FOR all the touch footy fanatics out there, brace yourselves.NRL star Benji Marshall will be crashing the grounds of the Cyril Connell Fields this weekend to play his first love in sport, touch football.The Tigers halfback will join the open Australian Men’s and Women’s touch football teams for a two-day event that will see a junior coaching clinic and a few games with Rockhampton’s best players.From 2.30pm on Saturday Benji Marshal will join forces with the Rockhampton Men’s Invitational side when they play against the fury of the Australian men’s side.“Benji originally played touch and it was his first sport, he still plays it at high levels and loves it,” organiser Gavin Shuker said.But Marshall isn’t the only player who will get the locals pumped.Rockhampton’s Daniel Withers, who also plays for the Australia Men’s team, will be caught in the middle of the battle when he plays games for both his hometown team, Rockhampton, and the Australian side.“It is going to be different (playing against Rockhampton) as a lot of the players are my good mates,” Withers said.But the Australian Men’s team will also have a strong force to reckon with when they face CQ Indigenous All Stars Touch Team.“The indigenous side has a lot of skill and a lot of speed. They definitely will be playing with an attack and flamboyant style,” Withers said.“They will chuck the ball around and are not scared to have a crack, which should make it a good game when they roll in.”The Rockhampton Women’s Invitational team also will step up and give the Australian Women’s side a good run after the Australian teams have their training camp tomorrow.Rockhampton Touch Football administrator Denise Edwards said local touch football youngsters were also able to get among the action with the junior coaching clinic on Saturday morning.All Australian representitives and Benji Marshall will be at the coaching clinic to teach the young players the tricks of the trade.“In the junior clinic we will teach them skills and coach them, they are the future of the sport,” Withers said.For more information on the coaching clinic call Denise Edwards on 0409631633.Thankyou to The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton) for the story.
On Saturday, 11 October, the South Queensland Sharks hosted the Jimbelungare Culture Clash. This event featured a combined team from the three First Generation Tribes from South Queensland as well as teams from New Zealand. In what was a celebration of culture, the day started with a traditional welcome and smoke ceremony before the games got underway. Participants varied in age and backgrounds, but this didn’t stop anyone from having a great time and enjoying the chance to play against and learn from one another.A great turnout ensured an ideal platform to showcase the culture of the differing groups in attendance, including the New Zealand under 15’s and 17’s Mixed sides. One of the event organisers, Craig Williams commented on how ‘events like this create opportunities for further growth and understanding’.“Sport is the perfect vehicle developing leadership skills and healthy lifestyle choices in young indigenous people,” Williams said. TFA Participation Manager, Adam Raptis, spoke on the importance of events such as these, and their ability to bring people together through the sport of Touch Football. “Jimbelungare is a fantastic event for our sport and the indigenous community; it provides opportunities for neighbouring communities to engage with each other, it provides both a participation and pathway opportunity in the sport, and it has allowed educational opportunities through the referee and coach courses that have been delivered.”The next round of the Jimbelungare Touch Tournament will be held this weekend, with the third and final round to be held later in November.Related LinksCulture Clash
Make sure that all your media mentions are driving people to your website (make it a call to action)!Create a strong email-address-collection device on your website. (NOT something lame like “sign up for our e-blast”) Give them an incentive or a reason to join. Give them a discount on an event. Give them an article you’ve written or tips for better living and then get their email address in return for your sending that gem to them.Optimize search. Make it easy for potential supporters to find you by optimizing your site for search. A lot of nonprofits are not taking advantage of Google Grants — find out how to get started with Google Grants.Collect emails from donors via direct mail. When they know it’s more convenient, eco-friendly and cheaper, most donors actually prefer to hear from you electronically. Whenever you send a paper mailing, include a way for supporters to opt in to your email list.Use your email signature. Your email is a great tool for doing marketing, whether it’s promoting an event or asking people to sign up to hear from you on your website. If people are forwarding your email, make it easy for them to opt in for your newsletter or updates on your mission.Ask people to sign a petition. Encourage people to get involved and share their email address, then get permission to contact them. If they’re moved enough to take action by signing a petition, these folks may be your most passionate supporters.Collect email addresses at events. I have been to 10 nonprofit events in the last 18 months, and I can’t think of a single one that collected my email address. Lost opportunity! Make sure you collect email addresses during your registration process and have a way at the event for people to sign up for regular updates. One of the most commonly-asked questions we get about online marketing is, “How do I build an email list?” Building a quality email list over time is one of the most valuable assets a nonprofit can have. Email is still the primary starting point for people taking action online. Use these best practices to ensure that you are providing multiple opportunities for potential donors to join your nonprofit email list.
So should you deal with Twitter or not? This came up while I spoke last week at the NC nonprofit conference alongside smart people like Kivi Leroux Miller and John Kenyon. I was going to post some bullets on this but then along came fellow blogger and prolific commenter John Haydon with a guide that does ALL THE WORK FOR ME AND YOU. It’s easy, short and to the point. If you think bird not technology when you hear the word Tweet, have no fear, this Twitter 101 guide will bring you up to speed.Here’s a summary John prepared for me to post here:For many non-profits, Twitter is a new and uncharted social media that is understood and underutilized. For almost six months, John researched hundreds of blogs and social media experts before writing the guide. “I wanted to provide something to help non-profits better use Twitter to increase their fanbase and fundraising.” Additionally, John conducted an on-line survey of over 200 non-profits currently using Twitter (results are included in the guide). The Twitter Jump Start Guide, which is a living document (those who download the guide will automatically receive updated, more advanced versions every couple of months), includes the following:• How to create a Twitter Profile that will make folks want to learn more about your non-profit• How to find Twitter users that already support your cause• How to find new donors who are already sold on your non-profit• How to turn those supporters into raving fans• How to automatically post any news regarding your non-profit• How to make sure that folks visit your website and stay interested• 10 Twitter tips that will increase your online donations
While the economic news may not be the cheeriest these days, we’ve got some good news for you about the return you’ll get on those email marketing dollars. The smart folks at the DMA (that’s the Direct Marketing Association) reported that in 2007, email marketing returned about $48 for every dollar invested, the highest of all the marketing channels out there.With the pittance it costs to send an email, you get all three of a marketer’s favorite things-relevant messages, brand appeal and the ability to measure it all. So keep up the great work you’re already doing with email, and consider these five tips as well:Use email to reduce other costs. On top of being cost-effective, email can help cut costs elsewhere. Look at what you’re currently printing-holiday cards, birthday postcards, invitations-and ask yourself, “Could this be emailed instead?” (Whoa, not out loud. There are better office nicknames than The Postcard Whisperer.)Save time, too, with trigger emails that automatically welcome new subscribers or follow up around important dates. When you’re no longer handling that stuff manually, you’ll have more time to focus on higher revenue, better service or more precise dart-throwing. Hey, we all have our priorities.Use email to get valuable information. Everybody’s crunching the numbers a little more diligently right now, looking for trends, patterns, or, in freak cases, practice with long division. Some of the most valuable statistics to watch are the response numbers that roll in after you send a campaign. A dedicated review of ’em will help you and your team spot stand-out content or subscribers who’d likely respond well to follow-up-all valuable information to apply to future campaigns.Use email to build brand loyalty. In a downturn, keeping your supporters happy and engaged is more important than ever. With regular email campaigns, you’ve already got an easy, friendly way to remind your subscribers why they know and love you. In your emails, make a point to highlight your organization’s best qualities. Reward your most loyal supporters with a coupon you had donated by a sponsor or send a special invitation to your holiday party. Oh, and be personal. The more your subscribers identify with you, the more likely they’ll be to support you.Use email the right way. As you refine your strategy to suit the economic climate, don’t stray off the path of email marketing’s best practices. It may be tempting to do something brash, like buy or rent a list. (Ick!) Or send every other day. (Ack!) Or even abandon your well-honed segmentation strategy for the ol’ “batch and blast” approach. (Blarg!)Keep your focus on a smart, permission-based strategy, and you’ll continue to see more value for your brand, your sending reputation and your results. Also, we’ve never heard “blarg” used like that.
About Spitfire Spitfire Strategies (www.spitfirestrategies.com) offers nonprofits and foundations communications planning, counsel and training to help them create positive social change.Our goal is to help social change organizations use their voice in a strong, clear and compelling way to articulate their vision of a better world. We craft effective communications strategies and bring ideas to life. Spitfire then works with our clients to build the best team to implement those ideas. We work with organizations to build the necessary internal capacity to communicate effectively over the long term. This guide, from the talented team at Spitfire Strategies and the Communications Leadership Institute, is designed to provide organizations and coalitions with just enough of a process for planning successful campaigns. The guide is designed to work best with policy campaigns, issue campaigns, corporate campaigns and public education campaigns. If you are looking to pass a law, win popular support for an issue, organize a boycott or let a bunch of people know that something is bad for them, this guide is for you. It could also help you with another type of campaign, but we chose to focus on the types of campaigns mentioned above to make the tool more concise.Download The Just Enough Planning Guide below.For some people, planning a campaign is less about following a process and more about following their instincts. Long-time campaigners believe they have a feel for the road. With each new campaign, they load the station wagon with all the gear that has served them well in the past—all the tools and the processes. They have a destination in mind, shift into autopilot, and the campaign strategy unfolds from reflex and memory. Experience has taught them well—they pack light and know all the shortcuts. Or do they?For less experienced campaigners, the tendency is to overpack for fear they’ll find themselves down the road lacking a key tactic or guide. They bring it all along for the ride. Then, they often hit every attraction and marker along the way, even when it pulls them off track from their true destination—if they were even clear about their destination when they started.Organizations looking to run effective campaigns need to find the middle ground between the underpackers and the overpackers. They must chart the “happy planning medium” between the Autobahn speedsters and the country road rovers. They need a go-to planning source that offers assistance with the campaign at hand and campaigns ahead—a guide that can help them define their destination, assess whether or not they can get there, launch them in the right direction, measure their progress and (when necessary) be flexible enough to make changes on the fly.With funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Spitfire Strategies and the Communications Leadership Institute set out to find the perfect approach to campaign planning. In our search, we found that groups approach campaign planning in many different ways. Some follow highly detailed guides and processes that we dubbed the “War and Peace planning method.” These costly affairs are time intensive, cover even the most minute details, and take a long time to learn and implement. Other groups seem to wing it, resulting in one of two possible outcomes—haphazard success or derailment. Surprisingly, a number of the campaigns with seemingly little planning still achieve exactly what they set out to do. However, a good many others are stymied by unforeseen events that derail them and cause the campaigners to waste too much time and money to ever get things back on track.After much effort, we could not find the campaign planning tool we were seeking, so we created this: The Just Enough Planning Guide™. It borrows from what we consider to be the best practices out there and provides organizations and coalitions with a planning process that gives them a clear sense of where they are going, the best way to get there, and what to expect along the way.To those using this guide, we make three promises:We didn’t make this up. We studied dozens of campaigns, some successful and some not, so we could share the lessons learned. We also asked bona fide experts who have won a campaign or two (and lost others) to describe the key planning elements—not all the bells and whistles, just the “musthaves”—and we included those here.We left plenty of room for flexibility and creativity. For minimal planners, this guide doesn’t constrain the creative process; rather, it helps you organize your creativity in a way that channels all your brilliant ideas to help you achieve your campaign’s goal. It also lets you build your campaign your way. You determine the main components of your campaign—we help you plan for them.We kept it as simple as possible. We know that a successful planning guide can’t burden you with so many stops, detours and roadside attractions that you start asking, “Are we there yet?” This guide will help you on your way, not get in your way.
This is my new column in Fundraising Success.The human mind is like one of those kitchen gadgets featured in late-night infomercials. It beats, twists, separates, slices, dices and otherwise transforms everything that enters it. You gave someone a carrot, but before you know it, she’s turned it into a bouquet of julienned strips.In other words, what you think you’re communicating often bears little resemblance to what someone hears and thinks. Your ideology is no match for your audience’s own mental machinations. So what’s a fundraiser to do? The solution is to understand how your audience’s minds work — and adjust your communications accordingly. You have a better chance of success with this approach than you ever have in trying to get your audience to see the world — and your message — as you do.Small, not bigPeople understand the world on a personal scale. They can relate to a hungry person more easily than they can relate to hunger on a global level. They’re more motivated to act by one man’s struggle with homelessness than they are by the fact that an estimated 100 million people worldwide are homeless. People focus on what they can grasp. The bigger the scale of what you’re communicating, the smaller the impact on your audience. What does this mean to you? If you write something like, “Malnutrition, in the form of iodine deficiency, is the most common cause of mental impairment, reducing the world’s IQ by an estimated billion points,” people might think something like, “Wow, that’s depressing. Life stinks for a lot of people. I’m going to go watch Jon Stewart to cheer up.”People aren’t bad for thinking this. They’re just human. If you want to communicate with them on the scale they comprehend — a human scale — then take the big issue your organization addresses and communicate it through stories about one person, one whale, one tree. Hopeful, not hopelessOne reason for thinking small is that people tend to act on what they believe they can change. If your problem seems intractable, enormous and endless, people won’t be motivated to help. They want to know there is something — anything — that they can fix by giving you money. If you want to raise money, give them a reason to feel hopeful about the impact of their gifts rather than hopeless about the overall prospects for change.I recently saw some ads about global warming that showed the earth as a melting ice cream cone. This is probably what the environmental organization thought it was communicating: Global warming is real, and we must urgently address it. Give to our organization now.This is what I was thinking: We’re doomed. Oh well.I found the ad profoundly depressing and demoralizing. How can one donation stop the end of the planet? It won’t. So I didn’t give. Environmentalists need to give me an aspect of the problem that I can comprehend in scope and feel empowered to change.True, not falseMany fundraisers are up against misconceptions about their issues. So they spend time debunking the myths. You’ve seen those myth vs. fact sheets, I’m sure. Here’s the problem: The more you talk about the myth, the more airtime it gets and the more people remember it. And unfortunately, it might be all they remember. There’s plenty of research showing the myth vs. fact approach helps perpetuate the myth.Imagine you’re an advocacy organization trying to convince Americans a health care reform proposal does not ration care. This is important to raising money for your efforts. You might say: Myth: Health care reform means rationed care.Fact: No proposals would prevent people from getting the care they need from their doctors.And here’s what people will think: Wait, what did you say about rationed care?! My care could be rationed?!Stick to the truths; don’t repeat the myths.And in conclusion, I’ll add, stick to these principles, not your talking points. You know you’re in trouble if you ever find yourself thinking of your audience: “If they only knew – ” or “If they just understood – ” They don’t know and they don’t understand the world the way you do. So communicate small, hopefully and with the truth. You might end up having what we all want with our donors: a meeting of the minds.
Download the transcript (new!), audio recording, slides and handout below ‘Related Documents’!Tell us if this scenario sounds familiar: Your organization has outgrown your old static/brochure website. (Actually, you hated it from the beginning but at least it existed!) The site is not doing its job to share your excellent and successful work in your community or around the world.Take advantage of this training when we shared an exciting makeover story about the Hunger Project (THP) reaching their goals and advice for you to turn your website around, too. Here’s a sneak preview of a few of the changes THP made that our presenter–Margaux O’Malley of Grand Junction Design–discussed and might help you to apply to your website:Organizing the content in ways that can be easily understood by any website visitorCreating a visually appealing graphic design that directs users to the most important actions available-get involved and donateEnsuring various paths to find content so each individual user can easily find the pieces that interest him/herSetting up a content management system that allows staff to add and edit content easily and as neededTHP saw an impressive return on their investment and serves as an excellent example in why nonprofits should think twice before cutting their website budgets now, even in a down economy. A well-planned and well-executed site can be your ticket to growth and online fundraising success this fall and holiday season!You can expect to learn how to look at your website more objectively and be less overwhelmed by the prospect of updating your website. About our speakerMargaux O’Malley is one of the co-founders of Grand Junction Design (www.grandjunctiondesign.com). She is responsible for overseeing client projects and procuring new work.Margaux graduated from Carleton College in 1997 with a BA in Latin American Studies and Spanish. A year teaching and a year working in the (very much) for-profit sector made it clear that she needed to be doing something toward making the world a better place and championing such progressive causes as affordable housing, human rights and saving the environment. In 1999 she took a job with Neighborhood Funders Group and started down that path, and since then she’s worked with a variety of groups to further these causes.Her personal focus is on environmental sustainability. She enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors. In her family and in GJD, she makes every effort to consider the environmental impact of each action and decision, and to teach her children to do the same.