Friday, June 29, 2012
The Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards Program (a.k.a. The Taggies) just opened its fourth awards cycle with the addition of an Advocacy Campaign Tagline category.
Nonprofits and libraries everywhere are invited to enter their organizational tagline in the program, plus any tagline they’ve created to advance programs, fundraising campaigns, advocacy campaigns and/or special events. The 2,700 taglines entered in the 2010 Awards were a bounty of skillful messages and this year’s entries are expected to be equally powerful.
“A relevant tagline does double-duty—working to extend an organization’s name and mission, while delivering a memorable and motivating message to the people whose help it needs,” says awards program organizer Nancy E. Schwartz. “But our recent Nonprofit Messages Survey showed just 29% of organizations have a tagline that connects and spurs action.
“The biennial Awards program is designed to inspire and guide organizations to deliver taglines that connect quickly and strongly with their target audiences—Aha! messages that build and strengthen key relationships for the long term.”
Schwartz says that in addition to the new Advocacy Campaign Tagline category, Wildlife & Animal Welfare has been added as a field of focus for the organization tagline awards.
All entrants will be invited to a free webinar (Aha! Messages: 4 Ways to Test Message Relevance) and receive access to the fully-updated Nonprofit Tagline Report— the only complete guide to building an organization’s brand in eight words or less—and Database.
Organizations can enter their taglines via an easy-to-complete entry form at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Taggies12
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
After talking with my team, we've redoubled our efforts to design core Key Performance Indicators ("KPIs") in an attempt to actually start using A/B testing as a regular process for updating our site navigation, design choices and whatever else we want to change.
It's a disorienting thing, removing subjectivity from the design process. My background as a designer makes me one of those people who can look at a screen and make grand proclamations about where things should be and what they should say. It's something I'm determined to stop doing. I will be honest, it is hard to stop.
Either way, we've devised a series of "top level" KPIs designed to measure overall site effectiveness - and we've limited it to 5 measurements. Yes, of course we'll design secondary KPIs, but at this point, we plan to benchmark and establish baselines for just the most important things on a website. Here's a sample of the working list of questions we hope to answer:
- 1. Do people come back (return visits)
- 2. Do they make donations? (page views / total on site donations)
- 3. Do they stay once they visit? (time on site)
- 4. Do they take key actions designed to engage them in a deeper relationship? (page views / key actions)
We feel like we've got a good handle on how we will do this and I'm excited to get started. Some changes will be major, others we hope to test, like the font on the main navigation, are nominal. Either way, we'll learn a lot about what makes the site really tick and put ourselves in a position to improve it over time.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
I know some of it is normal; lots of in-fighting, jealousy and misunderstandings between kids who are all eager to do well. However, the overall feeling I get so far from observing things is that the school and coaches have simply forgotten that they should be teaching "team first" concepts.
Most of these kids will end their sports careers in the next 2/3 years, especially the girls. I've been talking to more and more parents and am hearing that girls in particular drop off teams and for spring sports, rarely play out their senior season. I'm unsure if this is a generalization or a trend but it seems to be more true than false.
The chances of playing college level team sports is slim - which is of course why some players continually focus on their individual accomplishments; trying to make an impression, racking up individual accomplishments and focusing more on themselves than the team itself.
When my kids were little, we wanted them to play team sports to get important lessons, not because we thought they would earn a scholarship. They tried everything from soccer, to tennis, dance, and softball to find something they loved to play or do. We hoped the experience would teach them about themselves and give them the lessons from being on a team that will serve them for their entire lives.
When these kids get out into the workforce, how will they know how to be a team player? Do they even know the concept of sacrificing for the greater good or are they simply learning to be entitled, spoiled individual contributors?
Friday, May 4, 2012
Stuff has gotten really complicated lately.
And even worse, I feel the Glaze. (the "Glaze" as Mark Bowden refers to it in his incredible book "Worm," is THAT LOOK you get when trying to explain something technical to someone non-technical). The Glaze I get is that non-committal, yea dude, keep talking sort of look when I get really excited about some new technology, idea or concept.
The problem is that we're in the land of "we don't actually know what will work and what will not work" when it comes to Internet marketing "stuff" and non-profit fundraising. Yes, we're still here some 10+ years later. No, we haven't figured it all out yet.
No, direct mail isn't dead, but it isn't the answer.
No, one more tweet from a celebrity isn't going to make a difference.
No, a TV campaign isn't the answer, it never really was. And you can't afford it anyways.
No, no, no.
The problem then, with experts, expertise and execution in the e-realm is that all of this stuff is still a black art. Why exactly does Instagram work better than Flickr? How come your Google ad helped you clear record revenue and mine did nothing? How come your site converts 20x better than mine? What, you mean Google Analytics is free? What is HTML? How do you say GIF? But I digress...
The answer lies in leveraging AND TRUSTING experts, and then letting them execute, fail, learn and finally #win.
I am sure of it.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I have been working a lot on a passion project called "Hacking Autism" which has led me down some really interesting roads and led to some very cool conversations. I visited University of Michigan and saw demos of Microsoft Kinect games built for kids with autism. I've talked with game designers about gaming as therapy for autism. I've contemplated social games, social networking, touch technologies and more; all in relation to those on the spectrum.
This is an extremely exciting time for autism and technology. The explosion of iOS and mobile apps is literally the tip of the iceberg. Check out www.hackingautism.org for more and get ready to "hack autism." I'm trying to pull off a hackathon in June with the Random Hacks of Kindness folks, and am excited to see what sort of traction we'll get.
Are you a hacker? A game designer? A project manager? A parent or a child with autism, or perhaps someone on the spectrum yourself? Get involved at the RHoK site and learn more.