Nonprofit Communications

Nonprofit Marketing Job

Looking for your next communications job? Hiring? Reassessing your own role or team configuration? Turn to these top sources for nonprofit marketing and communications job postings:

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Nancy Schwartz on April 13, 2016 in Jobs and Hiring | 8 comments
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Guy Arceneaux

Guest blogger Guy Arceneaux is Director of Marketing and Communications at Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland

My last Meals on Wheels communications case study touched on the advantages of communicating and fundraising for a smaller nonprofit. Today, I’d like to share one of the greatest challenges—Many smaller organizations, like mine, don’t have an explicit, documented process for creative workflow.

Perhaps these organizations’ smaller staff size creates the illusion that a process is not needed. I’m not sure. But what I do know is that most of my career successes were built on the foundation of a documented creative workflow. Here’s how to put a creative brief to work:

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Guest Blogger on April 6, 2016 in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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I’m riding the tide of energized learning and conversations at the recent Nonprofit Technology Conference (#16ntc), and thrilled to share my takeways with you.

Use these insights from The Future of Email: From 2016 to 2026 to shape campaigns that motivate action despite the clamor of our multi-channel world:

Email Still Important but Can’t Stand Alone

Email remains the ultimate push notification. It’s also tied to everything you do on social.

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Nancy Schwartz on April 5, 2016 in Email and E-Newsletters | 1 comment
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Better Nonprofit ContentNeed help with that campaign email or program registration mini-site due to launch last week? Ready to move from making mediocre messages to the most audience-delighting, highest-impact calls to action of your life? How about getting there via a captivating romp through the life—and laws—of one of the most motivating fundraising writers around?

You can get it all with Jeff Brooks’ Turn Your Words into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing. You’ll learn and laugh as you gobble your way through this guide to writing good—then great—messages that spur the actions you need.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 16, 2016 in Writing | 0 comments
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Flickr: Ben Solah

How many of your communications projects go nowhere because the approval process is a landmine? For many of us, that happens way too often. We diligently do our homework, developing buy-in from colleagues (by highlighting what’s in it for them) and sourcing practical insights on audience habits and wants.

We use these guidelines to get “it” right, whether it’s a first-ever formalized organizational talking points, campaign mini-site, new program marketing plan, an anniversary celebration approach, or… Then, we sit down again with those colleagues (or send a reply-to-all email with requests for specific feedback if folks are in multiple locations) to get interim or final approval.

Suddenly everyone’s a graphic designer, or a writer, or a creative director. Chaos ensues, even though we shaped the deliverable to what we heard from these same colleagues. I think you know what I mean.

There is a better way—be as strategic in your review and approval process, as you are with your marketing and fundraising work.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 8, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 0 comments
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Re-engage email list

Guest blogger Karla Capers specializes in using the internet to raise visibility for progressive issues and engage people more deeply in campaigns. She has worked for advocacy organizations since 1996. 

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), where I’m Director of Engagement, faced a daunting challenge a couple of years ago: How to re-engage the many folks who were not reading or acting on our emails. It’s a common problem, for nonprofit organizations and beyond, and one that’s crucial to address.

Here’s how we tackled our “dead” email list:

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Nancy Schwartz on February 23, 2016 in Email and E-Newsletters | 10 comments
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Nonprofit Website Error PageWe’re so focused on “urgent” to-dos and right-now campaigns that it’s easy to overlook a valuable engagement opportunity: Your website’s “page not found” page (a.k.a. 404 error page).

Error pages alert visitors that the page they were seeking no longer exists, or they typed in or clicked on a broken link, and redirects them to the content they want. When crafted well, your error page becomes excellent customer service, providing an engaging intro to your organizational personality, impact, and content.

Flip Frustration to Satisfaction
Hitting a dead end is frustrating and
time consuming. But the right error page—featuring a clear explanation of why visitors are on the page; a simple, bold graphic connected to your organization’s brand; and easy navigation to what “lost” visitors are looking for—can flip their frustration to satisfaction. Here’s how to delight your “lost” visitors as you get them where they want to go:

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Nancy Schwartz on February 17, 2016 in High-Impact Websites | 2 comments
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Flickr: jorimzzz

Proof Points: Research findings to use when advocating for the marketing approaches you know are right.

Talk about a perennial challenge! Inadequate time and budget remain the two primary hurdles to nonprofits’ marketing impact. But thanks to the 1,600+ nonprofit communications and fundraising staff members surveyed for the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, we now know more.

Here are top hurdles to communications impact, straight from you and your peers in the field:
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Nancy Schwartz on February 3, 2016 in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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Nonprofit WritingStuck on that membership renewal email series or the petition-signing campaign due to launch on Facebook last week? Ready to move from making mediocre messages to crafting content that connects quickly, and is repeated and acted on?

Then learn and laugh as you gobble your way through Jeff Brooks’ new guide to writing great nonprofit content:  How to Turn Your Words Into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing. Whether you’re newish to the field, sick of the same old messages and methods, or obsessed with breaking into the all-star league, there is a way out of this message mess. Jeff provides the specific, concrete and frequently counterintuitive to-dos—and the kick in the patootie—we need.

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Nancy Schwartz on January 28, 2016 in Writing | 0 comments
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