Book Review: Measuring the Networked Nonprofit

Beth Kanter's first book, The Networked Nonprofit, taught us how to use social media tools. Her latest book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, which is co-authored by Katie Delahaye Paine, teaches us how to measure what we've done.

The whole idea of measurement and insight has been on my brain for two reasons.

First, During Pinktober Megan Strand and I interviewed the author of Pink Ribbons Inc. on CauseTalk Radio. I initially thought we'd be on opposite sides of the argument, but I found myself nodding in agreement throughout our conversation. She wasn't against cause marketing, as I had wrongly assumed. But she did have some good questions on measurement and insight within the pink ribbons movement. What was the real value of breast cancer awareness? How was success being measured? What goals have and haven't been achieved? You can listen to the show yourself, but I concluded Pinktober needed less emotion and ribbon-waving and more measurement and insight.

My second run in with measurement peaked after the presidential election. How could so many people say for so long that the race was so close only to have Romney lose in a landslide? They're now saying that Romney will get two to three million fewer votes than McCain did in 2008. How is that possible as no one ever called that race a close one? What was and wasn't measured and why did pollsters draw different conclusions from the data?

Lastly, who the hell is this wicked smart guy Nate Silver that everyone is talking about?

Obviously, I have a lot to learn about measuring the success of just about everything.

That's why I want to finish Beth and Katie's book so I can better teach my clients how to measure the success of their social media efforts. What I've really liked about the book so far is it has a ton of case studies. The authors also don't assume you've read Beth's first book (or even her blog) and implemented all the things she suggested.

This book has something for everyone. Even if you're still crawling when others are walking, running and flying (the four stages of becoming data informed in the book), you'll learn something.

A book like this raises the bar for everything you do. Sure, it teaches you how to measure your effectiveness on social media and how to make better decisions. But It also challenges you to do everything better through measurement and insight. For nonprofits, the result will be a better world, which I'm sure Beth and Katie are eager to measure.

Donate to a Cause When You Pay with Your Smartphone

Massachusetts-based SCVNGR said last week that its mobile payment service, LevelUp, will allow users to donate their loyalty credits to one of five charities. Loyalty credits are what you earn when you use Levelup at a participating business. For example, if you spend $40 at a restaurant and use LevelUp to pay you could earn a $5 credit for your next visit. Now, you can use part or all of that credit to support a cause.

I've written about LevelUp before. I'm rooting for the home team, but with Square (which recently inked a partnership with Starbucks), Paypal and others competing in the same space, I'm unsure who will be the winner in the mobile payment wars. Still, LevelUp's efforts to connect cash with cause demonstrate how seamlessly charity will fit in the coming mobile wallet.

Here's how you can donate to a cause on LevelUp.

After you you open the LevelUp app, you click on settings.

After you click on Donate to a Cause When You Save, you'll choose a cause to support.

The final step is to select the percentage of your loyalty credit that you want to donate.

Now, each time I use LevelUp and earn loyalty credits 25 percent will go to Feeding America.

What do you think of LevelUp's new feature? While connecting payment vehicles - such as credit cards - to giving isn't a new idea, tying it in with a mobile payment system makes it easier than ever to give to a cause on what will one day the primary way shoppers pay for purchases.

A Pinup Sales Sheet for Pitching Businesses

I love this pinup sales sheet from Linda Tantawi the executive director at the CJ Foundation for SIDS. This is a great sales sheet from which Linda can explain to a business owner the three different kinds of pinup programs they can execute at the register in their stores. Thanks for sharing this with me and the Selfish Giving community, Linda! It's a great resource and I look forward to hearing about about your many successes with it!

Good Works! is a Great Book for Companies & Causes

Good works There's a great new book out for cause and corporate marketers: Good Works! Marketing and Corporate Initiatives that Build a Better World...and the Bottom Line. It's authored by Philip Kotler, David Hessekiel and Nancy Lee. I don't know Philip and Nancy, but I know a lot about David. David has been a friend and mentor of mine for many years. But if you work in the field or follow my blog you know him as the president of Cause Marketing Forum, the #1 destination for business and nonprofit leaders that want to help others and boost the bottom line.

This is an exciting new book for marketers as we finally have a place where David has shared his experiences, insights and advice on cause marketing and corporate partnerships. This book takes you from start to finish on why doing well by doing good is no longer optional, through developing a program and measuring the results.

Some of the chapters I really enjoyed included:

Chapter 4: Cause-Related Marketing: Making Contributions to Causes Based on Product Sales and Consumer Actions

This chapter has a clear explanation of the transactional programs I write about on my blog and nine great examples of model programs. The authors also include a useful section at the end on When Should Cause-Related Marketing be Considered.

Chapters 9 - 14: Offense and Defense

These five chapters take you from choosing a social problem to tackle to developing a program to evaluating your success and dealing with critics and cynics. The latter is particularly helpful as consumers are more closely scrutinizing cause marketing programs. These chapters are a great addition to the conversation around cause as companies are looking for more step by step advice to get started and to stay on course with good works.

Chapter 15: A Marketing Approach to Winning Corporate Funding and Support for Social Initiatives: Ten Recommendations

I love this chapter, which is prefaced with the heading For Nonprofits and Public Sector Agencies Only. It also has a wonderful quote from one of my idols, Share Our Strength's Billy Shore, that every cause marketer should memorize. The authors' ten recommendations are really commandments that nonprofits shouldn't break (I've added the Old Testament language).

Thou shall develop a list of social issues that your organization or agency is currently charged with supporting

Hallelujah! The process starts within, not without!

Thou shall listen to their business needs.

Thank you, Philip, David and Nancy. No, nonprofits, it's not all about you. Zip it.

Thou shall handle as much of the administrative legwork as possible.

Yes! Don't give partners an excuse to say no.

David and his co-authors have written a book that is interesting, comprehensive and most of all, useful. This book is wonderful read on its own. But do yourself a favor and read it with my other favorite cause marketing book, Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding by Jocelyne Daw, Carol Cone, Kristian Darigan Merenda and Ann Erhard.

Together, the two books combine principles with purpose to give companies and causes the tools they need to build a better world.

Recruit More Sponsors, Corporate Partners with Inbound Marketing

Join Hubspot and me for a FREE webinar on how to recruit more sponsors and corporate partners with inbound marketing this Thursday, December 1st at 1pm EST. On this blog and in Cause Marketing for Dummies I talk a lot about how blogging, social media and SEO can help nonprofits land more sponsors and corporate partners. I call it good old-fashioned marketing. My friends at Boston's Hubspot have a better name for it: Inbound Marketing.

They define the practice as any marketing tactic that relies on earning people's attention as opposed to buying it with advertising.

I'm sure this approach is new to most development professionals who work in sponsorship, cause marketing and corporate partnerships. Their idea of prospecting is cold calling and sending out emails to potential partners.

Wouldn't you rather have qualified prospects come to you? That's what inbound marketing is all about!

How I Used Inbound Marketing

Here's how I used inbound marketing to recruit corporate partners for cause marketing programs at a Boston hospital.

Like most nonprofits, we had supporters that we could reach directly without inbound marketing. We already had their attention and recruited them for cause marketing programs. These are your best prospects. If only there were more of them!

iParty, for instance, had a long-standing relationship with the hospital. The owners, Sal & Dorrice Perisano were generous donors to the hospital before they involved their party supply business in fundraising for us. Most nonprofits have one or more existing donors that operate businesses and are open to partnerships. But they are in the bullseye for a reason: most organizations only have one or two of these perfect prospects.

After supporters, you move to the second circle, which is populated with contacts. These companies know you, and you know them, but they're not supporters. Office supply chain Staples, for instance, was a contact because they were a hospital vendor. We knew them, and they us, but they weren't supporters of the hospital - at least not yet. But the business relationship we had with them gave us access to their marketing team, which led to a cause marketing partnership. Again, no need for inbound marketing here.

The third circle is the most critical because it's the largest and has the most opportunity. But bigger also means harder because you have no relationship, no connection with these companies. These companies are so cold you can't even call them prospects! I call them suspects. Most nonprofits think they need a sledgehammer to break down the doors to these companies. Bold stroke, for sure. But what they need is a magnet that will draw these prospects in and warm them up. This is when inbound marketing is so valuable!

Faced with this same challenge in our own recruitment program, we turned to blogging, social media and SEO as a magnet to pull these prospects in.

The Blog

I started Selfishgiving.com six months into my job at the hospital to educate companies - especially those located in my target area, Boston - on cause marketing and my team's work in the area. Selfish Giving was something they could find online that was informative and useful but not promotional.

Social Media

We focused on Twitter - accounts for the whole team not just for me - to engage Boston companies and share content. We also distributed our blog content to other sites, such as Care.comThe Chronicle of Philanthropy and other cause-related blogs.

SEO

Our blogging efforts - and a landing page for a webinar we created to educate partners on one of the easiest and most lucrative types of cause marketing, point-of-sale - helped us top the search engines for such keywords as "cause marketing boston" and "picking a cause for cause marketing."

The Results

Inbound marketing had a noticeable impact on our program. Not only did it help us recruit more corporate partners but it had an impact we didn't expect: it strengthened our partnerships with existing partners as they grew to respect our inbound efforts and social media expertise. They looked to us for credible, intelligent advice on how to effectively use these new platforms.

I bet your organization could benefit from learning more about inbound marketing and how it can help you recruit more corporate partners.

Thanks to Hubspot you can. On December 1st at 1pm EST, Hubspot and I are hosting a FREE webinar on how to recruit more sponsors and corporate partners with inbound marketing.

This is something you won't want to miss!

10 Reasons Why You Should Take My Public Speaking Course

Over the past few months I've delivered and listened to a lot of speeches, especially at Blogworld Expo last month. I heard some good ones and some not so good ones. Sadly, a lot of these mediocre speeches could have been good, even great - they had the right "bones" (e.g. good speaker, engaging topic) - but they lacked what makes a speech interesting, compelling and memorable.

It wasn't talent or ability that was holding these speakers back, it was education.

That's why I've decided to team up with CharityHowTo.com to deliver my own public speaking training course, which will be grounded in my own experiences speaking before many, many audiences, including teaching public speaking at Penn State. (No, I didn't know Jerry Sandusky.)

My qualifications as an instructor public speaking are just one reason why you should sign up for my public speaking course. Here are nine more.

Just showing up doesn't cut it anymore. I kid around with nervous speakers that Mark Twain always told new speakers to "Not worry, they [the audience] don't expect much." This is changing as many people are exposed to more great public speaking at conferences, on Youtube and television and at the movies. People are smarting up to what is and isn't a good public presentation. The pressure is on.

Good off the cuff speeches aren't off the cuff. People watch late night hosts, comedians, preachers and others and say, "That looks easy! I can do that." But being off the cuff takes a lof of practice. A while back I read an article on Conan O'Brien and what he did every day so that he would look "off the cuff" for his show. Let's just say he didn't show up and say "Let's do this!"

Knowing how to speak well gives you a competitive edge. I've seen this firsthand with my own career. Being a great speaker gives you an edge over others that may write or think better than you do. Audiences want to hear from great communicators - and that's not always the smartest person in your industry.

Public speaking improves all your communication skills. Want to sell better? Improve your public speaking skills. Want to be more effective in small groups? Work on your speaking. Want to write more clearly, succinctly and powerfully? The stage is the salve. Embrace your inner JFK [or, in my case, Oprah] and change your life and help your cause.

Public speaking is where the money is. A New York Times bestselling author shared this with me last year: the money is not in selling books and there are easier ways to make a living than consulting. The speaking circuit is both more lucrative and enjoyable. Need a bottom-line reason to become a better speaker? How about making a good living from it!

Public speaking is easy - after someone shows you how. Good public speaking isn't a mystery. The advice has been around since Ancient Greece 2,500 years ago. It's not hard. It's not complicated. It's not a secret. But you do need someone to show you how it's done. If you've never had any formal training in public speaking (BTW, Toastmasters doesn't count. I'll explain why in my course), invest in just this one course.

Your PowerPoint is not your presentation. This one drives me crazy. People hit the play button on their Powerpoint and then just stand back and expect that to be the big show. Your listeners don't want your Powerpoint. They want you. That doesn't mean you can't use Powerpoint. There's a high expectation among audiences that you will use Powerpoint, it's almost strange and distracting not to have it. Powerpoint has to be part of the act, but you're still the ringmaster.

No one will ever tell you you're terrible so fix the problem yourself. You know when you suck. People will be nice and say you did "good." I say it all the time. I blame it on my need to be liked by everyone. Sadly, this isn't doing you any good. Fortunatley, you probably know the truth. The blank stares from the audience. That unsettledness in your gut as your fail to connect with your listeners. Polite smiles afterward. Don't wait for someone to tell you. They might never do you the favor. Fess up and come to your own rescue.

Conquer your fear. Public speaking is the #1 fear. More than spiders, heights, even death, it scares the heck out of people. You can conquer your fear! I'll show you how.

Convinced? Good. Here are the details. See you tomorrow!