Nonprofit Network Blog

Technology Tips

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 12:30 PM | Deleted user

Top 10 Technology Takeaways

(A Recap of the Nonprofit Network’s Tech Expo)

By Rebecca Caulkins, Public Relations and Technology Manager, Experience Jackson

The Nonprofit Network’s Inaugural Tech Expo was quite a success. Everyone walked away with something valuable, whether that was something they’d like to start doing, something they’d like to stop doing or something they would start doing differently.

Speakers from Bloomerang, Data Driven Detroit, Courtland Consulting, RjM and Highway T presented on a variety of technology related topics including: making advocacy maps with Google Fusion Tables, social media for nonprofits, Microsoft 365, Google AdWords, and cloud security and ethics.

Unique to this event were the short tech talks that gave 15 minute snippets of each topic. These optional previews gave attendees the opportunity to choose the sessions on their top priority list or spend that time interacting with vendors.

My Top 10 Technology Takeaways:

1.  Use interactive Google Maps and Google Fusion Tables to spend time with data and have  an important visual for grant writing.

2.      Of 9000 small to medium nonprofits surveyed, 20% spend less than an hour on social media and 40% spend 1-2 hours on social media. 

3.      45% find social media very valuable, yet 65% have no strategies for social media marketing. 

4.      Create a separate Google UTM code for each media to track data in Google Analytics. (UTM codes are little snippets of text added to the end of your URL to help you track the clicks of your ads on the web.) 

5.      Learn how to harness online advocates offline by engaging with your online champions individually and in other avenues.

6.      Three types of nonprofit social media posts are: appreciation, advocacy and appeals. 

7.      Donor retention rate is a very important statistic. After first donation the rate is 22. 9%, but after second donation the rate raises to 60%. Acknowledge that first gift within 7 days.

8.      Follow the “You Test” when writing appeals: Always have more “You” statements than “I” or “We”.

9.      Google Ad Grants are available to nonprofits for up to $2 Cost Per Click and up to $10,000 a month.

10.   Use action verbs when writing you ads. For example, “Click here for…” 


Rebecca Calkins, Public Relations and Technology Manager for Experience Jackson manages the social media on Facebook /ExperienceJackson and Twitter @ExperienceJxn as well as a monthly eNewsletter. Rebecca grew up in Jackson and returned after attending college at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. When not working, she enjoys cooking and traveling and is always looking for the "next culinary or cultural adventure." 

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