Nonprofit Communications

Productive-Creative-MindMake that the cactus flowers, and they are GORGEOUS. It’s an absolute joy to be surrounded by them, here in the Sonoran Desert, as I’m taking a week with my family to relax and rejuvenate.

I crave more nourishment like this…open and space that gives my mind and soul time to rest, reflect and recharge. But that opportunity is too rare for me, and probably for many of you. That’s life, especially in the always-connected 21st century


Nancy Schwartz on April 24, 2014 in Professional Development | 13 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.


Guest Blogger on April 23, 2014 in Professional Development | 0 comments
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Please post your open nonprofit marketing positions here

KeyboardSearchCampaign Writer, All Out (Virtual)

Communications Advisor, Links Media (Rockville, MD)

Communications Assistant,  David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Los Altos, CA)


Nancy Schwartz on April 21, 2014 in Jobs and Hiring | 0 comments
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Nonprofit on Facebook ROIGet ready for a roaring point vs. counterpoint, thanks to Facebook for Nonprofits expert John Haydon, who shares his Yay below.

I’ll be following up with mini case studies and links to research supporting my recommendation. Please share your Facebook plan (or plan not to use) and why here, and/or tell us what it does (or doesn’t do) for your organization.

You’ve probably noticed the raging discussion about the value (or not) of Facebook for all organizations (profiteers too)—it even made the most mainstream ever Time magazine.

There are two main reasons Facebook use is in question:


Nancy Schwartz on April 17, 2014 in Social Media | 9 comments
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Crisis CommunicationsThis week’s triple murder at a Jewish Community Center (JCC) and Jewish-run retirement home in Kansas City—by a white supremacist, because he thought his victims were Jewish—generated empathy and concern among everyone I know. It was made even worse by the timing just a few days before the anniversary of 2013′s Boston Marathon massacre.

But for us Jews, about to celebrate Passover the next evening, it spurred extra sadness, anxiety and fear. Like many other peoples, Jews are periodically targeted for acts of hatred and violence. And this one, coming on the eve of such an important holiday, was especially frightening.

I was awed by the way community leader Alan Feldman, CEO of JCC Metrowest, conveyed calm, reassurance and hope to members and student families in this right-things, right-now email. He implemented this six-point approach:


Nancy Schwartz on April 16, 2014 in Crisis Communications | 3 comments
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Please post your open nonprofit marketing positions here

job search 2Associate Director, Communications & Strategic Research Departments, Rockefeller Foundation (New York, NY)

Celebrity Relations Coordinator and Staff Writer/Editor, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (Washington DC)

Civic Engagement Coordinator, League of Conservation Voters (Washington DC)


Nancy Schwartz on April 14, 2014 in Jobs and Hiring | 1 comment
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sotelo_yeseniaGuest blogger Yesenia Sotelo founded Smart Cause Digital where she builds and grows smart websites.

“Email is dead. No one reads their email anymore.”
You might have heard this before and you might hear it again—but not from me! Email is one of the most powerful tools available. In fact, every organization (including yours),  regardless of its size or mission, can do great things with an email list.

“Email is dead! Long live social media!”
I love social media almost as much as I love email. There’s plenty of proof of my love over on Twitter and Instagram. But social media is NOT (yet?) a replacement for email marketing. Email and social media are complementary and they should *both* be in your nonprofit’s toolkit.

Take these three steps to turn your organization’s website into an email-capturing machine…


Guest Blogger on April 10, 2014 in Email and E-Newsletters | 1 comment
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Please post your open nonprofit marketing positions here


Communications Associate, The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, Inc (New York, NY)

Communications Intern, DesigNYC (New York, NY)

Communications Officer, Baltimore Community Foundation (Baltimore, MD)

Digital Director, EMILY’s List (Washington, DC)


Nancy Schwartz on April 7, 2014 in Jobs and Hiring | 1 comment
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#14ntcTakeawaysToday’s guest blogger, James Porter, is Associate Director, Development & Communications for the END Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to controlling and eliminating neglected tropical diseases.

9 presenters, 70 minutes, and 143 slides— those are the ingredients to a great #14NTCTakeaways!

Last week, 501TechNYC—the New York chapter of NTEN’s 501 Tech Clubs—met to recap the 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference (#14NTC). Presenters spoke on topics ranging from online coalition building to storytelling.

So with that much content, what WERE the #14NTCTakeaways every nonprofit communicator needs to know? Here goes:


Nancy Schwartz on April 3, 2014 in Trends | 2 comments
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Kids4Kars | Donate Your Kid Today

Update: Thanks to community member Phyllis Nunkis who brought 4 Kids’ deceptive practices and false advertising to my attention. Kids4Kars doesn’t meet the Better Business Bureau’s standards for Charity Accountability, and the organization has been the subject of many, many complaints from consumers over the years.  It is unfortunate to see smart, creative marketing used for the wrong purposes,” says Phyllis.

She’s 100% correct, but the best response we can have is to use this effective model to spur our own marketing innovation. Go to it!

What a morning! Our daughter, Charlotte, is off to her 5th-grade camping trip today and woke up with a challenging combo of anxiety and excitement—about having the right clothes, the weather, and every other facet of the trip she could imagine.  Between us, it was a nightmare getting her out of the house this morning and a huge relief to watch the bus pulling away.

So how timely that that I saw this Kids 4 Kars campaign first thing today. Talk about getting my attention!


Nancy Schwartz on April 1, 2014 in Right-Things Right-Now Marketing | 1 comment
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