IBASE: COM Express CPU module for factory automation

first_imgIBASE Technology launches a new ET975 COM Express Computer-on-Module based on the ultra-low voltage 7th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processor produced using a 14 nanometer manufacturing process technology. Characterized with product longevity, performance computing and low power consumption, the ET975 is suitable for applications found in factory automation, kiosk, communications, medical imaging and digital signage environments.The ET975 comes with features that provide high performance and reliable operation across a wide range of industrial and embedded applications. The ET975 COM Express Type 6 compact module is equipped with two DDR4-2133 SO-DIMM sockets with a 32GB memory capacity, operating temperature range from 0 to +60°C, and Intel Gen 9 HD low-power integrated graphics on the SoC providing 4K resolution via popular display interfaces such as DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort and LVDS. A rich set of standard I/Os available are one gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 and eight USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports and two SATA III ports.The board supports the IBASE IP413 COM Express ATX carrier board with Type 6 pin-out and I/Os for 24-bit dual-channel LVDS, four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, and HD audio with Realtek ALC662 codec. The module also comes with an integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security feature, Digital I/O, watchdog timer, as well as two COM and two SATA III ports. Expansion is available with four PCI-E(1x) and one PCI-E(4x) supporting PCIe Gen 3 that allows faster connection on add-on cards and peripherals. Optional features include an embedded MultiMediaCard storage and a heat spreader. Dimensions of the extremely compact ET975 are 95 x 95mm.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules Continue Reading Previous AAEON: robust and secure motherboard with inbuilt TPMNext Infineon enables flexible wireless charging for automotive and consumer applicationslast_img read more

Organizing Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan

first_imgA properly organized nonprofit marketing plan supports itself like a pyramid. For each goal, there are objectives; every objective has strategies; and each strategy has tactics.However, all too often the terms goal, objective, strategy and tactic are used as interchangeable ways of saying the same thing. Plainly put, they are not – and the resulting lack of precision can be problematic.GoalsA goal is a “statement of being” for the plan. While the completion of the goal signifies the end of your plan, the objectives, strategies and tactics are the means to that end.ObjectivesCompared to the goal, objectives are more focused and specific, and the best-formulated objectives express results as measurable outcomes. Think in terms of the awareness, attitude or action that you hope to invoke. Often there are multiple objectives in support of a single goal. Meaningful objectives start with action verbs and have four parts. They:Identify a specific audience being addressed,State a measurable outcome,Set an attainment level, andSet a timeframe.StrategiesStrategies are where the rubber meets the road. Rarely is one strategy enough to fully accomplish an objective. Likewise, it is not unusual for a single strategy to serve multiple objectives.TacticsTactics are the specific tools you use to implement your strategies. News releases, brochures, media pitches, e-newsletters, blogs, Web sites, surveys, focus groups, and videos are just a few examples that spring to mind. It is the truly creative part of the plan’s authors to decide exactly which tactics are needed to successfully implement the chosen strategies.In ClosingA good marketing plan is interlinked from top to bottom. Without good tactics, a strategy will not successfully complete an objective, rendering the success of a goal limited.A true marketing plan forces the authors to employ the right mix of experience with critical thinking. With this understanding of the key differences between goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, the end result is a plan that can be executed successfully.(Source: Arketti Group)last_img read more

Sarah Bunting Shows Us All That Personal Fundraising Works!

first_imgLast year, Sarah Bunting, who writes the blog Tomato Nation, a culture and humor blog, offered to shave her head if her blog readers donated to DonorsChoose.org, a site that allows donors to purchase school supplies for needy classrooms.   Her readers responded, raising approximately $30,000 in a few days.    Keeping her end of the bargain, she saved her hair off.   And, if you don’t believe me, you can view the video on YouTube.  Her efforts were chronicled in a recent Wall Street Journal article.On October 1, 2007,  Sarah Bunting announced that it was time to do it again.  (Not the head shaving, she has picked another type of humiliation.)  She launched the month-long campaign with a goal of $40,000, again to support DonorsChoose.org.  Just at the mid-way point, Ms. Bunting has raised $75,000!  But she isn’t going to stop fundraising until the end of the month.Oh, the humiliation she selected?  She will find a tomato costume and wear it all day.I don’t mean some wear-a-red-outfit-with-a-green-hat, only-go-outside-to-buy-milk bullshit either. I mean a big old spherical tomato-mascot rig, red tights, foam leaf hat, the whole bit – on the subway. To Rockefeller Center. Where I work, on the same floor as Saturday Night Live, 50 feet away from the president of Bravo. And then out for lunch, where I will pause to perform the post-kiss Angela dance from My So-Called Life in the plaza. And then back to work. And then out for a drink. And I will film it.The DonorsChoose.org Blogger Challenge is an initiative to help hundreds of thousands of public schools in need. DonorsChoose.org created a challenge platform which enables a blogger to select favorite classroom projects, set a fundraising goal, and customize the DonorsChoose.org page presenting his/her challenge.  The challenger can then link to this page from his/her blog, call readers to action, and display an hourglass tracking progress toward the goal.   More than a hundred bloggers have joined and the competition is heating up, but it’s not too late to create a challenge or to donate to another blogger’s challenge!  The challenge will end at the end of October.Leaderboards show the generosity each blogger has inspired from readers.  And, Sarah’s campaign is leaving the others in the dust!  As of this evening, her campaign had raised over $80,000.  The second place campaign is at $18,000 and being implemented by Fred Wilson.  She’s also well ahead of TechCrunch which has raised slightly over $5,000.  Hmm .. maybe they should issue similar challenges to their readers?Sarah blogged about this exclusively and acknowledged each gift. From my experience, you can’t simply put the widget on the side bar, announce your campaign, and go on as business as usual.  You, the blogger, has to be passionate about your cause – and it leaks out from your blog into the hearts, minds, and checkbooks of your readers!  It has to be authentic!Katya Andresen has noted that it works because: “The beauty of people-to-people fundraising is that it is based in two-way communication; it is a conversation between individuals rather than a speech from an organization.  It puts your message in the mouth of the person most likely to prompt a donation:  someone the audience knows.  There are two useful social psychology theories at work here: liking and reciprocation.”From my experience doing several personal fundraising campaigns for Cambodian causes (see here, here, and here), I concur with Lucy Bernholz’s analysis of the model of charity blogging is something to keep an eye on:Regardless of what you think of the DonorsChoose model of giving, the fund development strategy here is worth looking at:The Bloggers Challenge shows how big and fast peer-to-peer fundraising (the oldest model we know) can grow with a push from the Internet;The media attention of something like this is worth it, even if the money is one-time gifts and none of the donors ever return to DC – which is pretty unlikely; DonorsChoose is doing very little to raise these funds – they’ve outsourced their fundraising to bloggers;Its new (I think). It takes the ChipIn/DonateNow/Widget/Facebook fundraisers and accelerates them.Source: http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2007/10/make-sarah-bunt.htmllast_img read more

Combining Mission, Benefits, and Personality: The Importance of the Message Triangle

first_imgBefore attempting to raise funds, it is important to be very clear about the elements of the Message Triangle. Confusion or disagreement about any of these three areas can lead to ineffective fundraising or worse, fundraising that erodes donor loyalty.THE THREE SIDES OF THE TRIANGLEMission:Why you exist. This is the core issue, the central reason your organization exists.Competencies/Benefits:What you do. Your organization’s attributes or competencies. These are the concrete things your organization does that are meritorious and worthy of support.Personality/Strengths:Who you are. Think of this list as the way donors would describe your organization if it were a person. In this area are the things that are fundamental to the personality of the organization the attributes that seem hard-wired into the organizational DNA. This side of the triangle is very important because of the emotional component it contains.For best results there needs to be internal agreement on these three important components. Then there needs to be agreement with your fundraising counsel.THE ROLE OF EMOTION IN FORGING DONOR LOYALTYOne big mistake made by many organizations is forgetting the importance of the emotional component when attempting to appeal to donors. Unfortunately, most organizations keep trying to appeal to the rational mind alone, instead of to reason and emotion together. Rationality assumes that behavior is determined exclusively by conscious awareness, reason, and the ability to calculate something’s worth. The most recent discoveries in cognitive neuroscience sharply contradict this notion.Research shows that human behavior is influenced by the combination of reason and emotion, and that reason only functions well when it is supported by the presence of an adequate emotional state. So, while focusing on conscious awareness and reason may work to spark interest in a cause or an organization, it fails to produce the emotions required for true engagement.Emotions are the mechanisms that set people’s highest-level goals, including what causes they decide to support. While donors often forget factual information, they almost always remember their emotions, both good and bad. And when it comes to deciding whether to donate again to a certain cause, negative emotions are often remembered more vividly than the positive.This means that the process of deciding whether or not to stay on board also depends on the emotions experienced while donating and supporting a cause. So, apart from performing its intrinsic functions, a “cause brand” carries profound emotional connotations for donors. At the beginning, middle, and end of every transaction, emotional engagement is at its heart.Just as there are three kinds of customer loyalty, there are also three kinds of donor loyalty:Forced Loyalty, which is imposed by a monopoly and lasts only as long as the monopoly does. When another organization emerges to compete, donors have a choice, and will defect unless they have connected with you on a deeper level.Bought Loyalty, which is directed at a captive audience and fueled by premiums or up-front freemiums. This type of donor loyalty lasts only as long as the organization is willing to pay the price. Loyalty that is bought does not run deep, either.Emotional Loyalty, which can go on indefinitely. The good news is that this type of donor loyalty is a renewable resource that is virtually inexhaustible if wisely cultivated. However, unless you focus on emotional engagement, you will not be able to persuade donors to stick with you for the long term.For all these reasons, it is important for organizations that care about donor loyalty to pay attention to all three sides of the Message Triangle, and to make sure that all three sides reinforce each other.Source: Merkle Orange Papershttp://www.merkledomain.com/site/PageServer?pagename=orange_messagingCopyright © 2007 Merkle Inc.All rights reservedlast_img read more

To Increase Charitable Donations, Appeal to the Heart — Not the Head

first_imgHere’s a pop quiz. Read the following two paragraphs and see which is more apt to tug at your heartstrings:A) Any money that you donate will go to Rokia, a seven-year-old girl who lives in Mali in Africa. Rokia is desperately poor and faces a threat of severe hunger, even starvation. Her life will be changed for the better as a result of your financial gift. With your support, and the support of other caring sponsors, Save the Children will work with Rokia’s family and other members of the community to help feed and educate her, and provide her with basic medical care.B) Food shortages in Malawi are affecting more than three million children. In Zambia, severe rainfall deficits have resulted in a 42% drop in maize production from 2000. As a result, an estimated three million Zambians face hunger. Four million Angolans — one-third of the population — have been forced to flee their homes. More than 11 million people in Ethiopia need immediate food assistance.If you answered A, you are like most people, according to a new study conducted by Deborah Small, a Wharton marketing professor, and two colleagues. The researchers found that if organizations want to raise money for a charitable cause, it is far better to appeal to the heart than to the head. Put another way, feelings, not analytical thinking, drive donations.Rokia is what academic researchers call an “identifiable victim.” As such, her personal story, which focuses exclusively on her plight and not that of other famine victims, is much more likely to generate charitable donations than more dispassionate descriptions of unnamed “statistical victims” like those in paragraph B, according to Small.That people would want to give money to identifiable victims like Rokia rather than unnamed famine victims may not seem all that surprising. But Small and her colleagues, in a series of field experiments, delved deeper into the issue of sympathy and how it relates to charitable giving. The researchers found that if people are presented with a personal case of an identifiable victim along with statistical data about similar victims caught up in a larger pattern of illness, hunger or neglect, overall donations actually decline. In addition, they found that if people are told about the inconsistent levels of sympathy evoked by identifiable and statistical victims — the “identifiable victim effect,” in the words of the researchers — people reduce their giving to identifiable victims but do not increase their giving to statistical victims.Small says the findings — which hold implications for policymakers, fundraisers for charities and even news organizations that urge donations to victims of tragic events — show that sympathy and aid-giving are often irrational.“When donating to charitable causes, people do not value lives consistently,” write Small and her co-authors, George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon University and Paul Slovic of Decision Research, a non-profit research firm in Eugene, Ore. “Money is often concentrated on a single victim even though more people would be helped if resources were dispersed or spent protecting future victims.”In many cases, society “would be better off if resources were spread among victims such that each additional dollar is spent where it will do the most good,” according to the paper, titled “Sympathy and Callousness: The Impact of Deliberative Thought on Donations to Identifiable and Statistical Victims.” Yet when making a decision to donate money toward a cause, “most people probably do not calculate the expected benefit of their donation. Rather, choices are made intuitively, based on spontaneous affective reactions.”The study cites several well-known examples of large sums of money being donated to help identifiable victims. In 1987, a child named Jessica McClure, dubbed “Baby Jessica” by the news media, fell into a well near her home in Texas and received nearly $700,000 in donations from the public. Ali Abbas, a boy who lost both his arms and his parents in the Iraq War in 2003, was the subject of widespread media attention in Europe and received some $550,000 in donations. Even animals generate sympathy: In 2002, more than $48,000 was contributed to save Forgea, a dog stranded on a ship adrift in the Pacific Ocean.Proportions vs. Absolute ValuesWhy do identifiable victims elicit such an outpouring of emotion — as well as piles of accompanying cash? In general, psychological research has found that “people pay greater attention and have stronger emotional reactions to vivid rather than pallid information,” says Small, a psychologist by training. Furthermore, the mind responds to proportions, not absolute values. “This is why we gasp when we see a 50%-off sale, regardless of whether the original price is $5 or $500,” she adds. “Similarly, saving 10 lives out of a group of 100 is a high proportion and thus evokes a greater emotional response than saving 10 lives out of one million. An identifiable victim is the extreme, in this sense. When a victim has been identified, she becomes her own frame of reference — there was only one Baby Jessica to save — and thus receives the greatest level of sympathy.”Small and her co-authors reached their conclusions by conducting a series of four field experiments involving ordinary citizens. The researchers gave each person $5 in one-dollar bills. They were then instructed to read a letter containing a charity request and asked to donate a sum of money, ranging from zero to $5, by placing the money anonymously in an envelope.Each experiment was designed to encourage “rational” thinking when people made decisions about how much money to donate to identifiable and statistical victims. In one experiment, for example, the subjects were told about the identifiable victim effect before being asked to make a donation. In another experiment, the researchers provided statistics about victims alongside a request for donations to an identifiable victim.The upshot of the four experiments was that people are most generous when asked to make a donation to an identifiable victim in the absence of “rational” analytic thought. The more statistical information the citizens were given about the general plight of a group of people, the less generous they became. Yet emotion-based thought failed to augment generosity to statistical victims. “It’s easy to override people’s feelings by giving them statistical information,” according to Small. “But it’s not so easy to add feelings where feelings aren’t naturally there to begin with. It’s hard for humans to generate feelings toward statistics.”One subtle positive finding was that informing ordinary citizens about the identifiable victim effect at least had the result of increasing their consistency towards the two types of victims. Yet the field experiments showed that giving people statistical information had a pernicious effect on overall caring, since people gave less to the identifiable victims but no more to the statistical victims.“Insight, in this situation, seems to breed callousness,” the researchers write. “In some ways, this conclusion seems well founded. Faced with almost any disaster of any magnitude, it is almost always possible to think of worse things that have happened or even that are currently happening in the world. The deaths of 9/11 [numbering 2,973], for example, compared with the slaughter in Rwanda [estimated at between 500,000 and one million]” seem to have less impact. But the slaughter in Rwanda, in turn, “is dwarfed by the problem of AIDS in Africa. Thinking about problems analytically can easily suppress sympathy for smaller-scale disasters without, our research suggests, producing much of an increase in caring for larger-scale disasters.”Yet the researchers acknowledge that this interpretation may have limitations. It is possible, they say, that deliberate, rational thinking in some cases may lead to more charity. “For example,” they write, “contrary to the difference between statistical and identifiable victims, we often experience little visceral sympathy for needy victims who are from other countries or of a different race or socioeconomic status, but thinking about their plight may lead us to recognize their deservingness. In such instances, we conjecture, interventions that encourage deliberate thinking like those presented in the four studies … might lead to greater generosity rather than less.”Charities Need a Compelling MessageWhat implications does Small’s paper hold for charitable organizations? “It’s all about putting together a simple, emotionally compelling message,” Small says. “The best way to do that is in the form of a picture or a story, something that purely engages the emotional system. The mistake that many charities make is trying to appeal both to emotion and to reason. They assume this would be more effective than appealing to only one or the other, but it isn’t.”Although they feel that charitable donations might be more efficiently distributed among more desperate victims if donors were not so emotional in making decisions to give money, the researchers do not criticize people who wish to help when they feel sympathetic.“Although the money spent on Baby Jessica and Ali Abbas could save more lives in theory if not concentrated as such, the absence of identifiability effects might reduce the impetus to give at all,” they write. “Thus, although victim identification may distort aid allocation somewhat, its impact generates more aid than any other pitch. Charities certainly recognize this, at least implicitly, when they employ a poster child to raise money for a general cause.”Source: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1767Copyright of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvanialast_img read more

Online Fundraising Case Study: Dance Theatre of Harlem

first_imgNetwork for Good & the Dance Theatre of HarlemPartner for Fundraising SuccessRaised $27,864Reaching supporters around the worldHope for the futureIn 2004, the famed Dance Theater of Harlem was in such desperate financial straits, it closed the doors to its school and laid off the 44 dancers in its acclaimed ballet troupe. And it did everything it could to raise money – from making very public pleas for help to turning to Network for Good to raise money, for the first time, through online donations and solicitations – to erase its $2.5 million debt and reopen.These days, the non-profit’s future is looking far more robust. Its school has reopened, most of the creditors have been repaid and the theater has begun making plans to create a new ballet troupe. Development director Rodney Trapp and resident choreographer [and webmaster] Robert Garland talked to us about how Network for Good’s DonateNow and EmailNow services boosted the Dance Theater of Harlem’s initial fundraising efforts and, more importantly, how these tools will be key in ensuring the nation’s only primarily African-American ballet school and troupe will be here for years to come.N4G: Why did you start using Network for Good?RG: “We had to shut down our operations in 2004. An American woman sent out an e-mail saying the dance company and school had shut down and if everyone sent in $1, it could help fix the problem. We started receiving all these single dollars in the mail. We have to record every donation. It was great, but it was really time consuming.”RT: “We realized, as people were asking how they could help, that we needed to find a way to get donations online. [Turning to Network for Good] initially was a desperate attempt to make a vehicle available to make contributions. We put the DonateNow button on our website. That was it. It was very basic.”N4G: Is your online donation system still set up that way?RT: “No. We got some training from Network for Good on how to maximize the service. It was immensely helpful immediately. We learned how to design a website to attract people and the importance of putting the donation information ‘above the fold.’ We began thinking about ways to have visitors physically interact with the computer to make it more dynamic.”N4G: What features were especially appealing?RT: “We customized our DonateNow page to make it look like the rest of our website, so it didn’t look like you were leaving our site. It had the same color palate and graphics. It gives comfort to the potential donor. Even though they are being sent somewhere else [on the Internet], they feel like they are still with you. It’s a relationship you are building and you want it to be as positive and trustworthy as possible. For those still uncomfortable with making a donation online, we added language to ease their minds and let them know how to mail a donation or call us.”N4G: Do you use the EmailNow service?RG: “Yes. We have a performing company that is on hiatus. They were our messengers, our advertising. [Through EmailNow], we can maintain those supporters. They write us and ask when we are coming back. They still know what’s going on here. They know about our open houses, our schools. They know everything! We have a relationship with our supports [across the U.S. and abroad] that we didn’t have before.”RT: “In 2006, we gathered all the e-mail addresses we had in our database and put them in our EmailNow database. We’re adding to that list regularly by having people sign up through our website. We have different categories of lists within EmailNow: the New York metro area; people interested in our Open House series; non-New York metro area people; staff; and alumni. We send out one or two of these e-mails a month for special events, our regular series and our spring and fall solicitations. We send out hard copies of the solicitations too; the online one is a reminder. We can personalize them and not everyone gets every e-mail.”N4G: What role do DonateNow and EmailNow play in raising money in your $4.3 million budget?RT: “We received over $14,700 in online contributions the first year we, most one-time responses to the news of our closing. In 2005-06, we received $5,244 from 32 donors and in 2006-07, we received $7,920 from 44 donors. It’s not a whole lot of money but it’s the beginning of what we know is a growing trend. You have to start somewhere. As people become more comfortable with donating money online, I think more will be drawn to the site. It’s still fairly new for us, but people are using it, so it’s effective for us. It’s definitely worth it.”RG: “It’s great for unsolicited donations. And it’s helped use a new technology and keep us in touch with our constituents who are regularly online. That’s everyone! You can’t not do it. We had looked into other services, like PayPal, but they didn’t seem to work for us. When we got to Network for Good, it was perfect. A great match.”N4G: Why is it so important for the Dance Theater of Harlem to have this extra fund-raising and communications tool?RG: “We are about black people who do ballet. It is a real thorn in the side [that some people still believe the two don’t mix]. We have to exist for our culture and for our community here in Harlem.”Dance Theatre of Harlemhttp://www.dancetheatreofharlem.org/last_img read more

Case Study: National Council of La Raza

first_imgNational Council of La Razahttp://www.nclr.org/The National Council of La Raza’s central goal is nothing less than to help shape a future of unprecedented opportunity and hope for millions of Hispanic Americans. Indeed, their mission is to ensure the collective voice of the Hispanic American population is heard “as never before among our nation’s policy-makers and opinion leaders.” With such a mission, it’s crucial the organization has the mechanisms in place to easily – and quickly – meet the needs of their community, whether through dissemination of information and resources, making it easy to join or donate, and render the highest level of services possible. Darcy Eischens, Director, Direct Mail and Membership Marketing, can attest to the importance of ease in this equation. As the largest constituency-based national Hispanic organization, NCLR serves Hispanic nationality groups in all regions of the country: NCLR has over 270 formal affiliates who together serve 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia – and a broader network of more than 30,000 groups and individuals nationwide. Their constituency reach is more than three and a half million Hispanics annually.All of this translates into the need for web tools that are both easy to use internally, and easy for the constituency to use. To help them meet these needs, National Council of La Raza partnered with Groundspring for both DonateNow and EmailNow.Prior to using DonateNow, the NCLR website required potential donors or members to click through five pages, whether renewing membership or joining one of their many programs. They knew this had to change, and when their provider gave them less than one month to find a replacement, their web team conducted a search for an online donation vendor.With the transition has come a more streamlined approach to online donating, joining, and receiving electronic newsletters. Now, with DonateNow, there is only one page people see to join, donate, or renew membership. According to Eischens, “That one change has increased our traffic dramatically; donations are double what they were last year. And that’s an increase with no special appeals, no campaigns. It’s because it’s now easy for people to do what they want to, quickly.”She continues, “The ease of Groundspring’s tools and the way the online donation is set up, provides an easy flow for the user. People signing onto our website get a pop-up window, and are then taken to one screen which allows them the flexibility to do a multitude of things.”There was also the classic issue of having control over one’s own website. Before working with Groundspring, Eischens had to call vendors to make any changes to content or functionality. She recalls, “I had no control of it; I was at the mercy of the vendors to do the work I needed done. There’s nothing like being the captain of your own ship, particularly when it’s your work that is being evaluated.”Today, when Eischens comes into her office, it’s not unusual for her to find a donation in her inbox. This would not have happened as often before. “What is wonderful about using DonateNow is that using one simple page, people can either join as a new member, renew their membership, or have the option to participate in our giving circles.” NCLR’s giving options include the “Leadership Circle,” “Ernesto Galarza Circle” and the “President’s Council.”The organization was so delighted with the ease of implementing DonateNow, they decided to move their messaging service to EmailNow. Eischens had been ready for a switch. “We had another messaging service which had caused us some serious problems,” Eischens recalls. One such problem was the inability to handle foreign language characters. For an organization that serves the Hispanic American population, this was a formidable issue. “The Hispanic language has all sorts of special characters and accents, and this other messaging could not handle them,” says Eischens.The National Council of La Raza uses EmailNow currently for their monthly e-boletín, which for Eischens means less hassle: “Knowing I don’t have to worry about the characters and the ease of inputting the HTML and sending it out, means it’s less time consuming.”In terms of speed in getting the new tools integrated into the website, Eischens put DonateNow and EmailNow through its paces. “I was up and running in a couple of days. Using another vendor would have required a much higher learning curve.”“Groundspring has these tools down to a fine art – they already know what I want. That’s a real asset,” Eischens acknowledges. “The best part is that someone else really thought it through – things I don’t think of when building my own system. They truly know what nonprofits want and need. The proof is in the pudding; we set it up in no time. When we had to leave our donation vendor, we had less than a month to get something up and running. This was no problem for Groundspring.”Eischens continues, “In terms of finding the right vendor, it’s a fine line between going with what you really need, and what is overkill. For us, Groundspring represents what we really need. Many vendors have so many options and choices, you don’t know what you’re supposed to be using: Maybe this way, or that way?”Says Eischens, “There is no question – Groundspring provided the greatest amount of service for the best price. Their services are just shy of what other competitive ASP’s could provide, and for a whole lot less. With some of the more expensive services, I felt like asking, ‘what part of non-for-profit do you not understand?”last_img read more

Twelve Tips for Gaining Awareness for Your Cause

first_imgKristin Melville is the Director of Development & Community Relations, Shalom House, Inc.Create a very clear, consistent description of your organization. Be able to use it in all means of communication. If someone asked you what your organization does be able to respond in one sentence. e.g. Shalom House provides housing and support services for people with serious mental illnesses in the Greater Portland area.Identify your target audience.Communicate to the media what’s happening at your organization on a regular basis. New programs, new staff, new grants and success stories are all newsworthy.Hitch your wagon. Is there a local or national news story where your organization has the expertise to address the topic?There is success in numbers. Joint campaigns can help reach a larger number of people.Give them a reason to visit. Use your website as an educational tool. Offer something that is clever and fun like games, coupons, educational materials written by experts, valuable tips that change each month.Newsletters are used frequently to communicate to the public. Make your newsletter unique, easy to read, with lots of pictures. If your organization fund raises always include an article about development and a donor envelope.Community events can give you a captive audience. Keep in mind they are labor intensive and may not be cost-efficient. Be clear in your planning process if the event is a public relations event or a fundraiser event.Brand your expertise and share it with others. Utilize your agency’s professionals to help communicate your brand.Real life stories are the best illustrations of your mission. “You have changed my life.”Check the language of your 990. Make sure that your agency description is accurate and up to date.Volunteer your public relations experience with others. Giving back what you know means a lot.Source: http://nonprofitpr.com/2007/01/29/twelve-tips-for-gaining-awareness-of-your-nonprofit-organization.aspxlast_img read more

Using Message Boards to Build Community

first_imgThe Question:Is a message board the best way to build a virtual community? How does a message board compare to the use of email lists or online chats? Which option is best for a small nonprofit? Like many NPOs, our organization is relatively low on budget and on manpower.The Answer:A quality message board offers several advantages over email lists or online chats for hosting a virtual community. As a space on the web, a message board has the potential to be tightly integrated into an existing web presence. Online content can be linked directly to relevant online discussions, creating a very easy transition from content to community. A message board allows for conversations to continue regardless of participant’s online status – a participant can log on to post a message, then log off and return at a later point to resume the conversation. An online chat requires that participants are logged on at the same time for conversation to occurA message board also serves as a resource archive, where past conversations are archived for searching and review by participants as needed – this is typically missing from chat software. A typical chat service does not archive conversations for searching by date, subject/keyword.A quality message board will provide integrated email list services, where participants who register can choose to have new messages posted to their email accounts on a regular basis. This listserv/message board integration helps to ease the transition of listserv only members to a web space by offering a familiar email list feature, as well as reinforces the visibility of message board conversations.A message board is not trivial to “nourish” and manage. Unlike typical email lists, past and present messages on a message board are readily viewable. This means that evidence of quality participation and a large group of participants is necessary to encourage more visitors to contribute. Success here requires a coordinated effort of staff to start and continue online discussions, manage participant questions and suggestions for improvements, and develop promotional strategies for driving traffic to the conversations.Typically, email lists are the easiest to get started, as they have fewer options than message boards or chat services.Some message boards resources to check out include this article at NPTalk and free message board services by ezboard and BoardHost.Source: http://www.techsoup.org/community/qod_answer.cfm?qotdid=230last_img read more