Archive for the ‘Social Media Tips’ Category

 

Day 2 Recap – Summit on Social Media and Online Giving

Posted by Alexis Nadin on July 15th, 2014
Jai Bhujwala, VP, Online & Retail Giving, GiveIndia

Jai Bhujwala, VP, Online & Retail Giving, GiveIndia

Did you miss GlobalGiving’s Summit on Social Media and Online Giving in New Delhi? Don’t worry! We’ve provided a brief recap of the second day, which focused on strategies and techniques for raising funds online. Check out the Twitter conversation and the event photos online.

Online Community & Social Fundraising: India 2.0Session Presentation

Jai Bhujwala, VP, Online & Retail Giving, GiveIndia
Fundraising has evolved with the invention of the internet. Is it no longer a one-way effort of gathering contributions by soliciting donations. Instead, Fundraising 2.0 is an effort to empower your supporters to raise funds using their networks and communities. Jai shares GiveIndia’s tips for harnessing the power of this new phenomenon to raise funds for your organization.

Corporate Engagement in India

Shefali Arora, Account Planner, Google IndiaSession Presentation

Namrata Rana, Director, FuturescapeSession Presentation

Moderator: Courtney Eskew, Senior Partner Services Associate, GlobalGiving

Panel Discussion: Corporate Engagement in India

Panel Discussion: Corporate Engagement in India

What can happen when the interests of companies and nonprofits collide? Shefali Arora shared five exciting ways that Google is working with NGOs in India and around the world including the Global Impact Awards, GooglersGive, GoogleServe, The NGO Consultant, and Google Ad Grants. Namrata Rana spoke about an exciting new law in India that requires Indian companies to donate 2% of their net profits to Indian NGOs.

Turning Volunteers into Long-Term AdvocatesSession Presentation

Vishal Talreja, CEO & Co-Founder, Dream a Dream
Dream a Dream has successfully engaged hundreds of volunteers over the past several years, including hundreds of corporate volunteers who have become lasting advocates for the organization. Vishal shared insights about the volunteer lifecycle that he has seen at Dream a Dream and provided tips for developing a volunteer engagement strategy.

Building Lasting Donor Relationships

Nandita Mishra, Director of Programs, South Asian Fund Raising Group (SAFRG) – Session Presentation

Priyanka Singh, Chief Executive, Seva Mandir – Session Presentation

Elsa Varghese, Officer – Grants and Communications, Mumbai Mobile Creches – Session Presentation

Moderator: Neeharika Tummala, India Field Representative, GlobalGiving

Attracting donors is one thing, but getting them to continue give is a whole new challenge. Panelists shared their organizations’ secrets to engaging long-term donors: developing a strong donor stewardship plan, building meaningful relationships, showing recognition and appreciation, and communicating impact regularly.

K. Thiagarajan, Agastya International Foundation on Effective Campaign Fundraising

K. Thiagarajan, Agastya International Foundation on Effective Campaign Fundraising

Effective Campaign Fundraising

K. Thiagarajan, Chief of Operations, Agastya International Foundation – Session Presentation

Vasumathi Sriganesh, Founder/CEO, QMed Knowledge Foundation – Session Presentation

Shalia Brijnath, Chairman, Aasraa Trust – Session Presentation

Moderator: Michael Gale, Senior Program Manager, GlobalGiving

These panelists have raised lakhs of rupees from one-month fundraising campaigns! Shaila Brijnath reminded us that if you don’t ask, people won’t give. She talked about the power of hard work and passion in developing a fundraising campaign. K. Thiagarajan shared how to develop a successful campaign strategy and how to leverage trusted donor relationships. Vasumathi Sriganesh wrapped up the session with a discussion about overcoming challenges in online fundraising.

How to Tell Compelling Stories OnlineSession Presentation

GlobalGiving Team at the end of the Summit

GlobalGiving Team at the end of the Summit

Kyla Johnson, Communications Associate, Educate Girls

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a powerful story is priceless. Kyla Johnson shared how Educate Girls uses inspiring stories and reports to motivate donors to give. She provided practical tips for telling engaging stories that keep your network engaged.

Question or comments? Keep the conversation going using the hashtag #SMG14 on Twitter.

Day 1 Recap – Summit on Social Media and Online Giving

Posted by Alexis Nadin on July 15th, 2014

Did you miss GlobalGiving’s Summit on Social Media and Online Giving in New Delhi? Don’t worry! We’ve provided a brief recap of the first day, which focused on using social media to further your cause online, below. Check out the Twitter conversation and the event photos online.

Mobilizing Youth: Transforming Dialogue to ActionSession presentation

Ritu Sharma on Social Media Strategy

Ritu Sharma on Social Media Strategy

Samyak Chakrabarty, Managing Director, Electronic Youth Media Group & Chief Youth Marketer, DDB Mudra Group
India’s youth aren’t waiting for change to happen – the time is now. How can NGOs leverage the energy of today’s engaged youth to strengthen their organizations and ultimately make a difference both on and offline? Samyak Chakrabarty, one of India’s foremost experts on youth engagement and marketing, shared insights based on his research on youth in India.

Social Media Strategy: How to Think About Social Media as Part of an Integrated Market Strategy – Session Presentation

Ritu Sharma, Director and Co-Founder, Social Media for Nonprofits
Social media presents new and exciting opportunities for NGOs to advance their missions, raise much-needed funds, and mobilize huge bases of support, but how exactly can NGO leaders harness its potential? Ritu proposed a four step plan: identify your audience; recruit supporters; engage your audience; and activate your superfans.

Deepa Saptnaker on LinkedIn for NGOs

Deepa Saptnaker on LinkedIn for NGOs

LinkedIn for NGOs - Session Presentation

Deepa Saptnaker, Head of Communications – India & Hong Kong
More than 26 million Indian professionals and hundreds of millions of individuals around the globe use LinkedIn to facilitate meaningful connections, making it the world’s largest professional networking site. Is your organization using LinkedIn to connect with volunteers, board members, new staff, and supporters on LinkedIn? Deepa Saptnaker shared best practices for strengthening your organization’s brand, building and engaging your network, and leveraging your networks on LinkedIn. Learn more about nonprofits.linkedin.com.

Drive Change with Online Advertising: Google Ad GrantsSession Presentation

Mohita Mathur, Google-Give Team, Google
More than 14,000 organizations are using Google Ad Grants globally to drive change using online advertising. This program provides eligible nonprofits, ranging in scope and focus from healthcare to arts and culture, with free advertising via Google AdWords to attract volunteers and supporters online. Indian nonprofits can learn more about http://www.google.co.in/grants/apply.html.

Measuring What Matters: Do-It-Yourself Analytics with Syed Khalid Jamal

Measuring What Matters: Do-It-Yourself Analytics with Syed Khalid Jamal

Measuring What Matters: Do-It-Yourself AnalyticsSession Presentation

Syed Khalid Jamal, Digital Communications Manager, U.S. Department of State’s Education USA Program
We gather data to determine what is effective and to improve our efficiency. Data helps us fix what’s broken and it helps us find our advocates, ambassadors, and heroes online. Syed shared what to measure—reach, engagement, competitive data, sentiment, and conversions—and how.

Creating a Movement Through Social MediaSession Presentation

Lavanya Madhyanam, National Development Associate, Teach for India
More than 470,000 people have joined Teach for India’s movement via social media. Using campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, Teach for India is sparking an important conversation about education in India and engaging a large network of fellows, donors, and supporters. Lavanya shared tips for building a brand on social media.

Experiments in Mobile: The Next FrontierSession Presentation

Priyanka Batra, Former Presdient – Delhi, Make a Difference, Anshal Jain, Delhi Fundraising Team, Make a Difference

That piece of metal in your back pocket can help you do a lot more than make calls – it can be a transformative instrument for social change. Make A Difference shared their mobile application, Donut, which they designed to engage Indian youth.

Panel Discussion: Turning Failure into Success

Panel Discussion: Turning Failure into Success

Turning Failure into Success

Sonali khan, Vice President & India country Director, Breakthrough
Tejas Patel, coordinator – Digital Partnerships, Amnesty International, India
Anshu Gupta, Founder and Director, GOONJ
Moderator: Shabnam Aggarwal, CEO, Perspectful Advisors
When we talk about failure, it’s often in the context of what we did wrong. But it’s important to see failure as just a stepping stone on the path to success. In this session, leaders in prominent Indian organizations Amnesty International, Breakthrough, and GOONJ shared how their organizations have embraced opportunities to learn and grow from failure and created a “failure-friendly” culture that encourages experimentation.

Question or comments? Keep the conversation going using the hashtag #SMG14 on Twitter.

Top Take Aways from Summit on Social Media and Online Giving

Posted by Alexis Nadin on July 15th, 2014
Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation

Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation

The GlobalGiving team was thrilled to host our first ever two-day Summit on Social Media and Online Giving in New Delhi at the beginning of July. The event was presented in collaboration with Social Media for Nonprofits, the premiere global event series on social media for social good.

I think Deepa Ranganathan put it well when she said:

@SinfullyAlive: It’s unbelievable and inspiring to be in the company of such changemakers representing orgs doing incredible work doing what they do #SMG14

More than 150 nonprofit professionals and fundraising and communications practitioners came from all over India and South Asia to learn how to collaborate to find ways to tackle their funding needs and further their causes using online tools and social media.

Weren’t able to join the Summit? Don’t worry! Here are some important take aways from the event’s Twitter conversation. See the complete Twitter conversation at http://bit.ly/1j0j9Pk . Stay tuned for a summary of Day 1 and 2 coming soon on the Tools & Training Blog

Participants engaged in group discussion

Participants engaged in group discussion

@socialgoodR: Want to have great campaign fundraising? Communication is the key. #smg14#ngopic.twitter.com/ZXQarrqag4

‏@sudeshna09: Use #scheduling tools like #HootSuite to keep your #twitter#engagement regular even while you’re traveling – @ritusharma1#sm4np#SMG14

@ritusharma1: People give from heart, not from rational thinking, communicate impact & use compelling positive images. #smg14 pic.twitter.com/pkkedhXMj4

@sudeshna09:  “Do not refrain from evoking #emotional response from #audience”: Kyla Johnson @educategirls on #storytelling #SMG14 pic.twitter.com/AAsPtF1iOf

@marcmaxson:  13% of donors leave bc they aren’t thanked within first 48hrs… Wow. NGOs thank your donors! #realtalk #SMG14 @KBradd @sudeshna09

@priyakamal: #SMG14 Make the #donate button on ur org website most visible

@socialgoodR: New @CSR law in India means potentially billions of rupees will now be available from the nation’s most profitable co’s. #SMG14

@fattechy: If you do not ask, people will not give, says shalia brijnath of @AasraaTrust on effective #campaign#fundraising #SMG14

Question or comments? Keep the conversation going using the hashtag #SMG14 on Twitter.

Online Fundraising Academy: Building a Donor Community on Facebook

Posted by Alexis Nadin on April 10th, 2014

ListbuilderIn the sixth session of the Online Fundraising Academy, Alison McQuade, the Digital Press Secretary for EMILY’s List, shared tips and recommendations for growing and engaging your network on Facebook.

Session recording link. 

Session notes:

Emily’s List – A political organization committed to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office

Edgerank – Facebook’s algorithm that decides what you see in your feed

  • Affinity – how much people like the post. Counts people’s interactions (commenting, liking, sharing, clicking on link)
  • Weight – posts that require more user engagement has more weight (i.e. sharing has more weight than a like)
  • Time decay - how old the post is. Most posts have a shelf life of one day

Different types of posts – use different posts to reach different goals

  • Link post – Post a compelling story for your audience
    • Have intro text (not just the link)
    • Timely post
  • The mobile phone post – take a picture on the ground with your mobile phone
    • Exciting, unfiltered picture, readers feel like they’re participating, doesn’t look advertised
    • Timely post – as it’s happening
    • Call to action – specifically ask them to do something “like picture and tell us in the comments what would you do”
    • Got lots of interactions because asked for it. Encourage them to interact so they feel like they’re a part of it
  • Go-to post – post what your audience loves.
    • Exciting picture and great quote that audience
    • Find out what your audience finds compelling to get them excited
    • Call to action to build email list (asked people to write thank you card for Hilary Clinton while getting people to sign up for emails)
  • List-builder post – have a call to action that gets people to join email list
    • Had people sign birthday card to Emily List’s president and subscribe to emails
    • Language corresponds with message and then transitions to why they should join your community and subscribe to emails
    • Simple graphic, creates emotion (happy/angry)
    • Easy lift – take advantage of milestones, holiday, birthdays, etc. as an opportunity to build list (more…)

Online Fundraising Academy: How charity:water is Harnessing the Power of Online Fundraising

Posted by Alexis Nadin on March 7th, 2014

technology to end water crisis_croppedKaitlyn Jankowski, charity:water’s Supporter Experience Manager joined us earlier this week for GlobalGiving’s first Online Fundraising Academy session of the year!

charity:water raised more than $8 million from more than 11,000 individual fundraisers in 2012. How did they do it? Kaitlyn shared charity:water’s approach to raising funds online! Kaitlyn manages mycharity:water, helping fundraisers become rockstars!

Session Recording: www.anymeeting.com/901-831-832/EF53DC82874D

Session Notes:

charity: water founded with two goals: end water crisis and reinvent charity

charity: water values

  • 100% model – all donations go towards funding water projects. Overhead costs covered by the Well (private donors, sponsors, board of directors)
  •  Proof – prove every dollar goes to projects. Email reports that provide information about the community money went to. Local partners contribute pictures and GPS coordinates.
  • Brand – having a brand like Apple or Nike. Building campaigns, invest in a creative team, cool corporate partnerships, no advertising or marketing budget. Everything done in house
    • Invest heavily in social media – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Posting updates and stories daily, give sneak peak of campaigns, let team travelling in field take over social media
    • Show what people have done in the past to raise money.
    • Use of photos to show brand

Online fundraising platform

  • Birthday model – Individuals raise money on their birthday.
  • People create their own campaign to raise money
    • Ex. Sarah Peck swim to Alcatraz if raise $29,000

Campaigns – charity: water holds 3 campaigns every year

  • World Water Day campaign
  • September campaign
  •  Holiday campaign – When you give clean water, you give other things like hope, beauty, future, etc. Launched new image every day
  • Campaigns focus on a story. Want to inspire people, not to make them feel guilty to give.
  • Specific campaign to buy drilling rig. To stay true to proof model, campaign broke down entire cost, put GPS on truck and can follow on Twitter.

Engage fundraiser and report back on GlobalGiving

  • Project pages allow donors to get a sense of what they’re giving to
  • Quarterly project reports – emailed to all supporters. Good communications tool. Can tell stories, statistics, and impact. Successful organizations report once a month to keep donors engaged.
  • Donors can fundraise themselves – click “+fundraiser” link on your project page. Donors can create their own page to raise money on behalf of an organization.  See example here: http://www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers/7852.

Question & Answer

Q: “How do you get campaigns to go viral? How do you find trendsetters to make campaigns work?” 

A: Campaigns don’t have to go viral to be successful. Fundraisers work really hard. Sarah Peck made goals to get interviews, have pieces published, post blog posts, sent lots of emails, utilized social media. A lot of it comes from the people’s story, not charity: water’s story.

Q: “Is it better to have multiple networks and less frequent posts, or less networks and more frequent posts?” 

A: charity: water has one twitter handle plus one for the drilling rig, and only one Facebook to keep things all on one page. The frequency of posts depends on channel. For Twitter, charity: water posts every day and retweets throughout the day, posts on Instagram every day, but Facebook is different. charity: water posts on Facebook only a few times a week so don’t clutter people’s news feeds. Call to action is different on the each social media site, so utilize it accordingly.

Q: “What channels drive the most conversions to donations?” 

A: Email is very good for fundraising. Give people a call to action and send 3 emails. People need reminders. You can also encourage others to give by recognizing people who already gave. Conversions over social media are smaller because of plausible deniability – you don’t know if people saw the post and people feel like they don’t have to act.

Q: “What are some tips for small organizations that can’t hire a creative team?” 

A: charity: water is good at asking for things for free. There are lots of design agencies who can help and avenues to get marketing and advertising for free. You can also take advantage of volunteer platforms like Sparked (https://globalgiving.sparked.com/welcome/nonprofit/globalgiving#1) and VolunteerMatch (https://surveyglobalgiving.wufoo.com/forms/volunteer-information/).

Q: “How does charity: water find fundraisers? How do people find out about charity: water and start the fundraiser process?”

A: Mostly through word of mouth. charity: water works on getting donors to become fundraisers.

Holiday and Year-End Giving Trends

Posted by Alexis Nadin on October 26th, 2012

On average, organizations throughout the U.S. raise 30 – 40% of their annual income during the last few weeks of the year (according to our friends at Network for Good and Charity Navigator).

Why the spike in online giving?

In the U.S., all tax deductible donations to non-profits must be made before the end of the year (Dec. 31st) to be eligible for deduction from that year’s taxes. December is also the month of popular American holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah. Last year, US retail e-commerce spending for the entire November – December 2011 holiday season reached a record $47.6 billion! That’s an increase of 16.8% from the previous year!

In the U.S, year-end fundraising traditionally begins the Monday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26), otherwise known as Cyber Monday (last year, Cyber Monday was the largest online spending day in history!) but it starts to ramp up for several weeks before. The fundraising seasons lasts until the end of the day on December 31st.

GlobalGiving Year-End Giving Stats

Last year, GlobalGiving raised $4.5 million in November and December, setting a new record for funds raised during the holiday season on the site! Where were all those donations coming from? Well, we have some exciting statistics to share:

  • 19,000 gift cards were redeemed for a total of  more than $1 million;
  • More than 6,000 donors made donations as gifts for more than $400,000;
  • About $500,000 came through employee giving portals; and
  • 400 donors signed up for monthly recurring donations for a total of $10,000 a month!

Facebook: To Promote or Not to Promote? (…and Is That The Question?)

Posted by Alison Carlman on October 2nd, 2012

GlobalGiving’s Experiment With Promoted Posts
by Alison Carlman and Oscar Norsworthy

This case study was originally posted on Beth Kanter’s blog as an example of an experiment with social media measurement. We hope you’ll find it useful as you think through your strategy for Facebook.

Promoting a post on Facebook

Listen. Post. Learn. Repeat.

On the Unmarketing team at GlobalGiving, we put a lot of effort into figuring out how to use Facebook to support the thousands of charity projects on our website. The more we learn, the better able we are to advise our nonprofit partners. One of the newest features on Facebook is the “Promoted Post.” Promoted Posts are pictures, links, videos, or text that administrators can pay to appear on more Facebook users’ news feeds. (Did you know that only an average of about 15% of your fans see your posts in their news feeds?) We conducted a month-long experiment to see if Promoted Posts make sense for our strategy.

First Thing First: What’s our Goal?

We wanted to see whether or not Promoted Posts help us reach our goals on Facebook. One way to explain our Facebook strategy is the social funnel. People interact with us on Facebook at all levels of this funnel. While ultimately we’d love to see every fan make a donation to a project on our website, our goal on Facebook is first and foremost to develop an active community of fans around the topics of philanthropy and social change. We wanted to see how well Promoted Posts reach our fans on all levels.

Here’s what success – or a positive return on investment (ROI) – at each of the levels would look like for us:

 
The Social Funnel
Awareness: Getting our messages into the news feeds of people who haven’t heard from us in a while – or never have before. Key metric: reach
Engagement: Inspiring interactions (clicks, likes, comments and shares) from people who don’t usually interact with us. This helps the content spread to their networks.Key metric: clicks
Donations: Telling a story that is compelling enough that people give to a project on GlobalGiving.org. (Ideally donations exceed the cost of the post!)Key metric: donations; net dollars after the cost of the post.

 

Our Promoted Posts Experiment

During the summer we promoted three posts, each about a different topic. We spent less than $100 on each post, and we only promoted the posts to our fans. We also posted regular (non-promoted) links and photo posts related to each of the three topics so that we could compare the performance of regular posts versus paid posts. While we couldn’t control all variables, we did our best to aim for consistency with as much as possible, including the time of day we posted and the content of the post, so that we could draw better conclusions when comparing our results.

Below are the nine updates (under three topics) that we posted this summer as part of the experiment, and how they fared in terms of reach (views), engagement (clicks), and donations (dollars). You can see that the promoted posts were the only ones that drove donations, and they drove significantly higher view and click rates.

ROI: Reach, Engagement, and Donations
From Regular and Promoted Posts on Facebook

Post Topic: Natural Disasters
(Promoted Post net revenue= $667)

Link 4,035 views; 62 clicks
Photo 5,483 views; 66 clicks
Promoted 20,282 views; 218 clicks; $750 donations

Post Topic: Everyday Project Stories
(Promoted Post net revenue= -$30)

Link 3,311 views, 24 clicks
Photo 6,347 views; 58 clicks
Promoted 22,498 views; 301 clicks; $30 donations


Post Topic: Special Campaign
(Promoted Post net revenue= $550)

Link 4,204 views; 51 clicks
Photo 4,975 views; 45 clicks
Promoted 31,510 views; 363 clicks; $600 donations


What we learned

We learned two main things from our experiment. First, as you can see above, promoted posts did drive more engagement at all levels of the social funnel. On average, our promoted posts had five times higher reach and seven times higher click rate (!) compared to posts that weren’t promoted. The financial return, however, varied greatly based on the content of the post. We found that promoting general, ‘everyday’ project stories didn’t drive many donations (in fact, it lead to a negative net financial return), but promoting very timely stories or unique campaigns resulted in a significant uptick in donations (netting approximately $600 per post).

Perhaps the most interesting thing we learned actually happened while we were designing the experiment. When figuring out whether to promote links or photos, we found that photo posts drove more Facebook interaction, achieving a higher reach and better overall engagement (the middle of the funnel!). On the other hand, posting links sometimes led to higher click-through rates to our website, generally driving more donations (the bottom of the funnel!). When we looked back in our Facebook Insights data, we found that this pattern seemed consistent with other posts over the past several months. This information is useful to us whether or not we’re talking about promoted posts.

What does this mean for our strategy?

We found that Facebook’s Promoted Posts can get the job done, successfully driving both engagement and donations. It’s important to note though that we’re still not planning to rely on Promoted Posts to push all our fans through the social funnel.

At GlobalGiving we have an “unmarketing” approach to engagement. This means that we believe there’s inherent value in developing authentic, meaningful, and helpful relationships with our audience through social media to help tell our story. In short, it’s not all about driving dollars. Engagement is important to us.

We’ve concluded that an ongoing Facebook strategy based primarily on Promoted Posts wouldn’t be savvy or sustainable, (remember how the ‘everyday’ project stories posts actually ended up costing us money?) but we’ve decided that we will continue to promote posts when they are particularly timely, relevant, or important for our key audiences. We should also be sure to note that we’ll never be promoting content that would otherwise have been unsuccessful on Facebook in general. As you can imagine, the last thing we want to do is bring irrelevant content to the attention of people who rarely hear from us anyway!

What does this mean for you?

If you can find the budget to experiment with Promoted Posts, it’s important to think through how you’ll measure your return on your investment. Can you put a dollar value on message views, click-throughs to your website, or goal conversions (donations, petition signatures, etc.)? If you’re spending advertising dollars on other media, you may find that Facebook Promoted Posts can also help you meet your goals, so it would be worth comparing your results.

Our fans told us emphatically on Facebook, they don’t love the idea of nonprofits paying for a spot on their news feeds. (The irony, of course, was that we didn’t see a single pushback to the promoted posts when we did them without pointing it out, so peoples’ behaviors didn’t exactly match how they said they would react. But that’s a whole different social psychology experiment, right?) If you do choose to promote Facebook posts, you’ll need to do strategically. You should only promote content that you’re proud of, and it would be wise to measure the results carefully so that you can prove that your dollars are helping you meet your overall goals!

If you don’t have any budget for Promoted Posts, you could still look into your Facebook Insights data to see the different types of engagement that photo posts drive for you compared to link posts. Does your data lead you to the same conclusions that ours did?

Do you have thoughts about whether links or photos get you results on Facebook? Have you experimented yet with Promoted Posts?

How to make a high-quality video on a shoestring budget

Posted by Alexis Nadin on March 15th, 2012

In preparation for GlobalGiving’s Video Contest in February (see the winners here), the team from the What Took You So Long Foundation joined us in hosting trainings for GlobalGiving’s partners on how to create a high-quality video on a shoestring budget.  Below, Philippa Young, Director, Writer, and Co-Producer for the What Took You So Long Foundation shares some wonderful insights into the film-making process.

Telling tales of the creative process

There is both huge demand and incredible potential for telling the stories of non-profits and the important issues they work on through film and video. Distilling complex stories into a simple message in under five minutes, however, can be a daunting task.

Just like writing this post, it’s impossible to say it all. Video is not the same as writing a report or essay on a subject and being selective is half the battle. Leaving room for creating mood and tone through image, sound and music, is just as important as the best interview.

Advice from top filmmakers and development experts

Award-winning filmmaker and Africanist Aaron Kohn: “my top three pet peeves with fundraising videos are too much text, shaky video, and audio recorded on some busy street.”

New York based Director David Newhoff: “I’m not a fan of sound bites in which people say very generic things, so that if I close my eyes I wouldn’t know what organization this is.”

What Took You So Long Director Alicia Sully: “I like to see faces, so make sure that the subject isn’t too far away. Be clear with your style and use both wide and close-up shots in your B-roll and scene setting.”

Global Giving UK, Learning and Support Manager Seth Reynolds: “Keep it short and sweet. Online videos shouldn’t be much longer than three minutes, otherwise viewers just flick.”

Creative Process

The most exciting thing about film and video is the countless ways to be creative and innovative with the medium. There’s no single “correct” way, and everything to be gained from hacking the following advice. But just to get you started on your filmmaking journey…

TALK..

…to someone creative who is not familiar with your organization’s work, someone who isn’t a part of your team. Explaining your story to this person so that they fully understand will help you clarify what you want to say. This person’s creative interpretation and questions will help you see the story from new angles.

WRITE..

…a single, simple message, and illustrate it with an example. Remember that an engaging story uses more than just interviews.

Five important questions to ask during the writing process:

1) Who is your audience? what do they already know?

2) What visuals of the people/country/organisation would set the scene?

3) What visual action will illustrate the issue and solutions being worked on?

4) What words can be shown in visual form? Film does a great job of telling the audience two things at once. The images used in context to the voices can expand or provide counter-point.

5) Does your story come full circle, or pose a question to the viewer?

DRAW..

…a simple storyboard on a piece of A4 paper. This will map out the story’s progression, and show you how much space you are using for interviews and visuals, plus continuity of style and content. A story flows from one point to the next, with a clear beginning, middle and conclusion. Drawing this out will help the team visualize the story, agree on what needs to be shot, and make the editing process simpler.

REMEMBER TO…

1) Wherever possible, let voices from the local population tell their own story, in their own words.

2) Look for what is unique in your organization’s work and be creative. As the volume of communication grows, the bar will continue to rise for what is considered a competent and interesting video.

3) Watch lots of videos with your team, noting down which elements you like, and those you don’t like.

Technical tips for recording interviews

THE SUBJECT

1) Ask your subject to be patient – you want to make sure that the interview is of high quality and they look superb. They may have to move a few times so that the background or lighting works perfectly.

2) Put the subject at ease. It can be nerve-wracking being in front of the camera, so a sense of humor and conversation outside of the subject can help.

3) If language is an issue, make sure you have a good interpreter, and remember to add subtitles in the editing process.

LIGHT

1) Better lighting means a better image on the camera. Be careful not to position a bright light behind the subject as it will cause everything else in the frame to turn dark.

2) A side light on your subject can work well, especially if it hits the eyes. In the absence of a reflector, a white board can do this by bouncing light toward the subject.

3) Video cameras do not like stripes, and black and white are such extreme differences they are best avoided. It’s best if you surround yourself with a variety of tones and complementary colors.

SOUND

1) Use a microphone! Or place the camera very close to the subject so the internal mic is also close.

2) Record interviews in the quietest place possible, turning off air-conditioning units, closing windows, and staying away from busy roads, or groups of other people.

3) Use headphones during the interview to make sure you don’t hear anything you shouldn’t, such as a neighbor hammering the wall, your subject tapping his foot on the ground, a battery that needs to be changed, etc.

FRAME

1) Keep the camera steady. You don’t need an expensive tripod, just something to rest the camera on that won’t move or wobble.

2) The background is best if it’s not too boring (a white wall), but not too distracting (a kitchen). Depth is the best thing to aim to achieve.

3) Construct your picture like a painting – if your subject is wearing a dark sweater place them in front of a lighter background so that they stand out. If there is a plant behind them make sure it’s not “growing” out of their head.

ADVICE FOR INTERVIEWER

1) Explain to your subject that interviewer and interviewee should not speak at the same time and that there’s no rush, so taking time to think about the question is fine.

2) Ask the subject to answer in complete sentences. For example if you ask “Do you enjoy elephants?” They should say “I love elephants.” not “Yes.”

3) Listen to what they say and ask follow up questions so that the result is more of a conversation than a Q&A.

4) Smile as appropriate, but don’t hesitate. It’s very encouraging to see someone smile!

Finally, it doesn’t work to make the story something it isn’t. Audiences are smart and will see straight through glossy PR rhetoric. Documentary-style filming means listening to the story you capture, whether it’s planned or not and going with it.

Can nonprofits use Pinterest to change the world?

Posted by kellis on February 15th, 2012

“Oh, you’re not on Pinterest? If you’re planning a wedding, you’re practically required to be on Pinterest,” quipped my wedding dress designer shortly after I got engaged early last year. I sighed, adding another line to my ‘wedding to-do’s’ list, but I eventually requested an invitation and joined Pinterest.com in July 2011. My designer was right; it is an unbelievably useful tool to create blissful moodboards for your special day.

endless wedding daydream.

Besides inspiring DIY fantasies, what can Pinterest do for your nonprofit? Well, a lot. It can help connect you, your voice, and your organization with hundreds, if not thousands, of content-hungry users. Pinterest is not to be ignored. While many other social media tools skew toward the college-age male, the Pinterest audience is, well, me: female, age 25 to 44, with an appetite for gorgeous imagery and on-trend advice.  You know what else this audience does? They give.

Simply by looking at GlobalGiving’s Facebook Insights, we were able to determine that 60% of our fans already fall within Pinterest’s base. Facebook’s constantly changing interface seems to have made it more and more difficult to reach our fans, so we’re experimenting with Pinterest’s curated audience of our target demographic.

So what does this mean for nonprofits? We already know that users on Pinterest might be inclined to give to your cause, but how do you make them do it?  Well that’s just it. We’d like to suggest that you might set Pinning objectives to include many types of engagement; not just donations. Before giving, your audience wants to engage and see, quite literally, who you are: Kate Spade’s VP/Ecommerce, Johanna Murphy (while no, not a nonprofit) explains:
“We think that if you look at every social media channel and your ultimate goal is to drive immediate commerce out of it, you don’t get it. Again, it’s kind of the fuel for the overall fire to the brand that will then ultimately drive sales.”

Pinterest, through their heavily visual interface, is a great way to show your audience who you are, but  that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all about showing what your cause is. For example, one of the great things about our office is our “must love food” attitude, so we’re cultivating a list of recipes our staff has tried and adored (if you’re interested, my slow-cooker macaroni and cheese recipe won an office wide contest). We’re also curating Pinboards based on our motto of “a million little earth-changing ideas,” which translates to “earth-changing people,” “earth-changing style,” and “earth-changing words,” as well as a board called “earth-changing projects.” It’s only in this last board where we actually get into the work we do, but we do it in a way that’s easily digestible and friendly. No one there is necessarily asking you to do anything, but instead they’re saying “hey, look at this project where you can help save a baby cheetah.” Believe me, after six months of Pinning, I can honestly tell you that people love a baby cheetah.

We also added a “Pin it” button to all of your project pages to let our users add to their boards, and we’ve seen its use grow exponentially since we launched it. Our brand fits with Pinterest’s audience, feel, and market, and it’s an exciting way of introducing GlobalGiving to a new group of people who is already inclined to like us.

This doesn’t mean that all nonprofits are suited to put their brand on Pinterest. First, if you’re just barely trying to get your Facebook or Twitter presence organized, then we recommend you work on those and try to do them well. Second, make sure that the person who’s taking on Pinterest for your nonprofit ‘gets it;’ make sure that they’re a user first!  Pinterest users are already worried that a heavy brand presence on Pinterest will “pollute it,” so if you feel inauthentic, you’ll have done more harm than good anyway.  Finally, commit to at least trying it out with a few good experiments from which you can learn.

The secret of Pinterest success isn’t just creating another flood of mini press releases: it’s about figuring out who you really are, and allowing your supporters to find the many ways that your work connects, inspires, and engages them. This also means that you have to venture outside of your organization’s content (although I’m sure it’s wonderful) and find additional pins that can tie back to your larger story and vision. Repin your followers and the people you admire. You’ll be surprised how much users will want to engage with you if you do.

For example, if you’re an environmentally-focused nonprofit, you could start a board that pins natural and organic products for the home. If you’re an animal-focused nonprofit, create a board that shares adorable photos of pets.

So you want to get started? We recommend that before jumping in and addictively pinning, first think about how you’d define and measure success on Pinterest. It only makes sense to use Pinterest (or any new medium) if it’s going to help you meet your organization’s goals.

We’re walking through these steps from Katie Paine’s Measure What Matters to plan out our Pinterest experiment:

  • Use Your Mission to Define Your Objectives: Is Pinterest going to help you meet your organization’s goals? That depends! One of your objectives may actually involve reaching new audiences by demonstrating your brand’s personality. In that case, Pinterest might be a great fit.  If your objectives are solely to drive people to act or donate on your site, then you’ll need to make sure you know how to measure whether it’s working (so ultimately you can decide whether it’s worth the time).
  • Establish a Benchmark and Pick your Metrics: If your objectives are to engage new people, then Pinterest’s handy weekly emails might give you some good metrics on engagement: repins, new followers, likes, comments, and pins you’ve added.  If your objectives are more conversion-oriented, then you’ll need to identify what exactly you want people to do when they see your pins.
  • Pick a Measurement Tool: Pinterest’s weekly activity update might give you information you’ll need to measure engagement.  If you add a “Pin it” button to your own site, you’ll want to use Google Analytics to track how many people are adding your pins to their boards without you even knowing. (These people are your new favorite people.) If you have more robust conversion goals then you’ll need to use Google Analytics to measure the donations driven by Pinterest users.
  • Analyze Results and Make Changes: One of our core values is Listen.Act.Learn.Repeat. We encourage you to watch your metrics and make changes based on what you learn! If no one is repinning even your most helpful DIY tip,  sit back and look at why that might not be working.  Whatever changes you make, keep returning to your objectives.

As someone who has watched Pinterest grow wildly in the last six months, I am thrilled to see it take off. The content is getting richer, and more and more interesting people are adding to its wealth. Women have proved that we’re more than capable of dominating a social media platform, and I’m glad to see that this is the direction it’s taking. We are driving cause marketing in a stronger way than ever, and I’m proud we are a part of it.

We’ll keep you updated on our experiment, please tell us about yours!

LEAVE A COMMENT: Are you using Pinterest for your own organization? Do you have any tips? Who do you think is using Pinterest well?  

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a recipe for this week’s chili cook-off. Got recommendations? Tag “@GlobalGiving Foundation” in your pin and the chili recipe I choose to make will get a $25 GlobalGiving gift card. It better be good, my crock pot mac and cheese is a tough act to follow.



Facebook Measurement, part 3 of 3

Posted by Alexis Nadin on September 30th, 2011

On Thursday, September 29th, GlobalGiving hosted a webinar on Facebook Measurement in collaboration with Make Me Social. You can listen to the recording here or view the slides here. This webinar was part of a three-part Facebook webinar series. Each session focuses on a different topic:

Session 1: Strategy and Planning
Session 2: Best Practices & Implementation
Session 3: Measurement and Monitoring

See a below for a summary of the second webinar:

Facebook Insights – Data provided to you by Facebook about your Page!

As the admin on a Facebook Page, you have access to “Insights.” Facebook Insights provides you with metrics around the content that you post on your page. It also gives you a better sense of who your audience is by providing you with valuable demographic information.

Please note that Insights are only visible to Page admins and you will need a minimum of 30 likes on the page to access Insights.

The data that you get is not available in real-time, but at most will be 48 hours old. This will make sense when we move on to the next slide.

You will see that Facebook has provided you with some basic metrics under your posts on your Page. You can access more detailed information by clicking on “View Insights” on the right sidebar on your Page.

Facebook Metrics Vocabulary

Impressions: The number of times your post is seen. This includes views on users’ Recent Stories, Top Stories, and visits to Pages.

Feedback: The total number of comments and likes on your story divided by the total number of impressions. This is the percentage of people who, after seeing your post, engage in some way with the post.

Inside the Insights Section

Inside the Insights section, you get access to an overview of the  analytics related to the level of awareness and engagement on your page. Insights is split into two sections: “Users” and “Interactions.”

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