Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is Your Small NGO Outside of the Donor-Advised Fund Pie?

Image from Blue Mountain Community Foundation


If your small NGO's mission deals with the basic needs of your community, you may already know this economy has left you with less to work with and more to work for as middle-class income has stagnated. But did you know that getting those high-income donors could be more difficult than you thought? And that the reason for that may be donor-advised funds?

An article in the New Yorker lays things out:
"[...] findings showed that in 2005 people with an annual household income of less than a hundred thousand dollars tended to donate mostly to religious organizations and to groups, such as food banks, that help people meet their basic needs. By contrast, those whose household income was a million dollars or more gave disproportionately to health and education organizations, while those dedicated to basic needs received the smallest share. As more income gets concentrated among the rich, Reich said, it stands to reason that their chosen charities will benefit disproportionately."
Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The 7 Deadly Social Media Sins



Digiday, which is one of the places I go for social media wisdom, has a great breakdown of the 7 Deadly Sins of social media that may be committed by commercial brands. As often happens, I think it applies to NGOs just as well. See the whole post here (recommended, otherwise you'll miss the great Brunner animations).

The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media
  1. Speaking with multiple voices
  2. Paying for likes
  3. Liking your own content
  4. Taking too long to respond
  5. Denying negative posts
  6. Taking undue credit
  7. Overselling
Of all the sins, my love-to-hate sin is Overselling. Too many brands - and NGOs - spend their social media time telling everyone how great they are and how much good they're doing. Remind yourself however many times it takes, that it isn't about you, it's about the community. It's about the people whose need you serve, about the volunteers, about the donors. Write your stories about them. Work hard to make the stories good. Share the stories. And share related stories*; stories that make the reader feel good. This is the way to social media success.

* Your NGO rescues cats - you tweet a story about a cat found after 2 years. Not your specific community, your NGO not involved, but it's a happy ending that your supporters will love.