Month: October 2019

5 Tips for Designing Your Year-End Email Appeals

first_imgHere’s some great advice from Caryn Stein on the team here at Network for Good.It’s tempting to pull out every design stop in an attempt to make your year-end e-appeal stand out. Resist the urge to resort to visual overload as you design your year-end campaign. Keep these five pointers in mind for best results:1. Be consistent: Your email appeals should reflect your nonprofit’s branding and style. Use the same logo, colors and fonts that you use on your website, donation page and other fundraising materials.2. Keep it light: Don’t overdesign your email appeals. Keep the graphic load light and use simple uncluttered design. This helps your appeal shine and look more professional – plus it will be more likely that your message will be read.3. Use images wisely: Many email programs won’t display images automatically, so ensure that your images are a complement to your message, and are not your entire appeal. Use images that help illustrate the story you’re telling and create an emotional connection with the reader.4. Link images: More readers expect images to be interactive, so if you include photos or other graphics (like DonateNow buttons!), be sure to link them to your donation page.5. Include text links: Don’t forget to embed text links within your appeal – preferably throughout your message. Remember that the first link you offer will usually be the most-clicked item in your appeal.last_img read more

The number one quality of a great presenter

first_imgOne of my end-of year-traditions is to use any downtime to catch up on reading. I wanted to share some thoughts on the latest book I read, The Art of the Pitch. This quick and motivating read from the legendary ad guy Peter Coughter, who now teaches at the VCU Brandcenter, includes excellent stories that remind us how just how critical it is to master persuasion and presentation skills.Today, I offer a short post on the number one quality of a great presenter. Tomorrow, I’ll post on the number one quality of a great presentation.What’s the number one quality of a great presenter? According to Coughter (and I agree), it’s that you approach a pitch as a conversationalist, not a speaker. This advice is excellent, and it’s highly applicable to anyone advocating for a good cause.“It’s a conversation, only you’re the one doing most of the talking. A lot of people have a hard time with this idea,” says Coughter. “We’ve all been there. Sitting in a meeting, praying for it to end while the speaker drones on about something that is apparently important to him, but of no interest to us… Don’t be that guy. Just talk with us.”To talk with us, you have to know us, recognize us and converse about our interests. A great presenter is so focused on reflecting and connecting with us that we feel a part of the moment. Do that and everyone will be riveted.P.S. I’m also reading Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth. If you want fiction, not business reading, that’s my pick.last_img read more

You’re a salesman. We all are. Or should be.

first_img(Quick side note to those of you who subscribe to my blog via RSS or Feedblitz: Yesterday’s video didn’t render for you. I’m sorry it got blocked! If you didn’t get to see it, go here!)I am reading Daniel Pink‘s new book, To Sell Is Human. The central point of the book is this: Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, nonprofit staff trying to persuade people to rally to our cause, or parents trying to get our kids to do their homework, we spend our days trying to move others. As Pink puts it: “Do you earn your living trying to convince others? Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.”I agree with this – in fact, I’ve often said we’re all marketers, too. Pink says that means we need three skills – the ABCs. Not the old “always be closing” mantra of Glengarry Glen Ross, but rather attunement, buoyancy and clarity. He means the ability to connect, a sense of resilience and clarity of purpose. We all must learn to pitch, to improvise and to serve.“Selling isn’t some grim accommodation to a brutal marketplace culture. It’s part of who we are – and therefore something we can do better by being more human.”We would all make the world a better place if we embraced the fact we can’t just be right in our fight. The best idea in the world can’t advance without connecting to others. We have to persuade others to join our effort. And that isn’t dictating – it’s selling. Congratulations – you’re a salesman or a saleswoman. And I am too.last_img read more

The incredibly simple, science-driven way to connect and compel

first_imgOur brains are actually hard wired to relate to other people’s experiences. When we witness or imagine someone acting, our own neurons fire in the same way they would if we were undertaking the same action. That’s why your heart races when your favorite athlete soars toward the football or you feel fear and sorrow watching a mother struggling to save her child from flood waters.When we translate that empathy into helping another person, we have another reaction in our brains: We’re rewarded with happy feelings, thanks to a chemical dose to our brain’s pleasure center. I like to imagine (and there is some evidence) that the human race is somehow designed to commit to each other and accomplish great things in concert. I’ll give you an example. Watch this video and think about how you feel. It makes me happier – and kinder.In this ad, Coke has connected to these deep rewards of generosity. The purpose of this post is to ask, if Coke is doing it, why the heck aren’t you? Why aren’t you making people as happy as you could by making visible the acts of kindness that you commit every day, all day, at work? You can and should awaken these feelings in the people you want to move to action. It’s not manipulation. It’s being human.Please think about this clip and how your cause could be its star. The next time you send something a message out to the world, make sure:1. It tells a vivid story of someone doing good2. It shows the reaction of the person helped3. It inspires the rest of us to do the sameThis is the incredibly simple, science-driven way to connect and compel. And Coke shouldn’t be the only one doing it.You can and should, too.last_img read more

What do the best nonprofit websites look like?

first_imgI often get asked for examples of beautiful nonprofit websites. Good news – there is a great article highlighting 31 one of them (thanks to my colleague Allison for spotting it).Check out these inspiring examples here. Why are they good? Read what makes a good home page here.I especially like the Kidzeum, a Network for Good customer!last_img

Picture this: 2012 online giving illustrated

first_imgAt Network for Good, we found online giving once more on the rise in 2012. You can see the data illustrated via the 2012 Digital Giving Index infographic below, but one thing worth noting is this: donations made directly through nonprofit websites with branded giving pages raised six times more dollars than generic giving pages.Network for Good created the Digital Giving Index to provide insights and information on charitable engagement for both nonprofits seeking to strengthen relationships with donors and companies seeking engage with consumers and employees. This Index builds on data and observations from The Online Giving Study, released in 2010, and is updated quarterly to provide timely snapshots of the state of charitable giving. We’re excited to share the data in a new format—an infographic!(Trouble viewing the infographic? Go here.) Embed the above image on your site 2012 Digital Giving Index infographic last_img read more

New giving index shows healthy 2012 online holiday giving

first_imgNetwork for Good, along with PayPal and Blackbaud, has been participating in the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s new online giving index. The Q4 2012 results are out, and you can see the data and compare it to your own experience at the Chronicle site here. The headlines:-After a sluggish summer, giving rebounded at the end of last year, with 8 percent more gifts totaling nearly 17% more dollars than the same period in 2011.-Monday was the biggest giving day (probably a reflection of the fact that December 31, the biggest giving day of the year online, was a Monday in 2012).-Most online giving occurred at midday during the business week. At Network for Good, we’ve seen this hold true year after year.You can find more data here.How does this compare to your year-end giving in 2012?last_img read more

It has to be interesting to get shared

first_imgAwesome cartoon by Tom Fishburne, the MarketoonistJust a quick reminder as you kick off your day — make sure what you’re saying, sending or selling is worth sharing.Boring doesn’t get read. Boring doesn’t get shared. Boring doesn’t get funded.That’s why no one Tweets creamed corn.What does get shared? Something surprising, remarkably good, remarkably bad, visually striking, funny, moving, helpful or personally relevant.Try adding one of these elements – and a good story – to what you do today. It will be more likely to work – and to spread.last_img read more

What the latest online trends mean for your cause

first_img KPCB Internet Trends 2013 from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers How do think these trends will affect your organization’s fundraising and how you fulfill your unique mission? Chime in with a comment below! — Caryn Stein This week, Mary Meeker presented the 2013 Internet Trends report during the All Things Digital D11 conference. Meeker’s report is consistently a treasure trove of data, trends and opportunities within the digital world. This type of insight is incredibly useful for nonprofit fundraisers as we navigate how to effectively engage and inspire supporters in a rapidly changing online landscape.The entire report is worth a look, but here are a few especially important points for nonprofits:Mobile usage continues to explode.If you’re wondering whether mobile is important for your cause, consider this: there are now 1.5B smartphone subscribers. Plus, mobile traffic is projected to maintain its current rate of growth if not accelerate. To drive this point home, Meeker also reveals that smartphone users, on average, reach for their devices around 150 times per day. Wow!Takeaway: It’s critical for your cause to be mobile friendly. Make it easy for constituents and supporters to find, interact and give to you via smartphones.Rich content is ramping up.Digital photos, video and audio are becoming easier to create, refine and share. To effectively compete for attention in crowded inboxes, social streams or browsing sessions, stand out with original content that embodies your message. Takeaway: Incorporate multimedia formats in your online outreach to illustrate your impact, attract new donors and retain existing supporters.Sharing and connecting diversify.Social media platforms are still on the rise with sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr showing significant growth. Though Facebook was the only platform in the report to see a drop in usage from 2011 to 2012, it still sees the lion’s share of usage.Takeaway: Leverage social media to provide supporters another way to forge relationships with your cause and empower them to share your message with their networks.We live in an age of unprecedented “findability”. With such easy access to massive amounts of information online, it’s nearly impossible not to have full transparency — whether that’s coming from your organization or those talking about you. Takeaway: Understand what is being said about your cause online. What do readers find when they search for you? It is critical to take the lead in being open about your organization to build trust and loyalty.Other fascinating tidbits include emerging devices and formats that could prove to be powerful tools for nonprofit storytelling, fundraising events and reporting impact.• Tablets are showing more rapid growth than smartphones; they may also become the predominant type of large-screen computing devices.• Short-form and temporary content sharing (think Vine and Snapchat) are also seeing rapid adoption rates.• Wearable technology and other connected devices — such as Google glass, smart watches and activity trackers — are poised to transform how we interact with all of the information available to us online. You can view the full presentation below or via the KPCB website.last_img read more

Web Writing for Nonprofits: 4 Dos and Don’ts

first_imgDO Break Up Big Blocks of TextThe mere sight of long paragraphs can overwhelm time-strapped readers. Reread your Web pages as if for the first time, or ask a fresh-eyed coworker to check them out. Shorten or delete extra phrases and unnecessary sentences. Break long paragraphs into shorter ones. Even better: Extract key points into bulleted or numbered lists. Bonus tip: Short paragraphs are best, but don’t go overboard by breaking them into single sentences. Also, try to keep articles to a max of between 500 and 600 words. Writing effective content for your nonprofit website, blog or email newsletter requires a different strategy than writing for print. With so much tempting stuff on the Internet, you have just a few seconds to draw readers in, and then only a few minutes—if you’re lucky!—to hold their interest. It’s imperative to shape your content to maximize that brief time, which means getting straight to the point, organizing articles to fit how we read on the Web, and writing clear, keyword-rich headlines. Here are some do’s and don’ts for crafting great online content for your nonprofit website. DO Organize Stories for ScannabilityIt helps to know how people read online so you can organize your pages for maximum readability. Eye-tracking studies show that readers scan text first to see if the article is relevant to them. They typically skim the top of the page—skipping the parts that require scrolling to reach—plus any headings, images, and bold-faced terms. Effective Web pages are easy to scan quickly and pick out the main points. Put your most important information at the beginning of your article. Expand on that info with eye-grabbing elements like bold-faced subheads, captioned images, and bulleted lists. DON’T Bury the LeadReaders tend to skip the parts “below the fold,” as it were. You want to frontload articles with your most important points. The intro isn’t the place for long-winded dramatic anecdotes leading up to the true purpose of your story. Get straight to the point! Bonus tip: Be sure to include SEO-friendly keywords in your first few sentences. These are words readers are likely to use when searching for pages like yours. DON’T Get Too Cute with Headlines A good headline makes the subject of your story obvious. Headlines that are riddles, obtuse puns, or other cute wordplay will send readers elsewhere and make your content difficult to find in a Google search. Crafting compelling headlines for Web pages and blog posts is similar to writing effective email subject lines: Answer the question, “What’s this article about?” Be clear about what readers will find in your article. Include search engine-friendly keywords. Make it irresistible. Readers love headlines that promise quick lists (“3 Tips for Conserving Water”), how-to articles (“How to Keep Your Schools Safe”), and do’s and don’ts (like this piece!). Keep it short. Headlines under 50 characters are best; 30 to 40 characters are ideal. Follow these simple tips when writing email newsletters, Web pages, blog posts, and other online content and you’re likely to experience higher traffic and perhaps even greater engagement and giving from your supporters. Fundraising Takeaways Effective Web content mirrors how we read online, with the most important information at the beginning and text in easily scanned bite-sized chunks. Include compelling captioned photos and transform big paragraphs into bulleted lists to make your pages even more readable. Readers can’t resist articles with short, clear headlines that promise fun content like lists or how-tos.last_img read more