nonprofit

Can Development Directors Save The World?

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When I was younger, I had dreams of saving the world. Correction, for a short time I had dreams of being a night nurse because I knew that meant I would be able to stay up past my bedtime. However, once I realized that as a grown up I could set my own bedtime…I wanted to save the world.

My world saving career didn’t begin with a cape or a cat suit, but started when I was seventeen in a domestic violence shelter where I volunteered twice a week. Then, I went to college and majored in social work. World saving was still the goal. I vowed to never do anything but direct service. (Spoiler alert: I would eat those words.)

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Simple 6 Point Guideline For Grant Writing

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 4.00.09 PMTo simplify your grant writing, use this simple guideline to collect and prepare your information.  Foundations and organizations often have specific formats they desire, but if one has the essential information, it should be easy to complete the applications.

1) Who:

is in need of this project-program

is to benefit

is to do the work

is to help pay  — matching $ etc.

is to manage and report back (accountability)

is ultimately in charge of the project-program

2) What:

is the reason that this is so important?

is the location of the project-program?

is the short term and long range outcome for the society?

is the benefit that makes this so important?

is the priority that distinguishes this effort?

is plan B if this request is not granted? Read More

How to Stay Focused on Your Nonprofit’s Goals

What did you do last week that moved your nonprofit forward?

I mean something big, something you can truly measure.

It’s funny, but those huge accomplishments usually start with something very small. The difficult part is knowing what to concentrate on and having laser-like focus to get it done.

I’ve found the best way to complete these goals is to measure what I do each week that moves me closer to them. How do I do this? I track my time.

In this post I’ll give you three reasons to start tracking your time, even if just for a week. I’ve also included a video at the end of the post that will make it even easier for you to get started. It shows you exactly how to start tracking your time in just five minutes.

Here are 3 BIG benefits of tracking your time:

1. You Can Set Boundaries for Yourself (And Others)

Tracking your time can help you set beneficial boundaries for yourself and others. By tracking in real time you can start identifying patterns in your day and determine what restraints to put on yourself and others.

Pay attention to interruptions that happen throughout the day and the reasons for them. Could you have prevented some of the interruptions with a quick conversation, outlining when you needed uninterrupted time?

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NBB 30 minutes social media
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How To Manage Your Nonprofit’s Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day

If you groan every time you see social media on your to-do list because the time commitment seems unbearable, this post is for you.

Social media doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time. If you plan your content using a monthly content calendar, you can keep your audience engaged with just a few minutes per day. By spending a little time in between projects to check social networks, you can have them easily under control.

But there’s a catch. (There’s always a catch!)

You’ve gotta have a plan.

Why? Because “checking” Facebook leads to the one thing Facebook is best at: wasting time. Before you know it, the day’s half over and you’ve missed lunch.

Here’s an example schedule for keeping up with your social networks throughout the day. You can schedule your social media at whatever time works best for you. The times next to each one are just meant to demonstrate a sample schedule.

One other thing to keep in mind: this schedule can change depending on what social channel is dominant for you. For example, your nonprofit might be the most active on Facebook and not have a presence on Twitter. So instead of spending 15 minutes on Twitter, I might put the extra time into responding to comments on Facebook and creating new content.

Alter the schedule to fit your situation.

BLOG | 8:00 – 8:04am

  • 4 minutes: Respond to any comments

FACEBOOK | 9:00 – 9:06

  • 3 minutes: Write one status update
  • 3 minutes: Read and respond to any comments on your page from the day before

TWITTER | 10:30 – 10:45

  • 2 minutes: Write one tweet
  • 3 minutes: Read and respond to @replies
  • 3 minutes: Read your tweetstream and keyword searches. Respond to relevant content in your timeline if you have something good to say back.
  • 3 minutes: Retweet something that you think your followers would benefit from hearing
  • 2 minutes: Follow back relevant people who have followed you
  • 2 minutes: Write another tweet to schedule for later

YOUTUBE | 12:05 – 12:10

  • 2 minutes: Respond to any comments on your wall
  • 3 minutes: Comment on someone else’s video

Great! We’ve got the daily content down. Now let’s look at the weekly and monthly plan.  Some things we don’t need to do every day, so we assign them to the beginning or end of the week and month. Here are a few examples to get you started.

Weekly Tactics

  • At the beginning of the week, check that your content is loaded to your blog and/or Youtube and scheduled to be published.
  • Write social media updates for each post to promote them and schedule them in Hootsuite.

Monthly Tactics

  • Create an analytics report for each of your channels.
  • Brainstorm blog topics for next month, and start creating outlines for each post. Set due dates for each one.

Use this list as a starting point to figure out your daily, weekly, and monthly tactics, and take the guesswork out of your nonprofit’s social media!

3 Smart Ways to Grow Your Nonprofit’s Email List

NBB 3 smart ways email listThere’s no question that email has become the primary communication channel for nonprofits. And if that’s true, each of your marketing efforts should lead back to building your email list.

Here are my favorite ways to quickly and effectively build your email list and the reasons why it’s so important.

Why is Growing Your List Important?

If we don’t know why we are building our email list, there’s zero motivation to do it. There needs to be a strategy in place to see results.

Most people don’t understand the real benefits of an email list. They simply see it as a way to send out a monthly newsletter. A newsletter is one benefit, but here are several other reasons for building a quality email list for your nonprofit.

Keep Donors Up-to-Date

Email provides an inexpensive way to keep donors up-to-date. For example, you can create specific email lists for different types of donors, and send them updates based on what type of news interests them.

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