Special Opportunities

Spot the Next Great Nonprofit TaglineVote now (but once only) for the 2009 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards. Voting will:

  • Sharpen your understanding of what works and what doesn't communications-wise.
  • Inform and inspire your organization's messaging.
  • Give you the chance to register for the free 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report, with 2,500 tagline examples.

The 60 finalists were selected from over 1,700 tagline entries. Now it's *your* turn to choose the best.

More than 3,000 of your peers have voted already. Here's what some of them have to say:

  • "Great examples of the struggle to create taglines with meaning."
  • "By voting, I learned how to make our tagline better."
  • "Thank you for doing this. Helping non-profit boards understand the power of marketing is difficult. When you have excellence to point to, it helps!"

Polls close midnight, Wednesday, September 30th.

Vote now!

P.S. Thanks so much to those of you who have already voted! Only one vote please.

Nancy Schwartz in Awards, Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Special Opportunities, Taglines | 1 comment
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Kennedy Center's Michael Kaiser Launches 50-State Tour to Help Arts Orgs Flourish in Economic CrisisBack in February, I read about Arts in Crisis, the Kennedy Center's initiative to help arts organizations survive in this challenging climate.  The program, open to non-profit performing arts organizations that apply online, provides free guidance for fundraising, planning and management.

I was heartened and intrigued by the concept, but not provoked to dive in deeper until I heard Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser interviewed yesterday about his 50-state tour to deliver guidance in person. This guy is incredible — he noted the (relatively) small volume of requests for help, and decided to take the show on the road where he can provide arts management advice face-to-face!

Far more than just a cheerleader, Kaiser strongest message is to avoid "bunker mentality," advising that's the quickest path to organizational failure. Here are his core guidelines:

  1. Do new things, adventurous things. Otherwise you'll be like everyone else, and won't get much attention or support.
  2. Be creative — do more for less. For examples, do staged readings, with the best actors, rather than full-fledged productions. Collaborate. Cut print marketing; relying more on online channels. Kaiser reminds us that a tough environment like this one allows organizations to become more creative.
  3. Don't cut programming, because when you do, you cut a revenue source AND your ambitions.

Kaiser's wisdom is relevant to nonprofit's in all fields. It's far too easy to retreat in the face of adversity. Since we are in tough times that seem to be here to stay for a while, push it to see how you can use them to grow your organization — marketing-wise and programmatically.

More useful guidance, for arts orgs plus, at ArtsManager.org, Arts in Crisis' info-packed, online resource center.

P.S. Share your creativity by entering your tagline today in the 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Awards! Deadline is July 31st.

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Nonprofit Marketing News, Professional Development, Recommended Resources, Special Opportunities | 1 comment
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What Environmental Org Does Most Rate it -- GreatNonprofits 2009 Green Choice AwardsIn celebration of Earth Day (April 22nd), GreatNonprofits is holding a contest to ID the best environmental nonprofits out there, as rated by volunteers, donors and others in the know.

The winning orgs will be featured in national media coverage and all voters are entered to win prizes such as earth-friendly wines from Fetzer, a stay at Joie De Vivre hotels and more!   

So environmental nonprofits — here's your call to action: Email those who know your impact (everyone, be creative) and ask them weigh in here, today.

Crowdsourcing in the most useful and positive way. Love it!

P.S. GreatNonprofits solicits ratings from folks who know what orgs work, and which don't! Not only is this info used by prospective donors, volunteers, program participants, etc. — it's valuable audience feedback at no effort or cost to you. Make sure you use what's there on your org.

Nancy Schwartz in Audience Research, Awards, Nonprofit Communications, Special Opportunities | 0 comments
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Ask Experts, Share Issues, Get Inspired -- Join Getting Attention Discussion Group on LinkedIn
Looking for marketing answers? Stuck and need inspiration? Surprised at something that's worked great and want to spread the word?
Please join me and (already) 400 fellow nonprofit communicators in the Getting Attention (GA) Group on LinkedIn.

Here's the deal. For years, folks have been sending me queries on nonprofit marketing dilemmas (Ask Nancy). I do respond via the GA blog or e-update when possible, but…

  1. I just can't respond to the volume anymore, and more importantly…
  2. You'd get a lot more from hearing from your peers, as well as from me. They're the ones out in the field, testing, testing testing. 

So I'm shifting discussion to the Getting Attention LinkedIn Group (we'll have a Facebook group soon). Already have 400 nonprofit communicators there, including several in every issue arena, org size and budget, etc.We already have lots of topics in play and through those discussions, I've been getting tons of new ideas and "meeting" new colleagues.

And, if you're not yet on LinkedIn, it's the perfect motivation for you to spend 10 minutes putting up a profile — great networking, discussion groups from all perspectives (I put queries out and get great responses).

Here's how to join now, in 10 minutes or less:

  • If you're already on LinkedIn, sign up here today. And welcome, in advance.
  • If you're not on LinkedIn yet, sign up here (see Not a User yet line at bottom of page), then join the Getting Attention group. You're going to love being on linkedIn, and part of the group.

Once you're in, ask a question, tell a story, get involved. Like anything else, the more conversation, the richer the experience. Welcome one and all!

Nancy Schwartz in Networking Op, Nonprofit Communications, Nonprofit Marketing News, People, Professional Development, Special Opportunities, Web 2.0 | 0 comments
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Free Marketing Wisdom -- Get It While It's HotMarketingSherpa is sharing some wisdom again in its just-released 2009 Marketing Wisdom report.The report features 94 useful real-life lessons learned last year by marketers just like you, each conveyed in a single paragraph. Great example of creative crowdsourcing too!

I’m a big fan of this report, read it annually and urge you to download it today, for free. Here’s what you’ll get out of it:

  • Succinct, engaging first-hand accounts of marketing techniques that work — from colleagues in nonprofit and business world.
  • Diversity of goals, perspective and experiences.
  • Easy-to-scan content, indexed by tactic, organization and contributor name.

As a bonus, the submissions provide an overview of trends in marketing. This year, the editors point to “email is not dead,” “clarity on the effectiveness of social networking” and the persistent importance of SEO (search engine optimization) as the big three trends.Is that what you’re seeing?

Dive in today and let me know what you learn and put to work.

P.S. Now here’s a bit of my wisdom! When a powerful tagline is joined to a compelling mission…nothing is impossible! Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Recommended Resources, Special Opportunities, Unique Approaches | 0 comments
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Join Me at NTC, SanFran 426-28 -- It's One of the Most Stimulating Conferences I Know

I hope you’ll join me at NTC (the annual conference of NTEN, the National Technology Network), April 24-26, 2009 in San Francisco. I want to chat in person and talk through what I’m learning.

Listen! Don’t stop reading because I said “technology.” Please forget the name and let what I’m saying sink in.

Here’s what you need to know: NTC is a gathering of some of the most thoughtful, imaginative, charged, exciting folks in the nonprofit biz. Communicators, fundraisers, program folks, IT staff — anyone who integrates technology tools into their work. People like Katya Andresen, Beth Kanter and Kivi Leroux Miller plus nonprofit innovators like the Humane Society’s Carrie Lewis and Wendy Harman with the American Red Cross.

I participated for the first time last year — when I finally realized how relevant the conference is for nonprofit communicators — and was energized, inspired and much smarter by the time I left.

There’s incredible content and connections. I left last year’s NTC with a slew of new friends and colleagues with whom I’ve shared stories, challenges and fun with ever since. Here’s my take on the 2008 NTC.

Take a look today at the agenda (communications breakouts here) and folks who are coming. Irresistable. Register now for the early-bird rate (expires January 31st). The conference does sell out.

NOTE: Full disclosure — I’ve just joined the NTEN board. But rest assured, I was a NTEN booster way before that!

P.S. Need a scholarship?

P. S. Don’t miss out on the in-depth articles, case studies and guides on key nonprofit communications topics featured in the Getting Attention e-alert. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz in 09NTC, Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development, Special Opportunities | 2 comments
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Let Me Help You Shape a Powerful Tagline for Your Org Chronicle Online Discussion, Tues. Oct 7, Noon EasternAsk me to help you craft a slogan for your org or program that’s distinctive and memorable in the minds of donors and other supporters!

I’m behind the help desk tomorrow (Tues., October 7th, at Noon eastern), at the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s online discussion — Making Marketing Messages That Matter! Come on by: Id love to answer your query on why taglines matter, how to improve your current tagline or craft one for a new program, or get the leadership buy-in you need to dive into the tagline or brand development process.

You know that I recently studied the tag lines of more than 1,900 organizations to identify some of the nonprofit world’s most effective messages. And I found that seven in 10 nonprofit groups rate their tag lines as poor — or do not have taglines at all. Yikes. (Guidance on how to fix that in the free Nonprofit Tagline Report.)

So what makes a winning tagline? Why are they important? And how do you create a tagline that makes others remember what you stand for?
Let me answer your questions — on these topics and more.

See you tomorrow (10/7) at noon eastern time. Looking forward to it!

P.S. Learn how to the marketing message that matters most — your tagline. Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Special Opportunities, Taglines | 0 comments

China's Response to Earthquake Recovery May Crack Open Door to Real Nonprofit PresenceUpdate 5/20/08: New York Times reports on unprecedented volunteer movement among Chinese citizens wanting to help earthquake survivors.

As I listened to earthquake news this morning from China’s Sichuan province, I realized that the cards may be aligned for the Chinese government to welcome a real nonprofit sector. Reminds me of post-Berlin wall days in Eastern Europe.

There are already thousands of grassroots nonprofits in China, but they are fighting just to survive without the necessary support and infrastructure, much less to provide services to this huge population (estimated at 1.4 billion). Weak management skills and lack of operating resources are among the  key barriers to Chinese nonprofit impact, as cited in a recent McKinsey & Company report.

However, dramatic events are the most common harbinger of major change, and there’s little more dramatic than the events of the last days in China. There may be a star in this dark, dark sky.

The Chinese government’s response to this earthquake is strikingly different than that to the last major quake in Tangshan in 1976. In those last days of Mao’s regime, the government tried to hide the earthquake, vastly underestimating the death and injury toll. By the end of the year, the Gang of Four was out of power.

In this last ten days, we’ve seen the Chinese government act very differently in:

Yes, this is political maneuvering (aka crisis communications) as China tries to shine in contrast to Myanmar’s government’s disgraceful power play rather than the well being of its people and to the worldwide critique of its anti-human-rights approach, while maintaining some semblance of national glory in hosting the 2008 Olympics. Nonetheless, it’s the end result that really matters.

In addition, over $1 billion in domestic donations have been made by a citizenry largely unpracticed in giving. What a great start. Much of the giving, according to NPR, is coming from students, and those who have achieved urban success after migrating from rural locales who are already busy on message boards questing for accountability for the use of their gifts. 

This is a society aching for nonprofits to fill the gaps the government has been content to hide for so long. This is a people no longer willing to live without rights, or in poverty. This is a country where nonprofit organizations can bring their issue and functional expertise to complement what the government can provide.

Watch, look and listen. With over 50,000 dead and 5 million homeless quake survivors, there’s no better time than now for China to birth a robust nonprofit sector.

Your thoughts?

Missing out on the Getting Attention e-newsletter? Subscribe now for in-depth articles and case studies on nonprofit marketing.

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Marketing News, Special Opportunities | 2 comments

Anyone else participating in the Summit onPhilanthropy V, Tuesday 311 in NYCI’ll be live-blogging from this celebrity-filled (from the nonprofit point of view, doubtful if Brangelina will be in attendance) event next Tuesday, and would love to meet you if you’re going too.

You know what I  look like (here I am), so do look out for me. Better yet, email me today and we’ll set up a rendezvous. I love to meet Getting Attention readers!

Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

  • Meeting, or catching up with, some of my favs including Allison Fine, Mario Morino, and  Chronicle of Philanthropy editor Stacy Palmer.
  • Learning and discussing on the three crucial topics covered in the panels. Really excited about CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World.

If you’re going to be there, let me know and we’ll get together. If you’re not, check back next week for what I learn, hear and see.

Missing out on the Getting Attention e-newsletter? Subscribe now for in-depth articles and case studies on nonprofit marketing.You’ll get first access to research like this, plus other coverage to ensure marketing impact.

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development, Special Opportunities | 0 comments

Capitalize on The Big Give -- 4 Ways to Work it Via Nonprofit MarketingOprah’s Big Give premiered Sunday evening March 2nd to record audiences (15.6 million, according to Nielsen ratings). Now that’s a huge number of folks paying attention to giving; many of whom are likely to have little experience with nonprofits, donating or volunteering.

The show works like this: Ten contestants, ordinary people who auditioned in different cities like “American Idol” aspirants, are paired into teams and assigned a person who needs help. The team that raises most money — and presents the most moving case — wins. Each week the lowest-scoring contestant gets sent home.

Despite the fact that critics have panned the show as a venue for product placement, not good will; as a fraud and so far worse than a show that doesn’t claim to do good, The Big Give is clearly a dream for ABC and its advertisers. I see it as a dream come true for nonprofit marketers.

Here are four low-cost/effort, high-return ways to put those 31 million eyeballs (and millions more who are reading about the show) to work for your nonprofit:

  1. Harvest volunteers, while interest is hot. Register today with VolunteerMatch. Oprah has wisely partnered with experts on this front — VolunteerMatch is shepherding folks into volunteering, a service featured on the show home page. Make sure you’re volunteer ops are listed in the VolunteerMatch database. Here’s how.
  2. Make it easy for folks to give via Network for Good, even if you’re already using another online giving strategy. Oprah has partnered with online giving service Network for Good on the donation side. Sign up today so you don’t lose these viewers.
  3. Invite supporters to throw Big Give parties for your org, and simplify the process by providing a downloadable party kit with e-invite text, stories of other giving parties, a party hotline, etc. Oprah offers tips for format and food here.
  4. Sponsor or launch a local “Big Give” knock off in your community. Here’s info on Big Give Houston, which is a great model for your community.

Missing out on the Getting Attention e-newsletter? Subscribe now for in-depth articles and case studies on nonprofit marketing.You’ll get first access to research like this, plus other coverage to ensure marketing impact.

Nancy Schwartz in Fundraising: Innovations & Research, Nonprofit Communications, Special Opportunities, Volunteers | 7 comments

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