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Blogging the NTEN Conference
April 2, 2008

There was no shortage of cyber chatter surrounding last month’s Nonprofit Technology Conference in New Orleans. Here’s a sampling of some observations from bloggers around the country. For a more comprehensive list of blog entries about the conference, click here. “Observations on the 2008 Nonprofit Technology Conference,” posted March 26 by Kurt Voelker and Andrew Cohen, chief technology officer and project director, respectively, at Forum One Communications’ INfluence blog: Kurt Voelker and I (Andrew Cohen), traveled to New Orleans to participate in the 2008 Nonprofit Technology Conference. This was my fourth conference and the most useful and fulfilling. In addition our volunteering and presenting,

Bring Back That Loving Feeling
April 1, 2008

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about declining results for direct mail and flagging e-mail open rates. Our outreach apparently is not sparking the passionate responses we want. Don’t our donors and prospects love us anymore? Why don’t they take our calls? If this is starting to sound like an “advice for the lovelorn” column, then that’s appropriate. As fundraisers, we’ve got a lot of the same problems as the people writing Dear Abby. And I think our response-rate heartache is based in the root causes that the advice columnists so often cite. Really. The relationship we have with our donors and prospects is

Eight Secrets of Effective Online Networking
February 27, 2008

Is your organization considering setting up a profile on a social-networking site? Are you wondering what tasks are involved, how much time it will take, and how you might streamline your efforts? Maybe your organization has established a presence on MySpace and is now contemplating adding one to Facebook. Perhaps you’re wondering how you can juggle multiple profiles and still have time left to do other work. As more and more organizations jump on the social-networking bandwagon, people are seeking ways to make the time spent on these tools as efficient and fruitful as possible. I recently surveyed several nonprofit professionals and social-networking mavens

Do You YouTube?
December 1, 2007

When you think of YouTube, perhaps it’s the do-it-yourself entertainment of lonelygirl15 or the mysteriously faceless Pachelbel’s “Canon” guitar whiz that comes to mind.

The Blue and the Gold (and the Green)
November 1, 2007

Few universities are as indebted to their alumni as the University of Notre Dame. Case in point: In 1879, when a fire destroyed its Main Building — which at the time housed virtually the entire university — only 35 years after it was founded, it was alumni from Chicago who rallied to raise funds to rebuild it. Their support not only got the university back on its feet, but it also set it on a path of growth that hasn’t yielded to this day.

Young Donors, High Expectations
October 9, 2007

“I often visit nonprofit websites where it takes multiple steps to get to the online donation page and then the online donation page takes multiple steps to fill out and I think back to [a presentation on reaching donors under 40 that I attended a few years ago] and the donor under 40 who said ‘If your online donation page doesn’t load within 6 seconds and doesn’t work with Google autofill forget it, I’m not donating to your organization.’ These donors are busy and because they grew up in the Amazon era, they expect technology to be easy to use and they expect

E-philanthropy Tips From the U.N. Foundation
September 11, 2007

Dick McPherson’s new book, “Digital Giving: How Technology is Changing Charity,” is a comprehensive yet highly digestible volume that marries McPherson’s sage insights with real-life case studies, tips and observations from myriad nonprofit fundraisers and consultants. In it, McPherson, president and creative director of Malvern, Pa.-based McPherson Associates, breaks down e-philanthropy to its essential elements and details how those elements need to be addressed by nonprofits hoping to raise money and awareness online and through other new technologies. Here, an excerpt that outlines tips for success from Katherine Miller, director of communications for the United Nations Foundation, which recently partnered with Sports Illustrated and the

‘Don’t Hide Behind Prospect Research’
August 7, 2007

Laura Fredricks, vice president for philanthropy at Pace University in New York, presented a session a the AFP Annual Conference in Dallas earlier this year on turning annual donors into major-gift prospects. Vital to this strategy is identifying best prospects through prospect research. For starters, one of the most efficient ways to do initial research these days is through basic Internet search tools like Google, or the Foundation Center’s Web site, which enables Form 990 searches. Fredricks also recommends LexisNexis, which can unearth information on a person’s wealth, their assets, what assets they have that are publicly held, boards that they’re on, other organizations

16 Ounces of Hope
August 1, 2007

Charity: is an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about extreme poverty, educating the public, and provoking compassionate and intelligent giving.

Tech Talk: Top of Mind — and Browser
March 1, 2007

Nonprofit organizations can create customized, multi-lingual community toolbars that supporters can download to their browsers to increase campaign awareness, encourage community participation and drive fundraising.

Toolbars — offered and hosted free of charge by marketing platform Conduit — can include features such as one-click donation buttons, RSS-driven action alerts, news tickers, weather updates, links to community chat rooms and podcasts, and e-mail alerts. Toolbar Web searches are powered by Google and, according to Rena Jadhav, chief marketing officer for Conduit, 50 percent of the revenue Conduit generates through searches goes to the nonprofit.