Monday, December 28, 2015

Improve Your Nonprofit Blog in 2016 With These 4 Things

1.  A blog title

The title of the blog is what you see in the browser window.  Many blogs have a header on the page with the name of the blog but they don't have a descriptive title for the blog.

Titles like Blog or Untitled page are not descriptive enough.

A more descriptive title would be "[name of organization]'s Blog",

2.  A date on your posts

This is something that many blogs are not including.  Readers would like to know when you wrote each post and if your blog is current.

3. An archive

Don't hide your old posts! Don't just have one page of entries and not include links to previous entries.

Readers want to know how long your organization has had a blog and read your old entries. They want to know what you have accomplished over the years.

You can show links to your old posts in either in a sidebar or put page numbers on the bottom of the page.

4. A link back to your organization's website

Make sure that people who find your blog through an internet search or social media know that you have a website too.  Make it easy for them to get to your website.  Don't make them take an extra step to search the internet to see if you have one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

6 reasons I am thankful for being part of the nptech community

The nonprofit technology community has been a big part of my life for the past 10 years. It's hard to believe it has been this long since since I have been involved. I am thankful to be part of this community and listed below are reasons why.

1) My Blog

When I first learned about nptech, I also learned about blogs. I started reading them and decided to start one on my own. Without my involvement in nptech, I would have never started blogging. 

Happy 10 years to my blog!

2) Meeting New People

The best part about being part of the nptech community is meeting new people both on the internet and in person.  

3) Learning

Reading blog entries and attending events has allowed me to learn about topics related to nonprofits and technology. I have also gained experience using social media and other technologies because of my involvement. 

4) Leadership

I have been a leader in NTEN in various roles.

About 9 years ago, I created a group for nonprofit bloggers. In 2014, the group transitioned to the Nonprofit Digital Communications CoP.  I organized this new group for about a year where I planned conference calls and compiled a list of resources on topics people enjoyed learning about. 

I've been a member of the research committee for the past two years. 

I led a few tweetchats for the commbuild CoP.

I also led a few sessions at conferences about blogging. 

5) Happiness

It makes me happy to see that people in nptech are enjoying my blogs and the resources I share.  

As CoP organizer, I was happy to see that people enjoyed participating in the group I created.

A few months ago at work, I saw the documentary Happy and a sheet was handed out about lessons learned from the movie. As I was reading it, I realized one of the lessons learned described me and my involvement with nptech. 

This lesson was about finding your flow, which I found in nptech. I get lost in my zone when I look for resources to share with others, read articles about nptech, and write about nptech. 

Being CoP organizer brought me happiness every day while I was leading the group. I really got lost in my zone when researching topics for the group to discuss, finding articles to share, and finding new ways to increase membership & improve the group. 

6) Reaching Goals

I set goals for myself to reach when working on nptech stuff.  Goals have included compiling a list of resources on a particular topic or writing a blog entry. 

Most importantly, I finally reached the goal I have been trying to reach for 10 years. I learned about nptech while trying to figure out my place in the nptech world. It took 10 years, but I finally work at an organization in a technology related position.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Blog Action Day - Nonprofits Raising Their Voice Through Stories

Today is Blog Action Day and this year's theme is Raise Your Voice.

Nonprofits raise their voice by sharing their success stories on their websites and blogs. They want people to know what a difference they are making.

Nonprofits can also share stories written by people who gained something from their organization. People submit their stories so they can raise their voice so others will learn how the organization impacted them. Nonprofits post these stories so people will know that they are really making a difference for others.

Here are examples of nonprofits that are sharing stories on their website about people they have helped-

American Red Cross-  Real Life Stories has stories about the people they have helped

Communities in Schools - Success Stories Page has stories about the students they have served

United Way-  Their stories page has stories about the lives they have changed

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

10 Ways Candy Crush and Nonprofits Are Alike

I have been busy playing Candy Crush over the past couple of years.

There are many ways Candy Crush and nonprofits are alike. Here are 10 ways I came up with:

  1. In Candy Crush, the goals for each level are not the same. This is just like how each campaign for a nonprofit has a different goal.

  2. In Candy Crush, you might have to replay levels more than once to achieve the goal. This is just like how a nonprofit may not reach their goals right away and have to keep trying to reach them.

  3. In Candy Crush, you feel accomplished after completing a level. This is just like how a nonprofit feels after having a successful campaign.

  4. In Candy Crush, there are different strategies to complete levels. This is just like how nonprofits need different strategies to reach their goals.

  5. In Candy Crush, you have bombs that you must clear before you get to 0. This is just like how a nonprofit has a certain amount of time to raise money for a campaign or get signatures for a petition.

  6. In Candy Crush, you have to make enough points to pass a level. This is just like how a nonprofit has to raise enough money to make a difference.

  7. In Candy Crush, not all levels of the same type (jelly, ingredients, order) are exactly the same. This is just like how nonprofits have types of supporters who are either volunteers or donors. Each volunteer and each donor are not exactly the same.

  8. In Candy Crush, you have order levels where you have to collect different types of candies. Sometimes you have to create candy bombs, striped candies, and wrapped candies. This is just like how a nonprofit needs to create different content for their different audiences.

  9. In Candy Crush, you can only play when you have lives. You run out of lives and have to wait for it to recharge. This is just like how a nonprofit collects item donations. Nonprofits may not have a big supply of items and they have to wait to have a bigger supply.

  10. In Candy Crush Soda, you have to find the bears. This is just like how nonprofits have to find people to support their organization.

Monday, May 04, 2015

2015 Nonprofit Benchmarks Study

The 2015 Nonprofit Benchmarks Study has recently been released.

Here are some of the findings:
  • Environmental group experienced the most growth in email list size and saw the greatest increase in the number of online gifts. This was the only group to send more advocacy email than fundraising email.
  • Health organizations sent the fewest fundraising emails. 
  • Hunger/Poverty organizations had the highest website donation conversion rate — 3.6% of their website visitors made a donation. 
  • Wildlife/Animal Welfare groups posted at a greater rate than anyone else on both Facebook and Twitter.

E-mail List Growth
  • Environmental was the only group that saw an increase. (from 20% to 32%)
  • Wild/Animal Welfare stayed the same at 21%.
  • Hunger/Poverty went way down from 58% to 15%.
  • Medium organizations was the only size that increased. (10% to 15%)
  • Both small and large organizations decreased. Small organizations went from 29% to 13% and large organizations went from 16% to 8%.

  • Hunger/Poverty organizations sent the most fundraising messages. They also only sent one newsletter during the year.
  • Rights organizations sent out the most newsletters during the year. (9)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report

The 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report was recently released. Here are some of the findings:
  • The three most important communications goals are engaging our community (57%), retaining current donors (53%), and brand awareness (51%).  It is interesting to see that these were also the top three goals found in the nonprofit content marketing report that was released a few months ago.
  • The biggest challenge is still lack of time to produce quality content.
  • The most important communication channels are websites, e-mail marketing, and traditional social media. 
  • Facebook is still the most important social media site and Twitter is the second. These results were the same findings from the nonprofit content marketing report.
  • Nonprofit communicators spend the most time producing content for Facebook and E-Newsletters.  

Friday, January 02, 2015

Great Nonprofit Blog Posts from 2014 about Technology, Communications, and Fundraising

Every month I post a roundup of nonprofit blog posts on the Nonprofit Blog Exchange. For 2014, I decided to make a list of my favorite posts throughout the year that were linked in the roundups.

Listed below are links to 66 blog posts from 25 blogs.


Blackbaud’s blog, npENGAGE, is one of my favorite nonprofit related blogs. I always include their posts in my roundups. According to my stats for 2014, their blog had the most clicks from The Nonprofit Blog Exchange blog.  Here are 7 posts I included in the roundups this year:
Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog

Kivi’s Blog has always been one of my favorite blogs about nonprofit communications. Her posts are always included in my roundups because they have great information nonprofits can learn from. This year she added more guest posts to her blog. According to my stats for 2014, her blog had the 2nd most clicks from The Nonprofit Blog Exchange blog.  Here are 8 posts I included in the roundups this year:
The Non-Profit Marketing Blog

The Non-Profit Marketing Blog is the blog for Network for Good. According to my stats for 2014, their blog had the 3rd most clicks from The Nonprofit Blog Exchange blog. Here are 6 posts I included in the roundups this year:
Beth’s Blog

Beth Kanter's blog is the most well known nonprofit blog. Her blog has been part of the exchange for the longest. Here are my favorite posts from her blog this past year:
J Campbell Social Marketing
Ann Green’s Nonprofit Blog
Red Rooster Group’s Blog
Techsoup's Blog
The Fundraising Resource Group's Blog
ASU Lodestar Center Blog
Communicate and Howe!
Event Fundraising Blog
Frogloop (Blog for Care2)
Fundraising Coach
The Storytelling Non-Profit Nonprofit Charitable Orgs

Drowning in Content? Curated Link Roundups Can Help

Donation Pay's Blog

Questions to Ask About Your Fundraising, Halfway Through the Holiday Push

Double The Donation Blog

Nonprofits - How to Use Social Media to Build Donor Loyalty

Engaging Volunteers

Winning People Over to Your Cause - Part One: Welcome Change

Get Fully Funded

Tips and Resources for Evaluating your Fundraising Efforts

Getting Attention

How Great Website Design DRIVES Action

LipmanHearne Commons

Five Steps to Take Before Starting a Website Redesign

Michelle Chaplin’s Blog

10 Easy A/B Tests for Your Email

The Collins Group Blog

How Tech is Changing Fundraising

Wild Apricot

From the Olympics to the Oscars - Non-profit Newsjacking Gold

Want your nonprofit blog listed in the roundups? Learn more about signing up your blog. Blogs included are blogs for organizations and blogs about nonprofits.