Communications Assessments: Looking Within to Communicate Out

Communicating to a Group

By David Deschenes

“When you consider our limited staff and marketing budget, we put out a LOT of information – bi-annual fundraising letters, quarterly newsletters, flyers, and an annual report. We also send more than 30 e-blasts a year and have a robust presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s all important, timely and informative communications. But we’re struggling to keep up with it. We rely on other departments to get us at least the starting content for our collateral, and we often can’t get it when we need it. We feel like we’re always scrambling or trying to ‘wing it’ with content that’s owned by others.”

This was one of the primary concerns we heard at our first meeting with a new client who had hired us to conduct a communications assessment – a top-to-bottom audit of all current marketing and communications efforts in practice by the organization. [Read more…]

Data-Driven Philanthropy Drives Donor Relationships

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By Sharon Danosky

Most people think of fundraising as an “art”, — the skill of communication, crafting the right story, convincing donors to give to you.  While that may be true – there is a lot more to the story.

Good fundraising begins with data – good data.  To build a solid fundraising plan you need to be firing on all gears – and that cannot be left to the luck of the draw – or some heart-wrenching story.  You need to know who to ask; how much to ask for; what their interests are; what they have given in the past; what they are likely to give in the future and how they respond to different requests.  In short – you need DATA. [Read more…]

3 Key Considerations for Crisis Management

crisismanagemetBy David Deschenes

There are all kinds of issues and crises that can arise on any given day for a nonprofit. Ask an executive director if they’ve recently dealt with an issue that had a potential negative impact on their organization’s standing and they’ll most likely reply, “What? Of course!” There is no shortage.

Yet many nonprofits find themselves unprepared when it comes to communicating through a crisis. Following are three essential steps that all nonprofit organizations should take to be prepared for the next crisis or urgent issue that challenges their good reputation. [Read more…]

The LEAP Program:
Five Years of Shaping Future Nonprofit Leaders

“Nobody teaches this stuff!” That’s what one of our past LEAP participants said as others around her nodded in agreement. This was someone who had come up through the ranks to earn a well-deserved Executive Director role. But after accepting the position, she discovered that there were major issues with the budget, and a number of grants were close to deadline. In addition, there were personnel issues that needed to be handled with care. She thought she knew the organization inside & out, but quickly discovered that she was not familiar with the many intricacies of running a nonprofit. Being at the top had turned out to be a lonely place. Then someone suggested The Leadership Enrichment for Advancing Professionals (LEAP) program. [Read more…]

Cohort Groups: Support for Those Who Are Supposed to Know Everything

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“A question for Executive Directors everywhere. Do you have a cohort group? A group of people who are also Executive Directors, understand your challenges and provide you an opportunity to talk, share, learn, grow and mentor others. If not – you should. Being an Executive Director can be one of the loneliest jobs – there is literally no one you can confide in. Perhaps your spouse or significant other – but that gets old pretty fast. A cohort group make a huge difference. [Read more…]