nonprofit

build nonprofit momentum
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6 Questions To Build Your Nonprofit’s Momentum

We ask ourselves questions almost every moment of the day. Every decision we make is an answer to a question. Every goal we set is fueled by questions.

The right questions move us closer while the wrong questions distract us.

I ask myself the following six questions at the beginning of the year to make sure I’m intentional about the direction I’m heading.

They’ve really helped me and my business so I wanted to share them with you. Set aside an hour to go through them and really figure out what you want to accomplish this year.

  1. What were my biggest successes in the past year?
  2. Why were these things successful? What did I do that worked that I can replicate?
  3. What mistakes did I make this past year and what can I learn from them?
  4. What will it take to make next year a success? In other words, write down what it will take for you to look back this same time next year and be happy with what you’ve accomplished.
  5. What projects and processes need to be put into place to make these goals happen?
  6. What mindset shifts do I need to change to make these goals happen? What do I need to approach or think about differently? What is holding me back?

Remember you don’t have to start from scratch; you can learn a lot from what you did during the last year. Build on what’s working and change what isn’t. Be brutally honest with yourself and share your answers with your team!

joel-nbb-talk
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10 Tools To Save Your Nonprofit 10 Hours a Week

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to the NonboardBoard at one of our monthly meetings and talked about simple ways to be more productive as the leader of a nonprofit. I shared several of my favorite tools and apps and wanted to give everyone who wasn’t able to be there a few of my favorites I shared in a few I didn’t share! 

In this post I’m sharing 10 best online productivity tools that save me at least 10 hours every week and can do the same for you. I’ve put the time each tool saves me per week next to each one. Let me know what your nonprofit’s favorite tools and apps are in the comments!

1. ATEXT –SAVES 30 MINUTES

atext text expander

A text expander, like Atext, allows you to create keyboard shortcuts that automatically expand to common phrases or text. When you type in a shortcut, Atext will replace it with the full text so you don’t have to type it out.

For example, you could create a shortcut that triggers your mailing address any time you type “adr” and hit the spacebar. You can do the same with your email signature, an entire email template, and more. I use shortcuts for names, directions, URLs, email templates, commonly used phrases, and dozens of other things.

Atext is for Mac and it’s only $5 for a lifetime license!

2. CALENDLY – SAVES 1 HOUR

calendly scheduling app

Calendly is my personal appointment scheduler. It saves a huge amount of time by eliminating the back and forth when trying to schedule a meeting. Simply set up the type of meeting, duration, and your availability. Then, give the other person a link and they can choose a time. Calendly even notifies them with the phone number to call or any other instructions you want to give.

Calendly has a free and premium version. The free version gives you one meeting type (e.g., 60-minute call).

3. VOICEBASE – SAVES 1 HOUR

voicebase-transcription-platform

I haven’t seen many people talk about this one, but it’s one of my secret weapons. Voicebase saves a TON of time, especially when I want to recall a certain part of a recorded conversation.

Ordinarily you would queue up the recording and search for one small part, which requires a ton of tedious work and time. Voicebase removes that struggle by allowing you to search the transcript by keyword. It creates a machine transcription (which isn’t perfect but works great for searching) and it will show you every instance in the recording where you said that keyword.

4. ALFRED – SAVES 30 MINUTES

alfred productivity

Alfred is my shortcut to everything. If you use a Mac, the free version is amazing for quickly locating anything on your computer. Alfred also allows you to program almost any action on your computer with hotkeys or commands. And unlike the Spotlight search, Alfred remembers your searches and prioritizes what you search for most often.

Here are just a few of the ways you can use Alfred:

  • Saved searches take you directly to any of your Google drive folders
  • Search all of your Evernote notes
  • Change system settings
  • Turn off or restart your computer by typing ‘restart”
  • Search the web

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s so customizable and saves lots of time searching for items on your computer and online.

5. JOIN.ME – SAVES 1 HOUR

join.me-screen-sharing

I hate writing out technical instructions over and over again. Join.me has saved me, and anyone I’ve tried to explain something to, hours of time. The next time you’re on a call and need to give instructions, just send the other person your join.me link. You can quickly share your screen and show them exactly what to do.

Out of all the screen sharing apps, this one is my favorite because it’s easiest for the other person to set up. All they need to do is click the personal link you send them.

6. DRAGON DICTATE – SAVES 2 HOURS

dragon dictate voice to text

When you just don’t want to type, Dragon Dictate gives your fingers a rest. Dragon is a voice to text software for Mac and PC. It’s far from perfect but one of the best out there. I use Dragon to write blog posts, compose emails and even write out my to-do list for the day.

It’s a little pricey, but don’t pay full price for it — you can often find it up to 50% off.

apple voice to text screenshot

If you don’t want to pay for Dragon, Apple’s built in voice to text lets you record 30 seconds at a time and it’s extremely accurate. If you have the latest OS, hitting fn twice should trigger it. Or, go to settings, dictation and speech, and make sure that dictation is on and you have the right mic selected.

7. OUTREAD/SPREED/SPRITZ -SAVES 30 MINUTES

outread-speed-reader

It’s tough to find time to read when you’re busy, and even tougher to read when you are distracted. These apps take the distraction out of reading and speed up the process using 2 types of speed reading techniques:

RSVP (Rapid serial visual presentation) flashes one to four words at a time at the speed you want. Think of it like words on flashcards at a few hundred words per minute. Spritz and Spreed use RSVP.

Guided Reading highlights the words at the speed you choose while dimming out the rest.

Spritz has a bookmarklet that allows you to select any article online and set the speed at which you want to read it.

The Outread app for iPhone is excellent. It offers both methods of speed reading and you can sync it with save-for-later reading apps like Pocket. Which brings us to…

8. FIVERR – 1-3 SAVES HOURS

fiverr-marketplace

Fiverr is an incredible marketplace that allows you to get almost anything done for just $5.  If you can dream it, there is someone willing to do it for $5 on Fiverr. And if your time is worth more than $5 an hour, this will save you literally hours a week. You can learn more about getting started outsourcing in my course here!

Here are a few things Fiverr can help you with:

There are millions of ways to shave hours off your day for just $5. We use Fiverr several times a week and it saves us hours. If you’re new to outsourcing, the best part about Fiverr is it allows you to dip your toes in risk-free because of the small investment.

I highly encourage you to try Fiverr at least once to see the potential for freeing up hours a week. Start by looking at your tasks you dislike most, and search for someone to do them on Fiverr!

9. LASTPASS – SAVES 1 HOUR

lastpass-password-management

LastPass is my password saving app. It makes it easy to manage all of my passwords, but the thing I love most is the ability to share passwords without the recipient seeing the actual password. Once they have a LastPass account they can easily use the shared password. LastPass also allows you to revoke a password if needed, at the end of a project, etc.

Lastpass can autofill password forms when you want it to. If you have more than one password saved for a site, simply select the password and username you want to use. Lastpass has a great free version and the premium version is only $10/ year.

10. BUFFER – SAVES 1.5 HOURS

buffer social media app

Buffer is one of my favorite social media tools for finding and sharing content. I love the extremely easy to use interface and the ability to set times I want to share content throughout the day.

One perk of Buffer is their mobile app gives suggestions for content to share based on the content you’re already sharing. It’s a great way to find high-quality content to share and discover new content.

If you use chrome for your browser, don’t forget to download the Buffer chrome extension which lets you easily schedule and share any blog post you read.

What about you? What are your favorite productivity tools? Let us know in the comments below.

nonprofit marketing opportunities
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How To Evaluate Nonprofit Marketing Opportunities

“An opportunity that doesn’t align with your goals is a distraction, no matter how lucrative it is.”

I wrote down that piece of advice for my future self a few years back after I took advantage of a few “opportunities” only to find I was even further from my goals after pursuing them.

I love a good opportunity, but sometimes, in the moment, it’s hard to evaluate how valuable it will be. I’ve found I can’t trust myself to distinguish between an opportunity that will truly move move me closer to my goals and the blind justification that comes with being ecstatic about a new idea.

So how can you keep a level head when you’re about to say YES to a marketing opportunity that could be a game-changer for your nonprofit — but could potentially derail it as well?

Of course, surrounding yourself with wise people helps immensely, but I’ve found that these few questions are great to ask yourself and your team when faced with a new opportunity. Whether you’re starting a new social media strategy, an Adwords campaign, or a strategic partnership, these questions will help you evaluate any marketing opportunity that comes your way.

Who is my target audience for this opportunity?

Before pursuing a marketing opportunity, you should know two things: Who is your exact target audience? And are you using the best channels to reach that particular audience?

Resist the temptation of saying “everybody” is your target audience. Create a customer persona for the audience you’re going after. Look at your past marketing campaigns for any data that might help with the target audience. If you haven’t targeted this audience before, there is absolutely nothing wrong with experimenting. Just be sure to measure and evaluate whether they’re worth pursuing.

Will this opportunity move me closer to my goals?

What are your goals for this marketing project? Make sure you clearly outline what a win looks like for the project and what you’re willing to do to reach those goals. In the days of Don Draper, all clients had to do was approve sketches and new ads. Today, effective marketing takes more involvement and resources from the client.

What resources will it take to execute this opportunity and is this the best place to focus those resources?

If your team is executing this campaign internally, make sure you know what resources will be required. If an outside marketing company is working on the project your team won’t be tied up, so it just depends on what’s best for your situation. Look at the timeline of the project and everything else you have going on and decide whether to keep the project in-house or hire an outside company.

Are there other ways to get more out of your goal?

Now that you have your end goal in mind, how can you get even more out of it? If you look at the pieces of the marketing campaign, you may find you can get even more out of your individual marketing assets.

For example, if your goal is to write 3 e-books to use for educating prospects and building your email list, you have two choices. You could simply write those e-books, or you could use your blog to share excerpts of them and get people interested in the subjects, while also stretching your content much further.

How can we predict the outcome of this opportunity?

Find companies who have done similar marketing campaigns and do your homework. Research what their audience’s reaction was to the campaign, how much of an impact it had, and any mistakes they made that you can avoid. If they aren’t a competitor, it’s even worth giving them a call to ask them directly.

How does this opportunity fit into the rest of my marketing strategy? 

Does it compliment or compete with it? Your new marketing opportunity should complement, and even enhance, your current marketing. It should also fit in with the other stages in your marketing. For example, if you see that most of your marketing falls in the early stage and this is an early-stage opportunity, you may want to hold off until you balance it out with middle and late stage marketing.

Use these questions as a guide to quickly evaluate each new marketing opportunity. Your answers will tell you whether each opportunity that comes along is worth your time and investment.

icukoo1
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Meet The App That Donates Every Time You Hit Snooze

Looking for a new way to increase donations?

Icukoo is a new alarm clock app that donates to a charity every time you hit the snooze button. If you snooze the alarm the app takes note. When your snoozes have added up to a set amount, the app will send a text asking if you want to donate that amount or let more snoozes accrue.

Here’s how it works (from their website):

a. Set the iCukoo alarm.
b. Select the charity you want to support.
c. Decide how much each snooze is worth.

Right now it’s only available to a select amount of charities but hopefully it’ll open to more soon. You can check out the iCukoo website for more information.

icukoo2

 

How To Use The “One Hat Technique” To Stay Focused

one hat technique

When you run a nonprofit, it’s not uncommon to wear a dozen different hats on a single day. You probably find yourself dashing between planning, managing, answering emails, and projects that urgently need your attention.

But there’s a problem that arises when you don’t have clarity in your schedule: the tendency to flip-flop between hats.

In this short video I explain how to eliminate that obscurity, focus on one thing at a time with complete clarity, and move to the next project.

This simple technique from my Time Management Course will help you in the execution part of your time management. When you’re in the thick of it and not sure what to do, I’ve found this has really helped.

3 Excellent Nonprofit Facebook Pages You Can Learn From

 

nonprofit fb pages

Keeping up a nonprofit Facebook page is tough. It’s fun and easy at first, but when the ideas run out and you’re unsure what to do next, it quickly becomes a grind.

A great way to discover new concepts is to look at what others are doing. Keep an eye on other nonprofits to see what is getting engagement and what you can try with your audience. Remember, you don’t have to do this on your own. When you can’t think of what to post next, that little spark is often just what you need.

Here are 3 great Facebook pages that are creating good content and engaging their donors. Check them out and see what resonates with you!

Christian Care Ministry

https://www.facebook.com/MyChristianCare

From their about page:

Christian Care Ministry provides a variety of programs to serve and connect the Christian community, including Medi-Share, Manna, Restore and Healthy Church.

christian care ministry

Why we like them:

  • The top banner gets you involved immediately with what is happening for the Christian care ministry.
  • There are lots of visuals, like Bible verses and quotes, that people can easily engage with.
  • They do a good job of incorporating hashtags into their posts.
  • They keep their audience engaged with quizzes, contests and fill in the blanks.

Show Hope

https://www.facebook.com/ShowHope

From their about page:

Show Hope exists to mobilize individuals and communities to join God’s revolution to care for orphans in their distress, helping to provide waiting children with food, shelter, medical care and forever families.

show hope

Why we like them:

  • Show Hope has a lot of great extra tabs like events, blog posts and email signups. (Though we do wish they kept them a little more up to date!)
  • They do a great job of keeping people informed through their blog posts on Facebook.
  • Their pictures are formatted perfectly for Facebook posts.
  • They do an excellent job of staying engaged, responding to questions and comments in the newsfeed.

charity: water

https://www.facebook.com/charitywater

From their about page:

charity: water is working every day to reinvent charity while bringing clean drinking water to the 748 million people living without.

charity:water

Why we like them:

  • The photography immediately catches your eye. Their photographs draw you in and make you want to read about them, and they do a good job of describing them simply.
  • The tone of voice for charity: water is very personal. When you scroll through their timeline you’ll notice specific stories about many of their members and sponsors.
  • They also feature some of the wackier ways people have raised money which is entertaining and thought-provoking. (One guy raised money by listening to Nickelback for 168 hours and a vegetarian promised to eat a hamburger if she raised $10,000).
  • They’ve done a great job with reviews on Facebook. Facebook reviews have grown in importance and with over 786 reviews and an average rating of 4.8, they not only have great social proof, but also dozens of testimonials from their sponsors.

Bonus tip!

Take advantage of the follow feature on Facebook’s insights page. You can follow several other pages to see what they are doing and how they are growing. Use those pages to get ideas for engaging posts and keep tabs on pages you want to engage with.

What Taco Bell Can Teach You About Increasing Your Newsletter’s Impact

Photo by Mike Mozart

Taco Bell has a little secret.

In fact, most fast food joints are in on this secret, and you probably haven’t event noticed.

What’s Taco Bell been keeping under wraps? Just take a look at their menu. The majority of the 40+ item menu is made up of only 3 core ingredients: meat, cheese and tortillas. The ingredients by themselves aren’t impressive (probably the opposite), but the way they repurpose the ingredients in a million different combinations keeps people coming back. And it’s a strategy worth noticing.

Now, take a look at your nonprofit. Specifically, your newsletter.

Newsletters have been around forever. They started out on paper delivered to your business or home, now they’ve moved to email and can be delivered with the click of your mouse. They’re an effective tool to keep in touch with your audience — but there’s a catch.

They’re missing one BIG thing.

Newsletters aren’t timeless. You send out the email, your audience opens and reads it once, and then it’s either buried in their inbox or sent to die in their deleted items folder. The shelf life of a newsletter is only a few minutes.

Your audience can’t bookmark a newsletter like they would an article online. The articles aren’t indexed on your site, so they can’t be found by people searching on that topic. And new subscribers have no way to catch up on past issues.

The best fix for this is creative repurposing. It’s time to ask yourself, What content from my email or print newsletters could benefit my audience on my website?

Here are a few ideas:

  • If your newsletter contains news and events, create a “Community” section or “News” tab on your website to include that information.
  • If your newsletter contains industry articles or trends, post them to your blog or “Resources” tab on your website.  This gives your audience a simple way to find the information long after you’ve sent the newsletter.
  • If your newsletter contains new information about your nonprofit’s work, add the content to your “About” pages for additional, and more permanent, reading.

Not every part of your newsletter needs to be repurposed on your website. It’s a great strategy to have exclusive content to keep your audience interested and attract new subscribers. But one rule remains unchanged: Your content needs to be good.

Really good.

When you start repurposing content, you’re not just writing for your audience anymore. Anyone searching online could stumble onto your material. Take each audience member into consideration when using newsletter content on your website.

Start by repurposing your best content. Listen to the feedback you get from core follower’s comments and see what content gets shared by your followers. Use those insights to continually improve your content and watch your audience grow from the names on your email list to anyone searching for your website!

 

4 Ways Your Nonprofit Should Respond to Facebook’s News Feed Changes

4 Ways Facebook Changes Ries Bar StoolIn January, Facebook will begin limiting the number of promotional posts people see

in their feed from Pages. This won’t reduce the number of ads people see; just what

Facebook deems as overly promotional posts – that aren’t paid posts.

“The idea is to increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories — including

Page posts — people see in their News Feeds,” said Facebook on their blog.

Facebook defines promotional content as:

1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app

2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real

context

3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

This comes on the heels of several Facebook news feed changes that may are

pointing to the demise of organic reach on Facebook. How does this change my

nonprofit’s Facebook strategy? What tactics can I use to respond to these changes? Read More

Attachment-Based Leadership-Part II

Attachment Based Leadership Promo PicIn the previous blog, Attachment Leadership (Part 1), we introduced the 4 S’s of attachment and began to explore how these can be applicable to the workplace. The 4 S’s defined were:

  • Seen– not just seeing with the eyes, but perceiving another deeply and empathetically
  • Safe- avoiding actions and responses that would frighten or hurt the person we are in relationship with
  • Soothed– helping the other person to deal with difficult emotions and situations
  • Secure– helping the other person cultivate an internalized sense of well-being

This language may be very foreign in many business settings. These words may not be built into the company culture. However, there are practical ways to begin to “live out” these concepts and foster an attachment-based leadership culture. Here are a few tips for getting started:

Read More

9 Simple Goal-Based Marketing Metrics To Keep Your Nonprofit On Track

nonprofit marketing goals

It’s difficult enough to keep up with your nonprofit’s marketing before even considering how to make sense of it all. But measuring the ROI of your online marketing is the only thing that’s going to save your time, money, and sanity in the long run.

By carefully measuring your marketing ROI, you can apply the Pareto (80/20) principle and determine which 20% of your marketing efforts are producing 80% of the results.

I’ve outlined a few examples of nonprofit marketing goals below and the metrics to measure each one. Use the sample goals as a reference to measure against what you’re currently tracking. It’s a quick and simple way to find holes you need to fill or see if you’re on the right track!

Read More

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