Monthly Archives: May 2013

Emailing vs. Mailing for Nonprofits

May 28, 2013 | Author: MJ Pedone

To mail or to email is the question I’m often asked by many of my clients. Does email fundraising work and is it as effective as mailing a letter or calling a potential donor? With the world turning social, do you think most people read their emails or do they look at the subject line and hit delete because of the amount of daily emails which can be at times, overwhelming? I also hear from clients how they are trying to abide by the “green” movement and they don’t subscribe to the mail system as well as the expense these days.  I must admit, I’m guilty at times when I come home from work and after reading and responding to hundreds of emails a day, I will pull out the bills and throw the rest away without opening.  This is definitely a waste of paper and money for the sender.

So in my opinion, nonprofits should save the money and email their lists and in fact, this makes it easier to follow-up then when mailing a letter.  With that said, I feel that every organization should group their mailing lists and personalize the letters that they are sending out.  Adding the personal touch, doesn’t reek of mass mailing and although quite time consuming, the end result should be reflective of your hard work. 

Here are my thoughts on how you should break down your email target lists:

#1 Master Donor List:                                                                            

This list should include all of your past and present donors.  They are definitely the ones that are interested in your cause and will likely respond or at the very least, read your email. These letters should include a thank you in the body of the email as well as letting them know where their money was designated to i.e. certain project or program.

#2 House List:

This list should include your emailing list.  The people who sign up for your newsletters, people who attend your events, friends, clients and social media followers. This list should be kept active and current on organizational happenings.

#3 Prospecting List:

Prospecting lists are lists in which you purchase which can include donors who give to other organizations, business owners and philanthropists.  This list should receive a comprehensive marketing kit on the organization that should include press clippings and success stories of the great work your organization is doing for others who need support. They should be encouraged to come in for a meet and greet with the board members and the Executive Director. This is a great way to introduce the foundation as well as the team that is behind the mission.

Your mailing lists should be treated with respect and you shouldn’t over-solicit your donors or potential donors by sending a letter four times a month asking for donations. You should send newsletters, updates, thank you letters and holiday postcards to let your donors know that you appreciate their support.  So whether you choose to mail or email, remember to speak from the heart and treat your lists with respect.

As always, I welcome any comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

-MJ Pedone

10 Guidelines to Follow for Twitter

Author: MJ Pedone – CEO of Indra Public Relations

By this time, you are engaging on either one or two social platforms unless you have been living under a rock. In this blog, I chose to highlight twitter because Twitter is the leading platform for reaching a broad target audience that consist of busy influencers who love the concept of 140 characters to spread their word and to make a business decision. The tips I offer are what I consider to be the best guidelines that will help in the process of trying to garner leads and potential clients. 

1. Write a meaningful “Bio”                                                                                              Make sure your twitter followers know instantly who you are and how they can contact you. I suggest the link to your website. If you are using Twitter for personal reasons, then go for a fun and social bio.

2. A Link to Find Out More About You                                                                              Many times you want to find out more about a twitter follower and the follower doesn’t provide a link to their website. This is not a good practice if you are trying to seek new clients. Let your website be front and center when a visitor comes to your page. 

3. Focus                                                                                                                            Build a community of Twitter followers who are passionate and interested in your area of business. Tweepi or Twellow are good sites to help.

4. Automate                                                                                                                            In order to manage your time, automate the tedious tasks such as content distribution and following back but never conversation and engagement.

5. Keep the Flow Ongoing                                                                                                 Keep the daily Tweets coming so that followers see activity and read your content. Do this within a time frame that you are comfortable with.

6. Use Hashtags                                                                                                         Hashtags allow you to put content into followers accounts that are topic driven and organized. Some even build their lists so if you are interested in event planning, then include a tweet with the hashtag #eventplanning. This will lead to increased exposure and sharing of your tweets.

7. Manage with a tool                                                                                                          The Twitter tools and apps are simple. To manage and monitor both the tweets and the people you interact with, try using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. I currently use Hootsuite for my business and clients.

8. Brand your Twitter account                                                                                           Your Twitter account brand/logo should be used for all your social media sites and deliver the same theme for each. Consistent branding is effective and builds exposure.

9. Use Twitter sharing and subscribe buttons on your blog and website                                               Your Twitter icon should be prominent on your blog, social pages and website. This will make it easy for people to follow you as well as share your content.

10. Write creatively                                                                                                               You have 140 characters so create headlines that will intrigue your fellow tweeter. You only have 3 seconds to capture somebody’s attention, so make it count!

I welcome all comments on what guidelines work for you on Twitter and as always, if you like what you read, be social and share.