Podcasts

Embracing New Media — Even at 800 Years Old

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“The challenge is just moving them from looking at new media as something we don’t do, quote unquote, to seeing it as a strategic solution to an existing problem.” — Bill Skowronski, Dominican Friars Central Province

How do you teach an 800-year-old organization to use social media? This week on Driving Participation, Bill Skowronski, director of marketing for the Central Dominican Friars and founder of Constellation, joins in to talk about how he has helped an old organization see the benefits of using new media — especially when some people involved have never used those tools before. For Bill, it comes down to strategy. Using storytelling methods and social media tools that work specifically for the organization, Bill has helped the Dominican Friars gain a larger following on social media and embrace tools they hadn’t used before. He and Beth talk about creating content that appeals to a very specific audience and thinking about the services you offer in terms of what the world needs from your organization. They discuss:

  • The difference between “earned media” and “owned media”
  • Understanding the strategic value of social media
  • How they created a weekly video series that gets people excited for Mass (!)
  • How to look at your efforts in terms of what your audience needs from you rather than what you want to give to them
  • Why it’s important to focus on the medium that best suits you and your organization in order to communicate most effectively
  • Why Bill advises to prioritize “outcomes over output”
  • How Pope Francis’s Twitter presence affected the Dominican Friars

Resources:

Dominican Friars Central Province website: www.opcentral.org

Constellation website: www.sharingthegood.org

Follow Bill on Twitter: @BillSkowronski

Follow the Dominican Friars on Twitter: @OPDomCentral

Follow Constellation on Twitter: @SharingtheGood

 

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Podcasts

Developing Your Audience Focus

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“We’re not just trying to throw things out to the community and see what response we get. What we’re trying to really do is dissect where people want to be involved with our organization and then have that bubble up to the top so that they see that in an engaging way.” — Jeff Miles, Keystone Opportunity Center

Jeff Miles has used his background in sales and marketing to find new approaches in fundraising as development and marketing director of the Keystone Opportunity Center. On Driving Participation, he joins Beth to talk about how he has been able to uncover Keystone’s core audience. For instance, by tracking who has given multiple donations of $125, he found that the majority of its givers tend to be women in their 40s to 60s. With that information, he has been able to share stories and statistics and create tailor-made campaigns that appeal directly to them. He shares tips on how you can sharpen your focus on the audience that will care the most. They discuss creating “gateway points” for the community to get involved and more. They explore:  

  • How past experience in sales — like selling hot tubs — gave Jeff experience and skills he could use in his nonprofit work
  • Why you will benefit tremendously if “your product or your organization connects well with mothers”
  • Why writing your newsletter as though you’re writing to a friend makes a difference
  • How to use specific examples to galvanize your audience to get involved
  • Why targeting a specific group is more effective than a “shotgun” approach where your message can get lost in the shuffle
  • Why local radio stations are a good source to learn more about demographics that could become supporters of your organization
  • How to get people “bubbling over with excitement” about your organization

Resources:

Keystone’s website: keystoneopportunity.org

Email Jeff: JMiles@KeystoneOpp.org

Information about AFP Greater Philadelphia’s Principles of Fundraising course

 

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Podcasts

Using Google Analytics to Learn About Your Audience

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“When you have very little time for each of the parts of your job, you want to spend that time as smartly as you can and Google Analytics, the way I use it and the way I hope others use it, we’re focusing just on the most important parts. Just the places we’re going to get the best return and that for anyone who is busy is like, the magic key.” — Yesenia Sotelo, SmartCause Digital

Google Analytics. The very words used to give Yesenia Sotelo the same feeling as going to the gym: something you should do but you save it for another day because it seems too daunting. Now, she helps people learn how to understand it and, more importantly, how to use it in ways that are most helpful. She joins Beth on Driving Participation to talk about how to use Google Analytics to figure out things such as what pages are most successful, what emails are making a profit and how to judge the success of tools you likely use every day. She explains why using Google Analytics actually gives you more room to experiment and try new things as far as how you reach people — and then how to determine what worked or didn’t work. She and Beth discuss:

  • How is Google Analytics relevant to nonprofits in this busy world of today’s marketing?
  • The six terms Yesenia teaches everyone about Google Analytics
  • Why is it normal for a nonprofit to have an 80% bounce rate?
  • How has Google changed as far as limiting who sees your search history and how does that affect your analytics?
  • Yesenia’s advice about search engine optimization and what keywords you should really be using
  • How Google Analytics can help you understand the people on your email list

Resources:

SmartCause Digital website

More about Google Analytics

MailChimp: www.mailchimp.com

Contact Yesenia: yesenia@smartcausedigital.com

Find her on Twitter: @SilverBell

 

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Podcasts

Welcoming New Donors With Gratitude

candisummers_wp“I take my donors very personally because I take the kids in Africa very personally. So if someone’s gonna come alongside me and help me accomplish the goal of building up this child and the community so they can thrive, then that’s personal to me. It’s not about a number. It’s about someone cares enough about what I’m doing to join me in that work.” — Candi Summers, Bestwā

When you give a donation to an organization that actually works in another continent, how can you be sure you’re even making a difference? Candi Summers is here to tell you you are making a difference. She’s seen it and she can show you, too. Through her work with Bestwā, donors are able to help feed children in Liberia and Candi has found ways to show donors that they really are making a difference — especially new donors. With new donors, especially, Candi has made it a point to go out of her way to thank them for getting involved. Through personalized, handwritten thank-you notes to shout outs on her Facebook page, she makes it a point to truly welcome new donors into the Bestwā family. She and Beth discuss:

  • How to use micro stories to tell a larger story
  • Using Facebook to create a connection with new donors
  • Why handwriting a personalized thank you note is worth the effort and how soon you should send it
  • Why Candi compares someone giving a gift to “falling in love”
  • How finding a mentor or a “model” can inspire you and give you ideas you can use in your own organizations
  • Learning to tell the difference between a tactic and a strategy
  • How handwritten notes make your donors feel more connected and more like a partner in the work

Resources:

Bestwā’s website: www.bestwa.org

Bestwā’s Facebook page

Email Candi: Candi@bestwa.org

Sandy Rees’ website: www.getfullyfunded.com

Kirsten Bullock’s website: www.bullockconsulting.net

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Podcasts

Expecting and Adapting to Change

barbaratrautlein_wp“The first step in becoming an effective “Change Leader” is self-awareness.  Once you become aware of your own style of leading change (that is, once you begin to develop your “Change Intelligence®” or “CQ®”), you also gain insights in how to flex your style to  more powerfully and smoothly connect with other key stakeholders in the change process, greatly enhancing the possibility of forging collaborative partnerships.” — Barbara Trautlein, Change Catalysts

In any kind of business, there will be changes as time goes on, and Barbara has seen plenty of change in the organizations and industries around the globe that she has consulted with.  How can you identify your own leadership skills to make you an even more effective change leader?  Barbara explains the three styles of leading change and how you can identify them. Barbara and Beth also explore why people resist change, and how leaders can reframe resistance from enemy to ally, to engage for change. They discuss:

  • What is “Change Intelligence/CQ”?
  • What are common causes of “resistance to change,” and what can you as a leader do to “overcome it”?
  • What qualities do you really need to be an effective leader?
  • How can you effectively handle change in yourself and your organization?
  • How can you identify your Change Leader Style, and how can that insight propel your effectiveness, and your ability to build relationships and get results?

Resources:

Email Barbara: BTrautlein@ChangeCatalysts.com

Change Catalysts Website: changecatalysts.com

Find Barbara on Twitter: @btrautlein

 

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Podcasts

Preparing for a Website Redesign Pays Off

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“I think there was a lot of really good information on our website, but that’s simply what it was. It was designed to provide information as opposed to get people to act.” — Donnie Brake, Coram Deo Academy

Back when Beth and Donnie Brake first met, they talked about the possibility of a website redesign for Brake’s school Coram Deo Academy. Now, the redesign is done and the effects of the transition are starting to show. Brake, director of development at Coram Deo, discusses the change from being a website that purely provided information to a destination for prospective parents and students that makes them want to learn more and engage with the school. Instead of trying to make the website fit everyone’s interests and answer every question, Brake said the goal changed to embrace the school’s core values and trust the right people would find it. An effective website will encourage action — not just provide information. He and Beth explore:

  • Why it’s not always necessary or beneficial to be 100% referral-based
  • How to find your core values and trust they will resonate with people
  • How online reviews can really help your organization be found
  • What is re-marketing and how can it help?
  • With a website redesign, what parts should you focus on that will make the most difference?
  • How a redesign helped the school increase its student body and number of interested applicants by 27 percent

Resources:

Email Donnie: Donnie.Brake@CoramDeoAcademy.org

Coram Deo Academy: www.coramdeoacademy.org

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Podcasts

Getting Ready for Year-End Giving

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“In terms of the story that you’re telling to your supporters, thank them. Show some gratitude. A little bit of gratitude, a little bit of thanking can go a long way, especially if you just hit them over the head for a month and a half with fundraising appeals. And then after that, it’s really about looking ahead to the year that’s coming and start planning for year end.” — Andrew Rothman, Blue State Digital 

Have you started thinking about your year-end giving campaign? If not, don’t worry, Andrew Rothman from Blue State Digital joins in to share some tips as far as getting ready for year-end giving. By dividing up the year into four quarters, he breaks down what exactly you should be doing in each quarter to ensure a successful year-end giving campaign that optimizes all of your communications. Whether through email or direct mail, there are ways to connect with your donors (and potential new ones) in ways that truly speak to them. A theme that has popped up in the last few sessions is the idea of connecting with your ideal audience, and Andrew shares who that audience is and how you can communicate directly to them in ways they will care about and pay attention to. He and Beth discuss:

  • Three steps to hooking people’s attention on social media
  • How to organize your year by quarters so your year-end giving plan is more efficient
  • What is a “proxy audience” and how can you create one?
  • Why you should send more emails
  • Where video can be beneficial in your communication to donors
  • Why it’s better to send thank people in the medium through which they donated
  • Making sure your email list and database are clean and how to go about that

Resources:

Blue State Digital: www.bluestatedigital.com

Attentive.ly: attentive.ly/

Reach Andrew by email: Andrew@BlueStateDigital.com

Find Andrew on Twitter: @AJR

 

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Podcasts

Avoiding Trouble with With WordPress Themes and Plugins

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“Not just letting the website sit there and kind of be an online brochure is how I encourage participation because ultimately it helps you to meet your mission, it helps do your piece of good in the world, it helps you do your work.” — Andy Stitt, Deliberate Media Solutions

What’s the word with WordPress? If anyone would know, it’s Andy Stitt from Deliberate Media Solutions who joins in this week to talk about the popular content management system and how it’s grown in the last few years. He and Beth explore how the site has evolved from a blogging platform to a tool nonprofits should consider for building their website. How do you know if it’s the right platform for you? They discuss plugins, incorporating themes, and why with web, you should always assume something will go wrong (and how to be prepared when it does). They discuss how to avoid trouble with plugins, when incorporating a theme is a good idea and how to make sure your work is always saved. They explore:

  • How has WordPress transformed from a blogging platform into something that a nonprofit should consider for building their site?
  • How can you make sure your website doesn’t stay static?
  • Where does participation come into play from a technical standpoint?
  • What is the critical difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? And which should you be using?
  • What are the different functions between a theme and a plugin?
  • When should you have a theme? And what kind of theme should you choose?
  • What are the best practices for plugins?

Resources:

Andy’s website: deliberatemediasolutions.com

Find Andy on Twitter: @AndyWPDev

Revisit Margaux O’Malley’s episode about Drupal: iriscreative.com/dp104/

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Podcasts

The Difference Between Participation and Engagement

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“I see engagement as something that is more of a group property than comes out of people participating. If you don’t have participation, you don’t have engagement.” — Adrian Segar, Conferences That Work

Think conferences are always boring? Think again. Adrian Segar joins Driving Participation to talk about how he has revolutionized the concept of conferences to make them interesting and most importantly, engaging. With that, he and Beth also discuss the distinction and intersection between “participation” and “engagement.” What is the difference? How are they connected? With his past in organizing some of the earliest, if not the first, conferences on solar energy, he explains how events can create a stronger relationship between an association or organization and its community. He explores how the rise of online content has changed the nature of events and why the “traditional meeting” has become obsolete. He and Beth discuss:

  • What is a “fishbowl sandwich”?
  • What is targeted and active learning and why is it important?
  • How do events, association, sponsored or organized events serve as one of the primary ways an association can provide value for their membership?
  • How Adrian describes the “arc of a participatory event”
  • The two main reasons people say they want to go to meetings
  • How to make conferences still feel relevant and necessary in the age of online
  • How to get people to connect at a conference or event

Resources:

Adrian’s website (books available online): www.conferencesthatwork.com

Explanation of a Plus Delta evaluation

 

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Podcasts

Where to Focus When You Are in Transition

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“For me, it’s always about listening and it’s asking questions about what’s important.” — Laura Marx, United Way of North Carolina

Transitions in any part of life can be hard — especially when you’re undergoing transitions in a national organization with local chapters. Laura Marx, president and CEO of United Way of North Carolina, joins in this week to talk about the changes United Way has been making and how its regional chapters around the country are affected. One challenge Marx has tackled since she started is working with her staff to identify the audience they’re trying to reach. Through pledge forms, listening tours and storytelling, she and her team have been able to find new ways to connect with their audience. With that in mind, as United Way is changing its brand and its messaging, she talks about how her chapter has been adjusting to that and seeing how people respond. She and Beth discuss:

  • How a “listening tour” helped United Way get to know its constituents
  • Why it’s important to note how different people respond to your message
  • How millennials play a role in the work United Way does
  • The benefits of storytelling
  • The work United Way has done with its 2-1-1 system
  • The best piece of advice Laura has to offer for those looking for their core audience
  • How Laura was able to get a funder for a big project

Resources:

United Way: www.unitedway.org

2-1-1 Counts: www.211counts.org

 

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