Sunday, October 30, 2016

3 Things I Learned About Data Visualization

Last week I attended the Netsquared event in DC about data visualization.

Here are three things I learned:

1. The planning process for data visualization is like every other technology planning process. You have to figure out your audience and what their needs are.

2. Data visualization is another form of storytelling.  You have to look at your data to figure out what story you want to tell.

3. Use of color is important.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 Digital Outlook Report Summary

The 2016 Digital Outlook Report was recently released. This was the second year for this report.

Here are some of the findings:

  • 61.06% of respondents had at least one staff member dedicated solely to online digital strategy
  • 52.09% of respondents have a team of at least 2-5 people focused on digital strategy
  • The biggest challenges with regards to planning new and concentrated digital strategy are staff shortages and budget restraints.  These were the top two challenges in 2015 as well. Last year staff shortages was at a higher percentage with a 10% difference and this year they were both tied.  Coming up with engaging content was the 3rd challenge and lack of training on new digital strategies was the 4th.  In 2015, both of these challenges were tied at 40%. This year they were both above 50%
  • Nonprofits will be focusing their efforts the most on videos in 2016. This was the same finding in 2015.  69.3% will be focusing more on videos this year. Website conversion optimization will be the second thing nonprofits will be focusing their efforts on in 2016 (61.9%). Images was the third thing nonprofits will be focusing their efforts on in 2016 (60.4%), which was also in the top three in 2015.  
  • 56% will be looking to test content strategy in 2016
  • 23% of respondents have created supporter personas, while 61% have not done this

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Notes from NetSquared DC's Crafting Amazing Stories

Speaker #1 - Melissa from Stone Soup Films

Shared a video from Wise Young Builders about math being used in building. This was to show how math is used in real life.

Shared a video from DC Diaper Bank about a question they get all the time about why they don't use cloth diapers.  

Finding Stories
  • Biggest obstacles and frustrations in communication (Example- DC Diaper Bank)
  • Who is your audience
  • Finding main characters
Story Content Basics
  • Make audience care or take action
  • Show journal/transformation (beginning, middle, end)
  • Keep message simple
  • Show don't tell (Example- Wise Young Builders)
  • Don't overburden with facts and figures
  • Shorter, the better

Speaker #2 - Vladimir
  • People don't connect with organizations, they connect with other people
  • Make it personal
  • We all love stories
  • Two questions to ask - Who is your audience? What is your goal?
  • Use same footage for different social media sites
  • Promote video on social media, e-mail, and ads on Facebook

Speaker #3 - Tanya from Machinists Union

  • Who is audience?
  • Tell both sides or all sides (different points of views)
  • The story structure should have a beginning, middle, and end.
    (How did the issue come about? What is happening now? What’s next?)
Advocacy Journalism
  • Show why position is important
  • Advocate for certain point or position
  • Back it up with facts
  • Be different
  • Take notes
  • Search everywhere for stories
  • Get people to realize that they have a story that can help other people

Speaker #4 - Brandi from Vanguard Communications

Stories come from your network.
There are more tools now to capture stories and share them.

Science of Stories
  • Engage more parts of the brain
  • Generate interest and engagement
How to Ask
  • Invite people to share
  • Provide guidelines for content and an easy way to submit 
  • Offer an incentive
  • Get releases (it is ok to use content submitted for website, blog, or social media)
Farm Aid Example

  • They wanted stories and set up a submission form
  • 500+ people shared #Road2FarmAid stories
  • Stories collected helped with content
  • Social Media Results - 6,416 new Facebook followers, reached 5 million Twitter accounts, generated 15.4 million Twitter impressions, generated 9 million+ Instagram impressions

Thursday, March 03, 2016

3 Nonprofit Technology Tips You Can Learn From Dr. Seuss

1) "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

The more you read nonprofit blogs and keep up with the latest trends in technology and nonprofit technology, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places your nonprofit will go.

2) “Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!”

Today is your day to find new supporters and get the word out about what your organization is doing. Your fans, followers, and website visitors are waiting for you! Update your content today!

3) "A person's a person, no matter how small."

A fan is a fan, follower is a follower, and an e-mail list subscriber is a subscriber no matter how much they engage with your organization.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

How To Share Nonprofit Social Media Content in a Blog Post

I was inspired by the article on titled Bay Area Shelters Worth a Follow on Social Media.

This article has screenshots of 13 animal shelters in the San Francisco area that are using Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  This brings awareness of how local shelters are using social media and readers can view these pages to learn more about the organizations.

It even started some conversation in the comments section. People mentioned other animal shelters in the area that have a social media presence. One person mentioned that they volunteered at one of the shelters. Another person was heartbroken about seeing all the dogs that needed to be rescued.

This is a great way to bring awareness of nonprofit organizations that are using social media.

Here are some ideas on what to share in an article similar to this:

  • Local news websites/blogs can share content like this one for a specific cause
  • Organizations that have members or chapters can share their social media content
  • Nonprofit bloggers can explore an awareness day or some other theme and show what organizations are posting on social media

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Great Nonprofit Blog Posts from 2015 about Technology, Communications, and Fundraising

Every month I post a roundup of nonprofit blog posts on the Nonprofit Blog Exchange. The links below are my favorite posts in 2015 that were linked in the roundups.

Listed below are links to 27 blog posts from 15 blogs.

Ann Green’s Nonprofit Blog

According to my stats for 2015, her blog had the most clicks from The Nonprofit Blog Exchange blog.  Here are 3 posts I included in the roundups this year: 

Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog

According to my stats for 2015, her blog had the 2nd most clicks from The Nonprofit Blog Exchange blog. (same as last year) Here are 3 posts I included in the roundups this year:


According to my stats for 2015, their blog had the 3rd most clicks from The Nonprofit Blog Exchange blog.  (was also in the top 3 last year) Here are 2 posts I included in the roundups this year: 

Non-Profit Marketing Blog

Engaging Volunteers

Event Fundraising Blog

Wild Apricot

A New Marketing Commentator

How 10 Nonprofit Brands Roll on Twitter

Double the Donation

5 Steps to Easy Online Donations

Get Fully Funded Blog

10 Non-profit Fundraising Lessons From My Garden

Neighborworks Blog

Top 7 online giving tips for nonprofits

Red Rooster Group

Using Infographics in Your Nonprofit Annual Report

See What’s Out There

5 Social Media Lessons for Nonprofits

The Storytelling Non-Profit

How To Organize Your Stories

Wild Woman Fundraising

A Recipe for the Perfect Nonprofit E-Newsletter