Learning from doing – 15 years of Web of Change

A wise friend of mine likes to say “be the thing that you’re on about”. In my world where organizations are encouraged to take bigger risks, often relying on the advice of digital change agents to direct them to unmapped territory, you want to be sure those giving you...

Three styles of campaigns (with wicked websites)

Some of the most exciting work I get to do is campaign planning: taking a group with a vision and some resources and helping them focus a tight communications, engagement, and digital strategy that's going to help them win. Sometimes people want to start right away...

Standing behind First Nations to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure

Sept 2015 Update: I am so excited to report the campaign blew past all its goals, raising over $600,000 in just over a year! I don't often post here about my personal passion projects, preferring to stay focused on content useful for digital and comms directors...

6 things today’s breakout campaigns get right

People often ask me what are today's most successful online campaigns. It’s a great question to ask when planning your own, because the pace of change keeps speeding up, and campaigns that aim for viral growth and real engagement know that just adding a website and...

Webinar: Facebook throttled my social media strategy. Now what?

In my new role as a leadership fellow at the Broadbent Institute they want me to share digital insights with the progressive movement, so we are organizing what should be a popular webinar on recent changes at Facebook that have impacted every non-profit, community...

Influence and Impact: The new state of digital teams

Overall we see a very positive maturing of digital programs and leadership across the board. In the past two years digital leaders have increased their internal influence, successfully advocated for more resources, and built larger and better skilled teams.

They have stabilized their main digital platforms (websites, social media, email), partly due to a slowing of growth in new channels and other shiny objects they’ve had to chase after, and are now focused on more strategic optimization to produce better outcomes. Most leaders report their digital work is receiving more consistent attention from senior leadership, something we’ve long advocated for as essential to realizing its full potential.

What makes crowdfunding work (for causes)

There’s been a lot of excitement around crowdfunding recently, but until last fall I wasn’t convinced there was a there there. I knew they worked, sometimes, for start-up tech products, some indie films and a few hyper local community projects. But would they do heavy...

How are non-profit teams doing in 2014? Free webinar launch

Our first Non-profit Digital Teams report in 2011 helped create a much needed conversation in the NGO sector about the importance of focusing on digital teams as the foundation for overall digital program success. In two weeks, Wed Feb 5, we're releasing the 2014...

Hey Facebook! Give us back our audience, you jerks

A new campaign was launched today by a number of high profile bloggers in the charity tech space. ""What Nonprofits need more than a Facebook Donate Button" is the first volley in a campaign to pressure Facebook to give non-profits back the audiences they stole from...

How are non-profits managing digital teams in 2013? Let’s find out!

About 18 months ago Communicopia created the world’s first research report on the state of digital teams in non-profits. The report was downloaded by over 1,000 NGO’s from around the world, and has successfully helped inspire hundreds to re-think or re-structure their digital or communications teams. We are excited to announce we are releasing the second version of report for 2013 with fresh data this fall!

Quick refresh: the four models of digital teams

In 2011 we worked closely with our colleague Michael Silberman, who was then a consultant at EchoDitto and now runs the global Mobilization Lab at Greenpeace, on establishing key patterns that we saw institutions use to manage their digital programs. Since we first...

Why you have the best – and the worst – job

Last month I had the pleasure of being the opening keynote speaker at the Social Media for Non-profits all day conference in Vancouver. The organizers asked me to help set the tone for the day.

I find a lot of events like too trendy buzz-wordy, overly focused on positive things, and thin on actual substance. I wanted to provide something of lasting value to help shape the careers of the 200 or so, mostly young, attendees, and share what I’ve learned by staying in this industry for close to 20 years now. The result: “How to survive social media for non-profits: Why you have the best – and the worst – job”.

Can we please stop getting creamed on messaging?

While many progressive ideas tend to succeed in the long run, (I’m talking a 30 year time horizon) as a movement we’re not half as effective as our opposition at creating messaging that wins hearts and minds today. There’s a lot of suffering that takes place in that 30 year gap.

Here’s why I think right wing parties and interests resisting change tend to run circles around us in messaging:

Networking your institution for the Citizen Age: DC Event

Does your organization struggle with digital innovation or integrating campaigns across silos? If you’re in DC on June 17, check out an exciting event we’re co-producing, “Networking your institution for the Citizen Age” with Greenpeace’s Digital Mobilization Lab.

Why your PR strategy is only a third right

Success in the advocacy world is essentially about getting your issue or cause onto the agenda of the powerful by going direct, via a mass public outcry, or ideally both. Not so long ago, you could get pretty far with a supportive story in the top tier media, so most...

Setting KPI’s for your digital program

The problem with a lot of planning and visioning is it isn’t grounded in the actual reality of the now. For digital programs, that means knowing, as exactly as possible, the current state of our performance. Only when we know that, can we set realistic and actionable goals for the future.

Innovation is hard. What’s your one big thing?

Even before the election results were in, most analysts had called the digital game for President Obama. Their success has profound implications for the role of data and metrics in how we make all kinds of decisions, macro to micro. But it’s their innovation process, this ability to deliver such a game-changer while at the same managing a highly complex digital campaign with all the other expected bells and whistles, that’s almost as big.

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