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Web site and social media recommendations for nonprofit organizations

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Sample business writing

  1. 1. Web Sites & Social MediaBest practices and recommendationsMay 8, 2012Prepared by Megan MillerWEBSITE & DONATE NOW PAGEE-NEWSLETTERBLOGSOCIAL MEDIAThe best practices compiled are based on DIOSA Communication’s book, “Social Mediafor Social Good” as well as from online articles on best practices from nonprofit serviceagencies and online nonprofit publications such as:,,,, NetwitsThinkTank (Blackbaud),, 1
  2. 2. 5. Keep text and graphics to minimum on Donate Now landing page.6. If Donate Now page can be customized, include: • A few sentences to say how donations support missions • Statement that donations are tax deductible • Graphics/seals of approval from organizations such as Charity Navigator, BBB (Accredited Charity), American Institute of Philanthropy, to illustrate reputation and positive ratings • Statement or chart to illustrate percentage of donation that is spent on programs vs. operations • Statement illustrating impact of donations ($10 will save XXX records) • Mailing address for check donations • Opt-in for subscribing to newsletter7. Create additional pages for other ways to give (Memorials, Trusts, etc.)8. Launch sustainer program for giving monthly or quarterly.9. Launch online gift donation program with customizable cards or handwritten cards.10. Ask supporters (only occasionally) to donate now via Facebook status updates and Twitter (once or twice a month).11. Add pitches for the Web site, blog, social site to the Thank You page.12. Send follow up Thank you E-mail with links to Web site, newsletter, blog, and social sites.Sources: “Social Media for Social Good,” NetwitsThinkTank (Blackbaud) “2011 Online GivingTrends and 5 Tactics Your Nonprofit Must Implement Today,” Smashing Magazine’s “Non ProfitWeb Site Design: Examples and Best Practices,” CommonGroundVT’s “Toolkit: NonprofitWebsite Best Practices.” 3
  3. 3. WEBSITE/DONATE NOW RECOMMENDATIONSUntil funding can be found for a customizable, branded hosted solution, use a freehosted solution: Network for Good’s DonateNow Lite (a generic Donate Now page thatstill allows monthly donations, gift donations, automated tax receipts, online donationtracking, and EFT disbursement). has a similar program but may require theuse of Just Give-branded Donate button.For better research on s donors and volunteers, include occasional tacticssuch as quick surveys and polls to facilitate audience feedback and gathering audiencedemographics.Research best practices for writing styles and types of articles on non-profit Web sites,blogs, and newsletters. 4
  4. 4. and the ability to speak on behalf of , in the same way a spokesperson wouldcommunicate, although less formally.Until a qualified social media representative is found, recommendation is to engage less-experienced volunteers to help keep an adequate presence on Facebook, Twitter, andLinkedIn and use these sites for the following goals: • Facebook and Twitter: Drive traffic to the Web site, blog, and newsletter. • LinkedIn: Recruit volunteers and board members, connect to professional organizations, establish organizational credentials, as well as drive traffic to the Web site.In addition, determine whether any technical staff and management volunteers couldengage directly on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, and on a more informal level, on Flickrand YouTube, microblogging photos, short videos, and updates from “the field.”There are highly detailed best practices for content publishing and engagement on thesocial networks, and these can be prepared or discussed at length later. For now, bestpractices that are achievable given current staffing and funding follow.FACEBOOK1. Post maximum 3-4 updates/week. Status Updates remind followers that is active and engaged in interesting activities, more information about which can be found at the Web site, blog, and newsletter. Topics for Status Updates include: • Success stories: Projects completed or begun • New partnerships • Meeting with partners • New data found • Technical team trips begun and completed • A new photo • A new video • A new article • Newsletter publication • Relevant breaking news (a short description of a relevant news article with a link to the article or preferably to a blog post that summarizes/gives an opinion on the breaking news)2. Ask volunteers to give Likes and comments on Status Updates. Note that only status updates with activity get exposure in Facebook’s “Top News” feed. 10
  5. 5. • Thank you and Happy Holidays • Please remember to fill out your LinkedIn profiles and follow • Give us a hand and make suggestions on the Intranet for XYZ5. Advertise on LinkedIn when LinkedIn gives out Free Advertising Coupons.6. Consider having senior staff, representatives, and/or technical team create a LinkedIn group if relevant. Managing a LinkedIn group will take several hours per week, and additional best practices can be compiled for this.7. Use LinkedIn to recruit board members when funding available ($195/30 days for 1 geographical region, not including nonprofit discount.) See LinkedIn’s video, “8 LinkedIn Tips for Nonprofits” (L=16:43).8. Expand Products and Services section and recruit “Pro Bono” positions. See Tweets: 2-6 per day max, of the following: • 1-2 tweets/day of links (with explanations) to environmental articles relevant to position or mission. Management should provide further clarification on types of content should be linking to. The source for articles to mention can come from Dot s Scoop.IT magazine, other volunteer research, and some may link directly back to that magazine. • 1-2 re-tweets/day: Re-tweeting other’s tweets related to our topics. • 1 tweet/week: Links (with descriptions) to new articles or blog post. • 1 tweet/mo: Announcements of upcoming newsletters with links to newsletter subscription page. • 1 tweet/mo: Announcements of open volunteer position. • As occurs: Announcements of new data-at-risk found, with link to blog post or Web site announcement of same.2. Follow similar organizations. 12