Remarkable Resources from Idaho Nonprofit Center’s State Conference

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A recap of presentations that struck me as remarkable from last week’s Idaho Nonprofit Center’s State Conference. 

Vu Le brought great humor and reminded us to get out of the office more often in his talk entitled, “Nonprofit Happy Hour.”  Vu took time encouraging us to look for weak tie connections, these weak ties are where most novel ideas and inspiring concepts germinate.  He encouraged authentic collaborations to happen instead of forcing them.  The power of a cohesive community and its ability to serve many different needs is more effective than reacting to the endless list of needs.  Finally, Vu outlined one of the best happy hour drinking games imagined.  Find a summary of all these ideas at his website Nonprofit With Balls.

Susan Howlett presented a highly-informed workshop from her book, Boards on Fire that encourage highly effective nonprofit boards and advancement campaigns.  An “ah ha” moment for me came in her handout worksheet which dedicated space on the first page for writing down action-steps or paradigm shifts from the workshop.  What if our board agendas and handouts contained space on the title page to document actionable steps instead of embedding all our notes inside where they are less visible?  Susan was a truth-teller when it came to fundraising resistance, checkout her negative word fundraising sheet for humor and shock.

Rich Dietz turned a marathon of information into a sprint on the topic of Visual Storytelling.  My biggest take-away was we can be better storytellers and the preferred platform is video in 90-120 second segments.  Need evidence, a video is twelve times more likely to be shared than a photograph on a social media platform.  Rich encouraged us to employ our smartphones and some creativity.  You can find high quality resources and a better understanding of Facebook’s new metrics at nonprofitrd.com/idaho14  (He also has a great blog!)

The panel discussions were equally vibrant.  A couple gems from the local media session included, ‘exclusivity is currency’ when dealing with the media.  Answering the question, ‘what lead up to the ribbon cutting’ is a more compelling story than the actual event.  And, know the strengths of the media’s medium.  The morning radio show may give you only 90-seconds but the newspaper can dedicate a couple paragraphs.  Maximize each mediums strengths.

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