#Communications: ‘Tis The Season For Making Lists & Prepping For 2012

Santa Clause with his listIn our last blog posting for 2011 we wanted to encourage some meaningful reminiscence over this past year and what it meant for the nonprofit world and to inspire some thinking about the possibilities for 2012. Making lists and checking them twice is a time-honored way to prepare for the holidays, so we present a list of lists and the opportunity  for your organization to break onto a list when they are compiled in a year’s time. We have compiled this list based on our own experience with apps, platforms, and issues discussed on these lists.


| Category Advice, Blogs, Campaigns, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Communications, Community, Design, Facebook, Fundraising, Hardware Review, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Media Review, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Public Media, Public Relations, Publications, Resource, Reviews, SEO, Site Administration, Social Media, Software Review, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Writing | | 1 Comments

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#HowTo: Resources To Launch Your Nonprofit’s Video Campaign

The holiday season provides us an opportunity to take stock of the past year and to consider new paths and goals for the next year. In that holiday spirit, MKCREATIVEmedia has been turning our focus (and hopefully yours) toward the benefits of video outreach and how video can reach the hearts and minds of donors and supporters. With the costs of decent video cameras and video editing software ever falling even as their sophistication rises, 2012 might be the perfect time to get your nonprofit’s video campaign up-and-filming.

Today we wanted to point to two fabulous resources to support your planning in the winter so you can efficiently and successfully get shooting in the spring.


| Category Advice, Campaigns, Communications, Crowdfunding, Fundraising, How-to, Marketing, Nonprofit, Public Media, Resource, Social Media, Storytelling, Technology, Web and Print | | Comments Off on #HowTo: Resources To Launch Your Nonprofit’s Video Campaign

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#interview: Tom Ahern — Author, Award-Winning Journalist, and Communications Consultant

MKCREATIVE blog - Tom Ahern PhotoTom Ahern is the author of four books on fundraising communications, with a fifth on the way. An award-winning magazine journalist, he has written case statements for numerous campaigns and is a popular communications trainer and consultant. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

MKC: You’ve written four books. You’ve trained hundreds, maybe thousands of communicators, and by now you’d expect everybody knows what to do. Yet you’re still in high demand! How do you explain this?

TOM: How fast can you actually change the characteristic habitual behavior of communications in an industry as big as the nonprofit industry? At one point there were 1.6 million charities in the United States alone, and we’re not the only mature philanthropic market.) Some of the models that are well entrenched are just, I think, wrong. Yet everybody borrows from each other, they copy each other. And so you’ve got widespread bad practices, not best practices.


| Category Communications, Community, Conference/Congress, Cross-Post, Design, Donor Acquisition, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Graphic Design, How-to, Interview, Major Gifts, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Publications, Publications Design, Social Media, Special Series, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Writing | | Comments Off on #interview: Tom Ahern — Author, Award-Winning Journalist, and Communications Consultant

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#SocialNetworks: Senior Living Communities See ROI On Social Media

Outreach to older Americans through social media might have once seemed a bit like trying to create an oasis in a desert: a great deal of effort lost in the sand. But survey after survey has demonstrated how use of social media has become an important part of the lives of millions of seniors. Which means numerous businesses that target seniors and their families have begun to develop strategies to reach out to those ever-growing constituencies and markets.

The folks at Glynn Devins Marketing have shared a keynote address that traces a case study they did with a local (Kansas) retirement community demonstrating the success of a drive on Facebook to increase ‘Likes’ and to offer donations as ever more people share their contact with that retirement community.


| Category Advice, Aging, Blogs, Campaigns, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Communications, Facebook, Facebook, How-to, Marketing, Measurement, Public Relations, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Senior Housing, Seniors Life, Social Media, Social Media | | Comments Off on #SocialNetworks: Senior Living Communities See ROI On Social Media

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#SocialNetworks: Facebook Faces Backlash As Public Offering Nears

The social networking phenomenon that is Facebook offers wonderful opportunity for connection, for spreading the word, for sharing, for changing the world. But it also offers unnerving chances for friction, for spreading rumor, for sharing a too personal party pics of friends, and  for changing our skin-and-blood friends into an array of advertisers’ targets. MKCREATIVEmedia has often praised the opportunities to spread the good that an organization’s page offers, but we have occasionally wondered where all this private-made-public material is going – especially for individual citizens.

And as Facebook heads towards a likely Initial Public Offering early next year, we see a swelling trend of even Millennials who are backing off the platform. Is Facebook on the wane?


| Category Advertising, Blogs, Campaigns, Civics, Communications, Community, Facebook, Facebook, Marketing, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Social Media, Technology, Web and Print | | 1 Comments

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#HowTo: Be Productive Anywhere on Apple’s Mobile iOS

Scott Caldarelli of Caldarelli Consulting, LLCWith the advent of the iPhone and iPad, it’s easier than ever to get things done when out meeting potential donors or organizing fundraisers.  Depending on what you need to do, an iPhone or iPad can keep you productive on the commute to and from work or on an airplane etc.  That said, we are not condoning working on your iPhone or iPad while driving!

Many organizations use Microsoft’s Office suite for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.  Though it’s rumored they’re working on a version for iPad and iPhone, Microsoft has been notably absent from the AppStore, the marketplace where all applications for Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS) can be purchased. Not to worry: here are some ways to get started creating and sharing immediately with your mobile device. (more…)

| Category Apple, Desktop Apps, How-to, iDevice, iPad Apps, iPad/Tablet, iPhone Apps, Nonprofit, Reviews, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Tools | | 1 Comments

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#Fundraising: Make A Video — Grow Your Outreach

Telling stories is one of the elemental qualities of humans. We love to tell them, hear them, and watch them. But sometimes changing media can short-circuit our storytelling instincts as we work our way through the technology yet allow the narrative to dissolve. In the nonprofit world, one of the great developments in media is video. Even inexpensive video cameras can capture amazing quality nowadays, and sites like Vimeo and YouTube offer free platforms to share your organization’s video with the larger world.

If you are not sure video can be worth the investment, did you know that YouTube is now the second largest search engine behind Google? Now that your organization can create its own ‘channel’ for people to discover and subscribe to, why would you willingly pass up the opportunity to reach millions of people via the most human of activities? If the issue is guidance, the good folks at CauseVox and ListenIn Pictures have just the thing to get you started.


| Category Advice, Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, eBook, Fundraising, How-to, Marketing, Nonprofit, Resource, Site Administration, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Technology | | 3 Comments

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#Interview: Nicole Harrison is the founder of and host of #nptalk

Nicole Harrison is the founder of SocialNicole, a Minneapolis agency that provides online and social media communications services for businesses and nonprofits. She is also the host of a weekly Twitter chat about nonprofits, #NPTalk. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

MKC: Does your agency provide only online services?

NICOLE: Actually, no. What you see on our website is pretty much geared towards online, but we’re actually doing some strategic on-the-ground fundraising help for small nonprofits, such as sponsorships and building their base. A lot of clients come for social media but they need all these other pieces as well. We try to offer solutions and help them see how these different pieces tie together.


| Category Blogs, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Interview, Marketing, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Social Media, Special Series, Strategic Marketing, Twitter, Writing | | Comments Off on #Interview: Nicole Harrison is the founder of and host of #nptalk

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#SocialNetworks: Does Your Nonprofit Still Doubt There’s An ROI For Social Media?

The opportunity to develop a following online has been a part of our business and communications landscape for a decade now, yet many organizations remain shy about using social media as part of a broad strategy of outreach, conversation, and client/donor-development. The time to pay employees and consultants to develop a presence on social networks seems rather too daunting – especially in the current economic climate, as we all hunker down to known knowns. Social networking can seem too much like a known unknown (Oh, Rummy, what you have done to our language and nation…).

So how can be sure we connect with those who are out there waiting to get engaged with our work?


| Category Advice, Blogs, Campaigns, Case Study, Communications, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Budget, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Nonprofit, Site Administration, Social Media, Strategic Marketing, Technology, Twitter | | 2 Comments

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#SocialNetworks: Bring Them Back To Facebook For The Holidays

The Facebook Logo And A Christmas TreeThe holiday season is prime gift-giving and donation-giving season. We encourage each other to think of others and to help out those less fortunate than ourselves. We also reach out to family and friends to share our holiday memories and traditions.

Some companies use the holiday season to develop seasonal-specific themes for their social networks, and Maya Grinsberg at compiled a Top-10 List of some of those strategies as generated for Facebook. With just a bit of tweaking, nonprofits and charities could easily build on these ideas to engage their supporters in a fun and seasonal campaign of awareness and engagement. May we suggest a few?


| Category Advice, Cause Marketing, Communications, Community, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, Marketing, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Social Media, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing | | Comments Off on #SocialNetworks: Bring Them Back To Facebook For The Holidays

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#Tech: Net Neutrality Supported in Europe – Not Unsupported in US

The European Parliament voted last week to continue to encourage net neutrality as a means to foster innovation and to encourage the dissemination of information. The resolution states, in part, its ambitions “to ensure that internet service providers do not block, discriminate against, impair or degrade the ability of any person to use a service to access, use, send, post, receive or offer any content, application or service of their choice, irrespective of source or target.” Political support for the measure was bolstered by the Plum Report, funded by such content providers as the BBC, Yahoo!, and Skype.

In the US, on the other hand, the Senate recently blocked a Republican-sponsored bill that would block the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from blocking service providers who block, or at least slow down, internet traffic. Why is the Senate’s position so much more convoluted than the one presented by the EU?


| Category Civics, Communications, Community, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Site Administration, Technology, Tools, Web and Print | | Comments Off on #Tech: Net Neutrality Supported in Europe – Not Unsupported in US

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#Enviro: Does a Green Xmas List Really Help The Environment?

We enjoy looking for, and perhaps even presenting ourselves, challenging ideas for our readers. And one idea we came across challenges our desires to find just the right holiday gift for a loved one while maintaining our green/environmentalist cred. Piers Fawkes, founder and CEO of the New-York based firm PSFK, argues in a recent blog post that ‘buying green’ this holiday season really misses the boat when it comes to helping the environment or changing the habits of businesses.

Are we indeed doing more harm than good when we buy from those ‘Green Gift Guides’ that show up in many of our (e)mail inboxes?


| Category Advertising, Blogs, Cause Marketing, Civics, Climate Change, Community, Environment, Greening, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics | | Comments Off on #Enviro: Does a Green Xmas List Really Help The Environment?

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#Interview: Howard Adam Levy, Principal of Red Rooster Group

Howard Adam Levy is Principal of Red Rooster Group, a New York City-based branding, marketing and design agency for nonprofits. Howard, who began working with nonprofits as a graphic designer in 1991, founded the agency 10 years ago. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVEnonprofit blog.

MKC: What is most challenging about branding nonprofits?

HOWARD: Nonprofits face a wide variety of constituents, from clients, referral sources, donors, partner organizations, board members and others. So a lot more is involved in reaching out and developing messages and strategies for each of those audiences.

Businesses, especially small businesses, can make unilateral decisions on their marketing. Nonprofits are typically more consensus oriented. And particularly when it comes to the brand, you really want to get everyone’s input and have a feeling that everyone is contributing to the process of what we’re all about. So you need a process that can build consensus in a politically neutral environment and get everyone feeling really good about the brand and their role as brand ambassadors.


| Category Blogs, Branding, Campaigns, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Design, Donor Acquisition, E-Mail, eNewsletter, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Graphic Design, Interview, Major Gifts, Marketing, Newsletter, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Publications Design, Slide Presentations, Social Media, Special Series, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Web Design, Writing | | 1 Comments

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#ProAging: GAP Index Highlights Global Challenges Of Care For Aging

Global Aging Preparedness Index IconThe fact of the aging of the global population is something our readers are likely at least acquainted with. The phenomenon has arisen as life expectancy has lengthened even in developing countries and populations in developed countries often are not having enough children even to replace themselves. The result is that most national populations whose citizens or subjects are over 60 are quickly moving toward 30%. To put that number in historical perspective, The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) posits that, before the Twentieth Century, the percentage of inhabitants over 60 was 5-8%.

The CSIS released a sobering report earlier this year that measured the ‘Global Aging Preparedness’ (GAP) Index. The report stresses the demographic facts of the so-called ‘Silver Tsunami’ (a tide that can not now be turned, even if we all started having larger families) and the current economic situations of a number of countries both rich and poor, both developed and developing. So how did the US do?


| Category Aging, Banking & Finance, Boomers, Civics, Community, GI Generation, Health, Healthcare, Healthcare, National/International, Nonprofit, Politics, Publications, Report, Resource, Seniors Life | | Comments Off on #ProAging: GAP Index Highlights Global Challenges Of Care For Aging

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#Communications: Fine Tune Twitter Use To Enrich Outreach

The Twitter Bird Offers A Profitable ROIThe idea of using Twitter can overwhelm some, and how to use it as a smart tool for strategic engagement seems downright contradictory to many. Yet as the social-networking platform matures – Rather, as the people who use it explore that myriad ways to make it work for them – an ever growing number of provable strategies are being developed. A significant part of what can bring success to your nonprofit or small business is not simply the adoption of the platform, but the honing of the strategy that makes that makes it work for you.

One of the leaders of  the use of social media in the business and nonprofit world is Brian Solis, whose most recent book is Engage! Revised and Updated: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web. Brian has also shared some of his most successful tactics in a recent article in FastCompany magazine – and we want you to be aware of some of them.


| Category Advice, Book Review, Campaigns, Case Study, Communications, Community, Fundraising, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Public Relations, Publications, Reviews, SEO, Social Media, Technology, Twitter | | Comments Off on #Communications: Fine Tune Twitter Use To Enrich Outreach

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#Tech: Hidden Features Of iPhone Show A Caring Side Of Apple

The AssistiveTouch homescreen on an iPhoneApple‘s lack of interest in supporting charitable organizations either with money or with allowing apps on its mobile platforms has gotten the corporation some bad press. And Steve Jobs continues to inspire some rancor for his leadership style, even after his death from cancer. Yet, defenders of Steve Jobs and/or Apple are quick to point out that Apple’s products have revolutionized the ways nonprofits work, and that influence is surely the more important in the long run.

Last month, Steve Pogue of The New York Times uncovered further evidence that Apple might not be one of the philanthropic giants (or even minnows), but its directors and engineers do indeed have hearts.


| Category Apple, Communications, Hardware Review, How-to, iDevice, iPad/Tablet, iPhone Apps, Newspaper Article, Reviews, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Aging | | 2 Comments

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#ProAging: A Few Gift Ideas For Older Family Members

Graphic from blog, Scraps of my Geek Life: Holiday Gift GuideEarlier today we posted a story concerning’s drive, ‘Grandparents Gone Wired.’ In the process of working up that story we came across this brief list of gift ideas for some of those same grandparents: A Grandparents’ Tech Gift Guide. The blogger who is developing the list is Michele McGraw of northern Virginia, and her site, ‘Scraps of My Geek Life’, is one of the cuter and more engaging tech blogs we’ve come across.

The list for grandparents seems to be growing, and she also has Tech Gift Guides for Moms, young teens, and Bloggers (I’d like the iPhone 4S, please). All of these lists include her brief comments/reviews and she solicits reviews from her readers. Well worth a look, and it’s refreshing to see a site savvy to technology in its various guises with a fun and family-focused aura.

| Category Aging, Blogs, Fitness, Grandparents, Health, Media Review, Resource, Reviews, Seniors Life, Technology, Technology for Aging | | Comments Off on #ProAging: A Few Gift Ideas For Older Family Members

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#ProAging: Spending Time With Grandparents This Holiday

Looking for a way to spend time with your (grand)parents this holiday season, whether you are seated in the same room or across the continent? The folks at are launching a new program for this holiday season: ‘Grandparents Gone Wired‘. The program is designed to encourage (grand)children to spend time with their elder family members by helping their (grand)parents get settled into a Facebook account or by setting up video chat via Skype.

The program has the added benefit of encouraging a little face-to-face-in-the-same-space time during the holiday season as you negotiate the accounts and tinker with the hardware together. Registration via email or mobile phone is all it takes, and DoSomething promises to start sharing ideas and stories beginning today (the program runs through the 30th). Participants with the best advice enjoy the opportunity to win a new iPad, iTunes Gift Cards, and even a $500 academic scholarship.

Though the pitch is clearly thrown toward teens and their grandparents, the program could be just as helpful for adults wanting to connect technologically with their parents. I have registered and will report on the first few notices. True, the use of social-networking platforms by older Americans has exploded in the last couple of years, but everyone can use some help honing skills or learning new tricks.

We’ll share some of our ideas and experiences at DoSomething, and we hope you do too. And we hope you will share them here as well. We’ll certainly share them over the next couple of weeks.



| Category Aging, Boomers, Communications, Grandparents, Independent Living, Internet, Nonprofit, Resource, Seniors Life, Site Administration, Technology, Technology for Aging | | Comments Off on #ProAging: Spending Time With Grandparents This Holiday

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