Facebook Page Cover Photos for Non-Profits

If you’re a Facebook user, you probably understand by now that Facebook management has a habit of making changes. Most recently was the complete remaking of Facebook profiles to the new Timeline layout. Rather than keeping posts in a “news feed” set-up, entries, comments, photos are organized along a timeline, unique to each person. Not only this, but now only one photo is featured on each profile, known as the Cover Photo.

Facebook Timeline is now moving on to Facebook Pages and the clock is ticking.  For now, your organization can preview what the page will look like in the Timeline layout, but all Facebook Pages will convert automatically to the new layout on March 30, 2012.

As you prepare for these changes, be sure to put a lot of thought in the Cover Photo for your page. If you use Facebook for a lot of your marketing, as more and more organizations are doing, the Cover Photo will be the first thing visitors will see when landing on the page.

Here are some quick guidelines:

The size of a Cover Photo is 850 x 320 (pixels) or 4 x 1.5 (inches). The dimensions might look small on whatever editor you are using, but you can always expand it for editing purposes – just check that you are keeping the size in ratio to the ones above.

– The bottom left corner of the Cover Photo will be blocked by the Profile Picture.

Include your organization logo. If you use your logo as the profile picture, then it’s not necessary to reuse it in the Cover Photo.

Include the organization contact information: address, phone number, hours, website address. This information may not be readily available on the rest of the Page and so take a couple more clicks for visitors to get to it. Most people will not click through to other tabs on a Facebook page. Take advantage of the Cover Photo’s position and size to get that information across.

– Above all, choose a photo that encapsulates what your organization is. It can be a photo of the building, but even better, an action shot of a program or volunteer.

Again, these changes will take place automatically on March 30th, 2012, so you might as well be prepared and switch to the new layout early.

Let us know when you have switched over and we’ll check out your new look!
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This article was featured in the March 2012 issue of our monthly newsletter, CDP Press.
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Operation Happiness: Non-Profit Employees

How to keep your non-profit’s employees happy with all the changes and belt-tightening that seems to be across the board is a challenge. Harvard Business School reported that job satisfaction nationwide is at a 23-year low and that’s not just with non-profits. Chronicle Survey says that 40% of workers characterized themselves as dissatisfied with their jobs. That means, if you have 10-20 people with your organization, 4-8 of them are probably unhappy.

This dissatisfaction can be attributed to a number of things, though. The Chronicle of Philanthropy hosted an online discussion recently with Jan Masaoka, the Chief Executive of the California Association of Nonprofits and, previously, with Blue Avocado, and Trish Tchume, the National Director of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. They took questions from readers and also posed some of their own, answering them with their many years of experience.

The first question was “What is employees’ #1 dissatisfaction?” The responses centered mostly around transparency of procedure. It would depend on who was being asked, but a large complaint is not necessarily that employees want to be in on the decision-making process, but that they are unclear about what the process is. In non-profits and many other agencies and organizations, there are formal and informal hierarchies. Decisions are often made through the unofficial hierarchies and employees need clarity on how the organization is structured in this area as much as the formal processes which would be written in the handbook. Jan stated, “Too many non-profits (and for-profits) emit messages like ‘we do everything as a team’ that people read as indications that the non-profit is a democracy. It’s important to be able to say, ‘This is a decision that you will have input on, but the decision will be made by X.'” According to Daniel Pink, people are motivated by three things: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Give your people these things and they will thrive.

Another topic brought up was that of “bailing” by employees, or “organization-hopping.” People who find themselves dissatisfied with their current position or place of employment may “bail” on that organization if they are confident they can get another job at the same pay or see themselves as marketable. This brings up another point: How long does a person need to stay at position/organization in order to be seen as a dependable/loyal person? There is a statistic that leaders of younger generations have about 8-10 transitions over the course of their career as opposed to far fewer in previous generations. However, this can be misleading because while younger leaders may change organizations, they are often staying within the same cause.

No turnover can equal stale ideas. Some organizations and positions expect a certain amount of turnover in staff. Some are meant to turn over every year or two. For example, you would not want a 35% turnover in management positions, but having a high rate of turnover for youth workers on a playground is expected and acceptable. Employers should be seeking ways to build into their employees not only for their current job, but also for any jobs they may have in the future.

One other question was on effective methods in getting good problem-solving input from staff. Jan and Trish suggest that good problem-solving cannot happen when there is widespread distrust. But if there is a general attitude of “we can work things out,” then having teams prioritizes their own work is the best way to start. Check out an online resource: Structuring Leadership: Alternative Models for Distributing Power and Decision-Making.

To read the full discussion, visit the website.

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This article was featured in our monthly newsletter, Bridgeworks Connect.
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Critical Skills in Fundraising

Here are some critical skills to get under your belt when going out to raise funds for your organization.

Getting the Appointment Over the Phone 

It is very important that you meet with potential donors in person. To get this accomplished, though, you first must master the art of making the appointment.  Get a script together and practice on your own and then with another person (someone who will give you quality critique).

Phone Objections 

There are certain objections that always come up when asking people for donations:

– I’m not interested in giving.
– I already give to other organizations.
– I already give “this” much to your organization.
– I have to check with my spouse.
– We don’t have it in our budget.
– I don’t know enough about your organization.
– How can I know you’ll spend my money wisely?

These six statements echo most concerns donors have about giving to non-profits.  The key to answering them is to be sincere, attentive and as succinct as possible.  Some objections are beyond your control and some address key structural concerns within your organization. It is vital that your organization has a transparent method for handling finances and that you are consistently looking for ways to be good stewards of the money already given to you.  Make this information easily available, whether on the organization website or in a pamphlet that can quickly be mailed to the potential donor.  Having appropriate answers before the call is placed will give you a foundation and confidence.

The Visit 

When preparing for a visit there are a lot of questions going through your mind. The big ones can be as general or specific as you need them to be. What do you say? Where do you begin? What order do I need to proceed? It goes without saying to dress and behave professionally for the person you are meeting.

Handling the Responses 

Along with the objections given over the phone, there are the typical ones given once you have met with someone in person. The first is an agreement. “Yes, I will support you at $____.” The second is refusal: “No, I will not be able to support you.” The other responses are non-committal: “I’d like to think about it.” or “That amount is too high for me right now.” Handle these responses gracefully and be prepared with an appropriate answer or follow-up to keep the conversation going.

Ask for Referrals 

There is a bottom of the barrel for every fundraiser. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals, but be sensitive. Don’t push someone for names and numbers, but be sure to ask each person you approach if they know of anyone else who might be interested in donating to your organization.

Storytelling 

Storytelling is immensely important in fundraising these days. Share an account of someone who has given to your organization, a person on staff, a volunteer, or someone whose life was impacted by a service at the organization. A good story engages the listener and reaches into their hearts.  Insert stories into these meetings, committee meetings, a newsletter, email, Facebook and thank-you letters. For more on storytelling, check out this entry on our blog.

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This article was featured in the February 2012 issue of our monthly newsletter, CDP Press.
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Pinterest and Non-Profits

The latest online craze is Pinterest.com, an online “Favorites” place for individuals to share with others the things they love and which inspire them. Users can share anything from cooking recipes to decorating ideas to fashion to quotes to movies to travel destinations to the completely random.

It works like a pinboard, where you would pull ads, notices, coupons or pictures out of a magazine or newspaper and tack it for reference later. Pinterest boards can be personalized to theme and taste.

Pinterest is great for personal use, but non-profits can also take advantage of it. For animal shelters, it can be a great way to showcase some of the lovable animals awaiting adoption. If your non-profit sells certain goods to raise money, like jewelry, handcrafts, etc, share on your own Pinterest board. The possibilities are endless!

*Note: At this time, you must be invited to use Pinterest. You can be invited by a current user or by Pinterest itself, but you’ll be put on a waiting list which could take a couple days. Accounts are connected to an email address and can be linked with a Facebook profile.

In The City Pilot Episode

CDP is hosting a new show on TV Hamilton. In the style of The View, CDP hosts, Mindy Finnerty and Sheri Lawson, and guests discuss local events, issues and businesses. Nothing is off-limits for discussion. This pilot episode talks about the needs and benefits of community development, the Center for Community Revitalization and Hamilton’s great local neighborhoods.

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February $20 Cash Referral Special

Need some extra cash for your non-profit?

During the month of February, we are offering a special deal to non-profits who refer another organization to become paid members of The Center for Community Revitalization (CCR). If you know of an existing organization, or individual wanting to start a non-profit, who could benefit from the services and trainings that CDP has to offer, tell them about our membership and you will receive a $20 cash bonus if they become paid members during the month of February!

Organizations and individuals can join the CCR as Associate Members for $125/year. There are other membership levels of varying cost and benefits available as well. Members can send anyone from their organization to any of our capacity-building trainings for no cost and will receive the CCR monthly newsletter.   They will also be able to reserve our meeting spaces throughout the year (based on membership level).

You can find out more by visiting our website.

When you refer an organization, be sure to remind them to put your organization’s name in the “Referred by” box on the application.

Important Changes to Ohio Charitable Registration

Changes are taking place for the way Ohio charities and non-profits must register with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. According to Mike DeWine, most charities in Ohio now will be required by recent statutory and rule changes to register on-line.

By registering your non-profit, the state can get a clear picture of the non-profit community, directing scarce resources to charities that operate under honest and transparent governance. A major problem recently are sham charities and bogus solicitations exploiting the generosity of Ohioans.

The new system is straightforward, intuitive and enables the state to provide confirmations and deadline reminders. Both charities and the public will be able to search the website for information about filing compliance and other organizational details. There is also a provision for representatives to file on behalf of multiple organizations.

It’s recommended that multiple volunteers associated with each charity acquire an account so reminders and notices will be shared among many people and reduce the possibility of deadlines being lost in the shuffle of leadership transitions.

The website for registering is: http://OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/CharitableRegistration. There are various resources available on the website, including a user guide and a tool tip guide which answer questions about the new registration system. They also offer a quarterly Nonprofit News, a Nonprofit Handbook and webinars and brochures to assist board members with fulfilling their legal responsibilities to Ohio’s charities.

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