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Twitter for Nonprofits

Twitter for Nonprofits blog
Twitter, when used properly, can be a powerful tool for nonprofit organizations. Its platform is based in conversation and connection, allowing organizations to foster meaningful and unique relationships with their donors. Here are few tips to effectively use Twitter for your nonprofit.

Tweet on the weekends.

Many organizations in the nonprofit sector aren’t active on twitter on the weekends so the easiest way to uniquely stand out is by tweeting on the weekends. Scheduling tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and TweetDeck make tweeting on the weekend’s simple. It’s advised to send at least one tweet on Saturday and Sunday.

Include links and multi-media in your tweets.

Tweets with links not only start a conversation but are said to have an 86% higher retweet rate. Including multi-media content like images and video also increases chances for engagement. More shares and retweets means there’s more eyes on specific content.

Retweet!

Retweeting other content related to your mission or organization is a good strategy to add stimulating conversation while actively engaging with donors and those in the nonprofit sector.

Create custom images.

For statistics and data, it’s helpful to create infographics to increase meaningful sharing. Also, to be fittingly recognized remember to include your organization’s logo.

Use hashtags sparingly.

Though it is helpful to use hashtags when tweeting, don’t overdo it. Overuse of hashtags can affect the retweet rate and make the effort appear as unwanted “spam”.

Consider these best practices when using Twitter as an effective and strategic communication tool. When done well and consistently, the chances of increasing organizational visibility on social media increases exponentially.

We hope these tips help increase your success!

Meet the Staff: Edgardo Jimenez

Edgardo Jimenez FINAL

First Nonprofit is pleased to disclose the new addition of Edgardo Jimenez to our professional services team! Edgardo will be working as an Administration & Service Clerk where he will be collecting, defining and dispensing critical data, distributing important mailings and accumulating, organizing and memorializing the multiple documents FNG must track for compliance. He previously worked for the City of Chicago in the City Clerk Office, the Finance Department and in Procurement Services where he honed his skills for the many duties he now has at FNG.

Edgardo graduated from both David Farragut High School and from the National Latino Education Institute for Phlebotomy. Since joining FNG in May, Ed says; “Every day I learn something new at First Nonprofit! My co-workers have created a very positive work environment which allows me to feel like an important part of a really good team.”

Edgardo is a native of Mexico City, Mexico and has lived in Chicago since he was 14 years old. He enjoys visiting Chicago’s beautiful beaches, going to the gym, playing soccer and watching short films. Ed is also a pet lover! “I have 10 Fischer Lovebirds. They are beautiful. My mom goes crazy because they make a lot of noise.”

Join us in welcoming Edgardo to FNG!

Meet the Staff: Angie Cruz

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We would like to announce the addition of Angie Cruz to the First Nonprofit team! Angie comes to us with previous experience in accounting and the nonprofit sector, having performed accounting duties in accounts payable, accounts receivable and audit requests for The Resurrection Project and the San Jose Obrero Mission. In 2010, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago with concentrations in English and Spanish. At FNG, Angie is responsible for processing accounts payable and wages on all of our Bonded Service program accounts.

 Of her new position at FNG, Angie says “I enjoy my position at First Nonprofit. Having worked in the nonprofit sector, I appreciate the work that FNG does to help organizations take advantage of the opportunity to save money, help with cash flow, and provide other supportive services. Also, my colleagues are very knowledgeable, cooperative and welcoming which is a big part of my enjoying coming to work every day”.

Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Angie has called Chicago home since the age of 6. She enjoys visiting Ping Tom Memorial Park in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood and is an avid runner. “I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2014 which passes through 29 Chicago neighborhoods, plus I have been running a half-marathon every year since.”

We are proud to welcome Angie Cruz to First Nonprofit Group and ask you join us in welcoming her to our professional team!

Financial Management for Nonprofits

Financial Management for Nonprofits (1)

For nonprofits, strategic financial management is essential for ensuring that organizations remain fiscally sustainable during  changing times. Budget cuts, misuse of funds, and other unanticipated liabilities pose a huge future risk. Having a solid plan for how to respond to unexpected turmoil makes a world of difference. Here are a few tips for steadily managing nonprofit finances.

Strategy

Develop a detailed plan to secure internal  finances. It’s imperative to know exactly where money is coming from and a plan for how it will be used. Here are a few questions to answer when developing a financial strategy (courtesy of KnowHowNonprofit.org).

  • Where are we now?

  • What are our plans for the future?

  • How will we get there?

  • Do we know what the risks are and how we will manage these?

  • How will we manage the competing demands of spending against savings needed?

In additional to those questions above,the following will help in planning a solid financial strategy for your organization. How will the organization generate revenue or will it solely rely on gifts from donors?

The Importance of Cash Reserves

Having a nest egg is key for nonprofits that wish to grow and be financially healthy for the  long-term. Many organizations regularly face uncertainty due to economic conditions and need operating reserve balances to ensure future working capital is available.

Budgeting

A budget is a financial plan that serves as a monthly guide and is crucial in managing  short and long term cash flow.  With budgeting, nonprofits can focus on long, and short term goals while managing  organizational growth.

We hope you find these tips useful in structuring your nonprofit’s financial strategy.

Online Communication Tips For Nonprofits

Online Communication Tips (1)

As with any business, communication is key in keeping a donor base informed and engaged. Whether it’s on social media, through newsletters, or website, online communication is an important part of a marketing strategy. Here are a few tips on how to perfect online communications.

Feature social media follow icons at the top of your newsletter

Don’t make donors have to work to find you on social media. Prominently display follow icons at the top of your newsletter above any content and encourage donors to follow on social platforms. Also, don’t be shy with  calls-to-action. Encourage followers to like, comment, share, or retweet content with which they identify.

Use hashtags, but not too many

Use hashtags in posts and include them in profile bios to increase visibility and raise awareness. The purpose of hashtags is to encourage storytelling and conversation, but never use more than two hashtags per post.

Create social media graphics for EVERYTHING

It’s been proven that all kinds of media see a higher engagement rate online. Try putting your latest report or announcement in a graphic and see the different it makes in reaching donors.

Respond to feedback

It’s especially important to have a system in place on how to handle queries or complaints that you may receive via social media. Promptly responding to complaints shows that you care about the concerns of donors.

These are just a few tips to help you better communicate your content to your donors. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates from First Nonprofit Group.

Top 4 Instagram Trends for Nonprofits

top 4 instagram trends

For nonprofits, storytelling is an essential part of maintaining an engaged donor base and use of Instagram is a great social network to push crafted messages to the public.  Instagram is currently one of the fastest growing social networks with over 500 million users to date. Many nonprofits find success on Instagram, using the platform as a means to share photos and drive conversation around their mission. Here are a few of the top trends on Instagram nonprofits can  utilize in 2017.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is fairly new, having only been launched in August of 2016. Like its competitor Snapchat, “stories” are quick videos that vanish after being posted online for 24 hours. “Stories” that include filters, stickers, text, drawings and other fun content get the best engagement.  Nonprofits can utilize Instagram to cover live events, give insight to a typical work day at their organization, or host a “Donor Takeover”.

Instagram Live

“Live streaming” is a popular feature on Instagram that can be used to host a live Q&A, make a special announcement or simply celebrate a major milestone with your audience.

Instagram Business Tools & Profile

Establish a business profile on Instagram and access their analytics tools which are automatically available. These analytics provide intuitive details about followers which help you build meaningful messaging content.

Instagram Ads

If advertising is in your budget, utilize Instagram’s Ad services. There are several options for brands, businesses and nonprofits to advertise on Instagram’s platform. You also have the option of creating ads through your Facebook page (who conveniently owns Instagram). Better yet, Instagram ads can be used to drive traffic to any fundraising page, raise attendance at fundraising events, or promote a social campaign.

We believe Instagram will help improve branding, messaging and marketing for any nonprofit who makes an honest effort to utilize it!  Give it a shot!

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.

6 Cyber Safety Tips for Nonprofits

6 Cyber Safety Tips blog
Protecting against cyber theft is a critical piece in ensuring donor care and retention. It’s vital for donors to know when they choose to contribute, their personal and financial information is safe and protected. Continue to insure all donor information is concealed by constantly taking the necessary steps to safeguard personal data. Here are tips to help minimize and protect against cyber threats.

Passwords

Make certain all passwords are unique for every employee and there is additional security in place to authenticate separate accounts. Employees should be required to change passwords frequently.

Protect your network

Keep Wi-Fi networks encrypted and hidden to prevent any sensitive information being leaked to unwanted parties.

Make sure all software and systems are up to date

Older systems are more susceptible to data breaches, which increases the likelihood of an unwanted hack of  vulnerable data.

Secure payment processing

Many donors choose to give online and are wary to donate if payment processing is not accessible through a robustly secure platform. Manage donations by employing a reputable third-party service specifically designed for nonprofits and which guarantees protection.

Controlled access

Prevent data breaches by only allowing necessary user access to certain files and databases. Keep administrative privileges limited to executive level managers and principal IT staff while requiring all employees to lock up any portable devices not in use.

Have a communication/response plan in place

All staff should be properly trained on security procedures and frequent updates should be provided as procedures change. Should any suspected breach occur, a solid communication and rapid response strategy guarantees employees know who to contact and ultimately prevents additional attacks from increasing.

Proactive and continuous effort to prevent cyber-attacks is critical to every nonprofit organization, their staff and donors. We promote cyber safety and encourage others to do the same!

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.

Meet The Staff: Jaepil Choi

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Please join us in welcoming Jaepil Choi to the First Nonprofit Group team!

Jaepil comes to us as an accounting major attending Saint Xavier University in Chicago. As Operations Assistant, Jaepil will be working closely with Kim Dass, Jenna Marvin and our underwriting team. He will be responsible for the processing of accounts receivable, accounts payable, and wage reports. Jaepil is expected to receive his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting this upcoming July.

Before joining us, Jaepil managed the day to day operations of his family’s restaurant. When asked what he enjoys most about working at First Nonprofit, Jaepil says, “My favorite thing about the position and First Nonprofit is its very purpose of helping other organizations save money so they can better pursue their mission. I admire the effective way the company helps them and the niche market FNG serves.”

A native of South Korea, Jaepil is relatively new to the Chicagoland area. “I was born in South Korea and spent half my life there and half in Michigan. I am proficient in Korean and love to find its cultures in America.” His hobbies include Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, board games, and volunteerism and shares his home with three dogs: Sophie, Bella, and Gabby. “I have volunteered at Food Gatherers in Michigan and Ladder-up. I am a nerd at heart that loves to play board games and read.”

Unique Experiences to Auction at your next Fundraiser

Unique Experiences To Auction At Your Next Fundraiser

 

With funding sources being cut for many organizations across the county, nonprofits are having to come up with unique ways to raise funds for their cause. A great way to raise a large amount of dollars at your next fundraiser is to have an auction. It’s been proven that experiences, rather than physical things, sell much better and usually at higher bidding prices at an auction. There are plenty of ways that your nonprofit can benefit from auctioning a memorable experience at your next fundraiser. Here are a few unique ideas.

Travel Packages

Most people set aside money every year for vacation or travel so auctioning off a trip to an exotic locale is sure to open up your organization to new donors. Make sure the packages are unique and give the donor a once in a lifetime experience.

Auction ideas

-Your choice travel

-Trip for two to attend latest Broadway show in NYC

-Family trip to Disney

Sports Experience

Sporting events are America’s favorite past time. Auctioning off the opportunity for donors to participate with one of their favorite sports team is sure to be memorable experience that will draw major donor dollars.

Auction ideas

-Throw the first pitch at your team’s baseball game

-Join the team for the day

-Floor seats at a basketball game

Dining & Culinary Experience

Everyone has an inner foodie in them! Great dining experiences are in demand and are is sure to generate funds for your cause.

Auction ideas

-Private dinner for two at the hottest restaurant in town

-Opportunity to have popular chef come to your home and cook a 5 course meal

-Sit down dinner and conversation with a celebrity that supports your cause.

These are just a few examples on how your nonprofit can maximize donation dollars at your next fundraiser.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers

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