Well played, Rosie’s Place!

This photo, posted on Facebook by Rosie’s http://healthsavy.com/product/adderal/ Place, is so brilliant that it brought me back to blogging from a multi-month hiatus.

You might not think so, but stay with me…

It certainly isn’t the prettiest, flashiest, or most filtered image out there. And it doesn’t include any people, which instinct would certainly tell you is a bad idea. But this image has told me more about what goes on at Rosie’s Place than they have conveyed in several years of solicitations and emails.

A colleague and I were recently debating whether we should enter a contest that required us to demonstrate our service with one image. We convinced ourselves that there is no way to sum up the 7 programs USES offers to participants spanning ages birth to 108 years in one shot. We were wrong.

Rosie's Place Schedule

Product Plug, Not-So-Shameless

Avery Matte White Postcards have done wonders for my donor communication efforts.  Below is an example of a very simple “Thank You” postcard I send to donors during my weekly thank-a-thon when I don’t have a phone number or email address. I like that it feels a little more special than a formal letter, and I don’t have to risk that it will go into the recycling without the message being seen. I have http://buytramadolbest.com also used these for house party invitations (inside an envelope) and program updates for giving society members. I always try to choose a photo for the front that someone might think is worth holding onto, hoping to make it onto a refrigerator or bulletin board. Since my office has been blessed with a high quality color printer, this has been a very cost effective way to increase donor touchpoints.

Thank You

Kickass Giving Pages For Dummies

2013 data from Network For Good tells us that while online giving continues to grow, it still represents less than 10% of giving.  Of the giving that happens online, 58% is done through branded giving pages – pages that visually match and are integrated http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/levitra/ with the organization’s website.  The average gift size was $118, as opposed to an average of $80 through generic giving pages.  Fortunately, Cause Populi developed an amazing infographic that lays out the essential components of a kickass branded giving page:

Well Played, ZUMIX and Artists for Humanity!

Early on I wrote a post about how to get your annual appeal opened, which I consider to be a sizable hurdle in any direct mail campaign.  Basically, the appeal package should be interesting in both look and feel and also have some personal touches.  As an example of a mailer that does every single thing right, check out this appeal from ZUMIX: Continue reading

Well Played, Brattle Film Foundation!

Annual appeal season brings a lot of inspiration if you take the time to read all the messaging.  I received an appeal from the Brattle Film Foundation, best known as The Brattle Theatre, presumably because I supported their Kickstarter campaign back in the spring.  I will admit that I had no connection and had never been there, but a friend shared the campaign on Facebook and $20 got me two tickets and popcorn – win/win.

As you can see, the letter http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/ambien/ tells a personal story about the Theatre.  I appreciate that this letter is a narrative, relying on a sense of nostalgia rather than a laundry list of statistics from the past year.  While I am not making a donation right now, I did finally go to their website and make plans to use my tickets.  And so it begins.

image

All Together Now, or, A Campaign for an Online Community

Are you following the Word of Mouth blog? You totally should be. One recent post explains a social media campaign, “My 4 Words” by UCB Pharma, with a video explaining how they create an online presence that is actually about community and the constituent, as opposed to pushing a product or message.

I have been seeing articles here and there that suggests that the modern day donor has a connection to the cause, more so than the nonprofit. A quick look around Facebook gives this theory credibility. My nonprofit is in a bit of a reflection phase as we consider how we currently http://healthsavy.com/product/tramadol/ talk about our organization, and how we would like that message to change. The UCB Pharma campaign is the equivalent of branding the cause, as opposed to the organization.  For me – at United South End Settlements – that might mean a campaign to engage folks around the importance of education or what they love about the South End, as opposed to what they know about our organization.

The campaign is described around 12 minutes into the video, but this is definitely worth the full half hour if you can spare it. happy viewing!

Well played, Camp Fire!

Did i take one? Hell yes!

Did i take one? Hell yes!

I just wanted to share this amazing promo item that Camp Fire was giving away at a recent Volunteer Fair. This is an indoor s’mores kit, complete with http://healthsavy.com/product/ativan/ microwave instructions. What better swag could their be for a camping program?? I bet they have super fun house parties with s’mores martinis.

I hope this inspires people to really get creative about giveaways and merchandise!

One Simple Thing

The time has come to start planning your annual appeal(s). In my office that means 3 letters: a Friends of Camp Hale appeal, a Friends of the Children’s Art Centre appeal, and the general appeal for everyone else. This year, I am embracing the concept of “One Simple Thing.” If you have read a few of my posts, you know that I am a proponent of fewer words and simpler hooks to make a bigger impact. So of course I am always happy when I find an “expert” who agrees! On Monday, our development http://buytramadolbest.com/ambien.html team is getting together to watch the following video and begin the process of pinpointing United South End Settlements’ “One Simple Thing.” I am hoping that this process will get the creativity flowing and result in appeal letters that make a strong, simple case for support.

P.S. Check out the other videos in this series to hear Chris Colbert’s thoughts on how to identify your OST and how to connect it to your target audience. You can get the full scoop on HowToMarketToMe.com.

Marketing the Cause

The Millennials are coming!

The Millennials are coming!

I recently came across this Huffington Post summary of the 2013 Millennial impact Report. I took the bait and read the article, even though of course I have no idea how many millennials are in my organization’s database. (Does anyone track that??) This then sparked an office debate about who millennials actually are – with some claiming proud allegiance and others lying to make themselves older. But, there is one thing here that really struck me as useful:

“…when it comes to engaging with a nonprofit organization, the report revealed that millennials are drawn to the broader cause and issue — not the organization itself. ”

This stood our to me as being intuitively true based on my observations on social media, my own giving, and conversations I have had with http://healthsavy.com/product/valium/ donors.  It does seem like a lot of folks are picking their cause – be it marriage equality, animals, or service to their neighborhood – and then finding the organization that fits the bill.  This finding should inspire all of us to reconsider our elevator speech and our marketing materials.   I say that as someone who is put to sleep by the drone of my own organization’s mission statement.  Starting off a pitch with that clunker is not going to hook anyone.

Make sure that the tag line, the opening paragraph, or the first sentence you speak makes it clear what your issue is. Either the receiver will know to opt out, saving everyone time, or you will move the communication along with someone who is now actively listening.

Maybe social media is worth it after all?

Lately I have been wrestling with the question of whether social media channels are worth the effort for my organization.  It seems like a natural fit – founded in the settlement house tradition, we are community builders, so online communities are just an extension of that work.  My eyes kinda glazed over a little just typing that.  I am a social media cynic.  There! I said it.

It is easy for me to be a doubter because my office doesn’t do it well. And so the question is, is it worth the time and effort to figure it out, make a plan, and commit the resources for upkeep? Just as I was about to say no (see my previous post about my affinity for “no”), I came across this study from the Stanford Social innovation Review:  The Permanent Disruption of Social Media.

I’m not going to go too far into it because http://healthsavy.com/product/topamax/ obviously you are not someone who shies away from online reading, but the following tidbits gave me a lot to consider:

  • The pyramid model of donor engagement is old school, we are now operating in a vortex (cool graphic provided!) of continual opportunities for interaction.
  • 39% of survey respondents are motivated to get involved in causes that impacted someone they know, and 36% are motivated by a cause that is important to someone they know.
  • Slacktivists are actually just as likely to give as non-soap boxers, but they are much more likely to participate in an event, volunteer, or solicit.

By the way, I found out about this article through a 3 for Thursday bulletin from K Weill Consulting Group.  These bulletins are much more digestible and relevant for me than the average weekly newsletter so I recommend checking them out.