Yes, the Los Angeles Clippers really did change this series

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error And yes, they really did trail by 16 points with just over nine minutes remaining, only to mount a comeback for the ages to avoid the bottomless 3-1 pit they were about to fall into.Rather then returning to Oklahoma City for Game 5 Tuesday down and out and facing an elimination game, they soar back to Chesapeake Energy Arena backed with the momentum of an epic comeback that left breathless players searching for adjectives to describe.And the series tied two games apiece.“Surreal,” said guard Jamal Crawford.“Unreal,” echoed teammate Matt Barnes.“Unbelievable,” Glen “Big Baby Davis added.It was all of those things and everything else you can imagine.But here is one more: It is the launching pad that might just lift the Clippers past the Thunder, but only if they remain suspended in the rare air they elevated themselves to while mounting one of the most unlikely comebacks of all time.“This game brought us to a different level,” said Davis, who knows a few things about what it takes to win a championship, having been on the Boston Celtics team that beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals in 2008.“A bigger sense of urgency,” Davis explained. “How badly do we really want it?”Based on the extraordinary turn of events Sunday in which the Clippers got walloped so many times by the Thunder they needed a medic, not a standing eight count, only to unleash a late flurry of blows to send the Thunder tumbling to the canvas, urgency and want are no longer questioned.Only whether the Clippers can sustain it.“Hopefully we kind of remember what got us this win,” Griffin said, “It was our rotations defensively. It was the way we were talking, the way we believed. The ball just found an open man on offense.”But here is another question: How quickly can the Thunder rebound from the devastating aftereffects of blowing a win they held so tightly in their hands?One minute the Thunder led by 16 points against the listless Clippers, the next Darren Collison was squaring them up with 12 fourth-quarter points, Crawford was dropping a 3-point haymaker with 1:23 left and all of a sudden they trailed 97-95.One second the Thunder were on the verge of a 3-1 series advantage and heading home to close it out, the next they’re tied 2-2 knowing they have to return to Los Angeles for a Game 6.“We got to turn the page quickly,” said Thunder forward Kevin Durant. “Can’t get too high off of wins or too low after losses. Got to figure out what we did wrong, get better at it in Game 5.”Good luck with all that.The Clippers that Durant takes the floor against on Tuesday will be different mentally than the one that began Game 4.One now fueled by the belief they can withstand the heavy blows of Durant and Russell Westbrook and somehow find a way to survive.A team that understands it can reach beyond just Paul and Griffin to find important production at critical moments.The Clippers don’t win Sunday without the lift provided by Collison and Crawford.It wasn’t Paul hitting the 3-pointer that gave the Clippers their first lead late in the fourth quarter and it wasn’t Griffin who dropped in a layup with 32.8 seconds remaining to give the Clippers a 4-point cushion.That would be Crawford and Collison, a pair of reserves who delivered clutch performances with their teammates leaning heavily on them.“Everybody played their part, from Big Baby to (Deandre Jordan) to J.J.,” Crawford said. “It was a total team effort.”To think, we wondered if the Clippers had it in them to bounce back in Game 4 after losing Game 3 Friday.They didn’t just have it, they did so in a cunning, deliciously devilish way that makes us look at them differently than we ever have. And they look at themselves a little differently as well.Did that really happen indeed. Everyone in the building asked the same thing.And from the banks of the Pacific Ocean to the honky tonks lining the dusty streets of Oklahoma City, the same question kept swirling in the air.Did that really just happen?The answer is a resounding yes, of course. The Clippers actually did fall behind by 22 points in a must-win Game 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, only to come roaring all the way back for a stunning 101-99 victory that completely changes the complexion of this seven-game series.center_img The combination of brutal fatigue, euphoria, blaring music and 19,365 delirious fans dancing, singing and screaming around him had a distorting affect on J.J. Redick as he made his way off the court at Staples Center Sunday.Dazed, confused and a bit disoriented, Redick finally paused, took a breath and asked himself one very important question.“Did that really just happen?” the Clippers forward wondered.He wasn’t the only one.last_img read more

Network for Good DonateNow by the Numbers

first_imgDid you know that people gave more than $7 billion online to charity last year? With Network for Good’s DonateNow service, we can help your nonprofit get your share. DonateNow is an online donation processing service for nonprofits to accept credit card gifts on the web. And with a low monthly fee of only $49.95, online fundraising is now affordable for even the smallest organization.What You Get for $49.95/month1. Money for your mission!Our customers raise an average of $29 for every $1 they pay for our services. That’s great ROI. We wish we got that in the stock market!2. A Rolls-Royce donor experience for the price of a Kia!Our services cost a fraction of the priciest, most feature-rich options out there, yet they include nearly all the same options. Now that’s a deal. And remember, cheaper services generate far less in donations because they don’t reflect your brand. Another brand’s shopping cart lacks the warm-fuzzy feeling donors should get from supporting you!We give you:YOUR BRAND FRONT AND CENTER – A giving page that looks EXACTLY like your website that you get to customize in all kinds of waysMONTHLY GIFTS – Recurring giving options for steady fiscal support to youHAPPY DONORS – Cool features for donors like donating in honor of someone or designating their gift for a specific purpose – plus you can provide thank you gifts for generous donors.CUSTOM RECEIPTS – Customized receipts that will make your supporters smileINSTANT GRATIFICATION – Instant notification when your organization gets a donationALL THE NUMBERS – Great donation tracking reports3. What IRS auditors want!If you want to keep it legal in accepting online donations, you need to file registrations for receiving donations. At present, more than forty states require nonprofits to be registered! Nonprofits that solicit donations in a given state may be required to register as a charity in that state. Network for Good is a registered charity in all requiring states! (That being said, we do recommend that you also seek professional advice for your unique situation in complying with applicable laws governing charitable appeals in the respective states.)4. Control that’s fun to exercise!We want you to call the shots. With our services, YOU choose the look and feel of your giving page. YOU decide what donation amounts to request. YOU choose the language in your thank-you receipts. We think you know your donors best, so we give you the creative control – and we make it easy for you to exercise that control. Our tools are extremely simple to use – no technology expertise required.5. A marketing and customer service A-team!Along with our services, you get marketing/fundraising tips and training that are so good, it’s like having your own agency! Our nationally renowned marketing, sales and customer service team members and guest trainers – along with our online Learning Center – ensure you’ll get the dollars flowing on DonateNow. And if you’re ever stuck on a thing, a nonprofit expert at Network for Good is just a phone call or email away. We’re here to make you a smashing success.Ready to get started? Contact Us to learn more about DonateNowlast_img read more

How to Build Relationships and Achieve Fundraising Success in a Web 2.0 World

first_imgPresented October 10, 2008 at the The Technology in the Arts Conference in Pittsburgh. Download the slides [PDF] below.Social networking tools like Facebook, MySpace and blogs were the hot topic of the past year. So are they worth your time?  How can you fundraise successfully with Web 2.0?  Does using the Internet mean getting rid of your offline marketing tactics?Establishing your organization’s brand and presence on the Web, with opportunities for potential donors to learn, blog, question and connect, leads to community-building and, ultimately, long-term giving. Join Jono Smith, director of marketing at Network for Good, to learn how to build affinity for your organization and use your Web presence to turn Web visitors into Web donors.Session attendees will leave with:Practical tips for how (and why) to dive into online fundraisingAn understanding of the new “Web 2.0? model of online communicationsHow and why community-building works for fundraising, and how you can empower your supporters to become champions for your causeWhy Web 2.0 makes community-building easier for youSession Leader:Jono Smith is responsible for marketing Network for Good’s online fundraising services to nonprofit organizations.  Network for Good is a nonprofit organization that helps other nonprofits raise money and reach supporters online.  Network for Good has processed more than $200 million in donations for 30,000 nonprofits since its 2001 founding by AOL, Cisco and Yahoo!.  Prior to joining Network for Good, Jono spent eight years at SunGard Higher Education, where he was responsible for managing the company’s marketing efforts in Europe and the Middle East.  Jono also held marketing and sales positions at SCT and Campus Pipeline, before their acquisitions by SunGard.  Prior to this, Jono served in the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of White House Communications.  Jono holds an undergraduate degree in English from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  In his personal time, Jono has raised over $10,000 for AIDS vaccine research.last_img read more

Talking vs. Doing: Inversely Proportional!

first_imgThe above is by Chas: Read more at Talking vs. Doing. (My board members talk AND do, by the way, but I’m just lucky I guess!)Sorry I haven’t blogged lately. Like Chas’s graph, I’ve been talking rather than doing — giving speeches, to be exact. I spoke at the Grantmakers in the Arts conference in Atlanta yesterday and I’m delivering the keynote at the NC Nonprofits conference tomorrow morning.If you like this chart, you’re in for a treat. The Chart Fun Blog Carnival Extravaganza is here! Stay tuned – in about two hours it will be up here on the blog.last_img read more

10 Strategies for Recession Fundraising

first_imgThe Chronicle of Philanthropy has a great series up right now with 10 things to do now, to raise money during the downturn. You need a subscription to read the full articles but here’s their list. It is based on interviews with a variety of organizations. Some of these are back-to-basics ideas, which is what a lot of people are focusing on. Others are about being  frugal and innovative. All excellent ideas these days.Don’t treat giving as a financial transaction. Tell donors how their giving is making the world a better place and don’t just focus on the perks they will receive (e.g. “you get a newsletter and four free tickets” — this is especially important for arts organizations).Keep close ties to donors. Don’t make your only contact with donors be solicitations. Focus on thanking and showing impact. Find ways to let donors see the impact for themselves.Offer matching grants. Ask a loyal donor or funder to provide the match.Ask donors to give monthly. ‘Nuff said.Look for ways to save money on fundraising. Trim special event expenses or eliminate programs that aren’t serving you well. Look for ways to move your communications online. Freeze salaries. Renegotiate with your vendors and consultants (don’t know about this one!).Seek alternatives to soliciting private donations. Can you rent some of your space to another organization? Start a social enterprise? Develop a cause-marketing partnership with a corporation?Collaborate to raise money. You can have greater impact and generate more attention by working with others. For example, ten grassroots organizations serving people with disabilities could put on one large event instead of each having their own. They would probably raise more, hold a better event and get more attention than doing it alone.Scale back ambitious campaigns, but don’t give up on them. You may have to scale back on the goal or increase the length of your “quiet phase” where the lead gifts are solicited.Avoid emergency solicitations. Asking donors to bail you out or save you from impending demise is not an appealing message — who wants to invest in an organization on the brink of collapse? Instead, tell people how the economy is hurting the people you serve and the issues you work on.Shore up relations with grant makers. It is going to take some time before endowment-based funders can get back to decent levels of giving, but that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to them. Be on their list when giving resumes, by being in touch and continuing to show them you are making a difference. Source: http://blueprintfundraising.com/the-fundit/last_img read more

Nonprofit Home Page Tips

first_imgSource: Gayle C. Thorsen, Best Practices Nonprofit Web Site Design ebook Can you communicate in a few seconds what you do and why it’s important?Your nonprofit home page is a crucial introduction to your organization. Within a few seconds, a first-time user should understand the purpose and usefulness of your site. Your home page should show how your nonprofit website can meet the user’s needs; highlight your richest, most current content; and demonstrate your positive impact on society.Your home page (and all other pages) should load very quickly. Don’t use an introductory “splash” page or flash animation.Your mission statement and the word “welcome” should not be on your home page.Strive for simplicity and clarity in design. Your home page should be attractive and engaging, but uncluttered.Put your logo at the top of the home page and on every page on your site. It should always be linked to your home page.A one-sentence tagline on your home page should explain what you do and how you differ from others doing the same.An About Us link should be clearly available for users who want to know more about you.There should be a compelling, local photograph (not a stock shot) that echoes your tagline on your home page. The photo should have alt text and a message-rich caption.Contents are hierarchically arranged to match an F eye-movement pattern. Jakob Nielsen shows how readers tend to scan Web sites by moving left to right across the top of the page, then left to right slightly below the top of the page, then vertically top to bottom on the left side of the page-in a pattern resembling an F. Think about that pattern when placing your most important content.Links on your home page should quickly show readers what actions they can take on the site. Make it easy for them to find the answers to their questions.Share examples of your most interesting, recent site content. There should be a place to glimpse your latest news.There should be a place where people can sign up for your email newsletter. It’s critical to also include a large, colorful donate button.Make strategic use of keywords to make your home page more attractive to search engines.Let users know about your social media presences without distracting them with too many badges and widgets.If you offer an intranet, make sign-in easy to find and easy to use (no more than one click).Offer a site search option with a search box that’s 27 characters wide on every page.Put essential contact information on every page.last_img read more

Storybanking: A Bank That Always Builds Interest

first_imgInvesting time now in building your storybank can ensure your people will always find the right story when they need it.When good causes realize that storytelling can enhance advocacy, fundraising, recruitment and just about everything they do, they start looking for stories everywhere. Staff retreats are held exclusively to collect stories. Board members and volunteers are interviewed to mine their experiences. Web sites are updated with “Tell Us Your Story” pages where members and others can post their anecdotes.Collectively, these processes can yield dozens (if not hundreds) of stories, which presents an entirely new challenge: once you’ve got ’em, where do you put ’em? The answer is a storybank, which can take many forms but generally serves one purpose: to provide a central repository where you can easily and quickly find a story that enlivens whatever point you want to make.We asked readers for best practices in storybanking so we could share them here. Many responded and we built on this feedback with new research of our own. The lessons learned are below, and through it all one message kept coming back loud and clear. If you’re serious about storytelling, get serious about building your own storybank. Stories can be a powerful tool, but they can’t help you if you can’t find them when you need them.Building it doesn’t have to be complicated or costly.If you haven’t started a storybank due to concerns over technical hurdles or huge start-up costs, stop worrying and start building. Some of the organizations that responded to our request had their IT departments whip up a simple proprietary database. Others got a little fancier – with built-in content management, online collection tools, and cross-referencing with photos – but one respondent simply set up a single folder (containing categorized subfolders) on her company’s intranet while another started with just an Excel spreadsheet.Two of the best articles about building a storybank and collecting stories come from FamiliesUSA. Although the organization focuses on health care issues, its tips are applicable for any good cause actively soliciting stories. “The Art of Story Banking” [PDF below] and “The Story Bank: Using Personal Stories as an Effective Way to Get Your Message Out” [PDF below] both offer clear step-by-step guides to help you get started.Collecting stories can also be simple and cheap.Some organizations solicit stories by advertising in internal newsletters and mailing lists. Others send out postcards advertising the URL of their online story bank where individuals could post their own stories. Brandon Seng of the Michigan Nonprofit Association strongly endorses the online approach since it eliminates faxing, transcribing, and other time-intensive activities.The Literacy Volunteers of Tucson used SurveyMonkey to collect information about the quality of their services from volunteers, tutors and students. The survey included some open-ended questions (e.g., “What can you do now that you couldn’t do before?”) and many respondents filled in these boxes with personal success stories.Cathy Beaumont of the University of British Columbia’s development office combs through various publications produced by the school and staff and tells us, “There’s no shortage of material.” On average, she finds two new stories per month to add to UBC’s online story bank.As part of her job as a communications officer at PATH, Teresa Guillien actually goes into the field for two weeks every year and produces six or seven stories per trip. She is accompanied by a consultant (a former NBC journalist), a videographer and a photographer and travels to various countries to interview people face to face.It’s not just about fundraising.Most organizations assume that stories support development, which is true, but we heard from many who were using stories in a variety of ways:The University of British Columbia uses stories to demonstrate to donors the school’s diversity. The Michigan Nonprofit Association uses stories to train staff and help them better understand the work of the organization. The Literacy Volunteers of Tucson uses them in volunteer recruitments and orientations “to give more humanity to the project,” according to Lisa Kemper.Jim Gangl from St. Louis County Public Health & Human Services told us his organization consisted of employees at the end of long careers mixed with younger ones just starting out. “Because there isn’t much in the middle,” he said, “we need stories to convey our experience.”And just this week we heard from an aquarium that was looking to tell stories on the labels of exhibits to create a more engaging experience for visitors. You may find entirely new ways to use stories, but first you have to find the stories and keep them in a safe, easily accessible place. So build your storybank and watch it build more interest in everything you do.To see a sampling of online storybanks:League of Women VotersBoston Youth Environmental NetworkAmerican Cancer Society (video story bank) To see how organizations collect stories online:FamiliesUSAMedicare Rights CenterBarack Obama – Share Your Story About the Economic Crisis(Thanks to Cathy Beaumont, Jim Gangl, Teresa Guillien, Lisa Kemper, and Brandon Seng for their assistance in writing this story.)About Andy GoodmanAndy Goodman is a nationally recognized author, speaker and consultant in the field of public interest communications. Along with Storytelling as Best Practice, he is author of Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes and Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes. He also publishes a monthly journal, free-range thinking, to share best practices in the field.Andy is best known for his speeches and workshops on storytelling, presenting, design and strategic communications, and has been invited to speak at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton, as well as at major foundation and nonprofit conferences. He currently serves on the faculty of the Communications Leadership Institute, which trains nonprofit executive directors and grantmakers.In 2007, Al Gore selected Andy to train one thousand volunteers who are currently helping the former Vice President engage more Americans in the fight against global warming. In 2008, Andy co-founded The Goodman Center to offer online versions of his workshops and additional communications and marketing classes to nonprofits, foundations, government agencies and educational institutions across the U.S. and worldwide. When not teaching, traveling, or recovering from teaching and traveling, Andy also serves as a Senior Fellow for Civic Ventures and is on the advisory boards of VolunteerMatch and Great Nonprofits.For more information, visit: www.agoodmanonline.com Resource made available in part due to the support of the Surdna Foundationlast_img read more

How to get board members raising bucks for you

first_imgI recently had the folks behind the oldie but goodie, The Raising of Money (circa 1983, since updated) reach out with a nice offer for you – a free electronic copy of their first edition here.It’s been around awhile, but like all good wisdom it still holds up.Here’s a promo of the book from their marketing folks:Every seasoned fundraising professional knows two things: First, face-to-face cultivation of personal relationships is the proven path to attracting large investments — the gifts that can be game-changers for your organization. Second, board members and other volunteers are the best messengers, especially once they’ve made their own investments in the cause.They also know that tying those two threads together can seem a daunting challenge. Even the most dedicated volunteers often shy away from direct involvement in raising money.So for decades, fundraising pros have relied on a “little blue book” to inspire and inform their boards: The Raising of Money, 35 Essentials Every Trustee Should Know, by Jim Lord.In just 108 brief pages, this “executive summary” gives board members the fundamentals of raising money. And the lessons it contains are every bit as relevant today as when it was first published in 1983:* Work from the perspective of the marketplace, instead of the organization’s internally defined agenda and “needs.” * Focus on providing satisfaction and fulfillment for the donor, rather than “selling” them what the organization has to offer.* Authentically involve people in the life of the organization. (The best way to attract top-notch volunteers and donors, especially now.)And most important of all: Kindle the spirit of philanthropy. “Our mission is to provide people with opportunities to do great things … to challenge and inspire them … to involve them in enterprises that will make life better for our generation, and future generations. If we can succeed in this, we won’t have to be too concerned about raising money. ”Again, the first edition of The Raising of Money is available to you, dear blog reader, as a free download at http://www.theraisingofmoney.com.last_img read more

The 500th Post: 16 Nonprofit Marketing (and Life) Lessons from You

first_imgThis, dear readers, is my 500th post here on Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog. I wanted to make it extra special and wise, so I decided I’d better not be the one writing it. A couple of weeks ago here and on Twitter, I asked you to contribute to this post with the one piece of wisdom that you wish you’d known at the start of your nonprofit marketing and fundraising efforts – or the lesson you keep finding yourself forgetting. Here are 16 gems from you – each of which I’ve named in honor of the contributor. If some of these sound like common sense, good. That’s the funny thing about common sense – it’s rather uncommon in this world. Thanks for sharing everyone – and for reminding me of some things that are far too easy to forget amidst the daily grind.Nancy’s rule: Reflect first.Think before you act! It’ll save you endless frustration, time and money… and ensure you’re doing the most with the marketing & fundraising resources you have.Nancy SchwartzJoel’s rule: But don’t reflect too long. It’s never going to be perfect anyway.You can’t get good without practice. If you stay behind your desk, waiting to “get good” before going out to tell your story, you’ll never “get good.” You MUST go out and present people with the chance to get involved with your cause, way before you’re comfortable doing so, and certainly before you’re “good” at it.Joel PrestonThomas’s rule: Pay attention to what you do right – and wrong.My input for your 500th post is my personal philosophy about life in general and fundraising in particular: “Do what works.” If you don’t know what works, research what has worked (and not worked) for others. Once you start trying things, pay attention to what brings positive results and what brings negative results. Hang onto the things that bring positive results and let go the ones that bring negative results. Finally, remember that everything changes, so what worked today may not work tomorrow. You must always keep your eye on the ball.Thomas RobinsonTony’s law of targetingIt’s not about being everything to everyone; It’s about crafting a clear, concise, and radically different organization that means much to a select few.Tony PantelloTamsen’s rule of originalityKnow what and who you are, and be the best of that you can be. So many non-profits spend all their time trying to be some other non-profit. But why be a copycat? Copies always lose resolution.Tamsen McMahonLaws of the Audience by Amy, Taryn and ZanMy piece of wisdom is that in direct mail fundraising, you, the mailer, are not the audience.Amy TripiKnow your audience and adapt your message to them to maximize effect.Taryn BaranowskiAudience, audience, audience. Always think about what they care about, are dealing with, are motivated by. You (communications pro) might be part of that audience, but you must always be thinking outside of yourself. Start every email, every newsletter article or blog post, with an a specific person in mind that you are trying to reach.Zan McColloch-Lussier Jeremy’s rule of relationshipsDon’t just market and fundraise to people, connect with their passions and forge relationships—a donation to your cause is nice, but a supporter of your cause is better.Jeremy Sony Elizabeth on StorytellingTell a good story. I can’t emphasize enough to my nonprofit clients how important it is to tell stories about their work instead of talk about themselves. Here are some ideas on what makes a good story.Elizabeth TurnbullNiels’ Advice: Think like a 14 year old.I learned this when I was fourteen and then I forgot again. Don’t ask me why. Go door to door, explain why you are knocking on their door and ask for their help. I you believe in your cause, you will find many other who do too. What advantage does a fourteen year old have? When you say you believe in something, people tend to believe you. So, what do you need to do to make people believe you? I don’t think it is about the clever packaging, but about the passion of your conviction.Niels TeunisSergio: Be passionate.Giving is not only talking about money. Giving is also doing something with your heart.Sergio FelterAmy’s Rule of constructive dispassionA nonprofit organization is still a business. Don’t ignore those business “tru-isms” because you think they don’t apply to a charity. One of my professors once said that most nonprofits fail because its run by someone who has great passion for the cause–but little business sense. If you’ve got passion – that’s the hard part, just bring some business skills into it and you’ve got the major pieces for success!Amy ShropshireClover: Forever young (or dead)Reach out to young people (for volunteers, board members, staff, etc.) or you will surely die as your supporters do.Clover FrederickKaren’s Rule: Don’t try to do it all.Twitter, Facebook, blogging, newsletters, e-mail blasts, brochures, press releases, internal communication, etc. You can’t do it all. Figure out what you must do and what you can do well that will set you apart, master those, and stay focused.Karen WashbushBarb’s Last Word: Take the long view.It takes time. I keep forgetting that.Barb McMahonlast_img read more