We're excited to announce our Green Sponsors for the 14NTC! These sponsors are taking a sustainable approach to sponsoring the NTC and have opted out of printing their promotional materials to be more sustainable. We're happy to have them as part of the NTC, and as a partner to help reduce the waste and carbon emissions that go along with putting on this event.
This year's Green Sponsors are:
Confluence is a technology and design company, located in Washington DC and Los Angeles. Founded in 2001, we focus on serving the nonprofit sector and provide technology consulting, strategic assessments, print and web design services and open-source CMS implementation. Additionally, we specialize in customizing and integrating CRMs such as CiviCRM and Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack.
A long-time supporter and member of NTEN, we are proud to be exhibiting and speaking at the 14NTC in Washington DC. We opted to be green tote bag sponsors this year because we responded to the eco-friendly nature of this type of advertising. Being kind to our environment is a key thread amongst the owners and employees at Confluence. We’re a bike-riding, Metro-taking, recycling, reusing stacks of printer paper type of company. We chose to open our DC office in a Gold LEED-certified building which utilizes green cleaning practices, energy-efficient fixtures and 100% wind-energy credits. All staff are given access to DC’s fantastic bike-sharing program. Our Los Angeles office is located in downtown LA, an area chosen for its walkability and access to public transportation.
Stop by and visit us at the Confluence booth in March. We’ll be on hand to discuss how strategic technology and creative design can improve multiple facets of your organization – from improved internal processes to enhanced communication and engagement with your members. We can’t wait to see you shortly.
Our popular software platform is used by almost 300 leading nonprofits in the United States and many other countries. Nonprofits use our highly flexible Engaging Networks platform to raise money, win advocacy campaigns and engage with supporters in sophisticated, targeted ways.
Using Engaging Networks, you can easily create engaging and completely customized donation pages, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, advocacy campaigns, event, and membership pages. The platform includes a robust, integrated email marketing tool. Constituent and donor data are processed and managed by a sophisticated back-end database, enabling you to see the complete activity of each constituent/donor.
In the United States, Engaging Networks clients include Amnesty International, SOS Children’s Villages, Humane Society International, the Pew Charitable Trusts, Environmental Defense Fund (Moms Clean Air Force), Refugees International, Sabin Vaccine Institute, Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Women’s Foundation of California and many others. Engaging Networks also supports many global nonprofits serving multiple country affiliates, including Oxfam International, WWF (UK, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and International), PETA (UK and EU) and World Vision International.
Engaging Networks provides open APIs for importing and exporting data between Engaging Networks and other databases with direct syncing capability, including ROI Solutions, Salesforce.com and Raiser’s Edge.
Engaging Networks delivers many benefits to clients, based on our three main commitments:
- Flexibility and customizability for each client’s unique needs
- Constant innovation to provide the best technology
- Reliable and responsive technical support for our clients
To find out more, or to schedule a demo of the software, please stop by our booth at the Science Fair (#1109) or contact Clint O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protecting and caring for the environment is incredibly important to everyone at We-Care.com. From commuting to work on bikes, to days spent planting trees instead of answering emails, and field trips upstate to hike, we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact and appreciate the environment. We think it’s awesome that groups like NTEN are setting an example and taking steps to consider the environment, and we’re proud to support those efforts!
For over five years, We-Care.com has been empowering nonprofit supporters by turning their everyday online actions into meaningful impact for the nonprofits they support. What started small, now counts over 2 million members; people all across the United States use We-Care.com to earn donations for nonprofit organizations. Our platform allows users to earn donations anytime they shop online, and we’re proud to say we provide every We-Care.com tool free to nonprofit organizations. Oh yeah, and the user doesn’t pay either!
Through We-Care.com, over $5 million has been donated to nearly 1,000 nonprofit organizations. The ASPCA, Save the Children, and Clean Water Action each have earned over $1 million in donations.
We're always working to make our platform more fun, simple, and rewarding. We-Care.com's browser extension, or the "We-Care.com App," installs in seconds onto a user's browser. With the We-Care.com app installed, donations are automatically earned when users shop at all our participating merchants. It's not all dollars and cents though, you know? The "We-Care.com App" and our social media accounts keep the We-Care.com community up-to-date on all the amazing things that they're enabling the organizations they support to do, like change the world.
Hey, it starts here: http://www.we-care.com/getstarted
When the Zoomph team heard about NTEN’s green initiative, an energy-conserving light bulb went off in our heads. As today’s premier social media marketing platform, we know better than anyone that conservation and effective business development can go hand-in-hand. In fact, green and social marketing is actually a stronger, more profitable strategy than the options growing businesses had before.
Why, you ask? Today, social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are now where your customers are—no ifs, ands or buts. That means that targeting your marketing efforts to social media channels is a necessity, not a luxury.
However, social media marketing also helps you drive a greener organization, taking old school “paper” marketing completely out of the equation. Now, you can generate even higher levels of customer engagement with the click of the mouse—and the right social toolbox.
Of course, we’re going to say “Zoomph is that social toolbox”. But hear us out: Zoomph is a single, centralized platform that curates, analyzes, and displays the real-time social media content of your choice (starting at only $15/month by the way!). With Zoomph, you can now identify the right voices in social conversations and connect with them, generating engagement that leads to positive actions (and ultimately, revenue) for your business.
So, when you’re out on the exciting NTEN tradeshow floor, come visit the Zoomph booth to find out how green businesses like Mary Kay, Dove Men+ Care, and even the Washington Capitals have changed the game with our social media strategy. We’ll show you how something as accessible and paperless as live social content can be used to optimize your presence over the web and at events—all while generating long-term loyalty and engagement for your brand.
To learn more about the Zoomph Social Media Platform, visit us at www.zoomph.com.
A well thought out video strategy can accomplish all of these goals and more. If your organization has not yet produced video, odds are that you have been talking about it for some time. Now that YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google, now is the perfect time to create content that will inform, inspire and engage donors.
As I mentioned in a previous post about how many fundraising emails it might take per year to achieve a significant online fundraising program, digital fundraising is a numbers game.
Having worked on nearly 450 digital campaigns for both nonprofits and impact-oriented brands, such as Abe's Market and Fetzer Wines, a common challenge I see across organizations is just inadequate tools for planning - and thus it often doesn't really happen in detail.
I've often encountered organizations with boards who throw down unrealistic growth goals for staff, but without arming staff with proper resources to do their jobs.
And in the midst of a vast array of choices, technology, and a rapidly-shifting digital landscape full of tempting "gold rushes" and shiny new toys, there is some basic back of the envelope planning we can and should do first, to see what's possible before we rush off on a fools errand to try and recruit 1 million members on Facebook or Twitter without a proper strategy.
As always, I'm a Care2 guy with an incentive to have you grow your list on Care2. Our working theory of change is to engage the largest audience of conscious consumers and caring citizens likely to donate to nonprofits and support their causes as activists and volunteers. That creates economies of scale and efficiency we can then pass along to the nonprofits. We save staff the costly effort of acquisition, accelerate growth, seed campaigns, and free staff up to cultivate relationships and close sales or donors.
But this tool (and the others we've developed at Care2) are a totally objective template that you can manipulate with your own assumptions. I just try to give you a starting point based on industry benchmark data and my experience.
So try this theory out. I challenge you. It's a smackdown.
You'll be likely to find that given the realities of traffic conversion rates will require a massive staff effort to drive significant enough traffic through earned media to grow your email list (and thus your lifeline to multi-channel grassroots fundraising or sales), with any sort of scale at a net cost that can beat well-tested, targeted, permission-based email acquisition.
I found this wonderful comic on Mashable “The Field Guide to Procrastination” that identifies 12 different methods for work avoidance or procrastination, defined in Wikipedia as “putting off tasks for a later date.” We all do it. The comic is funny but a fairly accurate depiction of how we procrastinate. I tend to be a lister, cleaner, or distractor, but in my 35 years working in the nonprofit sector, I’ve probably used all of these at one time or another, plus others not on the list.
While some procrastination can be beneficial, it can reduce your productivity if it gets out of hand. I think there is something called productive procrastination, especially if a lot of your work requires tasks like writing or analysis that requires deep concentration. I find that procrastination can be a helpful “mental break” between these types of tasks if your procrastination is actually something on your to do list. Productive procrastination can help you embrace serendipity and discovery – encounter new ideas or people for example. If you are trying to incorporate more exercise into your day, walking and moving is a very productive form of procrastination because it helps your brain concentrate (and you burn calories not to mention it being more healthy than sitting for 8 hours).
Still, you have to get stuff done. So, it is important to not only to understand to why you procrastinate but to catch yourself in the act and make a shift. That shift is easier when you have some good techniques for actually get those tasks done. Here’s five ways to avoid procrastination and be more productive:
1. Pomodoro: The pomodoro technique is a time management methodology created by Francesco Cirillo. Pomodoro enables you to take the stress out of deadlines by breaking down your day into segments, you work solidly during these periods and remove all distractions. At the end of the pomodoro session you reward yourself with a break. The Pomodoro technique which is very similar to time blocking (assigning discrete blocks of time to a particular task and using a timer), but the method helps you if tend to use distraction to procrastinate. The Focus Booster app can help you apply this method.
2. Time Blocking: The to do list and breaking down tasks into doable chunks is one dimension of time management, but how you lay out those tasks over your schedule is another. In this video, Chris Brogan talks about how he manages his time. I like how he takes a designer’s approach to using his time. It made me think of building stuff with legos. He takes you through a 6-hour chunk of time in half-hour and hour increments. He clearly identifies types of tasks: planning (prep to do the task), reading, production (writing), interviews, email, and commenting. He doesn’t share how and when he take breaks which are essential to focus and concentration. Also, in practice, many people may not have that much control over their work day, especially those working in a nonprofit organizations.
3. Workstation Popcorn: This is a variation on the time blocking technique, but involves moving to a different workstation after a 2-2.5 hour chunk of work that is a very specific to do list. Developed by Joel Runyon, the method acknowledges that the hardest thing about getting stuff done is selecting what to do. This is when I tend to procrastinate. The key is writing specific action steps and assigning time limits – your to do list can be written on paper or use an app like Any.Do. Workstation popcorn is probably best suited for remote workers and people who work at home, but you can do it in an office setting. I have been using this technique for the past couple of months to incorporate walking and exercise into my day. The benefit of moving around helps with concentration. I don’t actually change my work location, but I do get up and take a 20 minute walk to clear my head instead of using my computer keyboard as a lunch tray. I have done conference calls on my mobile phone while walking.
4. 18 Minutes A Day: This method comes from the book 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman who blogs at at the HBR. The method can be combined with these others and is very simple. You start each day writing down the three most important tasks on your to do list and reflecting on it for 5 minutes. Then you remind yourself every hour (with an alarm on your phone) to stay on task. When the alarm goes off, you look at the your list and assess where you are. At the end of the day, you reflect five minutes on what you accomplished. This can help you catch yourself when you procrastinate and establish better habits. I never would have completed writing my second book if it were not for this book.
5. Bullet Journal: This technique is a process of curating your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to help you prioritize. Bullet Journal is done by hand. While list making can be a double-edged sword (can be a procrastination technique too), the process of writing your list out on paper can help you slow down, avoid online distractions, and help you focus. The video of the process may seem overwhelming, but can modify it.
Getting past procrastination to “do done,” is about organizing your time and tasks. It is about estimating how much time it tasks, breaking down big projects into smaller chunks, and understanding when you best concentrate. It also takes some self-awareness of your procrastination methods and being able to set good productive habits.
How do you procrastinate? How do you get work done? What is your method?
As more people add their Twitter or Facebook profile photo to the mosaic it will reveal a larger image representing the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Welcome to guest blogger Joleen Ong, who is the Marketing & Publications Director at NTEN—the community of nonprofit professionals who put technology to work for their causes.
Successful integrated marketing goes beyond the communications products you put out there in the world. Don’t forget your internal process.
The pattern I see in so many nonprofits is a hyper-focus on what content to create and post, but neglect of the critical internal factors that enable success, such as collaborating across departments. But…
A strong integrated marketing strategy features consistent brand messaging across all channels PLUS an internal team that works together closely and seamlessly to provide a unified experience to supporters. After all, your audiences view and support your organization as a whole, not in fragmented silos of IT, fundraising, marketing, programs or leadership. Streamlining the process internally to accurately and fully convey your organization’s identity ensures you don’t confuse your audience with different personalities, opinions and voices.
Here are three common mistakes that undermine your organization’s marketing:
#1) Forgetting Your Colleagues are Stakeholders
Getting internal buy-in and participation is a critical factor for success. It matters what your supporters think of you, but your colleagues’ perception of you and your work is equally important. You need the insights, feedback and needs of your colleagues across departments.
Solution: Your teammates were hired because of the skills and expertise that they possess for the job: tap into it! Building trust amongst your peers takes time and genuineness, but you can start with the most flattering question, “Can I get your opinion on something?” Then, find a way to integrate this opinion into your work, and give credit where credit is due. It’ll help you out in the long run, and help you with #2
Show colleagues in other departments how effective, consistent marketing benefits them, and ask for their help. Then set up a process to easily enable this ongoing collaboration, and train and support folks in using it. A huge thank you never hurts.
#2) Having Multiple Personalities
Skilled marketers act as a sounding board and filter for their colleagues across all departments to ensure their organization’s messages are in alignment with its brand. But that never stops the perennial territorial tug-of-war among departments.
For example, when your program director’s intern creates your organization’s new “viral” video campaign, or your executive director gives an interview that strays from the position you’ve stated in press releases, your nonprofit may be perceived as having multiple personalities.
Solution: Ask colleagues to join you in cross-departmental meetings to nourish cross-pollination between departments. Weekly checks-ins to discuss content for the week, or fundraising program proposals are an easy and natural way to start.
And, in time, holding staff members accountable with feedback mechanisms like 360-degree performance reviews help to institutionalize collaboration as a key staff responsibility.
#3) Crafting an Unclear Call to Action (or none at all)
Donors and the community are the lifeblood of any nonprofit, and support is their vote of confidence in your organization’s work. You need their support—so ask for their help and tell them—as specifically as possible—how giving it will advance the cause they care about.
We’ve all received overlong emails that, despite the number of words, don’t clarify a call to action. Read the new report? Attend an event? Sign a petition? Donate now? Messages that have too many asks, or none at all, will confuse your audience. You’ll risk losing their attention.
Solution: Play into the principle of effective repetition by being consistent with what you’re asking them to do. Avoid multiple asks in a single email message that direct recipients to different pages on your website. Instead, make one primary call to action.
If your nonprofit has a lot to say, take the time to coordinate how to disseminate these messages, which channels to use, and when to push each one. Some messages might better fit in a monthly newsletter, a weekly update email or social media.
Consider using images in lieu of more text, and embed a link where the supporter can learn more on your website. The bottom line: always keep the user experience in mind.
What else can derail integrated marketing, and what are other success factors? Please share your experience here.
P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing guidance plus in-depth case studies, templates and tools via the Getting Attention blog & e-news. Subscribe today.
Are you impressed every time a blog post by your organization gets a lot of retweets? How about all those social shares on Huffington Post and Mashable? How many times has your boss come to you and asked “why can’t we get those social share numbers?”
A new study by Chartbeat, which measures real-time traffic for some of the biggest websites like Upworthy, said their research shows that many people aren’t reading articles that they retweet.
Josh Schwartz, Chartbeat’s lead data scientist said that “Facebook shares would reflect the same pattern.”
Upworthy says they have found that web visitors who consume about 25% of an article are more likely to share it on social media than people who moved onto to something else. They also found that people who read the entire article are even more likely to share it on social media.
"There is obviously a correlation between number of tweets and total volume of traffic that goes to an article," Schwartz says. "But just not a relationship between stories that are most heavily consumed and stories that are most heavily tweeted."
Over at Buzzfeed they found that social media shares occur by users who have spent 3.5 minutes on a page on a desktop computer, or over 2 minutes on a mobile device.
I’m not surprised by this data. There is just too much information to consume on the web these days so it’s impossible for people to read it all. Plus people tend to skim on the web, especially with the rise of mobile devices.
It’s alarming that so many people are sharing articles with friends, colleagues, and strangers when they barely read the articles. It’s even more disturbing when you factor in that Nielsen’s research shows that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family.What Should Your Organization Measure?
If social shares and pageviews shouldn’t be your main source of measurement what should you be measuring?
- Bounce rates and Time Spent on Website and Posts: Are people staying on your website and looking at other pages? Or are they immediately bouncing off your website? When you share an article on social media, how long are people staying on that page to read the article, watch the video, etc.?
- Commenting: Are people commenting on the articles you share? And if so, which ones? What is the sentiment? Is it positive, neutral, or negative?
- Most Popular Articles Across Channels: What articles generated the most comments and traffic on your website and social media?
Similarly, many of us are very aware that it is increasingly expensive to acquire new users. In fact, instead of targeting obvious audiences (e.g. young moms), it is often more effective to try to identify lateral audiences that aren’t targeted as heavily. The percentage of users that click might be lower and the audience might be lower, but the lower cost per user can lead to a healthier return on investment (ROI).
It can definitely be frustrating: not only do you have to think about your ideal audiences, you need to think about how your competitors are eyeing those same audiences or keywords.
One good way to identify alternative audiences is to look at the traffic from your existing users. Google Analytics has added their new Demographics and Interests information and that could be explored for potential audiences.
Sometimes it's handy to price out the cost of different audiences before going into a planning/brainstorming meeting. That way you can highlight numbers around the obvious audiences and focus the group's creative energy on coming up with alternatives.
I sometimes take a “long tail” approach and find smaller audiences/keywords that don’t necessarily have a high traffic numbers but that are relatively inexpensive. You’re not necessarily going to get a big bump in daily numbers, but you’ll have an efficient spend and that additional traffic never hurts.
In any case, the "good old days" of cheap online advertising are over and we're now competing in a crowded space for a finite number of users.