The Baby Groundhog Guide to Organizational Decision Making

If you work with people, eventually some of them are going to make suggestions.  Most of the time, those suggestions will be made with the best of intentions.  And yet, sometimes following said advice will be the best thing that ever happened to you or your organization, and sometimes it will lead to unmitigated disaster.*  So how do you determine when to listen and adapt and when to smile and nod?

Bring on the Baby Groundhogs!

The groundhogs in this video live in my backyard.  As you can see, I’m pretty excited about it.  When they first showed up I called two moms to tell them about it. Continue reading

An Affiliate Marketing Lesson for Nonprofts: Make New Friends and Keep the Old


No matter how noble your cause, SPAM is not the answer

If you’ve hung out here for a while, you know how I feel about e-mailing people without getting permission. (It’s bad.) I bet you can also guess how I feel about buying, renting and even trading mailing lists from other organizations. (it’s really bad).

I do, however, get why nonprofits do it.  Buying, renting, or trading mailing lists is fast, easy, affordable and (sometimes) effective, but the short-term gains lead to unpleasant consequences in the long-term.

One of your organization’s most valuable assets  is the relationships you’ve built with your donors.  They know you, they trust you and they have enough faith in you to support you financially.  Every time you sell or trade their contact information you erode that trust. Continue reading

Social Media Success Series: 7 Tips for Creating Viral Content

154 Blue Chrome Rain Social Media Icons

Image by webtreats via Flickr

This post is part of a series.  Catch up on other secrets to social media success here.

It’s ok to admit it–we’ve all been there.  At one time or another almost every organization’s social media strategy  basically boiled down to “we’ll make a video that goes viral and then everyone will know and love us.”

As many of us have learned the hard way, setting out to create a single video that goes viral and solves all of our marketing and fundraising challenges doesn’t count as a social media strategy–it counts as a pipe dream.  That having been said, creating the right content and sharing it in the right way can help you build a support base.  These seven tips will help you get started. Continue reading

Online Fundraising for Tiny Nonprofits: A Case Study

Nonprofit fundraising is never easy, but it’s a special kind of difficult for tiny, all volunteer organizations.  The people responsible for fundraising in these organizations generally have little or no experience or training to support their efforts.  It’s also difficult to teach themselves the skills they need since fundraising training resources tend to focus on organizations with professional staff and a donor base far beyond their own.

Therefore, I’m always excited to see examples of tiny organizations coming up with creative ways to start raising the money they need to move up into the “small nonprofit” category.

This is one of those stories. Continue reading