Strategy

Medium for Nonprofits – Three Questions to Consider

Medium for Nonprofits – Three Questions to Consider

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been asked by a few nonprofits about publishing on Medium. If you’re thinking about utilizing this platform, these questions and answers may help.

What is Medium?

Medium is an online platform and network that allows individual users, organizations, or companies to write and publish articles. Medium has a helpful synopsis of their platform and the benefits. It is built as a place for writers to easily create content and publish in a simple and visual editor. There is a network component as readers often leave comments or respond with a post. The company itself has a homepage that highlights content that is pertinent, interesting, and engaging.

Why should you use it?

It is a good fit for organizations that are looking to increase the number of written publications but haven’t yet started an internal blog. If volunteers or individuals on your team have an interest in writing content for your organization, Medium is a great way to begin that process.

If you have the ability to publish blog posts on your website, you may also want to consider using Medium. The network component of the platform can help you reach new audience members. Additionally, it may be easier for your readers to view content on Medium. If your blog isn’t visually appealing – especially for mobile and tablet users – you should consider trying Medium.

What types of things should you post?

Anything that you would write in a blog post. A story from an individual that your organization supported, an organizational opinion on a current event/topic, a letter from a board member, or highlights from a recent event. Try different styles and take advantage of the helpful analytics that let users know how many people are reading the whole post.

Below are a few articles from recent weeks that I’ve found interesting – including one published on Medium.

  1. Ross Jackson kicks off an ongoing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Project in NPQ with a post about diversity in the nonprofit theater world.
  2. The always brilliant Yesenia Sotelo of SmartCause Digital shares the 10 stats you should be tracking on your website.  
  3. David Cohen of Adweek explains the latest Facebook news feed algorithm changes.
  4. Does your organization work with a YouTube creator? YouTube is rolling out donation cards for US creators.
  5. “C is for Convertible Debt! That’s good enough for me.” Sarah Kessler of Fast Company details Sesame Street’s partnership with venture capital firms.
  6. Finally, Alison Leiby shares a post on Medium about the response to a joke she made about women’s rights. It include this funny and sad quote, “If you want a tour of how hateful and negative humanity can be about women, just scroll through the replies to my original joke. It’s kind of like the It’s A Small World ride, but instead of different countries you just see different expressions of misogyny.”
Data and Narrative – Why the Balance is Important

Data and Narrative – Why the Balance is Important

While meeting with During a recent discussion about mission-driven and fundraising communication, someone mentioned, “You can’t share a narrative without stats and you can’t share stats without the narrative.” This sentiment is a nice reminder to start off the year. Nonprofits must strike a balance when communicating the quantifiable effect of their work and sharing the stories of success. Most readers will recognize that this is true, but may not stop to consider why this is important. For fundraising-related communication both of these aspects appeal to different individuals.

Some donors are most inspired when they feel the human connection and hear the first-hand experience of those that are benefitting from a program or organization. For this group, the data is nice, but doesn’t mean as much as a real story that shares experience and perspective.

Others approach giving from with a “Spock-like” viewpoint. The human emotion isn’t important; they want to ensure that their contribution is having a statistically relevant influence on the society around them. To them the human stories are nice, but aren’t the reason to give – as one individual’s experience is less pertinent than the broader reach and effects.

These two examples are endpoints. Most supporters are somewhere between them when assessing motivation for giving. Balancing narrative and data ensures that you’re reaching all of your audience and addresses other important factors. Sharing data that is definable and relevant to your work builds transparency and trust. Sharing stories reinforces to your audience that you’re invested and connected to the experience of those benefitting from your work.

As you work on communication in the New Year remember why this balance is critical. Below are a few links from the last week that may be helpful for you.

  1. It’s resolution time! Ashley Thompson of NPEngage shares five resolutions for fundraising.
  2. Twitter received a mixed response when a rumor was published that they’re considering changing the character limit from 140 to 10,000. Ash Read of Buffer shares thoughts and reflections.
  3. Jimmy Daly of Vero explains why your newsletter may not be working and provides advice on making it better.
  4. REJOICE. Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 will likely be killed next week. Owen Williams of The Next Web has the details.
  5. Forbes published their 30 under 30 of social entrepreneurs. It’s a great read if you want to be inspired and hopeful (or feel old).
  6. Your long read of the week – Will Oremus of Slate explains how Facebook builds their algorithm.

 

Six Lessons from #GivingTuesday Emails

Six Lessons from #GivingTuesday Emails

As you may imagine, I received a lot of #GivingTuesday emails. This year, I reviewed them all to highlight some things that I liked and recommendations on what to avoid. For email messages that I’m highlighting, I’ve included their name. For email messages that had some challenges, I’m omitting their name.

 

Time is not always on your side

One organization sent an email that was focused on the time left in the campaign. It included the text, “Only 5 hours left on #GivingTuesday. We can do this!  As of 7pm, our awesome supporters have raised nearly $5,000!”

This email does a good job of using time to build a sense of urgency. The challenge is the email arrived at 5:15pm. It was written with a central time zone audience in mind. Using the time left in a campaign isn’t recommended because it’s very challenging to control. You have to segment for time zone. If your data on audience location isn’t strong, you’ll send emails with the incorrect time to many recipients.

Sending emails with a reference to a specific time, also assumes that the emails will be delivered when they’re supposed to. #GivingTuesday and December 31 are very busy days for email delivery systems – Constant Contact, Convio/Blackbaud, Vertical Response, etc. While these companies prepare for the increase in volume, there can be issues. On December 31, 2014, Convio had systemwide delays that slowed down delivery of messages. I received an email from a national organization urging me to donate with just “six hours left in 2014”. Unfortunately, it was delivered at 4:30am on January 1.

 

Show your personality

If your email is coming from an individual (Executive Director, Board Member, volunteer), you should try and convey their personality in the message. The best example of that this year was a message from Serena Clayton at the California School-Based Health Alliance.

 

GT Image 2 - CSHA

This email made me laugh because it was personal and self-aware. Stating, ‘I know you’re getting a lot of messages today, but this is why you should support us’ was a personal and thoughtful choice.

 

Email length

One of the first messages I received was one of the messages with the most issues. The email was 470 words and did not have any images or much to break up the text. The email clocked in at 470 words, which was far too long. On a day like #GivingTuesday, your message shouldn’t be this lengthy as you’ll struggle to hold the reader’s attention.

 

Use matches creatively

An email from KQED shared:

GT Image 1 - KQED

This was an interesting approach and likely an A/B test. It can be difficult to find an appropriate way to share fundraising success with your audience. Sharing that you’ve already reached a goal, may make a potential donor think, “They’re doing just fine. I guess, I should donate elsewhere.” This email attempts to use the match to build a sense of urgency, while also making the reader feel like they’re one of many supporters. It’s possible that KQED used this section to do an A/B test for their audience. Would people be more willing to give if they thought they were part of something larger? Does knowing that you’re not the only supporter make you more willing to donate?

 

Read through your call to action and read it again

No one is perfect and when you’re rushing through an email, it’s easy to make mistakes. I certainly have. But, your call-to-action needs to be focused and perfect. One nonprofit sent an email with the following:

We hope that <Name of org> is chosen as your favorite nonprofit organization for #GivingTuesday today and you make a contribution for wilderness.

That isn’t a clear message and was the focus of their message. It was the emboldened link for recipients to click on to donate.

 

Don’t forget to link

Finally, the biggest issue that I saw this year was missed opportunities to link to appropriate content in email messages. One organization included text, in multiple emails they sent, that said, “Remember, donating isn’t the only way you can help us today—start your own fundraising page, re-share our messages on Facebook and Twitter…” They didn’t link to their Facebook or Twitter page in the text and those links were buried in the footer of the email. While focused the call-to-action and links on donating makes sense, if you’re sharing other ways to help – make it easy to get those pages.

Another organization discussed the importance of three key initiatives and why it was important to support them. But, the only links included in the email was to givingtuesday.org and to two organizations they’re partnering with. This may seem obvious, but when you’re asking for donor support – you have to provide links to your donate page. You should include multiple donation links in your message.

 

We hope this email review is helpful as you prepare future messages. If you’re looking for additional helpful information, we enjoyed the these links from the week:

  1. Let the 2016 previews begin! Jared Lindzon at Fast Company six ways that our workplaces will continue to change and evolve in the year ahead.
  2. Shana Masterson of Blackbaud shares information about the The Cash, Sweat & Tears Award, presented by the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum, which honors the passion of your P2P volunteers and fundraisers.
  3. Burned out with all of your year-end writing? Two helpful articles were written this week. Sara Wolfson of M+R uses the smash musical Hamilton to provide year-end writing tips. Mary Cahalane provides advice on writing thank you letters when you’re feeling stuck.
  4. Finally, to end on a #GivingTuesday note, Joe Garecht of The Fundraising Authority explained why he thinks your nonprofit should avoid #GivingTuesday like the plague. The post is thought-provoking and written to be contrarian. I recommend the comment section where industry titans, John Haydon, Amy Sample Ward, and Beth Kanter wrote thoughtful responses that Garecht responded to.
Fundraiser Pages for Facebook – What Does It Mean?

Fundraiser Pages for Facebook – What Does It Mean?

This week Facebook announced the development of a new tool that will allow nonprofits to host fundraising activities and collect contributions directly on Facebook.

The new fundraiser pages are structured similarly to event pages. They allow users to contribute to a fundraiser, share the page with others, and will show progress toward fundraising goals. The program is being piloted by several national organizations in anticipation of a wider roll-out in early 2016.

What does this mean for the nonprofits and social enterprises? How will this impact ongoing work? Will it replace other fundraising website platforms? There are three key areas for organizations to think about.

Ladder of Engagement

For those that have a large Facebook audience this tool could provide an opportunity to move users up the ladder of engagement. If an individual likes an organization on Facebook, but isn’t actively engaged with the organization, it is less likely that they’ll be regular donors. Most organizations struggle to move social media users up a rung on the ladder of engagement. This is a great opportunity to do so.

Cost

Obviously, the cost of implementation is going to key for many nonprofits. Matt Petronzio of Mashable shares, “Facebook is not currently charging its partners for using the products, but it will eventually implement a fee that covers operating costs at some point in 2016. The goal is to break even, not make a profit, the company says, and Facebook says it will charge a fee that is on par or less than the industry standard.”

If Facebook charges a set-up fee, it may not be palatable for organizations that have limited budget for fundraising platforms or a small Facebook community. If Facebook uses a percentage of donation system – ideally give the donor an opportunity to cover the processing fee – it could be a game-changer for nonprofits and social enterprises. Many fundraising tools work very hard to integrate social media communication into their platforms. Facebook will be able to do this seamlessly and more effectively than any of them can.

Facebook Algorithm

How fundraisers pages are prioritized in Facebook’s algorithm is a key consideration. One of the potential advantages of this opportunity is that your fundraising campaign has the potential to reach a much larger percentage of your users than linking to a third-party fundraising link.

If the fundraiser page reaches the same limited audience that sharing a link to a third-party fundraising platform, the impact is limited. It will be interesting to see how this is prioritized in Facebook’s complicated algorithm.

Facebook’s announcement is exciting and has the potential to change the online fundraising marketplace. We’ll keep you up to date on new developments! Until then, enjoy these links from the week.

  1. There is a new Google+! Check out Google’s official blog to read what’s new and exciting.
  2. While Twitter’s decision to change from favorite to like was derided by some users, Drew Olanoff of Techcrunch reports that the change led to a 6% increase in likes.
  3. A Google Report shares that YouTube helps drive more donations to nonprofits. Heather Joslyn of the Chronicle of Philanthropy reviews the details.
  4. Christina Farr’s article on using technology to manage diabetes is a great read and includes a quote from Michael Chae – friend of SCC.
  5. Susan Carland found a unique way to deal with internet trolls. She donates $1 to UNICEF for every troll-y tweet that she receives. Kristen Brown of Fusion explains and shares examples of tweets.
  6. Finally, many in the nonprofit space have relied on Rick Cohen for their industry news and thoughtful commentary. Nonprofit Quarterly is one of my favorite places to catch up on news and Cohen’s writing was a large part of that. Cohen passed away this week. Our thoughts go out to his family and colleagues. The comments on this NPQ post share incredible stories and appreciation of his work.

Image for article: Facebook

Custom Images for Nonprofit Facebook Posts

Custom Images for Nonprofit Facebook Posts

As you may have heard, Facebook announced the rollout of Reactions, their addition/replacement of the “Like” button. Another recent Facebook change also has a tremendous influence for how nonprofits communicate.

When you share a link, Facebook searches it for any images that are on the page. If an image is found, it includes the image as part of your Facebook post. You can remove it, but for many in the nonprofit field, it is often best to utilize the visual element in the post. Earlier this year Facebook added the option for an organizational page to upload their own image for a post. This is especially helpful for links to pages that don’t have any images or just have logos.

For example, if you link to an Eventbrite page that doesn’t have an image, the visual offering in Facebook will be the Eventbrite logo, like the image below.

 

Eventbrite logo

 

It is not very visually appealing for a Facebook post, so this is a great opportunity to add a custom image. Facebook recently adjusted this functionality for company/organization pages and made it much easier to choose the image or images that you can include in an update. Below is an example. You can check or uncheck the boxes for any of the three photos or you can add your own photo.

 

Diffferent Images

 

I reviewed data for one of our clients to evaluate if adding customized photos changed the reach and engagement for their posts. Our client has monthly volunteer events with two different partner organizations. For both monthly events, when we link to the volunteer sign-up page, the image associated with the update is part of the logo of the partner organization. This is what it looks like.

 

Just Logos

 

One image is a partial logo, one image is blank, and one is a logo of their organization. Over the last few months, we’ve been customizing the image with photos of volunteers participating in the activity. Below is an example.

 

Personal Photo

 

For one of the monthly events, the posts with a custom photo had a 51% increase in organic reach and five times the number clicks on the link to the volunteer activity. The difference was similar for another event with a smaller sample size. The posts with a custom photo had a 158% increase in organic reach and 2.3 times the number clicks on the link to the volunteer activity.

In this situation the data supports common sense. By using a more personal and dynamic visual image, there is greater engagement with the page. I’m exciting to continue to evaluate these changes and how they will help our this nonprofit.

Below are a few news items that can help you get through the day:

  1. A report from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Urban Institute finds that retaining donors is an increasing struggle for nonprofits.
  2. #Fundchat’s weekly chat covers Effective Altruism vs. Traditional Charity.
  3. The Daily Show used Google Ads in a very creative way – creating custom videos for specific searches about Trevor Noah. Stacey Rizen of UpRoxx shares the details and links
  4. I missed this link last week, but the clever folks at the M+R lab created the “If This, Then Totally That” tool.
Want Your Nonprofit to Grow? Give Away Your Legos.

Want Your Nonprofit to Grow? Give Away Your Legos.

We’ve recently been meeting with one of clients and discussing the challenges and opportunities that are associated with scaling. Niki shared this article focused on for-profit scaling (especially in the tech community) the content is relevant to any nonprofit that is trying to scale their operations.

“The best metaphor I have for scaling is building one of those huge, complex towers out of Legos,” she says. “At first, everyone’s excited. Scaling a team is a privilege. Being inside a company that’s a rocket ship is really cool. There are so many Legos! You could build anything. At the beginning, as you start to scale, everyone has so many Legos to choose from — they’re doing 10 jobs — and they’re all part of building something important.”

You have so many choices and things to build during this early phase that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There’s too much work — too many Legos. You’re not sure you can do it all yourself. Soon, you decide you need help. So you start to add people. That’s when something funny happens on a personal level and to teams: People get nervous.

Even if your nonprofit isn’t a rocket ship, this is something that most people can relate to. Why do we get nervous? I’ve seen colleagues get defensive when an individual project is shifted to a group. I’ve also witnessed individuals become fiercely territorial when someone suggests that a job responsibility be given to a volunteer. And at points in my career, I’ve reacted that way myself.

These reactions are often based on fear. While some employees invariably fear losing their job, those working for small and mid-sized nonprofits (that are almost always challenged with budget constraints) are acutely aware of the possibility. If a major donor leaves the organization or an event under-performs, staff reductions will happen. The idea of giving away job responsibilities is frightening! It could be construed that your job may not be necessary. Yet, when an organization is looking to increase program offerings, it becomes imperative for individuals to focus on job responsibilities that will allow that growth to happen. As Molly Graham says, in the article “If you personally want to grow as fast as your company, you have to give away your job every couple months.”

Think of a project or task that absorbs 10-15% of your time each week. What would you do if you didn’t have that project any more? Is there someone on your team that could do it more effectively? Or might bring a new creative energy to it? If you want to grow, you need to give away your legos.

Catching up on links from the past couple of weeks – here are some articles I found interesting, enjoyable, or helpful.

  1. Some of you may have noticed that Twitter updated design for Tweet and Follow buttons – learn more about it here.
  2. Another new change on the social media landscape, Facebook added a donate button. There’s been some debate about its usage. Allyson Kapin explains why you should use it.
  3. The always inspirational Shana Masterson has a couple of great links. Shana investigates if event registration discounts are helpful. And discusses how to get the Ultimate Yes in P2P reg forms.
  4. Scott E Allenby shares five questions to help you uncover your customers’ (or donors’) personas.
  5. Last week Kickstarter become a public benefit corporation. Rick Cohen from NPQ explains what that means and why it’s important.
  6. Finally, if you’re looking for a laugh, Allison Gauss of Classy highlights five amusing marketing videos by nonprofits.

 

Why Nonprofits Should Listen to Reddit

Why Nonprofits Should Listen to Reddit

Reddit can be a complicated place. One minute you’re watching a gif of a cat, the next moment you’ve strolled into an unpleasant subreddit or offensive comment thread. Even searching for an image to use for this blog post caused me to view a few images that I did not want to see. This week, Lauren Girardin of Nonprofit MarCommunity provided a handy outline (with many amusing gifs) on how your nonprofit can utilize Reddit.

Girardin shares a number of valuable and helpful hints on engaging in Reddit. One of the most important is:

Listen and you’ll learn more about your audience and what they think about your organization, your cause, and the world. Monitor Reddit for mentions of your nonprofit, check for links to your website, and listen to Reddit conversations about your cause by following related subreddits and keywords.

People who post on Reddit will be honest about your nonprofit. I often search the names of a few of our clients on Reddit to see what is being discussed. The anonymity of the platform creates a space and community in which people are straightforward in their criticism and genuine in their praise. When searching and reading, you’ll understand why Girardin’s first rule is imperative – you must have a thick skin. The anonymity that allows for openness also creates a space in which a vocal fraction of users can say things that are inappropriate or hurtful.

The opportunity to listen and view a community that is discussing your nonprofit or field can be invaluable to thinking about how you shape your communication. It is important to avoid responding emotionally in Reddit (or any other online space) but taking a step back and evaluating what is causing concern or strife. Are people critical of a certain aspect of your work? Do you think other people share these concerns? How can you address the issue in future communication?

Use Reddit as an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a community and it will help your manage your own audience more effectively.

Below are four recent links that I enjoyed:

  1. Who can keep up with Facebook News Feed updates? Sarah Matista of Social Media Today did and created a handy infographic.
  2. WhichTestWon measured whether a pop-up helped or hurt the re-opt in rate (number of visitors opting back in to accept the offer), after initially opting out of an email. Interesting data that nonprofits could use.
  3. Jay Ruderman of NPQ shares why philanthropist should be active on Twitter.
  4. Already thinking about #GivingTuesday? Check out the interview that Liz Ragland of Network for Good conducted with Zosia Sztykowski, Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS)
Fear, Planning, Communication, and Implementation

Fear, Planning, Communication, and Implementation

Shifting from brainstorming and discussion to implementation can be taxing for many nonprofits. It’s often easier to think about the future. Implementation takes commitment, resources, and acknowledgement that you can fail. This week Steve Scheier wrote an article in SSIR about the importance of overcoming fear in decision-making.

Much of Scheier’s thoughtful article is focused on the challenges of top-down decision-making and how that can lead to organization-wide fear

In my own work with nonprofits, I’ve seen many leaders regularly make decisions without involving others. This leaves coworkers with the sense that they aren’t trusted to participate. Meanwhile, these leaders are typically overwhelmed with unsustainably large workloads, but remain stuck because they don’t have the skills they need to involve others in the decision-making process.

As nonprofit leaders work to engage their employees in the decision-making process, it’s also critical to work collaboratively on developing a strategy for implementation. Too often, leadership, overwhelmed with their workloads, make decisions but cannot commit the time to ensure that those implementing those decisions are successful.

Preventing an employee from having a voice in the decision-making process and expecting them to implement is a recipe for failure. It undermines the value and engagement of the employee who will be owning a project.

And for those that have had a voice in decisions, it is important that the lines of communication remain open during implementation. Making a decision isn’t enough for the employee or leadership – implementation requires communication so that expectations and goals are communicated. If this step doesn’t happen, employees can also have fear – of the unknown, for their job, or direction of the project.

If you’re worried about keeping up with the news – don’t fear! These links are some favorites from the week and cover a variety of nonprofit topics:

  1. Brady Josephson explains why we should be investing more time and thought into donor satisfaction
  2. In social media news, Ricardo Bilton of Digiday shares data on Facebook’s growing market share of news consumption.
  3. Access to the internet will continue to be a key issue for government and nonprofits. Josh Dzieza and Frank Bi of the Verge review the recent digital divide report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
  4. What can nonprofits learn from the Planned Parenthood video fiasco? Rick Cohen of NPQ discusses the lessons learned.
The Struggle to Collaborate

The Struggle to Collaborate

There are a lot of nonprofits doing the exact same thing. Not literally – clearly each nonprofit has their own methodology, belief system, and implementation. But many social organizations are attempting to serve the same populations and solve the same problems, while not working with those other organizations doing the same.

Wendy Woods, Global Head of the Boston Consulting Group’s Social Impact Practice, spoke to the power of collective cooperation during a 2013 TED Talk. She highlighted two organizations fighting malnutrition in the same region, but turning potential patients away because those patients didn’t fit the criteria of who they serve. These organizations were in the same region, serving the same cause & population, but were ineffectively solving the problem. The solution? Working together.

So many nonprofits are wary of giving up their “secret sauce” – that program, practice, or tool that sets them apart from others in the space. This perceived competitive advantage, that their system of change is the most effective, has the potential to hinder the efficacy of the overall endeavor – whether that is helping the most people or solving a key problem. What the “secret sauce” does is create an environment for that nonprofit to continue to exist, but not to achieve larger goals.

And communicating this advantage ultimately comes down to why your method is better and how much more effective you are because of your practices and people. In fundraising and outreach communication, what nonprofits end up selling are outcomes and activities created by their methodology and work. But these outcomes aren’t enough when you consider the potential to serve more people. By giving up the notion of working independently on this effort, and instead collaborate with others who are tackling the same issue and population, you have the opportunity to more effectively help those in need.

But giving up the “secret sauce” is no easy task. As a nonprofit leader, you have to balance the needs of so many stakeholders, including a board of directors, staff, volunteers, funders, not to mention the people you are directly serving through your mission. Your competitive advantage helps those internal to your organization, but at what cost to those externally?

Inefficiencies abound in the nonprofit space, and a lack of collaboration is just the beginning. But in thinking and considering the big picture of your work, including the opportunities that exist to step outside of your organization’s needs and existence, you can realign your work with your mission. And isn’t that what we’re all here for?

  1. M+R announced the M+R Toolshed with some tools to help you analyze your data.
  2. Megan O’Neil of the Chronicle of Philanthropy highlights data that shows declines in #GivingTuesday income growth
  3. Need tips on a good hashtag for a crowdfunding campaign? Kat Kuehl of CauseVox shares some great tips.
  4. Shana Masterson of NPEngage discusses the challenges and optimism with DIY fundraising. A great quote from the article, “The success of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the widespread availability of the internet, and the increasingly social nature of the population have created a perfect storm of both hope and unrealistic expectations.”
Eight Vine Tricks for Nonprofits

Eight Vine Tricks for Nonprofits

When Instagram announced they were adding the capacity to record videos, many assumed that this meant the death of Vine. In fact, #RIPVine was a trending topic. We discussed the change here. As expected, Vine continues to serve the Twitter-focused users.  We’ve provided eight tips for nonprofits that may be considering using this platform. The first four are recording Tricks. The second four are content ideas and suggestions.

Come up with a recording plan

Vine is a platform that you should approach with a plan. If you have an idea of a video, map out exactly what you want to show. Determining what you want to show – even by creating a quick storyboard – before starting will save you time and ensure that you’re making the most out of your six seconds.

Don’t chase the #loop

Many artistic Vine enthusiasts work to build a perfect loop into their videos. If you work at a nonprofit, time is scarce. Don’t absorb a lot of time striving to get the ideal loop. This is a situation in which perfection can be the enemy of good. Get a good/great Vine created.

Avoid crashing

If you’ve used Vine a lot – you know there can be some technical difficulties. Losing a video can be extremely annoying. I was one half-second shot from completing a day-long vine of helping a friend build a fence from scratch when it crashed. When you’re dedicating a specific time to shoot a video use Airplane mode (with your wifi on) and try to close down other apps in use.

Don’t rush sharing

Take time to figure out the best way and time to share your Vine. The process of sharing your creation with your audience shouldn’t be an afterthought. Ensure that the timing of promotion fits with ongoing campaigns or organizational goals. Utilize hashtags thoughtfully in your post so that others can discover your Vine through the App.

Snapshot of events

Vine is a great tool to show an event over the course of six seconds. Start with an empty event space, show split seconds as the event space is created or built, when guests first arrive, the event in full swing, and then take down. These six second time lapse videos will help promote the event in future years and show all of the energy that is poured into a successful activity.

Thank donors

Some organizations utilize social media to chase donations; Vine is a great tool to recognize donors. Thank them with a quick message from your Executive Director or volunteer leader. You can also create a visual thank you with donor names listed.

Convey Results

If your nonprofit serves a population, determine a way to show the process of how that population is helped. Any transformation that an individual, animal, or environment makes can help provide greater clarity and emotion to the work that your organization is doing.

Open Jobs/Volunteer Opportunities

This is an out-of-the-box option, but Vine can be used to highlight volunteer and job opportunities. Having someone briefly describe the opportunity or showing a volunteer doing the activity and encouraging others to join them is a great way to attract new talent.

These tips will help you get more out of your Vine experience. These links will help you keep on the news from the week!

  1. The Ford Foundation announced that they were shifting 100% of their funding to address global inequality. Philanthropy.com compiled initial reaction from social media.
  2. In a study of nonprofits in the New England, researchers found that 83% of nonprofit executives plan to leave their jobs within the next five years. Patricia Daddona of the Providence Business News provides the details.
  3. Lindsey Stemann of Business 2 Community details how and where nonprofits are connecting with volunteers on social media.
  4. Last week we discussed the types of people in meetings. This week, Reigan Combs and Kasey Fleisher Hickey of Asana share the five common meetings and the challenges that come with them.