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Posts Tagged ‘non-profit’

3 Ways Social Media Is Hurting Your Organization

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Picture this—a small organization is looking for new ways to gain public awareness; people keep telling them they need to implement social media, but that’s all they know. So, they make accounts, and then abandon them due to lack of understanding or time.

This is a common tale, as many clubs, organizations, small businesses, and non-profits are looking for new ways to expand with a small budget, but they only hear the advice “get more social media,” without any further explanation. What does that mean?

  1. Just Having The Account Isn’t Enough

Creating a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media account is great, but if you don’t post or don’t post often, you would be better off without them. An account that is never used makes an organization look like it’s inactive and will not attract new awareness or involvement.

It’s important to be strategic about which platforms you select. If you have a limited amount of time to devote to your social media presence, select platforms that will best showcase your organization. For example, if your non-profit could be best featured visually, then choose a platform that is picture based, like Instagram, instead of posting ‘occasionally’ on multiple platforms that are ineffective.

  1. Forgetting Your Core Members

Social media can be a great way to reach new people or those currently involved in your organization, but don’t abandon your old channels of communication in hopes that social media will do everything for you.

There will be some members of your organization that will never get a Facebook or Twitter, but are tireless volunteers that read your mailed newsletter every month. Don’t forget about them!

  1. Stop Selling

Just as no one likes someone who only talks about themselves, no one likes an organization that only talks about themselves either. Although an organization wants social media to promote and spread awareness, they must think beyond advertisements.

Think of your social media presence like you’re building a new friendship. Be intentional about making small talk with your followers, finding common interests, and showing them that you care about their interests. Engage with them using interesting content, instead of selling them the same product.

Will you be one in five?

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

A Reuters poll suggests that 20% of people would prefer to spend Valentine’s Day with their pet rather than a partner. If you’re one of those people – or just need a break for some Valentine’s Day loving – you can be part of the animal adoption revolution in Cincinnati.

There are approximately three million animals euthanized each year in the United States. However, it will only take one out of every five individuals interested in adding a pet to their family to help prevent these tragic deaths. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that this year 17 million families will bring a new pet into their home. Just a fraction of these eager, potential pet owners can offer a second chance at life for the millions of animals in shelters around the country.

My Furry Valentine, a non-profit organization bringing together potential pets and potential pet owners from around the Greater Cincinnati area, is raising awareness and encouraging people to consider choosing pets from animal rescues and shelters when looking for their next pet – as there are so many wonderful animals in rescues and shelters waiting for good homes. This annual gathering has found homes for more than 1,300 animals, with a goal of finding a loving family for another 550 this weekend. The event will take place Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15 at the Sharonville Convention Center.

Interested in adding a pet to your family – but not sure when and how? We invite you to be curious and proactive by visiting My Furry Valentine. Learn more about your local shelters and rescues, visit with some of the adoptable animals, and maybe find your next furry friend.

Be one in five to help join the fight in saving the lives of millions. Will you give these animals a second chance?


Ann Keeling says:

Some of the best pets are those found at shelters and rescues. Speaking from experience all of our cats and dogs have come from a local shelter or rescue. Animals seem to have an innate sense of gratitude knowing that they were saved – and they are loyal for life.


Here are two of our kids, Sam and Winston, who were rescues, one found tied to a truck on the side of the road in Lexington; the other brought to a kill-shelter as a puppy because his breeder didn’t like how he looked. They are phenomenal and our lives would not be complete without them.

Will the Moustache Stay Beyond Nov. 30?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Facial hair is starting to become as synonymous with November as turkey. With Movember (the month to for dudes to grow facial hair in support of men’s health/issues) on a roll, we’re taking a look at the campaign and whether or not these offbeat engagement strategies are working for nonprofit organizations.

From joining a community of Mo Bros to participating in the Running of the Mos, Movember has found a way to reach out to men in a fashion that would never have worked if it were just about ribbons (pink or otherwise) and being serious. Using humor and ol’ fashioned stereotypes of men, Movember has succeeded in becoming cool and socially acceptable. According to Dan Zenka, the senior vice president of communications for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, “Men are very different from women. They’re not going to put on the T-shirts and do the runs. [Movember] is really suited to the male psyche,” (The Huffington Post).

Movember is one of many marketing initiatives incorporating creative nontraditional tactics to attract a wider-audience. But this tactic might not be the most successful for both raising funds and getting the right message across to the public. While the idea of these campaigns is good in theory – it can fall short of affecting real change. When relating to the individuals who are suffering with the illnesses, many feel that these gimmicks create distance from those truly at stake. That said, sometimes the best way for a foundation to generate awareness and buzz is through an off-beat and aggressive campaign. Once the nonprofit has its name out there, it can leverage its elevated position to promote more cause-focused messaging.

Ann Keeling says:

Initiatives like Movember and the Ice Bucket Challenge are two phenomenal examples of thinking WAY outside the box to engage the public at large AND drive massive levels of awareness.  Movember has grown its notoriety and association with men’s health issues massively in a relatively short period of time.  If a woman sees a guy with a mustache or beard in November, she may make a rather automatic assumption that he’s participating in Movember, even if he’s not.  That’s the power of a great public engagement strategy.

Smitten with the CEO – and your CV?

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Here at CK, we work closely – as a company and as individuals – with non-profit organizations as volunteers, board members, and supporters. We also partner with a number of non-profit clients in advancing their marketing communications objectives.

So this post on the top mistakes made by non-profit boards and their executive directors was of particular interest to us. This point, on not falling in love with the non-profit’s leader, could also apply to working with private companies:

Even if you have the world’s greatest CEO, that CEO will benefit from your bringing your scrutiny and thinking to the organization’s work and to his or her performance.

CEOs are often charismatic and hyper-intelligent, so it is natural to be (at least at first) a bit awe-struck by them. But it’s important to remember that they are your client and they need you to guide them, not idolize them. Your expertise will help them keep the lights on. Your adoration? Not so much.

Ann Keeling says:

It’s really helpful to examine your own motivations for being involved in non-profit work, particularly at the board level. We all know professionals who may commit to board work simply to broaden their CV. Non-profits need professionals with experience who can help elevate the organization, and the smart non-profits leverage the crap out of board member experience and connections. Those of us who make a commitment to non-profit board work because we think it’s the right thing to do don’t appreciate those CV-loving professionals – they are typically the perennial no-shows at board meetings or don’t commit to any work beyond their board seat. Why bother? 

Ice, Ice Baby.

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge is the hottest thing on social media. From Mark Zuckerberg to Oprah Winfrey, Ethel Kennedy to Bill Gates, Tory Burch to Christian Ronaldo – people around the world are taking the dunk to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The disease affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, progressively degenerating the motor neurons, resulting in paralysis – and eventually leading to death. There is no cure for ALS – so what exactly is pouring a bucket of ice on your head doing to help?

Public relations and marketing professionals believe in the value of social media and the power of a hashtag. Traditionalists frequently attempt to undermine the influence of Facebook and Twitter, especially in a nonprofit setting. Some in leadership positions have difficulty determining the worth of social media and, even those who know it’s an activity that organizations should be participating in, still delegate the management to an intern rather than making it a line item on the annual budget. But #strikeoutALS is just another example of how much non-profits can gain by taking the plunge (ice or no ice) and investing in social media.

Former Boston College baseball player, Pete Frates, a patient of ALS inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge. By August 6 the challenge had taken Boston by storm and two weeks later it is still going strong – even generating international exposure. It’s a relatively simple initiative: Challenge three friends via social media to fill up a bucket of ice and dump it on their head or donate $100 to the ALS Foundation. All it takes to be trending in August 2014? A pitcher of ice cold water, a social media account, and a smart phone.

Some say the campaign is a purposeless social awareness initiative, where people click and post online for social causes without really caring about the beneficiary. Vice reporter described the Ice Bucket challenge as “narcissism masked as altruism.” Slate writer Will Oremus urged people to not take the challenge and donate money instead.

But, cynics should hold their fire. Narcissism is often part of philanthropy, “we give because we want to make the world a better place and be know as the person who helps the world become a better place.” And with as much ridicule as there might have been, there is no denying the effectiveness of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Last year, the ALS Association raised $1.7 million from July 29 – August 17. During the same period this year, the association has raised over $15 million contributed by over 300,000 new donors. And buckets are still being filled and spilled. What’s next on tap for charities to take over the newsfeed? Planking? “Let It Go” Sing Off? The options are endless.