Nonprofit Communications

Set Your Marketing Goals

This practical, doable marketing plan template takes you from goals to benchmarks, work plan, action, and impact! 

Eeesh! Those New Year’s resolutions—including the ones we set for marketing and fundraising work—are so hard to keep.

That’s because most resolutions are action items, rather than goals (the real “what we want to get to”). When things in our work worlds change—making those actions irrelevant or too difficult, or throwing them into question or making them too difficult— there’s no clear framework for assessment and adaptation. So the resolutions fade out, leaving you disappointed.

INSTEAD…

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Nancy Schwartz on January 10, 2017 in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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Happy Healthy Nonprofit Book CoverGuest bloggers Beth Kanter & Aliza Sherman wrote The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit, a must read for communicators & fundraisers.

If there is one thing we can agree on, it is that that last quarter of 2016 was especially stressful. Not just the usual hectic workload of year-end campaigns, but a difficult election season—a combination that has left many nonprofit communications professional feeling overwhelmed and

For many of us, the holiday vacation time probably did not come fast enough. We all probably enjoyed a nice reprieve from deadlines, tasks, and deliverables. And, after taking a break, it is hard to get back into the swing of things.

One thing we do know for sure, 2017 will be the year that we will absolutely have to exercise our resilience muscles in order to do our best work and not get slowed down. In our book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout, we discuss ways that nonprofit professionals can use at work and avoid the stress of competing priorities. Here are three techniques to put to work right now:

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Guest Blogger on January 4, 2017 in Professional Development | 0 comments
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Consistent MessagesWhether you’re all in on year-end fundraising or working in some 2017 prep, I bet you have some pretty ambitious goals to meet. You wouldn’t be reading this otherwise.

Here’s a proven but frequently overlooked method to help you get there: consistent communications. Consistency enables your people and prospects to recognize your organization’s communications in a flash. Time and time again, I’ve seen consistency across channels, programs and services, and audiences help nonprofits like yours motivate the actions they need. Those are the same messages likely to be remembered and repeated. Here’s how to get there:

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Nancy Schwartz on December 14, 2016 in Branding and Messages | 1 comment
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We all have an incredible fundraising resource right in front of us—our board member, colleague, and loyal volunteer ambassadors. But most of us look right past them, much less make it appealing or easy for them to participate and succeed!

You still have time to launch your team of fundraising messengers to spur year-end giving. They’re already fans, so many of them will be eager and effective fundraisers. Here’s how to ask for participation, train and support your messengers, and thank them.

Your ambassadors’ reach, engagement, and donation impact is directly related to saying the right thing at the right time. The trick is.. it can’t be a script, repeated from everyone to everyone. That’s just not genuine or relevant.

Provide these three message tools to your ambassadors, and you’re golden. They’ll ensure your team’s comfort and confidence, which means they’re more likely to talk with more donors and prospects. These tools also increase the odds prospects hear the kind of consistent yet personal messages necessary to spur engagement and giving!

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Nancy Schwartz on December 6, 2016 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 1 comment
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2017 Nonprofit Communications TrendsKivi Leroux Miller’s annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Report is one of my “go to” resources for boosting client communications impact. The report provides concrete benchmarks for your marketing, fresh ideas to experiment with, and the proof points you need to lobby for the resources and support you need to do communications right.

Please take 10 minutes right now to respond to the 2017 Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey. Deadline is tomorrow, December 2! Every survey taker will receive a free copy of the report in January and be invited to a preview webinar before the results are released.

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Nancy Schwartz on December 1, 2016 in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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Relevant MessagesThis morning’s election news dug into the divide that’s fracturing the U.S. Hearing the stats on how deep and broad these divisions are—rural vs. urban, men vs. women, those with post-secondary education vs. those without—wasn’t surprising. But it was distressing, especially as I contemplate where we go from here.

So many organizations have ignored the chaos we’ve lived in during this extended election ramp up. In sharp contrast, StoryCorps has communicated with non-partisan honesty and heart:

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Nancy Schwartz on November 8, 2016 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Online-Engagement-Tool-GuideGuest blogger Maureen Wallbeoff, Vice President at Firefly Partners, brings a people-focused, collaborative influence to the Firefly team and clients. 

If the title of this blog post resonates with you, you have lots of company. 
In fact, most nonprofit organizations have a degree of dissatisfaction with their online engagement tools – primarily because there is no perfect platform. Nothing like the pressure of year-end to highlight those lacks.

Fundraising, advocacy, email marketing, events, eCommerce, and CRM are all standard components of most nonprofits’ online engagement software. They’re all critical to the smooth functioning and ultimate impact of every nonprofit using websites, online tools, and technology to communicate, advocate, and raise money to further their missions. You just want to provide a great experience for your supporters and an easy-to-manage tool for your colleagues (mostly accidental techies), right?

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Guest Blogger on October 27, 2016 in Tools | 2 comments
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all-org team of messengers

We’re in count down to year-end fundraising season, with its relentless pressure and never-ending to-dos. Are you banging your head against the wall yet?

Joking aside, it may seem like your team’s hard work and limited resources won’t be enough. Yet you know how much you could bring in, if only…

Good news! There is a way to move past this seemingly insurmountable barrier—Launch a team of messengers to be your nonprofit’s ambassadors for year end (and beyond). Enlist your colleagues, board members, and passionate supporters to boost your nonprofit’s reach and results for little or no cost. The best part? They’re already motivated to help you reach your goals.

Start with these three steps to identify, inspire, and support ambassadors for your year-end campaign:

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Nancy Schwartz on October 26, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 1 comment
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All-Org Team of MessengersWatch the webinar at your convenience

Join me to learn how to turn your board, staff, and loyal volunteers into a team of passionate and engaging messengers. They’ll develop confidence and skills while you’ll get more of the donations and donor loyalty you seek—without additional budget or hires. Bonus: They’ll connect your organization with their personal networks—many of whom you’d never reach otherwise.

Nancy Schwartz on October 4, 2016 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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Small Organization FundraisingGuest blogger Heather Yandow brings more than a decade of experience as an outreach coordinator, coalition leader, project manager, and fundraiser to Third Space Studio’s clients.

The latest Individual Donor Benchmark Report is now available with groundbreaking findings to support small nonprofits with their fundraising efforts. The survey compiles annual fundraising data from organizations with budgets under $2 million to highlight trends nonprofits can use to spark their own success.

This year’s findings taps two clear paths to successful fundraising:

  1. Working from a plan strengthens individual donor fundraising for small and medium-sized organizations.
  2. Organizations retain just 60% of their donors from year to year, so finding new donors is a critical element of fundraising on an ongoing basis.

The Key to Success
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Guest Blogger on September 29, 2016 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 1 comment
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