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Capacity Building

What is the Google Ad Grants Program?

By | All Posts, Capacity Building, Fundraising, Grants, News You Can Use, Social Media | No Comments

 

What is the Google Ad Grants Program?

Guest Contributor Stephanie Higinbotham of SH Marketing shares her insight.

 

Let’s start with the basics before jumping into any how-to-get-started guides. Google Ad Grants is a program offered exclusively through Google that provides qualifying 501(c)3 organizations with $10,000 of in-kind spend per month to spend on advertising. Nonprofits enrolled in the program are subsequently eligible to show their ads on the Google Search Network and, given they make at least one change to the account per month, the allowance will continue to renew at the start of each month.

How does this help my nonprofit?

Among the many benefits of using Google to advertise, the most significant benefits are user accessibility and reach. Google processes over 40,000 searches per second all around the world. Imagine having this potential at your fingertips! As daunting as it may be, you can customize your campaigns to reach as far or as near as best fits your organization. Now that millennials are the largest living generation, and given how tech savvy they’ve proven themselves to be, to not take advantage of digital marketing is to largely ignore a very significant volunteer and donation pool.

What types of campaigns can I run?

First and foremost, Google Grants participants are only eligible to run campaigns on the Search Network, so no Display Network, YouTube, e-commerce, etc., but if you set the account to run as such, the possibilities are endless. To get started, I recommend setting up the following before branching out into anything more complicated:

Branded campaign

This is where you can include any search terms related to your organization’s brand name. For example, if I am working on a campaign for the Kansas City Humane Society, I’ll want to include any search terms that include that phrasing. Here are some ideas:

  • Volunteer with Kansas City Humane Society
  • Donate to Humane Society
  • Adopt animals Humane Society
  • …and so on!

Volunteer campaign

  • This is self-explanatory, but you can use your Google Grant to help drive volunteer outreach.

A campaign related to your primary objective

  • If you’re an organization who works to rehabilitate homeless individuals, then include keywords as such. Customize this step to fit your organization’s purpose and needs.

Have more questions? Feel free to contact me! I love making new friends and teaching nonprofit professionals about AdWords. You can reach Stephanie at stephhigmarketing@gmail.com or at 816-787-1941.

Eager to get started with your Google Grant? JB+A and SH Marketing are hosting a Google Ad Words Webinar on June 22 from 12-1 pm.  Register here for the webinar and we’ll send you a free set-up guide for Google Ad Words with simple step-by-step instructions!

The Resource Development Plan: Your Key to Fundraising Success

By | All Posts, Capacity Building, Fundraising, News You Can Use | No Comments

Katie LordKatie Lord, Vice President

We can all agree that fundraising is key to the success of a nonprofit organization. But you can’t fundraise effectively until you know what you are working toward and how you are going to get there. Enter the resource development plan – this is your organization’s roadmap to fundraising success and, when done right, can guarantee you reach your goals.

The AFP defines a resource development plan as “a tool that helps your staff and board set realistic income goals with respect to your budgeting process. The plan outlines the strategic steps required to reach those goals, as well as board and staff responsibilities in accomplishing the plan.” Reaching your fundraising goals is a collaborative process, so ensure that both your staff and board members are involved in writing the plan.

There are 3 keys to a good resource development plan:

  1. Diversity in revenue streams
  2. Timeline of goals and benchmarks
  3. Measurement and course correction

If you have always relied on one or two traditional fundraising techniques, consider diversifying your approach.  The more diverse your revenue streams, the easier it will be to reach your ultimate goal. The essential revenue streams in a resource development plan are annual fund/membership, board giving, grants, corporate/special events, planned giving and major gifts. A robust fundraising department utilizes all of these strategies to get where they’re going.

But let’s get down to the nitty gritty – building your plan. Approach each revenue stream in three parts:

Part I: Goals and Tactics

This is the HOW. Set a specific, measurable goal ($$) and determine how you will get there. For example, tactics for reaching your annual fund goal may be laid out in your vehicles of solicitation. Will you use email, phone calls, in-person visits or direct mail? Get even more specific and rate your prospects by solicitation type. The more you break down your goals into manageable pieces, the easier it is to evaluate and course correct over time.

Part II: Calendar and Due Dates

Now that you’ve determined the how, you need to know when. Establish clear deadlines and check in points for each step in your plan to reach your goal. For example, in a direct mailing, establish clear dates for pulling and review your donor list, writing and approving the mail piece, date of the mailing to be dropped and when to begin follow up calls. Clear, established deadlines lay the foundation for execution and accountability.

Part III: Roles/Responsibilities & Measurement

You know the how, the when….now who? Responsible parties for each task must be written into your plan. Since your staff and board/volunteers are already helping you write this plan, they should have direct input into this component. Lastly, ensure you have a timeline in place to measure progress. Establish projections and meet regularly to discuss progress and course correction.

Congratulations! You have a plan in place that clearly defines who, what and when. Ensure your plan is easy to digest, shareable and flexible. If your staff and volunteers are on board, there is no limit to what you can achieve.

Want more tips on putting together the perfect development plan? Katie would love to hear from you – get in touch at klord@fundraisingjba.com or at 816.237.1999. 

“Interim CEO”: Frequently an Integral Element to a Successful Transition

By | All Posts, Boards + Leadership, Capacity Building, Commentary, News You Can Use, Organizational + Personal Development, Strategic Planning | No Comments

susan_cropped-267x300Susan Spaulding, Founder & Lead Consultant, Recalibrate Strategies

Editor’s Note:  We are pleased to introduce Susan Spaulding as a guest contributor. Susan is the Founder and Lead Consultant of Recalibrate Strategies, helping companies grow their business.  Susan applies proven marketing systems to recalibrate businesses and their brands by collaboratively creating a success blueprint and facilitating a process that harnesses insights, generates new ideas and provides a strategic roadmap.  Susan has more than 30 years of experience as a CEO, entrepreneur and marketing expert with exceptional leadership and facilitation skills.

Optimally, a CEO departure announcement includes naming the new CEO. This is often the case when the current CEO gives the board ample notice of retirement plans, or if the current CEO is being promoted or re-assigned within the parent company. And, if the CEO departure is the result of an ongoing performance issue, the board should be prepared to announce the new CEO immediately.

However, in practice naming an interim CEO is frequent. Reasons are varied (1), and include:

  1. A succession plan is lacking or not up-to-date. The board isn’t prepared to name a successor CEO.
  2. The CEO needs to step away from his/her role for a period of time – often for a personal or family health issue – but expects to resume the CEO position.
  3. The board believes it’s in the best interest of the company to appoint an interim CEO. Perhaps the desired CEO is not available immediately, or the board decides to deviate from the succession plan for whatever reason.

Roles of Interim CEOs
While interim CEO roles can be as varied as reasons for needing interim CEOs, below are primary roles interim CEOs fill.

  1. Keep the company on course and on strategy until a permanent CEO is selected.
  2. Execute a company turn around – usually following CEO and/or company performance issues. The interim CEO is more likely to be selected from outside the company, and have turnaround experience.
  3. “Trying out” a potential permanent replacement can indicate the board is leaning toward selecting this individual as CEO, but need to see how the individual handles the position temporarily.

What’s critical for any interim CEO appointment is clarity between the individual and the board on responsibilities and primary objectives. It’s critical for the interim CEO to have ready access to board members. Consistent support from the board is critical for the interim CEO, for company employees and for external shareholders/stakeholders watching closely to assess company leadership and overall stability.

Importance of Acting Swiftly
In general, an interim CEO is needed due to a former CEO’s sudden departure. However, in some cases the need for a new CEO – interim or otherwise – was clear much earlier than the decision was made.

Sometimes when a CEO becomes ill, they and the board choose to believe – sometimes with diagnoses and inability to carry out responsibilities indicating otherwise – the CEO’s illness will not prevent him/her from maintaining a reasonable productivity level. The fear of negative impact, internally and externally, from announcing this “weakness” sometimes prevents timely disclosure of reality.

Example (2, 4): Apple’s Steve Jobs both refused to accept appropriate cancer treatment and board recommendations to disclose his illness. Rather, he elected (allowed by the board) to keep his illness secret. He later took a leave of absence. Tim Cook took on the role of interim CEO three times (2004, 2009 and 2011) before actually being named CEO.

Similarly, given performance issues, the board should be particularly well prepared to name a new CEO.

Often the reluctance to disclose the situation, and move forward with a new CEO is based more on emotional responses than on objective assessment of what is best for the company.

Looking Forward
Several sudden CEO departures have been in the news within the past year. Each situation varies. However, what appears consistent is a board ill-prepared for the CEO’s sudden departure. Given the acknowledged importance of succession planning, it’s concerning to witness multiple situations where succession plans are not simply implemented.

Per The Conference Board (3), boards spend an average of two hours annually discussing succession planning. Clearly the topic deserves more attention.

Recalibrating Actions:

  1. What is the status of your company’s succession plan? Is it up-to-date? Does it include contingency plans? Does it encompass roles below that of the CEO? Does it include replacement plans for those who step up to fill an open role?
  2. Ensure there is a written agreement in place between the board and the CEO that addresses unexpected situations like a personal or family illness. Then, if such a situation arises, it is the board’s responsibility to follow through on the agreement.
  3. Succession planning – certainly inclusive of, but not limited to the CEO – is a primary responsibility of the board, and should be treated as such. This will require considerable time on the board’s part to understand the status, skill sets, experience, gaps, and aspirations of leaders lower than the CEO – in some cases multiple levels below.
  4. Ensure you are having discussions with your board frequently to provide status updates on various leaders, new hires, etc. As well, discuss openly how and when announcements of changes will be handled by the board to maintain the greatest company stability and lessen negative external impact.

You can reach Susan Spaulding and Recalibrate Strategies at www.recalibratestrategies.com.

Sources:

  1. Saporito, Dr. Thomas J., Succeeding as an Interim CEO: How boards and temporary chiefs can work together., Chief Executive, March 11, 2016
  2. Stevens, Laurie, M.D., Rolfe, Steven, S., M.D., A Healthy Approach to CEO Illness: How should companies cope with a leader’s health crisis?, Chief Executive, March 4, 2016
  3. Semadeni, Matthew, Mooney, Christine H., and Kesner, Idalene F., Interim CEO: Reasonable Choice or Failed Selection?, The Conference Board, June 2014
  4. Friedman, Lex, Apple Turns to Tim Cook to Replace Steve Jobs, Macworld, August 24, 2011

JB+A Anniversary Event Explores Donor-Advised Funds

By | All Posts, Capacity Building, Current Events/News, Events, Fundraising, Insights, JB+A Client Fundraising Success | No Comments

We had a wonderful time on Tuesday, November 10, celebrating 15 years of nonprofit fundraising success with more than 120 guests and exploring the role of donor-advised funds (DAFs) in the powerful future of philanthropy. Joined by featured speakers Matt Nash, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Client Experience at Fidelity Charitable and Debbie Wilkerson, President and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to share our insight on the impact DAFs can have on our communities and those we serve.

In a series of presentations, Jeffrey, Matt and Debbie “unshrouded” some of the mystery surrounding DAFs by explaining the dynamics of donor and fund relations, the benefits to donors who use DAFs and the continued need for donor stewardship.

Jeffrey at the podium, with Debbie and Matt (not pictured) on the panel.

Jeffrey at the podium, with Debbie and Matt (not pictured) on the panel.

To review the most recent research on DAFs, Matt shared data provided by the National Philanthropic Trust’s most recent 2014 report:

  • There are an estimated 238,293 DAFs in the U.S. (an 8.8% increase over 2013)
  • DAFs outnumber foundations 3:1, and that number is continuing to increase every year
  • Total granting from DAFs was $12.5 billion, a 27% increase over 2013 (compared to total U.S. giving (according to Giving USA 2014 data) which increased 7.1% over 2013)

The panel then dug deeper to explore the stimulus behind DAFs and the rationale of fund donors to help us better understand this growing trend. To examine why donors are choosing this giving vehicle, Matt shared information supplied by Fidelity Charitable donors that revealed their motivations:

  • 76% select DAFs for growth of charitable assets
  • 69% select DAFs to better organize and keep a record of giving
  • 68% select DAFs to give them more time to decide where to give
  • 90% select DAFs to realize an immediate tax deduction for charitable giving
  • 76% select DAFs to donate appreciated assets (non-cash) such as publicly traded stock

Additionally, Matt further explained how investment growth in DAFs drives an increase in funds available for charitable grants, allowing donors to increase their giving capacity:

  • Since 1991, investment options at Fidelity Charitable have generated an additional $3.6 billion available for grant making
  • Over the last 10 years, dollars granted to charities have tripled
  • most contributions are granted out to charities within 10 years

Matt and Debbie both emphasized the strategic nature of donors who give to DAFs in seeking to maximize the benefits of giving—for both financial and charitable planning reasons. They were able to marry the significant statistics visible on both local and national levels by identifying commonalities of the donors and DAFs between their two entities—including comparable median giving account balance, average grant size and the prevalence of non-cash assets being donated to funds.

To give life to these numbers, Debbie shared several examples of local Kansas City area individuals and families who choose to give through charitable giving accounts (DAFs) at the Foundation. She explained how these vehicles enable donors to not only set aside funds specifically designated for long-term charitable giving, but can also be utilized as an educational tool in helping young family members learn about philanthropy and as a resource in exploring new opportunities for giving within the community.

Debbie shared videos profiling three Foundation donors, in which they shared their stories about how and why they utilize DAFs. Their testimonials emphasized how giving funds can be “…a great resource, not only for people who want to give back and might not know the most efficient or most effective way of doing it, but also for those organizations that might not have the right exposure, but the right mission….”

To wrap up the panel’s presentations, Jeffrey discussed how despite the changing landscape of philanthropic giving—as Debbie and Matt affirmed—the majority of DAF donors are not anonymous. He emphasized how critical it is for nonprofits to understand DAFs, remain aware of data and trends and learn how to make this giving vehicle part of their fundraising efforts.

For both donors and organizations to fully benefit from the powerful capacity of DAFs, Jeffrey stressed focusing efforts in three areas:

 1.  Creating a culture for investment.
The movement happening in local and federal government will affect what we do in daily practice. We need to carefully follow these happenings and advocate for policy that supports a culture of long-term giving.

2.  Providing donors with options.
By offering different mechanisms or vehicles for giving, we can encourage charitable giving and facilitate the process in a way that is comfortable for donors. We especially need to capitalize on new technologies that enable maximum giving potential such as the giving widget, which encourages giving on a nonprofit’s website through a donor-advised fund.

3.  Continuing to tell our stories.
As DAFs grow in popularity, we must remember that behind these giving vehicles, there are people. In fact, 92% of DAFs are not anonymous, so we must engage these stakeholders by sharing stories of all the good works nonprofits do.

JB+A would like to thank Matt Nash and Debbie Wilkerson for joining us and sharing their insight and experience with our guests.

All of us at JB+A feel privileged to have used this milestone to say thank you to the volunteers, the advocates, the philanthropists and the nonprofit professionals, who continue to give their time, energy and resources to strengthen our communities, and to celebrate what we have achieved together for the betterment of the Greater Kansas City community and communities across the U.S.

To learn more about donor-advised funds, click here

YES! Nonprofits Can Hashtag

By | All Posts, Capacity Building, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Insights, News You Can Use, Nonprofit Marketing, Stewardship, Technology | No Comments

Anne Headshot for uploadAnne Corless
Associate Consultant

In last month’s newsletter, we talked about the #GivingTuesday 2015 campaign for your nonprofit.  So, you’ve downloaded the JB+A GivingTuesday_Toolkit_2015 and reviewed all the materials.  “Now what?” you might ask.

Before joining JB+A, I had an amazing opportunity to work in NYC for what has become one of the world’s foremost e-commerce companies. Its incredible success was built through grassroots consumer-driven marketing, especially on social media platforms. By engaging with customers on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and in the blogosphere, the company grew its brand exclusively through peer-to-peer referral via likes, shares, tweets, retweets, video reviews, blogs and reblogs.

From the mouth of Mark Zuckerberg himself, however, “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission—to make the world more open and connected.”

The #GivingTuesday campaign seeks to capitalize on this idea. As a participating organization, you will become part of the global conversation about philanthropic giving that was continued by more than 15,000 nonprofits and 20,000 partner organizations last year, and which translated into more than $100 million in total gifts. Tapping into this energy, you will be able to expand your audience by increasing awareness for your mission, you will improve conversation about your cause by connecting with your audience in a meaningful way, and hopefully, you will be able to inspire your community to action.

Connect.
The best way to make new friends is through old friends.

Think of a blind date:  would you be more likely to sit down to dinner with a stranger if along with flowers and a nice head of hair, he came with a gushing recommendation from your best friend? Probably. Similarly, an introduction or solicitation from your organization will be better received if it is made with the endorsement of a mutual friend.

Social media channels empower businesses and organizations to make these personal connections. Your organization can capitalize on the established social networks of Board members, staff, volunteers and avid supporters of your cause. This is totally free promotional space that has the additional benefit of personal endorsement.

Reach out to your supporters and ask them to like, share and tweet your message. As follow up, like, retweet and respond to all posts and comments from your organization’s page – you can even like your own posts from your personal accounts. On Facebook, these interactive touches have the additional benefit of generating ticker stories that will show updates in real-time not only to people in your immediate network, but to friends of friends as well.

Message.
Engage in a two-way conversation.

Cramming your organization’s mission statement, future goals, past achievements, current projects and a call to action into 140 characters is a daunting task.  Actually, it’s an impossible one. Instead of a one-shot solicitation attempt, approach your #GivingTuesday campaign as beginning a conversation.

Speak with one voice. Decide on a tone and tenor to interact with your audience, and make sure that verbiage and formatting are consistent across platforms. Engage your audience by using a conversational tone – use appropriate jargon, but simplify your message so that it is accessible.

Provide speaking points, suggested captions and tweets. Arm your staff and volunteers with examples of appropriate and effective messages to share on #GivingTuesday.

“It’s #GivingTuesday, and I am donating to @ _____ because_________.”

“I’m gifting the money I saved during #BlackFriday to @______. I hope you’ll join me in supporting a worthy cause on #GivingTuesday.”

“The work we do @_________ is very near and dear to my <3. Show your support on #GivingTuesday and #savealife”

Increase your message’s visibility by using the #GivingTuesday hashtag across all platforms; this will link your post to Twitter’s Trending Topics feed, where it can be seen alongside posts from other participating organizations. Make your messages stand out by creating your own unique hashtag!

Image.Thirst Water #GivingTuesday tweet
A picture is worth a thousand words.

Attention is most easily captivated by visual content. In fact, posts that include pictures or some graphic element see greater engagement than text-based posts – producing an up to 85% interaction rate on Facebook and an increase in retweets by 35%.

Heifer International #GivingTuesdayCreate an image or info graphic that helps your audience quickly understand your organization’s mission and impact in the community – use charts and statistics to illustrate the issues at hand, how your organization is addressing them and the success you have had in a visually interesting way.

To make #GivingTuesday posts even more personal, encourage your supporters to post an #UNselfie – or “unselfish selfie”—to tell why they are donating to your cause.  Even encourage staff to take behind-the-scenes pictures of your #GivingTuesday activities (make sure to tag everyone!) This is a fun, interactive way to extend the reach of your message to untapped networks with a personal touch.

So, when you carry out your organization’s #GivingTuesday campaign, remember the key takeaways:

  • Use #GivingTuesday to open your audience’s eyes to the need for your organization.
  • Show them the work that you do.
  • Invite discussion.
  • Explain why you need their help.
  • Call them to rally to your cause.
  • Imagine for them the change you can achieve together.
  • Ask them to be an advocate.
  • Say thank you.
  • And say thank you again.

givingtuesday-unselfie