message development

Naming Netcentric Campaigns-4Part 1: Name Change Why, When & Hows

Naming and messaging are so tricky, yet so vital. I saw that again last week with your strong response to the Green Media Toolshed -> Netcentric Campaigns case study. So I reached out to the Netcentric team to learn more about their process and tips on shepherding a name change, or creation, for your organization, program or service.

Thanks so much to Bobbi Russell, Netcentric’s COO, for sharing experiences and tips.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 10, 2013 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Shutdown ResponseNonprofit communicators!

1) Is the Federal government shutdown affecting your nonprofit?

2) Are you addressing that impact in your content? If yes, what, where and how?

3) Have you decided to hold on any planning or posting?

Please share here a.s.a.p.! I hope to blog on how-tos first thing tomorrow morning. Thank you!

P.S. Take a look how D.C.’s Sixth & I Synagogue, which doubles as a vibrant Jewish community center, opened its doors to provide community (what else?) to those displaced by the shutdown, including Political Ping Pong.

The staff did a great job prepping ahead of time for the possibility of the shutdown, giving folks a heads up and was all set to open doors at 10am this morning. You can join in via the Synagogue’s Facebook page. That’s relevance. communications.

P.S. Get in-depth case studies, templates and tools, plus guidance for nonprofit marketing success in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz on October 1, 2013 in Relevance Rules | 5 comments
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Nonprofit name changeName Creation/Change Guidance: Case Study—Part 2

It’s rare to see an organization change its name and that’s a good thing. Name changes are a delicate matter.

Assuming you’ve done a good job of building relationships with supporters, partners and others, your org’s name has equity. Members of your network—donors in particular—have established ways in which they relate to your organization, and your name is the most memorable trigger you have. When you change your organization’s name, you upset the status quo and draw attention to what has been a smooth and productive relationship.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 1, 2013 in Branding and Messages | 2 comments
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Connect First

Part Two: Content, THEN Channels, Follows Connection

I had a real treat this past Monday, when I guided 400 smart and focused fundraisers to build their marketing skills at the Practical Planned Giving Conference (PPGC).

Whenever I speak, on whatever topic in whatever format, I get one question more frequently than any other—What is the marketing magic bullet?

That may take the form of asking me what specific combination of emails, social, letters and face-to-face meetings works best, or what messages to feature in which campaigns, or how to get colleague and leadership support for your marketing work or…., but ultimately, it’s all about your quest for that magic bullet.

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Nancy Schwartz on September 25, 2013 in Strategy | 2 comments
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MN United—Campaign Message

Go ahead. Call me a message geek! When I see a memorable message success story like this one, I get happy.

Minnesotans United for All Families (MN United) did a great job in putting Love is the Law front and center in its campaign for passage of the marriage equality bill last spring.

MN United lucked out on this one: Chan Poling—a passionate supporter of the Minnesota same-sex marriage campaign and former lead singer of 80s new wave band, The Suburbs—contacted MN United to offer up the song just as the campaign was heating up. But Poling wouldn’t have made the connection if he hadn’t first been touched by campaign outreach.

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Nancy Schwartz on September 19, 2013 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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The crises of recent days—both person-made (the D.C. naval yard massacre) and natural disasters (flooding in Colorado)— highlight the delicacy of communicating effectively in the shadow of disaster.

Crises like these emphasize the fragility of human life and daily life as we know it, so naturally send many of us into a personal tailspin, even if we’re not personally affected. And your network has been immersed, whether they have wanted to be or not, in crisis coverage.

As always, relevance rules and should remain your framework for communications decision making. Here’s how to stay sensitive but relevant post-crisis.

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Nancy Schwartz on September 17, 2013 in Crisis Communications | 1 comment
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WebBasedEngagement.Chart

Blackbaud just released a must-read report—findings from its Next Generation of American Giving study on charitable giving trends and engagement behaviors and attitudes across Matures (68+), Boomers (49-67), Gen X (33-48) and Gen Y (18-32). I recommend you read the entire report and share out your top-ten findings and implications for your org with colleagues and your leadership. It’s too important to miss!

But there are two critical findings I want to share with you a.s.a.p.:

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Nancy Schwartz on August 15, 2013 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 5 comments
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Nonprofit messagesYour nonprofit’s messages are the most powerful marketing tool you have, enabling you to connect quickly and strongly with your supporters and partners.

In fact, the right  messages—based on getting to know your network and what’s important to them—are a powerful motivational magnet and easy to remember and repeat. Priceless!

But most of you can do much better with your messages—Just 24% of nonprofit organizations rate their messages as effective. This practical new tool will help (available now at no charge)—Your Nonprofit Message Brainstorming Kit:

1) Expanded Nonprofit Tagline Database with organizational, program, fundraising and advocacy campaign, and special event taglines:

  • Get ideas on ways to integrate a specific word or phrase into your tagline or other message.
  • Be inspired and guided in shaping your organization’s messages by those of organizations like yours.
  • Brainstorm on how to strengthen your program messages by reviewing program taglines of other organizations.
  • Breakthrough your paralysis in naming (or re-naming) your organization by reviewing names of other organizations in your field.

2) Updated Nonprofit Tagline Report
Your guide to high-impact taglines: 10 have-tos, 6 deadly sins–what not to do, what makes a winning tagline and more.

A strong tagline is a potent tool. So don’t miss this incredible opportunity to strengthen your connection with your base. You need their help to move your mission forward.  And you’ll make it easy for them to remember and repeat why their friends and family should donate, volunteer, advocate….for your organization.

Be inspired and guided by 5,900+ nonprofit taglines and the guide to making your messages great: Get your Nonprofit Message Brainstorming Kit today!


P.S. 
Your tagline is at the heart of your message platform, conveying the essence of the impact of your work, in eight words or less. UNCF introduced its tagline (A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste) decades ago, but it still stirs my heart and my mind!

Nancy Schwartz on July 16, 2013 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Imagine this—What you say and when you say it are completely OUT OF YOUR CONTROL for a full 24 hours.

#surrenderyoursay

That’s what Surrender Your Say participants experienced via this imaginative campaign from Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada (TSFC). TSFC launched this out-of-the-box Twitter takeover to boost gut-level understanding of what having the disorder is like, specifically that it’s more complex than the popular misconception of a disease that causes people to swear uncontrollably (which affects less than 10% of those with Tourette Syndrome (TS)).

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Nancy Schwartz on June 27, 2013 in Advocacy | 2 comments
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Nonprofit Storytelling #1-9

This is the last in my six types of stories your organization has to tell series on how to find, shape and share your strength story. Strength stories showcase how your organization’s particular focus or approach adds value to the community you serve and/or and moves your issue or cause forward in a way unmatched by other orgs (a.k.a. differentiation).  

Guru-of-most-things Seth Godin recently summed up the value of differentiation: If there’s not at least one thing that’s distinctive about your organization—OR if you have that unique strength but don’t highlight it—you’re toast. Prospects will think you’re just like every other nonprofit, and that’s death to us marketers and fundraisers.

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Nancy Schwartz on June 11, 2013 in storytelling | 0 comments
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