This week Benchmark Email asked a select group of non-profit professionals to weigh in on how organizations can engage investors online, expand their reach and optimize their social horizons. Our series, Presence for Non-Profits does just that, and more. By reading these blogs, you will gain insight into the digital aspects of non-profit organizations. The knowledge shared can even apply to your marketing and branding practices. So check out this week’s articles by our esteemed guest bloggers.

And remember, follow @BenchmarkEmail on Twitter and ReTweet any or all of these blogs for a chance to win a Kindle Fire! The contest ends next Monday, October 1st at 9:00 AM PST.

How to Use Blogs to Engage Your Non-Profit’s Contact Base
by Gordon Dymowski

From upper level media to smaller, more personally-oriented blogs, there is a great opportunity for non-profits to expand their online presence. Engaging bloggers and encouraging them to write about a non-profit’s mission, activities and events is not only a good promotional tool, but can also lead to greater search effectiveness, greater media awareness and an increase in unique visitors to your website, potentially leading to greater conversations (and hopefully, donations). Read More…

Presence for Non-Profits: 3 Elements of Successful Annual Appeals
by Dan Blakemore

In my experience, most annual fund appeals consist either of a letter or a brochure/flyer with a short note seeking your support. Whether you are at a large organization or a small operation, asking donors to make charitable contributions is one of the most important things on your annual to-do list. While there are a myriad of variables to consider in regard to your annual fundraising strategy, I have boiled them down to three key elements of successful annual appeals. Read More…

Taking Non-Profit Fundraising Beyond Special Events & Campaigns
by Amy Stephan

Major gifts, campaigns and special events are the bread and butter for most non-profit organizations. It’s where the big money comes in and where we spend the most staff time and energy. But I wonder what has happened to the smaller streams of revenue that can pad the bottom line. Have non-profits forgotten how to take fundraising beyond special events and campaigns? Read More…

How to Use Social Media Tools to Help Your Non-Profit
by Stacy Pearson

Running a non-profit is hard work! I have seen large non-profits with many paid employees running newsletters, social media campaigns and more; and small non-profits with no employees and one person trying to do it all. However, the one thing many of these non-profits have in common is a tight budget and a desire to make a larger impact. There are several free tools that can help non-profits spread the word about their mission and hopefully increase their impact. Read More…

How to Start a Non-Profit
by Gene Takagi / Emily Chan

When exploring opportunities to pursue your passion to make a difference in the world, starting a charitable non-profit can often seem like the perfect strategy. In some cases, founders are able to create successful non-profits with hard work and good fortune. But more times than not, they create nonviable organizations that are abandoned or dissolved after a few years. What separates the founders who succeed from those who fail is not easily answered, but there are preliminary steps that would-be founders should take to increase their chances of realizing their goals. Read More…

3 Ways to Turn Your Non-Profit’s Presence into Presents
by Melissa M. Firman

All of the organizations I suggested to my friend are bolstering their real and virtual community presence in a variety of cutting-edge ways, which leads to capital of a different sort. Two new visitors may become new ambassadors who may have a great experience at their venue. They may tell others, may write a great online review, may become donors. Presence will turn into presents, so to speak. So, how can your non-profit turn its presence into presents? Read More…

Answers to Your Non-Profit Questions
by Andy Shore

I’d like to thank all of you for the positive response to our Presence for Non-Profits series. Last week (and part of this week), I asked all of you to Ask Andy a non-profit or other marketing related question to be answered in this edition of the Benchmark 5. Here are the winners. Read More…

7 Steps to Creating a Standard Email Signature for Your Non-Profit
by Elaine Fogel

Although email communications have been in use since the 1970s, many organizations today still haven’t developed their own email signature standards. Creating an email signature standard is similar to developing your non-profit’s logo and name criteria, which are part of its overall brand or communications standards. Read More…

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