Why Every Philanthropist Should Be Active on Twitter


By Jay Ruderman A fellow philanthropist recently confided in me that he’s never sure if his philanthropic dollars are making a difference. “Sometimes it feels like it’s all going down the drain,” he said. While he continually received from his grantees metrics, benchmarks, and data about how his dollars were being put to good use, he mused, “If I’ve really made such a big difference, why do there never seem to be any sustainable solutions?” Maybe the desperation for return on investment would be lessened if we philanthropists spent more time away from our Ivory Towers and more time with the end-users of our dollars, getting to know their challenges. Like all things worth doing, philanthropy requires getting your hands dirty. A good starting point would be for the philanthropist to interact … [Read more...]

Tips to Increase Member Engagement

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By Molly Ritvo An engaged, involved community is a vibrant and thriving one. To help keep your community thriving, we have some tips to keep engagement alive in your organization: 1. Thank your members! No matter how small or large, every donation needs to be recognized and thanked. Your members won’t keep supporting your organization if they aren’t thanked the first time and every time. A good rule of thumb is that a donor should be thanked in multiple ways by multiple people, as well as told how their donation was used before being asked for another gift. And, because donations can be monetary as well as time, a thank you for volunteering, like the thank you for a monetary contribution, can have a big impact when it comes to community building. 2. Create a board of directors focused on … [Read more...]

It’s Official: Chabad.org Facebook Page Tops 100,000 ‘Likes’


Content attracts followers from all over the world, who have responded to the content postings By Karen Schwartz Tuesday, Feb. 3 wasn’t just any day for the Chabad.org Facebook page. For one, it was the start of 15 Shevat that evening - the New Year of the Trees. If that wasn’t enough to celebrate, that same day also made a bit of Chabad history: It counted 100,000 Facebook users who had clicked the Like button. The milestone highlights Chabad.org’s ongoing role in current and emerging platforms to reach people around the world. “Thank G-d, we’ve been blessed with an engaged community - 100,000 people who want to learn, want to share and want to explore Judaism online,” says Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone, the 30-year-old social-media editor at Chabad.org. “I think it’s a chance to reflect … [Read more...]

Pew Releases Social Media Update


In a new survey conducted in September 2014, the Pew Research Center finds that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site. While its growth has slowed, the level of user engagement with the platform has increased. Other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn saw significant increases over the past year in the proportion of online adults who now use their sites. Facebook’s large base of users continues to be very active. Fully 70% engage with the site daily (and 45% do so several times a day), a significant increase from the 63% who did so in 2013. About half (49%) of Instagram users and 17% of Pinterest users engage with their respective platforms daily, although neither of these represent a significant change from 2013. Some 36% of Twitter users visit the site … [Read more...]

Building Bridges and Promoting a Legacy of Unity

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By Ayala Young In the 18 days between the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Sha'ar, and Naftali Fraenkel and the revelation of their untimely deaths, an unprecedented wave of heightened solidarity overtook Jews in Israel and around the world. The #BringBackOurBoys campaign, the leading social media and activism campaign behind the solidarity efforts, took on a life of its own and generated numerous rallies, charities and learning initiatives aimed at easing the pain of the boys' families and the nation at large. Upon hearing that the boys had been murdered, the ongoing "rescue" efforts came to a screeching halt. There was a sense of emptiness and helplessness that left Jews everywhere wanting to “do something” to help. “We realized that despite the harrowing events of those first few … [Read more...]

Growing Jewish Identity on the Platforms the World is Moving Onto


By Abigail Pickus When Mordechai Lightstone attended the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) in 2010 to speak about ‘Judaism 2.0,’ he packed a little something else in his suitcase besides his clothes. “We bought kosher meat in New York and brought it with us,” said the 29-year-old social media director for Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters who, with his wife, Chana, traveled to Austin from their home in Brooklyn with the plan of throwing a one-off kosher bbq. Little did they know that their bbq, which they initially tweeted as an open invitation for one and all, would soon become a SXSW tradition. Today, #openShabbat, which bills itself as an “unplugged Sabbath,” now attracts upwards of 150 people - many of whom are participants in the popular conference on emerging technology. … [Read more...]

The New Wild West – Staffing Nonprofits in the Age of Social Media

What skills are now necessary for nonprofit professionals navigating the new Wild West of virtual communications? by Jennifer Thorne In a recent survey of 266 nonprofit organizations conducted by association management company Virtual, Inc., 82% of respondents reported having a presence on Facebook. 54% were on Twitter, with LinkedIn and YouTube also popular, at 49% and 42% respectively. And M+R and the Nonprofit Technology Network's 2014 Nonprofit Benchmarks Study of 53 top nonprofits revealed that online giving rose 14% in 2013, making it the best year ever for social media messaging. With results like those, it's no wonder that communications and development departments are investing more and more in internet-savvy staff members. But amid a constantly shifting online landscape of … [Read more...]

Informing Ourselves: The 2014 Social Media Marketing Report


I love benchmarks - it guides our industry and those of us working in it. A good set of benchmarking data informs future social media marketing decisions and helps us to rethink others. Social Media Examiner recently released the 2014 Social Media Marketing Report detailing how 3,025 business marketing professionals conduct social media marketing activities. The report reveals what platforms marketers are using, how much time they are spending on them, the perceived return on investment, what marketing jobs they outsource, and which marketing activities complement social media. How much time should we spend on social media? I’ve written that the “minimum viable” social media presence for an organization is a .25 FTE. NTEN’s 2012 Nonprofit Social Benchmarking Report confirmed that the majority … [Read more...]