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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

posted by
Rosaria Elias
Writer and Editor 

What does a successful web engagement look like from a client’s perspective? How about from the perspective of an agency? How can these two perspectives be aligned to maximize the experience for both parties?

That is the topic for discussion and I’ve been on both sides of the fence before. It is my hope that I can smooth the process for all parties concerned with several  handy tips.

The Ground Rules

First, let me explain what I mean by a ‘Web Engagement’. This term refers to an engagement between a client and a service provider for the purpose of completing an internet based project. These engagements may include website builds, online marketing work, website integration projects and much more. A ‘Web Engagement’ is a broad term that simply refers to any occasion where a person or business seeks outside consultation, including swot analysis, assistance or collaboration in achieving online goals.

1. Make Sure You Don’t Irritate Each Other

This may sound like a no-brainer, but, the digital world is full of larger than life personalities and sometimes these personalities clash. This helps no one and createsa relationship fraught with pain and sleepless nights – not to mention the economic costs.

First and foremost, any engagement is about the relationship between agency and client and the success (or failure) of this relationship sometimes hinges simply on the personalities involved and how they mesh. If they don’t, it will always be a struggle, no matter how well-intentioned both parties are.

From the first time you meet, try to get a sense of whether you speak the same language. Do you have similar levels of knowledge and experience or are the parties at least willing to learn from each other? Can both parties be honest with each other without it turning into a mudslinging match? Is each party prepared to be accountable to each other and able to admit mistakes and take steps to rectify them in a good faith manner?

You may not be able to answer all of these questions from day one, but you will soon work out whether the ‘fit’ is right for you. The client should feel welcomed, appreciated and respected. The agency should feel  the client will be able to appreciate and respect their expertise and advice, whilst being able to communicate their online goals clearly and succinctly. If you can achieve these then you are already on your way to web nirvana.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

posted by
Chris Giarratana
Digital Strategy Consultant

Email marketing is an essential piece of any nonprofit communication strategy, especially if it's going to be used as a tool for donor engagement and fundraising campaigns. However, how can you ensure that your donors will even read your email? The answer is pretty simple; you have to make your emails enticing, engaging, and approachable. 

Here are some tips to help you create content that your recipients will open, read, and take action on. Once your nonprofit learns how to leverage email marketing, you will be able to reach your goals with a comprehensive internet marketing strategy that will ensure your success. If you use these tips to improve your email marketing strategy, then you will see increased donor and volunteer engagement for your nonprofit. 

1. A Striking Subject Line Can Do Wonders

Like what they always say, first impressions last. This can be applied to email marketing as well. You have to consider the fact that most of your donors are probably receiving a plethora of email on a daily basis. Some are tagged as relevant, and some are not-- these often land to the spam folder.

To ensure that your email reaches your donor, you have to take extra measures. One of which would be to create a compelling subject line. That means instead of the usual generic headlines that don't state what the email is about; you have to be on point. 

The subject line should tell the recipient what you want from them, and where their donations would go. Including the name of your organization as a supplementary detail can also help.

You also have to think like your recipients. If your subject line doesn't appeal to you at all, how can you even expect that your recipient would find it interesting?

Monday, October 23, 2017

posted by
Emily Barrett
Capacity Building Initiatives;
Public Allies Arizona

After months of recruiting for our 2017-2018 cohort, the Public Allies Arizona team has found 46 wonderful individuals that we are proud to call our Class 12 Allies.

At the beginning of September, they started CORE Training, the first step on a life-changing journey. Over the next 10 months, this diverse group of up-and-coming leaders will serve full-time at local nonprofit organizations and learn the skills to start careers in the nonprofit sector.

At CORE, topics such as capacity building, oppression, inclusive spaces and vocabulary, leadership, and professionalism were all discussed. Miquella Young, one of our allies, said that during training she discovered “the deep roots of my passion, my why, my driving force that pushes me when adversity strikes. Practicing our +1 of self-care along with self-awareness will ensure I spend every day learning and growing. Our diversity is a blessing: a valuable resource. Our problems are breeding grounds for solutions.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

posted by
John Couleur
Special Projects Consultant, Sputnik Moment

Nonprofit organizations have become sophisticated marketers using techniques like targeted campaigns and engagement (nurture) tracks to build strong, sustainable relationships with potential supporters.

Why then, do they still limit their effectiveness by using antiquated systems for the data so important to making these marketing tools effective?

We all have experience with the challenges presented by these systems.

1. Similar data is in different places

I want to put together a mailing list for my big annual event. I pull last year’s invite list from my mass email tool. Then I find the list of “day ofs” that I don’t have but my event coordinator (hopefully) stored in an Excel spreadsheet. I put the two together, hoping that I didn’t miss anyone because they weren’t in last year’s emailing, or that I don’t send two (or more) invites to my spam-sensitive donors.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

posted by
Mark Hager
Associate Professor  ASU School of Community Resources and Development

On June 28, 1914, political assassins killed Austria’s archduke and his wife, leading to the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia and the beginnings of war across Europe.  The United States was drawn into the war in the spring of 1917. On October 3, to raise money for the war, the U.S. passed the War Revenue Act of 1917, substantially increasing taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers.  The new flat tax of 1915 gave way to a light progressive tax in 1916, paving the way for a steep progressive tax in 1917.  Households earning $2 million or more paid 2 percent in income tax in 1915, but were paying 67 percent by 1917. The war effort was thereby funded by wealthy families.

To provide some relief for these steep rates, the federal government provided ways for households to reduce their taxable income. The War Revenue Act introduced and codified what we know today as the charitable deduction. Details have been altered and clarified over the past 97 years, but the central mechanism is the same. The charitable deduction is a vital nexus between the general public, the nonprofit organizations they support, and government policy. It is a basic feature of the charitable sector in the United States.

Monday, September 25, 2017

posted by
Mark Hager
Associate Professor  ASU School of Community Resources and Development

I’m not sure it’s possible to write this blog post without looking like a grammar Nazi, but I’m going to give it a whirl. Should be interesting, anyway.

This post is about the way people write the word nonprofit. Or non-profit. Or sometimes I even see non profit. Maybe these alternate spellings are all the same to you, and that’s fine. But for some people, the way you write this word says something about you. In the extreme case, if you do it the “wrong” way you might not get that grant, or that job, or that meeting. It might just matter that much. You never know who is on the other side of your writing or what they are thinking. 

Before I wind my way to my point, let me give a couple examples of how the words we use signal whether we are in with the cool kids or outside in the cold. The first one goes back about 3,000 years, when the armies of Gilead beat back the invading Ephramites. As told in the 12th chapter of the “Book of Judges” in the Christian bible, the Ephramites tried to blend in with the locals as they were fleeing the country. How do you sort out the bad guys? The Gilead soldiers had learned that the Ephramites had a hard time pronouncing some Hebrew words, including one that described the grain-bearing part of a plant stalk: shibboleth (שִׁבֹּלֶת‎). So, as people were crossing out of Gilead, army checkpoints asked each person to pronounce the word shibboleth. Say it like a Gileadite, and you can pass. Say it like an Ephramite and your carcass got dumped in the river. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

posted by
Melanie Nathan
Digital Marketing Entrepreneur

Let’s face it, Most nonprofit organizations probably don’t know how to focus on stellar marketing efforts. They mostly get their goals achieved through fundraising events and word of mouth.

 There are many benefits that a nonprofit can gain from an effective online marketing strategy though. In order to create a marketing strategy, nonprofits need only analyze how for-profit online businesses are competing.

 In doing this, nonprofits can learn valuable information that can help their organizations get more volunteers, donations, advocates and other forms of support they need for their important work.

Here are five hand-picked examples of service and product based businesses, in some not-so-exciting industries, that are setting the bar extremely high with their online marketing efforts:


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

posted by
Chris Giarratana
Digital Strategy Consultant

Designing a site for a nonprofit organization is one of the most important steps in establishing an online presence. An effective nonprofit website can build a strong brand, drive more donors to your site, and increase your volunteer recruitment efforts. However, many nonprofits fail to develop a strong online presence because they fail to build a useful website. 

One of the first things I notice about  nonprofit websites is that many  fail to produce a feeling of urgency around the issue, provoke an emotional reaction in the customer, establish the organization's capability to cover the matter and inspire the visitor to take immediate actions and accept contributions throughout the site.

The bottom line is that your nonprofit organization is competing with large for-profit companies and other nonprofit organizations for attention and resources from your target audience. 

Let’s take a look at the top three things that your nonprofit needs in order to have a robust website that will help  drive your organization’s goals and fulfill your organization’s mission!

Monday, August 28, 2017

posted by
Natalia Winberry
Spring 2017 Graduate Alumna, ASU Master of Nonprofit Leadership & Management 

As organizations serving public interests, nonprofits answer to the voices of multiple stakeholders. The complex accountability relationships facing nonprofit organizations include responsibilities to donors, clients, community partners, staff members and volunteers. Under pressure from multiple stakeholders, nonprofits tend to prioritize accountability to donors, foundations and governments over accountability to clients and the populations served by the organization (Ebrahim, 2003). However, by seeking out the voices of the people they serve, nonprofit organizations can embrace their responsibilities and improve their organizations.

By improving downward accountability, defined as accountability to the populations nonprofits serve, organizations can meet their obligations to clients and others affected by the services and programs of a nonprofit (Ebrahim, 2003). Nonprofit organizations have a responsibility to embrace client perspectives, as serving clients often represents a primary purpose for many nonprofits (Twersky, Buchanan, & Threlfall, 2013). Improving downward accountability benefits nonprofits by empowering the individuals they serve, improving the legitimacy of the organization, and enhancing organizational effectiveness (Mercelis, Wellens & Jegers, 2016; Twersky et al., 2013). Even as different stakeholders demand their share of responsiveness from the organization, improving organizational effectiveness should appeal to most nonprofit stakeholders.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

posted by
Stanford Prescott
Spring 2017 Graduate Alumnus, ASU Master of Nonprofit Leadership & Management 

On Feb. 21, 2017, the transportation company Uber debuted a new self-driving car program in Tempe, Arizona. As of this writing, customers can now request a ride in one of these self-driving cars.  Uber is not the only company debuting this newest innovation- Waymo, a Google subsidiary, and General Motors are both testing their own self-driving cars in the Phoenix area. Self-driving cars are not science fiction; they are a reality on Arizona roads today and will only continue to become more prevalent as technology reaches its full potential.

 Self-driving cars are perhaps the most visible element of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” a term used to by some scholars to refer to the rapidly increasing use of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) over the next two decades (Schwab, 2016). The Fourth Industrial Revolution will disrupt the US and world economy by simultaneously creating new economic growth and large-scale unemployment. Automation has the potential to reduce costs, increase productivity, and increase demand for some occupations, such as computer programmers. Yet, automation will replace millions of American jobs, leaving workers such as taxi or truck drivers out of work. “Rapid and accelerating digitization is likely to bring economic rather than environmental disruption, stemming from the fact that as computers get more powerful, companies have less need for some kinds of workers. Technological progress is going to leave behind some people, perhaps even a lot of people, as it races ahead” (Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 10-11).


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