From Communicating

Social enterprise: confused about what it is?

Some days I’m feeling totally confused about what is a social enterprise and what isn’t. It seems to me that we’ve got at least three types of ventures in play when the term “social enterprise” gets bandied about that may need more clarification: Social Enterprise, Socially responsible business, Cause-marketing. To me, these are not describing the same thing.

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What the heck should the board’s finance update include?

Here’s what I’d like a finance report to tell me:
Are our revenues and expenses tracking as we expected?
If not, how far off are they and why?
Is there any risk that we might hit a time we can’t pay the bills? What are we going to do about that?
Are we meeting our spending obligations for restricted dollars?
Is restricted income hiding shortfalls in operating income?
Is there any new, unanticipated expense that could throw our budget out of whack? What are we going to do about that?
Where do we expect to be at the end of the year?
What should/could we do today to correct our financial position if the year end isn’t looking so good?

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Retire the donor pyramid? Replace it with a vortex? What’s a fundraiser to do?

I urge you to read The Permanent Disruption of Social Media, in the Winter 2013 edition of Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The authors’ premise is that in a world of social media, the old pyramid or ladder metaphor of donor engagement isn’t relevant any more. (If it ever worked at all.) But the old model implied a somewhat orderly process of communications and solicitations tied to giving frequency and levels. The bigger your gift, the more valuable you are, the more worthy of personalized attention.

The authors accuse this approach of being a one way street, from organization to donor, that ignores the new reality of influence.

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Nonprofit marketing – from the inside out

Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits.

There are dozens of books out there on marketing your nonprofit to attract new supporters, advance an advocacy agenda or keep the donors you have. But this is the first book that I’ve read that specifically targets marketing “from the inside-out.” That is, this book focuses on the people who work or volunteer for you.

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Fundraising tips from the scientists of persuasion

If you haven’t read Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive, by Noah J. Goldstein, PhD et. al. run and get a copy (or request it from your local library).

This nifty little book provides useful insights from research that the authors and others have done to understand how people respond to attempts to persuade them. In some of the findings you’ll find validation for practices you already have in place. In others, you might be surprised to find that something you might think is persuasive may actually have the opposite effect.

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