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Today, You Woke Up (with video)

Uncategorized May 19, 2019

Today, you woke up. Some people didn’t.

You got dressed, did your normal routine…probably used some means of transportation to get to school or work. The day is regular, status quo.

For you, that status quo may mean happiness, complacency, depression, or somewhere in between the three. But either way, you woke up today. You’re alive. You’re here for a reason.

You see, as you reflect on life, there’s a series of last times that have occurred or will take place. There is a last time you saw or talked to that friend or relative that passed away. A last time you played in the street as a kid with your friends. A last time you finished a grade level and never stepped foot in that school again. A last time you put on that uniform with your teammates or service men and women. A last time you celebrate a holiday.

There will be a last time you exhale air from your lungs. For some, that day will be today.

But today, you woke up. You have this moment. You have...

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Comparing 2018 Digital Fundraising Benchmarks (Blackbaud vs. M+R)

fundraising nonprofit Apr 30, 2019

Nonprofit leaders wear many hats. It’s quite the balance of pleasing many audiences, which includes donors, employees, community leaders, and those needing services (which is why the nonprofit exists in the first place). From a fundraising perspective, it involves keeping an eye on planned giving, major donors, and ROI from all fundraising efforts. Many critical investment decisions have to be made that can enhance or takeaway from the impact your nonprofit can make towards its mission. Every dollar counts. With that, the age old question pops up throughout the year: “How are we doing compared to other nonprofits?”

As a digital fundraiser, two reports I eagerly await each year are the Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report and the M+R Benchmarks Report. Both are available here and here. Both offer a trove of information that are useful in helping gauge your own organization’s digital fundraising efforts. Within the most recent release of each of these reports,...

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Five Cultural Challenges Nonprofits Face With Digital Fundraising

nonprofit Feb 21, 2019

“Transitioning from Direct Mail to Digital fundraising is easy, right?”

In the nonprofit world, direct mail is still king when it comes to generating revenue. This is one of the few industries in which this is the case, and I can confidently say it isn’t changing drastically in the near future. As a digital marketer, it’s fascinating to me because this sector seems ripe for the opportunity to shake up the industry with digital strategies and tactics.

After observing numerous nonprofit clients I’ve worked with, the implications are clear. A majority of individual donations come from older generations that have more disposable income and are more accustomed to responding to direct mail, as opposed to donating online. The more silent issue I see involves the culture of many nonprofits that hinders the advancement of digital fundraising.

CHALLENGES

The following is a roundup of five major challenges within the culture of many nonprofits that, if...

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Fundraising Roadmap: How To Prioritize Your Digital Fundraising Channels

fundraising nonprofit Feb 15, 2019

“If you had $10,000 to invest in your digital fundraising efforts, how would you invest it?”

This is a question I get a few times a year from different nonprofit clients. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer because it depends on overall fundraising strategy, technology, fundraising maturity, personnel and other factors. From a foundational standpoint, the way to prioritize your digital marketing channels is by the quickest path to the donation. This path will look different when comparing a startup community nonprofit versus an established international organization, but there are some sound approaches to prioritizing channels across any organization. The following order is one approach:

1. Your Website

This is your organization’s online home, where people will go to learn more about your cause. Just like your real house that you go home to at night, make sure it’s clean, in order and ready for company. You want your guests to have a good experience....

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Productivity: How to Gain 21 More Days in a Year (Includes Video)

personal development Apr 23, 2018

As life moves at the speed of Moore’s Law, many of us are vying to discover a rare treasure. Not gold. Not diamonds. Not even Bitcoin. I’m talking about time. The average American gets 6.8 hours of sleep a night. The 17.2 hours we spend awake each day are filled with necessary agenda items like commutes, meetings, work, eating, working out, running the kids to sports practices and more.

We’re over-scheduled and have become victims of time telling us what to do, as opposed to the other way around. There are, however, some areas where we spend unnecessary time. Think gaming, binge-watching TV and getting sucked into your smartphone. I’m going to give you a challenge that will make you 6% more productive, meaning 6% of your waking hours can be reclaimed toward fulfilling your purpose.

By The Numbers

First, let’s take a look at some numbers from ComScore’s U.S. Mobile App Report:

• 2.3 hours How much time we spend on phone apps on an...

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Use This 6-Step Process To Achieve Any Goal

personal development Oct 11, 2017

Goals are crucial to success in business and in your personal life. Yet they are sometimes neglected in both realms, as people often don’t follow goal-setting frameworks that provide continuity for business cycles and personal resolutions.

Over the past few years, I created the VOSTEK model, an acronym for vision, objectives, strategy, tactics, execution and key performance indicators. This is a model I have successfully used for setting goals in my personal life, as well as with Fortune 100 and nonprofit clients. I’ll break down each of the steps and explain how you can apply the VOSTEK model to goal generation in your marketing efforts.

1. Vision

At the top of my office whiteboard are the words, “It all starts with a vision.” It helps me remember that no matter what I do as a marketing professional, I need to keep the big picture in mind. Start with envisioning what it is that you want to accomplish. The vision is big and bold: it’s your blue sky,...

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What to do When Your Passion Isn’t Your Purpose

personal development Sep 18, 2017

In my last blog, I talked about the difference between passion and purpose. I discussed the sweet spot where your passion(s) in life meets your purpose.

But what do you do when your passion isn’t your purpose?

First, you have to recognize whether or not your passion is your purpose. If you don’t realize this key factor, then it will be more difficult to move from where you are right now. However, if you have come to the realization that your passion is not your purpose, then your passion might fall into the category of a hobby. Hobbies don’t have to be things like collecting stamps, building model airplanes, or playing video games. They could also be things like volunteering, traveling, and cooking. While something like volunteering has an outward impact, it may not necessarily fall into the category of “purpose.” Volunteering is the “what,” but purpose is the “why.” If you volunteer because you enjoy helping or serving...

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The Difference Between Passion & Purpose

personal development Aug 22, 2017

Passion = What’s so meaningful to you that you crave it and become enthusiastic about it; an inward impact

Purpose = What you were put on this earth to do; an outward impact

It’s happened to me, and I’ve seen it happen to people around me. We confuse something that’s a passion and believe it’s our purpose. Because we are unconsciously selfish and consumed with our passion, we automatically think that this must be what we were put on earth to do. For example, I have a passion for traveling and seeing the world, so my purpose must be to become a travel blogger, right? Maybe not.

Many Passions, One Purpose

The thing is, we can have many passions throughout our lives, but our purpose is singular. Our purpose is the result of what we do in this world to accomplish God’s vision for our life. People ask open-ended questions like “what are you passionate about?” This can have one or multiple answers. People don’t ask “what are...

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4 Steps to Get Unstuck in Life

personal development Aug 04, 2017

“Getting unstuck is a process. After all, it took you a while to weave the tangled webs that got you stuck in the first place.”

In my last post, I talked about 5 signs that you might be S.T.U.C.K. in life. It was doom, it was gloom, and offered no solution. This was intentional. Sometimes we need to sit with our own self and process where we are before we look for solutions. We need to try to understand our current environment, what caused it, what’s limiting us, and increase our self-awareness. When we do find ourselves stuck, all is not lost. You should pat yourself on the back because you recognize you’re stuck. For real. Without this awareness, you continue the same patterns that contributed to you getting stuck in the first place. Getting unstuck is a process. After all, it took you a while to weave the tangled webs that got you stuck in the first place.

The question is asked, “where do I begin?” Here are 4 ways to kick off the process of...

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5 Signs that You are Stuck in Life

personal development Jul 30, 2017

It happens to the best of us.

One day, you wake up and go through your day and realize that it seems just like the day before. And the day before that. And the day before that. In fact, you recognize that you’ve been kinda walking on this treadmill pattern of life. Taking steps every day, but advancing nowhere. Just going through the motions. You wake up, hop on the treadmill, and check out. Are you feeling like that? If so, here are 5 signs that you may be S.T.U.C.K. right now in life:

Struggling — Struggles can take many shapes. Let’s identify struggling as an ongoing hardship or difficulty. This could be anything from a bad relationship, ongoing difficulty or uncertainty at work, financial setbacks, or anything else that is an ever-present obstacle that’s hindering your forward motion in life. It’s like walking around with your shoelaces tied together. You can get where you’re going, but it’s going to take longer and with more...

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