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

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!

Quick Tip, LinkedIn Edition

I have always felt guilty about not doing more constituent engagement through LinkedIn. It seems so obvious – there are our donors, board members, volunteers, and all of their networks! At one point I took over a not-at-all-utilized Friends of ZUMIX LinkedIn group with very lofty aspirations. I invited a bunch of new people, and then did nothing else.

This morning I got the one tip I have been looking for – a way to engage in a meaningful way that http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/ativan/ doesn’t require continuous maintenance – at a HandsOn Tech Boston workshop on social media for nonprofits.

Mike Byrnes, presenter and ESC consultant, suggested using the recommendations feature to acknowledge the work of Board members, volunteers, and active donors. By doing so, you can publicly offer a sincere thank you, give that person a professional boost to their profile, and also get your organization some added LinkedIn visibility. Triple win!

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.


If you are working at a small or mid-sized nonprofit, you probably rely heavily on staff, Board members, and volunteers to promote your events and news items on social media. Whether it is an invitation to a fundraising event, a link to press coverage, or a tooting-of-the-horn for an accomplishment, more buzz is always better. You will get the best results, in terms of both quality and quantity, when you provide a cheat sheet.

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