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!
A Guide to Creating a Cell Phone Policy for Your Nonprofit
These days many employers provide cell phones for their employees so that they can be connected at all times. This can be both a blessing and a curse for employees. On one hand, they don’t have to move to far to get the information they need, on the
other hand weekends can be interrupted by an email that normally wouldn’t have been seen until Monday. Either way, managing the cell phone usage of your organization can be a full time job. Today I’m going to share some questions you should ask yourself when setting up a cell phone policy for your agency.
Do you really need cell phones?
For some organizations it makes sense for employees to have cell phones provided to them. The work that is being done happens around the clock or from remote locations. For others, it might be more of a matter of connivence. Take a moment to think if providing cell phones is really needed.
If you decide that cell phones are needed, who in the organization needs one?
This is going to be breaking news, but not everyone needs a cell phone. Everyone might want a cell phone, but not all positions within your agency require one to be provided. Be selective about this because it is much easier to give someone something than to take it away.
What type of phone is needed?
It seems like there is a new phone out every day. I advice to get the phone with the least amount of features needed. If this person is only needed to be available by phone, does she really need a smartphone? Also just because a person might need the bells and whistles of a smartphone, doesn’t mean that smartphone needs to be an iPhone 5. Look at all of your options and really think about what the user of the phone really needs.
What plan to go with?
The good news here is that most major cell phone providers will work with nonprofits to set up a contract that work for them. Make sure you shop around and see which company can do the most for you. Don’t rule out the prepaid option either. It might be the best way to go for your organization. Also, keep your eyes out for smaller competitors to the major providers, like Ting. Ting has a flexible plan system that lets you prioritize which features (talking, texting, or data) are most important and you pay accordingly. So if one person on your team doesn’t need to talk on the phone much, but needs to have data access all of the time, Ting allows you to create a plan that provides just that.
Can we use our personal phones?
Employees may want to use their own phones for work. Some organizations provide a stipend to each employee to use toward their cell phone plan. This can be a solution for your agency, but you still need to protect your organization’s data on that phone. I recommend setting up an agreement for the employee to sign. It should included statements that allow your agency to be given access to the device to see the configuration of any application that deals with sensitive data. The employee should also use a lock on their phone to keep that data safe. Also, your agency needs to be ensured that the device will be wiped clean before the employee provides it to another user.
I hope this guide helps you organize your cell phone policy for your organization. Have any tips or best practices to add? Post them in a comment below!