The Nonprofit Hero Factory Episode 27

The nonprofit funding landscape continues to shift in response to the changing landscape in the pandemic and post-pandemic era. At the same time, there is a growing digital divide between those that are quickly adapting and adopting new strategies and those that are in danger of losing the ability to achieve their mission.

Elizabeth Ngonzi, founder and CEO of the International Social Impact Institute joins Boris this week to talk about how some nonprofits are staying ahead of the changes and new opportunities to connect with communities and funders alike. We also discuss how LinkedIn is fast becoming a critical platform for nonprofits, and how professionals can improve their skill sets to help their organizations and themselves.

 

Webinar Summary – Digital Fundraising: Best Practices to Boost Your End of Year Campaign

August 25th, 2021The Blackbaud Institute’s 2020 Charitable Giving Report, which tracks $40 billion in giving, indicates that over the last three years growth in overall philanthropic giving has only been 5%, whereas online giving has grown by a remarkable 32%. Given the growing importance of online philanthropy, organizations must adapt by learning to craft compelling stories and develop thoughtful and data-driven strategies for delivering messaging to the right audience on the right platform. New York University’s new Digital Fundraising certificate program offers just the right tools to equip individuals, nonprofits and other organizations to utilize the digital space in their fundraising efforts – tapping into the growing online giving platform. 

Webinar Overview

On August 19th, Liz Ngonzi, adjunct assistant professor in the Center for Global Affairs at New York University, hosted a webinar launching the new certificate program alongside fellow program faculty members Cheryl Gentry, Boris Kievsky, Kathleen Murphy Toms and Dane Wiseman. The program, which is housed within the Heyman Program for Fundraising and Philanthropy in the Center for Global Affairs at NYU’s School of Professional Studies, was developed in recognition of the increase in virtual learning, work, and socializing brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and, more generally, in recognition of the central role of digital fundraising in enabling nonprofit organizations to inspire, engage, and catalyze both new and existing supporters.

Best Practices

The launch event hosted by Liz and her colleagues included a lively conversation addressing “Best Practices to Boost Your End of Year Campaign,” in which the program faculty shared a number of useful tips with webinar participants.  

Cheryl Gentry, who will co-teach the course on “Virtual Events and Fundraising” with Liz, cautioned virtual event organizers against treating audience members as “second class citizens”. She advised making an appropriate investment of time (including rehearsal time) and resources in order to ensure that sponsors, donors and other attendees have the best possible event experience.

Boris Kievsky, who will teach “Developing High-Impact Websites for Nonprofits,” advised that nonprofits place emphasis on their story and on guiding their audience through it. The content of the story, and how effectively it is told, are more important than the platform on which it is being presented.

To encourage donors and supporters to prioritize their interactions with nonprofit organizations, Kathleen Murphy Toms, who will teach “Social Media and Email Fundraising,” recommended that those organizations send out calendar invitations and reminders to their supporters. “If it’s not on my calendar, it’s not happening,” she emphasized.  

Dane Wiseman, who will teach “Social Media Marketing Analytics,” pointed out how crucial the use of data analytics and dashboards (websites, social media, etc.) are for nonprofits and other organizations. He emphasized that they can help organizations identify the peak days and times when different audience groups are engaging with specific content – helping nonprofits maximize the consumption of that content. 

To close out the discussion, Liz Ngonzi, who teaches “Digital Storytelling, Innovation and Fundraising,” advised listeners: “Don’t do what you can’t measure!” She encouraged the audience to set specific and measurable goals for their fundraising efforts and to track their progress, outputs, and impacts. 

Webinar Takeaways

Finally, listeners were polled and asked to identify what they regarded as key lessons of the webinar.  Based on 41 poll responses (presented graphically in the word cloud below), the audience’s top three takeaways were: 

  1. Send Calendar Invites to Donors – to prepare them to support the organization’s Giving Tuesday campaign
  2. Rehearse – to ensure smooth flow of your virtual event
  3. Recruit Among Millennials – and engage them as co-creators, not just as donors.

 

Click on this LINK to watch the full webinar and click this LINK to learn about and register for the new Professional Certificate Program in Digital Fundraising.  You can also access resources provided by the speakers below.

Resources Shared by Speakers:

Boris Kievsky

Nonprofit Digital Strategist – dotorgStrategy

Course:  Developing High-Impact Websites for Nonprofits

Resources

 

Cheryl Gentry 

Founder & CEO – Glow Global Events

Course: Virtual Events and Fundraisers

Resources

  

Dane Wiseman 

Chief Marketing Officer – CyberFunnel

Course: Social Media Marketing Analytics

Resources

 

Kathleen Murphy Toms

Director, Digital Strategy – Giving Tuesday

Course:  Social Media and Email Fundraising

Resources

 

Elizabeth Ngonzi, CFRE

Panel Moderator

Founder & CEOThe International Social Impact Institute 

Course: Digital Storytelling, Innovation and Fundraising

Resources

Finding Your North Star: Aligning Your Purpose and Your Paycheck

Elizabeth (Liz) Ngonzi MMH ’98 is founder and CEO of The International Social Impact Institute™, which is currently developing training programs and events to help non-governmental organizations in under-resourced communities in the U.S. and around the world rebound from the pandemic.

“Now is the right time for all of us to get involved and engaged,” she says. “What’s seemingly impossible is possible if you focus on what you want to do and why you’re doing it. You are able to create a lot of change.”

“You don’t necessarily need to leave your corporate job to have a social impact,” Liz says. “There is a spectrum of organizations you can get involved with.” She notes that these include existing non-profits, such as Cornell University, for-profit corporations with a social impact mission, such as Patagonia, and funders, such as foundations and venture philanthropy organizations.

How This iSchool Alum Uses Digital Skills For Social Impact

If there’s anything you should know about Liz Ngonzi (’92), it’s that she’s bold, she’s courageous, and she’s devoted her life to strengthening the social impact ecosystem around the globe.

But her path to a career as a social entrepreneur, educator, and international speaker didn’t take the direction you might expect.

It’s true that Liz has always been a bit of an entrepreneur. By the time she was 14 years old, she had created a babysitting service and scaled to at least six different client families. It was a “baby empire,” as she describes it.

When she came to Syracuse University in 1988, however, she didn’t major in business. Instead, she started out in visual and performing arts. About mid-way through her freshman year, a mentor introduced her to the iSchool. She was hooked and decided to transfer in the following semester.

“I barely knew how to type!” Liz said, “[But] I loved the fact that you could solve problems with technology and information.”

In 1992, the year Liz graduated, the country was in the midst of a recession. While many of her peers took jobs waiting tables just to get by, she graduated with five job offers in hand. She started receiving some of them as early as the fall of her senior year and credits the real-world skills learned in her major with making her stand out in a struggling economy.

Liz ended up taking a job in marketing with Digital Equipment Corporation, the legendary computer company founded by Ken Olson and Harlan Anderson. They had recruited her as one of 16 people nationwide for their exclusive Marketing Development Program, a rotational program which exposed her to areas such as aerospace marketing, corporate communications and sales. Following that, she worked in B2B sales for MICROS Systems Inc., the leading provider of hospitality Point of Sales Systems in the world, where she learned about the hospitality industry through her clients, ranging from independent restaurants to amusement parks.

Digital Storytelling to Inspire and Attract Funders in a Time of Crisis

The budget cuts resulting from the global economic downturn of 2009 forced nonprofits onto digital platforms to more efficiently and cost-effectively connect with their stakeholders, but that stakeholder engagement remained primarily on a personal—not a virtual—level. Fast forward to the the global pandemic of 2020, during which most of our professional interactions have become virtual, and we see that organizations have discovered how critical digital platforms are (and will be) to their success, both during and after the pandemic. Now their primary vehicles for inspiring, attracting, and activating donors are stories delivered through a digital storytelling ecosystem that includes their websites and those of their key partners; social media; virtual events; messenger services such as WhatsApp; email; live and recorded videos; and charity information sites such as GuideStar.

At the same time, during the last few months, foundations’ priorities have shifted toward two key issues that have risen to prominence: COVID-19 relief/response and social justice. Not only will funders be interested in supporting organizations that have been negatively affected by COVID-19, but they will be particularly drawn to those that have pivoted in response to it by developing new offerings, delivering services more efficiently, and serving new populations. Equally, funders are going to be looking for grantee alignment with issues of social justice—looking, that is, for organizations committed to the empowerment of under-resourced communities, to diversity of board and leadership composition, and to socially aware programming and engagement with issues of equity and inclusion. In crafting an organization’s message, therefore, it is increasingly necessary to incorporate content and highlight organizational elements that reflect such commitments.

Digital Storytelling and Virtual Events to Revive Your Fundraising Presented During Project Everyone

Everything has changed… Except your Mission

In a matter of weeks, the world has changed in dramatic ways… and it will likely never return to pre-COVID-19 norms. For nonprofits, working remotely might be the easiest part of the adjustments they need to make.

The greater challenges revolve around:

  • Delivering programming that your community has come to rely on
  • Fundraising in the chaos—without the ability to host in-person events
  • Finding new sources of revenue to replace falling donations
  • Standing out in the sea of noise with everyone clamoring for attention and funding

How To Find A Job In Africa

Names listed in order of appearance:

GIBS Business School Interview in South Africa: Elizabeth Ngonzi , CEO of Afrika Tikkun USA

Elizabeth Ngonzi is the CEO of Afrika Tikkun USA, the US affiliate of Afrika Tikkun, a South African NGO which assists more than 19,000 of today’s disadvantaged youth. Here she advises other NGO’s on how to raise funding and meet their strategic goals.

Newsroom: African Women’s Leadership Summit

It is the 21st century and most countries allow freedom and opportunity for all races and sexes to achieve any goal they set out for themselves. We see this as women have taken up senior roles within large corporations. But we still have a long way to go, And one Summit that has shed some light on How we can IS: the African Women’s Leadership Summit that took place in Kenya.

Joining us in studio today is international speaker, Elizabeth Ngonzi, who spoke at the summit. Ngonzi is also the CEO of a non-profit organization Afrika Tikkun USA. This organization invests in the development of disadvantaged children from early infancy through young adulthood and into the world of work.

CCTV America Interview: Social Media Helps Nepal Quake Relief

Facebook recently announced its users donated more than $10 million to disaster relief in Nepal. That was in just two-days. The number topped the amount pledged by the U.S. government. This is just the latest example of how social media is making it easier for people to give to charities. CCTV’s Karina Huber filed this report.
Featured in this interview is Elizabeth Ngonzi, NYU Heymen Center Adjunct Professor, explaining how social media can positively impact these social movements and fundraisers.

TEDx CornellU Talk: Want Your Enterprise to Change the World? Start with Yourself

In this talk social entrepreneur, Liz Ngonzi, shares her journey to finding greater meaning in life. She takes you from the conundrum of success, lots of resume accomplishments from an Ivy League school, to Fortune 100 jobs, to a top notch client roster, to honors and awards, but feeling deeply something big was missing. It took three months living in a blue tent at an Ashram to find what it was. Share the journey, discover what she came to know and see how she hopes it will inspire you to find your own path to balance and joy. LIZ NGONZI is a connector, cultivator, and communicator with over 20 years of experience facilitating strategic relationships, developing and strengthening brands, and inspiring personal transformation. Over ten years ago, Liz founded Amazing Taste, LLC, a boutique consulting firm that leverages her international rolodex and extensive branding and teaching experience to facilitate relationships between nonprofit organizations, corporations, the media, and funders to meet their mutually beneficial strategic objectives through marketing and fundraising campaigns, along with educational activities. Amazing Taste has advised organizations in the US and Africa—focused on gender and human rights, environmental issues, public health, youth development, and education. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Voice of America Interview: Technology and Innovations in Africa

Advancements in technology and innovation are in full swing in many African countries and it’s driven largely by women and youth. A few of these trendsetters visited Washington, to talk about their work. VOA’s Ndimyake Mwakalyelye reports and later talks to Richard Seshie, the founder of Vivvus Renewables and Liz Ngonzi, an international entrepreneur, about Africa’s technology and innovations.

National Girlfriends’ Networking Day Women’s Leadership Event

National Girlfriends Networking Day is a nationwide celebration of the power of building connections.

Join thousands of women around the country by attending interactive, networking events. We’ll feature a panel of renowned, diverse women leaders discussing how to plan your career path, and then taking questions via social media from nationwide participants. Featuring Liz Ngonzi, CEO of Amazing Taste LLC and NYU Adjunct Professor.

SXSW 2012 Panels: African Women in Tech

Moderator: TMS Ruge Cofounder Project Diaspora

Panelists:

Deborah Ensor – VP, Africa, Health and Humanitarian Media Programs, Internews

Ebele Okobi – Dir, Business Yahoo! Inc

Isis Nyong’o – VP & MD, Africa, InMobi Africa

Liz Ngonzi – Technology Faculty New York University Heyman Center for Philanthropy & Fundraising

 

NYU-SCPS Heyman Center Panel: Mobile in Advocacy Pt 2

Panelists including Andrew Zolli (Pop!Tech), Christopher Fabian (UNICEF’s Tech4Dev), Nadim Mahmud (Medic Mobile), Courtney Radsch (Freedom House), Liz Ngonzi (Heyman Center), and Marcia Stepanek (Heyman Center) talked about the rise of mobile social networks and their influence on organizing volunteers, protesters and supporters around specific causes and goals. Hosted by The NYU-SCPS Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising, the Philanthropy 3.0 Speaker Series features national leaders in philanthropy innovation debating disruptive changes in the sector, including the latest influences of social media, cause video, the social enterprise movement, and mobile fundraising.

Prendismo Collection: Liz Ngonzi States Confronting and Solving Problems Makes You A Stronger Entrepreneur

It is the 21st century and most countries allow freedom and opportunity for all races and sexes to achieve any goal they set out for themselves. We see this as women have taken up senior roles within large corporations. But we still have a long way to go, And one Summit that has shed some light on How we can IS: the African Women’s Leadership Summit that took place in Kenya.

Joining us in studio today is international speaker, Elizabeth Ngonzi, who spoke at the summit. Ngonzi is also the CEO of a non-profit organization Afrika Tikkun in the USA. This organization invests in the development of disadvantaged children from early infancy through young adulthood and into the world of work.