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What Every Nonprofit SHOULD Have Been Doing on #GivingTuesday


Every year when #GivingTuesday rolls around I see the same thing over and over; non-profits looking for big fundraising payoffs, matching funds from online platforms, and hoping to score big donations.

Yes, #GivingTuesday has become the second largest day for donations right behind December 31, however, the misconception is that nonprofits think that “giving” days designated throughout the year are solely for the purpose of gaining funds.

Studying the toolkit provided by the #GivingTuesday organization should be a prerequisite for every nonprofit looking to participate successfully on #GivingTuesday, along with long term planning. Sorry, you can’t just post on social media and expect to be the one who receives the match from Facebook or Paypal, it just doesn’t work that way.

Here’s the link to resources:

What’s the correct way to approach next year’s #GivingTuesday?

Focus on communicating with existing donors, in fact, every donor who gave to your campaign this year should already have been acknowledged and thanked. If not, why should you expect them to ever donate to your cause in the future? You haven’t let them know the value of their support to your organization. Get that thank you card in the mail today!

Create a stewardship plan that is in force all year long. It’s as simple as staying in close contact with existing donors and letting them feel how much you appreciate and value their contributions. If you do this all year long, they are more likely to make an additional gift to your cause on #GivingTuesday.

Begin building a network of new donors by leveraging your existing donors. Encourage them to tell your story to other potential donors, or ask them for recommendations on who to contact. If someone is donating to your cause, and feeling good about it, they are happy to give you information about others who may be interested in joining you.

Connect with other organizations and community partners because, yes, there is power in numbers. Look at businesses and individuals you are associated with on a regular basis and give them the opportunity to partner with you on #GivingTuesday. In fact, many of them will do the heavy lifting for you by planning a local event with proceeds donated to your nonprofit on #GivingTuesday. Perhaps they already have a large following on social media, or an energetic staff that can push your message out further. Approach them with the reciprocation of telling the world about them in every post you make as well as referencing from your website for the following year. Who doesn’t want tons of free advertising along with looking like hometown heroes!

Launch your plan NOW.

#GT Heart

Examine your database of donors and analyze their giving patterns. Make personal contact with large donors on a regular basis by relating success stories or letting them know the impact their donation made for your cause. Consider investing in donor software in order to see the results you need.

Appoint a committee or individual to start devising strategies, designing images and graphics, writing copy for website and all social media platforms, update all of your platforms with current information, and construct your strategies. Don’t wait until November and then wonder why you didn’t reach your goals.

Research case studies and the success of other organizations, find out what tipped the scales for them and incorporate in your own plan. Sign up for newsletters and attend webinars to learn some of the latest successful strategies. My favorite go to resource has been Nonprofit Tech for Good for the best in original and curated content.

Send a consistent email newsletter to everyone associated with your organization; board members, volunteers, donors, and all interested parties. Tell your story through consistent blog posts and keep everyone abreast of your successes along with your immediate and longterm needs.

The bottom line is communication with donors, staff, and community is key to the success of any fundraising campaign, and even moreso for #GivingTuesday.

Tell your story and share it with others who will perpetuate your message and join you on your mission.

UPDATE: After writing and sharing this article I found something I felt I needed to include that I ran into on Twitter from Cureo.Com:

A Philanthropic Millionaire’s Rant

The rant:

“Oh my goodness…don’t get me started! I just received my annual call from these guys — I let it go to voicemail. I give a six figure donation to these guys every year. I don’t need to hear how important their organization is — how I’m one of their largest donors. I’ve already won every award they can give out at their annual meeting.

My question is, where have they been all year? What have they done? Where did they put my money to work? Did they move the needle at all? They never ask me to help in ways that don’t involve a check? I know, I’m not going to volunteer at their race, but I’m sure there are other opportunities for me to help!

And believe me, I have offered a number of times. I’ve asked for more frequent, and more relevant data. Maybe I can make new connections. Maybe I can assemble a volunteer team of some of my super talented staff to riff on a problem or deliver a solution of some kind — in areas of marketing, HR, capital projects, operational expansion — whatever!

I guess I feel disconnected and under-utilized. The information they give me each year is overproduced, one-size-fits-all, glossy paper, professional pictures — you know the routine! How much of my money did they spend to produce that?

The irony is, I might be willing to give them a lot more money if I had a better sense of things — if I were just a little more intimately connected — and if it wasn’t like pulling teeth to pull this stuff out of them!”

The reality is most donors never say anything, they just withdraw their giving and go elsewhere. There are too many organizations who want and need contributions, how are you treating those who are already giving to you?


Since 2008, ImaginePublicity specializes in developing promotions for individuals, organizations, books, businesses and websites with emphasis on social media marketing and taking full advantage of the internet. How can we help YOU?




It’s a New Day for Donna Gore


After years of interviews and hundreds of podcasts, Donna R. Gore, the internet’s “LadyJustice” is stepping into a new format for Shattered Lives.

Shattered Lives podcast has been the premier place for learning about the aftermath of crime, victims’ stories, and offers resources for forging through the criminal justice system and entering a new normal life.

Donna has interviewed countless well-known experts on a variety of subjects from missing persons, true crime authors, and criminal justice resources. Her new podcast keeps the same title, Shattered Lives, and she shares with listeners the golden nuggets from past episodes, as well as things she has learned through her personal journey as a crime victim.

Although many of the stories may surround the criminal element, Donna will also be sharing information about a diversity of other topics including her experiences with disabilitities, the LGBTQ community, travel and property ownership. She will offer some lighthearted storytelling to the mix now and then, with a life lesson splashed in for good measure.

Access the new Shattered Lives podcast on your favorite podcast platform, but don’t forget about the hundreds of past episodes in the archives of the InsideLenz Network.

Take a listen to some samples on Donna’s website:

Click to Listen to the NEW Shattered LivesScreen Shot 2018-12-01 at 8.26.46 AM……more platforms being added, so check often if you don’t see your favorite on the list 

NOW AVAILABLE ON APPLE PODCAST (iTUNES) Please leave a rating and review to help make the podcast available to more listeners!

I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lady Justice on her “Shattered Lives Radio” podcast. Donna is a very insightful and thought-provoking interviewer, in addition to being an outspoken and passionate advocate for the rights of victims everywhere. Her podcasts are always lively and inspiring. I highly recommend her podcast to anyone interested in the plight of victims and promoting justice.   —Scott Bonn, PhD. Criminologist and author


Donna R. Gore’s experience in crime victim advocacy began with the 1981 murder of her father. Her personal experience through the judicial system inspires her to advocate for other crime victims by providing support, resources, and educating the public through any means necessary.

Visit DonnaGore.Com for more information about Shattered Lives, Donna’s Victim Impact Statement Service, and her books from the Grief Diaries Series, Loss by Homicide and Victim Impact Statements.


WRECKING CREW: ImaginePublicity on Air Interview with author John Ferak


In WRECKING CREW: Demolishing The Case Against Steven Avery, John Ferak details the investigation of evidence, victimology, and suspects not discussed in detail in the Netflix documentary, Making a Murderer. With access to Kathleen Zellner, Ferak has the inside track.

Whether Steven Avery is guilty of murdering Teresa Hallback or not, WRECKING CREW brings attention to the issues of wrongful conviction, prosecutorial misconduct, and corruption of law enforcement and politicians in the case.

Why did the original investigation leave so much out, including victimology and other possible suspects? When lies and coverups are allowed, we never have true justice based on evidence of truth.

To write this book, Zellner, perhaps America’s most successful wrongful conviction attorney, gave Ferak unfettered access to the exhaustive pro bono efforts she and her small suburban Chicago law firm dedicated for a man she believes to be a victim of an unscrupulous justice system in Manitowoc County.

About John Ferak:

A native of Joliet, Illinois, John Ferak returned to his roots in 2017 to become the editor/reporter for the Joliet Patch. He previously spent five years with the Wisconsin Investigative Team for USA TODAY and nine years in Nebraska at the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. He is an authority on wrongful arrest and conviction cases. His 2016 book for WildBlue Press, FAILURE OF JUSTICE, chronicled the nation’s largest wrongful conviction case. His first book, BLOODY LIES told the story about a CSI director who went to prison for planting blood in high-profile Nebraska murder cases.

More at WildBlue Press

Creating the “UN” To-Do List!

UNdo list, to-do list, playtime, priority, ImaginePublicity

What could squelch creativity more than being overwhelmed by a gigantic “to-do” list and feeling completely paralyzed?

In the age of technology,  if you search the term “how to un-do a to-do list” the results are related to a general instruction of how to correct a document on a computer.

So, what is the “UN” to-do list? It’s a way of paring down today’s pace and putting it into proper perspective for a more balanced work life, and integrating time to play or re-charge.

If we don’t regularly back away from work, we become less productive and the long hours take a toll on everything we do.

1. Prioritize what “to-do”

Start the day of work life to-do list with the number 1 most important thing “to-do?”  Then just do it!

Close off all other avenues of distraction and concentrate, focus on that number 1, most important item. Shut off the phone, close down all other tabs and windows, close the door and finish item number 1.

Procrastination is probably one of the biggest productivity killers. Everyone is so guilty, and you know this is speaking to you!

If each day is started with just one “number 1” most important thing, finished from beginning to end, it may be more than what’s accomplished in a week for some!

Ooops! as I’m writing this I just lost precious time…looked at email, glanced through Facebook, and hit a news link!

Close down the tabs…do it NOW!

2. Perspective of the to-do list

Try to objectify the list of things to-do. While it’s important to organize tasks on a daily basis, make the list, then go back through and edit from a more objective viewpoint.

Ask yourself if some of the items are just on there because they are so simple, can be crossed off so quickly,  it just makes you feel better to see something that can be deleted.  Take a shower, get dressed, or check email, are the kind of things that should be routine and do not belong on the list!

When the tasks are given a new perspective of importance, you’ll see there are many that don’t need to be on the list, or can be delegated to a co-worker, intern, or colleague. Don’t try to do everything!

3. Plan for Playtime on the to-do list

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a timeworn cliche, but work and play must be better balanced in order to stay sane and be more productive during work time.

What would you consider the best definition of “playtime?” Amusement, diversion, leisure, distraction, pleasure, merrymaking, fun, enjoyment, recreation…all are synonyms for “play.”

Reflect back on the past few days, see if you can remember how many hours/days you’ve devoted to just playing.

If you, like many, are having trouble with that memory, you need to put “playtime” at the top of your to-do list.

4. Pull the Plug on the to-do list

Make an “UN” To-Do list. Sounds a little odd, doesn’t it?

While spending time to list the daily tasks, prioritizing and putting it in perspective, planning for playtime, the plug must be pulled!  Eeeek!

Too much time in our daily lives is spent plugged in and available to the rest of the world, we must devote time to pull the plug and experience life, face to face.

I found one of the most creative sites while doing this post, simply, UNDO, what to do when you unplug.

So you can’t think of something to occupy your self if you’re unplugged from your smartphone, computer, television, games, or any other electronic devise? This site is an interactive list from people around the country devoted to being unplugged for 1 day a week. Bookmark it and use it often, become involved in “Undoing!”

5. Plan to stop within the to-do list

If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will. As you start the day filling up the to-do list, plan to stop.

Set a specific time each day, it can vary from day to day, to stop what you’re doing. Yes, just STOP!

Walk away from it all for 1/2-1 hour, believe me, the work will still be there and you won’t be missed. Take a walk, take a nap, read a book (with a cover and paper pages!), meditate, pray, breathe, or just clear your head.

Come back to the work station refreshed, recharged, and ready to complete the next task on your to-do list! I promise you’ll get more done than you thought you would.

Undo, what to do when you unplug, to-do lists, 5 Easy Pieces, ImaginePublicity

After my initial backslide, I closed down all tabs and turned off my phone. I’ve now completed this post for you in record time! I think I must practice what I preach more often!

What are some of the ways you plan to UN do? Would love to hear your ideas and comments!

Creating the “UN” To-Do List!

Content CRAPShoot

CRAPS, content marketing, crapshoot

Content is king, or is it a crapshoot? What is the next trending subject matter to eagerly bring an audience to websites, blogs, and influence news sites?

As marketers and promoters strive for our piece of the public pie and attention to what we are doing, we tend to overdose our audience on the same old “crap!”

Has content marketing become a rehash of the same stuff, different place, with new buzzwords? Or are there definite differences in the way original ideas are explored and disseminated?

I believe we are living in a time of digital overload. We are constantly barraged with new material everywhere we step in the social media world, and as we gather more and more followers and friends, the more “content” there is through which to wade. How much is really read, how much is it possible to notice?

As the internet has changed the playing field of social media marketing over and over since it’s inception, it’s still a rather new entity. As marketers we’ve already seen the trend in paying for our audience, the homegrown creators of the recent past being replaced by those with more money to spend on buying “sponsored” or “boosted” content on every major social media platform.



Content will forever be part of the marketing mix. How it’s received and acted upon is what we are dealing with as we go forward into an era of overloaded audiences. We must remember the human element in everything we create and put forward. If we aren’t connecting virtually to the human element, then we’ve lost the decision makers.

What are you doing to reach out and touch someone with your content? As those seasoned in advertising and marketing know, we must reach an emotional chord in those we intend to bring into our fold. If we fail to be human in a digital world, we lose trust, loyalty, and the ability to create long-term relationships with our clients.

So, by creating original content marketing pieces with humans in mind, (not just the number of hits generated) we continue to be able to compete in a culture which is quickly coming to a time when readers no longer have the capability to consume everything on the table.


The return on investment of content marketing is another area which is in the throes of change. Those with deeper pockets and the ability to pay more for content reach may be the ones who come out on top, or will they?

Just a few short years ago there were numerous sites where content, press releases, or articles could be placed for free, continually reaching out to a new audience. The trend lately has been to charge creators for that privilege, all adding to the economic structure of content marketing of the future.

As Facebook and other social media platforms are diminishing organic reach of posted content, there will be no other choice than to budget for it. However, if your marketing mix includes traditional marketing and advertising strategies, along with social media marketing, chances for success are better than putting all your eggs into the latest trend.


If you fail to assess your creative content regularly, you’ll be left behind. What’s the best way to keep abreast and still stay ahead of the game, constant checking the numbers, or better yet, feedback.

If you are correctly appealing to, and writing for, the human audience it’s much easier to gauge your success in terms of their interaction. Engaging your audience, and setting up for conversation, is the best way to assess your social media marketing results. After all, if you can’t convert a posting into a conversation you’ll have trouble converting a potential client.

Another avenue to assess is if you are in the right place at the right time. By analyzing where your audience is coming from you will know where to spend your efforts, and your dollars. Facebook or Twitter, although most popular, may not be the best placement for your content to reach your target following. Search for alternate channels, watch for specific platforms where your niche is most likely to be accepted as something new and different.


Determine early on what your individual payoff is all about. Are you into affiliate marketing, pay-per-click, conversion, or another form of “pay-day?” If you aren’t familiar with what your payoff may be, it will be difficult to determine your idea of success, and if your content marketing is portraying you or your company in the way that you wish. After all, cold cash is historically the measure of accomplishment.

Most of us who have developed, as social media marketing has become a valid industry, know that what works for one, doesn’t always work for another. This includes the payoff. If you’re seeing your bottom line drop off, it’s time to go back earlier steps and re-assess what you’re doing. Is your content “edu-taining,” interesting, and able to catch the eye of your prospects? Are you in the right place at the right time? Are you able to engage comments and conversation?


Mark Shaefer’s article, Content Shock, is an eye-opener for those of us in the business of social media marketing, especially if we count content marketing as one of the avenues to get the message to the masses. He says,

“…..this upward trend of consumption is not sustainable because every human has a physiological, inviolable limit to the amount of content they can consume. I believe as marketers, we have been lulled into a false sense of security thinking that this consumption trend will continue to rise without end. That is simply not possible. The Content Shock is coming and I believe we are beginning to enter the danger zone now. Every single content producer, every marketer, and every business is standing at this same cliff to some degree, and the implications are vast.

What exactly is the future of content marketing and how will marketers survive at the vanishing point?  Seems to be quite a “crapshoot!”

However, I feel there will always be new, creative ideas coming to the forefront, but, in my opinion, we should never forget where we come from, what we’ve learned, and how to integrate those lessons with all new visionaries for the future of social media marketing.

If you’re reading this as another social media manager, marketer, or as a prospective client, what are your thoughts about content and the future of its value as a marketing tool? Are you prepared for “content shock” and what are you doing about it?

ImaginePublicity offers several plans to enhance your online presence. For more information about how to best increase your potential by using social media marketing and management, for a complete assessment.