Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at an event for the Public Relations Society of America – National Capital Chapter (@prsa, @prsa_ncc). We fielded some fantastic questions from the audience, and many asked how many social media channels, tools, or platforms is the right number to use.
I reused a very appropriate analogy I heard last year (more about that later). Have you ever been to a house party, where everyone ends up crowding around in the kitchen, while the host tries to herd folks out to the living room, where the cupcakes and comfy couches are? You have to decide what type of host you want to be – the ones who tries to interrupt good conversations and push people into the other room, or the one who goes with the flow and remembers that the point of the party is to have a good time, not to show off the new furniture.
When it comes to reaching your audience online, you need to figure out where they are, not where you want them to be. That probably means:
So what’s the right social media channel, tool or platform for your organization? The answer is, find out where and how your audience is spending time, and go to them. So go ahead, grab that tray of cupcakes and take it into the kitchen. Your audience, and your sanity, will thank you.
I’ve taken the liberty of appropriating and modifying the kitchen analogy from the very insightful Mary Nahorniak (@maryvale), Social Media Editor at USA Today, who spoke at the “Get It Online” lunch discussion group I host at The National Press Club (@pressclubdc). She probably tells it better than I do!
Relationship management is the key to creating and sustaining success between a nonprofit and its constituents. It is critical to understand how much your organization has raised, who is donating funds, and how the organization can maintain these relationships and create new ones through various campaigns. Along with having a defined digital strategy, nonprofits can improve their organization’s constituent relationships with a Customer Relationship Manager, or CRM.
In this article we’ll take a look at some of the best CRMs and how they can work for your nonprofit.
Blue State Digital’s BSD Tools can support you with anything from engaging target audiences to executing calls to action. The company’s suite of fundraising tools uses innovation and experience to reach organization targets. Among the many unique features in BSD Tools is The Mailer which can segment and target specific audience groups for email campaigns based on a list of variables including past actions and demographics. BSD Tools also includes Canvass, a way to effectively track and manage all your organization’s offline outreach.
NeonCRM provides numerous options that are very reasonably priced for systems of all constituent sizes, from 500 records to over 500,000. NeonCRM is an All-in-One solution that allows tracking of fundraising, membership, event registration, online store purchases, email communications, and volunteers within one system. The integrated online forms also make it easy for donors to set up recurrent payment schedules and see the impact they’re making in real-time with real-time payment processing.
Ideal For: Nonprofits looking for a user-friendly, one-stop-shop for their organization’s needs.
Salsa’s platform provides options that are not only great for tracking the bottom line, but for organizing data that’s crucial to growing your organization. Salsa offers different pricing options based on the number of campaign managers using the product. Some unique features with Salsa include access to Salsa Commons, a network of over 100 partners committed to helping you succeed, and options to add and manage organization chapters.
Ideal For: Nonprofits looking to track and organize fundraising and donor data, as well as better organize communication at every level within the organization.
DonorPerfect is a widely used CRM that can either be installed as software on your computer or accessed online from anywhere, even your mobile devices. DonorPerfect’s system allows anyone within your organization to track and organize constituents. The DonorPerfect CRM comes with over 100 reporting options, or options to create your own reports, so any metrics your organization could need are right at your fingertips.
Ideal For: Medium to large nonprofits wanting an extremely customizable product to work alongside your organization’s accounting software.
For organizations with a large constituent base, Convio Luminate provides a robust system, accessible from anywhere, that can be used by everyone involved in fundraising for your organization. Some key attributes for Convio Luminate include tons of customizable application add-ons, and TeamRaiser. TeamRaiser is an online application through Luminate which mobilizes and engages peer-to-peer fundraisers.
Ideal For: Large nonprofits seeking an enterprise level, customizable CRM to manage large and expanding amounts of data.
Salesforce’s Foundation CRM system for nonprofits is a cloud-based system with up to the minute reports, real-time tracking, and analytics. The CRM platform for Salesforce provides scalability to grow with your members and donors. Your organization can also customize your CRM with specifically designed and developed apps for the Salesforce platform.
Ideal For: Medium to large nonprofits analyzing large amounts of constituent data who want to pick and choose specific CRM features to meet the organizations needs.
Need more help figuring out which solution is right for you? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This past week, we attended the NGLCC Certify Your Success 2012 Conference. The NGLCC have been longtime partners of Social Driver and we were ecstatic to see the conference sell out for the first time. To add a little buzz to the conference, we decided to rank all 118 of NGLCC’s Corporate Partners (Top Companies like HBO, American Express, Southwest Airlines, etc.) based on their web, social, and mobile. We picked 12 criteria to grade everyone by, weighted each criteria based on how important we thought it was, and thus came up with each companies’ Social Leader score.
We put together a simple microsite to show how each company stacked up – sortable both by name or by score. Our 12 metrics included:
Writing an RFP (request for proposal) can be an arduous process to say the least. Organizing your entire company and trying to agree on what your website will look like is not an easy job. However, if you are about to engage in a website redesign, providing an RFP to your prospective vendors helps you clarify your own goals and gives the vendor a better sense of the project so that they can provide you with an accurate cost and time estimate. Imagine trying to write a research paper without first drafting an outline. You need to know where you are going before you can get there.
A good web design agency will ask you all these questions before sending you a proposal. Make sure that whoever you are working with clearly understands what you are trying to accomplish before you pay them to build you something. You wouldn’t hire an architect without a detail project plan and web design is no different.
Want to see examples of great nonprofit website designs? Download our list of the 38 Best Nonprofit Websites of 2013 and be inspired!
We’re providing 75 questions to help you guide your RFP process. Not all of the answers to these questions need to be included in the final RFP, but we urge you to think through all of them carefully. Some of your answers may be “I don’t know!” and that’s completely okay.
Looking to request a proposal? Get in touch with us here and we’d be happy to help you with the RFP process.
Photo credit: The Koncrete Pigs
There are many challenges that every startup faces. From scheduling to billing to sales, choosing the right tools to help you get the job done can make a huge difference. Here are our favorite tools we use everyday:
If you subscribe to our blog, you should already know we’re huge Contactually fans. Contactually’s founder, Zvi Band, created this tool for you to organize your network of contacts. Contactually remembers to keep in touch with your network for you, so you never miss an opportunity for business or professional development.
LaunchRock helps you set up a social “launching soon” page in just minutes. This service is perfect if you’re building a website, but would like to give a preview of what’s to come. You can create the landing page and promote it through LaunchRock’s Announcement Bar and your social media outlets. Work hard and you might just be featured on LaunchRock’s discovery network (coming soon).
Our friends at Hubspot have created grader.com, which is a suite of tools designed to measure and analyze your marketing efforts. There are four grades to earn. (1) Marketing.Grader.com grades your entire marketing funnel (2) Book.Grader.com is for book authors and measures how they market their books (3) TwitterGrader.com measures the power, authority, and reach of a Twitter user and (4) Search.Grader determines which keywords your website is ranking for and measures your SEO.
Are you sick of scheduling meetings and events using Google cal, iCal, email, Outlook, and every other service? Bring them together with Doodle. Doodle allows you to propose various meeting times and places to multiple recipients and to receive feedback on availability through a poll. Better yet, it’s 100% free and is available on mobile.
The innovators behind Piktochart want your information to be beautiful. They allow you to create professional and appealing infographics in under 30 minutes. Their infographics can be embedded in presentations, websites, and posted on Facebook. Say goodbye to boring pie charts and bar graphs.
Ever miss whiteboard sketch sessions? Mockups allows you to get your ideas out of your head and on to your screen without a marker and eraser. Construct a slick wireframe, get real-time feedback from coworkers and stakeholders and share it with developers within minutes.
How do you ensure your tweets don’t get lost in the black hole that is the Twitterverse? Buffer attacks this problem with a simple solution: create a queue of content you want to share, pick the times you want to share your tweets, and Buffer posts your content for you. With an elegant interface, multiple web browser plugins, mobile apps and even compatibility with major content producers, Buffer is tweeps’ best friend.
It’s hard to argue with their slogan (“Expense Reports That Don’t Suck”). Through one affordable and easy-to-use account, Expensify (1) handles bank statements, credit card bills and paper receipts (2) calculates mileage (3) syncs with Quickbooks and other accounting programs (4) helps new companies set expense regulations and (5) even has mobile apps to help you keep track of expenses on the move.
The road from lead generation to deal closing has never been smoother. Better than any spreadsheet or outline, Pipeline allows you to have real-time overview of your deal pipeline with built-in reporting, goal setting, and complete customization options. Each lead has its own email address – you can BCC emails with you leads to create a storage facility of deal history, so all members of your team are up to speed.
A fledgling startup invariably gets through an inordinate amount of paperwork and contracts. It’s easier than ever to sign contracts with business partners, clients and employees when you’re all in three different places. It’s fast, secure, and much more fun to sign your documents online.
What are your favorite tools? Let us know in the comments which ones we missed and what you use them for.
We’ve heard it time and time again: “it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” Indeed, networking is more crucial than ever, but let’s be real – who has time for all those follow-up emails, phone calls, and lunch dates when we already struggle to balance our current professional and personal relationships? Contactually, we have a solution.
Yes – Contactually, created by dynamic entrepreneurs Zvi Band, Tony Cappaert, and Jeff Carbonella, is a relationship management tool developed to link with your email account to ensure your relationships and conversations remain consistent and meaningful. Personalized alerts are sent to your inbox reminding you to contact prospective clients, old college friends, and family members you haven’t connected with in awhile. Contactually remembers to keep in touch with your connections for you.
One of the most difficult things about moving to a new CRM or email contact management tool is retroactively assigning categories (or “buckets” as Contactually calls them) to your individual contacts. Contactually solved this with a clever feature called “The Bucket Game.” With keyboard shortcuts and visual cues, you’ll be able to sort hundreds of contacts in a matter of minutes.
The idea behind Contactually began while Zvi was consulting at his previous venture, skeevisArts. He realized success happened by connecting people, learning about what they do, and exchanging ideas. However, no platform was available to warn him if he was falling out of touch with his email contacts. Zvi followed his entrepreneurial drive and focused on building a strong product and team to solve his networking conundrum. Contactually has been featured in various media outlets including Mashable, The Washington Post, and TechCrunch.
Business aside, Zvi is passionate for the local DC tech community and is proud to headquarter his business in the District. He strives to foster growth for the DC tech scene and keep it thriving. Learn more about Contactually by watching Zvi’s presentation at our Social Driver’s Ed series.