Figured Out the Rest of Your 2012 Conference Plan Yet?

Trying to figure out your conference schedule for the rest of the year?

From Allyson Kapin on the Frogloop blog:

From Amy Schmittauer on the Convince and Convert blog:

You can also check out Kivi’s conference recommendations on her Nonprofit Communications Blog and the impressively thorough conference list on SocialBrite.

The First Bright+3 Book Launch: The Nimble Nonprofit

I am thrilled to announce the launch of The Nimble Nonprofit: An Unconventional Guide to Sustaining and Growing Your Nonprofit.

The nonprofit world truly is in a state of flux. Much of what used to work doesn’t anymore. The need to invest in growing ass-kicking staff and to develop sustained organizational capacity has never been greater, yet the difficulties of doing so are growing as quickly as the need. In The Nimble Nonprofit we cover a wide range of what we believe are critical challenges facing the nonprofit sector:

  • cultivating a high-impact innovative organizational culture;
  • building and sustaining a great team;
  • staying focused and productive;
  • optimizing your board of directors;
  • creating lasting relationships with foundations, donors, and members;
  • remaining agile and open; and
  • growing and sustaining a nimble, impactful organization.

We mean for The Nimble Nonprofit to be a guide – an unconventional irreverent, and pragmatic guide – to succeeding in a nonprofit leadership role, and to tackling this incredibly challenging nonprofit environment. We aimed for a conversational, practical, candid, and quick read instead of a deep dive. If you want to immerse yourself in building a great membership program, or recruiting board members, or writing by-laws, there are plenty of books that cover the terrain (and some of them are quite good).

But if you want the no-nonsense, convention-challenging, clutter-cutting guide to the info you really, really need to know about sustaining and growing a nonprofit, well, we hope you’ll check out The Nimble Nonprofit.

This is our first book, and the publishing industry is a state of disarray, so – following the spirit in which we wrote the book – we are taking an unconventional path. We decided to publish strictly as an e-book, and we decided to self-published (with a bunch of help from Ted here at Bright+3). We are offering the book through the big three e-bookstores (Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble, and we might add a few more to the mix), and we’ve priced the book at $4.99, which is much less expensive than the vast array of other nonprofit books.

As of right now, the book is available on Amazon (and it’ll hit the other two stores shortly). If you’d like to score a copy of The Nimble Nonprofit and enjoy reading it on your Kindle, iPad, or another tablet, jump on Amazon and grab it (did I mention it’s only $4.99?).

And, because our main goal is contributing to the conversations around these critical questions, we are also making a .pdf version of the book available for free.

We suspect that most readers will agree with some of what we argue and disagree with other parts, and because we challenge much of the conventional wisdom about building strong nonprofits, we’re pretty sure that some folks will disagree with a lot of what we write. And we look forward to the conversations. Please send us your thoughts, critiques, comments, and ideas

Tell us where you think we’re wrong and where we’ve hit the nail on the head, and please share with us other examples of nonprofits doing a great job of tackling these challenges and where they are just getting it wrong.

Happy reading –


(P.S. The Nimble Nonprofit is available right now on Amazon.)

Lets Get Local: Using Social Media in State and Local Campaigns

Earlier this week, Jacob and I were joined by a colleague, Karen Middleton of Emerge America, at the Nonprofit Technology Conference where the three of us spoke about the use of social media in state and local advocacy campaigns.

The three of us are longtime activists and advocacy campaigners. Jacob and Karen are both former elected officials (Jacob a city council member and mayor, Karen a state legislator and member of the state board of education). Having served, they bring a unique perspective to the discussion. We explored the challenges that elected officials face, particularly those at the state and local level where resources are highly constrained.

Saul Alinsky in Chicago, 1966. We may be communicating digitally but it's still about organizing relationships.

The framework of our presentation was tied together by the premise that while social media (and email and other online communications) are digital (or virtual, if you like), advocacy is local and, especially at the state and local level, the work of influencing local elected officials is all about relationships. Understanding how the people in your online networks know and relate to officials goes a long way towards using social media in a powerful and strategic way.

We had a great discussion with people in the room, many of whom are engaged in some strong campaigns. Nancy Marks from the Boston-based organization Health Resources in Action shared their Face Off Against Tobacco campaign which is a great use of personal messages and photos. The more personal you can make your messaging, the better, and this is very true at the local level.

We are sharing the slides from the session below. We’ll be sharing similar versions of this talk at some future events in Colorado and online. Stay tuned.

You might also want to check out the Digital Engagement Guide. I came across it recently and it looks to be a good new site tracking the use of digital tools and networks in the public sector.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has a page listing the social network links of the legislative leaders of all states.

If you have tips or other examples of local campaigns with great uses of social media we would love to hear from you. Share them in the comments.

The 2011 Conference Lineup

Groundwire has a nice 2011 conference schedule roundup . . . worth checking out as you start to figure out your budget and plans.