networking

Four ways to improve your nonprofit marketing efforts

posted by
Johann Beishline
Director of Search Marketing
Foresold

Marketing doesn't have to be painful for nonprofit organizations with limited resources. Here are four ways nonprofit organizations can improve their marketing efforts while also spending less money and less time on the issue:

 

Do Your Research

 

Know your audience. Who makes up your audience? Analyze your nonprofit organization using Facebook Insights data to understand your core audience and its wants and needs. Examine the data on individual posts to determine which status updates and which photos have been shared the most. Also take the time to understand your organization’s Google Analytics data to get a better idea about who is visiting your site. Make sure to use Google’s Social Value graph to learn more about the correlation between your nonprofit’s Facebook and Twitter traffic with your sales and donations.

 

Define your goals. Once you've figured out who your audience is, articulate what it is you want from your supporters. Do you want your supporters to buy your merchandise? Donate their time at volunteer events? Donate money to support your operations? Once you’ve figured out why you matter to your audience and what your goals are, use this information to develop your nonprofit organization’s marketing strategies.

From comic books to collective impact: The importance of ongoing professional development

postedby Aaron Stiner,
Host Chair
YNPN Leaders Conference

I have been fortunate to practice a professional craft in many careers, ever since junior high school when my first job was selling comic books and trading cards. After I graduated from college, I served as a sales rep for a veterinary pharmaceutical company, before transitioning into a 10-year career in the nonprofit sector. My most recent career is as a full-time stay-at-home dad (or chief life-quality officer, as my wife likes to say!).

While my list of professions is quite varied, in each one I have made it a point to seek out and participate in professional development and networking to help improve my practice. Early in my career it was pretty informal. Working in the comic book store, I would make sure to talk to the sales reps who sold us products, along with visiting trade shows where I would talk to as many vendors and other shop workers as I could. Working in pharmaceutical sales, I was fortunate to receive extensive in-company training, yet I continued to seek out external workshops, along with networking with both in-company and out-of-company peers. And, while at Valley of the Sun United Way, where I also received excellent in-house training, I was able to successfully self-advocate to attend two different national conferences and several local conferences.

Networking

posted by
Sentari Minor,
Program Specialist,
The Rodel Foundation
of Arizona

Networking. We’ve all heard the term, had workshops and classes on it, gone to seminars, digested it— but why? Why has this notion demanded so much attention and effort and become a “must have” skill for our professional wheelhouses? It’s simple: networking is necessary to progress at any level in business and is especially paramount for nonprofit leaders.

Networking helps build a professional reputation backed by a cadre of supporters and believers. It is this network that can corroborate your credentials and solidify your standing with other interested parties. These are the people who cannot only help you find jobs or partnerships, but can potentially recommend you to employers and connect you with donors. With nonprofits fighting for resources, it only makes sense that we would want to meet as many people who can connect us to donors, funders and experts in the field.

With that said, every one of our contacts is a potential client, a potential resource and if treated well, a potential partner or donor. I’ve heard innumerable stories of people transitioning casual contacts to loyal clients or invaluable assets to their personal brand. People like to be connectors, they like to be of importance and they love to see their facilitation yield fruition. However, no matter how altruistic we want to believe we are, people also like reciprocity and that means making a contact might generate something advantageous in the future.

Better Together: Collaboration and Nonprofit Networking

posted by
Jessica Sadoway,
Nonprofit and
Social Media Blogger

Just last Friday, The Collaboration Prize announced its third annual winner (congratulations to the Adoption Coalition of Texas!). This competition is working hard to encourage collaboration and highlight outstanding partnerships in our communities.

"Collaboration" is one of the big buzzwords in nonprofits now. It makes sense — when budgets stretch thin, it's important to maximize your resources. The Collaboration Prize itself is a joint effort by several pioneering organizations: The Lodestar Foundation has partnered with the AIM Alliance, the Foundation Center, La Piana Consulting, and other foundation and nonprofit leaders to support the 2011 Prize.

By working together, you're boosting the potential of both organizations. Two heads are better than one, right? How about three? Or five?

It's amazing how many resources are shareable. Have extra toiletries from your last donation drive? Give them to an organization that can use them. Need more volunteers for an event? Invite your friends from the nonprofit down the street to participate with their volunteers. In fact, why don't you plan the event together and make it even bigger and better? And things go on from there.

Yet it's not just about sharing supplies, funds, or even human resources. There are also hidden benefits. By working together, you're combining your reputation with theirs, and you're also incorporating their public support and branding with yours. You're sharing marketing and word-of-mouth, and we all know how valuable getting your name out there is when looking for support.