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Manage Social Media At Your Next Event

Section: Blog

While most non-profits have a presence on social media, are you managing your social media in real time during an event? This is a great opportunity attract attention for your event. According to Martha C. White at BizBash.com, here are eight steps to create a foolproof social media response strategy:

1. Designate and Empower Monitors
Don’t get so busy with event planning that you forget to delegate this task to someone on the team. If your event is big, consider drafting volunteers for live blogging and tweeting, blow-by-blow, akin to a reporter covering the event.

2. Create a Command Center
Your social media hub should be in the middle of the action, with an adequate power supply, the best seats and a vantage point in the house and stage.

3. Define Your Voice
Create a tone, character and persona for monitors to use. This is most important if you plan to have multiple people, especially volunteers, communicating on the group’s behalf.

4. Make it Personal
Communicate as if you are speaking to a friend or family member to avoid sounding like an institution. Be authentic! Respond to people that tweet or comment by name.

5. Expect the Unexpected
Even with the best planning, the unexpected can happen. Imagine possible scenarios—a power outage, bad weather, a shortage of some key item—and craft responses ahead of time.

6. Put Twitter First
Twitter is the best medium for live reporting. This doesn’t mean you should neglect Facebook and Instagram, but tweets are the language of real-time social media conversation.

7. Woo Influencers
A celebrity with a huge following on Twitter or an entrepreneur whose LinkedIn posts are devoured by the business community can add exponentially to your event’s reach.

8. Go Beyond Your Platform
Attendees will talk on their platforms about your event. Monitor social media for mentions. Since some people might mention the event without using its proper name or Twitter handle, run searches on Twitter for your group’s name, the event name, and other similar terms.

Read this article in its entirety at BizBash.com

7 Friends Every Successful Event Planner Needs

Section: Blog

Bethany Smith of Event Manager Blog shares a list: 7 Friends Every Successful Event Planner Needs, which includes a copywriter, a graphic designer and a destination management company. We’d like to add an 8th entry to her list: a digital marketing partner. Working with a team of dedicated, experienced professionals to manage the intricacies of marketing your event, attracting attendees, promoting the event to potential donors can make you look like a rock star.

Event Journal, Inc. provides this marketing guidance to nonprofit organizations for their major fundraising events. Our 13 years’ experience working exclusively with nonprofits has given us the insight and experience to affect a difference in promoting your organization’s events. Our microsites help build excitement months in advance of the event date, serving as a portal for all event information, online purchases, donations and ad reservations.

Our flagship product is the digital e-journal (seen both online and at the event), a perfect vehicle to promote your event to a nationwide contingent of supporters. An e-journal has the potential to greatly expand the scope of your donor base – reaching 5-10 times the audience than the number of actual guests at your event. It adds significant value to your sponsorship packages to ultimately help you raise more funds. At the event, the journal comes to life digitally on presentation screens, giving each sponsor the limelight throughout the night.
See the Event MB website to read this article in its entirety.

Meet the Event Journal Team: Courtney

Section: Blog

The first in a continuing series of team member profiles:

NAME: Courtney Randall, aka Kirby
TITLE: Graphic Artist/Production Specialist
YEARS AT EVENT JOURNAL: 3 years and, 8 months

Kirby is our resident fashion plate and a die-hard Giants fan. As one of our key designers, he remains unflappable in the face of heavy-volume and tight deadlines.

In his own words:

WHAT MAKES EVENT JOURNAL UNIQUE: What I find so unique is how close-knit we are as a group. If someone in the company needs help, we personally extend ourselves. When our Production Manager had major flood damage from Hurricane Sandy, several of us volunteered our free time to help remove damaged items. We also do after work events together like supporting charity events or playing volleyball and billiards.

FUNNY OR INTERESTING STORY ABOUT A CLIENT PROJECT: When I first started working at Event Journal, one of the first projects I worked on was the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – LI Man and Woman of the Year event. Coincidentally, my friend was a candidate to be honored as Man of the Year that very same year. It was just one of those moments in which worlds collide!

TELL US ABOUT A CHARITY OR CAUSE YOU STAND BEHIND AND WHY? For the last 5 years my friend and I have hosted a charity bar crawl in NYC. We raise money from the event t-shirts I design to donate to charity. In the past we have donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, Movember and the American Cancer Society. Our 10th annual “Brody & Kirby Bar Crawl” will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 2pm-1am. We are slated to visit ten bars on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and expect anywhere from 35-45 people. It is free to join us, we just ask that you purchase a t-shirt.

This year we are donating proceeds to the American Brain Tumor Association in memory of our friend Jack Christensen who, at 35, lost his life to complications of a brain tumor. The mission of the American Brain Tumor Association is to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors to improve, extend and save the lives of those impacted.

For those who wish to join our efforts, view our Bar Crawl Map or email me directly.

To learn about the company please visit EventJournal.com.

Philanthropic Giving by Men Versus Women

Section: Blog

Men and women both give, but to different types of organizations and with different motivating factors. Marketers have traditionally looked at philanthropic giving by household unit. But a new study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, delves into how gender differences in the household and by income affect where people give and who supports causes aimed at women and girls. A few salient points were noted in an article in The Non Profit Times:

  • High Net Worth (HNW) single women are more likely to give to causes related to arts and the environment. HNW single men are more likely to give to multi-faceted organizations, such as The United Way.
  • HNW female-deciding households are more likely to give to youth and family services and religious causes. Male-deciding households have a lower likelihood of giving to basic needs organizations, and give lower amounts to these organizations.
  • Single women spread out their giving across a broader range of charities versus single men.

Click here to read this article in its entirety.

Content Marketing Helps Non-Profits Connect

Section: Blog

Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to gain recognition and acquire / retain donors. Great content is powerful and can help people personally connect with your cause or organization. Most successful non-profit organizations employ content marketing as a strategic piece of their overall marketing plan.

Here are a few suggestions from Frank Barry to help your non-profit make the most of the power of content marketing:

Leverage Video to Tell Your Story
Figure out how to turn the unique ways your organization is changing the world into content that can be used online. It’s no secret that the combined impact of video and social media is huge.

Use a Multi-Dimensional Approach
By blogging, creating compelling video for YouTube or Periscope, sharing stories on Facebook, pushing updates on Twitter and supporting user generated content, you can successfully create a content strategy that supports your core mission, while engaging multiple contingents.

Harness the Power of User-Generated Content
Encourage supporters to interact with your organization and share content. Mobilize people who are passionate about your cause with fun and engaging opportunities — such as a game or related photo creation tool — which they can share online with their networks.

Empower Your Staff to be Creative
Give your staff the freedom to publish content that connects them to your supporters, such as a thank you video starring your organization’s employees or volunteers.

Read more at Mashable.com

Seven Most Costly Sins of Donation Forms

Section: Blog

Donation forms have but one purpose: to capture a charitable gift. However “best practices” are not always followed, yielding lost donation opportunities. Brandon Granger of npEngage.com shares his Seven Most Costly Sins of Donation Forms:

1) No Mobile Experience: Many nonprofit sites still aren’t “mobile-ready,” even though nearly 10% of donors are coming to forms via mobile technology. Don’t lose them just when they’re ready to donate.

2) Poor Accessibility: Many people have trouble viewing web pages, even with reading glasses. Low contrast colors, small text, and tiny fields are a few of the culprits. Make sure your form is accessible to all.

3) Requiring a Log In: Requiring a log in is the kiss of death for donation forms. Stop asking for user names and passwords.

4) Too Many Fields: Don’t spook your donors with too many questions. Remember, this is a donation form, not a survey. Removing fields like title and phone number can make your form easier to navigate and increase your donation rates.

5) Too Many Steps: Multiple steps are frustrating for users. Make your form as simple as possible or you will lose donors along the way.

6) Using Captcha on All Transactions: While it is important to avoid credit card fraud, using captcha on all transactions can result in a significant loss of donations.

7) Unbranded Checkouts: Keep donors feeling safe by designing your checkout page to existing brand standards. Unbranded, third-party checkouts erode trust and yield a 41% higher abandonment rate versus branded checkouts.

Event Journal provides clients with secure, user-friendly, branded forms for all transactions. We go the extra mile to ensure you get the most out of your fundraising events. To read more of this article, visit npEngage.

Make the Most of Facebook’s “Donate Now” Fundraising Button

Section: Blog

While a strong social following on Facebook is already an immense advantage for nonprofits in their fundraising efforts, followers can now be even more valuable. With Facebook’s “Donate Now” button, it’s easier than ever for nonprofits to turn online engagement into meaningful monetary contributions.

In her Hubspot blog, Juliana Nicholson shares some tips as to how fundraisers can make the most of this new feature:

Point the Way
Having the button on your Facebook page does not ensure it will get notice or used. Reference this new feature in your communications and give users visual clues, such as photos direction their attention to the “Donate Now” button.

Run Highly-Targeted Campaigns
If you’re advertising a specific campaign on Facebook, make sure you spend your ad dollars wisely by researching the appropriate audience and segmenting your efforts.

Keep Content Balanced
Just because asking for donations on Facebook is easy, it doesn’t mean you should neglect the primary reason most users connect with you to begin with. Facebook is about “Friendraising” — not fundraising. So, remember that content comes first, and that creating a personal connection with your fans will pave the road for longer, more valuable long-term relationships.

Read Juliana Nicholson’s blog in its entirety on Hubspot.

Target “Low-Hanging Fruit” to Raise More at Next Event

Section: Blog

Looking to squeeze an additional 5% or 10% out of an existing fundraising event? There are little tweaks you can make that may easily give you those gains you desire.

Joe Garecht of The Fundraising Authority, offers the following strategies.

1. UPGRADE LAST YEAR’S SPONSORS:
Make sure to relationship-build between events by reaching out personally to sponsors — then ask if they will upgrade. They will not upgrade unless you ask!

2. ENCOURAGE PREVIOUS ATTENDEES TO INVITE A FRIEND
Send a letter before your invitations go out explaining why the event is so important. Ask guests to consider another person or couple they could invite this year. You can even try offering a discount on a second attendee for a single year to boost event attendance.

3. ADD ADDITIONAL REVENUE STREAMS
Consider adding new revenue streams to your event — things like silent auctions, raffles or e-Journals. These vehicles can boost your bottom line without adding new expenses. Add only one new revenue stream per year. If the return from the new stream isn’t worth the time and stress, drop it the following year and try something new.

Read the article in its entirety at Joe Garecht’s The Fundraising Authority.

Dedicated Micro-Sites Take Event Marketing to the Next Level

Section: Blog

Add significant exposure to your gala or golf outing with a dedicated event website that is separate and distinct from your organization’s main website. A dedicated “micro”-site provides viewers with all the information they need to be more readily converted into donors and attendees.

The article cited below features expert tips from Karen Perry, President of Event Journal, Inc., a company that offers event micro-sites and related services for fundraising events:

Here are some of her suggested strategies:

1. Unique Domain — Use an easily remembered URL for marketing and promoting site traffic. Integrate the URL into all event materials, as well as by making it easy to link to it from your main website.

2. Up-to-Date Info — Keep the website current. When people return, they should see fresh information.

3. Post-Event Photo Gallery — Posting photos gives people a chance to see the success of the event. Promote this at the event, including a message on table cards or on the back of the program to check the event website to view the photos. This will keep your donor pool digitally engaged with your organization.

4. Corresponding E-mail Campaign — Plan in three waves: save the date, call to action and post-event follow-up. All e-mails should link to the site, taking supporters to the appropriate landing page to register, make purchases, donate, etc.

5. Social Media Promotion — Build social media interfaces into the website. Your event committee can help you reach exponentially more supporters by sharing posts with their own friends and contacts.

Read the complete article at Special-Events Galore event journal, a website offering practical tips and techniques to help you plan, organize and manage events.

How to Promote Your Event Using Social Media

Section: Blog

Kimberly Reynolds from Social-Media-Examiner.com shares creative ways to use social media to promote event:

  • Create one unified hash tag (“#”) for use across all social channels

This is very important because it will help streamline all of the mentions regarding the event. This hash tag should be event-specific and used in ALL marketing collateral.

  • Share behind-the-scenes visual content

Give viewers an inside look at what goes on while planning the event. This engages the reader and makes you more relatable. For example, share bloopers, fun things to do in the area, event signage, goodie bags, etc.

  • Use photos of attendees in social updates

This is great for annual events. Include people in the picture who will most likely comment on the photo and share it with others.

  • Create a highlight reel from prior events

There is nothing like video to help convey the excitement and fun of your event and attract new participants.

  • Empower affiliates, fans and attendees with shareable assets

Make it easy to share your event. Provide a web page with branded downloadable resources that fit any platform. For example, capitalize on the excitement of attendees by providing a button that allows them to immediately share a tweet or post after registering for your event.

Read Kimberly Reynold’s full article 16 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Event