Professional Development

Stay Smart & EngagedShe got me…

The rain was pouring down this morning as our daughter, Charlotte, was getting ready to walk to school, so I caved and drove her. And I’m glad I did. Because as I dropped her off to join the gaggle of noisy, drenched kids waiting outside the middle school, I started thinking.

Here were all these kids crowded round the dripping doorway to march in for another day of challenge, learning and growth. I was jealous—they were walking into this incredible opportunity to be exposed to new content, to digest it in the context of what they know now, and to arrive on the far side with a fresh perspective and new skills.

Few of us have this kind of formal growth opportunity anymore, but ongoing intellectual and creative growth is our oxygen. It’s the ONLY way to ensure our marketing and fundraising content is relevant, while fueling our personal satisfaction.

My call to action for all of us fundraisers and nonprofit communicators? Let’s schedule some learning—via conversations, reading, participating—into every day, even if for just five minutes.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 22, 2014 in Professional Development | 3 comments

recalibrateI know your fall is booting up big time—on right-now to-dos, end-of-year campaigns and thinking/talking on what to do differently and better next year. Same here, and for our client orgs.

But—thanks to pulling myself away from work for a much-needed sabbatical—I’m seeing what’s ahead for me and Getting Attention.org far more clearly than ever before.

Now, two months later, I’m back to work and focused on bringing my new professional vision to life. That’s:

  1. Finding a way to keep doing what I love (that stays put—guiding nonprofits like yours to build & strengthen relationships with donors, volunteers and more, via marketing & communications);
  2. While making enough money to co-support our family (no change there); BUT…drum roll here
  3. Shifting my decision-making framework to center on family, friends and the issues that mean the most to me.

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Nancy Schwartz on September 17, 2014 in Professional Development | 11 comments
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Flickr: Alan EnglishThe adventure in question is my first-time sabbatical which runs through early September.

I’m taking this time to reboot, and to see what bubbles up. And I hope to return with a practice for personal nourishment firmly in place, and the confidence and ability to mesh that more effectively with my job. That’s the work behind the work I want to do better.

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Nancy Schwartz on June 25, 2014 in Professional Development | 4 comments
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Use summer to rejeuvenate I’m seeking your ideas this time round!

Please tell me (in the comments below) what your summer camp looks like—i.e. how are you planning to use summer to get inspired, energized and even smarter? And how will you integrate that experience and the results into your work approach and/or activities in the fall.

Pls share your ideas and hopes here. I’ll report out via a guest post for Network for Good.

BTW, here’s my plan.

P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your in-box! Register here for the Getting Attention blog & e-news.

Nancy Schwartz on June 10, 2014 in Professional Development | 0 comments
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carolGuest blogger, Caroline Avakian is the founder & CEO of SourceRise, a social enterprise connecting journalists to nonprofit subject matter experts and sources, and managing partner of  Socialbrite, a social media for nonprofits consultancy and digital learning hub.

Conference season is ongoing these days. So I was particularly pleased when, at the recent, Harvard Social Enterprise Conference, keynote speaker and Echoing Green president, Cheryl Dorsey, shared some valuable hints to us attendees on conference participation best practices.

Here are the helpful tips I learned—all easy to manage but packing a big punch. Bet that you’’ll be glad you set these in motion when you return from your next conference.

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Guest Blogger on May 15, 2014 in Professional Development | 3 comments
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Keep-fire-burningWelcome to the Nonprofit Blog Carnival round-up on The Work Behind the Work—the methods and tools you use to stay focused, productive and happy on the job (or the barriers that keep you from getting there). Alas, most of us can’t count on a sunny afternoon at the pool to recoup.

I’m thrilled to share with you this sampling from the powerful posts submitted by you and your nonprofit peers. The thought, focus and care with which contributors shaped their shared guidance is awe inspiring, and I so appreciate it (and them/you). Here are the most relevant submissions:

1) When things are hectic and your To-Do list is long, its easy to get overwhelmed and unproductive. Avoid these three common pitfalls that lead to burnout, cautions Megan Keane, membership director at NTEN.

2) Working in a small (ok, tiny) development shop, means that Carrie Packard, development director at The Delores Project, deals with an endless To-Do list married with constantly-changing priorities. She relies on these tools to make it through the day, week, and year (with her sanity intact).

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Nancy Schwartz on April 29, 2014 in Professional Development | 14 comments
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Productive-Creative-MindMake that the cactus flowers, and they are GORGEOUS. It was an absolute joy to be surrounded by them when I was in the Sonoran Desert recently with my family, taking some time to relax and rejuvenate.

I crave more nourishment like this…open space that gives my mind and soul time to rest, reflect and recharge. But that opportunity is all too rare for me, and probably for you in our always-connected 21st century

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Nancy Schwartz on April 24, 2014 in Professional Development | 40 comments
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RedRoverStaffwPetGuest blogger, Leili Khalessi is the Marketing and Communications Manager for RedRover, a national animal welfare organization. She’s also on the board for The Yoga Seed Collective and couldn’t help but make a few yoga-related puns below.

Thanks to Leili for contributing this stirring post  to this month’s blog carnival—The Work Behind Your Work . There’s still time for yours—Deadline Friday April 25.

As nonprofit communicators, we all know what it’s like to try to find balance in our work despite competing priorities, multiple teams and never-ending deadlines. Never have I felt so “at home” professionally than at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (#14NTC), where I attended a session on “The Work Behind The Work” with Sarah Durham (founder of Big Duck), Stephanie Bowen (most recently with KaBOOM) and Nancy Schwartz. Across the room full of do-gooder marketers, it was clear that while we’d all happily bend over backward for the organizations we support, we were eager to learn from each other’s ways to zen.

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Guest Blogger on April 23, 2014 in Professional Development | 2 comments
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Mark DessauerThanks so much to guest blogger (and dear friend) Mark Dessauer, Director of Communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina Foundation. I’m ever grateful to Mark for contributing this stirring post  to this month’s blog carnival—The Work Behind Your Work

Thoughts on facing insurmountable challenges…alone
There was not a soul in sight.  No lights, cars, homes, or other runners.  Only the steady rain on a rural road deep in South Carolina.

I had been running for four miles by myself in the dark with knuckle lights.  I had six more miles to go.  I could hear frogs peeping in the waterlogged forest.  I could see nothing but the road flashing under my moving spotlights.  I now knew I could do this and do it well.  I was at peace.

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Nancy Schwartz on April 22, 2014 in Professional Development | 1 comment
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I’m thrilled to host April’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival, and hope you’ll blog on this topic so vital to the power of our field and momentum of our causes—the methods and tools you use to stay focused, productive and happy on the job (or the barrier that keeps you from getting there).

Be specific with concrete examples so we all get what you mean.  Please email the URL of your post and a 2-3 sentence summary to nonprofitcarnival@gmail.com by Friday, April 25  to be considered!

Cover productivity, planning, and/or getting great ideas out of your head and into action. Or, if there’s specific issue, person or gap that’s blocking you from the outcomes and satisfaction you desire, please blog on that. This is the work behind our work. 

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Nancy Schwartz on March 26, 2014 in Professional Development | 6 comments
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