david neff

It doesn’t come better than The Future of Nonprofits, by David Neff and Randal Moss, a nonprofit management guide rooted in a fresh and relevant context.

Organizational management theories are vital but, very frankly, most of them focused on nonprofit organizations mimic the very same thing. And, after you’ve read or heard that time and time again, it just doesn’t help move your organization forward.

Now, with The Future of Nonprofits, we have a refreshing and valuable framework for organizational management that incorporates clear, practical guidance for getting your nonprofit there now. Here’s what Neff and Moss recommend:

  1. If accepting that environmental change (in the issue arenas in which we work, in politics and legislation, in our target audiences and other organizations in our field) is real and ongoing, then nonprofit success is all about nimbly adapting to educated guesses on possible changes (multiple possibilities, not one) on an ongoing basis.
  2. This radically-different framework is a fertile foundation for innovation, as you and your colleagues will always be figuring a broad range of approaches to your programs and services, processes and stakeholder experiences. Innovation stems from the inspiration to find creative ways to adapt.
  3. Neff and Moss see nonprofit organizations that are actively experimenting with social media tools as pointed to success. Their ability to go beyond the current way of doing things is a prerequisite for organizational success.
  4. Effective communications (conversations, not broadcasts — built around listening, reading, participation and learning) are the key to sourcing the ideas and concepts at the heart of possible futures.

You’ll have to read the book to learn how to put this approach to work for your organization. I guarantee you it’ll open your mind to new and more effective ways of managing, and communicating for, your organization.

P.S. Learn how to strengthen your nonprofit’s marketing impact, a core ingredient in organizational impact, with the Guide to Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom.

Nancy Schwartz in Strategy | 3 comments
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David-Neff-nonprofit-videoWelcome back to guest blogger David Neff, of Lights.Action.Help., who’s going to guide you to nonprofit video success with possible cash prizes…

What’s the communications tool that’s going to make your nonprofit marketing campaign shine,  online and off? Quick, what springs to mind?

Well I’m here to tell you that it should be video. If you are going to do one new thing in 2010 to move your org forward, it should be producing a video. And yes, as the creator and co-founder of my Lights. Camera. Help., I’m a little biased!

Lights. Camera. Help. is the first nonprofit focused on helping other nonprofits engage their bases and motivate them to act through film. We do this through our education programs, volunteer match programs, screenings and and our annual film festival. But I’m here today to share three tips to help you get your video up and running.

  1. Check out the Flip Spotlight program for nonprofit organizations–This great program let’s you buy two cameras for the price of one, and all you have to do is summarize why your organization deserves to be in the program.
  2. When you start to film. check out Creative Commons to find amazing work to build upon.  Not everything you shoot needs to be video. Find some amazing photos and even music to mix in at no cost via Creative Commons.
  3. When you’re ready to launch the video, check out the amazing YouTube Non Profit program. Think about it: featuring your video on the #2 search engine in the world would is a great place to start. Just be sure to review the program’s rules and restrictions on the types of videos they accept.

In the meantime check out the Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival for a little inspiration. Our 2010 submission process is now open. There is no cost to submit a film (long or short format) and there are cash prizes for the top feature film, short film and PSA.

So if you know of  powerful nonprofit video and film, urge those folks (or yourself) to submit them today.

Thanks, David!

Here’s more guidance on creating high-impact video for your org:

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to nonprofit marketing (and video) success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Guest Blogger in Video | 2 comments
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Lift Your Head and Collaborate to Power Up Your Nonprofit's MarketingLet me introduce you to David J. Neff, nonprofit marketer extraordinary, who kicks off a periodic series of posts from guest bloggers.

I believe strongly in the value of multiple perspectives and weaving in guest writers into the Getting Attention blog and e-update is the best way to do it. Welcome, David…

“Hello! Today I want to introduce you to the #1 focus for nonprofits in 2010, getting to know other organizations and collaborating with them.

So what does that mean? Am I talking about the “kids who need coats” organization teaming up with the “kids who need bikes” non profit so that kids can ride bikes when it’s cold? Not exactly (although that would be nice).

What I am talking about is stopping your daily grind from time to time to lift your head. For you to climb out of your silo to have coffee with the communications director of the organization down the street who has no idea what your organization does; to discuss how you can co-promote, share mailing lists or plan a joint event. Or to schedule a call with the marketing consultant for that organization so much like yours but serving a different county.

Unsure where to start? Take 10 minutes a create an online survey and ask your email list what organizations you should be talking to (asking where else they give or volunteer is a great way to generate ideas). Or post a blog entry or Facebook page request. I think you’ll be amazed by the direction you get.

As the co-founder of the nonprofit Lights. Camera. Help., I know I was thrilled with the feedback we got from our network. They named film festivals all over the country that we’re now sharing ideas and experiences with.

At the very least, get to know colleague organizations in your region. Explore local meetups, 501 Tech Club, video camp or tech camp. Or simply google local “nonprofit meetings.” I can almost guarantee something is going on in your area and urge you to get there.

So press pause on that campaign and look around for a chance to say “hello”. Doing so is a wonderful source of enrichment and inspiration. Enjoy it.”

About David: David works with nonprofit organizations via Ridgewood Communications and Lights.Camera.Help. As long-time director of Web and interactive strategies at the American Cancer Society, he was named as 2009 Nonprofit Social Media Marketer by the American Marketing Association.

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to
nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly
Getting Attention e-update.
Subscribe today.

Guest Blogger in Nonprofit Communications, Unique Approaches | 3 comments
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