Friday, June 10, 2011

5 Keys to Make the Most of Your Nonprofit's Online Experience

From Fundraising Success Magazine...

When Jarid Brown joined the Hope Institute for Children and Families 18 months ago as manager of online interactions, the Springfield, Ill.-based organization dedicated to educational, residential and health services to children with disabilities had very little in the way of online communications.

A year and a half later, the Hope Institute now has a fully integrated online strategy that has seen remarkable growth in e-mail and e-newsletter subscribers, social-media followers, website visitors, and e-philanthropy. It was such a remarkable transformation that FundRaising Success will be sharing the Hope Institute’s online metamorphosis in one of the two remaining cover stories (August and November) in our four-part case studies series this year.

Here, Brown shares his keys to getting the most out of your nonprofit’s online experience.

Don’t follow the herd

It’s perfectly normal and even encouraged to look at what other successful organizations are doing and take a cue from them. But it's foolish to...
Thank you to Joe Borland and the staff of Fundraising Success Magazine for the recognition and opportunity to share our strategies.
Read more about Jarid A. Brown and Hope's digital marketing strategy here.
Visit Jarid's Log here.
Sign up for updates by email here or subscribe to my feed.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fewer numbers...More Faces

In my experience in working with nonprofits, there are two things that have become evident to me.
  1. Every nonprofit does an incredible job of talking about themselves.
  2. Ninety percent of that talk in only appealing to themselves.
I'm often asked what the "magic equation" is that separates the largest nonprofits from their smaller, localized counterparts. The answer is simple...their message.

The natural tendency of nonprofit leadership is to promote their impact numbers at every opportunity and to everyone they meet.

  • We built 23 homes for impoverished last year.
  • We served 36,000 meals to the homeless.
  • We impacted 832,432,321.5 people last year.
Yes...that last number was a gross exaggeration.

Numbers such as these are important for grant applications, legislative advocacy and the board room. But to the general public...they don't amount to a hill of beans and seldom lead to increased financial or volunteer support. Ultimately, people do not give to a set of numbers and they do not even give to an organization...

They Give To People.

...And that is what separates the giants from the rest of us.

St. Jude's Children Hospital could go on and on about the number of children they treat and families they impact on an annual basis. They could focus on the fact that 5,700 patients receive treatment at the hospital each year; that they have 2.5 million square feet of research facilities; or that their staff published more than 680 articles in professional journals last year...but they don't. When you receive an email, card, or see an ad for St. Jude’s, you hear the story of children like 8-year-old Ryan, a beautiful young lady that loves animals and ice skating; but, also suffers from a rare form of cancer that only affects 20-25 children in the U.S. each year (you can read her story here).

St. Jude's understands that people don't give to numbers...they give to what they can see...hear...and touch...

They Give To People.

This doesn't mean that organizations such as St. Jude's do not discuss numbers. They do, but they take a different approach. For instance, St. Jude's must raise more than $600 million each year to cover operating expenses. Most people cannot formulate a vision of $600 million. However, everyone can envision $1 million, or in the case of St. Jude: $1.6 million - the amount needed to run the organization for 1 day. Moreover, $750 provides a day of chemotherapy for a child.

People cannot imagine their donation making an impact on a $600 million need that affects 5,700 patients. In most individual's minds, these numbers are unobtainable and staggering. However, a $750 need to help a child whose face you have seen, and story you know becomes a very real and obtainable goal.

The "big" nonprofits aren't more successful in fundraising because they have more resources, they are more successful in fundraising because they understand human emotion and tell the story of those they help.

So next time you create another marketing piece sharing every internal metric of your organization and how you helped a "bajillion" people; you should step back and ask: How have we helped one person? Now share that story.

Click here to read our Stories of Hope

To subscribe to email updates my Advancing Hope blog: Click Here
or subscribe to my feed.

Monday, June 6, 2011

June Hopeful Futures eNewsletter

I have released the latest edition of the Hopeful Futures eNewsletter

The June edition features the story of one of Hope's children attending school at The Hope Institute Learning Academy, coverage of The Hope School graduation ceremonies, our participation in Toyota's 100 Cars for Good Program, and information on two upcoming 5k's benefiting Hope.

Hopeful futures is a monthly newsletter designed to highlight Hope's children, programs and community events.  The featured Story of Hope provides our email subscribers an opportunity to read the same stories featured in our monthly direct mail appeals and semi-annual Me Magazine subscription.  To view the June Edition of Hopeful Futures: Click Here.

To subscribe to the Hopeful Futures eNewsletter: Click Here.

To subscribe to email updates my Advancing Hope blog: Click Here
or subscribe to my feed.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Advancing Hope 2.0 - New Design, New Content

Welcome to the newly revamped Advancing Hope!

In the fall of 2010, I launched a redesign of The Hope Institute for Children and Families website.  As part of the redesign, we moved our blog to the newly designed site (which you can view here).  Since that time, has remained vacant, without any updates or new content...but that is about to change...

Starting today, the newly redesigned Advancing Hope, will serve a new purpose by uniting two of my passions:  A love of web design, social media and digital marketing, AND a love of helping nonprofits, especially Hope, succeed in the digital age.

Advancing Hope will offer a mix of digital and social media tips, reviews and ideas for everyone; special content geared to my colleagues in the nonprofit industry; and an intimate look at my work with The Hope Institute for Children and Families.

From tips and content designed to help protect and optimize social media in your personal and professional lives, to marketing ideas and tools for private and nonprofit businesses, to the opportunity to learn more about the organization I love; Advancing Hope will offer value to everyone. 

So Buckle Up!  Subscribe to updates by email! Read more about our digital marketing successes! Check out my personal blog! And prepare for an exciting ride!

Thanks ~ Jarid Brown

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thank you to our 2010 private donors

The Hope Institute would like to extend a thank you to our 2010 corporate donors, whose generosity allows Hope to maintain and grow our services for children with developmental disabilities. In addition, we would like to thank the following companies who contributed services, grants or cash donations in excess of $5,000.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illino isthe largest and most experienced health insurance company in the state, providing more than 6.5 million members with comprehensive and affordable health plans.

Chicago Blackhawks Charities

As the official charity of the Blackhawks, Chicago Blackhawk Charities pledges to support programs and institutions throughout Illinois that work towards creating a better tomorrow for the youth of today.

The Coleman Foundation

The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking foundation established in the state of Illinois in 1951. The Foundation supports educational institutions offering entrepreneurship education across the country, organizations providing cancer care and treatment and conducting cancer research, and agencies providing services for individuals with developmental disabilities only in the Chicago Metropolitan area - its primary geographical focus.

Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation

The Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has a single vison: to ensure every child in Illinois has the opportunity to grow up healthy. Working through grantee partners across the state, the Foundation focuses its grantmaking on identifying and funding solutions to the barriers that prevent children from accessing the ongoing health care they need.

Kinzie Chophouse

“The Best Steakhouse in Chicago and so much more.” An authentic Chicago neighborhood restaurant, The Kinzie Chophouse's warm classic interior is the perfect backdrop for any occasion — from a business lunch, a romantic dinner, friendly neighborhood gathering or an important celebration. An extensive menu, stellar wine list, and great service is woven together for an exceptional dining experience. From the first bite to the last sip, The Kinzie Chophouse sets the standard in great Chicago dining.

LPGA State Farm Classic

Charity begins on the golf course at the LPGA State Farm Classic. Since 1980, the LPGA State Farm Classic has contributed more than $3.5 million dollars has been distributed to charitable organizations throughout the State of Illinois.

The Noll Foundation

The Noll Foundation awards grants nationwide, with an emphasis on education, heath, art and youth services.

O'Brien's Restaurant

Located next to the Chicago River in Old Town, the O'Brien Family welcomes you to an atmosphere of casual dining with a Continental cuisine specializing in prime steak & fresh seafood.

Pepsi Refresh Project

In 2010, the Pepsi Refresh Project awarded grants to two of Hope's programs, the Noll Dental Clinical and The Autism Program of Illinois.

The Philip H. Corboy Foundation / Corboy & Demetrio

Corboy & Demetrio, founded by nationally acclaimed personal injury trial attorneys Philip H. Corboy and Thomas A. Demetrio, is one of the nation’s leading plaintiff personal injury and civil trial practice law firms. Charitable giving and community service has been at the core of Corboy & Demetrio since the firm began over 50 years ago. Corboy and Demetio's philosophy is that “giving back” and helping others are fundamental responsibilities and obligations for all of us.

Shefsky & Froelich, Attorneys at Law

Shefsky & Froelich Ltd., a Chicago-based full-service law firm, was founded in 1970 by a small group of highly motivated attorneys with extensive experience in complex commercial transactions. From this core group, we have grown to over 75 lawyers. Our philosophy remains rooted in our founders’ commitment to provide superior representation by combining the highest-quality legal skills with imagination and innovation.

Thomas H. Maren Foundation

The Thomas H. Maren Foundation awards grants nationwide, with an emphasis on education, heath, art and youth services.

Click here to learn how you can give the gift of Hope.

Click to read original story