Is There an App for That (Nonprofit)?

Group of business associates in a line text messaging on their cellphone

In today’s technology-based world, few people go anywhere without their smartphones. Think about it. How often do you not have your phone nearby? I’m betting your answer is, “Almost never.” So what does this have to do with nonprofits? The short answer: Everything.

If your nonprofit isn’t readily available on your smartphone, the truth is you’re losing money. Donors want to be able to find you quickly and be able to donate easily online. You also want your donors to be able to share their enthusiasm about your nonprofit with their friends via social media. And the greater your social media presence, the more likely your donors will be to share your posts, highlighting your successes and your value to the community, which will, in turn, generate more interest in your organization AND more donations. Win-win-win!

Keep in mind this sharing aspect of digital media is free publicity–FREE! So it’s critical your leadership understands the importance of establishing a strong web presence. While this social media sharing aspect is free, creating a digital media presence does require an investment in infrastructure.

In a recent blog post, we defined infrastructure as “systems, staff, and equipment,” and technology plays a role in each of these areas. Here are some questions to consider about the infrastructure required for your digital media presence:

  1. Does your nonprofit have staff dedicated to your web presence?
  2. Is this digital media staff well-trained?  Note: It’s critical that they’re not only tech-savvy but that they also have an understanding of public relations, fundraising, marketing and communications.
  3. Does your staff have the tools (i.e. computers and software) required for creating a strong web presence?
  4. Do you have a digital media plan in place that includes when you publish, what you publish, and how you reach your audience? For example, are you using Facebook or LinkedIn? Are you active on Twitter? Do you maintain a blog? Is your website up-to-date with the latest information? Is your donation button working properly, and are your online donors thanked promptly?

These are not small endeavors, and they do require a regular investment of time and money; however, you’d be hard-pressed today to find a successful nonprofit that isn’t utilizing the internet to its best advantage. I’m not arguing that your nonprofit needs an actual app (though this might be worth considering), but do you need a web presence? Absolutely–no matter the size of your nonprofit–and the bigger the web presence, the better!

In the long run, by investing in the infrastructure necessary to develop a strong web presence, your nonprofit will exponentially expand its impact and save money in the process. And that’s music to your donors’ ears!

created by Kathryn Clarke, Program Assistant, Eno River Consulting http://www.enoriverconsulting.org

Millennials meet Baby Boomers, Baby Boomers meet Millennials

unity

There is much to gain from the age old idea of learning from our elders, especially when it comes to leadership.  Millennials like it, tweet it, post it, blog it, and watch videos all at the same time. We dive in to social media to make deep connections with causes, people, and ideas.  Other generations can be overwhelmed and intimidated by this lifestyle that wasn’t even thought of a decade ago.  These generational differences lead to different ideas about what leadership looks like in an organization.

The most recent Daring to Lead survey (Cornelius, Moyers, & Bell, 2011) of Executive Directors reported that “thirty-six percent of leaders said there would not be a credible staff candidate for the executive position should they leave today” (Corneilus et al., 2011, para. 10).   This creates an opportunity to strengthen emerging leader’s talents to serve in the context of their organization.

How can we engage with each other to provide successful dialogue that moves our organizations forward?

There is an opportunity to link the knowledge of the past to the ideas of the future to create a lasting legacy for the future and to deepen the sector’s experience of contributing back to improve organizations.  Increased collaboration is seen as having the potential for improved outcomes for organizations.  Through collaboration, organizations can often see increased revenue, decreased expenses, and/or significantly improved impact through collaborative engagement strategies with key stakeholders. There needs be a focus on breaking silos of generations, race, power, and gender to creating a cohesive and collaborative environment with a clear vision of the organization.

LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND

Younger generations are so full of ideas, ways to change the world to make it better, and how to connect everyone to their ideas.  While other generations may be quick to share their wisdom they have gained over their years of experience, before they listen.   There needs to be time set aside for generations to listen to each other and allow them to understand what they each have to offer the organization.

LEARN

In organizations each generation has a responsibility to learn!  Younger generations need to reach out and ask for advice and feedback.  Then take the feedback to improve and adapt as a leader.  Millennials are hungry for direction and want to succeed as leaders.  Boomers and Xers may lack some digital skills; however are wealth of talent, have had experiences, and developed skills to become positive leaders.

In the dynamics of an organization there is room for seasoned leaders to gain insight from the younger generations.  Such leaders are able to learn innovative ways to engage their organization, take their experiences and talents adapt them to stay relevant in today’s ever evolving world.

KEEP THE FUTURE IN MIND

Without this model of inter-generational learning the implications will be severe and cause us to continue to make the same mistakes made in the past without realizing it.

-Traci

http://www.enoriverconsulting.org

Carol Sanford – Generations learning from other Generations

Discusses the importance of millennials and past generations learning from each other. What does this mean for leadership within an organization? Has this dynamic been explored…Stay tuned…

-Traci

www.enoriverconsulting.org