Tag - Kivi Leroux Miller

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Activists and Orgs Meeting Online
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Free eBook: How to Raise a Lot More $ Now
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Making Email Useful

Activists and Orgs Meeting Online

Pew’s Center on the Internet and American Life has just released a study that creates a strong connection between Internet users and social causes.

According to the study:

“It becomes clear as people are asked about their activities that their use of the internet is having a wide-ranging impact on their engagement with civic, social, and religious groups.”

Here is a great table from the report summing up the major differences between Internet and non-Internet users and their engagement with causes:

The flip side of these results are the 2011 Nonprofit Communications Trend Report, a survey data from 780 nonprofit organizations courtesy of Kivi Leroux Miller.  According to this study:

  • 75% of nonprofits say they’ll email supporters at least monthly. Nonprofit Comm Trends Report http://kivilm.com/trends
  • Facebook comes after only websites and email as important communications tools for nonprofits http://kivilm.com/trends
  • 34% of nonprofits say Twitter is a very or somewhat important tool. Nonprofit Comm Trends Report. http://kivilm.com/trends
  • Facebook beats Twitter, 79% to 34% as important to nonprofit marketers. Nonprofit Comm Trends Report. http://kivilm.com/trends
  • What excites nonprofit communicators: new ways to connect w/ supporters, social media & better comm integration. http://kivilm.com/trends

All of our problems are solved, right? Nope, because the last bullet on Kivi’s summary list is this one:

What scares nonprofit communicators: money woes, hard-to-implement comm strategies & lack of staff time. http://kivilm.com/trends

Individuals are finding causes and becoming involved, according to a survey last year from Blackbaud donors that give online stay longer and give more and nonprofit organizations, and nonprofit organizations are increasingly, and successfully, using social media to connect with donors and activists.

And yet nonprofits are still bemoaning the fact that they cannot commit staff to social media. They could if it was important enough. How much time and energy are spent on activities that are unproductive and out-of-step with the social world, like direct mail, I wonder?

Given all of this evidence, plus the data showing the large amount of hours spent online by grown ups every month (Over 36 hours a month for people between the ages of 35-64, prime giving years), what is stopping every single nonprofit organization from putting every ounce of energy, every dollar they have, into building relationships online? What’s stopping them are senior executives and board members who refuse to believe that social media are important, who refuse to engage themselves, and think continuing to think and act in analog ways will continue to work.

That’s our challenge this year, to enlist everyone who is online, every staff person, volunteer and board member who is engaged and learning how to use the channels to raise awareness and activate people for their causes to make the case to the bottleneck people within their organizations that the above data are simply too compelling to wait another second before significantly reconfirming their budgets, staffs and structures and immerse themselves in the social world awaiting them.

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Free eBook: How to Raise a Lot More $ Now

Network for Good posted a free eBook last week called How to Raise a Lot More Money Now – 50 Great Ideas from 11 top Experts.

You have to fill out a form before you can download the book. But what you’ll get are great advice and tips from leading experts in social media for social change (full disclosure, our chapter from The Networked Nonprofit called From Friending to Funding.)

The authors include Jeff Brooks, Sarah Durham, Jocelyn Harmon, Kivi Leroux Miller, Mark Rovner, Nancy Schwartz, Chris Forbes, Alia McKee Scott and, of course, Katya Andresen.

This is a really fun and fast read packed with helpful tips. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Replace at least one sentence that’s about you with one that’s about your donor.
  • If you want my money, touch my heart. Learn what I struggle with and what makes me move. Walk a mile in my shoes.
  • Organize a crowd-sourced appeal. Invite donors to participate in drafting the “perfect fundraising appeal.”
  • Simplify your message for social media calls to action. If you can’t say it in 140 characters on Twitter, you’re not saying it well. Look to charity: water’s Twitter feed for inspiration.
  • When donors give online, ask them for an optional few words on why they gave (you can do this with Network for Good’s online DonateNow service). Fill your home page with their answers.

This is all great stuff in the perfect bite size pieces.

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Making Email Useful

Jake Brewer shared his great post about making email advocacy alerts interesting to and useful for the receivers.

He laments the low open rates of so many email advocacy alerts and the sameness of them. Here is his outline of a typical such email:

SUBJ: Something catchy/funny/intriguing/pun to get you to open the email

Here is the first line in which I try to surprise you or say something memorable so you’ll keep going down.

Now I back up that sentence with some facts, and tell you what’s happening out in the world that needs your action.

Link 1: http://DoThisActionRightNow.com

More information describing the problem, and why our action is going to help – maybe even solve – the problem. We really need to do this!

Link 2: http://PleaseActNow.com (going to the same place as link 1)

Something nice that sums it all up and puts things in context, as well as thanking you for your support.

Love,

Us

PS Here’s a link to something else I want you to see, knowing that the PS is one of the most clicked through parts of an email. http://WatchOurAwesomeVideo.com

Jake’s analysis of the need for future emails to have a clear three stage design – summarize the problem, offer an analysis and then an action. It is similar to what I heard during my latest Social Good podcast from Marc Sirkin of Autism Speaks and Kivi Leroux Miller.

The only addition I’d make to Jake’s anaysis is a point that Marc made on the podcast which is the need for organizations to be more explicit about asking potential constituents what information they want to receive. Casting a wide net and sending everyone the same information on the same channels is a waste of everyone’s time and energy. Asking supporters what they want to hear about, when and how, which offers the risk of potentially reducing the overall email list is awfully important. And listening to what they hate to say about your email alerts is equally important.

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