The most popular posts from 2014

2014 was quite the year. Of course, we’d love for you to read all the posts from the last year, but we know that’s not likely. So, to make it easy for you, we’re starting out 2015 by highlighting the five most popular posts from the last 12 months. Enjoy!

1. Building An Effective Website by Josh Dougherty

“What do you do if you want to learn more about an organization or cause? Today, the answer is simple: look it up on online. What’s your first step? Despite apps being all the rage, you’ll probably turn to your favorite social network or Google. Either way, you’re probably going to end up on a website. It’s imperative that you’re ready for them.

Think about these three salient points about your site:

  • It’s the primary way most people experience your brand.
  • It’s the digital center of activity for donating, volunteering, etc.
  • 69% of donors research an organization on their website before giving.

Today, a site needs to be treated like a living, breathing being. The problem is, most of the time, sites feel like overgrown behemoths with the dexterity of an elephant. But there is a solution.”

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2. You Can Do Effective Email Marketing In 6 Simple Steps

“Email continues its dominance as the digital outbound communication platform with the greatest reach and the best return on investment. As of 2013, there were 3.6 billion email accounts and 91 percent of consumers check their email at least once a day.

And it’s not just for young adults, Boomers and up use email regularly. As of August 2011, 86 percent of Internet users 65 and older use email.

This 6 Step Email Marketing Guide will help you set up a successful and cost effective email marketing program that helps your organization reach its objectives.”

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3. How to Optimize Your Organization’s Website for Donations by Dan McCurley

“I started reading Nielsen Norman Group’s articles about usability and website design about 15 years ago, and they never disappoint. In a recent article, Janelle Estes reminded us that donors have high expectations for your organization’s website, and specific needs that should be met if you hope to get donations online. Janelle shares 5 tips to get donations on nonprofit and charity websites:

  • Clearly Explain What the Organization Does
  • Disclose How Donations Are Used
  • Display Third-Party Endorsements
  • Provide a Noticeable and Clear Link to Donate
  • Streamline the Donation Process

She explains in depth why each of these is important, but I wanted to share some examples found out in the wild, for inspiration.”

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4. Media’s role in the Gospel and evangelism by Dave Raley

“Digital and social media are playing an increasingly important role in evangelism. That role varies across three continuous stages: SOW, REAP, DISCIPLE. At any moment, hundreds of millions of people globally are at each stage in their Christian faith — ranging from a complete lack of interest in Christianity to a mature, growing faith.

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5.  5 Ways You Can Embrace Innovation by Shari Goetsch

“’I’ve tried a dozen times,’ one CEO told me, as he struggled to increase the pace of innovation at his company. If you’re like him, shifting demographics and the Information Age foster a change-laden atmosphere, while your organization remains static.

Culture Matters

Most of our organizational adjustments are simply strategic. We see impact growing or diminishing and respond by adjusting strategies. But by contrast, innovations that would change whole ministry models run up against a major obstacle—organizational culture. As Peter Drucker put it, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast.’

So, what is culture? Something happens when you ask a bunch of people to work together. We create unspoken social norms, and a shared language—a culture. It’s the unique norms that surround the ‘us’ that social anthropologists study for a living, and we must assess that collective ‘way we do things around here’ in order to innovate.”

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Happy New Year!