Upcoming Nonprofit Events to Check Out

It's finally gotten really hot in DC and across the country, so you may be less than thrilled at the thought of walking around looking at community bulletins boards for the latest events. It's just as easy to miss great events spread across the web. That's why we've compiled a list of a few upcoming events and webinars you won't want to miss.


Multi-Channel Loyalty Programs: Increasing Customer Engagement and Frequency
July 16, 2013. Webinar, 1pm EST.
Cost: Free

Next generation loyalty platforms have made it easy for brands to reward consumers for engaging online and offline through any channel: web, social, mobile, retail, and now email. Join PunchTab for this one-hour webinar exploring:

  • How multi-channel rewards programs help brands build and engage audiences;
  • How to reward users for providing customer insights you can use towards targeted messaging;
  • How email marketing isn't just integral but required to drive a successful rewards and loyalty program; 

Surefire Ways Social Media Can Create Social Change
July 17, 2013. Webinar, 1pm EST.
Cost: Free

You know that social media is progressing and changing every single day and most people don't have the time to keep up with the most effective way to do it right. Not to worry though, this webinar, hosted by Blackbaud, will give you all the tips you need to know to do social media right.

The speakers include:

  • myslef - Allyson Kapin, Co-founder of Rad Campaign
  • Amy Sample Ward, CEO of NTEN

Get concrete advice from the newly released book Social Change Anytime Everywhere on what you need to be doing to build and mobilize your communities through multifaceted campaigns and by integrating social media into your online communications and outreach. 

Create Compelling Year-End Fundraising Campaigns 
July 18, 2013. Webinar, 2pm EST.
Cost: $96

Now that we are more than halfway through the year, you may have started thinking about your year-end campaigns. This webinar, hosted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, will walk you through how to bolster your year-end fundraising results and attract new donors who will continue to be loyal supporters long after the holiday season.

The speakers include:

  • Peter Pugliese, e-Fundraising Manager, Autism Speaks
  • Will Nolan, Director of Communications and Administration, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
  • Elizabeth Ricca, Director of Strategy, Big Duck

The speakers will showcase campaigns from smaller groups that produced impressive results, as well as share tips for creating a compelling year-end campaign without breaking your budget.

Generation 2 Generation Award Celebration
July 19, 2013. Washington, DC.
Cost: $30 - $50

Join Choice USA this weekend for the Generation 2 Generation Celebration & Awards. This is the event to attend if you want to be inspired by young reproductive justice advocates and their mentors. And you won't want to miss keynote speaker, Jessica Valenti. The last year has seen many attacks on reproductive freedom, but it's also been a year of victories rooted in the passion and commitment of young people working for justice. If that's not a reason to celebrate, then what is?

Click to read more ...


Social Media Tips That May Not Be So Obvious

Social Media has gone mainstream. Facebook, Twitter, and icons for other social networks show up on packages in the grocery store, on store windows, and on billboards everywhere. TV commercials have hashtags.

The normalization and ever-presence of social media leades people to just assume that they know what to do. What's worse, nonprofits are sometimes afraid to ask questions, for fear of seeming "out of the loop." The good news is that social media's fast pace means that the tips and tricks are constantly changing and evolving. Since nonprofits have so much work to do, on top of keeping up with social media, it's difficult to find the time to master all of the little tips that will help you reach your audiences more efficiently, and in the way that you want.

Here are some tips for Facebook that could make your life a little bit easier.

Tip # 1) Edit Link Preview Titles

When you post links to share with your community, you can edit the Preview titles that Facebook shows to provide more context.


Tip # 2) Edit Preview Text

When you share something important that you know will educate people about your issue, or inspire them to take action, you can make your post more enticing by editing the summary text that Facebook includes with your link.


Tip # 3) Select the Best Pictures

You can change the preview picture by clicking through multiple photo options, or by uploading a photo of your choice. Sometimes there's not a great photo included with the article you want to share and sometimes Facebook can't pull the photo you want in from the other site. Remember that you can toggle through to find the best photo, or upload your own.


Tip # 4) Edit Photo Captions Anytime

Facebook won't let you edit the text of a status update once it's posted, but you can edit the text of a photo after it's been published. This is handy for those times when you just want to get a bunch of photos up quickly. Upload the whole batch to a new album and go back later when you have more time to add captions with more information later. This also has the bonus that your captioning activity may actually help more people to see your photos in a second bump of activity.

  • Just click on the photo, click "Edit" under the text, and enter the text update. When you are finished click "Done Editing."



Tip # 5) Share Poll Quesitons

You can ask your audience questions and add response options to the poll. This is a unique feature that Facebook only offers to Groups and Pages.

  • You can uncheck the box "Allow anyone to add options" to make sure that your organizaion's answers are the only options that that people taking the poll have to choose from. 
  • Or leave it checked if you're looking for some creative feedback.



Tip # 6) Pin Your Best Posts

You can "Pin" posts to the top of your page so that no matter what else gets posted, they stay at the top until you release them. This can be helpful for those times when you have big announcements that you don't want to get lost on your page in the flow of your other content.

Pin something...

And then just as easily Unpin it...


Tip # 7) Schedule Posts

You can schedule your posts directly on Facebook. You know you want to get something out immediately, but you won't have accessible Internet? No problem. Facebook allows you to draft and schedule posts in advance.

  • Just click the little blue clock in the bottom lefthand corner of the Update, and you can schedule it for whenever you'd like. 


Over to You

These are just a few helpful tips to make managing your Facebook Page just a little bit smoother. What are some social media tricks that have made your life a lot easier?



Four Resources Nonprofits Should Check Out

Sometimes I feel like there's an encyclopedia of online advocacy, fundraising, and social media stuck in my head. While I have close to two decades of experience in the nonprofit field and love to share my experiences and data, I’m lucky to be surrounded by such smart nptech folks who share their knowledge with me. Check out some of my favorite resources in the nonprofit space.

Mobilisation Lab:

Started by the digital strategy team at Greenpeace International, the Digital Mobilisation Lab is comprised of a growing global network of staff and volunteers dedicated to people-powered campaigning. They share best practices in online campaigning as well as concrete data and analysis from their A/B testing. They also provide great case studies that are applicable to other nonprofits. For example, one of the case studies that Amy Sample Ward and I profiled in the mobile section of our book Social Change Anytime Everywhere was about “Missed Calls” as an organizing strategy. Mobile phone use in campaigns is not just about text messaging, but about leveraging missed calls. In much of the world, mobile phone networks are the only thing that connects cities and countries to the rest of the world. Landlines are rare, but inexpensive mobile phones are widely available and more accessible. Cost structures are different and often text messaging is cheap while calls are expensive.

In India, for example, “missed calls” have become a campaign tool. Greenpeace India has used missed calls as a cheap and quick way to engage people and build lists. Instead of sending a text message to sign up or get information, a caller dials a number on their phone, waits for the line to connect, and then hangs up. Nobody answers but the incoming number is saved.

In one campaign, citizens rallied to oppose wide scale coal mining in central-eastern India ’s forests. Greenpeace India set up a call number through a mobile vendor and then promoted the campaign with a call to action—call this number to stop the coal mining in central-eastern India ’s forests.

“Callers knew that dialing the number was a way to indicate their support for the campaign. For many in the West, ‘missed calls’ are a bit of a mystery but the practice has been around for years,” says online strategist Ted Fickes, who writes for the Mobilisation Lab.

John Haydon, The Nonprofit Facebook Guy:

I’m pretty sure my pal John Haydon doesn’t sleep very much because he’s either monitoring Facebook’s new features or developing Facebook campaigns for nonprofits. When I’m frustrated with Facebook and just can’t find a solution, I will head over to The Nonprofit Facebook Guy site where I will often find the information I need. John has great tutorials that walk you through Facebook marketing and also offers great insight in his blog posts, such as Why Facebook Marketing Feels so Impossible.

Idealware: I consider Idealware the Consumer Reports for the nonprofit community when it comes to evaluating and rating nonprofit products and technology.  They provide in-depth reports comparing open source content management systems such as Drupal, Joomla, and, WordPress, as well as Constituent Relationship Management systems. Check out their latest reports on the 2103 Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits.

NP Voices: Steve MacLaughlin over at Blackbaud recently launched a great podcast series for nonprofit practitioners. The format is straightforward and informative. Each podcast has about three accomplished guests from the nonprofit sector discussing a range of issues, such as fundraising, social media, mobile, and community building. For example, in Episode 4, Steve talked with Gregg Carlson of the Giving USA Foundation to review the latest Giving USA report, he spoke with Dennis McCarthy of Target Analytics to discuss the new normal of fundraising, and finally Allison Fine joined the show to talk about how to build deeper relationships with supporters.

What are some of your favorite resources in the nonprofit space? I'd love to hear about them.



Are #TweetChats All the Rage?

Tweet Chats can be a useful engagement tool for nonprofits to discuss campaigns, wins, losses, and controversies within the community.

Just this week, when the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional, multiple nonprofits held Tweet Chats to discuss what's next. Activists, progressive nonprofits, same-sex couples, and the LGBTQ community rejoiced nationwide, and were given an opportunity to continue the conversation online. Think Progress, for example, said #RIPDOMA and the sentiment of Peace in RIP was not taken kindly by Think Progress' supporters, and they started providing alternatives to #RIP, as a constructive way to share their opinions.

DOMA was first signed into law in 1996 by Bill Clinton, and it stated that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Proposition 8 took away California same-sex couple's right to marry, and invalidated 18,000 marriages in 2008. The Courage Campaign, a progressive grassroots advocacy organization based in California, created a compelling video campaign for Prop 8 to be repealed. The video, “Fidelity, Don’t Divorce Us” featured same-sex couples who were married before the passage of Proposition 8, asking the state of CA to not divorce them. To this day, it's still one of my favorite videos by a nonprofit. 

The celebration of the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8 was very much online in this social media world. Many organizations, individuals, and celebrities tweeted about their anticipation and excitement.

And a few nonprofits decided to host Tweet Chats following SCOTUS' decisions. One Tweet Chat hosted by the Center for American Progress' #Out4Citizenship committee discussed what the repeal of DOMA means for binational same-sex couples.


Another group of nonprofits, including Choice USA, Transgender Law Center, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, among others, held a Tweet Chat using hashtag, #MoreThanMarriage.


A Twitter Chat is one of the best tools that nonprofits can use to communicate in realtime with your constituency.

What's going on with

  • On June 11, 2013, confirmed that the service would shut down due to Twitter's API changes. Though, loyal TweetChat fans, do not fear: the platform was just purchased by Internet Media Labs.
  • The application was shut down, and the community is currently being migrated to oneQube #SmartStream, a social relationship management and engagement platform.

In the Meantime, Give Twubs a Try:

  • Twubs is a 5 years old hashtag platform that aggregates tweets, photos, and videos, and recently debuted a free, Twitter API-compliant chat tool.
  • It's very reminicent of the TweetChat tool that was recently purchased by Internet Media Labs; Twubs streams tweets from hashtag chats, allowing the host to efficiently moderate the conversation.
  • Nonprofits are able to create public-branded homepages to present your brand. This can help foster a more trustworthy relationship with your followers.
  • It's easy to follow along, even if you're a late-joiner. There's a separate area above the tweet stream that identifies the chat's host and can explain what the Tweet Chat is about.

Have you hosted a Tweet Chat before? What tools have you had the best experience on? What are your best tips for hosting a Tweet Chat after a big win, like the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8?


Four Tips to Protect your Online Privacy

Many nonprofit campaigners were not surprised to learn that the government monitors average citizens' private emails and their presence on social networks.  This has been widely suspected for years. It just wasn’t confirmed until recently how the government has partnered with Google, Facebook, and phone companies like Verizon to make it easier to monitor messages and conversations. This got me thinking about how much nonprofit campaigners are taking the time to protect their online privacy, especially the campaigners who work on hot button issues like gun control, reproductive rights, climate change, etc. Here’s a list of four tips to get you started in protecting your online privacy. While it won’t prevent the NSA from reading your emails or private social networking updates, these tips will help you better protect your privacy from the general public.

Four Tips to Protect your Online Privacy


1. Don’t Publish Sensitive Information Online

This may sound obvious, but it’s important to remember that nothing is ever private on the Internet – no matter what “security settings” you have in place. If you publish something on Facebook, even in a secret group, or send an email to someone, it can easily be distributed online. For example, someone in your network who you have granted permission to see your content can easily take a screenshot of something that you did not intend for public eyes. Earlier this week it was reported that Facebook had a bug that affected 6 million users and exposed their phone numbers and email addresses. Yikes! So if you truly don’t want something shared on the Internet, don’t put it online.

2. Use Social Network Privacy Settings

Many popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have privacy settings that you can use to allow only certain people, like family or friends, to view your updates.  One of the more confusing privacy settings is on Facebook. It even confused Randi Zuckerberg, who in addition to being the sister of the founder of Facebook, also used to work at the company previously. If Facebook’s privacy policies can confuse someone like Randi, then they're surely confusing to the general public.

On Facebook it’s a multi step process to restrict the general public from seeing your content, such as your basic info including contact info, status updates, photos, videos, etc. You can get a overview of Facebook’s privacy settings here

3. Manage your Passwords Right

Make sure that your passwords are secure. They should be a combination of letters that are uppercase and lowercase, numbers, and symbols. The password should not be an actual word. You should also use different passwords on different social networks and email accounts. Change passwords quarterly at the very least.

4. Identity Authentication

It’s inevitable that one day you will leave your iPhone, iPad, or laptop either at a client’s office, a bar, CVS, the train, etc. With so much personal and sensitive information on these devices, that you probably don’t want anyone accessing, having identity authentication on these devices can be helpful. One of the most secure identity authentications for these devices is through your fingerprint.  It’s relatively secure because it’s much more difficult to fake someone’s fingerprint than it is to guess their password.  In fact, Apple may be rolling out this sort of technology in their new iPhone this fall.


What’s your best advice for protecting online privacy?


DevDay for Nonprofits

If you are a nonprofit techie based in DC or will be attending the Bridge Conference August 1st at the National Harbor then you should definitely check out DevDay. DevDay's promises to provide sessions that are technical but that will also create a "bridge" between marketers and their developer counterparts. I think that this is a great approach to a conference because all too often the techies at nonprofits are siloed into one corner of the office while the marketing and fundraising teams are at the opposite corner. This leads to a lack of integrated teams and severely hinders nonprofits communications and fundraising programs because staff is not working collaboratively.

Check out some of the great sessions happening at DevDay.  

  • Design for Developers: Add a little design magic to your latest project
  • 4H Club My4H Resource Portal: Advanced Engagement Tracking using Events
  • Do more with the Convio API using luminateExtend.js
  • I hate my CMS! Drupal migration magic with the Migrate API
  • Sunlight Labs: How the Sunlight Foundation creates the tech that opens up .GOV
  • When You Don't Have Time for a Redesign: Practical Techniques for Making an Existing Site Design Responsive

Speaker include a range of nonprofit techie rawk stars from the space such as:


  • Tom Lee of Sunlight Labs
  • Anne Dougherty of Rad Campaign
  • Kojo Duncan of CDR Fundraisng Group
  • Daniel Ryan who was the Director of Frontend Development for President Obama’s 2012 election campaign 
  • Annie Stringer of MGH
  • and more




How Do You Measure Up? [Benchmarks Webinar]

Ned Baker of Care2

To get where you want to be, you need to know where you are today.

Next Thursday, we're holding a webinar that will dive into the key findings from the 2013 Blackbaud Online Marketing Benchmark Study – to indicate where your organization's performance stacks up in relation to your peers, as well as what you can be doing better to speed your journey to online success.

Join Care2, Blackbaud and Feeding America for this free Expert Webinar, and discover the essential tips that can help you stay ahead of the curve.

How Do You Measure Up? Current Shifts and Tips in Online Marketing & Fundraising
Thursday, 6/27 at 2pm ET

Register for this Care2 Expert Webinar


In this webinar you'll learn:

  • How you can use the benchmark report findings to measure your success and identify your areas of improvement
  • Strategies for using benchmarks to reach your goals faster and more effectively
  • How leading nonprofits use benchmarks to optimize their campaigns

This Expert Webinar is FREE but space is limited so make sure you register today!


About the Presenters:

Dennis McCarthy — Vice President of Strategy & Business Practice, Blackbaud
Dennis McCarthy of BlackbaudDennis McCarthy has been serving nonprofits for over 30 years in the design and implementation of integrated marketing solutions; and building and managing technology solutions for some of America’s largest and most complex nonprofit organizations. At Blackbaud, Dennis has managed the Strategic Services Practice, comprised of consultants in Business Analytics, Design & Information Architecture, Deployment Services and Agency Services.


Elizabeth Nielsen — Director of Interactive Marketing, Feeding America
Liz Nielsen of Feeding AmericaLiz Nielsen co-leads Feeding America's national direct marketing program — including digital media, email/web fundraising, direct mail and telemarketing. Her team raises funds to help secure and distribute more than 200M meals annually for families struggling with hunger. In 2008, Liz joined Feeding America at the onset of the sweeping organizational brand transformation; and helped guide direct response fundraising efforts through a successful brand transition. Prior to joining Feeding America, Liz provided strategic marketing and fundraising consulting to national nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Canadian Cancer Society at Convio. She also spent nearly a decade with Easter Seals headquarters building a centralized online fundraising and marketing program for both headquarters and a network of more than 90 affiliates. Liz serves on the committee for Education and Conference Development for the DMANF Advisory Board. She has a BS in Business Administration in Marketing and Advertising from Marquette University, and lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.

Ashley Hansen — Director of Nonprofit Services, Care2
Ashley Hansen of Care2Ashley works with nonprofits to win advocacy campaigns, strengthen their online fundraising program and drive traffic to their website. Since joining Care2 in 2011, Ashley has strategized with many nonprofits on the most effective way to engage with Care2's members. Prior to joining Care2, Ashley spent 10 years at the Student Conservation Association (SCA) where she helped hundreds of young people volunteer on public lands and start careers in conservation. Throughout her life, Ashley has visited over 200 public lands only to come home to find her favorite National Park, the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, right here in D.C. In addition, she presents at several conferences each year and has been an invited speaker to Federal leadership teams.

REGISTER to attend this FREE Expert Webinar on THURSDAY, JUNE 27th at 2PM ET