Creating Your Nonprofit’s Version of the #IceBucketChallenge
Aug21

Creating Your Nonprofit’s Version of the #IceBucketChallenge

It’s the question that thousands of nonprofit communications and development staff will be asked over the next several weeks: What’s our version of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Of course, the real questions behind that are “How come we aren’t raising a bazillion dollars online?” and “Why can’t we get our supporters to make videos of themselves about our cause and share them with their...

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Your Ideas, Examples, and Problems with Awareness Raising Campaigns
Jul29

Your Ideas, Examples, and Problems with Awareness Raising Campaigns

Next month we’ll be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival, and our theme is Raising Awareness. You may know that I am not the biggest fan of “awareness raising” as a goal in and of itself. ¬†Unless you have some clue about how you plan to connect the dots between the raised awareness and your ultimate goal, don’t bother. (In other words, billboards do not lead directly to fundraising results; there are still quite...

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Jargon Jam: Think Tank Launches Wonky Word Wednesdays
May28

Jargon Jam: Think Tank Launches Wonky Word Wednesdays

On our trip across Montana last week teaching nonprofits about clear, consistent, and compelling messaging, we heard some great examples of nonprofits doing their best to make the complicated work they do more easy to understand. One of those examples came from Tara Jensen, director of public affairs at the Montana Budget & Policy Center (MBPC). MBPC recently launched Wonky Word Wednesdays on their blog Рan attempt to...

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My Awareness Has Been Raised. Now What?
Feb03

My Awareness Has Been Raised. Now What?

Once you’ve done a bunch of work to “raise awareness” about your cause or your organization, then what? You don’t just want people to sit on the couch feeling all aware, right? The answer to the “now what?” question is one you should know before you even start your awareness raising activities. Where is all of this leading eventually? At some point down the line, you want someone to do...

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When They Want You to “Raise Awareness”
Jan27

When They Want You to “Raise Awareness”

It is one of the most dreaded requests from a board of directors or management team to a nonprofit communications director: “Could you go raise some awareness? If we could raise awareness, all of our problems would be solved!” Really? And what does “raising awareness” really mean? Surely not a massive, multimedia advertising campaign like corporate America would do, because you don’t have that budget (OK,...

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This is What Nonprofits Need More Than a Facebook Donate Button
Dec18

This is What Nonprofits Need More Than a Facebook Donate Button

You may have felt a rumble on Facebook this week . . . they are adding “Donate” button functionality to some nonprofit pages. It’s still being rolled out and there are tons of questions about how it will work. For example, will nonprofits get contact information for donors? Highly unlikely. Will this make is easier for people to quickly support high visibility causes during a crisis like a disaster? Very likely. Is...

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