So many organizations I follow or work with have become strong and savvy communicators. It’s thrilling to see nonprofits like yours put communications to work effectively despite time, talent, and budget constraints.  

However, there’s one communications method that remains poorly utilized by most organizations—media relations. That’s a significant gap because organizations that do work skillfully with reporters, editors, and opinion makers are more visible, advocate for their missions more effectively, and raise more money to support their work.

Now—thanks to the practical guidance in Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits—you can close this gap. Authors Peter Panepento and Antionette Kerr, both former journalists, provide a set of concrete, doable steps for media relations success based on this clear definition of today’s broad-ranging media landscape

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Best Buddies International

Like many of you, I’ve been working with storytelling for more than a decade now. And, like many of you, I know we need to do it better.

We use too many over-simplified stories—black-and-white stories that don’t ring true. Stories that are all about us, don’t have relevance to our supporters, or don’t map to our organizational identity. Stories that leave the reader or listener thinking “so what.”

That’s a real waste of our supporters’ and prospects’ time and attention. In fact, it’s alienating. Telling one-offs or weak stories like these makes your people feel you don’t understand or care about them. That means they’re less likely to stay engaged and provide the help you need. There’s a better way.

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Flickr: Robyn Anderson

The opportunity you have in front of you today is SO big, that it’ can seem overwhelming. …
You’ve decided to take another look at your engagement practices (Yea, yea, yea!), rather than just doing it. Breathe deep—the changes you make will have a huge impact on results.

What are YOU going to change? What will stay the same? PRIORITY NOW is the proven path forward.

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Thanks to guest blogger Rachel Carnegliaa, a nonprofit marketer and graphic designer promoting parks, trails, and green spaces at the Austin Parks Foundation

Hey, I have the inside scoop on Facebook, from Facebook (take it with a grain of salt, I guess), and I want to share it with you. You see, I was lucky enough to get some first-hand answers on effective engagement strategies for nonprofits, directly from Facebook employees, at a recent panel here in Austin. During the Q&A portion of the afternoon, the question on everyone’s mind finally came bubbling up to the surface—the new algorithm, a.k.a. the elephant in the room.

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Nancy Schwartz in Facebook | 0 comments

Listen! I’m booked to speak at Cause Camp and I’d love you to join me.  There are still some seats left for this intimate, lively, and FUN learning experience coming up.  

Here’s why I’m speaking at Cause Camp this year. Dig in—I think you’ll see why you should join me there:

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Relevance Rules Messages

From soulful to silly, heartfelt to heavy, no matter the approach, organizations like yours are using Valentine’s Day to get attention and motivate the actions they need this week and beyond. You still have time to leverage Valentine’s Day TODAY if you act now.

The secret sauce here is piggybacking on what’s top of mindYour people are already thinking about this stuff, so are far more likely to connect with your Valentine’s mini-campaign right now. They’ve been helping their kids write out cards for the entire class, buying that last-minute box of chocolates for their partner, or grabbing a bunch of roses on the way home from work. 

They couldn’t forget Valentine’s Day even if they wanted to. So use St. Valentine as a springboard to engagement. That’s Relevance Rules Messaging! Here’s how:

1) Find your cause’s genuine connection to love. It’s crystal clear for causes/issues like heart health, blood and organ donation and human services. The link may be less evident for other causes but is often findable with a bit of probing. Brainstorm with your colleagues over coffee asap.
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When you gather compelling stories—about beneficiaries, donors, or volunteers, or other players—to share in campaigns, thanks, and other communications, you gain a powerful complement to your data and anecdotal understanding of the people you want to engage. Together, these insights forge a shortcut to engaging hearts, minds, and wallets.

But it can be tough to source the right stories. Stories Worth Telling, a useful guide from the Meyer Foundation, reveals a damaging disconnect in the way organizations collect stories. Almost universally, organizations rely on program staff knowledge and relationships to gather stories, though the department overseeing the storytelling process is typically fundraising (54%) or communications (42%). Yikes!

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all-org team of messengers

We’re springboarding into 2018 fundraising with all of its challenges. Tax bill, anyone?

Joking aside, it may seem like your team’s hard work and limited resources aren’t enough. 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 drive your 2018 campaigns to a strong finish. Enlist your colleagues and board members to boost your nonprofit’s reach and relationships for little or no cost. The best part? They’re already motivated to help you reach your goals.

Take these three steps to identify, inspire, and launch your giving ambassadors:

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Nonprofit Communications TrendsInvest 13 minutes A.S.A.P. to complete the 2018 Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey. Payback?

  • In the short term, you’ll be invited to an exclusive preview webinar and be the first to see the results.
  • For the duration, you’ll get data vital for decisionmaking and for convincing the powers that be and your colleagues that your approach is spot on. And strengthen the community of which you’re an essential part.

Between us, the annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Report is one of my top resources for guiding and supporting my recommendations to nonprofit clients. Here are just a few of the trends the 2018 Report will cover:

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Boost Nonprofit Video ViewsGuest blogger Mark Horvath founded and leads Invisible People. Today he shares how to boost your YouTube views from meh to magnificent.  BTW, Mark’s video version of this post features bonus tips not found here! Here’s Mark…

I was thrilled with the performance of Invisible People’s YouTube channel for the last few years. With a focus on homelessness education, an average of 40,000 monthly views was fantastic, or so I thought.

That changed after we joined Patreon a few months back and I started to pay more attention to YouTube. The lightbulb went off when I typed “homeless” into the YouTube search bar. Invisible People undoubtedly has more videos from homeless people than any other content creator. All that came up was prank videos and other awful content that was so far from the truth about homelessness. None of our videos were showing in search with the keyword “homeless.” I knew I had to fix this, and here’s how:
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