nonprofit marketing

One-to-One Review ProcessYou guys are so smart! I love it when you share a marketing technique that’s made all the difference in the world to you. There’s no better model for the rest of us.

Thanks today to Jennifer Johnson, director of marketing & communications at Advocates. I worked with Jen to develop a first-time brand for this human services agency providing a breadth of programs and services throughout Massachusetts. Here’s the inventive approach she designed to solicit prompt input throughout the brand development process:

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Nancy Schwartz on May 4, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 1 comment
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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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Read Part One

Thanks to NYC’s 501 Tech Club for inviting knowledgeable nonprofit video makers from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and International Rescue Committee (IRC) to share tips, tools, and case studies with us video expert wannabees. Here’s more of what I learned from them:

What’s Happening with Video at
International Rescue Committee (IRC) & Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Cathe Neukum is Executive Producer for IRC, where she’s responsible for all video content. In her two-and-a-half year tenure, she’s increased the organization’s visibility on Facebook and YouTube by over 800%.

Cathe’s latest video (at top) features actor and activist Mandy Patinkin standing with IRC aid workers in Greece to welcome families fleeing Syria and other war-torn countries for a better life. This video has been viewed 5 million times on Facebook.
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Nancy Schwartz on February 9, 2016 in Video | 1 comment
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