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#VIDEO: Rob Wu of Causevox Tells Us About Developments In Online Fundraising (Part II)

Last month we posted our first interview with Rob Wu, co-founder of the online fundraising and social-media platform Causevox. We wanted to talk with him because Causevox rolled out the latest version of its platform late last year. Our conversation proved so interesting that we couldn’t contain it in one post, so today we bring you part two of our conversation with Rob.

OneGirl.org uses CausevoxIn particular, he stresses how nonprofits like OneGirl.org in Australia participated in the development and refinements that brought about version 2.o. And why the rollout of 2.0 has proven to be a surer success than having a single big launch. Let’s take a look.

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| Category Advertising, Advice, Cause Marketing, Communications, Community, Crowdfunding, Design, Development, Donor Acquisition, Education: General, Fundraising, Grants and Funding, Interview, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Mobile, Mobile, Nonprofit, Project Management Tools, Public Media, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Video Interview, Web Design, Webinar | | Comments Off

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#HOWTO: Plan A Film Screening/Festival As A Fundraising Opportunity

Tugg offers movies of your choice

As the year’s projects and fundraisers and festivals start rolling onto your computer’s calendar, you might be looking for an opportunity to host a one-off event that can bring much-wanted PR, good karma, and even some financial support. How about sponsoring a film screening? (MKCREATIVEmedia co-produced a film festival for one of our clients earlier this year. Read more on the MKCREATIVEblog.)

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Crowdfunding, Development, Education: General, Event, Events, Facebook, Film Festival, How-to, Marketing, Nonprofit, Project Management Tools, Public Relations, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology for Nonprofits, Twitter | | Comments Off

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#FUNDRAISING: Outreach Tactics & Technologies Need To Adjust To Demographics

With the texts and tweets and the touchscreens and with those crazy(-cool) Google goggles and whatnot, a nonprofit would be daft to send those old-fashioned appeals by mail. The cost of printing and stamps, the hassle of upkeep of a database of address, the imposition of making potential donors find their checkbooks buried ever-farther into their desk drawers… who would bother?

But an extensive whitepaper from the folks at Convio makes it quite clear that not only is the traditional through-the-snail-mail appeal still a great way to solicit support for your charity, it is the hands-down winner over all media outreach. As the chart to the left reveals, outreach by mail achieves incredibly high response rates. That said − and unsurprisingly − the impact of mailers fades as one moves down the age groups, as Generations X and (especially) Y choose to respond to other media as well. What media will carry the donation message into the future?

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Aging, Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Development, Direct Mail, Donor Acquisition, Education: General, Fundraising, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Mobile, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Planned Giving, Public Relations, Publications, Resource, Social Marketing, Social Networks, Study, Technology, Technology for Aging, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#HOWTO: Let Your iPhone Connect You To Volunteers & Deserving Projects

Volunteer Match brings individuals & nonprofits togetherApple has not always been a forthcoming corporation when it comes to providing outreach for nonprofits and charities. Many lamented the early iterations of the iPhone for not allowing fundraising applications due to iTunes Store’s stingy policies. Indeed, nonprofits were not even allowed to develop apps if any money were expected to change hands. Though policy has not changed (and Apple still demands a $99 fee to have access to the storefront), many nonprofits are finding ways to leverage the iOS platform of the phone without running afoul with Apple’s lawyers. MacLife‘s A.J. Dellinger offers a compendium of eight such apps that use the iPhone’s OS, and we wanted to highlight a few of those apps to give you a sense of the directions developers are marking as they write software for the nonprofit sector.

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| Category Advertising, Advice, Advocacy, Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Communications, Cross-Post, Crowdfunding, Fundraising, How-to, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Media Review, Mobile, Mobile, Nonprofit, Reviews, Social Marketing, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#FUNDRAISING: Causevox Improves Online Outreach & Fundraising To 2.0

Widgets to turn on or off

Easy-to-customize donation pages

We have often sung the praises of the online charity-site platform Causevox. And we do so again as the good folks at Causevox have released a significant series of upgrades and integrations in version 2.0. It moved out of beta last week, allowing any charity or nonprofit to take advantage of the expanding toolbox. This is how the programmers put it last week on the company blog:

We found out that the key to success for online fundraising this decade is easy customization, community engagement, and content marketing. Our existing platform couldn’t accommodate that vision, so we scrapped it and developed, from the ground up, a new and improved CauseVox.

CauseVox 2.0 is our first step to revolutionize online fundraising.

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Blogs, Campaigns, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Communications, Design, Development, Donor Acquisition, Events, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, Marketing, Measurement, Nonprofit, Press Release, Public Media, Public Relations, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Technology for Nonprofits, Twitter, Web and Print, Web Design | | Comments Off

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#VIDEO: Ken Sterns’s Book Offers Tough Love To Nonprofit Economy

Ken Sterns has served as CEO of National Public Radio, arguably one of the best-known nonprofits in the country. He supports The American Red Cross, and has served on the boards of a number of charities. So when his book, And Charity for All argues that the nonprofit sector is a huge part of the American economy, yet the least productive sector as well, people listen. And they should.

Mr. Sterns was recently interviewed at The Huffington Post, as he joined a roundtable (‘multiscreen’) discussion that included Alexander Berger at GiveWell; Dr. John Brothers, founder of Quidoo Consulting; and Rigo Sabarino, President and CEO of St. Barnabas Senior Services. The interview begins with him throwing down the gauntlet, wondering if the nonprofit community is even worth preserving.

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Book, Book Review, Civics, Community, Cross-Post, Development, Fundraising, Interview, Marketing, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Public Media, Public Relations, Publications, Reviews, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Video Interview | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALMEDIA: It’s OK To Say ‘No’ To Your Social Networks

You know you want to…

We are often extolling the virtues of particular social-networking platforms or encouraging specific strategies to reach out to your audience(s) across these platforms. When moving through the ‘tubes’ of our social networks, it is easy to think that each post we prepare is the most important one ever and that if we don’t get to each post on our nonprofit’s wall we’ll be upsetting a potential volunteer or donor.

The fact is, you won’t upset anyone: followers of social networks can feel just as overwhelmed as the producers of content on social media. What can you do to unwind, and what might happen when you do?

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| Category Advice, Blogs, Communications, Cross-Post, Health, Marketing Skills, Public Media, Public Relations, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Technology, Web and Print, Wellness, Writing | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: Pew Research Keeps Us Up With Changing Faces of Internet

The latest surveys carried out by the Pew Internet and American Life Project are tracking both the most popular online social-networking platforms and the kinds of people who are using them. We enjoy sharing such findings with our readers because the information the folks at the Pew Internet group can help nonprofits refine their online efforts for the many constituencies that these nonprofits want to reach. The latest study, The Demographics of Social Media Users — 2012, points to a few new developments we’d like to highlight this week.

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| Category Advice, Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Education: General, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, Marketing, Measurement, Nonprofit, Research, Resource, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Study, Technology for Nonprofits, Twitter, Twitter | | Comments Off

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#HOWTO: Tweak Your Organization’s Facebook Site For Graph Search

Last week we talked about what Facebook’s latest feature, Graph Search, is (Namely, a way to combine keywords, categories, and what friends are saying about them within Facebook) and it is not (Namely, a challenger to Google’s search algorithms across the internet). This week we want to help you and your organization make the most of the new feature by prepping the content you post on Facebook.

First and foremost (and this tweak applies to any images you post on your blog or website, much less your Facebook Timeline), tag your images and identify them. Such terms will show up in people’s searches (both Graph & Google). What else?

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| Category Advice, Cause Marketing, Communications, Cross-Post, Education: General, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Geo-Location, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Nonprofit, SEO, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology for Nonprofits, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALNETWORK: Are You Prepped For Rollout Of Facebook Graph Search?

Facebook’s latest tool, Graph Search, was announced a couple of weeks ago and it is being rolled out through the Facebook0sphere through February. Though many wondered if Facebook were challenging Google, the fact is Facebook is trying to rejigger how you can access information within Facebook, not how you wend your way through the tubes of the internet.

Facebook’s own introduction emphasizes the concept that the billions of connected bits of information within people’s Facebook accounts can now be viewed along a graph of variables that the user asks for:

The main way we make the world more open and connected is by giving people the tools to map out their relationships with the people and things they care about. We call this map the graph …  There are already more than a billion people, more than 240 billion photos and more than a trillion connections. Today we’re announcing a new way to navigate these connections and make them more useful. We’re calling it Graph Search.

What does the Graph Search mean to the average user or nonprofit on Facebook?

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| Category Advertising, Advice, Cause Marketing, Communications, Cross-Post, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Marketing, Public Media, Public Relations, SEO, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#COMMUNICATIONS: Postal Service Rates To Rise on 27 January

US Postal Service Stamp

Forever stamps still good after the 27th.

We have managed to put off the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ for a couple of months, but we can’t avoid the changes in postal rates coming in a couple of weeks. Thanks to our fine business partners at Ecoprint in Silver Spring, Maryland, for the heads-up! The US Postal Service (USPS) has been on hard times over the last 5-7 years due to the overwhelming presence of email, social networks, and e-fax services. Moreover, the semi-private/ public service is carrying a striking burden of compensation packages for its executives that, frankly, seem to outweigh the performance of the venerable institution. Be that as it may, be prepared for upticks to many of the services. What’s coming at the end of the month?

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| Category Advice, Campaigns, Civics, Communications, Cross-Post, Direct Mail, Education: General, Marketing, Marketing Budget, News and Current Affairs, Newsletter, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Politics, Publications, Resource, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: Questions & Answers Can Be Shared On Quora

Quora social Q&A siteThe Latin term ‘quorum’ (pl.pronoun: ‘of whom’) has almost no connection to what the term means in Anglo-American law, namely: “the minimum number of members of an assembly that must be present to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.” Without digging too deeply into the Oxford English Dictionary, the term evolved from Norman circuit courts in late-medieval England as the scribes noted the names ‘of whom’ appeared as witnesses of and jurors at trials. The term has been appropriated by the social-networking/question-posing site Quora. The site has been around since 2010, but it has really taken off in the last few months, and we wanted to introduce you to it before whenever the next apocalypse is due.

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| Category Advice, Civics, Community, Cross-Post, Education: General, How-to, iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Mobile, Public Media, Resource, Reviews, Social Media, Social Networks, Software Review, Technology | | Comments Off

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#HOWTO: Setup New Facebook Pages & The Types Available For You

Consider the small print when creating an organization page on FacebookWith the adjustments and reworkings on Facebook over the last 6-odd months, it’s time to update our periodic series on Facebook pages − Next week we will continue with more information about the scuttlebutt around Promoted Posts.

Facebook updates its interface and algorithms periodically. Usually the public response splits fairly evenly into the “love it” and “this is the death of Facebook” camps. We’re not about to predict the death of Facebook, so we want to stay up with developments and help you and your nonprofit do the same. So let’s see what it takes to make a page.

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| Category Advice, Branding, Communications, Design, Education: General, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Graphic Design, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#HOWTO: Use Crowdbooster To Marshall Your Social Media Conversations

Crowdbooster social monitoring platform

Let this platform tame your Tweetstream and Timeline

Numerous social-networking monitoring sites are out there by now: Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Klout, Tinker… As programmers develop new tools, and social platforms like Facebook or (even!) MySpace evolve, the staff at a nonprofit can feel overwhelmed with the changes. What is important to remember in this fast-changing communications environment is that you are looking for tools that are beneficial to you and your organization − not (necessarily) the latest platform that is getting some buzz. One of the newer sites meant to aggregate metrics from your social networks is Crowdbooster, and we do believe it is worth a look because it helps your busy staff consider the near future of its social-media outreach as well as lay out the past trends.

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| Category Advice, Communications, Dashboards, Education: General, How-to, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Project Management Tools, Resource, Reviews, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Software Review, Strategic Marketing, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits | | 2 Comments

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: How To Promote Facebook Posts & Why You Might Not Want To

From a personal blog's experment with Promotions

CecilyK on ‘MomCrunch’ blog says ‘No’

This past summer Facebook launched the opportunity to purchase ‘Promoted Posts’ that − for at least a $5 fee − would be promoted across the Facebookiverse. The more you paid, the more broadly the algorithms (aka ‘magic’) circulated the post. It was hailed by many for- and non-profit organizations as an opportunity to push through the background noise endemic in most people’s timelines to get your words and images out to a larger but (broadly) targeted audience.

We want to show you how to promote a post if you are unfamiliar with the easy process, but we also want to call attention to the fact that many power users are not finding the return on investment that Facebook claims. Is it a case of false advertising, or is Facebook still working out the kinks?

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| Category Advertising, Advice, Advocacy, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Communications, Education: General, Facebook, Facebook, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Budget, Measurement, Nonprofit, Public Media, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Study, Technology for Nonprofits, Web and Print | | 4 Comments

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#HOWTO: Setup A Pheed Account & Why It Could Prove Valuable For Nonprofits

Alright, I admit that when I first heard about one of the newest social networks out there, Pheed, I was underwhelmed. Are we not overwhelmed with social networks as it is? But both professional engagement and personal curiosity got the better of me, and I signed up. The interface looks rather like Tumblr, whose praises we have often sung on this blog. The screenshot to the left is Pheed’s signup page: clearly it is pitched toward an artistic, and likely younger, audience. Nevertheless, it has a couple of features that nonprofits and charities could find especially useful as they present their own content via their social networks. Here’s how to sign up and see if it could be of use to your organization.

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| Category Advice, Blogs, Branding, Cause Marketing, Communications, Copyrighting, Education: General, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Media Review, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Public Media, Public Relations, Reviews, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Tools, Web and Print, Web Design | | Comments Off

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#DEVELOPMENT: Do You Have Big Plans For Your Big Data? Not So Fast…

The latest buzz concept is ‘Big Data.’ Like most buzz concepts/ words, its definition leaves much up to the mouth of the speaker. Big Data, whatever the specifics, refers to the large amount of information that can be collected from online activity and exchange of information (on social networks, for example). The ability to aggregate such information from posts, streams, and online purchases creates some truly ‘big’ numbers. And they are only further extended with the collection of information from rewards programs and loyalty cards.

But Big Data can also trick us with impressive numbers like our Twitter followers or Facebook friends − but who within that number are encouraging each other to support our causes? Though ‘numbers don’t lie,’ statistics do, so an organization must know how it’s going to parse the data is collecting and what it hopes to achieve with the effort.

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| Category Advice, Communications, Community, Crowdfunding, Development, Fundraising, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Media Review, Nonprofit, Public Media, Public Relations, Resource, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Strategic Marketing, Thought for the Day, Tools | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: Can Niche Online Networks Outperform Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Page?

Focus on niche social networks

Have you defined your organization’s niche?

Our participation in online social networks seems well beyond the status of a ‘fad.’ In some parts of the world, people risk censure − if not their lives − to post important information on such platforms as Facebook and Twitter. These social networks are the current heavy hitters, of course. But what about developing people’s interests in your nonprofit’s causes? Or engaging a peer group already predisposed to support your charity’s fund drive? The hard fact is, the best-known social platforms might just be too big for that kind of conversation. And we might just be witnessing the start of a tidal shift away from the bigger-is-better mantra of social outreach toward niche conversations among like minds. Could these more concentrated communities really be worth the effort of building a presence on yet another social network?

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| Category Advice, Blogs, Cause Marketing, Communications, Community, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Media Review, Nonprofit, Public Media, Public Relations, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Strategic Marketing, Technology for Nonprofits, Twitter, Twitter, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALMEDIA: How Can We Efficiently Use Our Time On Social Networks?

How are you measuring your time?

A definition of irony: using social media to encourage you to find ways to trim your time on social media. But the real goal is efficiency, and it comes with great financial and emotional rewards. According to a survey done by the enterprise platform Harmon.ie last summer, “45% of employees work only 15 minutes or less without getting interrupted, and 53% waste at least one hour a day due to all types of distractions. That hour per day translates into $10,375 of wasted productivity per person annually, assuming an average salary of $30/hour.” Ouch.

Moreover, even if digital interruptions (responding to a tweet that just came in relevant to your nonprofit’s project, for example) are a valid and necessary part of what you do, what were you doing that got interrupted? And can you easily and smoothly get back on that track? Here are some recommendations to rethink how you are using your time and mental energies on social networks.

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| Category Advice, Civics, Communications, Community, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Nonprofit, Project Management Tools, Public Media, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Thought for the Day, Tools | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: 4th-Annual Social Media Week Will Educate & Inspire Worldwide

Social Media Week, 24-28 September 2010

Attendance is just a few clicks away.

The first Social Media Week went live in 2008, as Twitter was just hitting the mainstream and Lehman Brothers announced it was going bankrupt and would take down the economy with it. For better and worse, much has change. And Social Media Week continues to expand. It started to stress connectivity across continents last year, and this year the list of host cities already includes Barcelona, Bogotá, Doha, Hong Kong, Jeddah, LA, Shanghai, and Turin (among others). Individuals can register at any point for this year’s program, and organizations can prepare submissions to offer sessions for next year.  What will the 2012 week bring?

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Campaigns, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Education: General, Event, Events, Fundraising, How-to, Marketing, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Public Media, Public Relations, Publications, Resource, Seminar, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Webinar | | 1 Comments

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#DESIGN: Is Your Nonprofit’s Logo Helping Your Cause?

Darien Libarary Logos old and new

Clarity, scalability, & meaning were much improved in this logo redesign.

Has your nonprofit (re)considered its logo recently? Does it present your organization with the color, the terms, the attitude you want to covey quickly to an audience? For most nonprofits, getting a meaningful and professional logo carries some heavy ambivalence: Of course you want people to recognize your organization, whether they see the logo on a letterhead appeal for support or on a bumper sticker given out at a local festival. But if your logo is ‘too professional,’ might you be suggesting donors’ dollars are going toward a firm on Madison Avenue rather than to the community you want to support?

But a logo can make or break your outreach efforts, so you better err on the side of professional, or your nonprofit will be ignored in what is, alas, a tightly competitive fundraising market.

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| Category Advertising, Advice, Advocacy, Branding, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Communications, Design, Graphic Design, How-to, Marketing, Nonprofit, Publications Design, Reviews, Social Marketing, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALMEDIA: Politicians & NonProfits Need Agility With Online Outreach

Republicans & Democrats on social media for 2012As the Democratic ‘nominee’ Barack Obama delivered his acceptance speech last night in Charlotte, NC, a record number of tweets on politics were sent out − some 52,756 tweets-per-minute (tpm) being posted as he wound up. By contrast, Mitt Romney inspired 14,289 tpm, which was about half as many as reactions to Michelle Obama’s presentation two nights ago.

But what both parties know well is the fact that they must be ‘agile’ with their social-media outreach. They have to find ways to steer the narrative while many thousands of other voices also have the opportunity to steer that narrative. True, campaigns for the presidency take up far more online space than most any nonprofit, which is precisely why nonprofits can learn something from watching how the campaigns are trying to use social media.

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| Category Advice, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Events, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Politics, Public Media, Public Relations, SEO, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Web and Print, Writing | | Comments Off

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#TECH: Title Tags Can Make Or Break Your Site’s SEO

HTML Title Tag

SEO success starts here

Oh, the last official weekend of summer, and it’s three-day long one to boot! You might be itching to get out of the office a bit early today and make it a three and a half day weekend. Before you do, please read some salient advice we took from online marketing specialist John Haydon as soon as it hit our Inboxes. The issue is the placement of Title Tags, the snippets of text − usually the title of the blog post or of a website − that is the first thing search engines scour for the keywords that make your site visible on those engines. With an afternoon of work, you could dramatically improve the ranking of your nonprofit’s site. Here’s what he suggests:

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| Category Advice, Blogs, Cause Marketing, Communications, Education: General, How-to, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Publications, SEO, Site Administration, Social Marketing, Strategic Marketing, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Web and Print, Web Design, Writing | | Comments Off

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#DESIGN: How To Follow The Branding Guidelines Of Twitter

Most Twitter logos break the style guidelines of Twitter

No. No. And no.

Birds of a feather? Not for that poor Twitter bird: perhaps no other icon in modern business is both better known and abused well beyond the company’s style guide. Even more than the Facebook logo that we discussed a couple of weeks ago, the icon for the social-media site Twitter comes in all shapes, sizes, and numbers − almost none of which are official or legal. If you want to have a good relationship between your organization and the folks at Twitter who have done so much to get news of your organization out to their millions of users, you best check out their corporate style guide.

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| Category Advice, Branding, Communications, Design, Education: General, Graphic Design, How-to, Marketing, Resource, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Networks, Twitter, Twitter, Web and Print, Web Design | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: Sweat The Details, But Focus On The Big Picture

Screaming to get attention

In cyberspace, no one need hear you scream.

Ever feel like your nonprofit or small business is doing some pretty interesting stuff online to share the really interesting stuff you are doing in the real world − but no one seems to be hearing you? You are not alone in having those feelings, especially on a Monday − on a week that sees back-to- school for many kids and the start of the political convention season. We all could use a little pep talk.

Plenty of research shows that activity on social networks for businesses and charities pays dividends in many different ways, but what must be remembered is that some of those ways are not quantifiable. Which is not to say they do not have value. Consider this:

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| Category Advice, Advocacy, Blogs, Cause Marketing, Communications, Community, Fundraising, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, Media Review, Nonprofit, Public Media, Public Relations, Publications, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Thought for the Day | | Comments Off

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