In July, Achieve presented MCON12, sponsored by The Case Foundation, featuring inspiring speakers energizing leaders to engage Millennials at new levels. For the next few weeks we will be presenting short highlights of some of the best speakers and presentations from the day.
John Haydon, Inbound Zombie, spoke about connecting with Millennials through Social Media at MCON 2012 virtual conference on how organizations can engage Millennials. John illustrates the many ways Facebook can be utilized to promote your nonprofit.
Every year online giving rises a bit more, and while we still believe in our old friend direct mail, we urge every nonprofit to put their best foot forward in email.
3 Reasons Email is a Must During End of Year:
- Social media and mobile get the hype, but email continues to demonstrate results. According to the 2012 eNonprofits Benchmark Study email is likely where your nonprofits biggest online audience is.
- Those that prefer giving through direct mail might actually be doing so in response to an email you sent. Email can reinforce direct mail messaging and serve as a reminder so that beautiful mailer doesn’t get forgotten in the junk mail pile.
- The final days of the year are the biggest for online giving. Email is the best way to remind your donors of their last chance to make a tax-deductible donation in 2012!
3 Tips to Make Email a Success
- Timing is everything: Our formula for success is to send a direct mail with the hope it lands in mail boxes the end of November or early December. We include a consistent message to give in an already scheduled e-news update at the beginning of December. An e-solicitation follows that message mid-month to capture everyone’s giving spirit but not get lost during holiday festivities. Then we follow up with a final reminder to give over the last couple days of the year.
- Utilize a match donor challenge to boost giving and help you reach a goal. Ask one of your donors to give a match and share the donor’s story of support in the email to move others to give.
- Share compelling stories, impress with your accomplishments, and show a plan for use of donations to build upon those successes in the future. Ultimately, like direct mail, the stories and images you use to inspire others to give . Most people are visual learners, so utilize infographs to make complex ideas simple and don’t forget the power of a large photo of one or two individuals impacted by your program.
Do you have your own email success stories? Share them in the comments or feel free to ask questions.
Back when I was in high school I first heard the slang term “LOL” and at that time I had no idea of the path that confusing slang would pave. Since then I have seen a wide variety of sentence abbreviations that was inspired from a simple “LOL.” However, there is one that has recently stood out more than the others.
YOLO. Let me tell you a little about “YOLO.” This refers to the saying “you only live once.” I find that my peers, Millennials, tend to use this saying as an excuse or reason to make a risky decision that is often times regretful. To prove my point I’ll just search #YOLO on Twitter and find one of the first tweets that comes up.
“Gonna win the lotto and recklessly spend it ALL at the cosino #YOLO my mums face when I told her LOOOOL She obviously can’t take jokes.”
This is a perfect example of how my fellow Millennials use this phrase. Let me stop you right now before you either roll your eyes or LOL at that tweet because I want to share my thoughts with you regarding this new attitude.
If we only live once, why would we want to do something reckless? Why wouldn’t we want to do something great with our lives? If everyone only lives once then why not help someone’s life who isn’t going well? Let’s make the most of our lives by helping others rather than doing something potentially wreckless.
I am not saying that we should not use this saying. It is just that I have yet to see “YOLO” used in a positive way. According to an article by Matt Miller there were 80 million Millennials born between 1976 and 2001. 80 million Millennials! This means there are tons of us out there and we have the potential to transform used phrase and make it into something good and positive.
But how do you get Millennials started? I would recommend starting where “YOLO” started, the Internet. If you don’t have Twitter or a Facebook page yet get one. Many people feel like they are doing charity or volunteer work just by liking a page or following someone on Twitter. Take advantage of that. Once you have those followers post, post, and post! Tell them about your big event coming up or maybe a story involving a family in need. You need to keep their interest and attention and that means keeping up with the latest social media trends. For example, give them a place to check-in at so they can post pictures and upload it all to their Facebook to share it with their friends. Then their friends will get curious about what it is they are doing and thus the butterfly effect.
Here are some examples of how Millennials are taking action around the world.
Take the first step in starting a chain reaction of new volunteers. 21% of Millennials have already started the volunteering movement which means there is still potential for 79% (VolunteeringsInAmercia.gov) to get involved. Why not start today…YOLO.
A few weeks ago I attended Blog Indiana 2012, a conference for Indiana based professionals utilizing blogs and social media for their business. A few major themes emerged from the two-day events:
- Content creation is more important than ever to get people to your website and in the case of nonprofits potential supporters.
- Communication is getting more visual and can drive traffic to the great content you are writing.
- SEO continues to change as paid promotions and social search play bigger roles in search engines.
The challenges with SEO were particularly eye opening. During a keynote address from Jay Baer, co-author of The NOW Revolution, proposed a whole new customer service model, that I think is very applicable to nonprofits.
Old marketing model: Top of Mind Awareness
- Through extensive marketing efforts, consumers begin to think of you first when looking for a particular service
Current marketing model: Frame of Mind Awareness
- When a potential consumer needs your services they will be able to easily find you through searching online.
Future marketing model: Friend of Mine Awareness
- You become a trusted resource that a consumer follows and turns to when it needs help.
The Friend of Mine Awareness model relies heavily on companies creating content that makes them a trusted source in their particular area. He uses Geek Squad as the perfect example. Even though they are in the business of having customers pay them for technical assistance, they provide videos for free on YouTube for those people searching to fix a problem. That way Geek Squad becomes a trusted helpful resource, so when an individual is over their head and can no longer fix the problem themselves they will call upon Geek Squad.
How a nonprofit can become a “Friend of Mine”:
- Create regular blog posts on your sector – don’t just have a website about your organization, make it a source of information on relevant topics regarding your specialty.
- Use social media to spread not only blog posts written by you, but also news from other resources. Ask questions of your audience to encourage interaction and allow them to ask questions of you.
- For example, an animal shelter can write blogs regularly with tips to take care of your animal and resources for supporting stray and abandoned animals. On their Facebook page they may use a photo of a stray animal to visually grab a followers attention, but then post a question that make the audience respond with how they would want that animal cared for. On twitter you might post latest news articles you come across from other animal shelters. All of these channels then can work in different ways to make followers start to think of you as a trusted expert in the sector. Over time if they choose to volunteer or donate to an animal shelter, yours will be more likely to be the organization they choose to support.
Share in the comments what your nonprofit is doing to encourage Friend of Mine Awareness.
To read more about our Blog Indiana experience view Kara Wheats blog post on Showing Your Nonprofit Personality Through Social Media.