humans of New York, and this incredible fundraiser?

 

Wednesday
Jan282015

2015 Nonprofit Technology Staffing & Investments Survey

Did you know that over 64% of nonprofits include technology in their strategic plan, and there's been an increase in the number of "data" staff at nonprofits? These are some of the key findings from last year's Nonprofit Technology Staffing & Investments research. Help us figure out if that trend stayed true in 2014.

In partnership with Care2 and TechSoup Global, NTEN is conducting the 9th annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments survey in order to provide both benchmarks and qualitative data about technology decisions and practices among the NTEN, Care2, and TechSoup Global's community.

> Share your experience: please take the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Staffing & Investments Survey! Everyone who takes the survey will be invited to enter a drawing for a $500 Amazon Gift Card.

Data from previous surveys has helped nonprofit leaders answer challenging questions by providing greater context of what similar - and possibly more successful - organizations are doing when it comes to staffing, budgeting, planning, and spending.

But to get this information, we need your help! Please participate in the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Staffing & Investments Survey! 

The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Your answers will remain anonymous and will be reported in aggregate only. A report based on the findings from this survey will be made available in the first half of 2015, as a free resource for the nonprofit sector. For more information about data from last year's survey, check out the 8th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing Report

Thanks in advance for your participation in this research initiative for the nonprofit sector!