One of my favorite things to do is to raid the halls of business blogs to see what they’re doing that should be applied to nonprofit businesses. Sadly, we still seem to be last to the party when it comes to really thinking outside the box, adopting tried-and-true best practices (I don’t mean the shiniest new object; I mean stuff that’s working super well, creating lots of brand awareness and raising lots of money). So this week I’ve got a bunch of simple and powerful business tips for you… plus some stuff to get you thinking. I hope a light bulb goes off for you!
Social Media Engagement
Click-It:The Ideal Length of Everything Online [Infographic] Did you know that tweets shorter than 100 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate? I actually knew that one, but this one intrigues me: “Opening paragraphs with larger fonts and fewer characters per line make it easier for the reader to focus and jump quickly from one line to the next.” I’m going to try this one out. And there are more! Many thanks to Mark Uzunian of SumAll.
Click-It: Planting Your Feet Firmly in Your Social Media Strategy. Here’s some great advice from Michael Cohn of Compukol Connection (whose tagline is “Forging business connections one relationship at a time” – not a bad motto for nonprofits to adhere to; just substitute “social business connections”). The advice is straightforward, super simple and spot on.
Click-It: 3 Instant Fixes That Will Have You Writing Better Content, Faster. This post by Carly Stec on the Impact Blog has all sorts of practical tips to help you organize and stay on top of your content production. There are some especially useful suggestions for consistently coming up with compelling, relevant content.
Click-It: How to Kill Creativity. Save this piece by Teresa Amabile from the Harvard Business Review for an evening when you can curl up with a cup of tea. It addresses the sad fact that even in cultures where creativity is supported (at least on paper), it is unintentionally undermined every day in service of perfectly reasonable business imperatives like coordination, productivity and control. The article goes on to explain how it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too – work towards the mission/bottom line and foster creativity.
Science of Persuasion
Click-It: The Subconscious, Getting People to Like You, and the Power of Storytelling. Roger Dooley knows a lot about neuroscience, and how to use it to influence folks. Here’s an interview where he discusses marketing for the subconscious brain. If you still think you can persuade folks with data, listen to this podcast. When push comes to shove, we’re still very primitive. Fascinating stuff!
Only 54 days left until the end of the year.
Do you have a killer fundraising appeal letter ready and rarin’ to go?
If you’re not 100% delighted with the letter you’ve got, you owe it to yourself to take the time to check it over using the Clairification Anatomy of a Fundraising Appeal Letter plus Sample Template. It’s a quick read that’s packed with everything I’ve learned over three decades about what makes fundraising appeals work. How much more money could you raise with your appeal letter if it spoke straight to the heart – and to your donor’s passions?
Many organizations secure half of their donations during the last 42 days of the year. A full third (33%) of the donations made in December occur on the 31st of the month. Donors feel most generous during this giving season – so don’t miss out! And don’t leave money on the table by sending a letter that’s not optimized for success.
Get help here! – and raise more money than ever before!
Photo: Flickr, Isaac Torronterra