How I'm Using Pinterest for My Next Book (And How You Can Pin Along)

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I've been reordering my Pinterest boards for cause marketing to make them more useful for you. You can read about these changes in my recent newsletter. If you're not a subscriber, you can change that here.

When you visit my boards you'll see a bunch that begin with the hashtag #FWB. These are new boards for my next book Fundraising with Businesses: 40 New (and Improved!) Strategies for Nonprofits. It will be published in December by Wiley Publishing.

The end of each chapter will include a URL and QR Code that readers can use to visit a Pinterest board with more examples of the strategy profiled in the chapter.

For example, my chapter on pinups will link to this board.

Sponsorship Opportunities

As part of my book, I'm selling sponsorships for the boards.

The boards are a great opportunity for an organization to position itself as a leader in the chapter topic. For example, a third-party business that specializes in collecting and distributing funds from donation boxes within businesses would be a great sponsor of my board on donation box fundraisers (Chapter 3).

I currently have four board sponsors: CafeGive, For Momentum, See3 Communications and OneBillionShirts.org.

Here's what your sponsorship includes:

  • You'll be identified as a sponsor in the pin board description.
  • You'll be invited to pin your images on the board. I'll be pinning too as I run across campaigns that are pin-worthy. I've pinned over 1900 images since joining Pinterest. But, depending on your level of engagement, you'll be leading the charge in showing visitors that you are a leader in the board topic.
  • We'll work together on a sponsored post for Selfishgiving.com that will discuss your chosen topic, your authority in the area and reference your Pinterest board.

You can check out an example on CafeGive's board Facebook Contests. Soon, CafeGive will be pinning examples of their favorite campaigns to show how they are a leader in Facebook contest applications for businesses and nonprofits.

The one-time fee for sponsoring the Pinterest board is $500.00. To learn more, contact me at joe@selfishgiving.com

How Businesses Can Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims (Hint: Learn from Boston)

8758905441_d7bf474039 I'm away this week speaking at the New Strategies Conference in Charleston, S.C. But like everyone else I heard the sad news about the tornados in Oklahoma and the terrible loss of life and property.

I know businesses are going to want to help. And after seeing how businesses responded after the tragedy in my hometown of Boston, I have a few suggestions.

1. Donate what's needed most, but especially cash. Give what you can and tell people what and how much you gave. People are expecting you to do something so be upfront.

2. If your business has a cash register, set up a register program so customers can donate. If you can match their donations, even better.

3. If your company has made a donation, but is not a B2C business with a register, explore your options to donate a portion or percentage of sales from your product or service. You'll find plenty of example on this Pinterest board.

After the Boston bombing I read about an investment firm that was donating a day's worth of commissions to the victims. Every business makes money. Tap into your money maker to help the victims.

4. If your company hasn't made a direct donation to the relief effort, or if you don't plan to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of a product or service (i.e. every dollar the consumer gave you with no deduction for expenses), don't do anything until you're ready to contribute with sincerity and resolve.

5. Continue to honor your commitments to other charities. Helping the victims in Oklahoma is critical, but, honestly, companies - especially large companies - are sitting on A LOT OF CASH. Don't cut the pie into smaller pieces. Make a bigger pie.

If your company is strapped for cash, but you still wants to help, build your support into next year's budget. The folks in Oklahoma will need help for a long, long time.

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Questions?

Top Photo: Wesley Fryer via Flickr

How One Nonprofit is Raising Money from Company Volunteers

This post has a companion post at Razoo's Inspiring Generosity blog: Dollars for Doers: The Money Nonprofits Don't Want?

To learn more about Dollars for Doers - company grants that reward employee volunteering with cash for nonprofits - I knew I had to speak to a nonprofit that worked with a lot of volunteers. If it's really true that only 7 out of 100 employees apply for this money, I needed an organization that had so many volunteers that they’d be sure to have experience with this program.

Boston-based Cradles to Crayons helps poor children from birth through age twelve with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. This includes everything from shoes to coats to backpacks and many other important items.

Cradles to Crayons collects these items from community organizations and companies. But they don’t get collected, sorted and distributed on their own. Cradles to Crayons relies on volunteers to help them - and not just a few. Last year, 20,000 volunteers worked in its “Giving Factory.”

I had found the right nonprofit!

My point person was Jennifer White, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, and she knew all about Dollars for Doers.

“We’re very familiar with the program,” she said. “We always ask our volunteers if they have a program and follow up with them afterward.”

Jennifer conceded the biggest challenge is getting employees to log their hours with their company.

“If employees can log their hours online we get a better and faster response,” she said. “But if they have to print out a form and get it to another department in the company…well, you know what happens.”

“It’s also not always easy to determine which companies offer Dollars for Doers,” said Jennifer. “Companies don’t seem to promote it as much as its sister program matching gifts.”

And unlike matching gifts, nonprofits have to jump more hurdles to get the money. Companies often require a certain number of volunteers or hours – or both – to trigger a donation.

For example, department store chain Kohl’s requires that a group of five or more employees volunteer together for three consecutive hours before a grant is awarded. Some companies take it one step further and put eligible nonprofits into a pool from which grant recipients are chosen.

Nonprofits lose out when companies make it too challenging to receive a grant. But companies may be missing an opportunity as well.

“I’m surprised how few companies track employee volunteer hours,” said Jennifer. “They just don’t keep track of this – but we do. It’s there for the asking.”

In a time when consumers are as interested in a company’s community footprint as they are in product and price, employee volunteerism may be just what cause consumers are shopping for.

The good folks at DoubletheDonation.com were nice enough to share this figure with me to illustrate how the Dollars for Doers (aka Volunteer Grant) process works.

New Strategies for Increasing Corporate Support

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Curt Weeden (shown above) is a corporate giving expert, speaker, author and founder of the New Strategies Forum.

I first shared this post with my email newsletter subscribers last week. But I got such great feedback I want to share it with everyone. Subscribers to my email newsletter receive unique content from me twice a month. Sign up for my Wicked Good Newsletter today!

I just came back from a business trip to Charleston, South Carolina.

It was both good and bad.

The bad part was that the temperature in Charleston was the same as Boston so I didn't get any relief from this cold spring!

The good part was that I was involved in a wonderful conference called the New Strategies Forum (NSF) that teaches nonprofits how to work more effectively with the business community and to raise more money.

The founder of NSF is a leader in corporate giving. For many years, Curt Weeden was that guy at Johnson & Johnson who handed out $150 million dollars annually to needy organizations. Curt is also the founder of the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals (ACCP).

As if that's not enough, Curt spends his free time writing books that feature nonprofit executives as characters. He also donates the proceeds of his books to great organizations, such as the National Parkinson Foundation.

Curt is also the author of Smart Giving is Good Business, which I've dog-eared to the point that I've bookmarked the whole book!

Curt knows a lot about corporate giving, but cause marketing is relatively new to him. That's how I got involved in the forum. He and I are a good team. Besides being like Abbott and Costello in the classroom, our skill sets and experiences dovetail nicely.

The March forum wrapped up last week, but already we've gotten some great feedback.

"It is not often that I come away from a "professional development" experience this energized, encouraged, and sporting a good mood the next morning at work. Thank you, indeed, for being so generous, smart, and gracious about sharing your knowledge and expertise. I gained knowledge, received astute advice and, most importantly for me, learned new ways to think about old issues."

Another attendee wrote:

"Thank you for providing such a valuable learning experience. It was indeed an experience. From the kind, approachable, accessible way Curt and Joe teach and coach to ensure what we saw, heard, thought, and felt was meaningful and enjoyable."

All of the nonprofit attendees of NSF are sponsored by companies that are as committed to supporting nonprofits as they are to helping them to find new and better areas of funding.

That's what the New Strategies Forum is all about: teaching nonprofits how to be better fishermen of corporate support. However, what these participants realize at the end of the forum is that they are better at fishing for ALL types of fundraising.

If you're a company that has a nonprofit partner that you want to further empower, or you're a nonprofit that is determined to adapt and grow when others are circling the wagons, you should check out the New Strategies Forum.

We're sold out for May, but we have some spots left for October's Forum. Curt and I would love to see you in Charleston.

Are Nonprofits Ready for the End of Corporate Philanthropy?

Boston's own Scott Beaudoin, who's also MS&L Worldwide's North America director of CSR and cause marketing, asked in PRWeek Insider's blog last week is this "The End of Corporate Philanthropy?"

Scott's prompt was Nestle SA Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe's recent remarks that he's against corporate philanthropy because it could lead to a misuse of funds. (I guess he had already doubled checked that the company money used for client entertainment was all well spent.)

What Peter and Scott are in favor of are "social investments that are aligned with the business."

Like it or not, this is the future of corporate giving for businesses large and small. Of course, this won't be "giving" at all but rather strategic social investing. And the timing is right for several reasons.

  • With the drumbeat of earnings and ROI stronger than ever, companies can no longer fund generous philanthropy programs. Investment in causes, not giving, must be the mainstay if companies are to continue to play a meaningful role in addressing societal issues.
  • Thoughtful consumers get it. As Scott notes, "Research shows today's stakeholders understand that companies need to be profitable but also believe they can be purposeful and profitable at the same time."
  • To engage more small and medium size businesses with causes, partnerships need to be win-win as only the biggest companies can afford big budgets for philanthropy.

Reading Peter's remarks and Scott's post made me smile because a corporate culture focused on bottom-line benefits for both partners is my reality every day. Nestle SA has had the luxury and, thankfully, the desire to be philanthropic without the worry about the ROI on corporate giving. The restaurant chain I work with may share Nestle's generous instincts but it lacks their capacity. Interestingly, I've noticed that it's when a business is most focused on benefiting from a partnership with my nonprofit that they do the most good for my cause.

But the shift away from corporate philanthropy won't be easy for nonprofits. Going from receiving generous handouts to having to work for your food will take a bit of getting used to.

Here are three ways nonprofits can begin the shift away from corporate philanthropy.

Embrace the brave new world. Nonprofits shouldn't feel guilty that they have to engage businesses as, well, businesses and not donors. Remember, companies still want to make a difference, but they want to help you and society while they help themselves. Think win-win-win.

Make it easy for companies. Don't make them feel guilty that they used to give you money and now they make you work for it. Don't wait for them to tell YOU they need more from their partnership with you. Connect the dots so they don't have to. Create opportunities and programs that are tailored for companies (which leads to my next point).

Start a cause marketing program. The essence of cause marketing is mutual benefit. Whether you use pinups, percentage-of-sale, licensing, cause promotion, etc. cause marketing will help reduce your dependence on corporate giving and give businesses a new way to work with you that is grounded in win-win.

Long live corporate philanthropy. It's a little absurd to think that corporate philanthropy will just disappear. Walmart just gave $2 billion to fight hunger this past week (although I'm sure hunger causes resonate with Walmart's core customers so there is a strategic component to the gift). Will it be reduced? Sure, perhaps a lot. But it will always be there in some form so don't throw away your tin can just yet.

But a world with less corporate philanthropy is here. The challenge for nonprofits is to adapt to the new reality. What seems like the end of corporate philanthropy will actually be a new beginning of opportunity for nonprofits that are up for the challenge.

End or beginning. Which one will your nonprofit choose?

[Note: I'd like your help. I've given three ways nonprofits can begin the shift away from corporate philanthropy to corporate opportunity. What other ways can nonprofits easily and quickly make the move.]