An interesting study by the Case Foundation shows how nonprofits are using email and social websites to reach potential donors. Surprisingly, regular websites (with email links) are the most important communication tools, even though 97% of all nonprofits also maintain a Facebook page. Closer investigation indicates that this is because the point of the communication for many nonprofits is getting people to donate, which is easier to facilitate via email or a “Donate” button on the website.
Most nonprofits use social media networks as a “megaphone” to announce activities and events and share information, but not so much for soliciting donations. The majority of nonprofits believe that there is no way to benchmark the average engagement rate with social media.
Here are some tips from the nonprofit world on engaging your community more effectively:
- Share posts that are in the form of a question to generate likes, comments, and shares.
- Make sure your nonprofit’s website and newsletter are mobile-friendly.
- Use lots of infographics, photos, and videos, especially of your donors and your community. Check out Visual.ly for more information.
- Use an editorial calendar to stay on top of who in your office posts what and when. A diverse team generates different voices and styles and keeps posts interesting.
For more information please visit Nonprofit Quarterly.
This must have been our night for storefronts. The final question came from one of the attendees who already has an eBay presence and is now looking for ways to expand.
Storenvy is, at first glance, just another application that lets you build a stand-alone online store to sell your stuff. It includes all the major shipping companies, payment options, blah blah blah.
However, unlike Etsy and Shopify and the others, Storenvy links together thousands of stores (from tiny little one-person shops to major retailers) and creates a virtual shopping mall on the Internet. Probably most important, you can set up a Storenvy presence on Facebook and your products and services will reach that many more eyeballs. And it’s free, for the most part. Some premium options come with a fee.
Another question from the same class. Woo Commerce is an e-commerce toolkit that you can use to add a storefront to a WordPress-based website. Click here to watch the introductory video. It looks pretty cool.
However, if you have uncommon needs, like the ability to sell and ship to addresses outside the U.S., check carefully that Woo Commerce can support them. You can waste a lot of time and some money getting set up, and then discover the cart doesn’t work for your customers (which one of our clients discovered after installing a well-reviewed cart).
Members of the last class asked about networking on Staten Island. We recommend that you check out the Entrepreneur’s Club of Staten Island. Here’s the announcement for their next meeting:
We are having an Entrepreneurs of Staten Island General Meeting on Tuesday, March 18th, at 6:30 PM. Please consider attending.
The Next BIG THING For Business
the Club that works specifically for the Entrepreneur
Maximize Success Though Collaboration with Like-Minded Individuals
An organization run by its members
Finally all the resources you need to succeed
Our meeting is:
Tuesday March 18th, 6:30 PM
168 New Dorp Lane
Staten Island, NY
We will be discussing The Buy Local on Staten Island program, Spring business events and more. We ask that all members bring their own marketing materials to put out on tables. We will allow members to announce their business at this event. Feel free to call or contact us with questions. If you know of someone that should be a member, please bring them.
Charles Di Bartolo
Here are ten options:
- Sell your prints at etsy.com.
- Sell your work on eBay.com.
- Sell your work on stock photo sites:
- Create products with your photos on them (mugs, calendars, keychains, etc.) and sell them on zazzle.com or on cafepress.com.
- Create photo books on blurb.com.
- Sell your artwork in a commercial space.
- Place your work on art and photo websites.
- Hang your work at local art galleries.
- Create a website and start marketing your own work online. There are quite a few portfolio-building website tools out there:
- Check out our earlier blog post, “Sites for artists and photographers trying to sell and protect their images.”
For more information, see http://franklinarts.hubpages.com/hub/Top-10-Ways-to-Make-Money-Selling-Your-Photos.
Last but not least, one worthwhile option you should consider is licensing your work through Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a tool that lets you share your creativity and innovation in such a way that the whole world can see and/or hear your work, you retain copyright ownership, and you can modify the copyright items in such a way that best suits your needs. Go here for more information.
Check out our earlier blog post, “Sites for artists and photographers trying to sell and protect their images.”
Also, see “Top 10 Ways to Make Money Selling Your Photos.”
Finally, one worthwhile option is licensing your work through Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a tool that lets you share your creativity and innovation in such a way that the whole world can see and/or hear your work, you retain copyright ownership, and you can modify the copyright items in such a way that best suits your needs. However, you don’t get paid. Click here for more information.
This question came up in a recent Websites 101 class. Weebly (a website that lets you build your own free website) has an easy-to-use interface that lets you build a store quickly and efficiently. It allows just about any shipping company you like, and it gives your customers several popular payment options (including PayPal, credit cards, etc.).
You can build a link on your web page that points to a Weebly storefront. On the Weebly storefront you can add all your items and pricing information, and then provide a return link from the storefront back to your web page.
However, the Weebly storefront will probably not match the look and feel of your web page. Branding is a vitally important part of any website. You can try to match the colors and fonts of your existing website on the Weebly page, and even use your own graphics and logos, but it’s still not going to look exactly like your current site.
My question is, why use a Weebly storefront page when there are so many e-commerce tools available that “plug-and-play” directly into your existing website and copy your look and feel exactly? Here are a few examples: