Service Sector Snapshot: News and Tips for Nonprofits (January 2015)
Posted Thursday, January 29th, 2015 by Verified Volunteers Staff
It’s hard to believe that we are already one month into the new year! If you’re anything like me, you’re still struggling to stop writing 2014 instead of 2015, and that lofty fitness resolution has seen better days. But despite your personal goals, we hope that your goals and resolutions for your nonprofit organization are still on track.
Near the end of last year, we briefly discussed what 2015 might have in store for the nonprofit sector. And in the first few weeks of this new year there have been no shortage of additional predictions. The Nonprofit Quarterly gets into great detail in this article, “10 Predictions for Nonprofits and Foundations in 2015.”
So what should be on our minds for the year ahead? According to author Rick Cohen, several key topics will hit center stage in 2015, including:
- The presidential election
- The end of big donors and their dominance on the social sector
- More charitable-giving incentives
Do you agree with Rick’s predictions? What will be at the top of your mind the rest of this year?
We realize these are some very big-picture issues, and most of us need to deal with the more day-to-day matters when we come to work. So, in the spirit of constant improvement, here are the tips and tools we’ve gathered for you this month.
Tips and Tools for Nonprofit Managers
The Importance of Blogging
If you’re not blogging for your organization, or you’re just posting occasionally, expect a greater sense of urgency around this effort. According to Joe Waters from Selfish Giving, blogging should be the 2nd most important thing your organization does. In a recent post, Joe outlines that blogging is so much more than writing words – a blog can be or include information, images, video, infographics, surveys…anything you can imagine. A blog is a tool you should use to communicate your efforts. And next to living out your mission statement, the most important thing your organization can do is to communicate what you are doing.
Changes to Make in 2015
There are thousands of blogs out there just like this one. They all have different opinions or ideas about what’ll be important this year and what you could be doing to enhance the success of your nonprofit organization. So we decided to troll the internet for you, and bring you some of the simpler, more attainable, and yet vitally important goals you may want to tackle this year:
- Stillness – Simply put, take a step back from your current situation. Gain insight and perspective on everything going on around you. What does it mean to be still? Check out the article.
- Maintain – Whether you’ve resolved to grow your team this year, or expand your reach, or whatever goal you’ve set for yourself, don’t forget about the things that made you great in 2014. If you had a really close-knit team in 2014, remember to support and nurture those team members and the values that made you work together so well this year too.
- Review – It’s easier said than done, but you must remember to review the goals you set for yourself and your organization this year, and measure the success of each initiative you undertake. Don’t forget to share all of your successes through your blog!
Marketing Tips for Nonprofits
In 2015, communication is key.. Mary Ann Keeling’s blog post for GetSocial highlights 4 key marketing tips – all revolving around communication – for nonprofit organizations in 2015:
- Multiply your leverage with partnerships – Whether with a like organization or a local icon or sports figure, truly meaningful and successful partnerships can help drive donations and support.
- Take your marketing online – If you’re not already online, 2015 should be the year you engage with digital audiences. Whether through a more interactive website, blogging, or e-newsletters, ensure you’re connecting with younger generations.
- Get involved in social media – Make sure your organization has at least a basic social media presence. Twitter, Facebook, Google, and blogs are a great way to engage with “fan” groups. Once your social media is all set up, be sure to develop guidelines for maintaining your accounts and keeping new content flowing out through these channels.
- Track your results – being online is just step one. It is crucial that you track the success of various social media campaigns to understand what is successful and what you can improve on.
News in the Service Sector
- Advertising for nonprofits: Tailor your wording to reinforce your message.
- ACT FAST: Participate in the Nonprofit Annual Finance Survey.
- What can a Millennial teach you about fundraising?
- What does your nonprofit overhead look like?
- Did you watch the State of the Union? 7 Key Nonprofit Themes Pulled from the Speech.