Category Archives: Mondays with Marissa
A weekly feature in 2012 focusing on technology and non-profits.
Top Ten Mondays with Marissa Posts – Part Two
Happy Monday, DonorDreams Readers! Today we going to take a look at the second half of the Top Ten Mondays with Marissa posts as 2012 draws to a close. As we look back I will try to update you on the popular topics of the year.
#5 Choosing the Right Donor Database is like Buying a Car
The donor database is the heart of any development team. In this post I go through the process it takes to figure out the right database for the job. Since I wrote this post, the writers at idealware.org wrote an interesting article on the Ten Common Mistakes in Selecting a Donor Datebase which might also help your make your decision.
#4 How Can SOPA/PIPA Affect Nonprofits?
At the start of the year, two pieces of legislation threatened to change the internet as we know it. Both SOPA and PIPA would have limited an organizations visibility in search results as well as limit your ability to collect donations online if you were accused of infringing on copyrights.
Well, thankfully, these two bills did not pass and were never made into law. However censorship on the internet is still hot topic of conversation. Nonprofits need to be aware of what is going on when it comes to changes to the internet because it is such a helpful tool for getting much of your work done. Places you can stay up to date on the latest include: Ars Technica, This Week in Tech, and All Things Digital. Checking in on these sites from time to time can only help you know what’s next around the corner. And of course, we will update you here on DonorDreams if there are any big changes in the tech world.
#3 Can Your Nonprofit Raise $1,000,000 in 24 Hours Using a Crowdfunding Site?
In mid-February, a site named Kickstarter made waves when a video game developer raised over a million dollars in 24 short hours. This got me thinking about how nonprofits could do the same. I highlighted two microdonation sites, FirstGiving and Helpers Unite that provide a way for nonprofits to collect funds for specific projects.
Just this past month, Giving Tuesday started as a movement on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to turn the nations attention to charitable giving instead of Christmas Shopping. With movements like this, along with the growth of Kickstarter, I can only see microdonations taking off in a big way. This is something to keep in mind when deciding your strategies for 2013.
#2 Some Insights on Facebook Pages Insights
Facebook has had a lot of changes throughout 2012. The timeline was introduced and Facebook Pages took off. Along with Pages, Facebook also allowed page owners to look behind the scenes to see what posts were the most popular with their followers by using a tool they call Facebook Insights. In my post I go through and explain how to read them and what to do with the information you gain from them.
Not much has changed with Facebook Insights itself, but the numbers reflected in Insights might look a bit different than they did at the start of the year. Recently, Facebook made changes to how posts show up in a viewer’s News Feed. This directly affects the success of a status update or photo posted by your organization. (I wrote about those changes here.) Facebook is going to continue to change so staying on top of those changes in 2013 is important to ensure your nonprofit is as visible as possible.
#1 It’s Hip to be Square: Accepting Donations From Your Phone
I’m not surprised that this is the most popular Mondays with Marissa post of 2012. Accepting donations on your phone can come in handy – even the Obama campaign used Square on the campaign trail. This post outlines the pros and cons of using Square to accept donations.
Since writing this post Square has expanded its services to now include gift card management on phones. Also, PayPal came out with a competiative service that links to a users PayPal account. Google Wallet also has started to be seen in some places to take payments using a person’s phone instead of a credit card. I can only imagine that the way we pay for things will continue to change which will only change how nonprofits can collect money. For the time being, I still think that Square is a great option for many nonprofits.
Well everyone, that wraps it up. I still have a few more posts to write in 2012, but let me just say how much I have enjoyed covering stories in social media and technology for nonprofits. If you have any updates or comments on the topics listed above please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
Top Ten Mondays with Marissa Posts – Part One
It has been my pleasure to write for DonorDreams each Monday in 2012. A lot of exciting things have happened in the social media world and I have enjoyed discussing a variety of topics with you. As the year comes to a close, I thought it would be a great idea to look back on some of the most popular “Mondays with Marissa” posts here on DonorDreams and see if there are any updates to share. Today, we are going to look at #10 – #6 on the most popular posts list.
#10 – Have You Googled Yourself Lately? You’d Be Amazed at What You Find
In this post, I talked about the importance of doing periodic searches on yourself and your organization on Google to see what comes up. It’s a good habit to get into so you can see what people see when they search for you. Remember that your goal is to make sure your site is the first search result that comes up. In the post, I also point out how to make sure Google has all of the information it needs to make this happen.
Beyond actually going to google.com and searching for your organization, you can set up a Google Alert that will email you whenever your organization is mentioned elsewhere on the internet. I find this useful to keep my eye on all corners of the cyberspace.
Besides looking yourself up on Google, I suggest searching for yourself and your organization on Bing and Yahoo as well. Not everyone uses Google as their search engine of choice.
#9 – How Nonprofits Can Use Tumblr
Tumblr is quickly growing into a force in the social media world. I think of it as a combination between Facebook and Twitter. In “How Nonprofits Can Use Tumblr,” I explain the best way you can use Tumblr for your agency and how to write a successful Tumblr post. The audience of Tumblr is a bit younger than those on other social networks. So, it might be the best way for you to gain supporters with the younger generation.
Since the writing of this post, I watched how the Obama campaign used Tumblr to share what supporters were writing about the election as it was happening. I also saw how Tumblr users raised funds for those effected by Hurricane Sandy. The moral of the story? Don’t leave Tumblr out of your social media plan. It’s quickly picking up steam and becoming a source to find supporters.
#8 – How Can Nonprofit Organizations Use Google Hangouts Effectively?
To me, Google Hangouts are one of the most interesting things to come out of social media this year. Growing up, video chatting with someone on your computer seemed decades away, but today you can have a chat with multiple people at the same time using free software over the internet. It’s amazing if you stop to think about it. In this post, I highlight how non-profits can use Google Hangouts to hold meetings or broadcast special events over the internet.
I have seen Google Hangouts become home to many podcasts that I listen to as an alternative to using Skype to call guests. I have also seen game shows hosted using this platform. I suspect Google Hangouts is something that will just continue to grow into 2013, and I will be watching to see how it does.
#7 – Lessons Learned from The Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Use of Social Media
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation decided to stop funding mammogram screenings for Planned Parenthood earlier this year, news feeds and timelines everywhere were filled with voices on the subject. Looking beyond the politic, what happened between these two organizations still provides vital lessons when it comes to how non-profits should use social media.
Months later . . . the Susan G. Komen Foundation is still recovering. As recent as September, the founder and CEO, Liz Thompson stepped down from the organization. The big take away is that what happens in social media can have a real impact on the structure of your organization.
#6 – How Google’s Recent Changes Affect You and Your Nonprofit Organization
At the start of 2012, Google started to shake things up when it comes to delivering search results. They introduced something known as “Search + Your World”. This changed how results show up when you search for something. If a person in your network “+1”’d something, it would show up before other search results. Also, Google made one large Terms of Service to umbrella all of their services where each product used to have on of their own.
There haven’t been many major changes since that time. Your real name is still used when you sign into your Google account. Most recently, this has spread to YouTube in an attempt to bring more continuity between Google products. The internet used to be a place for anonymity, and it is increasingly becoming more and more public. I predict this is a trend that we will see continue in 2013.
We’ve talked about a lot of things in “Mondays with Marissa” posts this year, and this is just the first half of the list! Do you have any updates on the topics shared above? Have you used the any of the products or services since I first wrote about them? I’d love to hear from you in comments. Stay tuned for Part Two!