Category Archives: Social Entrepreneurship

A Brand New Resource for Nonprofits: MissionBox.com

The nonprofit sector is a strong and vibrant community full of people willing to help each other out. And now more than ever, it’s important to come together and work as allies and mentors.

The value of being mentored seems pretty obvious: new skills, confidence, friendship, etc. And in fact, the research shows that people who are mentored get more job promotions and earn more than people who aren’t.

But mentoring is also great for mentors: networking opportunities, leadership development, and a stronger sense of community.

Jesse Bethke Gomez, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living, was mentored early in his career. And now he’s paying it forward by helping others overcome their fears and develop their strengths:

So yes, nonprofit professionals like Jesse shine when they connect, learn and share with each other. They get stuff done. And they make a bigger impact.

But do you really need a trusted ally?

Why you need a trustworthy nonprofit ally

Most nonprofit leaders are too stressed out or distracted to find that trusted friend or colleague who’s walked in their shoes.

But allies (mentors, peers, friends) are often essential for success. Here are a few examples:

  • A veteran grantwriter offers guidance to a novice grant writer that helps him achieve greater results.
  • A promising nonprofit start-up founder connects with an experienced leader who points out blind spots and encourages a drive toward success.
  • A newly hired Development Director is struggling to meet her capital campaign goals. She exceeds that goal with tips from a veteran fundraiser.

Find your nonprofit ally

Do you have experience or know-how to share with a nonprofit? Are you a nonprofit leader looking for guidance?

MissionBox.com is a newly launched free resource that helps connect nonprofit leaders with that perfect peer who is seeking guidance. And vice-versa.

The goal? Stop “reinventing the wheel”! Create a larger sense of community, and together, make a bigger impact.

Learn more about becoming a MissionBox ally by joining here for free.

You’ll find several articles of mine on the new MissionBox.com website!

9/8 Interactive Webinar: Copywriting for the Web — Today’s Best Practices

You’re a professional in the nonprofit or social-mission business world. And I know you have a website. But could it be more effective?

Join the many others who have already benefited from my workshops on web copywriting! This time I’m offering it as an interactive webinar that anyone can attend: Thursday, September 8, via the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership. Here’s the description:

Copywriting for the Web — Today’s Best Practices

Have you been putting off making needed changes to your website copy? Not sure what will make the most impact? Need some detailed feedback?

Of course, you know that your website forms an essential part of your organization’s marketing. It needs to deliver compelling content that your readers eagerly engage with. The words and pictures have to jump off the screen and meet your readers where they are. But actually cranking out that copy can sometimes be a challenge.

This webinar will offer you plenty of tips and techniques to make sure your content is web reader-friendly, while it stresses your community impact.

Takeaways:

  • 3 planning fundamentals that help you get the results you want
  • What you need to know about today’s web users
  • How to ensure website usability & accessibility
  • Intro to Search Engine Optimization
  • Recommended resources on the web

Continue reading

New Case study for Conscious Capitalism Bay Area: Lifelong Journey

I recently interviewed James White, a lifelong “conscious capitalist,” even before that term was invented.

For decades, he has been on the forefront of focusing on the Triple Bottom Line: people, planet, and profits. And because I am a writer and editor involved with the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Conscious Capitalism movement, I have started blogging for the group.

Yes, I have worked with and for nonprofits since childhood, because they focus on social change and making the world a better place for all.

But in the past few decades we have seen the phenomenal growth of for-profit entities that also seek the Triple Bottom Line: social mission businesses, social enterprises, green businesses, purpose-driven business, etc. In fact, I just attended Sustainatopia, a large international conference along those same lines.

I am thrilled to see the vast shift in today’s businesses world, as it adapts to the demands of people like you and me. We’re insisting on doing business as UNusual — that is, for the benefit of humanity and the environment. No longer is the nonprofit world the only place to participate in this work.

My first blog post for the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Conscious Capitalism movement is a good place to begin to explore this world.

The article starts out like this: Continue reading

Last time in 2015: Web Copy “Writing to Make a Difference” working session: 11/4 in San Francisco

Have you been putting off making needed changes to your website copy? Not sure what will make the most impact? Need some detailed feedback?

Of course, you know that your website is an essential part of your company’s marketing. It needs to speak to your readers their way. But actually cranking out that copy can sometimes be a challenge.  This hands-on working session is NOT just another workshop where you take time out of your busy schedule, learn about great ideas, but never implement them. Instead, it’s an opportunity to finally get that needed web copywriting project moving!

In a small group setting, you will get:

1) Initial guidance and inspiration: planning fundamentals, insights about today’s web users, web-friendly writing tips

2) Dedicated time and space to write (with prompts if you need them) or to ask specific questions of the facilitator

3) Real-time feedback from the “focus group” in the room

By working alongside your colleagues you can share ideas and motivation to finally get those webpages written. The result? You walk away with copy you can start using right away.

Bring your laptop or tablet loaded with any content you already have, and get ready to get your hands dirty (figuratively speaking)!

(BONUS: Participants are eligible for a special discount on a professional website audit.) Continue reading

Check out my latest journal article: “Watch Your Language!”

Have you heard of The Philantrepreneur Journal? Published by The Philantrepreneur Foundation, this quarterly digital publication contains informative articles on timely topics, features industry leaders, and offers great resources.

I have a full-length article In the Fall 2015 edition, titled  “Watch Your Language: Develop Messages that Speak to Today’s Readers.” Check it out on pages 26-28!

(To get you started, I reprinted the first several paragraphs below.)

Are you and your organization prepared for the big changes underway, as our world becomes more collaborative, open, and blended?

Or do you find yourself stuck in the conventional model of philanthropy: asking wealthy institutions or individuals for ‘donations’ and ‘gifts’ in closed, one-way transactions with little interaction?

Today’s social entrepreneurs are not interested in handouts, and neither are their supporters. Both groups are looking to contribute to an evolving world of partnerships, social enterprises, and even crowdfunding. They recognize that they are all components of a healthy system that turns resources into community outcomes and impacts. They each contribute unique value that makes the organization much more than the sum of its parts.

You can join this “changing landscape” by making a few simple mindset shifts, reflected in the words you use. (Hint: You’ll find some of these keywords in italics below.)

I’m talking about a new way of thinking about and expressing our collective place in the world. That is, a new kind of positioning, outreach, marketing.

But before we get there, let’s clarify that “marketing” is not a nasty word or a sleazy necessary evil (read: snake oil salesmanship). Rather, it’s about entering into an exchange where everyone wins. When you express such an exchange in writing, I becomes all about sharing information and passion about your work with interested readers so that they, your clients, and your larger community can all benefit. Through this exchange, you will have become true partners in the endeavor.

Your job is to show that your organization is a trustworthy, inspirational partner. And you need to demonstrate how your reader’s investment (of money and/or time) will get real results that they can be proud of.

To do that, your copywriting must position your work as cutting-edge. It must start to engage new and varied audiences. And it must help your organization become a respected thought leader in your field.

I call it the ABCs of Copywriting for the Social Sector:

Read the rest of the article on pages 26-28…