listening, social media campaign, technology

Visual Listening: The Next Big Thing in Social Media

Image courtesy of bark/b-sides 124, Creative Commons license

Images are signal through noise, and almost 60% of nonprofit organizations surveyed intend to use more social media images in 2015 than in prior years. To catch up with the rise in digital image sharing, a field has sprung up known as "visual listening." Visual listening is the practice of monitoring and tracking specific images online, and a new tool called Ditto purports to do just that. Social media monitoring as we know it is about to expand from text-focused monitoring to image and video "listening" in the next few years. This blog post explores the potential of visual listening, one tool available now to try, and why this is the next big thing in social media management.

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0 Comments 08 September 2015

Matterness, metrics, presentations

Social Media Metrics That Matter

Data checking ourselves slide

I had the privilege of presenting at the Dallas and Austin Social Media for Nonprofits Conferences this month on the topic of social media metrics. As some readers may know, I’ve recently started a collaboration with colleague Allison Fine to create Matterness Consulting, a consultancy focused on bringing Matterness to the way that mission-driven organizations […]

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0 Comments 31 August 2015

Getting Started, social media strategy

Graduates: So You Want To Work In Social Media

Creative Commons photo, courtesy of COD Newsroom

With college graduations complete, and summer a time of reflection, this is when I am most often asked "how do I get a job in social media?" I often can't help folks find the job they want, nor do I have the time for all the cups of coffee proffered, but I can offer advice. This post is a summary of my best advice, including current and emerging skills for the field, what you need to know, and how to prepare to get a job in social media at a company or nonprofit organization.

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6 Comments 26 May 2015

email marketing, Reports and studies

Benchmark Yourself: 2015 M+R Digital Benchmarks Study

Benchmark yourself tool M&R

The 2015 M+R Benchmarks Study is here, packed with nonprofit sector digital benchmarks for email, website engagement, social media, and paid web marketing. This year's study also includes a "Benchmark Yourself" tool, as well as updates and comparisons with prior years. In this blog post, I pull out four major themes from the study for every nonprofit to consider, and a few suggestions for next year's study.

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0 Comments 22 April 2015


Creating Entry Points Using The Social Technographics Ladder


I had an "aha!" moment this week: We can't forget about different entry points and jumpers. While some will move along a continuum towards increasing leadership responsibilities, others will contact you or begin to show leadership interest from the very beginning. In this blog post, I offer a model with a variety of online entry points for those stakeholders who want to dive into your organization fully, jump over initial entry points, and become deeply engaged.

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0 Comments 15 April 2015

Reports and studies

Two New Reports Tell a Story of 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends


Two new nonprofit communications reports shed a light on how nonprofit organizations are staffing, executing, and approaching both digital and traditional communications. In this blog post, I look at where the reports intersect, and what trends will emerge in nonprofit communication practices in 2015.

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1 Comment 30 March 2015

conferences, fundraising, social media strategy

Trendspotting: 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference

15ntc image

I just returned from the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) energized and excited about where nonprofit technology practitioners think the field is heading. In this #15ntc roundup, I talk about the trends in nonprofit technology that I spotted at the conference, and why this is the year that nonprofit technology field jumped past "where are we now" to answer the question "where do we want to go next?"

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13 Comments 10 March 2015

community, fundraising

Finding #GivingTuesday Community at the NTEN Hangout 12/2

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 12.49.55 PM

In just two years #GivingTuesday has become the recognized day of giving (and giving back) in the US, and now has participation in 9 countries worldwide. This year, #GivingTuesday is starting to become a communal experience, not just in the giving...or almost requisite ask for donations...but in the desire to come together to discuss generosity and giving as a community. NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network, is hosting a one-hour open conversation on GivingTuesday at 11am PT/ 2pm ET as a way for community members to share #GivingTuesday efforts, discuss why they are a part of the NTEN community, and share ideas for the year ahead. Joleen Ong, Marketing and Publications Director of NTEN, explained that "NTEN is all about community and on #GivingTuesday, we're gathering the community together to celebrate the giving season."

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1 Comment 01 December 2014

presentations, storytelling

Creating Stories that Compel: Video Storytelling for Nonprofits

Image courtesy of Kenno McDonnell, Creative Commons license

As humans, we tell stories in order to make events that have happened to us relatable, we re-tell stories we've heard because they are memorable, and we tell stories to make sense of our world. Why wouldn't we do the same when explaining a need, cause, or event? In October, I offered a workshop for organizations participating in Valley Gives 2014, highlighting what makes a good story, the stories you have right now, and the types of stories that can power your fundraising/crowdfunding campaign. This is a summary of the workshop content, with embedded slide presentation.

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0 Comments 17 November 2014

free agent community fundraising, fundraising, storytelling

An Unexpected Nonprofit Fundraising Story

Great Apes Amazon Wishlist brown paper

The Center for Great Apes has hit on a brilliant merge of fundraising and storytelling. The Center is using Amazon Wish Lists to ask for specific donations for their great apes. Each item includes a small story about why it is needed, often connected to a specific animal. This is small moment storytelling. It also is storytelling fundraising, with a whiff of whimsy...and personal appeal. It's refreshingly simple, yet unexpected.

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2 Comments 27 August 2014


Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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