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It's Nice to be Nice to the Nice


Beth Kanter is one of a handful of authorities who’s actively engaged in using social media in the nonprofit arena and writing about it daily on her blog.  I encourage you to check out her Beth’s Blog, which is jammed packed with great information and ideas, especially if you’re unsure or even skeptical about the place of electronic networking in your institution.

Beth recently blogged about the Center for Nonprofit Excellence Annual Conference, where she presented a couple of sessions.  Her take on the conference keynote is valuable for all nonprofit leaders:

The keynote was from Bill Toliver called "It's nice to be nice to the nice."  Some key takeaways:

Your nonprofit can't continue to do a good job if it’s doing an average job of doing too many things. Nonprofits have a moral obligation to the highest quality work.

Change your concept of what a campaign means.   Is there a better way forward?  You need to blend the best practices of marketing and social movement building.

Understand the difference between a database and a base of support.

Build a community around your nonprofit brand:

  • We must start putting our tireless values above emotion-of-the-month or campaign-of-the-year.
  • We must build a database of committed marathon runners, rather than emotional sprinters
  • We must help people see beyond the “what” and start looking at the “why”
  • Are you raiser of funds or agents of change?

Let's look at how social change happens

  • Social change only happens one way - Nothing ever changes until somebody motivates a critical mass of the right people to commit to that change.
  • Are you that somebody or are you looking to the right people or are you just doing the same old thing?
  • How many people do you need to reach a tipping point?  What sort of commitment do you need?  How to motivate people to sustain the level of commitment?

What must we do to be the catalyst?

  • Don't hide behind your elevator pitch
  • Understand your constituents belief system
  • Put yourself in the heads of the donors
  • Is there a solution to it?
  • What will you do with my money?    

Photo:  Tate Modern members room art4 by sara~


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