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Jennifer Gmerek

Jennifer Gmerek

Jennifer has 10 years of experience in helping nonprofits take creative approaches to their advocacy, fundraising and engagement efforts online.

Recent Posts by Jennifer Gmerek:

5 Tips for Powerful Nonprofit Year-End Campaign Videos

If integrated into your campaign properly, video can be an invaluable resource. It can add powerful visuals, a fresh perspective on storytelling, and a new platform for deepening donor engagement.

Year-end campaign videos, in particular, are a great way to exercise your creative muscles, test your limits, and get in the holiday spirit!

Topics: Fundraising

Nonprofit Email List Segmentation 101

This blog is a part of our recent series on nonprofit training.

Topics: Marketing

3 Most Profitable Types of Nonprofit Fundraisers

I hate to break it to you, but raising money for your nonprofit or cause is always going to be a challenge. However, creating the most successful - and most profitable - campaign doesn’t just come from delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. Whether you're relying mainly on social media, email, your website or other means to get the word out, there's one more very important factor that must also be considered: what type of nonprofit fundraiser will you create?

Topics: Fundraising

Social Media Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofits

According to Mashable, yesterday was Social Media Day (#SMDay) - a day to honor the digital revolution happening around the globe. Didn’t get the memo? We forgive you.

But since we treat everyday like Social Media Day around here, we figured why not use the date to help launch our #SMDay mini-series of blogs this week dedicated to all things social.

Get ready to talk about your favorite social media sites, tricks, tools services and even a few pet peeves. But first, let’s cover a few best practices for nonprofits' digital marketing on social media.

Plan it Out

First, it’s important to create a plan. In fact, think about it more as a blueprint. “Begin with a strategy, not with the tools. Too many nonprofits begin with the tools when the tools should flow from the strategy, not the other way around.” says SocialBrite founder, J.D. Lasica.

In other words, once you know where you’re going, you can figure out what you’ll need in order to make it there.

Do you want to be seen as a reliable source for sharing powerful stories or giving breaking news updates? Your answer will help determine the best social media network for your organization.

But don’t just stop at the big picture - drill down into the day-to-day. Who is posting? How often? At what times? Use an editorial calendar to set expectations and coordinate your team.

Having a plan in mind will also make measuring your progress a lot easier. The world of data analytics and social media measurement may sound like a scary place, but the best rule of thumb is just to start small and start as soon as possible.

Be Productive

Use a social media dashboard, like HootSuite, which saves you time by letting you schedule tweets or Facebook status updates. Or check out a tool like Attentive.ly to help your track your efforts.

But if any tool ever adds more stress to your day than it helps relieve, then drop it and move on. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do everything or play with every shiny new toy that comes along.

Choose Your Platform Wisely

When talking about choosing the right social media platform, our motto has become: You can’t possibly be on every network, so don’t even try.

It’s better for your organization to put more time and effort into a smaller number of sites that people will actually use, rather than have empty profiles. So we’ve done our best to narrow down a few helpful tips for you when choosing to join (or not) any social media site.

But the key to unlocking the potential of any new medium has always been - and will continue to be - knowing your audience. Research your target audience and find out as much as you can about them.

This will help you to know which platforms they use the most, what times they’re most active, what content is most relevant to them, and more.
 
Pay close attention to creating a consistent “voice” for your organization that will resonate with real people who fall into your key demographics.

Give your organization a human element and personality. People connect with other people, not with computers. Don’t hesitate to show appreciation and excitement.

Try this exercise - create a persona for your social media audience by answering these questions outlined by communications firm, Big Duck.
 
Once you’ve figured out your goals, audience and voice, now’s the time to pick the one or two sites that make the most sense and dive in!

Learn From Others

More than 4 billion people are using social media today, but instead of feeling like you’re the last one to the pool, learn from the mistakes of other organizations who’ve gone before you.

When creating your social media profiles, be conscious of what you are choosing for your name, profile picture, “about” section, and other introductory information or meta data. These are the first pieces of content that people will see when discovering your social media page.

Make sure they are all a good representation of your organization and what you stand for. The images you choose should be big, clear, and relevant.

Though now a bit dated, Nonprofit Tech for Good’s 10 Common Mistakes by Nonprofits on Social Media still has some good nuggets. (FYI, distorted avatar images is listed as mistake #1 - hint, hint!)

And we couldn’t let this moment pass without mentioning one of our biggest pet peeves that didn’t make the list. If you are managing profiles across multiple networks, do not rely on automating all your posts. All platforms are not created equal! They require different tones, timing and styles.

However, creating new content for each platform doesn’t need to be a time suck either - learn more about how to maximize your content creation.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk more about the types and styles of specific social media platforms.

 

Facebook Ads Guide

 

Make it “Spread-Worthy”

Social media is about getting your messages to spread widely and quickly. But getting people to share your content means engaging them where they’re at...not where you need them to be.

That means your content has to be not only relevant to your supporters, but something they will want to share with their friends and families. Author and Move On co-founder, John Hlinko, refers to this as making your content “spread-worthy."

Potential supporters and donors are out there, but getting them to choose your organization over the countless others available requires you to provide a compelling story behind your mission.

You want to keep readers excited and entertained. Try to keep content fresh and diversify what you’re saying; the same old content gets boring.

To get your posts shared, try to hit on at least one of these popular types of social media posts:

Topics: Marketing

7 Tips for Creating an Awesome Nonprofit Website

From parts one, two, and three of our new series How to Build a Website for your Charitable Foundation, we have compiled a list of tips to help you craft a website that will leave a lasting impression on your supporters.

In this article, we'll cover seven tips to help your create stunning nonprofit website: 

  1. Make your mission apparent.
  2. Use content to attract supporters.
  3. Make your site donor-friendly.
  4. Make volunteer recuritment easy. 
  5. Incorporate visual storytelling. 
  6. Make your website mobile-responsive. 
  7. Tie your site to social media. 

Let's dive right into the first step: make your mission apparent. 

Topics: Marketing