How To Succeed at Crowdfunding – Fast!

Crowdfunding: The 21st century’s online phenomenon that holds the promise of dream fulfillment in ways not ever before possible. It’s an amazing thing! The question I’m always asked is how can I succeed—fast?

Below I’ve created a checklist that is designed to bypass all those tedious, labor-intensive recommendations those so-called “experts” are constantly spouting and are nothing but a big, fat […]

Conflict of Interest in Nonprofit Engagement

Given a nonprofit’s purpose to fulfill a community need, it is essential to remain in touch with evolving needs of the community.  The most direct touch point is engagement with clients and constituents. But experience has taught that this is easier said than done.

Is the nonprofit looking just for information? For engagement? For partnership? For ownership and control? It is […]

One Big Reason You Should Start Using Twitter Before You Start Crowdfunding

Twitter has given Google access to its data stream to index tweets, which will allow the search engine to display your tweets in its results in real time. That’s quite a boon for crowdfunders, in my opinion.

This is actually a rekindling of an old relationship between the two behemoths, which expired in 2011.

The effects of the implementation will likely not […]

Want To Succeed? Listen To Those You Serve

Social enterprises need to put customer satisfaction and beneficiary feedback at the center of everything they do. Making what beneficiaries think the most important metric of success is both good management and the right thing to do. My research for REDF this summer as a graduate student intern started with two basic truths. First, the business community recognizes that focusing […]

Are You Guilty of Trickle-Down Community Engagement?

In Seattle, if you’re a person of color and you walk down a dark alley late at night and you feel like you’re being followed, it’s probably someone trying to do some community engagement: “Psst…hey buddy—Go Hawks!—you want to attend a summit? It’s about economic inequity. We need your voice.” “Daddy, I’m scared!” “Stay calm, Timmy; don’t look him in […]

The Nonprofit Branding Bandwagon

I first wrote about the branding bandwagon back in 2007, when it seemed that every large nonprofit I knew was  spending serious money — and I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars —  for corporate style tag lines, logos, commercial partnerships and strategies that they thought would attract media coverage and recognition from potential donors. At the time I complained […]

What Social Media Analytics Can’t Tell You About Your Audience

My colleague, Alexandra Samuel,  has published a report over at Vision Critical based on integrating survey data with consumers actual social media usage versus self-reporting. So, in other words, research respondents opt-in to integrating their answers with their social media profiles. The methodology and report provide some great insights about how to think about social media behaviors of our audience. […]

Tips on How to Get Content Shared on Social Media

This morning I was having a conversation with a colleague about some intriguing discoveries he’d made on his crowdfunding-related website where people are invited to post their videos. While analyzing how and when people tend to click on videos tweeted out, he noticed that when he tweeted a link to someone else’s videos it was clicked on and retweeted far […]

PR Meets Advertising: Start with A Simple Idea

This is the story of an ugly-duckling billboard; an opportunity that was nearly missed; and of a simple idea that created a positive media storm across print, broadcast, online, and social.

It All Started with the Ugly Billboard
The billboard in question sits atop a warehouse building that’s across a shared parking lot from our office, just outside the large windows of […]

Startups: Employees or Independent Contractors?

Good news… your business or organization has more work than you can handle on your own! Now it’s time to hire some help. But before you dive in, there are important issues to consider in terms of the laws that will apply to employees vs independent contractors.
Why does it matter if workers are classified as employees vs. independent contractors?
Simply put, […]

It’s Time for Us Nonprofit Professionals To Take A Break!

My fellow nonprofit professionals, I hope you are reading this from home, because I am calling for our sector to take a long and much needed break. If you are at the office, I want you to put down your pen, save your files, turn off your computer, and take a deep breath. Listen to me: You need to rest […]

Is The Cost of College Killing The Nonprofit Sector?

From recent, extensive media coverage, most people know that the cost of a college education is increasing. That’s an understatement when one looks at the actual numbers. According to the Institute for Higher Eduction Policy the cost of college has increased a whopping 500% since 1985. Compare that to the increase in medical costs over the same period — 286% […]

Nonprofit Crowdfunding Risks

The popularity of nonprofit crowdfunding is undeniable. Last year alone, it is estimated that $5 billion was raised through global crowdfunding with about 30 percent of that total going to social causes. While that figure pales in comparison to the approximately $300 billion raised by charities in the US over the same time period, the number of donation and reward-based […]

Raising Startup Funds from Friends and Family

Raising funds from friends and family often seems like the logical first step for a new business to raise money. After all, you will be hard pressed to find an investor who is willing to shell out funds when your whole business is simply a couple motivated people with a great idea. However, accepting money from friends and family is not as straight […]

10 Steps for Writing a Kick-Ass Nonprofit Organizational Budget

Every year, at about this time, I start having night terrors. A lot of this is due to watching Game of Thrones and seeing all my favorite characters killed to death in gruesome ways. But it is also because VFA’s fiscal year ends in June, and we must go through the annual budgeting process, which is about as much fun […]