This are my notes of the Non-Profit Digital Strategies Seminar put on by the AMA DC Chapter on 12/18/12


Brendan Hurley/Chief Marketing Officer – Goodwill of Greater DC

Kerry Morgan/SVP Marketing Communications – United Way, DC

Craig Oldham/VP Marketing,-American Red Cross

Amy DeMaria/SVP Communications – Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Panel comments sorted by who said what to make it easier to follow up contact a panelist. I spoke afterwards with Amy (CF) and Craig (Red Cross). They are all nice folk and easily approachable.

Amy/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (National) 

  • Facebook is their core vehicle, NOT WEB but future depends on Zuckerberg
    • 150,000 Facebook followers
      • 77% Women-mothers with CF children
      • Want information on helping their kid’s life: nutrition, etc
      • 10% foreign
    • Post new content every 2 to 3 weeks
      • Check to see how viral each post spreads
      • Has 3 member staff creating professional content for web, tweets and Facebook. Too important for junior staff or younger writer.
      • Know your audience. Why they come to your Facebook page, build content to THEIR interest not yours. No need to be on all the latest sits such as Instagram, Pinterest. Go where you audience spends most time and do that well.
      • Copy write to people, don’t be an organization writing to donors
    • Monetizing Facebook page big problem for Cystic Fibrosis
      • Corporate sponsors want to be on CF page to promote themselves
      • CF believes this is conflict of interest. Will not link to sponsors or even mention their drugs.
    • CF puts Facebook and twitter URLs on all materials they send out, not their website!
    • HOWEVER, not all Facebook centric marketing programs worked for CF. They did major fundraising campaign focusing on the facebook friends of CF facebook Friends. TOTAL FLOP, because the “friends of friends” did not have CF children! Not emotional invested in same cause. (Goodwill did same thing with the fashionista facebook Friends of Friends and was huge hit – both groups where fashion conscious!)
    • Peer to Peer fundraising is growing via Facebook
  • Mobile is on rise – Quick to use, focused. Simple and clean content.

Kerry/United Way (DC area chapter)   

(It is very important to realize the United Way model is very different than the other attendees. Her comments reflect this)

  • Need to combine on and off line to create complete community.
  • Suggests using LIGHTBOX to create simple 2 field pop up for email and donations
  • Sees movement to multiple charities on the same page, the consumer choices which

one to donate to (remember she is United Way)

  • Was not emailing two years ago, now has 40,000  list. Must decide upfront if you are going to segment this audience and devote the resources to create and maintain programs for each of the segments. Otherwise, don’t do it.
    • 1st wave had major unsubscribe rate
    • Must ENGAGE recipients
      • Surveys of 3 to 5 short questions: What r biggest issues? do u think?
      • Advocacy: Call your congressman, do this, etc
  • These 40,000 donors segmented into 23 sub-segments which get unique sub-segment message emails every 6 weeks
  • Authorized Facebook and Twitter posters must go through ONE hour of training
  • Must have alignment within the organization as to what you want to accomplish and how you are going to do it on-line
    • Most United Way donations done via on-site corporation fundraising of employees. Should we ask for individual’s emails? Or rely on company?
    • 750 non profits under the United Way umbrella. Facebook is not helpful to United Way. Yet Twitter very good.
      • Tweets are fast, easy to use by small non profits
      • Don’t start something unless you can keep at it 1 to 2 years to build. That is how long it took to go from 160 to 2,000 twitter followers
  • Giving Tuesday is going to take off (You would expect United Way to think this)
    • $2million raised in 24 hours from 18,000 unique donors for the participating organizations.
    • June 6th next event

Brendan/Goodwill (DC area)

(He was great, sophisticated in use of Facebook to reach his audience and engage them)

  • In last two years more donations moving on-line as their giving population ages and is more digital minded. Need to lay ground work NOW for millennial and Gen X/Yers to comfortably donate
  • Less than 2% donations from traditional cash donors, 80% from store revenue
  • People come to Goodwill for two very different reasons, Retail and Mission:
    • Gen Y & X big store shoppers. Goodwill stores considered “vintage”.
      • Have separate Facebook for Goodwill “fashionistas” shoppers
      • Content focused on fashion and the young/hipster
      • Includes fashion bloggers and tweets
  • Second group appreciates Goodwill’s Mission, gets separate Facebook
    • Workforce Development messages
    • Donations
  • Quickly realized “90%” of Goodwill’s staff did not understand what Goodwill was doing on line and why.
    • Need to explain to own organization on-line mission and programs before you go public with them on-line so EVERYONE in your organization is giving the public the right message.
    • Train own staff on using social media and understanding it. There is lots of hype and smoke on how to make money thru social media. Reality is social media is a way to ENGAGE and SELL your organization to your audience. They will donate money later.
    • Recommended watching/reading Steven Cook material on brand building for example

  • Moving marketing focus from web to Facebook
    • Facebook content dynamic, constant new material easy to post and easy to update by assigned staff vs having to go through a web master.
      • Has English and Spanish versions of fashion blogs.
      • Post 250 to 500 word blogs FIVE DAYS each week
    • Expect a 1 to 2 year process to build up to what you will want.

Craig/Red Cross

(Very approachable, most sophisticated in number crunching preparing the organization for change. From Chicago).

  • Must segment your givers. Red Cross clearly defines those that give TO the Red Cross vs those giving THROUGH the Red Cross
    Example: Hurricane Sandy created lots of donations by people who wanted to do something for the victims of Sandy, not interested in supporting Red Cross itself.

 Mobile phone donors give to EVENTS

    • Not organizational supporters
    • Bimodal amounts: lots of $10/$25 donations then jumped to $2,000 even
      a $50,000gift. BUT these people did not want any contact or follow up from
      Red Cross. Even the $50k donor pushed back.
    • $TEXT donors had poor ROI, mostly episodic, high mobile carrier costs
  • Personal mythbusting Craig offered to audience
    • Non-profits should use non-profit tools. NO! Techniques used in for-profit commerce and commercial agencies work well.
    • Non-profit tools cheaper. NO! Red Cross uses the Ann Taylor website tools for their fundraising. For-profit tools have economy of scale and better tested by people whose jobs depend on their effectiveness, ease of use and cost.
    • Donors want non-profit experience. NO! People coming to Red Cross website, Facebook and tweets expect same experience as when they visited Amazon, Apple, etc.
  • Corporate Mythbusting is very important. As you get into the data generated by on-line programs you start to rethink what works and what doesn’t’
    • Red Cross made mistake of not addressing this upfront. Have your organization agree from the beginning that you as a group will collect information to find out in an unemotional, fact driven way what works and what doesn’t. Set the hurdles and the number requirements upfront, then do the research to see if a program meets those hurdles.
    • They found many of their “legacy” programs (supported by emotionally invested staff and board members) did not have factually supported returns on the resources invested in them in spite of everyone’s expectations to the contrary.
  • Tweets great for single event crisis response as shown again by Sandy
  • Peer giving and sharing as big and growing.
  • Crowd rise big (I have no idea what this is – they do the wave?)
  • Know your numbers. Track daily traffic
  • Authorized Facebook and Twitter posters must go through FOUR hours of training

30 Second Elevator Speech Made Easy

I presented a seminar on Elevator Speeches to a State of Maryland POAC event in Laurel, MD yesterday. There were about 15 attendees. These are my notes

The sole purpose of giving your spiel is to get networking names that will get you closer to someone who will eventually lead you to getting a job. It is extremely unlikely the person you are going to speak with is hiring, BUT it is a certainty that someone within his/her network is hiring – though it might be at 2 or 3 degrees of separation.

With this in mind:
#1: Have a business/networking card with you at all times
The person you are speaking with is not going to remember your name, let alone how to contact you, after you say good bye. Many people will only give out contact names after they look you up on LinkedIn. They do not want to embarrass themselves by sending a “mis-match” or  “loser” to a close friend. I personally screen people before I recommend them to people in my network. I also expect the same from my own contacts.

#2: Ask for networking names in the easiest way possible to get an answer
I believe people are naturally good. They do not know how to help because the help request is complicated, vague or unclear. Close your spiel with a direct request for names at two or three SPECIFIC companies or organizations. “Healthcare”, “Non-Profit” and “Finance sector” are too vague and also imply you may not be too sure yourself what you are looking for.

Use the attached worksheet to build your speech. The first page helps you prepare four pieces of content to insert into your speech.

I believe the current belief in a single 30 to 120 second speech is ill advised. The second page of the worksheet recommends a two part speech. The first is a very quick introduction of yourself, after which you engage the listener with a question. Get a conversation going. This will give you direction with what industries and companies the listeners might be connected with.

The second part of the speech asks the listener for names. The listener at this point will be more receptive to give you contacts having had a dialogue with you rather than your own monologue. In addition, asking for names is a social signal the conversation is coming to an end.

Click here to down load a MS Word 2010 File of the  Elevator Speech Workshet

Social Media Notes B2B Basecamp: Various Stuff

Microsoft, Friendship Heights
Jan 12, 2012 B2B Basecamp

RADIAN 6 Presentation very poor and disorganized
Engagements and Impressions are the most important social media metrics. Forget Follower count, etc. Must drive to be the most influential in your field. Be the LEADER/EXPERT.

“Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid” – John Wayne

Cannot be talking about yourself on social media. Must talk to your audience. Take a “social community with a manager” position.

Use LinkedIn Navigator.
A LinkedIn connection is 4x more influential over a cold call

Susan Kuhn
Met Susan. She is “Social Media Manager, Small Business Marketing Expert, Socialmedia Pro, SEO, Content Manager, E-Mail Marketing”  with specific expertise in non-profits. Great resource.

Beth Kanter and
Susan Kuhn recommended I follow Beth Kanter for suggestions on non-profit social media. the blog and her web site are great. SHE EVEN POSTS HER PRESENTATIONS for you to pull content for promoting your own social cause. A true believer in Marcus’ Stevens open content rules.

B2B Sales/Mkt from B2B Basecamp: Shawn Cook

((CARL: Eloqua has an on-line  certification program
Eloqua was purchased by Oracle at the end of 2012)

Microsoft, Friendship Heights
Jan 12, 2012 B2B Basecamp


This was an excellent sales pitch to use Eloqua consulting services. Shawn had good content on how the Salesman/Buyer relationship has changed since I started my career back in the 1980s.

Most cost effective way to increase sales revenue is to drive customer retention rates. at 5% increase in customer retention will give 95% profit growth.

Marketing Lead > Salesforce Call > Single Buyer

Buyer looks for information on-line. Knows 57% of what he is seeking before contacting three firms to get quotes. Will then seek a consensus with the other buyers rather than make own decision. 80% of B2B purchases start with Google search.

Companies complain sales cycle is now 22% longer time wise. No longer one buyer making the decision, but a team. Yet buyers will say their process is 70% faster than before. Buyers are self-educating.

Web Tips from B2B Basecamp: Marcus Sheridan

Microsoft, Friendship Heights
Jan 12, 2012
This was my first B2B Basecamp MeetUp. Shardul Metha recommended it as a great start in the basecamp method.  It was both fun and informative, also a great way to network in the field. While  the individual  seminars maybe hit or miss, the entire event is great.

MARCUS SHERIDAN, Keynote Speaker
Marcus is the sales lion.  Enthusiasm, warmth and irradiating energy. Started presentation asking how do you in the audience receive a presenter’s message. Great way to make audience receptive to your talk by making listeners realize how much they censor what they hear:
#1 Type:  this will make sense to me, I will try to use what I hear
#2 Type:  Not for me! Doesn’t apply.

(Marcus is a great presenter. You can see his years of sales experience in how he handles the crowd.  He asks specific members in the audience their opinion and thoughts on his slides as he builds his argument rather than says he big idea himself. )

Marcus’s Golden Rule for web: “They Ask, You Answer”
We ignore the most important questions our web site visitor’s ask. Typical website only answers 15 to 20 visitor questions. Visitors have 80 to 100 questions in their mind when they go on your site.
Web surfers growing increasing impatient with the internet. We don’t go to the 2nd page of a Google search anymore. We will redo the search terms instead. (Carl: This made me realize we have become even more dependent on how Google predetermines what we see first). It is imperative your web site shows up in the first Google search result pages. The best way to do this: ANSWER THE QUESTIONS you target customers type into Google.

Marcus is in the pool installation business. His potential customers ask the same questions about swimming pools as any other company’s product or service:

1. PRICE: How much will it cost?
2. BEST: What is the best brand, product, service provider?
3. PROBLEMS: What are the most likely, largest problems I will face?
4. COMPARISONS: How to competitive
Create content in your web site addressing each of the above questions so the Google search results list YOU.

1. PRICE: have an article “This is how much a xxxxx costs”. You do not actually give a cost, just address the cost issue.

2. BEST: Have a web page of who you consider the best competitor products or services in your area. Take clippings from their web sites for content. Start page with. “We at zzzzz consider the following among the best in this region.” Do not list yourself. The reader is already in your web site! no need. Please note the most common Google search is “Who are the best ….. in ……”

3. PROBLEMS: Be upfront. this is a disarmament tactic. Gain trust from public by telling the truth.

4. COMPARISONS: Again be truthful, lift copy exactly from competitor sites, even show the sites as the source. Goal is to be the LEADER/EXPERT in this field.

Create your own awards to post on site! Give to supplies and competitors. You will be surprised how they will in turn post these on there site!

See for more


Hello world!


I am Carl Cohen. I started this blog as a way to keep my notes on social media projects for the various non-profits I volunteer for in one spot. The blog also makes it easier for me to distribute my notes.

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