Facebook – Richer Link Sharing

A few days back, I found this short post in my news feed on Facebook. I was already familiar with PACE Center for Girls, and was interested, but I found the post sharing the good news a bit anti-climactic. What happened was that my friend used a tiny link for the sharing. And, it was minimal information. If I want to be an advocate for an organization I care about, I want to be able to do better for them. I would like for my Facebook friends to have a richer experience and, by showing more enthusiasm, I have a better chance to convince my friends to also care about causes important to me. At the very least, I would like to give more information about the organization and the link, so they can make an educated decision about this post.

So, I followed the Tiny link, and landed on the archive page of PACE Center for Girls newsletter at Constant Contact.

 On the top of the page, I found a Facebook sharing link, which I clicked on.

Another window opened with the Facebook post section and information already filled in.

You’ll notice that Facebook pulls various pieces of information from the web page:

  • The page title
  • A short description from the page
  • An thumbnail of an image it found on the web page
  • Select arrows to switch to different thumbnails of images found on the web page

Hopefully, both the page title and description provide my friends with relevant information about the page. And, that an image illustrates the post as much is it illustrates the web page.

Let’ take a closer look at the image section of the post: Left of it, you see a picture grabbed from the web page. We all know how a good picture or graphic can augment information or a message we would like to convey. Facebook collects all the pictures it finds on the linked web page, and makes them available to browse through. It displays the first one, and then you get previous/next picture arrows, that let you browse through the whole array.

The same process happens if you don’t find a Facebook share button on a particular web page, but copy and paste the URL from your browsers address bar into the link box and click onAttach?.

Now that we’ve managed the link part, we can add our opinion and write about the reasons my friends should be interested in this web page.  I can add a tag to the PACE Center for Girls’ Facebook page, too, and my facebook friends can stay on Facebook and find out more about the organization on their page. More ways to interact with the organization.

This a so much richer sharing experience; ultimately it serves your facebook friends as well as your favorite organization. Your facebook friends read more information on  your profile, and also helps the organization you care about, by offering a richer representation on your profile. 

Depending on the organization’s Facebook page settings, they might allow others to post to their page and show to their community of people who liked? it. In this case, the organization has opted to not allow for others to post to their page.

Be a better advocate! Share your trips and tricks in the comments, and let us know if your have questions.

Get control of your non-profit with Salesforce.com

(or, how to tame an 800 pound gorilla)

If you manage a non-profit organization, you are, without a doubt, juggling multiple tasks on a daily (if not hourly) basis. Staffing, managing a volunteer base, seeking out and soliciting donors and donations, planning fund raisers, maintaining an online presence (i.e., website, blog, e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), planning and executing mailings, all compete for a spot on your agenda. So, who has time to track all of this activity, and, better yet, how is it going to get tracked?  And, if I find a system that will allow me to reign all of this in, how much will it cost to implement, (as if resources aren’t already stretched to the breaking point)? No time and too much money, right? No need to despair, the 800 pound gorilla just got a little easier to tame.

Salesforce.com is probably the most widely used Customer Relationship Management (CRM) on the market today, and includes a package specific to non-profits, who, by completing a very simple application process, can qualify for 10 free Enterprise Edition user licences. Through Salesforce.com Foundation, eligible organizations receive not only the initial 10 licenses free, but steep discounts on all future licenses, to ensure non-profits can stay in the game and focus their efforts where they count the most“- fundraising and community outreach! Salesforce offers almost unlimited customization possibilities, along with scalability; as your organization grows, Salesforce will keep up with your evolving contact and donation management activities and requirements. In fact, according to their website, more than 10,000 non-profits and higher education institutions of all sizes are using Salesforce.com to improve their organizations’ impact and further their mission and vision goals.

In the “Cloud”

You’ve probably heard the term, “cloud computing”?, but, what is it? One of the most attractive aspects of Salesforce.com to a burgeoning or fund-challenged non-profit is that the Salesforce application “runs in the cloud”?, so users can access it anywhere via an internet connected computer or mobile device. This eliminates the need for your organization to purchase and maintain costly hardware and software –Salesforce.com deals with those headaches for you through its secure technology infrastructure, (including scheduled upgrade releases throughout the year). This also means you can be up and running in a shorter period of time, depending on your customization needs, etc. Bottom line, you’re free to give undivided attention to your non-profit’s mission. What a concept, right?

Manage Your Mission

Speaking of mission, perhaps over time you’ve found that your non-profit has had to take on a broader range of responsibilities, and provide a wider scope of services for the constituency it serves. Certainly, in these tough economic times, many businesses and organizations can relate to that scenario. And, in the case of non-profits, it means doing more with fewer donations and government funds and subsidies. Salesforce.com can be the mission-critical piece you need to make it easier to build and maintain valuable relationships with donors, and keep the lines of communication open. And, more regular and consistent communication with your constituents means more funds in the coffers. You and your organization will have the ability to work smarter (not harder):

  • create and update donor, board member and volunteer profile and contact information“ everything you need to know about them, so you can keep them in the know about you
  • manage each phase of the donation process from monetary to in-kind pledges to actual collection and posting, (including recurring donations)
  • target and track campaigns, programs and events
  • configure and send customized and automated e-mail communication and reminders to your constituents from within Salesforce.com itself
  • create automated follow up reminders and tasks to volunteers and staff tracks all opportunity-related data including milestones, decision makers

To make the jump to a technology solution even simpler, (for those non-profits with more fundamental needs, and who just want to get up and running), Salesforce.com’s ‘Nonprofit Starter Pack’? allows for an even easier implementation with a pre-built data structure, but with loads of customization options.

If your curiosity has been piqued, see if Salesforce may be right for your non-profit.

Next time, I’ll explain how non-profits can use Salesforce.com to manage and track workflow, donations and communications.

Gorilla image courtesy of uganda.safarisgorillas.com.

Take a Tour: 2011 Naples Writers’ Conference Online

Together with the Chairperson, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender, we teamed up and revamped the website for the Authors & Books Festival Site, and integrated all the online tools to market the event early and often: A WordPress Blog, Evenbrite for online Registration and Attendee administration, Mailchimp as e-mail marketing system, Twitter integration with other Naples Press Club announcements and its own Facebook page allows for a multitude of opportunities to interact with the writers, publishers, presenters, friends and followers. 

Earlier this year we created a Google Map for the Downtown – 5th Avenue Merchants that participated in the Authors & Books Festival 2010 and we hope we will be able to augment it with some additional features. For next year we will include Foursquare & Gowalla, too. 

Website, Blog, E-News, Mobile in Unity: A Re-design

Advocates for Aviation Safety Foundation, Inc. 

A comprehensive online presence was built with the five channels available: website with a blog, which feeds into an e-mail newsletter, as well as Twitter posts. Supportive of promoting the FAA Safety Team’s aviation seminars and events, AFASF provides an Event Search widget for other sites to use, and for airmen and women to be able to use on their mobile phones, as well.  We re-designed the website for the Advocates for Aviation Safety Foundation, and consolidated content taken from their previous website, as well as a related blog, to support a streamlined/cohesive marketing effort. An e-mail marketing infrastructure was setup to support distribution of a weekly electronic newsletter feed, and other miscellaneous communications to subscribers. In addition, a desktop widget will be developed that will allow users to search for aviation safety seminars and events by zip code, and will display aviation safety news.

Online Advocacy: Help Your Organizations

Facebook makes it easy for you to be an online advocate for the organizations you care about, and spread the word about events and good deeds happening in your community. How? Tag it!

Cross-posting on multiple Facebook walls by tagging

Couple of weeks ago, I posted  basic information about the Farm City BBQ. It’s a great networking event with a lot of people.  So, I wanted to let my Facebook friends know and, at the same time, post on Farm City BBQ’s Facebook wall and on the ImmokaleeToday Facebook page, another entity involved in the BBQ. This is the post on my profile:

You see the linked areas changed colors: they spell out the tagged pages and, when a reader hovers over it with their mouse, a little window opens with the Facebook information, the number of people who “like” this and how many of my friends like this, including a subset of my friends (with avatar profile squares).

Here is the information shown when hovering over the first link. It goes to the FarmCity BBQ page:

And, here you see the information when hovering over the second link: it goes to ImmokaleeToday, also with profile picture, total people who “like” this, and the subset of friends.

With that, I was able to provide more than just information about day, time and location. I also provided my friends with an opportunity to head over to the associated Facebook pages and find out more themselves.

By tagging the relevant Facebook pages, I was able to not only provide links to the pages for my friends, but was also able to have the post show up on both organizations’Facebook pages and there for make them part of the community there as well.

Again, tagging starts with an “@” sign and after you start typing the name Facebook suggests search matches : 

In my view it is important that you as an organization allow for your fans to show up on your Facebook Page wall with their comments and contribution. Especially if they are tagging your organization on their personal profile!  You site become very one way if only your own posts with your logo is populating your Facebook page. But more on that in my follow-up post.

Great Turn-out at SBRN Round Table Event!

Approximately 80 people gathered around the Small Business Resource Network’s Fall Round Table event, held at the Holiday Inn in Ft. Myers. All particpants were heavily engaged in conversations with the consultant network  of  SBRN members, small business owners working with the SBDC, and new business owners from Cape Coral and Ft. Myers.  A big thanks to Amanda Stirn for spearheading the organizational team. 

 The event was hosted by members of the Southwest Florida Small Business Resource Network, and through direct support from the Southwest Florida Small Business Development Center. SBRN members were available at that time to provide participants with information about the most prevalent topics small business owners need to discuss. Experts in accounting, business consulting, legal, insurance, and banking/lending were on hand to offer advice and information. The Small Business Resource Network, or SBRN, is a statewide organization that provides a reliable connection between seasoned professionals, who service the small business arena and the small business owner. For more information on the resource network, visit www.sbrn.org, or contact  Lorna Kibbey, SBRN coordinator, at (239)745-3700. Florida Gulf Coast University’s Small Business Development Center sponsors the local Southwest Florida SBRN Chapter. Organized by: Amanda Stirn, Stirn and Associates, LLC.

Round Table Sponsors:

Happy Holidays: Play for Charity For Change

Charity For Change Holiday Game 2011

Since Charity for Change started in Spring 2008, Pauli Systems has been involved on various levels with the organization and the team around its Executive Director, Karen Conley.  
This year, Charity for Change created a fun Holiday Giver Game to be played by community members and it helps introduce the program to a broader audience!
The Second Chance Foundation pledged $30 for each player that answers three MathQuiz questions correctly between December 14 and January 1, 2012.  
 Start Playing the Holiday Giver Game here
No worries the questions are on fifth grade level! It’ll take only about 3 minutes and is great fun.  You’ll also meet Giver and as he always says:

It’s a great day to give! 

Gulf Coast Fundraising Executives: Presentation

Held April 7, 2009 Gulf Coast Society of Fund Raising Executives at Broadway Palm River Theater.
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Nonprofits Facing 2009 Challenges Head On

The ever changing online landscape with new services, a smarter, more demanding online population, and fewer donors, will leave many nonprofits behind.
The financial service crisis, tighter budgets and higher accountability standards are the offline reality for others. Most nonprofits will face both, and it’s not for the faint of heart. There plenty of challenges lying ahead for nonprofits in 2009.
The following articles give you a head start on the tool sets available to face them:

  • Survival Guide by Fundraising 123 – 45 pages full of concrete action items to better an online presence, be it a web site, social media, e-mail newsletters and donate buttons. There are no silver bullets, but if you do only half of the suggested actions, you might do much better than 80% of the other nonprofits that compete for the fewer monies available. [Read more…]
  • Strong Led and Under-managed -The Bridgespan Group writes about the apparent rift between leadership and management, and take you on a quest to learn how these leaders have been working to overcome it. They outline the triangle of 1) clarity of strategy, 2) meaningful measurement, accountability and change management, and 3) the barriers and hurdles to overcome, and how to overcome them. The article is remarkable, as it describes plenty of nonprofits I worked with. Board members and Executive Directors, in particular, should read it carefully and find a mirror. [Read more…]

Think of the Nike Way: Just do it!