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Social Media for Nonprofits Closeup: Heather Mansfield, Nonprofit Tech for Good

On March 19, 2015 ConnectVA presents the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference 2015 – “Mobile Technology for Social Good” featuring Heather Mansfield, founder of Nonprofit Tech for Good at WCVE Community Idea Station in Richmond, VA.

Register here for $65-$75 – tickets almost sold out!

During the Conference, Heather will host two practical workshops packed with tips, advice, statistics and examples!  Learn more about our featured speaker and join us for the only social media conference in the region specifically for nonprofits – we’ll also have 4 workshops (choose 2) and a local media and PR panel!

Keynote: Mobile for Good – A Brief History of Nonprofit Technology

With a focus on the rapid rise of mobile technology, Heather Mansfield of Nonprofit Tech for Good will discuss how the increased use of smartphones and tablets have impacted online communications and fundraising in the nonprofit sector. Beginning with the 1990’s and the launch of websites, e-newsletters, and “Donate Now” buttons and then moving on to the rise of social media in the 2000’s, Heather will discuss how mobile technology has fundamentally changed twenty years of advancement in nonprofit technology. She will illuminate the importance of adapting quickly or risk being left behind in a digital world that embraces flexibility and speed. Packed with stats, data, and practical advice, nonprofits will gain the knowledge and insight necessary to embrace change and a mobile-first approach to online communications and fundraising.

Afternoon Workshop: The Math & Science of Social Media – 10 Tips for Nonprofits

More than a decade into the Social Web, mathematicians and social scientists have had ample time to study how, when, and why online individuals engage with nonprofits on social media, yet most nonprofits are not aware of the scientific data about online social behavior. Once this data is learned, however, nonprofits can significantly improve their use of social media to create and distribute content and fundraise online. Based on the math and science of social media, this session will feature ten tips and tricks to maximize engagement on social media. Topics include how to:

  • Share content on Facebook to maximize likes, comments, and shares.
  • When and how often to post on Facebook.
  • Format the perfect tweet to maximize retweets.
  • When and how often to tweet.
  • How to create compelling photo and video content on Instagram.

“My goal is to prevent nonprofit staff from wasting their time using mobile and social media incorrectly. We’re at a stage in social media where you have to be good at it for it to produce results.”

How does your work help empower individuals, advance organizations and strengthen community?

Through my research and hands-on study of mobile and social media, I am able to communicate through my blog and books the most useful best practices for nonprofits. My goal is to prevent nonprofit staff from wasting their time using mobile and social media incorrectly. We’re at a stage in social media where you have to be good at it for it to produce results. Over the last six years I have been able to train and empower over 25,000 nonprofits worldwide via webinars on how to use online fundraising tools and social media effectively. That’s more of an impact than I ever thought I’d be able to make using the Internet and I have social media and the nonprofits and individuals that retweet, share, and post my resources to thank for that.

What does “mobile technology for social good” mean to you?

“Mobile technology” encompasses a group of web-based tech tools that can be utilized on a mobile device, such as mobile browsers, mobile email, digital wallets, and smartphone and tablet apps. “Social good” is a more difficult to define, but I like to think of social good as any action – whether that’s volunteering with a local nonprofit, making a donation, or signing an online petition – that helps make the world a better place. If you put the two together, then “mobile technology for social good” is using smartphones and tablets to inspire individuals to take action to help the poor, the sick, the war torn, and to protect the planet and the animals that inhabit it.

What’s the number 1 way you keep your organization using technology and social media creatively?

I am consistently researching and studying how nonprofits are using technology and social media. Most nonprofits just don’t have the time for that, but time for research and the creative process is essential to stay ahead of the curve. That said, if you have an individual or group of individuals that research new tech trends regularly and passionately, it’s very important that they are given artistic freedom to experiment with new ideas. Trends in mobile and social media move very fast and quite often the most popular campaigns are launched quickly on gut instinct. If your organization has a tedious approval process for new ideas, then you will unlikely be an early adopter or trendsetter.

What’s the biggest trend nonprofits should be paying attention to with respect to social media?

Nonprofits need to convert their messages and call-to-actions into visual content and this requires either staff training in graphic design and video and photo editing – or a budget for a graphic designer. The rise of mobile and social media is rapidly changing how our brains process messages and calls-to-action online and to stand out from the clutter and continue to engage your donors and supporters, your organization needs to learn the art of visual storytelling – and visual fundraising. If your website and email communications are text-heavy and your tweets and posts are void of compelling visuals, you are running the risk of decreasing website visits, email open rates, click through rates, and ultimately declining online donations.

Register here for $65-$75 – tickets almost sold out!


Heather Mansfield is the founder and principal blogger at Nonprofit Tech for Good and author of the best-selling books Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits and Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits. She also created and maintains the Nonprofit Organizations profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube which cumulatively have more than one million followers. Heather has twenty years of experience utilizing the Internet for fundraising, community building, and advocacy. To date, she’s presented more than 100 social media and mobile media trainings throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Southeast Asia as well as over 500 webinars to audiences worldwide.

Heather was honored as a “Fundraising Star of the Year” by Fundraising Success Magazine in 2009 and was placed on Twitter’s Suggested User List from 2010 to 2012. She was also named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Twitter Feeds of 2013 and currently serves as an Honorary Ambassador for the World NGO Day Initiative.

Follow Heather on twitter: @NonprofitOrgs

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