Bliou Enterprises


Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

Chronicle of Philanthropy Article

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

I didn’t realize yesterday that the link I sent about the Chronicle of Philanthropy article profiling the success of AFP-MD’s networking, etc. in our roundtables was restricted only to those who have subscription accounts.

In case you couldn’t log in to see the the full article, I’ve pasted it below.

— Valerie

Starting a Fund-Raising Roundtable: Tips From Charity Veterans

By Caroline Preston

Fund raising has long been known as a stressful profession, and the recession is making life even more difficult for people charged with bringing in donations. But some development officials say they have fought burnout by getting together for regular “round table” meetings with peers.

A group of fund raisers who work at small charities in Baltimore, for example, meet each month to exchange fund-raising strategies and advice.

Among fund raisers’ tips for starting and maintaining a round table:

Consider contacting nonprofit associations. Some local chapters of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals, as well as other state groups such as the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, run round tables or have suggestions for how to start them. And if such associations don’t already coordinate round tables, they might be interested in starting them.

Begin with a small group. “Invite five or six people who you know and ask if you want to get together for coffee so you have a core group to start,” recommends Tami Lack, director of development with Third Way Center, in Denver, and vice president of marketing for the board of the Colorado Association of Fundraising Professionals chapter. Says Jennifer Pelton, director of development at the Public Justice Center, in Baltimore: “Start small but with a good vision.”

Be flexible. If one approach isn’t working and there’s little interest from fund raisers, try another, says Ms. Pelton. “Be willing to experiment and be innovative,” she says. Ms. Lack agrees: Her group first tried networking events, forums, and happy hours before deciding that breakfast meetings were the best format.

Stay consistent with schedule. Once you’ve settled on a format, don’t mess with the schedule too much, fund raisers recommend. A group of annual-giving fund raisers, for example, meets every month at a room on the Johns Hopkins University campus, where one of its members works.

Mix formal and informal. Meetings often focus on a specific topic, such as using social media to raise money. But fund raisers try to leave an opportunity to discuss other subjects. Ms. Lack says her group saves 30 minutes of each hour-and-a-half meeting to talk about whatever is on peoples’ minds.

Listen to others. The topic of meetings should be decided by the group, not by one individual, fund raisers say.

Share leadership. Ms. Pelton, one of several founders of the meeting of “small shop” fund raisers in Baltimore, says her group rotates who leads each session. “We haven’t gotten stuck with one person’s style or one person’s agenda,” she says.

Build an online community. Fund raisers recommend setting up an e-mail list or a group on a site such as Yahoo to complement the in-person meetings. That gives people an opportunity to stay in touch and continue discussions outside of the monthly gatherings.

Bring props. Valerie Lambert, assistant director of development at the Center for Talented Youth at the Johns Hopkins University and the coordinator of round tables for the Maryland AFP chapter, suggests bringing books, articles, and other materials to get the conversation started, especially when it’s on a sensitive topic such as negotiating higher pay.

Pay attention to people’s needs. Some round tables focus on a specific type of fund raiser ­ people who work in annual giving, for example ­ while others are open to all development officials. People involved with round tables say the approach will differ based on the size of the community and the interests of people who want to join.

Build trust. Ms. Pelton’s group has a “whatever’s said here, stays here” approach to meetings. She says that’s key to making people feel comfortable about sharing their ideas and concerns. “No question is a dumb question,” she says, “and no question is too big and no question is too small.”

Copyright © 2009 The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Facebook Using “Virtual Payments”?

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

In this article for MediaPost, Mark Walsh states that Facebook will test a system by which users make purchases from third-party applications using Facebook’s “virtual currency.”

While I wouldn’t relish the idea of taking a cut of Facebook’s “play money,” as a fund raiser, this is nonetheless something to be aware of.  It sounds like a very real possibility in the near future.

It seems to me to be driving the donors far, far away from mission related giving and into the transactional realm, where the organization is much more of an afterthought.

What will social marketing REALLY accomplish, anyway?

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Seth Godin has a compelling argument about the dynamics of marketing and what it is becoming today, related to social marketing in this video.  He argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and blogger who thinks about the marketing of ideas in the digital age. His newest interest: the tribes we lead.

“HOW can I possibly keep up with all of these applications?”

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Maybe you’ve decided that you have time to learn and maintain one social networking site…perhaps even two, but now you’re hearing about the plethora of choices out there, and the thought of trying to keep up with serving everyone on everything seems mind boggling – even if you understood them all.

Fear not!  Online tools exist to make life easier!  Nicole Wallace shares more details in this article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  After all, aren’t you notifying your constituents about the same news and updates on your organization – just across different platforms?


“But how can social media RAISE FUNDS?”

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

When you are asked this question, here’s one story that you can point to as a great demonstration!  Of course, it certainly helps if your network is already in place and you/your staff has already been involved with/understands the various applications (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).

It’s important to read and understand [and SAVE!] such pieces, so you can respond with tangible proof that these new media are more powerful than simply announcing, “I’m eating a sandwich right now…”

Like everything else, social media is used in many ways by many people (and organizations).  For example, not everyone gets the full power out of their computers – or totally understands them! – but it’s rare to find an office without one these days.

© 2010 Bilou Enterprises, All Rights Reserved
Site designed and developed by zline media group, inc