Archive for the ‘Nonprofit News’ category

21st Century Philanthropy Recording – Shine Brighter Series

June 25, 2013

Richard Blackmon of Fulcrum shares a planned giving strategy that benefits your donor and your nonprofit.

21st Century Philanthropy from Orange Leap on Vimeo.

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Are You Among the Best Nonprofits to Work For?

June 24, 2013

NPT 2014 Best Nonprofits to work for

Are You Among the Best Nonprofits to Work for?

Here’s an opportunity to showcase the excellence of your nonprofit as a workplace.  We know of the great things you do for constituents and the community – but you probably do great things for your employees as well.

Here’s a brief description of eligibility and the assessment process, for complete information visit the website:   http://www.bestnonprofitstoworkfor.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

To be eligible for consideration, nonprofits must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be in business a minimum of 1 year
  • Must be a nonprofit organization with 501 (c) 3 status*
  • Have a facility in the United States
  • Have a minimum of 15 employees in the United States**
  • An organization may enter as a group of nonprofits or as an individual organization as long as each participating organization is a separate legal entity (separate subsidiary).  Branch offices may not enter separately from their parent nonprofit unless they are separate legal entities.

The assessment is a two-part process designed to gather detailed data about each participating nonprofit.  In part one, the employer completes a questionnaire and in part two, employees of the nonprofit complete an employee survey.

The collected information from the two instruments will be combined to produce a detailed set of data enabling the analysts to determine the strengths and opportunities of the participating nonprofits.

The registration deadline is October 11, 2013.

Heart-felt Thanks to Volunteers Everywhere!

April 24, 2013

National Volunteer WeekNational Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities.  It’s about demonstration to the nation that, by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.

Sponsored by Points of Light – National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each subsequent year, with literally thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week.

  • If you’ve been or are a volunteer – what inspires you to give your time?
  • And, if you’re on staff at a nonprofit – what have your volunteers meant to the success of your mission?

We’d love to hear your stories.

We tip our hat to all volunteers in appreciation of their contribution to the greater good.

Drop by the Orange Leap Booth at AFP!

March 26, 2013

AFP OLWe’re sending a team to San Diego to AFP and will be in booth number 1100 in the exhibit hall.

Conferences like AFP are a great time to reconnect with our clients and share great ideas learned at the sessions and from other nonprofit leaders.  If you’re going attend, please be sure to stop by and say hello.  Randy, Kent and Kevin will be at the conference to talk about the aspiration you have for your organization and the latest news on Orange Leap and MPX.  We’ll have some Orange Leap goodies at the booth to thank you for stopping by.  We hope to see you there!

How Nonprofits Can Get the Most Out of Twitter

November 30, 2012
Twitter for Nonprofits

Twitter for Nonprofits

This is a guest blog post by Dawn Westerberg who will be presenting ‘Twitter for Nonprofits’ at the next Shine Brighter Series webcast on December 6 at 2:00 PM EST (1:00c), the session is free but you much register – click here to register.

Twitter probably the most misunderstood and underused of the Social Media platforms.  But with 106+ million account holders, chances are pretty good that your donors, volunteers, prospects and media contacts are tweeting.  You want to be part of that conversation.

Twitter is an online networking event.  Is there a lot of small talk on Twitter?  To be sure.  But small talk is a way to develop relationships – we do it at conferences without being put off, why not do the same online?  Small talk builds connections; connections build interest in your organization and mission; and interest in your organization and mission introduces you to more donors.

Twitter is an excellent platform to get rich sector information such as the results of giving surveys, marketing best practices, and news.  Just about every writer and editor has a Twitter account and many of them leverage Twitter to seek experts to speak on the topics they are writing about.  Are you following the local reporters in your community and the national reporters who cover nonprofits and philanthropy?

Twitter users love to use hash tags to communicate with other event attendees.  When people see that their friends are volunteering or attending your events, it may very well entice them to participate.

Twitter provides a platform where a message or link to website or blog article can go viral.  The nonprofit tweets a message with a link to their followers and a handful of followers re-tweet (RT) the message and suddenly your audience has grown exponentially.

Your success on Twitter will be a result of how much thought and planning you give it.  And, I wouldn’t recommend jumping in until you answer the following questions:

  1. What do you want to accomplish?
  2. Who do you want to influence?
  3. How do you measure success?

Once you have the answers to those questions, you can begin to put together a plan for Twitter that ensures your time spent will provide the results you want and not become a meaningless time-waster.

To learn more, please join us 2:00 EST on December 6, when the Orange Leap Shine Brighter Series will feature ‘Twitter for Nonprofits’ – we hope to see you there!  Click here to register.

How Nonprofits Can Optimize Their Social Media Efforts

October 15, 2012

Guest Blogger, Randy Vaughn, Marketing Twins:  Randy Vaughn is currently Dallas-Fort Worth’s only Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant.  Randy works alongside his identical twin brother, Donny, in their Fort Worth marketing agency (where they are known as “The Marketing Twins”).  The most unique thing about Randy is that he and his family spent 10 years as a missionary in French-speaking West Africa. 

Randy will be the guest presenter for the October 23 Shine Brighter Series presentation “5 Ways Nonprofits Can Get More Likes on Their Facebook Page.”  You may register here.

Nonprofits are not unlike small businesses in trying to optimize their presence on social media, especially on giants like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.  The former, currently with over 1 billion users worldwide, remains a mysterious laboratory where organizations make repeated marketing mistakes in efforts to tap into the potential viral power these social networks possess.  Notably, many of the communication blunders made on social media are the same ones made offline, too.

THINK STRATEGICALLY

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’ve got to keep this one simple, too.  Identify your ideal audience with whom you want to join in expanding your cause.  Determine their behavioral patterns for charitable giving and volunteerism.  Segment your audience (i.e., young audience with no kids, empty nesters, male-female, etc.) and know what they love, what fuels their passion and how they communicate.

TALK EFFECTIVELY

Drive your nonprofit message to these specific profiles with resonating messages that match their passions.  Connect via the channels where they communicate.  No one may see that new photo gallery you put up on your website if you don’t tell them on Twitter about it, or on Facebook or through email marketing.   Consider the age-old question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”  Apply that and ask, “if I launch a small fundraising campaign targeting millennials but only put it on my website, will it have any impact whatsoever?”  You may find that while it is necessary to have it on your nonprofit website, it may be equally (or more) important to build the campaign around Twitter or your Facebook page, depending on the audience you are wanting to reach.

TELL ME WHY

You are passionately “competing” with other nonprofits for donor dollars.  While maybe not as cut-throat as in the business world, if your nonprofit provides an indistinguishable service in a cause that similarly can be performed through any number of other nonprofits (i.e., how many dozens of nonprofits are building water wells in Africa – they are everywhere), a donor has no motivation or urgency to donate to you as opposed to the other guys.  Showcase the unique way you do this, highlight the unmatched zeal or the extraordinary people behind the organization, and prove to each donor that their dollar could not be better spent anywhere else.

TELL ME WHAT TO DO

With each campaign, with each piece of marketing content, and with every emotional touch point, tell the audience what you want them to do.  Donations are often made with emotion (particularly small ones), so tell me where to text my donation, where to click to donate or how to sign up to volunteer.  If you post a video on Facebook, use overlaying annotations or on-screen text to drive me to the action step.  Don’t tell me to vaguely “visit our website for more information” because I will likely “do it later” (aka, “never”) or simply surf around yet never making a commitment. With the right stories and clear call-to-action, your message will compel me to take action.

Once you get the communication strategy in place, consider posting consistent content that showcases stories of the 3 most important groups your audience needs to hear about:

  1. STORIES ABOUT BENEFICIARIES – obviously your most common content will be consistent success stories and compelling case studies that promote your nonprofits’ capabilities of changing the world or transforming the lives of people in your community.  Clearly communicate the pain at the time they met you, the solution you provided to alleviate their challenges, and the hopeful enthusiasm with which they see their lives now.  This is the magic formula for the perfectly riveting testimonial about which potential donors need to hear.
  2. STORIES ABOUT DONORS – speaking of the givers, your audience needs to hear about the impact your nonprofit has made in the lives of its regular contributors.  When a potential donor examines your nonprofit, not only may they be moved by the emotional stories of the beneficiaries, but the resounding reviews from other donors testifies to your nonprofit’s credibility and trustworthiness.  Capture testimonials in written, audio and visual format to serve as endorsements that will solidify a new philanthropist’s commitment to give.
  3. STORIES ABOUT VOLUNTEERS – possibly not the heaviest hitters in your database (though there are some exceptions), volunteers champion a “grassroots” effort in terms of word-of-mouth marketing, especially in these days of social media.  Representing the unbridled enthusiasm of these committed servants serves to strengthen your organization’s case when talking with donors about their participation.  Generous givers love to see an enthusiastic base already in place.

Nonprofits offer massive social networks the perfect opportunity for people to digest stories that enrich, encourage and inspire.  Whereas businesses can mistakenly push unwelcomed promotional interruption into our online news streams, nonprofits tug at our hearts and consequently redirect our focus and action to the more important things.  Your social media communication plan must be clear, targeted and all about the stories.  When you contribute the necessary altruism to our daily conversations and consciousness, your nonprofit will enjoy a healthy online presence needed to expand and extend your organization’s impact.

2013 Nonprofit CFO of the Year

September 21, 2012

Is your CFO an example of all that is best in the nonprofit world?

Does your CFO deserve recognition for the contribution they have made to the success of your organization and the fulfillment of your mission?  Between now and October 30, nominations are being accepted for the 2013 Nonprofit CFO of the Year – nominate here.

There are three award categories:  2013 Nonprofit CFO of the Year, 2013 Nonprofit CFO Rising Star, and 2013 Nonprofit CFO Transformational Leader:

2013 Nonprofit CFO of the Year is awarded to an outstanding CFO, currently making a vital contribution to the leadership of a well recognized nonprofit, as right hand of the executive director and mentor of the team – someone who has impact on the performance of the whole organization and whose stature enables them to serve as an example of all that is best in the nonprofit world.

2013 Nonprofit CFO Rising Star is awarded to an outstanding CFO of a Nonprofit, 40 or under, who has come to play a major leadership role, supporting the executive director, with significant initiatives in the development of their nonprofit.

2013 Nonprofit CFO Transformational Leader is awarded to an outstanding CFO of a nonprofit who has played a major role in the transformation of the operation of their nonprofit – not only in the financial department, but also in broader operational areas such as pioneering a significant major program, developing and implementing a technological breakthrough, or engineering a reorganization or merger.

Do any of those categories describe your CFO?  If so, be sure to nominate them and good luck!