Thanksgiving may be over and Chanukah is winding down, but it's ALWAYS a good time to show your organization’s supporters how grateful you are to have them onboard.
Just like receiving a handwritten note is a lot more special than a text message “thx,” getting personal with your supporters, and letting them know how each contribution is having an impact, is a great way to show them you really care.
There are so many creative directions to explore — but here are some fun ideas for going the extra nine yards in saying thanks to your biggest cheerleaders:
Personalized thank you video
Every year, charity: water staffers get in front of the camera to say thank you — dedicating videos to the class of 3rd graders who donate their lunch money and the bloggers who get the word out about their crowdfunding campaigns. It looks like they’re having a blast producing this series — and it’s a great way to retain supporters and keep them engaged.
Connect support to impact
A striking infographic is a great way to illustrate how the money you’ve raised this year is being put to use in the field. Connect the dots between clicking donate in your email inbox and tangible outcomes on the ground — and get ready to brainstorm some evocative analogies for your work.
A personal note
Bring your supporters together with the people who are seeing your impact firsthand. Maybe your organization works with refugees, or vulnerable children, or homeless families — let your constituents and staffers share, in their own words, how much the support of your donors means to them. You can forward their note in an email, or collect short video testimonials to share — like these messages from Nature Conservancy scientists around the world.
Saying thank you isn't just a nice thing to do — many organizations, like the International Rescue Committee, see a real return on investment when they share messages of gratitude with their donors.
We hope this gives you a jumping off point for putting together a heartfelt thank you campaign. And to all of our clients and friends of See3 and Darim Online, thank you, so much, for the work you do to make our world a better place.
What's the best thank-you you ever received from an organization? What made it so special for you?
It's time for our Monday web favorites, and there is much light to share over Chanukah...
First up: We love the #unselfie campaign! A bit of background...as of last year, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been declared "Giving Tuesday," to change the focus from buying and acquiring on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to giving back and thankfulness. (Fun fact, this was started by the folks at the 92Y in New York.) Meanwhile, the term "selfie" was chosen as the 2013 "word of the year." This year, Giving Tuesday added this cool #unselfie campaign, to get people taking pictures of themselves (or of their faces behind a sign they made) saying/showing what they're doing to give back. Taking and posting an #unselfie could be a great activity for a teen group, for a family to do together, for a synagogue staff to do as a group. It's quick and fun activity to help share the light at Chanukah, and tap into a broader online campaign/conversation.
And our next selection: Another great opportunity has come up for tomorrow, this one on the professional development side. The talented and vivacious Deborah Grayson Riegel is offering a free teleconference on giving effective feedback, Dec. 3rd, 2-3pm Eastern. Click here for details and to sign up.
Finally: We've got one more example of a lovely campaign we wanted to share - Shira Kline, also known as Shirlala, is using the eight nights of Chanukah to run a "Be the Shamash" (the candle that lights all the other candles on the menorah) campaign. It's a great example of using your social media to highlight that sweet spot where the things you care about and the things that matter to your community come together and shine. Hosting these kinds of mini-campaigns on your Page, or through any social media outlet, helps keep you at the front of your community's mind. That way, when you're ready to tell them about an event or other offer, they're already listening.
What have been your favorite things on the web recently? Share them in comments, or with Miriam through email, and they could appear here next week! Happy Chanukah, everyone!
Top image credit: GivingTuesday Facebook Page
It’s video, video, video on this week’s edition of web favorites! Watch on...
Bob Dylan fans and media buffs, rejoice! The first official video for Dylan's classic song “Like a Rolling Stone” was just released, and Wired Magazine calls it “an interactive masterpiece.” The video allows viewers to flip through channels on a “television,” only every program features characters (many of whom you will recognize) lip-synching the words to the song. This format is strangely engaging, with its simultaneous retro and tech-forward feel. Take a break and flip channels. (Our take-away for Jewish communal professionals? It validates the many ways to engage with and experience "tradition" - no right or wrong, better or worse. For lack of a better analogy, this is a great embodiment of "peoplehood". There's something in here about the diversity and user control of the exploration...it's inviting. There's more to explore and learn here; as this technology develops, the cultural implications may get richer.)
- On a different note, Jewish educator and technologist Russel Neiss recently created this provocative video combining a recent presentation on blended learning and B. F. Skinner’s 1954 “learning machine.” It’s worth watching with a colleague, not only for the content and the discussion it may spur, but as a great example of the power and implications of mashup culture:
- And finally, the latest work from the talented folks over at G-dcast, a Havdalah Karaoke video made in collaboration with Moishe House, is a visually and musically lovely way to close out Shabbat and welcome the new week. It's the first in a three-part series of similar videos. Not only might these videos be a useful tool for your community, but they're a great example of both an unlikely and beautiful collaboration, and how technology might help us be more welcoming in our communities for folks of all comfort levels with prayer and ritual. Enjoy, and have a great week!
Have web favorites you're dying to share? Let us know in the comments, or send them to Miriam via email and they may just show up here next week!
What are you thankful for this week? I'm thankful for this catchy Facebook post from Shannon Hall and her team at the Sarah & Irving Pitt Child Development Center of JCC Metro Detroit. With the discovery that the most popular posts on their page were the photo collages, and knowing that the children would be focused on giving thanks in celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving (and Chanukah!) holidays, the team developed this creative idea. Using smart phones, the team snapped a few photos of children, noted what they were thankful for, and added the speech bubbles using the free PicSay app for Android phones. For iPhone users, the free app Bubble works great, too.
Then, in order to attract more attention then they would have by posting the photos individually, they collaged three responses into one photo using PicsArt, another free app for Android, iPhone users, check out the free and easy to use PicStitch. The result was a playful, eye catching photo.
They combined with photo with an invitation to a week long game. Comment on the post and they'd ask your child next. And comment they did! Parents responded with curiosity about what their own child might say, and also added their own grateful comments. The result is a community expression of gratitude, perfect for the week before Thanksgiving.
What was the strategy behind the team's thinking? As part of their work in this year's Jewish Early Childhood Social Media Academy organized by the Alliance for Jewish Education at the Jewish Federation of Detroit, the team wanted to celebrate the children and families within their preschool program in order get the word out to the larger community about their offerings. Their strategy is to encourage their current actively involved on Facebook parents to inspire others to join the fun. Focusing on organic, fun, and engaging posts, their Facebook page has been a model of successful early childhood engagement.
In addition to achieving this immediate goal, creating social content that gets people to comment increases your "weight" in the Facebook algorithm. Your content is therefore more likely to show up in the newsfeeds of others who have liked the page, which leads to more engagement, which sets a very positive snowball in motion.
How are you stewarding a culture of thankfulness and engagement on your Facebook Page?
Happy Monday, everyone! Let’s kick off the week with some of the best of the web…
Don’t Plan Conferences, Disrupt Them!
Esther Kustanowitz is a treasure trove of wisdom, insight, and fun when it comes to social media (and many other things). Her recent opinion piece in Haaretz is a must-read for any conference, event, or program planner. Check out “Seven ways to disrupt a Jewish conference” here.
This article on making conferences more interactive is also a useful companion to Esther’s piece.
JEDLAB Webinar: “The $54k Strategy, Step 2”
If you haven’t caught wind of JEDLAB just yet, just wait for the network to do its thing. This growing group of Jewish communal professionals is experimenting with conversation and collaboration on a significant scale, across institutions, regardless of hierarchy and role, and now the group is hosting its first webinar. The theme of undervalued Jewish professionals and the “$54,000 Strategy” is based on this article written by Mark Young, which (originally published in the Journal of Jewish Communal Service) generated a lot of traction on EJewishPhilanthropy, and across social networks, and the conversation continues today - most recently with the upcoming webinar.
From the Facebook event:
Join us to think forward about effecting change in our professional communities as we reflect on a series of pieces about building professional leadership.
Together, we will grapple with the big ideas in Young's piece and elevate them in a public forum, giving us all room for debate and a chance to dig deeper into the core ideas that are moving the conversation. We hope to explore strategic efforts and coalition building that will enable us to take appropriate next steps to move this conversation forward.
Mark Young, JTS
and partners in dialogue
Liz Fisher, Birthright NEXT
Jonathan Krasner, HUC
Ken Gordon, PEJE
Sara Shapiro-Plevan, Rimonim Consulting
Get Ready for Giving Tuesday
#GivingTuesday™ (#GT) is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The second annual GivingTuesday is on December 3, 2013. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, we want the giving community to come together for #GivingTuesday. We ask that partners create and commit to a project for/on #GivingTuesday and then help spread the word to their networks.
#GivingTuesday represents an amazing opportunity for the American Jewish community to engage our communities in tzedakah and tikkun olam. And the #GivingTuesday website offers some great tips and resources to help nonprofits get involved.
Have a web favorite to share? Send it our way via the comments, or email it directly to Miriam, and it could be featured next time!
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Dan Mendelsohn Aviv
Rabbi Ed Bernstein