Posts filed under ‘Links and FYI’

Facebook Campaigns for Non-Profit Organizations

How To:  Set Up a Facebook Campaign for Non-Profit Organizations

Facebook can be an extremely effective networking tool for non-profits.  It enables organizations to create awareness and nation-wide collaboration by allowing users to connect and share information on related subjects.  Information can be quickly shared and passed along on Facebook including:

  • Photos
  • Event invitations
  • Announcements
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Newsletters
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Articles
  • Blog posts

This list is by no means comprehensive, but you can promote anything your organization does quickly and effortlessly on Facebook!  The free service saves non-profits valuable time and donor money when facing challenging economic times.  There are also many tools available to help keep ongoing campaigns active with very little maintenance.   Some of the greatest benefits of using Facebook are #1 it’s FREE and #2 it’s easy to set-up and maintain.

Getting Ready for a Facebook Campaign

When using any type of social media application the most important question to ask before you begin is “what are your campaign and organizations goals?”  Since social networking is all about being accessible to your supporters, it is important to define exactly what information your group wishes to make accessible. 

  • Are you looking for more donors? 
  • Volunteers?
  • In-Kind donations?
  • Awareness? 
  • Promotion? 

Whatever your goals may be, once you decide on the overall purpose – plan the Facebook campaign around it or enlist the services of a reputable social media manager to create a campaign that is in-line with your specific goals.

On the flip side of defining your goals, you also have to understand that flexibility is a must with social media.  Launching a campaign without interacting with your groups and members is not an option.  If this means having conversations and building relationships outside of your planned goals – that’s okay.  It is the connections of these relationships that help promote each missions cause and the core of what makes social media so invaluable to non-profit organizations.  Don’t launch a campaign and think that it will grow itself.  Supporters love messages from board members, staff and people that have been helped by your organizations efforts.  These people are key to a successful campaign and should be encouraged to post as frequently as they can.  It is also important to have at least one person solely in charge of the account to post updates on a daily basis if feasible.  Even if this task is contracted out or handled at an administrative level, the benefits far outweigh the costs.  The purpose is to keep conversations going about the efforts of the organization and related community involvement.  In most cases, this only requires one person networking at least 1 hour per/week on Facebook to keep the ball rolling towards the organizations goals.

Customizing Your Facebook Campaign

There are many options for non-profits on Facebook.  Of course the first step is setting up your group page.  To get started you might want to look over other non-profit Facebook pages and how they are utilizing Facebook. 

Here is a list of some organizations that are currently using Facebook successfully:

 Pay close attention to the tabs at the top of each profile page, as well as the links on the side-bar.  Many include particular causes, donation information boxes, volunteer information, YouTube promotions, as well as links to the organizations website and blog – the possibilities are endless and should be designed according to your goal.  These options can easily be implemented or removed at a later date – but should be explored in order to decide which applications would be most beneficial to your purpose.

Finding Friends on Facebook

Once the actual page is set-up with information about your cause, you can easily invite friends using the email addresses you have already accumulated through other campaigns.  This should be a one-time invitation to avoid ‘spamming’  but most people who are currently involved in your organization will jump at the opportunity to stay in touch with its on-going efforts.  Make sure to include your Facebook link on all other organizational pages (website, blog, other social media efforts, etc) this encourages visitors to visit your Facebook campaign and include beneficial links and information to the cause on their own social media applications.

Groups on Facebook

Groups are a great way to start connecting with possible advocates for your cause.  There are thousands of groups on Facebook that you can join or become a fan of.  By joining these groups and affiliating yourself with like causes, your own posts on Facebook become even more visible, multiplying your organizations potential reach. 

You can also establish your own open group on Facebook which will also increase your organizations visibility.  Groups on Facebook are organized around specific interests.  This allows people to search through groups by keyword and find groups related to their own personal interests. 

Each group on Facebook has a “Fan” section where people can become fans of your organization.  This information shows up on their profile feeds, which all of their friends will see and hopefully visit and check out.  People can easily visit the group page and find out the latest events and information about the organization. 

Ongoing Maintenance of Facebook

In order to keep generating interest in your cause it is imperative to keep all conversations and networks active.  All groups should be visited daily and each comment should be responded to immediately.  Possible items you can post daily include links to news articles, blog posts, articles from newsletters (old or new), statistical information, or quotes related to your cause.  There are many items that can be quickly posted to keep a Facebook page updated – creativity is the only limit.

Other Fun Things to do on Facebook

Photos – One of the most popular and fun ways to interact on Facebook is by uploading and sharing pictures with your groups and friends.  Facebook allows unlimited photos but restricts them to be categorized by album, limiting each album to 60 photos or less.  These albums are very easy to set up and have multiple privacy levels.  They can be set to be viewed by all, members only, or to members and their networks only.  You also have the ability to “tag” people in the pictures.  For example; if you have a volunteer event with pictures, you can acknowledge some of your special volunteers by tagging them in a photo.  The same concept applies for community events and can help highlight specific people, businesses and organizations in your community that assist your cause.  After tagging a person on Facebook, you have the option of notifying them by email, web-link, or Facebook (if they are already members).  This has an exponential effect regarding your cause’s exposure.  Regardless of the method of notification, each person is notified that your organization is on Facebook which encourages them to visit your profile, create their own and further expand your organizations network and reach.

Events – Whatever the event, Facebook is a great place to promote your organization’s important activities.   On Facebook you can very easily promote an event, add pictures, and invite all of your contacts to confirm or decline their participation in your upcoming events via RSVP.

Feeds – Facebook also provides different applications that enable an organization to create “notes” , donation “causes”, post videos and pictures, as well as add multiple RSS feeds to your profile page or group.  This makes it easy to import your external blog posts, send quick notes to all of your “friends” as well as promote all of your organizations available online media projects (such as YouTube and Flickr), and newsletters all in one quick step.  

Causes – Setting up a cause in Facebook is extremely easy to do and can greatly benefit 501©3 organization financially with online donations.   If your organization is set up with Guidestar ( www.guidestar.org) then it is eligible to be a beneficiary on Facebook causes. This gives members and everyone else on Facebook a quick and easy way to find and donate to causes they have a particular interest in.

The greatest benefit of using Facebook for your non-profit is that it easily allows people to keep in touch with members of growing organizations.  Facebook provides a “Wall” of information so that in one glance you can immediately see the activities of your networks and vice versa.  An organization can connect to other people who are writing about their specific cause as well as view pictures of events and read news articles that organizers may have never seen.  Facebook is an excellent example of community collaboration and is currently the best forum available for getting the most social media exposure for your non-profit organization.

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This article is available for publication with permissions on your blog or website by visiting Associated Content

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January 6, 2010 at 2:56 am 4 comments

How to Create an Advisory Board

(In 6 easy steps!)

by Christine Comaford-Lynch

We all can benefit from advisors—they’re the friends from the trenches who’ve been on the business battlefield longer than we have. Or they’re friends who’re from a different industry or field who provide a unique perspective. Or they’re seasoned or high profile executives who lend you credibility, thus helping you secure customers, financing, or approval for an internal project.  You need advisors to bounce ideas off of, to provide a reality check, to tell you when you’re about to mess up, to confide in when you’re alone at the top of the organization or department.

Here’s a process for getting and keeping advisors on your team. Remember: life = the people that you meet + what you create with them. Let’s start meeting and creating.

Download Christine Comaford-Lynch’s
Entire PDF Article about
How to Create an Advisory Board

For more information on Creating an Advisory Board,
see Christine Comaford-Lynch’s book 
  

Rules for Renegades:
How to Make More Money,
Rock Your Career,
and Revel in Your Individuality

Rules for Renegades

 Read the first chapter today!
You can also read her column at BusinessWeek.com

February 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm 2 comments

Free and Low-Cost Business Resources

  1. Get a Plan – Business plans are easy to write if you know the basic outline.  My Own Business, Inc. is a nonprofit organization committed to helping people succeed in business. This organization is a great place to get your feet wet, offering a free course in business start-up, creating a business plan, and all the other little details people often don’t think about when they start a new business.  http://www.myownbusiness.org
  2.  Strategy Session Self-Assessment – Whether you are in the planning stages or just getting started, want to launch your next phase of business growth, or have experienced business losses but aren’t ready to throw in the towel, A Mighty Ventures Strategy Session is one of the smartest things you can do for your business.  http://www.strategysessionnow.com/
  3. Organize – However you decide to organize your business, Secret-Angels can help walk you through the process and mentor you step-by-step.  https://nonprofitassistance.wordpress.com/need-help/ 
  4. Get a Website – Don’t think it’s too complicated!  Domain Registration and Hosting is getting easier and cheaper every day.  Most hosting companies offer cheap website builders, which means you can have a website up and running in minutes.  Gossimer LCC offers domain registration, email hosting, website hosting as well as an easy to use website builder.  Once you register your domain (usually under $10 dollars per/year), your website can cost as little as $2.99 per/month through Gossimer Web Hosting. http://gossimer.biz/ 
  5. Start Networking – The greatest way to market your business is to get out there and start selling it yourself.  Nobody will ever have the same drive or commitment that you do, and it’s easy to talk about things that you are passionate about.  The internet is full of free Social Media Sites, such as:     

         a. Linked In – http://www.linkedin.com/
         b. Blogging Sites –  http://www.wordpress.com/      
         c. Other Social Media Websites
              i. www.Facebook.com
              ii. www.Myspace.com
              iii. www.twitter.com

There are countless others, for a more comprehensive list visit http://www.prelovac.com/vladimir/top-list-of-social-media-sites or just Google Social Media Websites and browse through them yourself!

November 20, 2008 at 3:39 pm 1 comment

FAQ: Trademarks and Service Marks for Not-for-Profit

What Is a Trademark or Service Mark?

The terms “trademark” and “service mark” refer to words, designs or logos that are used to indicate the origin or source of goods or services. 

There is no difference in the legal protections afforded trademarks versus service marks. The distinction is only with respect to what they identify. 

When used to identify a tangible product (such as jewelry or glassware), the word, design or logo is considered a “trademark.” 

When used to identify services (such as charitable services or educational services), the more appropriate term is “service mark.” 

“Trademark” also may be used broadly to identify both types of marks. For example, we refer to “trademark rights” and the “Trademark Office.”

What Is a Common Law Mark versus a Registered Mark?

In the United States, registration is not a prerequisite for using a mark or protecting a mark against infringement. Trademark rights can accrue simply through actual use of the mark in commerce, although there are significant benefits to registering a mark (see below). Those marks that are not registered but nonetheless are eligible for protection are called common law trademarks or service marks. 

We’ve Discovered Another Entity Using A Similar Name, Who Owns The Trademark?

The determination of whether a trademark is being infringed can be quite fact specific and will often require the advice of trademark counsel. 

Broadly speaking, however, the entity that first uses a mark in connection with a particular good or service has trademark rights that supersede the rights of later users of a similar mark for the same or related goods or services. In other words, the mere fact that another entity is using a similar or identical name does not necessarily mean that there is  a trademark conflict. Highly similar marks and even identical marks can often coexist peacefully so long as they are used on unrelated goods. 

Thus, in determining whether there is a true trademark conflict, one must consider not only whether the marks themselves are similar, but also whether the respective goods or services on which the marks are used are similar or otherwise related.

If your trademark counsel concludes that a genuine conflict exists, then the prescribed course of action will depend on which entity is found to have used the mark first. 

Copyright 2005 Pro Bono Partnership

More info at http://www.probonopartnership.org/publications/trademark.htm 

February 28, 2008 at 8:31 pm 1 comment

Running your nonprofit as a business

This post describes the steps necessary to establish yourself as an unincorporated nonprofit.  The steps are almost identical to forming a sole proprietorship business (check your state to make sure they do not require any other special licenses or requirements for your nonprofit as a sole proprietorship).

The first step is visiting your county clerk.  They will have you check the assumed name (sometimes called fictitious name or DBA) and make sure that nobody else is doing business under your preferred name.  Once your name has been established as unique you file a form with them called “Assumed Name Certificate of Ownership for Unincorporated Business”.  This is a very simple form just stating your business name and your contact information (address, phone, etc.)  If you go from being unincorporated to incorporated, you will have to refile your DBA.  The average cost for filing a DBA is $14 but varies by state.

 After obtaining your DBA, you will need to file for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).  You may be able to use your Social Security number as your EIN but I have been advised that it is best to register as a separate legal entity with the IRS.  Do a google search for an example EIN application.  My personal accountant recommended that the DATE BUSINESS STARTED should be December.  Your start-up date is a personal choice and will truly depend upon your bookkeeper/accountant requirements..  I established my organization as a nonprofit from the beginning, but if you already have a business and plan to switch from a for-profit to nonprofit, you will have to refile your EIN to represent your new organization type.  This form can be filed online at www.Tax9er.com for $20.

 The next step is establishing your nonprofit with the state.  In Texas, the Secretary of State has a form called Statement Appointing Agent.  This is the only state requirement in Texas to establish an unincorporated nonprofit, you need to check with your SOS to insure there are no other requirements for your state:

http://www.keytlaw.com/Links/govrecords.htm  This statement appoints you to serve as the receiving agent for your organization.  If any liens or lawsuits (services of process) are issued against your organization, this gives the state a place to send them too.  You will have to list your EIN on this form as well as your physical address, PO Boxes will not be accepted.  This form must be mailed in or delivered personally to the Secretary of State office.  There is a $25 dollar filing fee.

 These steps DO NOT make you tax-exempt. 

Tax exemption is reserved for incorporated nonprofits and you will not be able to apply for state or federal tax-exemption until you incorporate.  Until you file for tax exemption, your business will be viewed as a sole proprietorship and you CANNOT offer tax-deductible donation privileges.  As an unincorporated nonprofit you will be required to file an income tax return on your business (Schedule C) rather than the 990 required of nonprofits.  You can view both of these forms at www.IRS.gov.  If you do not understand these forms, I strongly recommend that you print them out and discuss them in detail with your accountant.

 Once you have taken all these steps **again check with your local and state offices to ensure no extra permits or licenses are required for your particular organization**  You are set up to do business as an unincorporated nonprofit on the county, state and federal level.

Once you are doing business, it is highly recommended that you talk to your insurance agent about what kind of extra insurance you may need to cover your activities.  Here is a good link to start off with:

Insurance Guide for Nonprofit Organizations  

If your nonprofit requires heavy volunteer involvement, write down exactly what it is your organization and volunteers do and discuss this in depth with your agent, he or she will be better able to explain what needs your organization will have.

– all articles on this site are written by Tara Deck and provided by Secret-Angels, a nonprofit organization that assists nonprofits with incorporation, management and general business operations.  For more information please see the About Nonprofit Assistance page.

February 28, 2008 at 8:27 pm 10 comments

Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act

This article is provided for your information as a summary of the UNIFORM UNINCORPORATED NONPROFIT ASSOCIATION ACT (UUNAA) Which is mentioned in TYPES OF NONPROFITS. 

To read about this act in its entirety please visit it’s source at http://www.nccusl.org/

There are thousands of associations of people in the United States that fall into the category of unincorporated nonprofit associations. They range from local neighborhood associations to national associations with large membership. They are all associations that for one reason or another cannot or have not chosen to become not-for-profit corporations. The common law has been loath to give legal status to associations that do not incorporate. They are regarded as pure aggregations with no legal personality. They cannot own or hold real property. Such associations cannot sue or be sued as associations. Individual members may acquire liability simply because of membership in the association, no matter how casual. Acting as officers and directors may provide individuals with serious liability exposure. Finding insurance may be nearly impossible.These disabilities discourage voluntary participation in the activities of such associations. And yet such associations are essential to the well-being of every community, large or small, in the entire United States. There is at last a remedy that abolishes these unnecessary barriers to participation. As a foundation for community, there is no better solution than that proposed in the Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act (UUNAA), promulgated by the Uniform Law Commissioners in 1992, with technical amendments made in 1996.

UUNAA defines unincorporated nonprofit associations broadly as unincorporated organizations “consisting of [two] or more members joined by mutual consent for a common, nonprofit purpose.” Members may be individuals, corporations, other associations, and governmental agencies. Having so defined these entities, the Act does five things for such associations and their members. First, it provides them with the legal capacity to receive, hold, and transfer personal and real property. Second, it provides limitations upon the liability of members and functionaries of these associations for tort and contract. Third, it provides them standing to sue and be sued as associations. Fourth, it provides a procedure for disposing of the property of an inactive association. Fifth, it permits designation of an agent for service of process. It does all of these things without requiring any association to conform to a registration statute, to pay fees to the state to qualify for the benefits of UUNAA, or to submit to any mandated form of organization and method of governance.

UUNAA permits a nonprofit association to acquire, hold, encumber, or transfer interests in real or personal property in its own name. An association can receive property from an estate. To facilitate holding and transferring real property, an association may, but is not required, to file a statement of authority in the real property records. Any person dealing with the individual named in the statement of authority and who gives value without notice that conferred authority is invalid, may regard the authority conferred as conclusive.  

UUNAA provides that any association subject to it is a separate legal entity, separate from its members. A person is not vicariously liable for the association’s torts or contracts merely by virtue of being a member, being considered a member, or participating in any way in the management of the association. Members may sue a nonprofit association and may be sued by it, as well.Concomitantly, the association has standing to institute, defend, intervene, or participate in any proceeding, judicial or otherwise, that involves it. It may assert a claim on behalf of members, if one or more members have standing to assert the claim in their own rights. A judgment against an association is not by itself a judgment against any member.

UUNAA provides for disposal of the personal property of an inactive association, first, to anyone entitled to that property in documents of the association. If there is no such document, then a cypres rule applies. The property must be transferred to another association pursuing broadly similar purposes. These transfers apply to associations that have been defunct for at least three years.

Lastly, UUNAA permits, but does not require, a nonprofit association to appoint an agent for service of process. This facilitates the legal rights of the association accorded it in other sections of UUNAA. These are the principal benefits of UUNAA to the many millions of people who aggregate into associations for everything from sport to neighborhood improvement. This Act will make voluntary action by citizens in their communities more secure and happier. It is exactly what is needed for communities, large and small, in the entire United States.

© 2001 National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws 211 E. Ontario Street, Suite 1300 Chicago, Illinois 60611 (312) 915-0195 ~ fax (312)915-0187

January 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm 7 comments


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