Category Archives: Effectiveness

Social Media – Not Just For Millennials

Any person reading this article likely uses and appreciates social media.

It may surprise you to learn that your donors increasingly also use and appreciate social media to keep informed of their charities.

In my business use of social media, I’ve seen a similar trend. My target client, a senior company executive, is increasingly monitoring social media or relying on it for research.

So if you think that only millennials get their information online, think again and revise your communication plans.

Donors’ increasing use of social media is one of the takeaways from The Burk Donor Survey for 2016 (Click here).

Mark Miller, social media commentator and former White House communications professional, posted an article drawing from the Burk Survey (Click here).

The data suggests that fundraisers should use occasional social media posts to convey a charity’s goals and fundraising needs and to show the link between donations and results.

Excerpts from the Miller article:

“If you think social media is just for young donors, consider that 68 percent of donors 65 and older follow at least one nonprofit on social media — that’s more than triple the figure of 21 percent just five years ago. As younger donors mature, we can expect those numbers to grow even more.”

The top four reasons donors said they follow nonprofits:

Get real-time information on current projects.

See how recent gifts are being used.

Get general background on the nonprofit.

View images that show the nonprofit’s work.

“Social media is a powerful and efficient channel to communicate impact and demonstrate need. Donors love to see success stories, and they need the organizations to connect their giving to those accomplishments.”

The Burk Survey generates over 28 thousand responses. These social media survey results were not skewed by a young respondent pool. 42% of respondents were over 65 years of age and 49% were between 35 and 64.

Time to re-evaluate our communications strategy.

Non-profit Boards Rate Themselves

OvrhdBdTableOur research finds that too often board members lack the skill set, depth of knowledge, and engagement required to help their organizations succeed,” says accounting professor David F. Larcker, the lead researcher.”

So concludes the Stanford Graduate School of Business survey of members of non-profit boards of directors.

The survey of 924 non-profit board members paints a pessimistic portrait of non-profit board member capability as characterized by fellow board members.

A mitigating factor, echoed by experienced board advisors, was that many boards were fortunate to have at least a handful of directors who were both capable and engaged.

To read the article from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser –

The personal and professional risk faced by a board member who is inadequate to the task is made clear in a recent Court of Appeals decision placing several million dollars of personal liability on board members.

The court concluded that non-profit boards share a similar standard to that of for-profit boards,  “the standard of director conduct applied by the appeals court is quite similar to that which might be applied to a traditional (business) corporate board.”

This case was reported on an article on Huff Post by Eugene Fram of the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Click here or copy and paste this link into your browser ––business-direc_b_7007414.html

So, add this item to your checklist when considering joining a board.  read my prior article “Before Joining a Non-profit Board.

Amazing Lemonade Stand Story

VivienneLemonadeStandVivienne Harr, a 10-year old girl in the SF Bay area, and her parents, made a lemonade stand to sell fair-trade organic lemonade to raise money to stop child slavery.

That project took off thanks to Vivienne’s precocious personality and her father’s social media skills.

That led to development of an app to rapidly enable anyone to establish a fundraising tool for the charity of their choice.

Currently still in beta, the app is taking requests for invitations.  Sign up at

Read the whole amazing story on The New York Times “Dealbook” (Click Here)

Watch a charming video and read what “Make A Stand” is about (Click Here).




Internet as Great Leveler

DavidGoliathUse of the Internet and social media to drive awareness of your non-profit and its goals can enable your campaign results to outperform expectations as shown by results of a study recently published in “Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly”.

The Internet and social media campaigns measured in this study defied the conventional wisdom about the campaign value and power of indicators such as contribution efficiency and organization size.

My takeaway from this article, therefore, is that the Internet levels the playing field to a great extent.

While this should be obvious to those of us familiar with the power and reach of the Internet, it should be a wake-up call for those not.

A new or small non-profit can effectively use a well crafted message delivered via the Internet and redistributed via social media to gain attention and donations well out of proportion with its size.

We’ve seen several impromptu campaigns go viral on the Internet to great success.

Many of the viewers of these Internet messages may not be easily reached by other means.

Even if your target donor base is older, wealthy donors not tethered to their digital screens, these mature donors likely have staffs and advisers who monitor worthy causes online and would search the Internet to evaluate a potential cause.

We probably all know well regarded, well established non-profits that have stuck with traditional forms of solicitation such as snail mail.

While these means will likely continue to produce results, they should be supplemented by new digital methods.

Copy and paste this link to read the article on EurekAlerts:

Power of Video Even in Another Language

Watch the power of video even when you can’t understand what they’re saying, at least I can’t.

Today reported the following: “Norwegian charity SOS Children’s Villages hit a viral nerve this week with an ad to raise money for Syrian children that has garnered 3 million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours.”


Click here to go to Today’s story.

Video is a Powerful Tool

I’m an advocate of using video.  Most of my sites are primarily video now.

For those considering video, the firm highlighted below may be helpful to make the move to video.

This firm sponsors the “DoGooder Awards”, which the site describes as “Shining a light on the best and brightest in video for social good”.

I’ve embedded one of See3’s videos and included a link to its website and Youtube channel.

Click here for the See3 website.

Click here for the See3 Youtube channel.

Measuring Effectiveness

GraphicIn what seems a major development, three major firms which evaluate non-profit performance challenge the widely held view that the percentage spent on overhead is a valid measure of a charity’s performance.  The link below leads to the full article with further links to the source.

Click here.

Or copy and paste this link: