Summer-ize Nonprofit MarketingYou know it, and I know it. Shaping content that matters to your readers is everything. But that’s tough when we’re all seasonally distracted by the fireflies, fireworks and family vacations.

Even though schooldays ended eons ago for most of us, our focus, attitudes, and readiness to act change as the weather warms. But how to reshape your communications to meet your people where they are?

Here are three ways to up your summer communications game in the next few weeks and future summers:

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Nancy Schwartz on August 18, 2015 in Relevance Rules | 0 comments

Reboot Nonprofit MarketingOur daughter Charlotte is finishing up a blissful summer at a few different day and overnight camps. At the end of each and every day, her mind and creativity are stimulated, she’s made new friends, and she sleeps solidly with a smile on her face. She finishes the summer inspired, energized and smarter than ever.

I envy her greatly. But you and I are too old for summer camp (find me an adult camp, please!). Instead, I set out an a discovery mission—asking fellow nonprofit staffers and consultants how they reboot to tee up for a great fall and forward.

There’s still time for you to reboot. Dig into these inventive approaches a.s.a.p.:

1) Seek a different point of view: Gillian Ream Gainsley, who works in Communications and Development at the Ypsilanti District Library (MI), takes a unique approach:

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Nancy Schwartz on August 11, 2015 in Professional Development | 6 comments
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Marketing InsightsEver since super-smart statistician Nate Silver brought presidential campaign data to the headlines in 2012, we’ve become a metrics-obsessed nation. That’s changed the life of most marketers I know, who have been asked (pressured in some cases) to harvest more and more data.

This laser focus on data parallels the growth of nonprofits’ use of social media and mobile channels—whether whole-hog or in experimentation mode. You’ll find lists of must-measures for your website, blog, direct mail, telemarketing, social channels. Put those musts together and you get a baseline of 50 data points or more—pretty impossible for most of us to manage.

But there is a way out, one that will boost your org’s marketing impact while maintaining your sanity.

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Nancy Schwartz on August 4, 2015 in Benchmarks and Measurements | 0 comments

Donor relationshipsPlease tell us what you’re doing to strengthen supporter relationships, and what’s in your way. Thanks!

Read Part 1 here

Thanks to these fabulous folks in the field for sharing their right-now paths to stronger relationships with supporters, and what’s getting in their way!

The greatest challenge Kathleen Kennedy faces in building relationships and keeping them strong

“ I have so many competing priorities! My job has both development and program responsibilities, and sometimes the program side overshadows the development side.

“As a result, I don’t get as much accomplished as I would like in donor engagement and consistency. This may speak to our need for additional staff, a conversation I may pursue this year.”  —Kathleen Kennedy, Program and Development Coordinator Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection

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Nancy Schwartz on July 28, 2015 in Relationship Building | 0 comments

Supporter LoveGot 2 minutes? Please tell us what YOU’RE DOING to strengthen supporter relationships, and what’s in your way. Thanks!

Read Part 2 here.

Thanks to these fabulous folks in the field for sharing their right-now paths to stronger relationships with supporters, and what’s getting in their way!

What Lorna Riddle is doing differently to build stronger relationships

“I’m creating a welcome pack for new donors, and a plan on how to steward them through the first 18 months.”   —Lorna Riddle, Community Champion
The Mary Potter Foundation

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Nancy Schwartz on July 22, 2015 in Relationship Building | 0 comments

Nonprofit Communications Jobs

This is my 202nd jobs posting, and the final one. There are so many dedicated nonprofit jobs sources, that this feature is no longer necessary.

I’m going to focus content 100% on what you’ve told me is most useful, and can’t find elsewhere—tips, tools, templates and case studies. Thanks for reading, and for your feedback!

Communications Coordinator Prevention Partners
(Chapel Hill, NC)

Communications & Grants Manager Urban Habitat
(Oakland, CA)

Communications Manager MLVE, Inc. (Springfield, VA)

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Nancy Schwartz on July 20, 2015 in Jobs and Hiring | 0 comments
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Read Part One HereMark Dessauer

Guest blogger Mark Dessauer is Director of Communications at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

Frank: A gathering of communicators who work for the common good (or public interest). Here’s the final challenge we discussed, with core takeaways:

How do we shape our communications to engage audiences TO ACT for change?

  • Humor: The most reliable way to folks hearts and minds is through laughter:
    • Satire has played a critical role in bringing in Millennials into the news via the Daily Show, Colbert Report and similar programs.
    • If you want to make an impact, you have to change how people think. Engaging critical thinking via satire (and humor) is an effective way to start.

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Nancy Schwartz on July 16, 2015 in Strategy | 1 comment
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Nonprofit Marketing JobsSubscribers, we’re working on getting you the ability to opt-in or -out of these listings vs. other posts. Hold on! 

Post YOUR comms job here—nonprofits, grantmakers, B Corps & vendors serving nonprofits.

Communications Expert and Editor Frameworks Institute (Washington, DC)

Communications Manager for Reproductive Rights ACLU (New York, NY)

Communications & Marketing Officer Shining Hope for Communities (New York, NY)

Communications & Marketing Specialist League of Women Voters (Twin Cities, MN)

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Nancy Schwartz on July 14, 2015 in Jobs and Hiring | 1 comment
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Nonprofit Communications JobsSubscribers, we’re working on getting you the ability to opt-in or -out of these listings vs. other posts. Hold on! 

Post YOUR comms job here—nonprofits, grantmakers, B Corps & vendors serving nonprofits.

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer  Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Twin Cities, MN)

Chief Marketing Officer Net Impact (San Francisco, CA)

Communications Assistant The Physicians’ Committee (Washington, DC)

Communications Associate – Online and Social Media St. Mary’s Academy (Portland, OR)

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Nancy Schwartz on June 22, 2015 in Jobs and Hiring | 2 comments
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Summertime Shifts: Nonprofit CommunicationsHey you! I’d love to know how you adapt your organization’s communications for summertime impact, for a blog post!

Do you:

  • Change timing
  • Shift topic, tone or language to make it more seasonally relevant
  • Adapt your campaign focus, channel and/or frequency
  • Tone it summer—light and fun
  • Something I haven’t mentioned yet
  • Change nothing at all?

Please share your summertime approach here. Specific examples appreciated—they’re SO much easier to learn from. Thanks so much!

Nancy Schwartz on June 17, 2015 in Strategy | 2 comments