holly ross

Guest blogger Holly Ross has spent seven+ years at the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), working with community members to identify technology trends that are reshaping the nonprofit sector. Brett Meyer, NTEN Communications Director, co-authored this post.

As nonprofits have flocked to the e-newsletter as an inexpensive and timely way to communicate with stakeholders, the number of newsletter tips has also proliferated. While subject lines, “from” addresses, and your template design are all important, they aren’t the biggest challenge to putting out a quality newsletter.  The most difficult part is creating good content, content your subscribers want to read.


Guest Blogger in Content Marketing, Email and E-Newsletters | 1 comment
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I’m thrilled to welcome Holly Ross, our newest guest blogger. Holly has spent seven+ years at the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), working with community members to identify technology trends —  from ubiquitous access to technology leadership — that will reshape the nonprofit sector. Full Disclosure: I’m an NTEN board member and a huge fan.

“Social media is not a megaphone, it’s a conversation.” You’ve doubtlessly heard this phrase uttered at dozens of conference sessions and read it in many blog posts. Although that’s the first lesson most of us learned about social media, it’s been the hardest to implement. Having a “conversation” with people you may not know very well, on a platform you’re not entirely comfortable with, isn’t easy to pull off. It’s a skill that has to be developed.

Guest Blogger in Social Media | 2 comments
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How to Generate Buzz via Social Media Real Life Dos and Don'tsHas this happened to your organization: You experimented with social media tools and found that nothing happened at all?

If so, you’re not alone. One of the most frequent complaints from organizations trying social media out is that after taking the plunge–whether tweeting, blogging or launching a Facebook fan page–nothing happens.

Now there’s help: I partnered with NTEN ED Holly Ross to share guidelines and case studies on using social media tools to build buzz (and reach) via this webinar for the Communications Network. And now the video recording and slide deck are available to you, at no cost.

Our presentation covers the nuts and bolts of social media success, the readiness required to put them to work and a laundry list of dos and don’ts. Although the case studies are about grantmakers, the examples and findings are equally relevant to nonprofit organizations.

I recommend you take an hour out to make sure your social media buzz building is all it can be. Here’s what one participant had to say (and another, just in).

P.S. More effective messaging is a priority for all organizations. Learn how to craft the most essential message — your tagline. Download the free 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report, filled with must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 2,500+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development, Recommended Resources, Social Media | 1 comment
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You know it from your personal life, and on the professional side too — when you share something personal (but appropriate, can’t be too much), it can deepen understanding, interest and the connection.

The same goes when your organization — or you, speaking for your organization — does so. Here are a couple of recent examples that wowed me:

  • Holly Ross, NTEN‘s executive director, used a double fun strategy to raise $10,000 for scholarships to the recent NTC conference. She challenged members and others to give, offering their choice of “public humiliation” if they met the goal. They did, and the vote was for Holly to do a remake of Beyonce’s Put a Ring on It video. The NTEN community (and my daughter, Charlotte) went wild for the video, which generated a huge amount of Holly- and NTEN-love. Move over Beyonce.
  • Patricia Wilson, executive director of the Greater Bay Area Make-a-Wish Foundation just launched a diet-based fund-raising campaign to help close the gap on her org’s $200,000 deficit. She’s putting herself way out there, asking folks to pledge for every pound she loses. Donors and lurkers can track her progress (see her sign at left, with weight lost and dollars gained) and give via Patricia’s Big Loser Campaign on Facebook. She’s going strong on both fronts and is likely to exceed her $7,500 goal.
  • Social media blogger Chris Brogan shaved his head to raise money for Giving Kids Laptops. His dramatic campaign – – part all Chris, part reality TV — conveyed like nothing else how passionate he is about the cause, and made me feel like part of the Chris club.

P.S. Don’t miss out on in-depth articles, case studies and guides to nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Case Studies, Nonprofit Communications, Strategy | 1 comment
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