Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Too Early for Christmas? Not If You're a Nonprofit

Most people hate that the end of the year holiday buying season seems to start earlier and earlier. But if you're a small business in the economic downturn OR a small nonprofit, you know that time is not on your side.

I recently found a few articles I thought would be handy information for those of you who haven't firmed up your end-of-year campaigns.

Donor Engagement Throughout the Season

Classy.org's blog makes a very good point. We all know that engagement is the sine qua non, the ingredient most indispensable to social media and fundraising, but how many of us have given any thought to maintaining and supporting engagement throughout an entire season built around your end-of-year-asking strategy? They have, of course. And the advice is great:

  1. Use one theme for the season (Unifies everything and provides continuity.)
  2. Vary your calls to action (Don't ask for exactly the same thing every time. If it were me, I would also include requests for volunteers for specific groups or programs or maybe supplies or something else your small nonprofit needs.)
  3. Tailor your messages to your donor segments (One size does not fit all. And remember that some donors like data and some like visual.)
  4. Steward your donors in between donations (When people donate money, give them a break from asking for a while - they've done a good thing, let them have a moment.)
The blog post elaborates on these ideas; read it here.

Four Things to Know About Christmas Giving

The JustGiving.com blog is giving us four infographics on things we should know about our end-of-year giving. Here's a part of it.

Like the four questions I learned in journalism classes, the infographics ask you to know When? Where? Why? But instead of Who?, they ask How?

1. When do people give?
2. Where are your donors?
3. Why are they giving?
4. How are they giving?

Obviously, their information may not be quite your information (note their amounts are in pounds rather than dollars). But this is data that you can uncover and which might make a difference in how you decide your strategy and select your end-of-year theme as well as how you tailor your message to your donor segments.

See the four infographics together here.

Data Matters

Your small NGO has pressing needs, but don't let your needs shape your strategy and ask. Know your community. When you know your donors, you can ask for what you need in the way most likely to be successful.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Extend Your NGO's Reach With Wikipedia

Since I'm old, I remember the days when school report projects involved trips to the library and waiting and waiting for the volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica I needed to be freed up.

In these internet days, knowledge is just a Google search away, but a lot of people prefer to look up their subject on Wikipedia. Not that it doesn't have its problems: there have been instances where unscrupulous folk have edited entries for their own gain and you have to be careful to look for supporting data and information on any subject, because, you know, some things in the entry might be wrong.

That said, Wikipedia is still a great resource, particularly for people short on time and resources. It can even help your small nonprofit with outreach. How? you ask. Well, let this article on Just Giving tell you.

Three Ways Charities Can Make the Most of Wikipedia

Just Giving provides three ideas. One of them is applying to Wikipedia Foundation for a grant. I'm not going to address that because only you know if your small NGO meets their criteria and should apply. But if you qualify and haven't applied, you might want to reconsider.

To reach more people, they also recommend:

  • Editing an article on your NGO. And I'll add, if there isn't one, you should add one. Besides being available to others who might be referred to it via another article, it's also a good resource for you to be able to point to when you need an easy to access description of the work you do.

  • Edit articles related to your mission. For example, if you serve disabled children, you might want to look up related articles on Wikipedia to see if there are points of information or studies you can add to educate others.

Finally, they advise donating images and videos to Wikipedia Commons. This is a great idea. The images you upload will be available not only for the articles they help to illustrate, but also to the entire internet. With attribution, you can extend your reach on blogs and other writings. Naturally, you don't want to flood Wikipedia Commons with your images - spamming for a good cause is still spamming.

Read the entire article here, which also gives great pointers on avoiding being a spammer as well as appropriately posting images and citing sources. And Wikipedia tells you how to become a Wikipedia editor.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Turn Your Unopened Emails Into Opportunity For Engagement

Most times you're so busy, you probably are just glad you got the letter out to your small nonprofit's email subscribers. But you could be missing a chance to connect - to deepen your relationship with them.

Rather than just reviewing the data on opens and clicks you get from your outgoing news, take a good look at the information on who is not opening your email and send those subscribers a targeted email. Tell them you've noticed they haven't been responding. Ask them if they need to change the frequency or type of email they get from you. Ask if there's something they'd like to see that you aren't showing them. Give them links and a name with email address to follow up with if they want to.

Show them that they are important to you and you might start seeing their email addresses move from 'unopened' to 'opened' and 'clicked through'.


Nonprofit Tech for Good is again offering free webinars on using data and best practices. They're a good resource - take advantage.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Did NGO Fundraising Help Kill the Poppy Seller?

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal (image via Wikipedia)

This story was startling and disturbing on different levels. Here we had a lady who had volunteered as a fundraiser for decades for a charity that was dear to her heart because it was a tie to her first husband, who died in WWII.

Besides volunteering for the Royal British Legion, Olive Cooke - a pensioner - also gave to several other charities, and this is what her grandson says caused her to jump to her death at the age of 92.

Evidently, she had a hard time saying no to the asks: she had 27 NGOs receiving funds on a monthly basis from her bank account and received greater than 260 request-for-donation letters every month, and several daily cold calls.

Was she overwhelmed at not being able to fulfill all the requests? Would she have gotten fewer requests if her name and address weren't added to so many lists, sometimes without her knowledge and permission?

All of the NGOs who responded to reporters after her death were surprised and saddened to learn of her circumstances. Many of them talked about their practices for keeping donor data safe. But there are obviously lessons to be drawn from what happened to Olive Cooke. One of them is in supporting policies and legislation to prevent predatory practices, particularly targeting the elderly. And not the least of the lessons is that we should be reviewing our own policies and procedures, working to make sure our own small NGO does not become so focused on fundraising that we forget to respect those from whom we fundraise.

Read the whole story here.

Good Ideas

Nonprofit Tech for Good makes an excellent case for why you should scoop up your domain name with an NGO and ONG, even if you have no immediate plans to use them. Though only registered nonprofits can use these designations, there's nothing to say a new nonprofit serving the same population as yours couldn't take the dot NGO with a name very similar to yours and then you'd have some confusion. As Nonprofit Tech for Good points out, reserving the NGO doesn't mean you have to use it right away. You can continue with dot Com or dot Org while you wait to see how things play out. Note that the ONG designation means nonprofit in other parts of the world, but if your small nonprofit is not planning to expand into the rest of the world, you might think you don't need to reserve it. However, did you ever think that someone with a similar name and the designation ONG might expand into your country? The internet goes everywhere, y'know.

HubSpot is offering ten PowerPoint templates for creating Infographics. You'll need to add your name and NGO information to get the downloads (you may possibly be contacted about their services).

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

On a Mission to Measure

Late last week I ran across these articles and wanted to share them with you.

Via Wikipedia Commons

Measuring Your Mission

Social Media was a hard sell in the beginning because there was no real way to measure its impact. That's changed somewhat with businesses and NGOs measuring things such as Likes and Retweets. But maybe it's time to move on from there. At Medium, Jackie Mahendra asks us "How Do You Know if Your Work is Working?"

Are opens and click-throughs the true measure of an email's reach? Are we really engaging with the people we most want to engage with? How can we tell?

She talks about a new report from The Citizen Engagement Laboratory Fund which used surveys, conversations and metrics testing to move beyond vanity metrics to those that can show your small nonprofit where you are really growing and in what direction.

Read the article here.

What's a You-Tube Card?

I didn't know the answer to this question, so when I saw an article from Social Media Examiner about why I should use them, I read it. Turns out, You Tube cards are a great way to deepen your engagement with your audience. Not hard to use, and Social Media Examiner gives you great ideas for how to incorporate them into your NGO's YouTube video channel.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Cost of Fundraising Through Social Media

This week we have a guest post written by Rich McIver. Rich is the founder of Merchant Negotiators, where he also regularly writes on the subjects of merchant account services and how businesses and nonprofits can most effectively and efficiently use them.

The Cost of Fundraising Through Social Media

Tweeting, Posting and Liking your way to increased donations should be an essential part of any small nonprofit's fundraising strategy.

But converting those social media developed relationships into actual donations is easier said than done. The average nonprofit has an online donation abandonment rate of 50-70%, meaning that more than half of the potential donors who start the online donation process for a nonprofit don’t complete it. Fixing that is a big key to raising nonprofit revenue.

One of the largest contributors to online donation abandonment is a jarring online experience that requires the donor to leave the social media platform that encouraged the donation and jump to a second or even third website to complete the donation. In fact, statistics show that each additional website you force a donor to visit causes an additional 60% of potential donors to drop off.

A promising solution to this problem is enabling donations within the social media platform itself.

First a quick history lesson…

Historically, nonprofits trying to use social media for additional donations have had little option but to drive donations indirectly. Whether the nonprofit used Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook to attract new potential donors the actual completion of the donation, has taken place elsewhere, either on the nonprofit’s own website via a donate button or via a phone call between the donor and the nonprofit. In both of these scenarios, the two step process of engaging the donor on social media and then trying to transition them to a point of sale results in a significant percentage of donations failing to occur.

Thus, social media sites have been working over the last two years to and enable donations to take place within the social media’s platform. Once enacted, this promises to dramatically reduce donation abandonment, and increase nonprofit donations. As this rollout actually comes to fruition, however, it’s becoming clear that the social media sites’ motivations aren’t purely benevolent. Most are attempting to push nonprofits to use their affiliated (and generally very expensive) credit card processing companies to conduct these transactions.

Looking at the major social media sites at the forefront of enabling donations within their platform, each has taken a slightly different tactic:


It was leaked late last year that Twitter was working with PayPal competitor Stripe to enable payment buttons inside of tweets. The way it will work, is that after clicking on the "buy" or "donate" button, shoppers can enter payment information without leaving Twitter’s service.

Right now it looks like Stripe will be the exclusive payment processor through which companies and nonprofits can accept payments inside Tweets. At 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, Stripe is really expensive, so nonprofits should hope that Twitter opens it up to other providers.


While Twitter is still trying to roll out payments embedded within social media, Facebook has already enabled it. In late 2013, Facebook enabled donations within an individual Facebook post, in addition to donations via a nonprofit’s main Facebook page, and opened the market to multiple credit card processing providers.

The most common option nonprofits are using is PayPal, which charges a hefty 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction. But, it’s a well known brand that’s really easy to implement which explains its popularity.

Another option is through FirstGiving, which offers some donate button design styles that some nonprofits might find fit better with their Facebook page. Unfortunately, FirstGiving, which is underwritten by Chase PaymentTech, charges a staggering 4.25% to accept donations.

Finally, for nonprofits that are a little more tech savvy and price sensitive, the cheapest choice is to use a traditional processor and have them provide you a donate button for placement. Mainstream providers like CreditCardProcessing.com offer this, with rates at about 2.0% + $0.10.


Similar to Facebook, YouTube enables you to add a donate button and drive donations from within your nonprofit’s YouTube channel, instead of having them first come to your website. Unlike Facebook, while it is technically possible to use multiple payment processors, YouTube pushes Google Checkout pretty aggressively.

Enabling donations via YouTube requires that you first register as a YouTube Nonprofit Program, then create a Google Checkout account which is Google’s proprietary credit card processor. Given that Google Checkout charges a whopping 2.9% + $0.30 for small nonprofits to accept donations, the obvious choice is to look for a cheaper option. Unfortunately, the only way to incorporate a cheaper processor is to manually insert HTML into your YouTube channel page, which, means donors will have to leave YouTube and visit PayPal.com or some similar site to complete the donation, defeating the whole purpose. So effectively, you’re locked into using Google Checkout if you want most of the benefit of accepting donations via YouTube.

Making the donation process as seamless as possible is a proven effective way to increase your online donation rates. With Facebook and YouTube already permitting donations through their platform, and Twitter expected to announce the capability later this year, it’s only a matter of time before nonprofits can complete the circle of creating a relationship, explaining their value proposition, and accepting a donation all within the same social media platform. What is less clear, however, is whether the cost for accepting such donations, in the form of high credit card processing fees, will begin to fall as adoption among nonprofits becomes more widespread.

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's Mobile Friendly, Ready or Not

Remember how I said that if you hadn't dealt with getting your website mobile friendly, you were going to be forced to? Well, that day has come and the news is everywhere in the tech and business world (read Business Insider's article).

Google is changing its search algorithm again, this time in favor of mobile technology. By announcing this change, Google is more or less saying that it believes phones and tablets dominate. If your website isn't mobile friendly by Tuesday, it will slip further down the search rankings.

This means that if people use Google to search for a small nonprofit that does what yours does, it will be even harder than before for them to find you.
I know I've already written about SEO (search engine optimization) as a fact of life and that most people don't go beyond the first page of results when doing a search.

I sincerely hope you have been paying attention and done the things you can do in order to improve your chances of being on the first page when someone types in keywords that might identify your small nonprofit.

If you have, then it's likely you've got your site ready for mobile and may even have had apps created to help mobile users keep up with your news and make contributions. If you haven't, then you've got a lot of catching up to do.

It's not all gloom and doom, though. If your audience is not already tilted towards mobile, you probably have more time to get ready. Make no mistake, though, in the future, the way most constituents will find you is through mobile.

Suggested reading:

Basic SEO to Help Online Searchers Find Your Nonprofit's Site

The Reality of SEO for Nonprofits

How to Make Your Site Mobile Friendly on a Budget

The Small Business Owner's Guide... - I particularly recommend this article.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Your Small Nonprofit's Infographics

image via Flickr

We all know that infographics have become a big deal - quite a great visual way to breakdown data for your audience, pleasing both those who like data and those who like visuals. By breaking up your infographic into smaller pieces, you can also orient them specifically to segments of your community, too.

Take a look at this set of guidelines from Nonprofit Tech for Good and then go read the entire article, which is excellent. While you're there, take a look around; I'm sure you'll find a lot of other useful information.

Using Online Infographics Successfully

  • Upload the whole infographic as a picture rather than as a PDF to make it more accessible. (I'd recommend a .png over a .jpg because you hope it will be shared and .jpg is a "lossy" format which may degrade with successive copies.)
  • Upload a big version of it on your website so it can be easily read. 
  • Make sure there are share buttons prominent.
  • Crop and size different parts of the infographic to use when talking about it on social media sites, making it more versatile and increasing the number of possible shares.
  • It's an increasingly mobile world, so make sure the page for your infographic is mobile-friendly.
  • Make sure you have a call to action along with the infographic.
  • If you're sharing the infographic by email, send the recipient to the webpage and not a PDF.
The last piece of advice caught my attention - a few years ago, when we couldn't put big graphics on a webpage, it was customary to link to PDFs stored on the server. That isn't necessary anymore and remember that a PDF won't be as instantly shareable as a .jpg or .png, so why send your email readers to something they aren't as likely to share?

If you haven't tried Pinterest, you're missing out. Since we're on the subject of Nonprofit Infographics, check out Beth Kanter's Pinterest page on the subject.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's Not Just How You Say It, But Where And When

By Yevy Photography, on Flickr 
Communication is a word we use a lot in social media because that is what social media is about: creating a relationship with others by communicating with them. But how is communication defined as a strategy?

ONE is an international NGO whose mission is to end extreme poverty by 2030. In a recent article for Stanford's Social Innovation Review, Jamie Drummond and Roxane Philson of ONE described what they have learned from using social media to support their efforts. 

These insights are what stood out for me:
  • Strong and simple declarations can clarify complex issues, provide impact to your messages, and help shape public policy discussions. ONE used the statements "Drop the Debt," "We're about justice, not charity," and "We're not asking for your money, we're asking for your voice."
  • Know your platforms. Facebook drives half of ONE's web traffic, but their focus is on personal interaction. To get quick action, they use Twitter, where the majority of their political targets are active.
  • Know your activists and how best to inform them. Email is still a player for ONE; their activists respond most strongly to email calls to action.
  • The only constant in social media is change. Stay aware of new platforms or changes to existing ones. Be willing to adapt to new messaging channels.
  • It's not just the numbers. ONE's YouTube videos got a lot of attention, but they know they need to figure out how to convert those watchers into action takers who will move policymakers.
To read the entire article, go here.

Good Deal of The Week:

OnGood is hosting a free webinar on the math and science of social media with 20 tips and tricks, April 2, 2015. Here's the description:
More than a decade into the Social Web, mathematicians and social scientists have had ample time to study how, when, and why online individuals engage with NGOs on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Most NGOs are not yet aware of the scientific data about online social behavior, but once learned NGOs can significantly improve their use of social networks to communicate their mission and programs and fundraise online. Based on the math and science of social media, this webinar will feature 20 tips and tricks to maximize engagement on social networks. 
To learn more and register, go here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

To Crowdfund or Not to Crowdfund

Fractured Atlas had a great article on putting together a crowdfunding video (read it here), which made me think about crowdfunding in general.

In a recent Twitter chat I was on, one of the participants opined that crowdfunding was the same as begging, and a couple of other participants agreed. I don't.

Obviously, the couple that asks people to crowdfund their wedding celebration and honeymoon maybe be taking things too far. But in some cultures, it's okay to pin cash to the bride's dress during a dance to help the newly-married couple get off to a good financial start. What's the difference between that and crowdfunding a wedding? Reciprocation.

Crowdfunding is Reciprocation

If I ask for money and you have no idea what I'm going to use it for, that's begging. If you ask me for money to be used for you and you alone, for whatever purpose (even if it involves food or shelter), that's begging. But if you ask for money and tell me that you will use it for feeding other people or teaching illiterate seniors to read or launching a new public museum, that's crowdfunding.

Obviously, nonprofits have been crowdfunding for years. And so have inventors and filmmakers. Any time you ask people to invest in money in your ideas with an expectation of receiving something in return - even if it's only a line of credit among hundreds of others - you are crowdfunding.

What has changed over the technologically innovative last few years is how we may go about crowdfunding. We may use the tried and true direct mail or we may be experimenting with creating a YouTube channel, an Instagram account, or using Kickstarter or GoFundMe.

How well any of these platforms work will depend on:

  • How much planning we've done
  • How much time we put into the elements involved
  • How we have cultivated and engaged with our community to promote trust
  • How well we communicate what our plans are and how we will reciprocate
  • How well we follow up on our promises

No, crowdfunding isn't begging and nonprofits - particularly very small ones - should be evaluating every possible avenue to raise funds. If we don't, we are not doing our jobs.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Time For Social Media

NonProfit Tech for Good has excerpted part of their Mobile for Good book on their site to talk about what kind of time social media requires for successful fundraising (read the piece here). Naturally, the first thing that jumped out at me is that there was no discussion of what a small nonprofit should do, just medium and large nonprofits. The second thing I noticed is that they recommend a part-time social media manager for medium NGOs and a full-time manager for large ones.

Where Does This Leave the Tiny NGO?

Well, that's in the fine print, so to speak. According to the article, small nonprofit attempts to use social media for fundraising are often shared by the staff and tend to be overshadowed by traditional fundraising methods (though not called out, I assume they mean direct mail and maybe email campaigns or even events).

NP Tech For Good probably has the data to back up these statements, so I won't challenge them here. But does that mean your very small NGO should put no effort into using social media for fundraising? I don't think so, since it's a tool that's readily available and the investment is often time.

Time is Expensive

Business likes to say that "time is money" but I like to think that "time is effort." Clearly, you can't put in the kind of commitment that a medium or large NGO can, especially ones with dedicated social media managers. But you can look at the recommendations and translate them into something that may be do-able for you.

Also apparent is that you can't spread your effort around a lot of sites, so you'll have to carefully evaluate them and work on only those sites that seem to provide the greatest possible return for the effort. Only you can make this call - you have to get out there and find your community, which is also an investment of effort. But you can't just throw your posts out willy-nilly, hoping that something will stick. Social media doesn't work that way. It is always a give-and-take, always a relationship building exercise in which trust and interaction are the goals.


The one place I recommend putting in the full amount of time is in Blogging. NP Tech For Good's recommendation: "Blogging (6 hours): To write an average of two short posts weekly which includes the time necessary to find, edit, and insert photos and integrate video." Don't short yourself on this. Make the time to write those two short posts a week, even if they're very short. They give you something to refer to in your other SM posts, they give you more room to explore a thought or an action, they give you more opportunity to get commentary.

And note another important point in the article - just because social media accounts are often free to set-up and use, does not mean they are not worthwhile investments that should be taken seriously. Acknowledge the effort, whether it's yours or another staffer's.

Also Interesting

Hashtagcharity helps IT (tech) people find nonprofits they would like to donate time to. We all know budgets can be hell on technology. Getting an updated database or better working network is usually a wish-list item. But hashtagcharity may be able to help with some of those goals. Check them out and maybe recommend them to people you know in the tech world who are looking to volunteer their skills.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

TL:DR or What Is The Perfect Length?

Ran across this infographic at MakeUseOf.com and thought it was worthy of a short discussion.

As you may know, TL:DR stands for "Too Long: Didn't Read". There is a sweetness to brevity, particularly when it comes to social media. As a technical writer, I learned early on that wordiness can be a killer when you're trying to get people to read - and use - a user manual. I won't get into all the reasons why. Suffice it to say that if most people can avoid reading something, they will.

Social media has changed that a little. If it's in small doses, and offers them something of value, people will read it. Or watch it. Or listen to it.


You get 140 characters (including spaces) for a post. The infographic recommends under 100 characters. Let's be more specific. You want your tweet to be retweeted and you've got to allow room for that, about 20 characters. So at the most, your post should have 120 characters in it.

But - I also recommend you attach 1-3 well-chosen hashtags, so that's definitely going to take you into the below 100 area. Why attach hashtags? Two reasons. One is to help people who may be searching via hashtag to find your tweet. For example, #nonprofit. The second is to help people understand quickly the point of the tweet and amplify its intention or serve as your own comment on the subject. For example, #justsayin indicates the tweet is humorous or sarcastic. Or, a post with a link to some new celebrity shenanigan might be followed by #notrightinthehead. Well-chosen hashtags can help your Twitter posts stand out from others in the fast-moving stream.

Domain Names

These are usually inherited and changing them is a pain in the butt. Yes, we'd all like to have short ones because long ones are often easier to screw up when typing, but that's generally not possible. And Google usually guesses what you're looking for, anyway. If your name is your brand and your name is longer than 8 characters, you're better off using the whole name than trying to reduce it.


The idea should be to get the reader interested enough to click on the post and go to your FB page or your website where they may post comments or engage in discussion with you. So use whatever length you need to achieve that, remembering that a short text block looks more inviting than a long one.

Email Subject Line

If you can say what the email is about in the subject line, the recipient can prioritize it more quickly. For example, "Tuesday Meeting Minutes - please review by COB today" With subject lines, shortness is important, but clarity and a call to action should be the drivers. In other words, tell the recipient what you want from them.

Headlines - Google+ or Otherwise

There's a social media fad going on right now for longer headlines. You know the ones I mean: This kitten almost drowned; what happened next will blow your mind! Unless you want your small NGO to be conflated with Gawker, don't do this. Keep it short and use it to hint at the content. Listicle headlines do this automatically. When you see a headline reading, "Ten Ways to Lose Ten Pounds", you automatically think losing weight is a good thing, what are these ten ways?

Title Tags

These are used in HTML and are used by search engines to categorize your webpage and can affect your page's ranking, or how quickly it's found by people searching the web. It's more technical than most of these tips, but if you'd like more information, look here.

Videos and Podcasts

I would agree that keeping video under 3 minutes is a good rule of thumb, but be able to judge your work. If it's really compelling, people will watch for a longer time. And remember that getting them to watch is just half of what you want: you also want them to pass it along. Again, if it's compelling, they'll preface it with "Fairly long, but worth watching", but try not to make them have to apologize for the length.

I don't like podcasts, so I don't listen to them. And don't have a recommendation other than saying it's fine to repurpose parts of a podcast, but if you do, provide the recording of the relevant part only. I once listened to several minutes of a recap podcast to hear a particular part that had been highlighted in a Facebook post. When they finally got to that part, it wasn't as advertised. Needless to say, I was pissed.


Seminars are funny animals. If it's too short, the viewer will feel they haven't gotten their money's worth, even if they haven't paid for it. But don't pad them to try to make them seem more robust. People catch on to that pretty quickly and they will be suspicious of any future offerings. But if you've got the content, don't cram it in there, either. I've attended online seminars that covered content so quickly, I couldn't keep up. Try to distill what you've got before you put it into seminar form. If you've got a lot of good content, break it up into different seminars. Good stuff will make people want to come back, want to talk about it, want to share it. And that's the social part of social media.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Two Great Thoughts from NonProfit Tech for Good

Being a former IT worker, I can't help but geek out when I see technology being used for social good. One of the best groups throwing a spotlight on this is Nonprofit Tech for Good.

Technology is crucial to every business and nonprofit and if your small NGO is not keeping up with the latest news in this sector, it could be at a very large disadvantage. This is not to say that you have to have the latest and greatest when it comes to tech - we all know that NGOs usually have to make do with older tech, but knowing what could make a difference for your NGO can provide a good map for planning.

Thought #1: Data

You can overdose on data if it's not well-organized, well-presented, and germane to the subject. These infographs at Nonprofit Tech for Good information about fundraising and social media that can help you figure out short term goals, long term goals, and whether or not you're on the right track with your current planning. Derived from several different sources, the graphs are clean and clearly communicate what you need to know. See them at:

15 Must-Know Fundraising and Social Media Stats

Thought #2: Open Reporting

Transparency is something all NGOs, big or small, have to be concerned with. People who support a cause or a nonprofit serving a cause they love want to be sure that the NGO is doing the best with their donations. But being transparent isn't always easy. Financial reporting, in particular, can be tricky.

Nonprofit Tech for Good listed Open Reporting on its website, so I took a look. Here's a video I saw there:

You can also see a demo of how the reporting works:

Open Reporting has 3 tiers of pricing, starting with Free. Check out Open Reporting here.

Nonprofit Tech for Good has TONS of great reading and advice for small nonprofits, including webinars. The best way to learn about what they're offering on a regular basis is to sign up for their newsletter. If you haven't yet, you are missing one of the best tech resources for NGOs available.