Steal isn't the right word. Let's call it "where to find sources of inspiration" instead!

One of those sources was all around us : political campaigns. Think about it: A single person, the candidate, is trying to reach thousands if not millions of voters. How do candidates at all levels of government from city council to the presidency get the word out? Bumper stickers, yard signs, robocalls and tons of public appearances.

How can you translate these tools into publicity for your nonprofit? Let's take yard signs. If you have an event coming up, why not print up 100 yard signs and ask your supporters to put them in their yards for a week or two before the event? They can advertise the event name, date, and website or phone number, or they can say something like "We'll be there . . . will you?"

Granted, everyone is sick and tired of the political robocalls right now (especially if you live in a newly minted "purple swing state" like I do!). But once you aren't competing with the crazy volume of calls, automated calling is a great way to remind people about events or registration deadlines or to look for their appeal letters in the mail. It can also work well for timely reminders for people on your list who don't have email (or who don't check it regularly).

Another source of good ideas? College campuses. Think about all the creative energy you find on college campuses! If you watch what various student organizations are doing to get the word out about their events, advocacy campaigns, and fundraisers, you are bound to find some good ideas.