Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Decreased Reach? No, It Has Always Been About Content

A couple of Digiday pieces caught my notice this week. One is on social media measurement and the other on content.

Decreased Reach Means Different Metrics

On social media measurement, the article by John McDermott notes that likes and follows are no longer being seen as important measurements for whether a brand (like your small nonprofit) is reaching its audience. Decreased reach (for example, fewer followers seeing your posts on Facebook) is causing businesses to retreat to measuring sales, brand lift*, purchase intent, clickthrough, and sales.

But as Mark Meyer in his A Need to Redefine Brand Lift says, likes and follows may no longer be adequate measures of social media success, but then clickthroughs and pageviews are - and never really have been - adequate measurements, either.

To me, this all comes back to content. The Digiday article by Ricardo Bilton is about the posts of a data crawling company (Priceonomics), which uses content seemingly unrelated to their business, but isn't. For example, using their data they published a very popular article about how much it costs to book concerts for popular bands. Naturally, they include a pitch at the end of each article, but the article itself focuses on the result of the data, not how they gathered it or made sense of it.

Decreased Reach Means Increased Effort

This seems obvious to me. The more your social media reach declines, the better you should be at content. Even if your SM reach is excellent, you should be supporting it with good content. And like Priceonomics, don't focus on using the content to market your NGO, use it to illustrate why your NGO is worth support. Don't give me the data on how you saved the world, SHOW ME how the world was saved; give me the whole dramatic thing in Technicolor® - make me care about it and I will transfer some of that caring to your NGO for being part of it.

Numbers of Likes and Followers have never really been a measurement of SM success - how engaged your audience is with you and your mission, how they respond to your posts and interact with you, volunteer, donate - those are the real measurements. And good content has always been the way to reach them.

*Brand lift is defined as the percentage increase in the primary marketing objective of a brand advertising campaign - Digiday

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Ideas in NGO Structure - The Participation Nonprofit

Via Flickr

Robert Shiller, who is an economics prof at Yale, recently wrote a NYT article called "How Donors Give More When They Feel a Sense of Belonging."

Within the article he posits a new form of nonprofit, the participation nonprofit. Rather than request donations, it would sell shares in the nonprofit, though how the valuation would be calculated, I don't know.

Shareholders would attend board meetings and vote their shares - I would assume according to the way the bylaws were setup - to influence governance and spending.

In addition, shareholders would acquire dividends, but the dividends would not be paid to the shareholder but go into a restricted account to be used as the shareholder directs, like having your donation go to a particular program rather than to the general fund.

Professor Shiller thinks that the stock shares could be bequeathed to heirs and the shares could even be sold although the proceeds would also go into a restricted account.

Finally, he notes that, in order to meet with success, shareholders would have to receive a tax deduction for their stock purchases, which are really irrevocable contributions to the charity.

Has your small nonprofit ever considered a nontraditional type of setup? Or tried one? If so, how did it work out?


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