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10 Social Media Content Creation Tips for Non Profits

Social
Image by: Production Perig

By Gregory Kolen.

Are you struggling to come up with content ideas for your non-profit’s social media accounts? You’re not alone! Creating engaging, interesting content can be a challenge, but it’s essential for building relationships with your followers and driving traffic to your website. In this blog post, we will share 10 tips for creating social media content that engages your audience and helps you achieve your goals.

We hope you find these tips helpful and that they inspire you to create content that is impactful and engaging. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help!

Here are our top ten tips for social media content creation:

Plan ahead: One of the best ways to avoid the stress of coming up with content ideas on the fly is to plan ahead. Set aside some time each week or month to brainstorm ideas and schedule them into a content calendar. This will give you a roadmap to follow and help you stay on track.

Know your audience: It’s important to know who your target audience is before you start creating content. What are their interests? What type of language do they use? What kind of information are they looking for? Knowing these things will help you create content that resonates with them.

Be consistent: Once you’ve identified your target audience and what type of content they respond to, it’s important to be consistent in your approach. Posting irregularly or switching up your style too frequently can confuse your followers and make it difficult to build a relationship with them.

Keep it fresh: While consistency is important, you also don’t want your content to become stale. Be sure to mix things up from time to time and keep your audience guessing. Try new formats, experiment with different types of content, and find new ways to engage with your followers.

Make it visual: People are more likely to engage with content that is visually appealing. In addition to traditional text-based posts, try incorporating images, videos, infographics, or other visuals into your content strategy.

Tell a story: People love a good story, so try to incorporate them into your content whenever possible. Share stories about your work, the people you help, or the impact you’re making in your community. These types of stories will help your followers connect with your mission and feel invested in your work.

Ask questions: Engage your followers by asking them questions in your posts. This is a great way to encourage two-way communication and get feedback from your audience.

Use calls to action: Make it easy for your followers to take action by including calls to action in your posts. Whether you’re asking them to donate, volunteer, or simply learn more about what you do, clear and concise calls to action will help you achieve your goals.

Post at the right time: Timing is everything when it comes to social media. Be sure to post during times when your audience is most active and likely to see your content. Experiment with different days and times to find what works best for you.

Monitor your activity: Keep an eye on your social media metrics to see what’s working and what isn’t. Track things like engagement, reach, clicks, shares, and comments to get a better understanding of what type of content performs well with your audience. Then, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

We hope these tips help you create social media content that engages your audience and drives results. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

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UX Thinking for Online Advocacy and Fundraising

UX Brainstorming

By Gregory Kolen II.

Online fundraising and advocacy are two important aspects of any nonprofit’s digital strategy. However, without user experience expertise, these can often be ineffective and frustrating for donors and supporters. In this post, we will discuss how to use ux knowledge to improve online fundraising and advocacy efforts. We will also provide tips on how to create a positive user experience for your supporters!

User experience (UX) refers to the way users interact with and perceive a website, application, or product. Creating a positive UX is essential for any organization that wants to be successful online. Why? Because if your users are unhappy with their experience on your site, they are likely to leave and never come back. And we all know that acquiring new customers is much more expensive than retaining existing ones!

You want to make sure the experience is:

  • Usable
  • Equitable
  • Enjoyable
  • Useful

By ensuring the experience is usable, you want to make sure to reduce the cognitive load required to help your audience acheive their goals.

To keep the experience equitable means to take into account audiences of different abilities and backgrounds. Keeping in mind additonal options and accessibility tools to help support diverse needs and those in often disenfranchised groups.

The experience should be enjoyable, does it bring satisfaction to the audience user? Does it feel good or rewarding? Can the user connect with the experience in a way that makes them feel like you understand them. It’s helpful to run through any experience you create, and imagine it from the perspectives of any of the audience personas you plan to serve.

And of course, the experience should be useful, in addition to being usable. Ask yourself if the process and design (of donating, taking action, learning more…etc) is presented in a way that adds value to the experience of the user as they seek to acheive their goals.

So how can you use UX expertise to improve your online advocacy and fundraising efforts? Let’s take a look at some tips:

– Make sure your website is easy to navigate and understand. Users should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. If your website is confusing or difficult to use, potential donors will likely give up and go to another site.

– Use strong calls to action. Your website should have clear and concise calls to action (CTAs) that tell users what you want them to do. For example, if you’re raising money for a new playground, your CTA might be “Donate Now.”

– Create engaging content. In order for users to donate or take action, they need to be engaged with your content. This means creating compelling and interesting blog posts, infographics, videos, etc. that will inspire people to support your cause.

– Make it easy to donate. The donation process should be quick and easy; otherwise, potential donors may get frustrated and abandon their donation altogether. Be sure to include multiple payment options and make sure the donation form is short and simple.

By following these tips, you can create a positive user experience for your supporters and enhance your online advocacy and fundraising efforts. If you’re not sure where to start, consider working with a UX expert who can help you assess your current website and digital strategy, and make recommendations for improvement.

Several of these things may seem like common conventions once you’ve gone through the process and patterns a few times. But challenge yourself to think further and empoly a deep level of empathy as you examine each step of the process. For example think of the classic ketchup bottle, typical glass container that held ketchup and was good enough. But by observing people’s pain points you’ll see; the inability to sqeeze extra ketchup out, or having to leave the container upside down to get the last bit of ketchup to the cap. At the end of the day, the user of the classic ketchup bottle is able get ketchup from the bottle, but the friction of the experience could be reduced. After a few iterations, we’ve arrived at a sqeezable bottle with a large cap at the bottom of the bottle that aims to make the experience of retreiving the last bit of ketchup so much easier.

Don’t forget that ux isn’t only about websites! Creating a great user experience extends to all aspects of your digital strategy, from social media to email marketing. By keeping ux in mind, you can create an overall better experience for your supporters – which will lead to more donations and engagement!

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EPA Ruled Improperly Delayed Racial Bias Probes

EPA Racial Bias
It has been ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) improperly delayed investigating pollution-spewing dumps and power plants that disproportionately impact minority communities.
This follows a July 2015 suit against the EPA, where Californians for Renewable Energy and four other groups claimed that the agency ignored a decade’s worth of complaints about environmental racism under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
Communities surrounding sites such as ‘The Stone’s Throw’ Landfill in Tallassee, Alabama are among the minority populations citing civil rights complaints against the EPA.
Read more at: https://www.courthousenews.com/judge-rules-epa-improperly-delayed-racial-bias-probes/

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What does Trump’s budget mean for Environmental Justice?

The Trump administration’s 2019 budget (October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019) has serious consequences for the protection of the environment and of people. Trump’s budget plan cuts the Environmental Protection Agency’s spending by 23 percent, eliminating dozens of programs. The agency’s budget for the Office of Science and Technology is being nearly halved, while the Human Health Risk Assessment program will face reductions close to 40 percent. Other programs, such as several voluntary emissions-reductions programs and climate change research initiatives, will be eliminated.
The Superfund program, while considered to be a priority by EPA Administrator Scott Pruit, will still be subject to 25 percent cuts. Pruitt’s statement on the Superfund program emphasizes that cuts will come from administrative costs and the expedition of cleanups. The EPA’s other hazardous site restoration project, known as Brownfields, will shrink by 36 percent.
Trump’s cuts to several important EPA programs and subsequent shrinking of the agency as a whole sends a strong message about his regard for environmental health of Americans. Many environmentalists consider this move towards less health protective policies to be dangerous. The administration is instead prioritizing military and defense spending, hashing out 686 billion to the Department of Defense.
Aside from cuts, the Trump administration announced the end of the Clinton-era “once in, always in” policy on pollution. Environmental activists and lawyers are criticizing this move, warning that it could increase exposure to hazardous air pollutions, particularly among vulnerable populations. Former environmental justice head of the EPA, Mustafa Ali, said in an interview with Earther, “[The elimination of the ‘once in, always in’ policy is] really going to be killing people. You’re going to have all types of public health problems.”
These concerns being raised are valid, as the lack of funding to crucial programs mean that the most vulnerable of populations will be most affected. Considering that our president is ignoring the pressing issue of climate change, we must take matters in our own hands. More than ever, we need to work to protect our communities from the threat of pollution and toxic contamination. By supporting local groups that are putting pressure on government officials to produce life-saving policies, you can make sure that your community is safe and healthy.

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An Open Letter From Pittsburgh to the President on Paris Climate Pullout

Last week, President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Here’s what Pittsburgh had to say about it:
“Mr. President, when you took our country out of the global agreement to stop climate change, you said you  “represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” As a proud native of western Pennsylvania, I strongly disagree.
You do not represent Pittsburgh. Our people overwhelmingly rejected you at the ballot box, and we have seen your brand of charlatanism before.
For generations, glorified highwaymen like you have come to exploit the people and land of western Pennsylvania, and gorged themselves on their spoils. These salesmen claimed gold would rain down on us, if only we let them dump toxins in our rivers. We didn’t buy it then, and we don’t buy it now…
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

800px-PittSkyline082904-768x367
Photo credit: Bobak Ha’Eri, Wikimedia Commons

Rights for workers and protections for our land and water are victories that had to be fought for and won by the people of western Pennsylvania from highwaymen like you…

Mr. President, Pittsburgh is not your punch line.  Your speechwriters probably chose us from a Google search of “cities that start with P,” but we are indeed on the front lines of climate change, and we will bear the cost of your bad choices.
If we stay the course you have set and do nothing to halt climate change, both Pittsburgh and Washington, DC will be coastal cities as New York and Boston sink below the rising tide of warming oceans.
Mr. President, Pittsburgh is proudly part of the planet we share. The people of Pittsburgh breathe the same air as the people of Paris and Poland and Palau.  You represent profits for the few, not the People of Pittsburgh.”
Read the entire letter written by Daniel Doubet of Keystone Progress on OurFuture.org[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Longtime Dunmore Mayor Ousted

Lackawanna, PA –
“Borough Councilman Timothy Burke defeated Mayor Patrick “Nibs” Loughney in Tuesday’s Democratic primary by a razor-thin three-vote margin…”
One important issue brought to attention during the race was the expansion of Keystone Sanitary Landfill. Burke opposed the expansion and won the election, ousting the incumbent who had been in office for 24 years.
This story highlights the importance of running your own candidate in local elections and how every vote counts.
Read more here

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Small Victory for North Carolina Residents Fighting CAFOs: Governor Vetoes House Bill 467

The Bill:
“Elise Herring has been fighting for decades against the industrial hog farm that moved in beside her family’s Eastern North Carolina property in 1986 and began spraying the fecal material of +2,000 hogs onto the field that ends eight feet outside her kitchen window.
But last Friday, when the state’s newly elected Democratic Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would protect the hog industry from lawsuits like the one Herring and about 500 others have filed against a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, she breathed a sigh of relief- at least for the moment…
The North Carolina legislature, in which the Republicans hold a supermajority in both houses (35-15 in the Senate; 74-46 in the House), could override the veto with a 3/5ths majority vote if they take up the issue again. The House would need 72 votes to override the veto, and the Senate would need 30; during each chamber’s last vote on the bill, 74 representatives and 30 senators supported it.”
The Problem:
“In North Carolina, 6,500 industrial hog farms, known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), house more than 9.5 million animals in the flat, hot eastern stretches of the state.
Together, the pigs produce 10 billion gallons of feces and urine each year, which the operations store in large, open-air pits, euphemistically referred to as “lagoons.” To make sure the pits do not overflow, the operations periodically lower their levels by shooting the fecal mixture over “sprayfields” of feed crops with high-pressure sprinklers.
Scientific studies confirm that discharging animal waste into the air damages human health in the surrounding areas. The foul-smelling chemicals the CAFOs release – namely ammonia and hydrogen sulfide – are associated with breathing problems, blood pressure spikes, increased stress and anxiety, and decreased quality of life, studies have found.”
Read the entire story about the North Carolina House Bill 467 and CAFOs here

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Why Do You March?

Millions of people will come together in the next few weeks, as they have since the start of the new administration, to take part in several marches. Two of which are: the March for Science (April 22, 2017) and the People’s Climate March (April 29, 2017). Although the marches will be held in the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., both marches (or shall we say movements) have generated such a following that satellite marches are being held around the country, and even around the world, on those days as well.
The goals for the March for Science:

  • Humanize science by showing that it is conducted, applied, and supported by a diverse body of people.
  • Partner with the public by joining together both scientists and supporters of science, as progress [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][in science and research] can only be made by mutual respect.
  • Advocate for open, inclusive, and accessible science by including in conversation and valuing the voices of all members of the global community.
  • Support scientists
  • Affirm science as a democratic value

The People’s Climate March Platform:

  • Directly and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas and toxic pollution to successfully combat climate change and improve public health
  • Mandate a transition to an equitable and sustainable New Energy and Economic Future that limits the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  • Provide a Just Transition for communities and workers negatively impacted by the shift to a New Energy and Economic Future that includes targeted economic opportunity and provides a stable income, health care, and education.
  • Demand that every job pays a wage of at least $15 an hour, protects workers, and provides a good standard of living, pathways out of poverty , and a right to organize.
  • Ensure that investments are targeted to create pathways for low-income people and people of color to access good jobs and improve the lives of communities of color, indigenous peoples, low-income people, small farmers, women, and workers.
  • Make bold investments in the resilience of states, cities, tribes, and communities that are threatened by climate change; including massive investments in infrastructure systems from water, transportation, and solid waste to the electrical grid and safe, green building and increasing energy efficiency that will also create millions of jobs in the public and private sector.
  • Reinvest in a domestic industrial base that drives towards an equitable and sustainable New Energy and Economic Future, and fight back against the corporate trade-induced global race to the bottom.
  • Market- and policy-based mechanisms must protect human rights and critical, native ecosystems and reduce pollution at source

In Stephen’s blog from last week, it was easy for him to explain a scientists’ reasoning behind the March for Science. As a newcomer in the field with much less experience than he, it took me a while to come up with a personal connection to support my reasoning behind these movements. But after thinking about it, I realized that my only reasoning is because truly care about the issues, & that’s okay. I take inspiration from people my age who are making their voices heard and standing up for what they believe in, day after day.
I do it for a sense of community and understanding that we’re fighting for something greater than ourselves. I do it for the people who are, unfortunately affected every day by things they cannot control. On these days, I will be marching for the generations before me who had a stronger connection with the Earth – who took care of it and respected it. I will be marching for the generations after me who will only be able to live healthy lives and enjoy this Earth so long as we do everything we can now to preserve and care for it. I will be marching for little, 5-year-old me, who visited family in the Philippines and could not understand why she, in extremely hot, humid weather, had to pump water from the ground and then boil it before drinking so she wouldn’t get sick…
To think that other environmental factors, global warming, and climate change has made situations much worse over the years (and will continue get worse if change is not made) is truly terrifying.


 
As a verb, the word “march” means:

  • Walk quickly with determination
  • Walk along public rods in an organized procession as a form of protest

As a noun, it means:

  • The steady and inevitable development or progress of something

Progress. That’s all we need. A little push in the right direction is still a major win, and that’s what these movements are aiming to do.
Without strong belief in scientific evidence, without environmental regulations that protect our health, without a care for the environment and the world we live in, future generations will surely suffer.
Sure, there will be people who criticize these movements- only because they feel they have no reason to stand behind them. Find your reason. March with us.
March for Science (April 22, 2017)
People’s Climate March (April 29, 2017)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) – The New Lead

Image result for pfc's in drinking water
by Stephen Lester
Will our water ever be safe? A new group of chemicals is showing up in drinking water across the country; in Portsmouth, NH, Hoosick Falls, NY, Scottsdale, AZ, Colorado Springs, CO, Decatur, AL, Bucks County, PA and Cape Cod, MA to name a few places. These chemicals are called perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs.  
PFCs are common in many consumer products including teflon pans, fabric protectors, pizza boxes and ski wax, and are used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture. They first generated headlines in the 1990s when a DuPont plant that made teflon and related products was responsible for contaminating the drinking water of 70,000 people in Parkersburg, WV. Exposure to PFCs is linked to developmental delays in children, decreased fertility, increased cholesterol, changes in the immune system, and cancer (prostate, kidney and testicular).
One recent study1 from Harvard University School of Public Health estimates millions of Americans may be drinking water contaminated with PFCs, including  perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  
Drinking water contamination by PFOA and PFOS stems from two main sources: factories that formerly manufactured or used these chemicals; and locations, including military bases, where they were used in firefighting foams. According to the EPA, both PFOA and PFOS are found at very low levels in the blood of the general population across the U.S.
Earlier this year, EPA updated its Health Advisory2 for PFOA and PFOS to 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for both compounds combined. However the researchers at Harvard believe this value is not adequately protective of the public3 and that 1 ppt is a more appropriate standard.4   
CHEJ has prepared fact sheets on the toxicity of these chemicals5 and how to interpret blood levels.6 Both were prepared as part of our work with the local residents in Portsmouth, NH. Please visit our website at www.chej.org to contact us if you have questions about PFCs including how to interpret test results.

  1. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00260

2.https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-and-pfos

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4187289/
  2. http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/news/horsham-pfos/expert-pfc-levels-in-water-should-be-part-per-trillion/article_a3064b80-3d52-5b98-b828-bb0ae92df4fa.html
  3. Read online at http://bit.ly/chejpfcs1
  4. Read online at http://bit.ly/chejpfcs2
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News Archive

Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) – The New Lead

Image result for pfc's in drinking water
by Stephen Lester
Will our water ever be safe? A new group of chemicals is showing up in drinking water across the country; in Portsmouth, NH, Hoosick Falls, NY, Scottsdale, AZ, Colorado Springs, CO, Decatur, AL, Bucks County, PA and Cape Cod, MA to name a few places. These chemicals are called perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs.  
PFCs are common in many consumer products including teflon pans, fabric protectors, pizza boxes and ski wax, and are used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture. They first generated headlines in the 1990s when a DuPont plant that made teflon and related products was responsible for contaminating the drinking water of 70,000 people in Parkersburg, WV. Exposure to PFCs is linked to developmental delays in children, decreased fertility, increased cholesterol, changes in the immune system, and cancer (prostate, kidney and testicular).
One recent study1 from Harvard University School of Public Health estimates millions of Americans may be drinking water contaminated with PFCs, including  perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  
Drinking water contamination by PFOA and PFOS stems from two main sources: factories that formerly manufactured or used these chemicals; and locations, including military bases, where they were used in firefighting foams. According to the EPA, both PFOA and PFOS are found at very low levels in the blood of the general population across the U.S.
Earlier this year, EPA updated its Health Advisory2 for PFOA and PFOS to 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for both compounds combined. However the researchers at Harvard believe this value is not adequately protective of the public3 and that 1 ppt is a more appropriate standard.4   
CHEJ has prepared fact sheets on the toxicity of these chemicals5 and how to interpret blood levels.6 Both were prepared as part of our work with the local residents in Portsmouth, NH. Please visit our website at www.chej.org to contact us if you have questions about PFCs including how to interpret test results.

  1. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00260

2.https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-and-pfos

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4187289/
  2. http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/news/horsham-pfos/expert-pfc-levels-in-water-should-be-part-per-trillion/article_a3064b80-3d52-5b98-b828-bb0ae92df4fa.html
  3. Read online at http://bit.ly/chejpfcs1
  4. Read online at http://bit.ly/chejpfcs2