Supporting Orlando

On June 12th, Orlando faced the most devastating mass shooting in modern US history. Here are just a few examples of the people, organizations and companies springing into action to provide comfort and support to the victims and their families of this senseless tragedy.

Viacom and Orlando

Viacom stands with OrlandoViacom and its brands are using their voices to pay homage to the victims of Orlando by speaking up for unity, acceptance and change. Viacom is also matching every donation made, up to $50,000. So give now.

#ThoughtsAndPrayers with Orlando

#ThoughtsAndPrayersAfter the worst mass shooting in modern US history, pro-gun lawmakers have again taken to Twitter to express their condolences. All while some of them are taking money from the NRA and blocking gun-control legislation. A handful of people at Wieden+Kennedy created a book that turns these hollow gestures into something that will actually make a difference. #ThoughtsAndPrayers: Comforting Tweets from Powerful Hypocrites is a timeline of bloodshed from Aurora to Orlando, told in 140 characters or less. Donations support the Brady Center and its fight to keep guns out of dangerous hands. By donating $25, you can help turn their thoughts and prayers into something that actually makes a difference.

Planting Peace for Orlando

Planting Peace rainbow flagIn response to this horrific act of terror, Planting Peace launched the ‘We Stand with Pulse’ Victims Fund. All the money raised will go towards helping with medical bills and funeral costs for the victims of this senseless and heartbreaking act of violence. You can donate here.

These examples are just a few of the ways that people are raising money to support the families and victims of this senseless tragedy in  Orlando. And if you’re looking for a way to do something on your own, click here to set up your own fundraiser in under a minute.

5 Social Tips for Nonprofits

5 Social Media Tips for Nonprofits

It’s no secret that the world has changed and that online giving is the preferred method of giving for almost every demographic out there. But what about the social media influence on these potential donors and advocates? Are you actively trying to spread awareness and raise funds via social media? If the answer is anything but yes, you’ve gotta get on board.

Here are five tips and tricks for getting your social media followers to stick with you and help you change the world.

1. Get Short and Get Visual

Being successful on social media has a lot to do with compelling content. Of course we all think we are sharing compelling content, but what does that really mean? For a nonprofit, it’s all about story telling and that comes in many different forms.

According to Abila, the content that creates more action than any other form is a short video. We’re talking under 2 minutes. It’s the perfect way for people to quickly digest your main mission and to see a visual picture of what you’re trying to accomplish. Think about creating short videos and make it a goal to post them at least 1x per month.

2. Variety Deters Boredom

We all have that Aunt who only posts pictures of her kids and that’s great, but it kind of makes us want to stop following her. Don’t be that Aunt. If you’re looking to attract the attention of a supporter, you’ve got to change it up. And often.

Showing case study after case study of various people your cause has helped and their stories is compelling, but only when it’s amidst other content such as stats, shout outs to donors, behind-the-scenes glimpses into your organization, a milestone that was hit, staff profile, etc. Changing it up will keep people interested and make them more likely to notice your posts.

3. Engage Often

Engage your followers and supporters by offering thought provoking material. For example, turn your post into a question. Something like ‘How has a companion pet changed the way you live your life?’ for an animal cause or ‘Tell us about your hero.’ after a post about a someone battling a disease.

The goal is to get your community engaged and feel a strong emotional connection to your cause. The more connected they feel, the more likely they are to support, give and fundraise.

4. Play a Little Tag

Create a game out of your social media following and encourage people to either tag or compete for a prize.

For instance, you could be a nonprofit focusing on homelessness and show someone who made it out off the streets and into a new chapter of their life along with a call out to ‘Tag a friend who has helped you in life and thank them. We’ll pick two people who post to get a {{YOUR CAUSE}} tee shirt.’

You’ll automatically get more eyes on your cause from a really trusted source, their friend.

5. Diversify

What channels are you active on? Are you on Facebook and Twitter but not Instagram? What about Snapchat?

Facebook and Twitter are great, but they are a little less visual in their storytelling. Make sure you’ve got a good mix of channels and at least also have Instagram and if you’re really feeling good about it, even Snapchat. These latter two channels are much more about the visual and if you have good content, meaning rich photography and video, you should definitely be incorporating them into your strategy.

That’s about it. Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Gold star for you.

Support the Families of the

Orlando Pulse Shooting – Stand By the Victims

Early Sunday morning on June 12th, a lone gunman took the lives of 49 people in Orlando and wounded dozens more. The Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting is the worst mass shooting in US history.

In response to this horrific act of terror, Planting Peace launched the ‘We Stand with Pulse’ Victims Fund. Monies raised will go towards helping with medical bills and funeral costs for the victims of this senseless and heartbreaking act of violence.

There are lots of ways to get involved and offer your support. Provide direct relief for victims and their families, support the LGBT community to build tolerance and love or help make systemic changes to prevent future tragedies.

Please help any way you can.

6/13 – You probably know how everything works but …


We’ll be sending new CrowdRise Hoodies to all CrowdRise Gatherings this coming week. You probably know how everything works but here’s a quick heads up … if your last name begins with the ledder A-J, you get a red hoody. Unless, your first name also begins with the ledder A-J, then you get the green hoody. But, if your first name begins with the ledder A-J and you’ve never eaten gazpacho soup, you get the navy hoody. Unless, of course, you can’t spell gazpacho … then you get the grey hoody. If your last name begins with the ledder K-Z and you spent more than ten minutes deciding whether or not you should read the Great Gatsby in school or just watch the movie, then you get the black hoody. But, if you read the book Raiders of the Lost Ark, and never saw the movie, and thought the ark was a boat … then you get the orange hoody with the green writing. Ledder is correct by the way. They’re done away with Letter. Unless, you got the red hoody. Okay. Thinking that covers it.  

7 tips for creating your marketing plan

7 Tips for Creating Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan

If you’re like most nonprofits, you’re probably wondering how you can rise above the noise of all the other organizations out there trying to rally support for their cause. The places that get noticed in this cluttered nonprofit world (there are over 1.5 million in the US alone) generally have one thing in common: a very good marketing plan. The Charity: Waters and UNICEFs of the world don’t just whip up campaigns. They are thoughtfully designed and beautifully executed all thanks to a great nonprofit marketing plan.

We’re here to help you get a grasp on creating a nonprofit marketing plan so that in a few years, you’ll probably be the inspiration for more nonprofits to dig in on their marketing plans. Here we go:

1) Do Your Research

  • Who are other organizations in the space? Why are they successful (or not so successful)? What do they do that you want to emulate? What do you do that they hate? Think about it from all angles: as a competitor, as a community member, as a donor, etc. Who is established? Who is the newcomer?
  • Who are your donors/supporters/volunteers/etc? What do they get from you that they can’t get anywhere else? Do they like you? Do they open emails from you? Do they follow and engage with you on social media? What do they want from you? Consider polling them about issues like this.

2) Get Internal Input

  • Sit down with your leadership and have frank conversations about how they want to be positioned in relation to the rest of the industry, who the audience really is, what their goals are, etc.
  • Take a poll of all your stakeholders (leadership, staff, donors, volunteers, etc) and ask them what they want more of/less of from your organization.
  • These first two steps are critical in figuring out what it is that makes you different from the competition. This is what the core of your marketing plan will be.

3) Make Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan

  • Sit down and take all of your findings and craft a plan. Here’s a template to pull from. But we recommend that you make this as unique and your own as possible. If a part of that template isn’t relevant for you, then take it out (after careful contemplation of why it’s not relevant, of course).
  • Set realistic yet ambitious goals based on a timeline that allows for some flexibility (as things will not always go as smoothly as you’d like).
  • Assign responsibility. Because marketing is truly an organization-wide responsibility, make sure to get as many departments as possible involved.
  • Look at all the different tactics you can use: taking into careful consideration both online and offline methods to achieve your goals. Social media, billboards, email, direct mail, radio spots, banner ads, skywriting, etc. The sky is the limit (as long as it’s within the limit of your budget obviously). But really think outside the box. How are you going to get people’s attention?

4) Sell the Plan

  • Sit down with your leadership again. Present your plan to them. And back it up with data from your polling as well as from best practices that you’ve come across in all of your other industry research (which you’ve of course been doing maniacally during this process). Lay out resources that you’ll need: staff time, advertising budget, etc.
  • After you agree to a final plan and present it to staff, now reality sets in…

5) Execute the Plan

  • Now comes the easy part. Just kidding. No, you definitely did the heaviest lifting in the research and creation phase, but it’s all for naught if you can’t execute. You’ll likely need to be the plan’s loudest and most effective advocate, and because you got leadership’s buy-in from the get-go, you’ll have support when you’re making sure the plan is happening. Remember: the plan will not execute itself.

6) Track and Report

  • Because you were smart and built in tracking mechanisms and daily, weekly and monthly reports to decision makers in your nonprofit marketing plan, this part is all about execution as well. And before you write off this step, just remember that it’s a critical part of the next step, which arguably may be the most important step of all…

7) Refine the Plan

  • One of the hardest parts of operating in the nonprofit space is adapting to the ever-evolving nature of how to best do things. Trends come and go. People get weary of certain tactics. New tech platforms arise. That’s why one of the most critical pieces of your plan is this step because you need to always be one step ahead of your competition. And that means voraciously reading the latest reports, articles, blogs, etc about nonprofit marketing.

Even though “marketing” often has a negative connotation, it’s actually the most important thing your organization can do to grow and better serve your community – so this nonprofit marketing plan is truly one of the most essential tools in your nonprofit’s arsenal. This plan cannot be undervalued, and it’s up to you to make it happen – and make it successful once it’s live in the wild.

If tracking and reporting and sharing and everything else is a little scary because of the perceived price involved, don’t fret. Here’s a handy link to a bunch of free and discounted resources for nonprofits.