Author Archives: Willie_Matis

About Willie_Matis

FQHC & Homelessness Advocate. Coach. Bartender. I am always learning something new ABOUT social media, and I am always learning something new while I am ON social media. Life is busy, but I still make time to write about the topics I am passionate about. My passions aim at ending homelessness and increasing health care access to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents of Indianapolis. My posts touch on a lot of different subjects ranging from the use of social media in advocacy, to the obstacles facing those who need better access to care, and to current events in Indianapolis! I am a millennial who is likes to blog about millennial engagement in advocacy movements, social change, and non-profits. Continually learning about social media, this blog site helps me to sort through my thoughts and discuss with others who have gone through or are just now going through the same experiences as I am.

#ThankfulThursday

I’m taking a keyword from Steven Shattuck’s blog post about #GivingTuesday… but I changed it a bit from #ThankINGThursday to #ThankfulThursday, so that makes it okay, right? He brought great insight about one thing that fundraisers simply do not do well right now… retain donors.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying ALL fundraisers are bad at donor retention, but check this out… another thing I’m stealing from Steven is his slide about a survey done with Bloomerang.

Less than 45% of fundraisers even KNOW their retention rate at their given organization. That’s a striking figure.
Every donor has their own preference on how they want to be thanked, on how they want to be stewarded, and how they want to be talked to. This causes fear in many fundraisers minds. If I were to run a survey of fundraisers about what fears they have, I would venture to guess that “upsetting a donor” is at the top. Here is my suggestion…

Don’t be afraid of upsetting your donors.

It’s as clear as that. This fear paralyzes development departments. A trusting and loyal donor will understand honest mistakes such as (1) sending a tad too much direct mail, (2) giving one too many asks via email blast, (3) putting “Thomas” on an envelope when they go by “Tom”, and things like this. If a donor explains that they will NEVER give to your organization again because you sent one too many thank you’s, then I’d guess they weren’t going to give to your organization again anyway.

Here’s the one fear you SHOULD have… NOT LISTENING.

When the donor explains to you that they believe you are over mailing, over asking, or spelling their name incorrectly… fix it. Right then and there, your donor will feel as if they are valued because you understood you made a mistake, you listened to what they had to say, and you acted on it.

So… let’s thank away today on #ThankfulThursday. Let’s steward and act how we believe is right for our donors, and if we make an honest mistake, let’s be sure to fix it! Let’s stop being afraid of upsetting our donors because you never know when you will be able to make a second ask on the phone with a donor who originally called to complain about getting too much mail.

What is your biggest fear as a fundraiser? How do you overcome it?

Ray Allen Teaches Us A Lesson

Athletes and celebrities hold a certain amount if power or carry a certain amount of Klout if you will in the online space. They attract so much attention that whenever they post, they will immediately get blasted by haters or retweeted like crazy by fans. So whenever a celebrity uses social media to educate, I am always intrigued.

Ray Allen's Instagram Picture

Ray Allen for those who don’t know, is deciding where he will end up playing in the NBA and many basketball fans are wrapped up about exactly where. He gets bombarded day after day with the question of, “Where will you play, Ray?” Well, Mr. Allen took the opportunity to educate with an Instagram post.

It’s so easy to get lost using social media as a way to get attention not only from your friends but also celebrities who seem out of reach. But Ray reminds his followers exactly what it could be used for…

– Educating Yourself
– Making an Impact
– Connecting with People you may never have met

A hat tip to Ray Allen for educating all of his fans on just how powerful we ALL can be using the tools this generation has been given.

What celebrities do you like to follow because of their positivity? Do you mind sharing them in the comments section below?

Bonus Example: Selena Gomez

Selena-Gomez-Instagram-Comment-467

 

MY FIRST POST REVISITED: Advocacy is needed for all things in life.

Wow. I just took a look back to February 2, 2011 – the very first post that happened right here.

What’s weird is that my quote of the day outside of my cubicle is from Henry David Thoreau:

photo (8)Have you ever looked back at where you started and thought about how things may have changed?

When you look back can you see certain traits and/or beliefs that have stayed rooted in everything you’ve done?

It’s kind of cool to see.  Sometimes in this crazy, busy world that has gotten even more cluttered since 2011, we get busy and keep our heads down to the grindstone that it feels as if we are just going through the motions.

This is one reason why I recommend laying out a personal mission statement or outlining your personal brand.  The professional world has changed a lot.

  • Everyone is always connected.
  • There is less FACE-TO-FACE interaction.

But some things have not changed.

  • You will be held accountable for all actions (online and off)
  • Results, results, results.

If you set yourself a core foundation of what you want to accomplish, then that can be your navigational beacon throughout your career.  My very first post was about advocating for my city of Indianapolis.  In the past 3 years, I have had the opportunity to meet a multitude of great people trying to do the same.

Back to the quote above. It is good to look back every now and again to make sure you are pointed in the right direction.

How have you set a core foundation? What has worked for you? I love hearing new ideas on personal branding. Share them below!

 

Listening and Failing Fast

Last week was a fantastic week at Lake Cumberland. Wake up, go fishing, eat breakfast, do absolutely nothing, watch Dig ski, hang in the water, drink a Miller, and fall asleep at 10pm.  Absolutely fantastic.  A vacation was much needed. I would suggest this for anyone, and my suggestion extends to… TAKE AN ACTUAL VACATION. Don’t just extend a weekend.  Leave work… FOR A WEEK.

It’s very re-energizing. And you know you need it.

What about ‘Listening and Failing Fast’?

Well after getting back from vacation, it’s been a bit easier to key back into reading up on the latest trends of social media and how that can affect your nonprofit. Yesterday, I saw that the Case Foundation is swinging back into their #BeFearless Campaign.  Today, I read a post on Smart Blog on Social Media about how Listening is our most important skill.

Listening

Listening online can be hard to do, but if you are fearless about the questions you ask, then you can make very big strides. One of the hardest things about asking questions of your online community is the willingness to let someone give you suggestions that you may not enjoy hearing. But let’s do it! Transparency is one thing that is valued by many in today’s world.

Here is a question for you now…

How do you formulate questions to get feedback online?
Do you do a question of the day or the week?
Have you been willing to let people give feedback on specific programs?

 

Do you have a personal mission statement?

Well, do ya punk?

I’m fairly certain that Clint Eastwood has one.  And, I’ve seen a few others online talking about their personal statements.  The other day while skimming the Twitterverse, I saw Sara Croft post about this. Naturally it turned to tweets back and forths and then into emails back and forth.

The one thing we were both trying to work through is narrowing it down.  When you are passionate about many things and enjoy helping others’ endeavors, it is hard to narrow down a personal mission statement.

I’m actually still working on mine, but here is what I have so far…

Fostering open, collaborative conversations on how to make a sustainable impact on your community.

But I am always working on it.  What about you?  Do you have a personal statement?  Are you looking for one?  Comment below! Or tweet me.  I would love to continue this conversation!

The End of Q1 – What has been accomplished?

It’s the last day of March, and this means that we are heading into the 2nd quarter of the year.  Unreal how fast time flies.

One of the biggest things that I’ve learned from Quarter 1 is the importance of not having too many things on your plate.  Toward the end of last year, I made it a point to start saying ‘No’ to a few volunteer positions and groups that I had been a part of.

The reason being – I was stressed.

Having an overloaded plate is natural for people our age, and especially for people who are just out of college.  It is understandable if you are wanting make a splash, move forward quickly, and gain the ever so coveted “EXPERIENCE” that so many job positions ask for.  However, once you start progressing in ALL of those tasks, then more is asked of you.

WARNING: Know when to start taking things off of your plate.

photo credit to cherischatter.blogspot.com

photo credit to cherischatter.blogspot.com

Experience can be more valuable when you are accomplishing ‘less’ things at GREATER quality.  Your plate will naturally get more and more full as you show your worth in your full time job, as you go from an at-large board member to a VP, and as you show that you get things done.  But, if you start taking on more responsibility at ALL of the things you are doing, then you start letting people (or yourself) down.

As part of the generation that wants instant gratification, this is a hard concept to grasp, but it is one that is necessary.  HECK YES you always need to push forward as quick as you can, but remember not to get too frustrated at things that take longer than you hoped.

What have you gotten accomplished during Quarter 1 of 2014?  Would love to hear from you!

Your Virtual First Impression

Getting ready to head up to the alma mater tonight and tomorrow for the Wabash Entrepreneur Summit.

In gearing up for this, I have learned at least one thing… typing out E-N-T-R-E-P-R-E-N-E-U-R takes me longer than typing out any other word. (So many E’s)

But, I have also learned that I do have a firm stance on the questions you should ask yourself in order to find your virtual “tone of voice.”  

However, I can not share them until after the summit or else I’d be staring out at an empty room tomorrow because hopefully all Summit attendees have already found my blog. #wishfulthinking

The reason for this post, though, is to get some conversation going around YOUR THOUGHTS about “tone of voice” and “first impressions” ONLINE. What do you think needs to be asked and what needs to be done in order to have a good TONE and a good FIRST IMPRESSION in the online space?

photo credited to thatprecariousgait.com

photo credited to thatprecariousgait.com

Share your thoughts in the comments section below, or tweet me.

 

Finding a Voice online – and then keeping it?

The most powerful thing about social media is that you are able to portray yourself in exactly the light that you would like to.

For pessimists - you are thinking of the Catfish out there. People pretending to be someone that they are NOT at all.

For optimists – you are thinking of the celebrities and companies showing transparency so that we can get a hint at MORE than what mainstream media tells us.

And for those of us early in our careers – this is our chance to present ourselves in a professional manner and build a personal brand.  What many experts say is that you need to find a voice. When I started my nonprofit career almost 4 years ago, I think I stated that my voice will be “expert on social media for nonprofits.”

My understanding from reading article after article was that your voice needs to remain consistent throughout all platforms so that people aren’t mixed up when they see your presence.  And this is true…

picture credit to dvirc.org

picture credit to dvirc.org

However, just like anything, it should be taken with a grain of salt.  Four years ago, I had what I thought was my “brand” or my “voice”.  Things change, though, and it is tough to KEEP that voice throughout everything.

How do you keep it?

1. Have a good mix
My difficulty was keeping my voice was the “always having to be an expert” in the back of my head.  When I decided that I would disperse personality and NON-social media messaging, I gained some response.

2. Be Yourself
Your goal may be to show your expertise or to only speak on subject matter, but those blogs and brands are a dime a dozen on the interwebs now.  You must BE YOURSELF in order to get true engagement.

3. Have Your Voice as the Foundation, not the entirety of your presence.
Your “brand” or “voice” should always be in the back of your mind, but it shouldn’t LEAD the charge with your messaging.  Your messaging should pertain to current events and trends with an echo of your voice to it.

Has anyone else experienced these growing pains when keeping up with their online presence?  I’d love to hear from others because I may WANT to be an expert, but I’m not just yet.

Does blogging help anything?

While heading to the Russ Reid conference and as I was sitting on my first flight to California, I had a thought.

First of all, the family sitting in front of us on the plane is great.  They are making me flashback to the times when my 4 brothers and I could not sit still no matter where you took us.  I think that is still the cause, though, even if the twins are 16.  Mother, father, daughter, son, daughter, and son all sitting in front of us – it is amazing the process and teamwork between mom and dad to keep the kids calm.

SO… After reading a portion of the Wall Street Journal and gaining a personal best in Flappy Bird, I’ve realized that I need to start blogging again.  I have not blogged in a long while, and I attribute it to my being “busy” but that is a terrible excuse.  Everyone is busy.

How does blogging help?

1. It keeps me organized.

Not that I ever get UN-organized, but my experience blogging has made it apparent that I prioritize better when I am thinking about blog themes and monthly themes for this writing place.

2. It keeps me inspired.

Some people are doodlers.  Some people are musicians. Some people are gamers.  I need to write in order to let my mind run its course.  Almost like a bad temper, if you keep your creativity in, then you run the risk of it pouring out like a jumbled mess (which this post may look like).

3. It keeps me educated.

Blogging leads to engaging conversation.  Education comes through all avenues, but KNOWLEDGE comes through conversation and experience.

So yeah, it may be in the middle of the month.  It may not be January 1st.  But hey, not all resolutions have to start at the beginning of a year or the beginning of a month.

photo courtesy to theabundantartist.com

photo courtesy to theabundantartist.com

Here is to challenging myself to blog each and everyday.  That way it won’t be a jumbled and long post like this one.  If you have read this all the way to the end, then I hope you are in the same predicament I was by not blogging because this post may be more for myself personally than for any of you readers out there.

Who wants to hold each other accountable?  Unofficially sign up for the UNOFFICIAL DAILY BLOG CHALLENGE by submitting your name in the unofficial sign up sheet that is the comments section below.

Passion will bring Success

Not always. Sorry for starting with a negative here, but what I mean is that JUST because younhave passion doesn’t mean you will see fantastic success in every little thing you do. Failure happens.

But this is when passion is even more crucial.

When you have passion, you will find success within each failure. Passion means that you want something to be successful so bad that you are willing to take chances and to fail as many times as it takes to eventually succeed!

photo credit to day2night.com

photo credit to day2night.com

Coworker keeps blocking a social media project you bring to the table? Find out what they see as valuable and show them how social media enhances it. Give them a recent case study.

Know you need video to enhance you social media program but itnis difficult to get good stories? Start sharing great videos from like organizations with programs staff. They will start wanting YOUR organization to make videos like that.

Frustrated with day in and day out of no mentions, no likes or comments on Facebook, and no blog comments? Keep pushing. People are reading. People just want to get used to your organization’s presence. Think outside the box on how you can get people to engage. Maybe it’ll take some offline encouragement.

Passion for a successful social media program.  Passion for talking with people who care about your cause. And, passion for tsking that engaged person to the n3xt level of involvement with your organization will get you through.

Never lose passion.

Once you lose that passion, people notice. But, if you get knocked down and then pop right back up, people notice that even more.