The Weekly Nugget

Month: March 2015

What does it take to stay relevant?

Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.

— Walt Disney


It’s critical to always keep up with the constantly evolving landscape of digital marketing, communications and fundraising, or risk your nonprofit failing to live up to its potential.


Marketing: How to Provide Great Customer Service via Social
What’s social care? Something even nonprofits need to be very concerned about. Your reputation is one of the key drivers of your success, and a significant part of that is built by how you treat your people online. Everyone is watching. Find out what they expect and get some good tips for better social care.


Hack Your Email Growth Rate with This List-Building Tool
Email is dead, right? Not even close. In fact, email has again become a primary core revenue generator ahead of other channels, especially social. If you’re not maximizing your email marketing and fundraising, you’re missing out. Includes some ideas for the type of tools that help grow your list of people who want to hear from you.
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What’s being said about you?

It’s funny that so few nonprofits take a moment to step back and consider how they want to be viewed by their target audiences and supporters.

— Colleen Dilenschneider


Story is a critical to nonprofit success, and to our digital strategies. Not only in the storytelling sense, but in what we tell ourselves, each other and outsiders. These stories originate with our deepest held beliefs. But not really understanding what you’re saying purposefully or inadvertently can lead to failure without your ever understanding why.

A powerful creation myth or motivating story can make all the difference to rallying staff and supporters, but a few people’s values and actions can form a unspoken story that can undo that same energy internally. And of course, what people believe your story to be is your reputation and largely determines their interactions with you.

It’s worth taking a moment to really dive into the spoken and unspoken stories you tell yourself and that your nonprofit tells the world. Are you telling the right story?


How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Apple does not use social media. That fact blows me away. But the powerful story that Apple employees from top to bottom believe and live out radiates to everything they do. It then inspires their customers and has turned them into the biggest brand in the world. How can we take advantage of that tactic too?
You may have seen this before, but it could be the most powerful tool you have to be heard and is worth watching again. Get this right and you’re way ahead.
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What to do when it all goes wrong


I’m saddened when great nonprofits make catastrophic mistakes because they don’t realize that the world around them has fundamentally shifted. Suddenly there is a crisis and everyone is doing damage control.

So often we don’t understand that trying to be an institutional source of truth today is doomed. No one blindly trusts institutions anymore. And everyone’s opinion can be fact. A startling study recently looked at online information about vaccination and found that facts from a credible institution carried the same weight with people as anonymous internet comments.


How can nonprofits avoid a communications crisis? Here are three thoughts that also work as rescue remedies.
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Getting the word out


Digital advertising can be an effective tool to promote your nonprofit or your cause. Did you know that your nonprofit likely qualifies for free digital advertising from Google? If you’re not already taking advantage of a Google Grant, it’s worth looking into.

Through the Grant, you can receive up to $10,000 a month in free PPC ads. The caveat is that if you’re using popular keywords they are often priced above the maximum bid price of an ad placed through the Grant. But you can still use the free ads to promote less popular keywords and supplement your paid campaign.

Running digital ad campaigns can quickly become unmanageable. It’s a complicated art and science that’s hard to master. Contracting with a firm that specializes in digital advertising can be very cost-effective despite the extra cost.
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8 Proven Ideas for Using Digital Advertising to Raise Money Online

Are you using digital advertising to promote your nonprofit or its mission? Paid advertising can be a powerful tool to reach your people more effectively. But what are the best uses for different types of ads? Here are few ideas.

  1. Create awareness for your nonprofit or for a specific campaign by using display ads. While these banner or sidebar ads on websites rarely get many clicks and even fewer sales or donations, that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. They are great at creating brand awareness, especially in conjunction with other digital ad types or channels (email, mail, phone, events, etc.) that have a strong call to action.
  2. Target people who are searching for subjects that directly relate to a campaign with a strong call to action by using pay-per-click (PPC) search ads. Most commonly these are Google AdWords, where you bid on certain keywords so that an ad that is relevant to what someone is searching for appears next to the search results. A Google Grant can give you access to free search ads.
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Unconventional ways to better reach your audience

Showering donors with tales of your organization’s excellence is not a good way to raise funds.

Jeff Brooks


Reaching people and getting them to care about your organization and its mission is hard. Here are a few tactics that will help.


The Bad News About Good News in Fundraising
Is there a more effective way to inspire donors, supporters or advocates than the language we typically use? Yes, there is.
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