#OurWork: NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan Marketing Campaign

Social Marketing and Media Relations Campaign

Working under the aegis of the Nonprofit Marketing 360 collaborative, MKCREATIVE and LCG Communications embarked on an ambitious campaign to promote an online silent auction for a client. We used a combination of PR (LCG Communications) and social marketing (MKC). Our client, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, sought to raise funds to continue its fight in preventing New York University from embarking on a multi-billion dollar plan to redevelop parts of Greenwich Village in New York City.

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Facebook To Nonprofits: Pay to Play

If you thought Facebook was a no-cost way to reach out to potential supporters, brace yourself for a big disappointment. According to a Facebook sales presentation published by Ad Age, an organization that wants its posts to be seen by its fans had best buy advertising. Julia Campbell, blogger and social media marketing consultant, commented that Facebook marketers have been telling clients “that if you consistently post great photos, videos, questions and other interactive content, you can reach your fans. This is no longer enough.”

Bottom line: Posts that are not sponsored or promoted are currently seen by less than 15% of your followers. Facebook’s new policy will drive that down further.

Nonprofits to Facebook: Make Grants, Not Buttons

Meanwhile, the philanthropic side of Facebook’s brain offered nonprofits something new last month: the opportunity to place a “Donate” button on their Facebook pages, and a guarantee that nonprofits would receive 100% of these donations.

But after the initial reaction of jubilant hosannahs and waving palm fronds, nonprofit marketing experts took a harder look at the offer and found some issues. As Beth’s Blog sums them up, nonprofits would not get any information on the donors, making further followup and engagement impossible. In light of the pay-to-play policy, the marketing mavens say what nonprofits really need is not buttons but grants to offset advertising expenses  (along the lines of Google grantsl).

Now it’s your move: Several nonprofit marketing bloggers, led by Media Cause, have organized a petition drive urging Facebook to establish a grants program. It certainly can’t hurt to let Facebook know how the nonprofit sector feels.

Oy, Another Year. Who Knew?

Yes, it’s another year. When 2013 began last January, who could have anticipated that, a mere 12 months later, we would be doing this all over again? Not the news media, apparently, judging from the gusher of year-end reviews and new-year predictions filling our eyes and ears.

Can you stand one more? After thoroughly digesting the most important trends of our times, I confidently predict these developments in 2014:

  • 12 new studies will reveal that Facebook is useful for engaging supporters but lousy at raising money.
  • 11 newly launched social media sites will be greeted euphorically as definitely the next big thing.
  • 10 newly social media sites, after their enthusiastic debuts, will be bought out by Facebook or Google.
  • 9 governmental investigations will determine that Americans willingly share personal information with corporations but are shocked! shocked! that details of their private lives can be recorded by the NSA.
  • 8 blogs will observe that direct mail response is declining.
  • 7 blogs will observe that email direct response rates are declining even faster.
  • 6 research reports will discover that a majority of executive directors don’t trust their development directors and vice versa.
  • 5 golden rings!
  • etc. etc.

#PRESSRELEASE: The Knowledge Fountain Launches Online Learning Website (Live Instructors) Aimed at Nonprofits

The Knowledge Fountain LogoThe latest entry in the rapidly-evolving distance learning education market is a new online education service geared exclusively to people who work for nonprofit organizations. The Knowledge Fountain, which launched October 1, 2013, is offering a spectrum of courses online covering fundraising, communications, organizational development, social media, and productivity software.

The site pitches its product as “just in time” online learning for adults. “We’re delivering very practical information to employees of nonprofits who need it to do their jobs better,” explains co-founder Marco Kathuria.

Online seminars are delivered live, in installments of 60 to 75 minutes. The courses will also be available as archived video streams for students who register but miss the live class. “This way, if a situation comes up and you can’t attend the class on schedule, you still get the information,” Kathuria says.

Both Kathuria and co-founder Don Akchin have consulting practices serving nonprofit clients – Kathuria principally in video production and community media, and Akchin in communications strategy and implementation. The Knowledge Fountain, they say, fills a largely unmet need for a centralized online learning center in the nonprofit community.

“If you’re a nonprofit that needs help reaching your audience on Facebook, for example,“ Akchin says, “you once had three choices: classes aimed at for-profit businesses, a free webinar that attracts hundreds of attendees and stays very high level, or a semester-long college course that devotes about a week to social media. We’re filling the gap with solid information, specific to your need and specific to the world of nonprofits.”

Kathuria noted that The Knowledge Fountain faculty are both experienced practitioners and proven teachers. All online course designs are built on current research and best practices in online learning. “We’re only hiring instructors who have a proven track-record of working with small groups of students, either face-to-face or online,” he said “We’re maximizing personal interaction online,” says Akchin. “Classes are small, so there’s ample opportunity to ask questions.”

Another unique feature of The Knowledge Fountain is a private social network, “The Water Cooler,” whose members are limited to participants in The Knowledge Fountain classes. “Not only can you learn from the online course,” says Kathuria, “but you can learn from peers long after the class has ended. I think people in nonprofits will see that as an important added value.” Membership in the social network is included with class registration.

For more information about The Knowledge Fountain online learning center, visit the website at www.kfountain.com or email the co-founders. The Knowledge Fountain can also be found on YouTube and on Twitter at @TheKFountain.

 

#SOCIALMEDIA: Facebook Quietly Rolls Out ‘Gifts’ & Nonprofits Can Get Them Too

Message of a Facebook Gift

Didn’t Facebook develop Android integration?

Over this past spring Facebook has been expanding its Gifts service as a way to offer presents to family and friends. The service can be activated by clicking on the bowed gift box that appears on your organization’s News Feed or on the page of the person or nonprofit you want to give the gift to. Though the service is being touted as a way to connect to individuals and help them celebrate birthdays, milestones, promotions, etc., Facebook Gifts also offers opportunities to make donations to a small but growing number of nonprofits. How far will the service expand?

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Is Facebook Really Worth It When You’re Small?

Blogger Joanne Fritz gives voice to the question that is surely on the minds of every small nonprofit that lacks a 24-year-old social media whiz on staff. Her answer may not be comforting: social media is not going away. “We are at the same point we were some years ago when there was still considerable doubt about setting up websites,” she adds. Here are seven more reasons to be on Facebook.

#DEVELOPMENT: How Much Cash Is Required To Land A Donation?

Woman charts customer relationships

What does it cost?

How often do nonprofits reach out to donors potential and actual online, yet have no real sense of how successful the outreach was? Did the time and money spent developing a program or launching a campaign prove to be worth the support? Dan Norris, founder of the online-analytics service Informly offers a tool to help you make that call. He also recently posted his somewhat-scientific results on using his ‘Cost Per Acquisition‘ (CPA) calculator to see what kinds of costs he was incurring to get people engaged with his for-profit business. Let’s see how the costs to acquire customers or donors can prove strikingly steep.

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#FUNDRAISING: Causevox Improves Online Outreach & Fundraising To 2.0

Widgets to turn on or off

Easy-to-customize donation pages

We have often sung the praises of the online charity-site platform Causevox. And we do so again as the good folks at Causevox have released a significant series of upgrades and integrations in version 2.0. It moved out of beta last week, allowing any charity or nonprofit to take advantage of the expanding toolbox. This is how the programmers put it last week on the company blog:

We found out that the key to success for online fundraising this decade is easy customization, community engagement, and content marketing. Our existing platform couldn’t accommodate that vision, so we scrapped it and developed, from the ground up, a new and improved CauseVox.

CauseVox 2.0 is our first step to revolutionize online fundraising.

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#PHILANTHROPY: Zuckerberg’s Millions Suggest New Style Of Giving By Young

 

Mark Zuckerberg gives $500 million

Mark gives big again

Mark Zuckerberg always makes headlines, and few were as stunning as the ones he made in the fall of 2010 when he donated $100 million to the Newark, NJ school system − a system with which he has no personal connections whatsoever. His generosity was intended to help right the ship of one of the statistically worst school districts in the nation. But the shock of such a huge gift was met with as much skepticism as thanks, and within a year parents groups and the ACLU sued the city of Newark to open up its correspondence with the founder of Facebook so they could trace what launched the donation and what the city had been doing with the money.

Mayor Cory Booker and state officials continue to state that no email trail exists (a dangerous defense to mount in this day-and-age if untrue), and the money is being plowed back into the schools. Zuckerberg, though, has felt no qualms about giving other big gifts. Last fall he gave a stunning $500 million to the Silicon Valley Foundation. Two such gifts suggests a pattern, but what kind?

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Social Media Make Inroads in All Age Groups

Want to reach somebody under 30? The latest Pew Internet and American Life Project says 83% of them are using social media. While this may not shock you,  it may surprise you that two-thirds of all adult Internet users are partaking of social media – including 52% in ages 50-64 and nearly one-third of the age 55+ cohort. Facebook continues to be the 800-pound gorilla, with 67% of all users, followed by Twitter (16%), Pinterest (15%),Instagram (13%) and Tumblr (6%). The study also breaks out the demographics for each social medium’s users.

#SOCIALMEDIA: It’s OK To Say ‘No’ To Your Social Networks

Fatigue of keeping up with social networks

You know you want to…

We are often extolling the virtues of particular social-networking platforms or encouraging specific strategies to reach out to your audience(s) across these platforms. When moving through the ‘tubes’ of our social networks, it is easy to think that each post we prepare is the most important one ever and that if we don’t get to each post on our nonprofit’s wall we’ll be upsetting a potential volunteer or donor.

The fact is, you won’t upset anyone: followers of social networks can feel just as overwhelmed as the producers of content on social media. What can you do to unwind, and what might happen when you do?

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: Pew Research Keeps Us Up With Changing Faces of Internet

Hispanics use social media more than any other ethnic communityThe latest surveys carried out by the Pew Internet and American Life Project are tracking both the most popular online social-networking platforms and the kinds of people who are using them. We enjoy sharing such findings with our readers because the information the folks at the Pew Internet group can help nonprofits refine their online efforts for the many constituencies that these nonprofits want to reach. The latest study, The Demographics of Social Media Users — 2012, points to a few new developments we’d like to highlight this week.

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#HOWTO: Tweak Your Organization’s Facebook Site For Graph Search

Facebook's Graph Search

Help your supporters find your organization on Facebook

Last week we talked about what Facebook’s latest feature, Graph Search, is (Namely, a way to combine keywords, categories, and what friends are saying about them within Facebook) and it is not (Namely, a challenger to Google’s search algorithms across the internet). This week we want to help you and your organization make the most of the new feature by prepping the content you post on Facebook.

First and foremost (and this tweak applies to any images you post on your blog or website, much less your Facebook Timeline), tag your images and identify them. Such terms will show up in people’s searches (both Graph & Google). What else?

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#SOCIALNETWORK: Are You Prepped For Rollout Of Facebook Graph Search?

Mark Zuckerberg introduces latest features

Building the Facebook network

Facebook’s latest tool, Graph Search, was announced a couple of weeks ago and it is being rolled out through the Facebook0sphere through February. Though many wondered if Facebook were challenging Google, the fact is Facebook is trying to rejigger how you can access information within Facebook, not how you wend your way through the tubes of the internet.

Facebook’s own introduction emphasizes the concept that the billions of connected bits of information within people’s Facebook accounts can now be viewed along a graph of variables that the user asks for:

The main way we make the world more open and connected is by giving people the tools to map out their relationships with the people and things they care about. We call this map the graph …  There are already more than a billion people, more than 240 billion photos and more than a trillion connections. Today we’re announcing a new way to navigate these connections and make them more useful. We’re calling it Graph Search.

What does the Graph Search mean to the average user or nonprofit on Facebook?

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