Each month we highlight the blog posts and articles that received the highest votes on Association Jam - a community website that offers a forum for association, non-profit and membership managers, staff and volunteers.
This month, the top-rated posts and articles were in the fundraising, social media, membership and leadership categories. Here’s a look at the most popular links in each “AJam” category – in order of votes – for the month of June 2011:
When Fundraising Goes Right, Really Right
Nell Edgington | SocialVelocity.net
After writing a post about how a national nonprofit continues to send her fundraising appeals, even though she's been lapsed for 11 years, one of Nell Edgington's readers asked: “I would love to know how this nonprofit could have turned you into a donor…step by step?” So this post outlines what Edgington's nonprofit stalker could have done differently to keep and upgrade her as a donor.In other words: "what should a nonprofit do to capture the power of an individual donor?
The Seven Deadly Sins of Fundraising Appeals - and how to avoid them
Rachel Beer | Beautiful World
Rachel Beer offers insights and suggestions for fundraising appeals success based on her experience working with many different charities, across a wide variety of campaigns and media. The points and tips are mainly written in the context of individual giving, although many are also just as relevant to events, community and legacy fundraising, membership marketing, volunteer recruitment or anywhere direct marketing techniques are used. They represent the most common issues in fundraising appeals that I have come across and include suggestions to help you avoid the same pitfalls.
When executed properly, e-mail marketing can offer amazing real-time tracking. Unfortunately, I've run into several friends who simply don't understand the fundamentals of e-mail marketing. More specifically, over the course of the last week, I've had two clients push me to send e-blasts for them with PDF attachments instead of properly formatted e-newsletters. Are you making this common e-mail marketing mistake?
Putting the Member in Membership Communications: Learning to Listen, Recognize and Communicate Value
Anna Caravelli | TheDemandPerspective
Why don’t more associations use the true voices of their members as a tool for defining and communicating value? Answers to survey questions do not represent the authentic voice of your members--the way they talk to each other in confidence, or to themselves in the quiet of the night, about their deepest pain and fondest aspirations. Associations need a new way of listening to and communicating with their members. It’s not a question of just letting members talk--just as give pat answers to generic questions. It’s a matter of knowing how to draw them out and then recognizing the clues members provide about ferreting out the real problems and concerns that “keep them up at night,” and then reflecting those messages to the members, in their own language.
How to Shoot our Nonprofit in the Foot
Maureen Carruthers | LowHangingFruit
Are you inadvertently making it difficult for people to support your organization? Maureen Carruthers offers some suggestions on how to find and remove the invisible barriers that might be making it hard for new people to support your organization.
Volunteers:10 Tips for Managing Volunteers When Your Organization's Budget is Being Reduced
Robert Rosenthal | EngagingVolunteers
How can nonprofits thrive when funding is tight? It’s an age-old question for volunteer-based organizations, and we’ve long suspected that no single answer is right for 100% of organizations. However, managing volunteers, even in the best of times, can be a difficult process. Think about some of these tips to help you through this period, while nurturing your people and remaining focused.
Three Social Publishing Apps That Empower Human Curators
Steve Rosenbaum | Mashable
The mantra of a lot of web software is the same: Use technology to take the human agents and costly middlemen out of the equation. ...Along the way, the web aggregated everything: airfares, hotel rooms, auctions, stock market data, weather information — you name it. ...Today, as the web shifts from data to content, the sheer volume of undifferentiated content makes the very tools that have propagated and cataloged data increasingly part of the problem. This is why the new software frontier isn’t about removing humans, but empowering them. Here are three examples of software products built for humans, rather than as a means to replace them.
The History of Email [Infographic]
Jolie O'Dell | Mashable
In its 40-year tenure as a form of communication, email has run its course from the domain of über nerdy computer scientists to one of the most common ways to keep in touch, both personally and professionally. To give you a timeline of email’s progress through the decades, here’s a commemorative 40th anniversary infographic from email delivery company Reachmail.
What Event Fundraisers Can Learn From Lady Gaga
Jono Smith | Event360
The most successful marketer in the world doesn't work for Apple, Starbucks, or charity: water. She works for herself (and her fans). Love her or hate her, it's Lady Gaga. With nearly 11 million Twitter followers, 38 million Facebook fans, over 1 billion YouTube views, and a net worth of $110 million, Lady Gaga understands marketing. ...Lady Gaga has soared to success because she understands the same four things that are required of successful event fundraising programs: developing and implementing an effective ask, generating sufficient attendance, creating an impactful experience, and providing robust support.
Nonprofit Ad Grabs Open-minded Moment - Piggybacks on Father's Day
Nancy Schwartz | GettingAttention.org
This ad from Futures Without Violence (FWV) was timed perfectly to capture audiences’ open-minded moment. It ran in yesterday’s (Father’s day) New York Times, and is a strong model of piggybacking: Connecting your organization’s issue or story with what’s top of mind for your target audiences. Father’s Day is the single most dad-focused day of the year, when we think about our own dads and the meaning of fatherhood. ...Futures Without Violence knew it and found a way to creatively connect one of it’s lead programs to our open-minded moment.
Do you have something to say to Associations?
If you’ve got a stand-out blog post, article, presentation, video, or other online resource to help associations and non-profits be more effective, we invite you to submit your links to AssociationJam.org and vote for your favorites. Follow @associationjam on Twitter to see which stories make it as #ajam front page news!