Editor's Note: this guest blog was written exclusively for YNPN Atlanta.
By Sherman Standberry, Atlanta-based social media expert and cofounder of LYFE Marketing. Find out more about Sherman.
Do you know how to use social media to grow your nonprofit?
According to nonprofits social media marketing data, 98% of all nonprofits are on Facebook, but only 48% of them view the results of social media as valuable. This hints that many nonprofits are unfamiliar with how to use social media marketing to grow their organizations. It also represents an opportunity for those nonprofits who do utilize social media effectively to rise above their competition.
After working with numerous nonprofits and churches at LYFE Marketing, we have developed a definitive strategy that have worked for many nonprofits over the past few years. Here is an exclusive strategy for YNPN nonprofits to implement today:
Develop a concrete plan: Why is your nonprofit on social media? Answer this question before doing anything. Define your main objectives for using for social media and make sure that every post, engagement, follower, etc. is relevant to your main objective. Analyze your audience and understand which social media platforms your target demographic is spending the most time (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). Once you have pinpointed your target audience on social media, the next step is to grow a strong presence that attracts them to your nonprofit.
One of the best things about being part of a national network like YNPN is the opportunity to share resources and learn from our fellow chapters in other cities. This past summer at the YNPN National Leaders Conference in Minneapolis-St. Paul, our board members Molly, Ashley, and Renee learned about Podio, an awesome new project management tool that other YNPN chapters have used to streamline their operations.
Citrix Podio is the new way for teams to communicate, organize, track, and get work done in one place, and we are thrilled to announce that Podio has become an official sponsor of YNPN Atlanta! With Podio, project management will be easier than ever for the YNPN Atlanta Board of Directors and committee volunteers, with increased collaboration on projects and integration with tools like Google Calendar, Dropbox, Facebook, LinkedIn, and much more!
Podio is a great tool for volunteer driven organizations who need a way to organize communications in the cloud. Interested in having Podio sponsor your organization? Visit their sponsorship application online!
Excited to hear how YNPN Atlanta leaders are working to make our chapter better every day? Consider joining our team with one of our current volunteer opportunities!
Editor's Note: this post has been re-blogged with the author's permission. It was originally posted on the author's blog September 18, 2014.
By Sonya Collins, Atlanta-based independent journalist covering health care, medicine, & biomedical research. Find out more about Sonya.
Yesterday, I read an article that said the most productive workers take breaks often. To be precise, they take a 17-minute break for every 52 minutes worked. I’m a work-from-home freelancer, and I always have at least a half-a-dozen assignments on my plate, and a list of at least that many tasks I must complete for each of them. Without the rhythms of an office, co-workers, and meetings to structure my days, I’m always on the lookout for the latest evidence on how to be more productive.
For health purposes, not so much for productivity, I had tried to adopt the habit of standing up for five minutes every 60-90 minutes. I used StandApp on my iPhone, which sounds an alarm every 60 minutes (or 90 if you choose), then shows you a five-minute exercise video to do during your break. It’s pretty funny because the man and woman who do the exercises are standing in a poorly lit, cramped cubicle in business clothes, and they use their desk or shelf for support during certain exercises. But I got pretty bored, pretty quickly with this routine. I think it was because the breaks were so short that they seemed almost pointless. They didn’t give me time to do anything useful, like cook lunch or clean my bathroom. And at the same time, they seemed to come around too often. I felt like I couldn’t get anything done before the alarm went off. Eventually, I found myself going through one set of the exercises and then leaning over my desk working for the rest of the break till the phone told me I could sit back down again. If the stand-up alarm went off when I was in the middle of something, I wouldn’t press play on the exercise video, and the app would stop running and that would be the end of my healthy desk habits for the day. Finally I quit using the app.
By Renee Dubois YNPN Atlanta Chair-Elect & Chair of 2014 NextGen Breakfast Committee
You may be asking yourself, why should I buy a ticket to the YNPN Atlanta’s NextGen Breakfast? Maybe it’s for a $50 ticket, you get to enjoy the fabulous skyline views of the downtown Atlanta, at the prestigious Commerce Club. Or is it having breakfast and an intimate conversation with a dynamic Atlanta Rockstar Leader? Perhaps it’s helping fund YNPN Atlanta’s programs for members: even supporting members and providing them with a free mentorship program, very affordable professional development, and continuous encouragement as they work toward actionable, local change in the Metro Atlanta community.
This year’s keynote speaker is Lisa Borders, Chair of the Coca-Cola Foundation. She will lead the charge of this year’s theme, “Diversity in Leadership.” The NextGen Committee has worked extremely hard to bring a diverse group of leaders, from both the Nonprofit and Corporate Relations world. These amazing leaders will serve as your table hosts. These individuals are heavily involved with community leadership, nonprofit service, and with bringing change to Metro Atlanta.
So join us, listen, and learn from the best in Atlanta and become the leader and change that you want to see in the community!
Silent Auction Item Teaser: Some of our silent auction items at this year’s breakfast are movie passes, breakfasts with leaders, electronics, AFP membership and much more.
Auction Item Descriptions:
C-Suite Breakfast: Have an early morning breakfast with a top Atlanta Nonprofit Executive: Doug Shipman, Executive Director, National Civil and Human Rights Museum. The Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements.
Movies With Taste: Enjoy a movie with a pair of movie passes to Cinébistro Brookhaven. You will enjoy in-seat service, high back leather rocking chairs, digital cinema with 3D capabilities, chef created full menu, bar and Lounge, premium cocktails and signature drinks. Plus there is complimentary valet service on Fridays and Saturdays.
C-Suite Breakfast: Have an early morning meal with one of Atlanta’s top Nonprofit CEOS. Bill Bolling, Executive Director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. ACFB procures more than 50 million pounds of food and groceries each year and distributes it to more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies serving families and individuals in 29 metro Atlanta and north Georgia counties.
AFP Membership: Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Atlanta Chapter: Promote professional development, networking and volunteer opportunities for those working in the fundraising arena. With over 400 members, the Greater Atlanta Chapter reflects a cross-section of Atlanta's nonprofit community, as well as the consultants and resource partners who serve our industry. We welcome professionals at all career levels from organizations of all sizes.
Hands-free: LG Tone + HBS-730 Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset Black. a great Idea for an active enjoyment life. It delivers powerful bass and high quality audio experience of stereo sound with Bluetooth technology and take call during workout - very easy to do both eliminates tangle wires that drive you crazy. And simply stream music and calls via Bluetooth. Easy to operate buttons. You can play, skip and pause music, control volume and pick up call calls. Waiting for a call, no need to disconnect.
Published September 10, 2014
By Tavia Holloway, YNPN Atlanta Member
YNPN Atlanta hosted its first “Coffee with an Expert” series on August 15, 2014, and I was one of five fortunate people to be chosen to attend. “Coffee with an Expert” gives YNPN members the rare opportunity to engage with community leaders in a small group setting. The always-amazing and ever-energetic Ann Cramer graciously gave of her time and discussed how passion, professional expertise, personal preferences, pride, and fit are critical in understanding yourself and knowing where you work best. Here are some of my take-aways from what she shared that day:
Passion – Doing your job isn’t enough. It’s important to actually care about what you do.
- Professional expertise
- What skills and expertise do you bring?
- What skills do you want to grow?
- How and where will you grow those skills?
- What is your growth plan?
- Personal preferences – Personal preferences matter, so don’t overlook them.
Pride – It’s one thing to have passion for an organization, but you should also be proud of what you do because you sell the brand and wear the brand every day.
Fit – If the culture isn’t right or you don’t fit, it won’t work for you.
The opportunity to participate in “Coffee with an Expert” is one of the many benefits you receive as a member of YNPN Atlanta. For more information on other benefits and how to join, go here. YNPN Atlanta’s next event is the NextGen Breakfast on October 23rd at the Commerce Club. The breakfast is like “Coffee with an Expert”, but on a larger scale. It includes a seated breakfast and keynote address. This year’s address will be given by Lisa Borders of The Coca-Cola Company. The best part of the breakfast is you get to choose your own table – hosted by a member of the nonprofit community - ou can even choose to sit with Ann Cramer! While you don’t have to be a member to attend, members do get early access to choose their table and purchase a ticket. Hope to see you there!
Editor's Note: this post has been re-blogged with the author's permission. Originally created for YNPN Grand Rapids. See the original post here.YNPN Atlanta also recently went through a 22-month process to receive our official nonprofit status, and we are interested in this conversation and believe it is an important one.
By Kevin Lignell, YNPN GR Just as the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids completed an arduous, multi-year process to register for 501(c)3 status, the IRS made a decision that should solicit a collective eye-roll from our local board members: it will now be easier - and much less time consuming - to apply for the coveted 501(c)3 status.
Well thanks for nothing, IRS.
According to Time Magazine, 501(c)(3) nonprofits with less than $50,000 annual income need only complete a three-page form online and pay a $400 fee to receive automatic approval from the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division. Additionally, it will replace 26-page form and non-profit narrative that was reviewed by the division, a process which had created a 66,000 application backlog. The IRS was overwhelmed with applications, and obviously something had to be done.
The process is being stressed as a modernization of current practices, but the reasons for this decision are probably more about relieving some of a the pressure and criticism that stemmed from the Tea-party debacle in 2013. Last year, the IRS was accused of being biased against Tea-party nonprofit organizations that were applying for 501(c)4 status. There was a huge lawsuit and a media backlash, leading to the resignation of ex-IRS commissioner Lois Lerner. The IRS now will put less focus on new nonprofits, and more scrutiny on larger ones with the bigger bankrolls.
Published January 20, 2014
In 2013, YNPN Atlanta saw some TREMENDOUS growth! It was a packed year that led to meaningful connections, increased professional development, and some great new partnerships for our chapter. Here are a few highlights:
Entering January, 2013, the YNPN Atlanta Board of Directors more than doubled in size, creating a strong leadership body ready to take on new challenges.
The 2013 YNPN Atlanta Board of Directors (pictured here) accomplished an immense amount of work, including a strategic planning session mid-year and engagement in the new Chapter Congress process implemented by YNPN National. The YNPN Atlanta committees also grew to accommodate the increased programming in 2013, allowing more members to have an in-depth, career-building, volunteer experience.
- 2013 was the first year YNPN Atlanta presented a full slate of programming for networking hours and professional development. Memorable events included our State of Fundraising Roundtable which featured a panel of philanthropic experts, Perfect Your Elevator Pitch where we learned to speak with intention about ourselves and our organizations, Update Your LinkedIn Profile with social media advice and free professional headshots, Financial Planning for Nonprofit Professionals where attendees received excellent personal finance advice from authorities in the field, and fun networking opportunities like our Speed Networking, Business Card Bingo, and a fun Holiday Happy Hour at Game-X.
I’ve often attended presentations of experts in my field. They have a wealth of information – typically information that many people are clamoring to hear; however, their knowledge and message get lost in a dull PowerPoint presentation. It makes me think of this amazing skit, Every Presentation Ever:
[lightbox src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIABo0d9MVE"][button] Watch the Video! [/button][/lightbox]
Experts can rely on their, well, expertise and reputation to keep people listening; unfortunately, most of us at the beginning of our careers don’t have that luxury. I frequently present to or train people who may not know my organization, let alone me. So what steps do I take to keep people engaged? Below are some tips I try to follow:
Give yourself time!
This is one of the biggest and easiest mistakes to make. My more esteemed colleague requires 8 hours of preparation for every hour of presentation. If you are speaking on a topic you haven’t presented before, you may need more time than that. When you set aside this time, it’s important to take the opportunity to:
- Spell it out by creating an outline
- Looks are everything - make sure your information catches the audience
- Get the audience involved through activities or engagement
- Test it out with a dry run beforehand
Spell it out
If you’re writing a paper, you create an outline – why not do that for a presentation as well? At our company, we define the items listed below:
- Brief description: If this presentation is to be listed on a flyer or in a program, how would it be described?
- Learning Objectives: When the presentation is complete, what do you want them to walk out knowing?
Looks are everything
You don’t need to be a graphic designer to have a slick-looking presentation. You just need to follow some simple rules. This set of slides says it all much better than I can:
[box title="Slideshare: You Suck at PowerPoint" style="soft"]
I’ve summarized the points below:
- Too much info
- Not enough visuals
- Bad quality
- Overwhelming visuals
- Lack of prep (hmmm… was that mentioned previously?)
is a great too to bring movement to your presentation. Recently, they have developed some templates that you can use. In addition, the presentations are easy to share for those who want to review it later.
Get the audience involved
Do presentations you attend often have the obligatory Q&A session at the end of the session? Is this typically the only interaction the presenter has with the audience? If you’re nodding yes, then more audience involvement is key!
The question is how? There’s many ways of creating engagement. The simplest form of engagement is to poll the audience on a topic or a point you make in the presentation. It’s also a great way for you to get feedback instantly! You may also want to incorporate an opening activity, sometimes called an ice breaker, and a closing activity.
Test it out
Dry runs help work the kinks out of presentations. If the presentation is for a group outside of your office, invite your coworkers to a brown bag lunch and ask them for pointers (cookies or other forms of dessert can be a great bribe). You can also use someone who’s completely unfamiliar with the topic, such as a friend, roommate or significant other. If you can’t get your point across to them, there’s a distinct possibility that the presentation is not effective.
Don’t beat yourself up! Whether it’s before, during or after the presentation, be confident. It’s okay to say you don’t know something, but don’t apologize for it.
, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member
As young professionals, we’re often thrown into things at work and expected to run with them. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – having to figure things out on our own and implement them without previous experience represents an incredible growth opportunity. With that growth, though, will also come mistakes.
The other day, I made a mistake at work. The details aren’t really important – it wasn’t the end of the world, but it was definitely something that I was completely responsible for. The ensuing phone call with my supervisor was more than awkward, and I had to act immediately to handle the situation. I think the four steps I went through may well serve as a framework for the future – and though I’d like to think I’ll never make a mistake at work again, that would be completely unrealistic.
Step One – Investigate:
Before rushing to any conclusions, you should look back at what happened. Learn where the error was made and why, and see if there is something you may have overlooked. Perhaps the mistake wasn’t yours – maybe a name was listed wrong in a document, or your instructions were wrong. Either way, you need to know what happened.
What does it take to be a nonprofit leader in the 21st century? How can we connect the young leaders of Atlanta with seasoned professionals in the field in a meaningful way?
These are some of the questions we asked ourselves when we began planning YNPN Atlanta’s signature annual event many months ago. The event took shape through exploration of these questions and on Tuesday, October 8th, the YNPN Atlanta First Annual NextGen Breakfast took place at The Commerce Club in downtown Atlanta, with the incredible support of presenting sponsor, MailChimp.
First, we needed a fascinating keynote speaker that would draw our members to the event and be sure to deliver a motivating address about how to be an effective nonprofit leader. Alicia Philipp, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, did not disappoint. More on that in a moment!
Second, we hoped to find 10 additional local nonprofit ‘celebrities’ that would each have a table at the event. Attendees would then be able to choose the table at which they wanted to be seated, depending on their professional interests or desire to meet a particular nonprofit rockstar. YNPN Atlanta was overjoyed and humbled that everyone we reached out to was excited to participate! Here’s the rundown of our incredible nonprofit celebrity guest list:
- Kate Atwood, Executive Director of the Arby's Foundation; Founder of Kate’s Club
- William Bryant, Jr., SeniorDevelopment Director at Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America
- Ann Cramer, Senior Consultant for Coxe Curry & Associates
- Ron Frieson, President of Exte
rnal Affairs for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
- Virginia Hepner, CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center
- Alicia Philipp, President of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
- Amy Phuong, Chief Service Officer for the City of Atlanta
- Julie Ralston, Director of Center for Strategic Relations for the Atlanta Regional Commission
- Doug Shipman, CEO for the National Center for Civil & Human Rights
- Michelle Wells, President of the Junior League of Atlanta
- Valarie Wilson, Executive Director for the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership
After welcoming remarks from YNPN Atlanta Chair Lindsey Hardegree, Alicia Philipp told us about her strategies for successful leadership, especially for those of us at a young age (see image on right). She spoke at length about the need embrace diversity, to get out of your comfort zone, and to continue to grow and learn, at one point going so far as to say: "Once a quarter, do something that makes you want to throw up." She also talked about the shifting dynamics between nonprofits, government, and individuals, and about the “meanness of spirit” that exists today, challenging nonprofit professionals to do something about it.
A few of the local nonprofit rockstars who were unable to attend to due to scheduling conflicts generously donated their time for our Silent Auction, and attendees got to bid on one-on-one lunches with them! We were able to get other fantastic items such as classes at the Foundation Center and at the Georgia Center for Nonprofit’s Nonprofit University.
Personally, I sat at a table with Valarie Wilson of the Atlanta Beltline Partnership. We learned about Valarie’s path to success and she questioned us on whether we were preparing to take the next step in our own careers.
Even though I was often busy with preparations and the running of the event, I still managed to meet new people, network with some of our ‘celebrity’ guests, re-connect with folks I had met at previous YNPN Atlanta events, enjoy a great breakfast, and come away with ideas on how to better organize my career goals.
While planning the NextGen Breakfast, we hoped it was something we could replicate for years to come. With such a resounding success in its first year, you can expect that it will happen again in 2014. Personally, I can’t wait!
Please leave your thoughts on the event, suggestions for the future, or other comments below!