Star Light, Star Bright — Don’t Miss These Ops for Your Nonprofit to Shine

Star Light, Star Bright -- Don't Miss These Ops for Your Nonprofit to ShineKivi Miller, mastermind behind the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, asked for input on some of nonprofits’ most commonly missed or overlooked opportunities to share success stories, good deeds, accomplishments. What should nonprofits be bragging about, but aren’t? What tools can you use to help your organization shine more brightly?

I anticipate an incredibly useful conversation among the experts who participate in the Carnival. Here are a few of my ideas:

  • Comment — Every time you read about another nonprofit’s accomplishment, innovation, success or new program, you have an opportunity to talk about your organization’s related accomplishment etc.
    • Blog comments, list servs and MySpace pages are all great venues for doing so.
  • Speak and share — Toot your own horn while you share your expertise and the experience with colleagues in nonprofit communications, via Webinar, conference, workshop:
    • I just finished participating in a Webinar (web-based conference call) with players in the powerful communications success enjoyed by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists when it moved its doomsday clock closer to midnight.
    • Participation is a benefit of my membership in The Communications Network, an association of communications specialists working for and with foundations.
    • Speakers included the Bulletin’s ED and the various communications experts who shaped the very innovative campaign.
    • The result was a great learning experience for me, and a wonderful opportunity for the Bulletin to spread the word on the hows, whys and results of its innovative campaign.I’m going to write about it, and I’m sure others will spread the word too.
    • Also, a great way for a professional association to offer a benefit for its members — a win-win for The Communications Network and the Bulletin.
  • Quit Thinking so Much, and Make it Quick and Easy — Sometimes I think we all overthink. One of the most effective communications I absorbed recently was a simple letter-size flyer I picked off the circulation desk at the local library. Titled Facts and Figures for 2006, it cites number of patrons served, books checked out, volumes purchased and other stats that say a lot, without any comment from library staff. Less is more in action.

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Nancy Schwartz on April 23, 2007 in Blogging for Nonprofits, Nonprofit Communications, Special Opportunities, Unique Approaches | 8 comments

  • Nancy:
    May I add a few of my own ideas?
    –As a publicity expert, I see far too many nonprofits trying to get media attention for boring topics like creating mission statements, strategic planning, or “dialoging” about a particular topic. Instead, call the media’s attention to the interesting people in your organization: your employees, volunteers, donors, clients, etc. Many of them have fascinating stories to tell about how they became involved with your agency.
    –Piggyback onto breaking news events. When news breaks, and you have an expert within your organization who can offer commentary or background, let the media know. List your expert sources on your website, preferably in an area called “Media Room” which reporters can access from your homepage.
    –Write and distribute press releases online regularly, to be found not only by journalists but by anyone who is searching for information. This is a great way to bring traffic to your website.
    –This week, in my free newsletter “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week,” I urged people to start capturing email addresses at their website. Offer a free report, or White Paper, or a list of tips which poeople can download. Use that email list to send items of interest regularly.

  • areopagitica

    Carnival of the NonprofitConsultants

    Im a day or so getting around to this because well, just because. Anyway, here we are at the picnic table, kiddies, with another round of goodies from the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, this week brought to you by
    Im going to l…

  • James Wattson

    Great tips Nancy! I use Smartemail24 email service for sending bulk email. Any one can try it for free by just clicking there demo account.

  • Peter

    Lets face it. Business Email is the most important communication tool in business today. It is more important then your telephone service. Therefore it requires that you find the best system that will work for your business now and in the future. There are many choices out there that can be deployed fast as a Cloud Service .

    Business Email systems vary in capabilities but a safe bet would be Microsoft Exchange Server as this article is pointing out. Because Microsoft Exchange Server has been in the industry for 30 years, it is used by 65% of all business around the world and as a cloud solution is a stable and has been used for 10 years by various size businesses already.

    For small and medium size business the best choice is to slowly implement a cloud based exchange email solution with their domain and possibly choose a provider that is specialized in data communications.

  • helengreen

    even years later this article was very useful helping a nonprofit client assess her situation, do the “nitty gritty” web research (I used PC magazine review of EMSP as a base) now we are in the testing phase. Thank you!

  • Kim

    I work for Campaign Monitor and we have an excellent email service for non-profits. Plus we have excellent resources and support:

  • Carlos

    FreshMail is another pretty good service and they give 50% discount for non-profit.

  • Nick shenko


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