Mobile Text Message Fundraising

Fundraising via SMS text messages still has major obstacles, but one approach avoids that mess and can pay off big.

14 Jun 20120 Comments

YouTube and Non-Profits

Organizations are doing amazing things with video for fundraising, marketing, awareness, education, and even thanking their donors. And YouTube wants to make it even easier.

23 Feb 20120 Comments

Facebook Engagement Trick: Blast from the Past

Over the last year, Camp Fire has been cleaning up its office and tossing old files. We found several shoe boxes of old photos – you know, the kind we all have in the attic, garage, or under our bed? We weren’t sure use they could be, but they were fading and we wanted to do somethin...

08 Oct 20110 Comments

3 Cases Where Social Media is Worth Your Time

Over at, I wrote a series of posts that revolved around a seemingly anti-social media sentiment. The crux is that it’s important to have a marketing strategy and that social media is just a tactic (among many others). At least a few of the comments that came back included que...

04 Oct 20110 Comments

Why You Should Ignore Mobile Giving

I get a lot of questions about hot new things like Twitter (which isn’t that new, but people are still figuring out what to do with it), QR codes, etc. One of my favorites is mobile. And for many of us, we think specifically about mobile giving. How it works You send a text message to a no...

13 Jun 20112 Comments

How to Track if Your Billboard is Effective

This year, Camp Tannadoonah stepped up the marketing work. Not only are we using new tactics (billboards, for instance), we are being smarter about measuring them. These things aren’t cheap, and we want to make sure they’re working before we use them again. One way we’re measur...

15 Mar 20110 Comments

Big, Little, and In-Between

Last week, I was interviewed for Catholic School Web Design about my work in higher ed web marketing. One of the questions has kept me thinking: “You blog about non-profit marketing at – what is the difference, in your experience, between secular marketing and market...

22 Jan 20110 Comments

Let's Chop off Some Heads

In one of my favorite stories from Greek mythology, Heracles was charged with the task of slaying the nine-headed hydra. As many before him discovered, this was not an easy task – when the hero chopped off one of the hydra’s heads, two heads grew back in its place. After many futile ...

11 Nov 20100 Comments

1 Facebook Page, 2 Weeks, and 3 Realizations

About a year ago, I created a Camp Fire USA Facebook page for our council: a tiny non-profit with a lot of history and not a lot of resources. I threw our logo up there, I tossed in a quick event, and that’s pretty much it. No real content to speak of. I invited one or two people to be fans...

10 Mar 20100 Comments

3 Sad Stories about Your Non-Profit

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” Desiderius Erasmus The Land of the Blind Let’s make a generalization: If you work for a non-profit organization, you are living in the past. You’re doing something outdated, for reasons you can’t quite articulate,...

07 Mar 20100 Comments

Make the most when social media kicks In

This week, I marveled at the power of social media: I posted a blog article about Laws of Client Work that got some link love, resulting in some nice traffic, new subscribers, and great connections. On eduStyle I got feedback from other higher ed web folks about some of our recently launched...

31 Oct 20080 Comments

Should I Do Social Media?

In my first job, I worked with a big healthcare client. They had built a new building and spared no expense. We worked with them to create a unique, powerful online community for their patients to communicate with doctors, staff, and each other. They would maintain an online journal (before the ...

28 Oct 20080 Comments

5 Minutes to Online Donations

I’m embarrassed to admit that Camp Fire doesn’t take online donations. In preparation for an appeal letter, I decided to buckle down and set it up. I’m going to use PayPal because we already have a PayPal account and it’s a quick way to take online donations without a lot ...

20 Oct 20080 Comments

Tech tips you may not know

This is making the rounds, and I wanted to share it here. Especially now that you’ve taken a little bit of time to upgrade your browser, protect your computer, and get started with backups. David Pogue of the New York Times has an excellent list of Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User. Be ...

15 Oct 20080 Comments

Easy Mapping with GeoCommons

I love data mining and visualizations. I subscribe to FlowingData and pay special attention to graphs and charts in mainstream media. The power of an intuitive visualization, chart, or map can be very effective in telling a story and gleaning information. Over lunch with our Camp Fire executive d...

13 Oct 20082 Comments

Nptech101: How I Read 2,000 Articles in 30 Days

That’s right: I’ve read 1,916 items from 88 different websites in the last 30 days. I do this by collecting and reading feeds. There are different formats like RSS and Atom, blah blah blah… don’t worry about the technical stuff. Just worry about the payoff and how to use t...

12 Oct 20080 Comments

Nptech 101: A Healthy PC

If you’re on a PC, you might recognize this screen: the Blue Screen of Death. More likely, you recognize the agonizing slowness. The strange warnings that your computer raises as you surf the web. The frustration of software that simply won’t work. For all of the web 2.0 tools and ...

06 Oct 20080 Comments

Nptech 101: Web Hosting

A website needs a place to live. When people go to your site, the site’s files are on a server somewhere. There’s a lot that goes with that – bandwidth, storage, FTP access, databases, security, and more. Basically, you can’t do this on your own. Web Hosting Service Hostin...

28 Sep 20080 Comments

Nptech 101: Domain Names

Domain Names A domain name is your address on the web. People type in ( and it points to your website. Domains are cheap – you can get one for $10 or less. Go to and start typing to find an available name. Remember some guidelines for a g...

22 Sep 20080 Comments

Non-Profit Technology 101

How can technology make non-profit life easier? Technology brings the promise of efficiency, increased production, reduced time, better service, improved quality, and so on. Does it deliver? Not really. That’s because technology also carries costs: training, support, reworking your processe...

21 Sep 20080 Comments

Customer Service via Twitter

Comcast is a company with a brand problem. It has a reputation, like many service providers, for having poor service. If you have a quick question, it’s best not to answer because you won’t get to talk to a person. Or you will and they won’t have any idea how to respond. It̵...

10 Sep 20080 Comments

Do People Really Use Feeds?

I’ve long wondered just what the penetration of feeds (RSS or Atom) might be among different audiences. Especially among non-profits and in higher education. Do college students understand and use feeds? How about staff and faculty? Alumni? Non-profit workers? Donors? I’d love to do s...

08 Aug 20080 Comments

Technology lets you down

Last year, Camp Fire suffered a meltdown of sorts. We lost one of our computers, including our accounting files. It took months of poring over paper statements and receipts to manually restore our files. Not only did this create a huge strain on some staff and volunteers, but it slowed down the p...

03 Jul 20080 Comments