The Weekly Nugget

Category: Nonprofit strategy (page 2 of 2)

The right tools; the right strategy

The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.

Casey Stengel


This week has been about how critical the right coworkers and employees are. Hiring a new employee made me realize how blessed I am to have a great team and to be part of a great team. Isn’t that one of the best benefits of working for a nonprofit?

Even the best people need the right tools and the right blueprint. We’re craftspeople, wielding digital tools to educate and inspire. Use them well.


Julia’s Nonprofit Social Media Checklist
This checklist is a great set of strategy questions to review once in a while to see if you’re still on track or are missing something.
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Are you using the right strategies online?

What you really need is a business strategy enabled with digital tools and solutions.

Devon Hopkins


Is your nonprofit using outdated thinking to drive your online tactics? Are your core strategies obsolete? Starting a new year is the perfect time to reevaluate.

If “build it and they will come” is your idea of a good plan, you should just quit and find another career, because you’re hurting your nonprofit’s chances of ever making a difference.

Confident you’re on the right track and success is right around the corner? It doesn’t hurt to make sure.

Here are three articles that might help.
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Back to basics

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

Steve Jobs


Let’s get practical. It’s tempting to follow the latest trends, technology and strategies, but sometimes it’s worth a moment to consider if you’re optimizing the basics. That’s where you’ll often find the greatest return, on the boring, time-tested details that work.

Is your website focused on its primary objective? Is it easy for people to give you money? Is your social media strategy working effectively?

Most importantly, are your marketing, communications and fundraising strategies aimed at creating real-life engagement that benefits your nonprofit and your cause, not just vanity engagement that feels good?

This is the perfect time to reevaluate how well you’re doing with your core strategy and execution. Some concrete and detailed help:
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A time for reflection

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.

Martha Washington


We’re blessed with so much. Information. Ability. Caring. Support. Success. These are the best of times for nonprofits. It’s good to reflect on that fact as we meet our challenges.


Stumbling Your Way to Greatness
Seth Godin
One reason people who spend a lot of time thinking about and working on a problem or a craft seem to find breakthroughs more often than everyone else is that they’ve failed more often than everyone else.


How to be the Most Productive Person in Your Office
How do you get more done and still get home by 5:30pm?
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What’s the plan?

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas A. Edison, prolific inventor


How sweet the idea of starting over, swiping away your mistakes and chalking up a new plan. Better to iterate and build on what’s working. Even better is to understand exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.

“Many view social media as a tech skillset and not a strategy for building relationships with living and breathing human beings,” says Colleen Dilenschneider. For nonprofits, it’s the same whether you’re communicating, fundraising or selling. Loyalty leads to meaningful support and involvement. And loyalty springs from a relationship, relationships from trust.

What’s your plan for building trust? For attracting new people to your tribe and welcoming them to the fold? And for maintaining and activating the community of people you already have?

Two helpful guideposts along the path of strategic planning:
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Build empathy to build a tribe

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw


As nonprofits a huge part of our work is rallying supporters to our cause. We really ought to credit them for the successes we have, because we are very little without them. We live and die on how well we build an invested tribe.

And that’s not easy. We have to become experts in cutting through the clutter to reach the people who will care and want to pitch in. No longer can we put our message out there and wait. The passive “build it and they will come” strategy we so often rely on no longer works.

Our digital tools give us an unprecedented ability to seek out and connect with the exact people we need to reach. You can find your tribe by looking for people who already share your worldview.

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Facebook is firing nonprofits


A lesson on market economics.

Facebook is Firing Nonprofits
Facebook is increasingly an important, or even critical, engagement tool for nonprofits. Yet declining reach rates due to the overwhelming amount of content that could potentially show in someone’s feed means that Facebook now filters out what it thinks is least interesting to each and every user.

What does that mean for nonprofits? You’re reaching far fewer of your fans than you might think. To play the game, it’s time to consider paying for placement of key content. Read on to learn why this controversial idea could become a necessity.


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What’s the culture at your nonprofit? Innovative, effective, powerful? How about your team? How does culture affect your goal to create change?

This talk by a former leader at Disney University, Disney’s in-house global training program, is a fascinating look at how culture affects an organization’s impact, and how to create and maintain an effective culture in any organization.

It’s the best 45 minutes I’ve spent this week.

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How to make the right choices

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

— Steve Jobs


What do we spend our time on? These are possibly the most important decisions of our jobs, but ones that easily get lost in the chaos. In the business of changing the world with not enough resources and not enough time, we can’t afford to make mistakes. We win when we focus on what matters and ignore the rest. Hard work on the right things. Not by doing what’s expected. Not by doing what’s easy. Not by doing what everyone else is doing. But figuring out the best thing for right now.


No Hard Choices = No Strategy and No Leadership

How does leadership work in your organization? By following the latest fad? Continue reading

The tyranny of caring

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

— Theodore Roosevelt


The tyranny of cool. Love Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app, and time lapse baked in iOS 8, but how long until time lapse videos become passé to hipsters and annoying to the rest of us because we’re saturated? How long until every known brand in the universe jumps on the bandwagon on all channels and we start blinking in time lapse? How long after that until every nonprofit starts thinking they should jump on too? Let’s be thoughtful about every new thing. Does it really advance our efficiency at engaging people in our mission, or are we just following the latest “best practice” because the cool kids are and we think they’re smarter than us?


The Tyranny of Reason
It’s good to be reasonable, right? Only on the long downward slide to mediocrity.
Short and sweet.

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