The Weekly Nugget

Month: May 2015

The next step


By Steve Sullivan

Are you using paid online ads to drive your fundraising, marketing or engagement efforts? Although you should start with a robust email marketing program first, paid digital ads are a powerful next step in amplifying your efforts.

Here’s a few thoughts on why you should get started and expert advice if you’re already running campaigns.


Why Your Nonprofit Should Integrate Digital Advertising in 2015
A good overview of why you should be thinking about adding digital ads to the mix and where to find free advertising dollars.


Priority List: 13 Audiences to Target Using Facebook Ads
Facebook is likely to be your first stop with placing ads. Who should you be reaching out to?

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What happens if you’re not laser focused on email


By Steve Sullivan

Despite its complexities, email marketing is still the foundation for raising money, supporters and engagement for nonprofits. That’s the role it’s suited for best, complimenting social media to build audience, engagement and reputation.

I’d argue that for most nonprofits, email should be as high or higher a priority than social media, depending on your goal. What happens? You lose potential.

What have you done using email that’s been successful? I’d love to feature your best work or successes!


One Email Tactic Nonprofits Need to Steal from Brand Marketers
A simple idea that will boost your effectiveness, and some examples of it in action. Take advantage of technology to multiply your efforts.
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What to do when they don’t believe you

We are divided by those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart.

— Stephen Colbert


By Steve Sullivan

Is your mission controversial? (And what isn’t today?) Do you have critics who don’t believe what you say even when the facts are on your side?

Guess what? Facts and science just don’t hold the same power they used to. Any halfway believable but utter malarkey can carry as much credibility as utter truth.

Well no wonder. The world today is more confusing and non-intuitive than ever. We no longer worship the sky because we think it’s an angry god to appease, but we are surrounded by science, technology and realities we increasingly don’t understand. It’s natural that we fall back on what seems to make intuitive sense.

Even those dedicated to science and truth fall into this trap. It’s why smart people believe stupid stuff like vaccines causing autism and global warming being a myth, no matter what reality is.

A key factor is identity. We don’t realize it, but we have stronger ties to what “people like us” believe than to scientific proof. We want to belong. So if the group we identify with most strongly thinks one way, we are likely to as well, while seeing anything contradictory to our view as being simply wrong.

After all, isn’t belonging one of our most powerful motivators?

So what can you do? Start by building a tribe, not just an audience. Your communications should radiate from your core values and beliefs to attract “people like us” who fiercely agree. It’s what makes what you say authentic and truthful. Talk about you the supporter (the hero of the story) instead of we the organization.
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I don’t want to work


Last week, I was in Italy sitting on a rooftop terrace overlooking the Mediterranean at sunset. The water was a glittering sea of diamonds as the sky turned an ever-intense shade of orange.

Now, I’m sitting in my office on a worn chair with its stuffing poking through, the heavy droning of an industrial air conditioner just outside my window. A dark sky blankets the city in ever-intense shades of gray.

I’m in no mood to work. I’m procrastinating, wasting time, accomplishing little.

This despite the fact that, like you, I’m passionate about what I do. I care deeply and work hard. But sometimes it’s really hard to work at all.
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