Branding or Branded

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Long time readers may recall an article I wrote regarding a presentation on social networking I had given some years ago. Those were early days of social networking and most organizations were at the early stages of trying to make sense of what it meant for them. I felt then that we were at the very early stages of a transformative time, and that issues such as epistemology, community organization and definition, identity, authority, and much more were being redefined in ways as profound as the early days of modernity. A few years later, we are a bit further along, but it is clear that we aren’t there yet. A recent article in the NY Times about the surprisingly weak utilization of MOOCs, the overtly contentious issues regarding Mr. Snowden, the NSA, and what privacy does or doesn’t mean, the … [Read more...]

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About

Mercy Academy

by Irene Lehrer Sandalow During Open House season, schools are looking for ways to stand out among the crowd of institutions trying to reach prospective parents. Talking about a school’s “warm and nurturing community” and the “academic excellence” is only going to get the school so far. So what else can schools do to rise above all the noise? When we are faced with many choices, we often rely on word of mouth from friends in our social networks to help make our decisions. So it was clear to us at The Jewish Education Project that in order to promote the school in a unique way, we need to have the parents involved and we need to get the parents talking. As Bonnie Raitt writes and sings, “Let's give 'em somethin' to talk about.” Or in the 21st century version of this, let’s … [Read more...]

Are Nonprofits Directing Corporate Billions for Entrepreneurial Possibility?

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by Gary Wexler The New York Times reported on Sunday that Goldman Sachs donated $241 million to charity in 2012. That doesn't include the thousands of wealthy people whose money they manage and the amounts those people have given. Think about JP Morgan, Google, Microsoft, Starbucks, Edison, Gap and all those well-heeled community and family foundations. That's not to mention the donations big and small from millions of private individuals. Yes, charity is a big, big business floating in a pool of billions of dollars. What those corporations know. Those corporate donors are the ones who take entrepreneurial risks every day. They invest in technology and recognize that the Internet is its main driving force. They know that the Internet is more than anything, a communication tool. They know that … [Read more...]

What are Gmail and Yahoo Doing?!

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by Miriam Moser Yahoo is Recycling Old Emails Yahoo is cleaning house. In the next week they are closing down email accounts that have been inactive for 12 months or more, and in the coming months, letting new users take them. What does this mean for you? … [Read more...]

Should My Synagogue or Jewish Nonprofit Go on Facebook?

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by Robert Evans and Avrum Lapin “Social media” is a phrase that nonprofit leaders - Jewish or not - have discussed in some detail, especially in recent months. From the alleged success of crowd-funding sites and online giving to the preponderance of ways that nonprofits are urged to connect with constituents via Facebook and Twitter, social media as a communication tool has changed the way many organizations frame their messages and communicate with their constituents. But what is “social media” and why should we address this as a topic of conversation or strategy? What Social Media is and What it is Not In the simplest terms, social media is a system of “channels” that communicate information via an individual or an organization’s networks and groups. An umbrella term for any … [Read more...]

What’s A Woman To Do?

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In a new campaign by Jewish Women International (JWI), the organization has taken a number of provocative pop culture names, places and terms and created a campaign around them. Yes, they all eventually point to JWI’s work and an ask of women to join the organization, but along the way, they explore many of the most explosive, iconic and evocative terms facing politically engaged Jewish women and girls. The campaign begins: "For better or worse, motivational or controversial, these iconic names, terms and places each give us pause. Do you recognize them? You should. Jewish Women International does." … [Read more...]