ICYMI: Last Week's Nonprofit News, Today | June 2

And we’re back from a break (good to see you again!) with the big VA scandal, the new work group for Atlanta immigrants, donor data for beginners, the power and practice of speaking engagements, visual marketing tips, storytelling inspiration from Maya Angelou, and more—including a new, no-cost e-book on donor psychology.  


Shinseki’s Out at VA, Time for Nonprofits to Help Fix It
(Nonprofit Quarterly)
Rick Cohen analyzes the ongoing scandal in VA health services that has left thousands of vets waiting for health care and forced the head of the organization to resign. After looking inside the VA, inside the White House, and inside Congress, Cohen challenges the 40,000 nonprofits serving vets nationwide to step in, fill the gaps, and help restore the nation’s promise to its soldiers in need.

White House: Interim Recommendations for My Brother’s Keeper Initiative
(Nonprofit Quarterly)
Announced in February, the president’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative has just released an interim report outlining six milestones it seeks to achieve in each of the project’s proposed beneficiaries, boys and and young men of color. Rick Cohen reports on the action taken so far and the new approach to social change that the initiative represents.


Group Formed to Help Integrate Immigrants in Atlanta
(Midtown Patch)
Moving forward on the city’s partnership with the national Welcoming America initiative, Mayor Kasim Reed last week formed the Welcoming Atlanta Working Group to begin formulating methods for helping immigrants become a part of the Atlanta community. Co-Chair Jeffrey Tapia, president of GCN member Latin American Association, will help oversee the 21-person committee, which also includes representatives from GCN members Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and The Community Foundation.


6 Ways Nonprofits are Getting Online Fundraising All Wrong
If you aren’t seeing the online fundraising results you want, this smart list will help guide you in troubleshooting your efforts. In short, online fundraising should be supported by every department as well as a clean, properly functioning website; donors should find it easy to do, and easy to find out about; and it should be backed up by traditional fundraising initiatives and stories of your impact.

Donor data is your friend! 5 steps to get you started 
(Pamela Grow)
Even small nonprofits—the kind this blog specializes in—can use and benefit from data collection and analysis. Some simple advice from a fundraising-for-small-nonprofits consultant will get you started understanding the role of donor data in your fundraising strategy, and how to begin using it.   

New Infographic: Why Recurring Giving Matters
(Nonprofit Marketing Blog)
Among other data pointing to the importance of a recurring donor strategy, Network for Good reports that recurring gift donors gave an average of 42% more than non-recurring donors on their online giving platform.  


Leadership Development: Five Things All Nonprofits Should Know
(Stanford Social Innovation Review)
If you think executive training is too costly, in either time or funds, the CEO of nonprofit leadership development outfit AchieveMission has five points to convince you of its worth—including where to look to “make big improvements for free right now.”


The No. 1 Social Media Marketing Mistake Nonprofits Make
(Social Media Today)
According to this Bloomerang marketing VP, the most important thing you can do to spread your message is to get a range of stakeholders—board members, volunteers, donors, beneficiaries—trumpeting your cause from their own social media accounts.  

Stop Being the Best Kept Secret in Town
(Get Fully Funded)

Raising awareness is a constant challenge for most nonprofits, despite (and beacuse of) the ever-increasing number of outlets for communication. Speaking engagements can still provide a major boost of interest and credibility—assuming you have a powerful presentation to make. Here are a few tips for developing and delivering a speech that sticks.

Storytelling Secret Sauce—Via Maya Angelou
(Getting Attention)
Nonprofit marketing expert Nancy Schwartz shares her favorite storytelling advice from poet, activist, and all-around national treasure Maya Angelou, who passed away last week.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post: The Data on Headlines, Length, Images, and More
An in-depth look at what makes an ideal blog post, according to the latest research. While “content crafter” Kevan Lee gets highly detailed about aspects like crafting headlines for  maximum clickability and incorporating “tweetable” lines in your text, he also provides a few quick-reference infographics, as well as concise lists of “7 essential elements” and “4 little things to look for in your perfect blog post.”  

10 Ways Nonprofits Can Succeed with Visual Marketing
(J Campbell Social Marketing)
Images are a powerful way to communicate your nonprofit’s story, but it’s important to know how to choose, format, and deploy images for the greatest impact. This list from marketing consultant Julia Campbell provides some simple, practical ways to take advantage of the trend toward visual-first marketing.

Three real-world ways to involve your board in your nonprofit’s rebrand
(Big Duck)
Whether you’re undergoing a rebrand or just considering a new communications strategy, it’s essential to get input and support from the board—but also to make sure they don’t overstep their bounds. This quick guide from Big Duck President Sarah Durham helps you get them in on the process without letting them take over.


The Pocket Guide to Fundraising Psychology
This newly-released, free-to-download e-book from online fundraising platform StayClassy provides insight based on “some of the latest psychological research into how successful fundraisers engage the mind and move the hearts of prospective donors.”

Empowering Nonprofits to Achieve Their Missions with Box.org
The IT experts at Box, where they’re “reinventing how the world uses business content,” is now offering nonprofits free and reduced-price services through a new initiative at Box.org.

Marc Schultz is contributing editor at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

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