We spoke with Krista Ranker to learn what online tools her development team has implemented to help make event communications and planning easier on her team. Here is what she had to say.
Let’s face it, very few of us have a career that stays within our loosely written job description, and most carry a workload that takes more than eight-hours a day to complete. This is the norm for me as a Development Assistant — a position I’ve only been in for one-year, but one that I’ve quickly had to adapt to. Before I started, I asked the Director if I should bring anything — she said “shoes, because you’ll hit the ground running”– she wasn’t kidding. However busy my day might be, I know that there is an array of online tools designed to help you use your time efficiently.
Social Media: We’re all aware of the change in communications from flyers to status updates and tweets, making it important that your social media presence remains constant. Make your posts short and sweet, and use photos old and new. From there, you can utilize reporting such as Facebook Insights or Google Analytics to determine which of your posts received the most feedback and during what time of day there was the most activity.
Something as simple as an online or paper calendar also helps in keeping ahead of significant dates related to your cause and organization. This will help you and your team schedule in advance as many communications as possible around important dates and events in the calendar year.
Remember that social media is a two-way street; it’s not just for advertising your organization. Make sure to post a video, an article or ask a question. This will add traffic to your social media site and get your audience engaged.
Eblasts: We all use them, make sure you share them to your social networks. I use OpenMoves and take advantage of not only their social sharing but also their support center and training webinars. Don’t be hesitant to ask questions or look for help.
Event Sites: When you get on board with a company such as Karma411, who provides online fundraising and event management solutions for nonprofits, you should feel relieved. Event sites allow you to more easily receive and track donations, sell event tickets and sponsorships and have supporters fundraise on your behalf through peer to peer sharing on their own social media sites. It’s a great way to not only generate more awareness and activity to your cause and event but to easily manage every last detail.
QR Codes: QR codes are scannable codes that you can put in your printed materials (save the date cards, invitations, posters), which connect the user through their smart phone to your digital web content, such as an event site. They’re a quick and interactive way to get your audience more engaged. You can easily search for an online QR code generator to create one. It’s free and it shows that your organization is on top of new technology.
Make sure to also search for local event sites where you can post your upcoming events on community calendars to further extend your audience and outreach.
The access to online tools is right at your fingertips. Take a little time out of your day to familiarize yourself with what some of these tools can do and both you and your organization will be eternally grateful for the results and peace of mind that they will bring.
–Krista Ranker is Development Assistant at a prominent not-for-profit organization on Long Island.