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How to Boost Employee Support for Nonprofit Fundraising

Experiential Social Media Nonprofit Case Study

Employee Support for Nonprofit FundraisingHow to Boost Employee Support for Nonprofit Fundraising reveals that, although employees can be tremendous supporters of nonprofit fundraisers, managers have to navigate some subtle waters to engage employees.

The key to “engagement” is making it voluntary and meaningful to employees as people. I say this because many organizations expect support, but expectation diminishes the voluntary requirement. When management harbors the attitude that employees owe them to promote the fundraiser, this will backfire. Here’s my response to a situation in the Nonprofit Technology Network forums.

A web/social media specialist for family services nonprofit sought advice for increasing employee participation in their annual fundraiser. Most of the responses explained how to use email signatures (someone even suggested appending promotional text to employees’ email signatures globally!). Someone else suggested gift certificates. I took a different tack.

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Nonprofits and Experiential Social Media: A Special Affinity

Nonprofits and Experiential Social Media: NGO Social Impact CauseNonprofits and experiential social media shares how nonprofits can improve their social media results and why I think experiential social media has an affinity for cause-focused organizations. This post was triggered by my insights from my recent research on nonprofits and cause-focused organizations. Although I’d served nonprofits throughout my consulting career, my focus was on commercial firms. While organizing Chicago Social Empowerment [Cohort One], I researched many nonprofits to distill the cohort’s categories, so I learned more about nonprofit operations and business models.

First, I’ll share some broad insights about nonprofit operations and business models, specifically focusing on their stakeholders, and broad guidance for improving their results with social media. Then I’ll share insights about experiential social media and why I hypothesize that it has a special affinity for nonprofits.

For brevity, I’ll also use “nonprofit” to refer to social enterprises and other cause-focused organizations.

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True Love for Customers [Love in Business Series]

True Love for CustomersTrue love for customers reveals how nonprofit, commercial and government organizations of all sizes can create much stronger relationships and business by transforming how they relate to customers.

Philosophers, clergy and psychologists have long acknowledged love as the most powerful force between humans. Love connects people like nothing else can, I think because love touches and binds together so many parts of the brain simultaneously: Love stimulates the reptilian brain because it’s related to survival. It is central to the limbic brain, which is grounded in emotion and memory. And love throughly engages the neocortex in art, ideals, and many other forms.

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Healing Business [How to Rehumanize]

Healing Business - Experiential Social MediaIn Healing Business, I’ll share why I think business needs healing and how CSRA is doing it with experiential social media. Business is wounded from a human point of view because it’s become very impersonal; large organizations don’t mean to, but they treat employees and customers as numbers because they don’t know or trust them. Experiential is a practical way to change that.

If you’d like to watch this post instead of reading it, click the thumbnail button!

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[Updated] CSRA 11th Year Celebration

11 Celebration: Ten years of Experiential social media & social business hightlights, mission & vision11 Celebration summarizes my reflections on CSRA’s first decade in business, and my vision for our next decade. We’ve been pioneering in experiential social media and social business transformation since I founded the firm in February 2006.

It’s difficult to encapsulate ten years of learnings, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying! This page will reprise some of my favorite posts, and it will feature a series of videos I’ve made in which I explain where we’ve been and where we’re going. This post will change frequently, so please consider it a work in progress.

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Behavioral Economics, Autonomy and Ethical Land Mines

Overview: Behavioral Economics Autonomy and Ethics user experience designBehavioral economics autonomy and ethics is a thought experiment on how to approach “doing good” when applying the emerging practice of behavioral economics. Along with big data analytics and cognitive science, behavioral economics affords businesses, governments and other organizations unprecedented impact on individuals’ behavior, even without their consent or awareness. This arouses serious ethical and social dilemmas.

Every behavioral economics practitioner I’ve met has emphasized the importance of using its practice “for good” in order to help people. Like all other human endeavors, however, “for good” is open to interpretation, so I’ll apply my experience with ethnographic and behavioral analysis of social media to reflect on what “for good” might mean in light of individual and group autonomy.

I also hope this Noodle will be food for thought for executives who hire behavioral economics firms as well as all of us who are invariably its subject. In a similar vein, most designers I know are committed to using design principles to improve user experience, and there’s considerable overlap between design and behavioral economics.

Behavioral economics is as […]

Social Media Strategy Lessons Learned

Social media strategy lessons learned summarizes eleven golden rules I’ve learned while leading strategy and its execution for global firms. Some of them might surprise you: I’ve come to learn that I have a different perspective on social media strategy since I advised global firms and startups in their corporate strategies before founding CSRA in 2006.

Social Media Strategy Lessons Learned

Before diving into lessons learned, let’s specify what we mean by social media strategy. “Strategy” itself is an overused work that denotes some mixture of research and planning. The strategy trade-off is simple: the more research and analysis you do upfront, the more risks you can foresee and account for in your plan. When you put your plan into action, you make fewer mistakes and execute more efficiently. Conversely, “minimum viable”/lean strategy does less research upfront, so the team learns while doing. Neither approach is universally “right,” and both work best for certain situations and firms.

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Social Media Strategy Good Practices

Social media strategy good practices is a short list of principles that can make your firm stand out when empowering customer and employee experience. It’s part of a talk I gave today to a large multidisciplinary team. Their venerable institution plans to use social media strategy to get the ducks in a row without too much squawking. The most exciting aspect of social media strategy is that there’s so much room for improvement: while your peers and competitors are trying to “engage” with finely crafted-yet-impersonal content, you can power past them using experiential social media, which focuses on scalable interaction.

Social Media Strategy Good Practices: summary

Here are the cliff notes to the good practices part of our discussion:

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The Connected Car and Customer Experience

The connected car and customer experienceThe connected car and customer experience reveals a new opportunity for carmakers to dial into real customer behavior and desires around connected cars and autonomous cars. The Connected car and the autonomous car are powerful services that will help transform how people move around, and they are emerging during an era of unprecedented volatility in markets. I’ll wager that there’s never been a better or more challenging time to be a carmaker because opportunities and threats have never been higher. I’ve been fortunate to meet product managers and engineers who are pioneering connected and autonomous car services. I’ve also been meeting leaders in the Internet of Things (smart devices), of which the connected car is a part.

My crystal ball says that the connected car is a bet-the-brand proposition for carmakers because it directly addresses competing on customer experience, the most disruptive trend of all. As I detailed in The Social Channel, we have moved from a product/service-based economy toward an experience economy. Even IT analyst Gartner has proclaimed that customer experience is the final battleground for firms. Established […]

How Trusting Customers Drives Profit

How Trusting Customers Drives Profit avatarHow Trusting Customers Drives Profit reveals how firms unwittingly broadcast that they don’t trust their customers, how that weakens profit, and how firms can take the leap. It’s a simple revolutionary idea that’s born from nine years of studying behavior while practicing experiential social media and social business.

Analysts, consultants and professors increasingly say that customer experience is the last bastion of competitiveness, and an increasing portion of total experience occurs in digital public. This presents firms with an unprecedented opportunity: interacting with people in digital public can create trust at scale and drive profit from revenue and cost levers.

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