Thanks for reading! There’s a question at the end for writers and authors…I value your input.
I just have to share a brief story about a friend/colleague. He calls me up and asks for a few minutes of my time during a break at work. So I say “Sure!” Turns out Zach is an animal society non-profit volunteer and board member, and he wanted some advice on “improving” their website . Zach stated that they already have a dedicated domain name and a website that’s currently out of date.
So, immediately the wheels start turning, my adrenaline gets pumping and dots are being connected at wicked speeds….I can just feel the synapses firing in my brain!
So my friend (lets call him Zach) says that their non-profit website is sort of “just there!” The guy that volunteered to design and maintain their website moved to the East Coast but continued to maintain the site…until recently when his computer died. Now they’ve turned to Zach for help. He was looking for suggestions that would be cheap or free. So I started off with some basic questions.
I asked what is the Purpose, Audience, and Goals of the website to the non-profit organization. So I wrote those words down on the back of my printed out schedule for the day like this:
Purpose (of the site): Membership, Volunteers, Fundraising
Target Audience (of the site): Society Members, Volunteers, Contributors
Goals (of the site): Raise Funds, Increase Membership, Increase # of volunteers
I mentioned that there was a huge difference between purpose & goals. Purpose is why it exists, why you bother devoting any time to it in the first place. Goals are achievable targets (increase fund raising by 5% per month, increase membership by 10% each month, gain 5 new volunteers each month.)
I asked him how the non-profit uses tech to engage their audience…apparently there is only one person who posts things on Facebook. (I just did a search on FB and found nothing but external links)
I said, “Zach, if you’re not using free services like Twitter, Facebook, Quora, and LinkedIn to engage your audience, you’re missing out! If you would begin using those services, within six months, I guarantee you’ll achieve all of your goals and increase the number of volunteers (under age 30) of your non-profit society!”
I told Zach that they asked for “help with a website” but what he needed to present to the board, was a business plan. A domain name and non-interactive website are the same as a vacant lot or empty building! It’s just a place–nobody’s going to come or even come back if there’s nobody to talk to. I suggested that he deliver a proposal for a strategy to really give their society a long-overdue boost! I suggested he take the page of notes and turn it into a quick 5-slide PowerPoint presentation to present at the next board meeting!
We agreed to get together later when we could devote more time to discuss the plan and he asked me for a copy of the notes I took so he could begin looking into the social media aspects.
My mind was on fire about this idea…I thought wow, that session was more than a brief visit/discussion, it was a consultation! This sort of thing happens to me a lot, and I really enjoy it. That is where a lot of my passion lies. On my lunch hour I had to put the adrenaline to use. I logged onto my Evernote account and quickly outlined my page of notes. When I finished, I realized what was staring me in the face could be the table of contents for a practical book that would help literally hundreds of people.
So here’s my question! Leaning on great advice from a dear #usguys friend @loiscreamer , I won’t ask “Does the world need another social media enthused business basics book for entrepreneurs?” but instead…should I go the self- ePublishing route or traditional query letter path? I know I could churn it out in a couple of months, go through several drafts and edits, and be ready for publishing by year’s end. What do you think?
Easter Day Update: So, I decided to go for it and have taken the advice of several encouraging people to begin my book. You can read more about it at the blog created specifically for writing my book here: http://profitdiagnostics.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/book-petri/
- More people, fewer volunteer hours given in Alberta: report (calgaryherald.com)
- 5 Reasons you Need to Make it to 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service (growmap.com)
- DIY.ORG – Zach Klein’s New Startup (replicatorinc.com)
- Can Quora become a resource for personal finance? (cleardebt.co.uk)
- 10 Strategies for Non-Profits on Pinterest (mashable.com)
- Taking Your Non-Profit Social (emanateprblog.wordpress.com)
- Purpose of Volunteering Game Changer (padilladsgamechangerblog.wordpress.com)
- Self Empowerment Series Part Two: Volunteer Your Own Way (teatofriends.com)