Creating a Robust Language Guide for Nonprofits

Creating a Robust Language Guide for Nonprofits

Creating a Robust Language Guide for Nonprofits

This post is an additional resource to Digital Marketing Therapy podcast episode 221.

Ever felt lost in translation, even when everyone’s speaking the same language? Welcome to the club. A language guide, like a compass, points us toward clearer communication.

I remember my first time navigating corporate jargon – it was like deciphering hieroglyphics! It made me realize how important common ground is for effective conversation.

Let’s jump into language guides. We’ll uncover key elements of a good language guide and why they matter. We’ll delve into inclusive language, its significance, and how you can adopt it in your organization.

The end game? A comprehensive yet practical toolkit that helps communicate with empathy and clarity. Ready to turn confusion into connection?

Table of Contents:

Understanding the Language Guide

A language guide serves as a roadmap for communication. It outlines how we express ourselves and interact with others. Much like following GPS directions on an unfamiliar road, a language guide helps us navigate complex conversations.

The importance of a language guide cannot be overstated. It’s more than just grammar rules or vocabulary lists—it shapes our understanding and expression of ideas, feelings, and information. But why does this matter?

Imagine trying to assemble furniture without instructions—confusing right? A language guide works similarly by providing clear directions for effective communication in different contexts such as academic writing, business meetings, social interactions etc.

This doesn’t only address the search intent for “Language guide”, but it also promotes clarity, consistency, inclusivity in communications—an essential aspect in today’s globalized world where miscommunication can lead to unintended consequences.

Language Guide Overview

In essence, a language guide is akin to your trusty compass, directing you towards successful verbal and written interactions. You see: not all words are created equal. The way we use them—their tone or context—can greatly impact their meaning and reception by others.

If used effectively though (and that’s where your handy-dandy language guides come into play), they can bridge cultural gaps; eliminate confusion; even help avoid potential conflicts.

The Importance of Language Guides

  • Cultivates empathy: By using inclusive terminology suggested by these guides—we foster environments conducive to mutual respect & understanding between diverse groups;
  • Promotes effective communication: Imagine speaking ‘English’ in France and ‘French’ in England. Language guides help ensure we’re all on the same page, no matter where we are;
  • Encourages learning: These resources provide an opportunity to expand our linguistic horizons, appreciate different cultures & dialects.

Language guides can thus play a pivotal role—making communication not just possible but meaningful. After all, it’s not always about what you say; often—it’s how you say it.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of a language guide as your communication GPS. It does more than just list grammar rules or vocab—it shapes how we share ideas and feelings. Used well, it clears up confusion, bridges cultural gaps, and even prevents conflicts. With the help of a language guide, you can promote understanding between diverse groups and make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Key Elements of a Language Guide

A language guide is not just about grammar rules and syntax. It’s also an opportunity to foster inclusivity, sensitivity, and understanding through our words.

Understanding Message Types and Field Numbers

The core of any language guide involves breaking down the message types we use every day. For instance, in communication apps like Slack or Teams, different message types can include direct messages (DMs), channel posts, or thread replies.

We also need to understand field numbers. Think of them as unique identifiers that help keep track of which parts belong where in a sentence structure—kinda like putting together IKEA furniture.

Exploring Inclusive Language

Never has it been more essential to be inclusive. Inclusive language matters because it creates an environment where everyone feels respected and seen for who they are.

This means moving beyond gendered terms like “guys”, replacing ableist phrases such as “turning a blind eye”, or avoiding culturally insensitive idioms that may offend certain communities.

The Impact of Identity-First Language

“Identity-first”, sounds empowering right? That’s because it is. By allowing individuals to define themselves first – whether by their profession (“doctor”), nationality (“American”) or even health status (“autistic person”) – identity-first language gives control back into the hands of the individual.

An effective way to implement this would be asking someone how they prefer being referred to instead of making assumptions based on what you think might be appropriate.

Remember folks, when developing your own organization’s language guide, consider the importance of understanding message types and field numbers. More importantly, be mindful about using inclusive language to promote respect and sensitivity among all members. And lastly, let identity-first language take center stage in your communication strategy – because we’re not just talking words here; it’s people’s identities at stake.

Key Takeaway: 

A robust language guide goes beyond grammar, fostering inclusivity and understanding. It involves breaking down daily message types and using unique identifiers for sentence structure clarity. Emphasize inclusive language that respects everyone’s identities and let people define themselves first in communication – because words shape our world.

Creating an Inclusive Language Guide

Making a language guide that respects and celebrates diversity is no small feat. But, it’s essential to create a workplace culture where everyone feels seen and valued.

The first step in creating an inclusive language guide is acknowledging the diversity within your team. People from a variety of backgrounds, possessing different experiences and outlooks, exist.

Incorporating diverse populations means being aware of how certain terms might affect different people. Some words may seem harmless but could potentially be offensive or triggering for others due to historical or cultural reasons.

This is where addressing bias comes into play. Bias can sneak into our speech patterns without us even realizing it. An effective language guide helps pinpoint these biases so we can work towards eliminating them.

Promoting Equity through Communication

Promotion of equity should be at the heart of every communication strategy, including your language guide. Ensuring equity requires providing individuals with the resources they need to succeed, tailored to their unique situations.

Drafting Guidelines for Developing a Language Guide

  • Create clear definitions: The most effective guides don’t leave room for interpretation when it comes to using respectful terms.
  • Solicit input: Ask employees from all levels and departments what they think would make communication more inclusive.
  • Educate staff: Host workshops or seminars explaining why this initiative matters.

Collaboration Is Key

  • Avoid making decisions in isolation: Collaboration fosters buy-in among stakeholders which makes implementing change easier.
  • Foster open dialogue: Encourage team members to share their experiences and suggestions. This can help identify potential blind spots.
  • Testimonials from various stakeholders: Include testimonials in the guide, this will provide examples of how others talk about the organization. It’s a great idea to adopt techniques that foster inclusivity.

Remember, creating an inclusive language guide isn’t just about avoiding offensive terms; it’s also about choosing words that make everyone feel valued and respected.

Key Takeaway: 

Creating a language guide that champions diversity is key to fostering an inclusive workplace. Start by acknowledging team diversity, then understand how words can impact different people. Aim for equity in communication and solicit input from all employees when drafting guidelines. Remember: collaboration and open dialogue are crucial, and the goal isn’t just avoiding offense—it’s making everyone feel valued.

Implementing the Language Guide

So, you’ve got your language guide. But how can you make it operational in your organization? Well, let’s look at some practical steps.

The first step is training on the language guide. This shouldn’t be a one-off thing; it should be an ongoin’ part of staff trainin’ plans. It helps everyone understand why this change is happening and how they can contribute positively.

We need to consider legal implications as well. You see, language has power and misuse of certain terms could land us in hot water legally speaking. To avoid any missteps here, getting legal advice when developing or modifying our guide might not be such a bad idea.

Social Media Usage & The Language Guide

In today’s digital age, social media plays a significant role in communication strategies. Therefore integrating the developed language guide into these platforms becomes vital too.

How about we draft clear guidelines for all team members managing official accounts? These will include specifics on tone of voice and word choice aligned with our inclusive principles from the guide. Here are some additional tips on crafting social media content with inclusivity in mind.

Policies help keep things fair and consistent within organizations – that includes communication practices too. By including specific clauses relating to respectful interaction using our new-found linguistic prowess could make implementing changes smoother. Here’s an example of a policy that prioritizes respect in communication.

Involving stakeholders from various departments can help us make sure the new guidelines are feasible and relevant. Plus, it’ll give everyone a sense of ownership.

The Role of Media Coverage

Finally, media coverage is an important component of our organization’s outreach. This could be press releases or interviews – any public-facing content really.

We need to ensure consistency here too because this is where our organization’s voice will reach further than ever before. To maintain uniformity across all channels, let’s prepare some templates for common scenarios using our language guide principles.

Key Takeaway: 

Getting your language guide to work in your nonprofit means training staff consistently, considering legal aspects, and integrating it into social media strategies. Be mindful of policy implications while involving stakeholders for relevance. And don’t forget about consistency in public-facing content like press releases.

Evaluating Your Language Guide

It’s crucial to evaluate your language guide. It’s akin to getting a medical exam; you need to guarantee everything is running as expected. This involves looking at the effectiveness of your language guide and seeing if any revisions or updates are needed.

The evaluation process starts with analyzing how well the guide meets its objectives. If the goal was inclusivity, does it cover all aspects of diverse communication? Is there room for more nuanced expressions that cater to different groups within your organization?

Consider seeking feedback from those who use this tool daily – employees, stakeholders, even customers. Their insights can help pinpoint areas where improvements might be necessary.

Tips on Revising Your Language Guide

To start revising your document, compile all feedback received during evaluation and categorize them based on themes or issues raised.

Next up: tackle each issue head-on. Look at suggestions made by users and see how these could enhance clarity in communication while maintaining respect for diversity and inclusion principles already established in the original draft.

In case some parts need updating due to changes within the company or industry trends (we know change is inevitable), do so keeping relevance top-of-mind.

Maintaining Relevance in an Ever-Changing Landscape

We live in dynamic times which means we have new terms entering our lexicon every day (Hello ‘Zoom fatigue’.). Therefore, keep abreast with emerging terminology relevant to both internal operations and external interactions involving clients/customers/stakeholders etc., because let’s face it – nobody wants their lingo stuck in yesteryears.

Your language guide isn’t carved into stone but rather etched onto a whiteboard – open for continuous tweaks based on evolving needs and norms.

Finally, remember to share updated versions with everyone in the organization. A language guide that isn’t known or used is like a secret recipe lost in an old cookbook – useless.

Evaluating effectiveness of your language guide, making revisions when needed and ensuring it stays up-to-date are critical steps for maintaining clear, inclusive communication within any organization.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of your language guide as a living document, just like the dynamic times we live in. Regular check-ups ensure it’s working well and stays relevant. Gather feedback for improvements and tackle issues head-on. Keep up with new terms, make updates when needed, and share them organization-wide to keep communication clear and inclusive.

Language Guide Examples and Resources

If you’re looking to create or improve your organization’s language guide, it helps to see what others have done. We’ve got some killer examples and resources lined up for you.

Case Studies on Successful Language Guide Implementation

Diving into case studies can give us valuable insights. Take the example of Apple’s Language Style Guide. It perfectly outlines their brand voice, maintaining a consistent tone across all communication channels.

The tech giant didn’t pull this off overnight though. The key was in building upon each successful implementation stage. And voila – they achieved a seamless blend of information delivery with Apple-esque charm.

You don’t need to be an Apple-sized entity to achieve comparable success. Your own unique language style guide could become the cornerstone of your organization’s communications.

Utilizing Code Generators and Language Specification Tools

In addition to examining how other organizations do it, there are tools available designed specifically for creating comprehensive language guides.

Swagger, a popular open-source tool used by developers worldwide is one such resource worth checking out. This powerful code generator allows teams to define APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) using simple JSON format – making collaboration easier than ever before.

  • Acknowledging various groups through specific guidelines shows respect and inclusion.
  • The best practices gathered from diverse organizations will help fine-tune your strategy.
  • Last but definitely not least: don’t forget about those nifty code generators when crafting technical documents.

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The Role of Stakeholders in Developing a Language Guide

Creating a language guide is not an isolated task. It’s similar to throwing a dinner gathering, where each attendee adds their own distinctive taste to the event. And guess who your guests are? They’re your stakeholders.

Stakeholders play a vital role in shaping language guides. But why so? Because they know how they talk about the organization best. Think about it: would you ask someone else to describe your favorite dish at that party better than you?

You see, collaboration with stakeholders helps ensure everyone’s voice gets heard and valued during development stages. Their insights can help craft content that truly reflects organizational culture while promoting understanding across diverse groups.

Involving Different Stakeholders

Different types of stakeholders bring varied perspectives when developing these guidelines for communication. Employees might highlight jargon needing clarity or cultural nuances requiring respect.

Clients or customers could offer invaluable feedback on how they perceive and understand company messages – after all, who knows what resonates with them better than themselves?

Potential investors might suggest industry-specific terminology ensuring the guide remains relevant and impactful within its field.
This collaboration isn’t just beneficial; it’s essential.

Beyond Collaboration – Validation & Testimonials

Apart from contributing ideas, stakeholder validation plays another critical part in this process by reinforcing trustworthiness through testimonials which become valuable assets within the guide itself.
We’ve found out something interesting: organizations often include examples showcasing how different stakeholders talk about them as proof points highlighting their commitment towards inclusive communications. Check this out.

The language guide is like a menu at our dinner party. The more varied and comprehensive the language guide is, the better everyone’s experience will be. Involving stakeholders in its development ensures that every guest finds something to their taste.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of creating a language guide as hosting a dinner party – your stakeholders are the guests bringing their unique flavors. Their insights shape content that mirrors organizational culture and promotes understanding across diverse groups. Employees, clients, potential investors – all bring valuable perspectives to ensure clear communication. Stakeholder validation further adds trustworthiness with testimonials becoming assets within the guide itself.

FAQs in Relation to Language Guide

How to learn a language guide?

To master a language guide, start by studying its elements. Practice regularly and use it in your communication.

How do I make my own language?

Create your own language by defining its grammar rules, vocabulary, syntax structure, and phonetics. Keep practicing for fluency.

What is scientifically the best way to learn a language?

Studies show that immersive learning is the top method. This means living among native speakers or using apps with interactive lessons.

What should you learn first in a new language?

In any new lingo, begin with common phrases and greetings. Then tackle basic grammar rules followed by vocabulary expansion.

Conclusion

Creating a language guide isn’t just about eliminating confusion, it’s also about fostering inclusivity. With these tools, you are now prepared to create a language guide that not only eliminates confusion but also promotes inclusivity.

The importance of inclusive language? You’ve got that down. The impact of identity-first language? Now in your communication toolkit.

You learned how to create an effective and comprehensive guide for your organization. Remember: cater to diverse populations, address bias and promote equity!

The journey doesn’t end here though. Implementing this knowledge into practice is crucial; make sure everyone gets on board! With time, you’ll see improved clarity in communication.

Evaluate regularly, tweak as necessary and always keep learning – because great conversation starts with understanding!

 

How to Use Conversations to Craft Website Copy

How to Use Conversations to Craft Website Copy

How to Use Conversations to Craft Website Copy

Very often we talk with clients that view their website as separate from the rest of their business. They see it as a place to showcase everything they do and almost a choose your own adventure for visitors. This mindset can lead to a website that exists but doesn’t provide value to your team, donors, community, etc.

Instead, what if your website could:

  • help you reduce the number of emails you get.
  • bring in donations while you sleep.
  • encourage people to reach out to you for partnerships, sponsorships and collaborations.
  • increase your impact on your community.

Having a website that is running parallel to your offline and online marketing and fundraising strategies will support your efforts and make it easier for you to do your job. It will support you in building better relationships, and most importantly, building trust.

The key is using the every day conversations you’re having to craft the language, topics and impact stories featured on your website.

Website Copy Gone Wrong

It is very common that website’s are written to talk about the organization instead of engaging with the visitors of that site. It’s time to meet them where they are and address their pain points.

Review your website copy as if you were a potential donor. Is it a bunch of jargon that they don’t understand? Does it highlight all the things you do without really sharing stories or impact?

Here are a couple of examples!

Adopt a dog today!

vs

Bring home a furry companion for the whole family

or

Afterschool care for kids 5-12.

vs

Find peace with a safe, STEAM driven, afterschool program your child will love.

How do you start writing copy?

Looking at a blank page with a blinking cursor can be daunting. And yes, you could go straight to AI if you wanted, but it probably wouldn’t truly connect with your voice and your audience.

The best place to go is to the conversations you’re already having. The way people in your community talk and feel about your organization is very telling. I mean perception is reality right!

Why do people say yes?

There is nothing better than when you get a yes from a donor. While that’s all well and good, it’s not just about the $$$ that’s beneficial to your organization. It’s also about WHY they said yes.

Ask donors why they have chosen to give to your organization. Make note of the exact words they use. Those words are how they personally connect to you and your cause.

What one donor says shouldn’t be what you replace all your website copy with. But pay attention to things that multiple donors say.

Why do people say no!

While hearing no isn’t the best feeling in the world, it doesn’t mean no forever. There is also much to learn when it comes to a no.

Are you not communicating the work you do in a way they can understand?
Are you not addressing their motivations for giving?
Is it not the right fit for them?

Nos give you great information that might be missing from your website. They let you know what isn’t abundantly clear.

What questions do people ask often?

Think about when you were out at a coffee shop or at a networking event talking to a complete stranger. When you shared the organization you’re with what their inital reaction? What questions did they ask you about the work you do for the community?

The questions you get asked often will give you a clue to the clarity you are sharing about your impact to the community at large. It will also tell you what part of your program or service is most visible or is most exciting to the public.

These things don’t always align with what you’re spending the most time on, but it’s important to understand how the public is viewing you, your work, and your impact. 

If it’s in alignment with what you’re doing then great! If not, that’s ok too. It just means you have some work to do with your messaging and communication.

Where do you use this information on your website?

Now that you’ve gathered this information, it’s time to think about how we can use our website to best communicate it. Here are a few ways!

FAQs

Create a Frequently Asked Questions page. This is a great resource for people needing more information, as well as great for search engines to understand what your website is all about.

To populate this start with the common questions you get asked, go to your team and have them help populate questions, and think about the emails and phone calls you get to pull common questions as well. BONUS: by having a well curated FAQ page you can start to minimize the questions coming in via email and phone calls that take staff time!

About Page

Ensure your about page is clear and prioritizes your organizational goals. Don’t confuse people with everything you do, but let people know what your mission is and what you’re doing to make it happen.

Review Your Services Page

Ensure you aren’t using a lot of jargon. People don’t take the time to fully read what you write (I know, 😂). Keep the language easy for people to understand to they can process more of the information quickly.

Again, make sure you’re highglighting the biggest priorities near the top and add the lesser priorities farther down on the page.

Donation Page

You know sharing impact is critical on your donation page. Here it is really important to have your messaging clear and reflecting what work you’re doing RIGHT NOW! 

You may need to change some of these statements over the year, but this is a great place to reinforce where you need support right now and to reinforce the offline conversations you’re having with donors and potential donors. 

Blogs

The questions you’re getting asked over and over make incredible blog content. If you’re getting a questions 2-3 times then you probably have 10-15 people in the community thinking the same thing. Having blog posts that can help you and your team provide additional resources to answer those questions saves you time, but it also builds trust and help you with your profesionalism.

Also – if they’re asking you they are probably also asking search engines!

Conclusion

Communication face-to-face and digitally shouldn’t be siloed. Those conversations can be used to reinforce each other and help you spread the same messages regardless of how people find you.

Start keeping track of these conversations and using the to reinforce your brand!

6 Places to Promote Your Email List

6 Places to Promote Your Email List

6 Places to Promote Your Email List

Building your email is is something that is extremely valuable to your organization. This gives you an opportunity to connect with people, share your impact and increase your donations. The critical thing is to keep growing your list. While there are several strategies for growing your list, don’t forget about the little things you can do easily to make sure people know that it exists, and what they will learn and gain by subscribing.

Here are 6 different places you can let people know you have an email newsletter they want to get!

Before you get started

Building your list isn’t as simple as putting a quick form together to get their email addresses. People don’t want to get spammed and they don’t want to only get emails that are asking for donations. To get people to sign up you need to give them something of value. A lead magnet is the most common thing but not your only option. If you’re just getting started, think about what value you are providing in your emails. If you’re a pet adoption organization, it could be weekly discounts from your partner companies so they can save money on their pets. If you’re an enviromental organization it could be weekly tips on reducing your environmental impact. If you’re an after school program, it could be weekly resources to support your kiddos at home.

Think about what it is you do and how you can support your community. Putting these elements in your email newsletter sign up is going to make it more likely that your audience will want to sign up to receive it. “Sign up for our newsletter” will not see as many results!

Website footer

Put your email optin right above your footer. Users often scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find quick links and easy access to information. This is a great place to gain their attention and encourage people to sign up.

Create a graphic to catch people’s attention and use a quick and easy form that includes first name and email address. In many website builders you can create this as a footer so it will automatically be added to every page you create. That saves you time and ensures that you’ll have an opportunity for people to sign up no matter what page you’re on.

Blog posts

If you’re creating blog posts then put your opt in in the middle of those posts. This is incredibly helpful especially if you have a lead magnet that relates to that content.

For example, let’s say you are a museum and you’re writing a blog post about the achievements of Leonardo DaVinci to help promote an upcoming exhibit. Maybe in the middle of the post you have an opportunity for people to download a guide they can use to plan their trip to the museum and give them more information on what they’ll learn while they’re there. Then, because you have your opt in in the footer they’ll have another opportunity to join your email list after they have completed reading the post and made it to the bottom of the page.

If you don’t have a unique lead magnet you can send for that blog post, that’s ok. Create an option for people to sign up with language about your newsletter that is more related to the topic of your post. In the example above it could say something like, Subscribe to our email list for more information on upcoming exhibits before they launch on our website!

Contact page

If people are interested in connecting with you the contact page is typically where they go first for all the information. Having multiple ways they can do that is critial because people like to communicate in different ways. They might want to talk to a person for a quick question. It my be a general inquiry with no urgency. Or it could be they want more information and email is a great way for that. Make sure there is an option there for them to get on your email list so they know they can get regular content from you and get to know you over time.

Not everyone is ready to take action right away – they need to be nurtured and find trust in your organization. Giving them the option to build that trust through your email newsletter is a great way to do that.

Pop up

Yes, these have a love hate relationship! But they work! Testing how you serve them up is critical. Then, as long as what they’re getting is valuable for them you won’t make them mad. 

If you don’t like popups you could also look at slide ins that come in on the corner of your page.

Email signature

Think about all the emails you send each day. You probably have your social media channels in your email signture but have you thought about putting a link to your email newsletter there as well? Mimic some of the text you have used in other places. This. isan easy way to get things in front of people you’re already connecting with.

Social media bio

If people are enjoying your content on social they’ll probably want a way to connect with you further. Your email list is perfect for this! Make sure its easy for them to find the link and take action. 

Conclusion

People may not sign up for your list the first time they see your email sign up. Or they might not be ready to dive in but soon they will be. Make it easy and clearly show the value so its a no brainer for people.

Tips for Determining the Right CRM For Your Organization

Tips for Determining the Right CRM For Your Organization

Tips for Determining the Right CRM For Your Organization

Any time you’re adding technology to your business it can be stressful. There are so many options out there for everything and it can quickly get overwhelming and expensive! Avoid going down a rabbit hole that still leaves you with the wrong solution but utilizing some (or all) of these tips.

But first, what is a CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. It is a tool you can use to organize your contacts, interactions, and data so you know who to reach out to and your whole team can have all the information at their fingertips.

For nonprofits, your CRM can manage data related to your donors, volunteers, event attendees, sponsors, foundations, etc. It helps keep you organized because everything is all in one space. If you talk to five different nonprofits they’ll probably give you five different solutions and quickly it can get confusing.

Start with what your organization needs.

Before you even begin researching CRM platforms make a list of things that your organization needs. Start with the things that you need right now. You could also make a list of things you anticipate needing 1-3 years in the future.

For example, you may have most of your funding come from foundations and grants but are looking to expand into more individual giving. Or maybe you aren’t holding any major events right now, but know you have on in the works for next year. Maybe you have online giving but are looking to add text-to-give as well.

Each platform is going to have its pros and cons in all areas so knowing what you truly need from a platform will help you weed through them all.

Make a list of all the tech platforms you’re currently using.

Integration is key to save you time, money and headaches. Having the least amount of different software programs is ideal. You’ll want to think about how your CRM talks to your website and your email marketing. Does it automatically sync with your event software? Platforms will have their integrations listed easily on their websites so having that list of the other programs you’re using will make it easy to prioritize platforms quickly.

Here is a list of some of the tools you may be using:

  • Online giving platform on your website.
  • Email marketing (MailChimp, ConvertKit, etc).
  • On site event software.
  • Online auction tool.
  • SMS texting
  • Peer-to-Peer fundraising platform.
  • eCommerce.
  • Learning management system.
  • Accounting software
  • Payroll
  • Zapier (to connect multiple platforms together).

Determine your rough budget.

You should go into your research with a rough budget. Once you start researching you’re going to see so many fun exciting perks at higher levels. Remember that it’s their job and goal to get you to buy bigger and bigger packages! Having your budget (and required features) handy can help you avoid shiny object syndrome.

The second thing you’ll want to put together is the cost of the other platforms you are using. Your CRM might be able to absorb some of those features. Knowing what you spend on those other tools will help you determine what you can spend on your CRM.

Build your tracking sheet

Once you start researching things will start to blend together. You’ll start to forget what features you liked about what platform, what was missing, etc. A simple spreadsheet can help you track the tools you find so you can remember why you liked (and didn’t like) certain options.

Make sure you include all your criteria on there so you can clearly see the pros and cons of each platform as well as the tools you need it to integrate. 

Start your research.

You finally have all the information you need to start your research! There are so many different options out there it can get overwhelming. Once you start marking off those check boxes on your spreadsheet a clear winner will emerge.

There are a few places you can go that will give you reviews. We like G2 and Capterra as examples. They give great comparisons and make it easy to find the information you need quickly.

When it comes to choosing a solution we recommend finding a platform geared towards nonprofits. Yes you can use other platforms, but if you want something you can start and ramp up quickly then one focused on nonprofits’ needs is usually best.

Ask for referrals.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to 2-3 different platforms then its time to get some referrals. There are a couple of ways you can do that. The first is to ask the software company if they have folks you can chat with. The second is to ask your colleagues that use that software what they think. Both will provide you with great insights on how they actually use the platform and what you might want to consider.

Chat with your team to determine impact for all departments.

Once you have it dialed down to your top two it’s time to chat with the larger team. A CRM will impact the entire team’s job and way they get things done. There may be parts of their job that this could affect that you hadn’t considered. 

Getting feedback from the team with the information you have learned is a critical step to ensuring you get buy in and it truly hits the needs you are hoping for!

Negotiate pricing!

 Hopefully by now you have a solid choice! Don’t forget that you can always negotiate pricing. Talk with a sales rep and figure out what they can do to help you hit your goals and fit your budget.

Conclusion

When it comes to a CRM you want to take your time and make sure it hits all the things. That includes cost, time to implement, and easy of use, amongst other things. With these tips you’ll have a less stressful time figuring out what’s best for your organization and will help you grow and scale.

Get More Traffic to Your Donation Page

Get More Traffic to Your Donation Page

Get More Traffic to Your Donation Page

Your donation page is a frictionless way for people to give to your organization anywhere at any time. Simply having a giving page on your website isn’t enough to get website visitors to take action. If you want ideas for how to best utilize your donation page, make sure to check out episodes 206 – 209 of the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast.

This blog post will give you ideas for how you can drive more website traffic to your donation page!

Add it to your main menu navigation

Putting it in your main menu navigation makes it easy for people to find it whether it is their first time visiting your website, or they are a repeat visitor. Put it on the far right of your navigation. As a best practice, the outside elements of your menu navigation are where the eye goes first.

Pro tip: put a color behind “donate” in your menu navigation. That will make it pop even more and draw peoples’ eyes there.

Add it to your footer

Your footer isn’t just the place for your contact information. It is also a place for people to go to get all the quick links and acces they need. Make sure you have it clear and obvious for people to click on.

Pro tip: put it next to seals from platforms like GuideStar that give build trust with your fiscal responsibility.

Use it as a Call-To-Action in Your Long Form Content

Hopefully you’re creating content on a regular basis. It could be a blog, YouTube video, podcast, etc. While the content itself isn’t promoting giving it is totally acceptable to have a button, link, or call out your donation page. Try something like, “if you have learned something from this podcast, consider contributing to our organization so we can support more families.”

Pro tip: create a graphic that you can use on your blog posts so you don’t have to recreate the wheel each time. Use it at the bottom of your posts or in the middle if it’s a longer piece of content.

Add it to your events page

Your events are super important for raising funds but also building relationships with your donors. While the priority for the events page on your website is to give people information on the event, get sponsors and sell tickets, not everyone that lands on that is going to be able to attend. Try adding language at the bottom that gives those people an opportunity to still contribute. That could look like inviting them to give, with a link to your donation page. Or you could drive them to your online auction page if you have one.

Share it on you social media profiles

The name of the game is making it easy to find so people can give in the moment they are ready to. Use you donate page link in all your profiles of your social media platforms. That way people can see it easily. You could also create a great pinned post that shares the overall impact of your organization and giving levels.

Include it in the footer of your email newsletters

While we don’t want all our emails to be an ask that doesn’t mean that you can’t have an option for people to still give. Having a button that is in your email footer just makes it easy for people to find it…yet again! If you’re sharing your impact in your emails regularly you never know what stories will encourage your readers to give.

Make sure the URL is easy to say

If you have a really long URL for your donation page than it’s hard to rattle off or for people to remember. If you’re meeting one on one or live on video then having an easy URL helps. There are lots of tools you can use to create a different URL for your donation page. Make it easy like yourorganizaton.com/donate so people can remember it.

Conclusion

The more you talk about your donation page the more traffic you’ll drive to it and the more money you’ll raise. Its all about making a conscious choice to have it in as many places as possible.

Beyond Logos: Creative Sponsorship Marketing Ideas to Showcase Your Sponsors

Beyond Logos: Creative Sponsorship Marketing Ideas to Showcase Your Sponsors

Beyond Logos: Creative Sponsorship Marketing Ideas to Showcase Your Sponsors

Sponsorship is a part of every nonprofit organization. It could be in relationship to an event, program or service or annual support from a corporation for you operation expenses.

With any sponsorship agreement, there is an exchange of marketing by the organization for the dollars. The obvious is logo placement on your website and at the event or program, but there are other creative ways you can increase exposure, and from that increase the value and cost of your sponsorship packages.

Here are some unique sponsorship marketing ideas to feature your sponsors:

Customized Social Media Campaigns

Social media is a great platform to promote your sponsors. You can create customized social media campaigns that showcase your sponsors in a unique and engaging way. For example, you can create a “sponsor spotlight” series that features one sponsor every week or highlight their products in your social media posts.

In the reverse, you can create graphics and copy for sponsors to share on their feeds showcasing their support for your organization. By making it easy for them to share it increases the likelihood that they’ll actually share it.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is another excellent way to showcase your sponsors. This can be a one-off element or something that adds value to your sponsor package. 

Sponsored content looks like a dedicated blog post or video, static social media posts or short form video, or a guest podcast or YouTube video that features them. Ensure that the content is on brand and that messaging aligns with your organization. 

Event Activation

If you’re hosting an event, make sure to create activations that feature your sponsors. For example, you can create a photo booth with your sponsor’s logo in the background or create a product sampling station. Make sure the activations are fun, interactive, and align with your sponsor’s brand values.

This is a great opportunity to get really creative. Some fun unique ideas include; VR experiences where people can experience something about that brand, live performaces that allow members from that company to introduce, perform with, or engage from the stage, or branded games like corn hole or darts that have the sponsors logo all over them.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a popular sponsorship marketing idea that can help you reach a wider audience. Partner with influencers who align with your sponsor’s brand values and have a significant following. You can create sponsored content with the influencers or have them promote your sponsor’s products on their social media channels.

Working with micro-influencers that align with your mission can also be really impactful. Remember its not about having the biggest following that matters, its about someone that aligns so that their audience will care about what you’re trying to do.

Bring in your corporate sponsors by allowing them to engage with the influencer as well for an added benefit.

Customized Sponsorship Packages

Creating customized sponsorship packages is an effective way to feature your sponsors. Instead of offering standard sponsorship packages, create customized packages that align with your sponsor’s goals and objectives. This is great for higher priced packages and making your sponsors the VIP. Or if you’re trying to create an annual sponsorship that includes multiple events and programs.

For example, you can offer a package that includes social media promotion, sponsored content, and event activations. Pay attention to what they value and get creative! We don’t recommend doing this for too many sponsors as it can be hard to track and manage. You know who the right partners are for something like this.

Brand Integration

Integrating your sponsor’s brand into your products or services is another great way to showcase your sponsor. For example, if you’re a food company, you can create a signature dish that includes your sponsor’s product. Or if you’re an after school program use sponsor branded folders, pens and other office supplies.

Another great idea could be branding a special newsletter that has tips and resources. Let’s say you’re a music program and you have a local music store as a sponsor. You could send out a monthly newsletter that has a tip for your students and it is always branded with that local store.

Conclusion

Featuring your sponsors in your marketing campaigns is essential to creating win-win partnerships. Try these creative sponsorship marketing ideas to stand out and create memorable campaigns. Remember to always align your marketing efforts with your sponsor’s brand values and goals.

Want more ways to feature you sponsors on your website? Check out episode 197 of the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast | Creative Ways to Feature Sponsors on Your Website

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