April 25, 2011
Since we’re using WordPress for this blog, when WordCamp first came to Boston last year, I took the opportunity to attend.
A common theme throughout the event was the increased functionality of WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System), not just a blogging tool. Presenters were promoting WordPress as a CMS solution for nonprofits and small businesses.
I hadn’t realized how much WordPress and other blogging sites (such as Blogger) were growing the CMS functionality of their products. For a small nonprofit that doesn’t have a heavy web presence, this could be an excellent solution.
February 22, 2011
This past weekend I was at a housewarming where the topic of Valentine’s Day came up. Generally, most of us didn’t do much to celebrate it – we’re not fans of the crass consumerism, amongst other reasons.
But I, at least, always acknowledge the holiday, even if I don’t “celebrate” it by buying anything or going out to dinner. Since it is conveniently located approximately 6 months from my anniversary, I personally like it as the kick in the pants to slow down from the craziness of life and the doldrums of winter, take a deep breath, and appreciate my partner. A reminder to stop and smell the are-you-kidding-me-$40-per-dozen?!? roses.
And this hit me as a good practice for other parts of my life, especially work. We’re so caught up with deadlines and workloads (such as being too busy to maintain this blog!) and crises that I sometimes lose sight of why we’re here. I get so busy supporting our mission and the social change we seek to effect that I forget to take a breath and celebrate the change that has happened and is happening around us.
So I’m left pondering how best to incorporate simple reminders – like a birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s Day – that help me to slow down and treasure the successes of our constituents.
What sort of vital battery recharging opportunities do you build into your work? What strategies do you employ to remember to stop and smell the roses to feel reinvigorated on a regular basis?
January 14, 2011
I’ve spent most of the nonprofit portion of my career as a communications professional supporting the programmatic core of organizations. But I have also worked directly in program departments, creating and growing grassroots initiatives in the field.
While both program and communications staff are passionate about their work – and the mission of the organization they serve – there are often times when the two groups seem to be operating in two different worlds. As a communications staffer, I used to think, Why don’t the program people get it.
Then I went to work as acting deputy director of programs. After a few months, when my former communications staffers came to me with excellent ideas for promoting program work, I thought to myself, Why don’t the communications staff members get it?
November 15, 2010
As I recently quipped on Facebook, I love Google Analytics. I love playing with and analyzing the vast array of data that it provides (after all, how else would we know that the number of visits via dialup has increased over the past year?). But I dislike preparing the report that goes to staff.
First, there’s the data that I find interesting and useful as online communications specialist. Then there’s data that my teammates, as communications professionals, find interesting and useful. And then the statistics that program staff find interesting and useful. As well as the broad trends and figures that senior leadership and the board want to see.
Not all of these are the same facts and figures. Executive Transitions likes to know how many page hits a new job posting has received, while our communications assistant looks at spikes in traffic corresponding with the promotional efforts she’s made for our training series. My boss and I are concerned with bounce rates, increase in traffic, and visitor engagement.
Sometimes there aren’t any noticeable trends or fluctuations since the previous report.
So, then, how best to present enough information to answer most questions, but not overload everyone with more information than they care to ever know?
Heather Harker, Consulting & Executive Transitions Director, Third Sector New England
- There is no precise definition of the difference
- Strategic planning relates to direction, vision and mission
- Operational planning is how you will accomplish your mission
- Some organizations make a clear distinction
- Create a document that works for you
November 8, 2010
Heather Harker, Director of Consulting and Executive Transitions, Third Sector New England
- Determine why you are undertaking an assessment
- Some consultants help create a shared process and vision
- Some consultants help measure your performance against standards