NYS Entity Status
NYS Filing Date
JULY 01, 2014
NYS DOS ID#
9411 SANDROCK RD.
EDEN, NEW YORK, 14057
NYS Entity Type
DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
2014 - ABC WRITING AND CONSULTING LLC
AROUND THE WEB
Who run the nonprofit world?
Wednesday Feb 1, 2017
For years, I’ve noticed that the majority of faces you see in most nonprofits belong to women. Beyonce got it right: women are the backbone of the social sector! They lead organizations, run departments, and power nonprofits at all levels. In fact, women make up most of the nonprofit workforce, yet despite that, we still occupy only a small percentage of the leadership slots at the top 400 charities. Sigh.
How can we change that? And what can you do to make sure one of those top nonprofit leadership seats is reserved for you?
I got together with Stephanie Thomas (of Stetwin Consulting) and Adrienne Prassas (of NYU Wagner)-- both fundraisers par excellence-- to convene a pop-up event for AFP NY members about women’s leadership not long ago. A few dozen women participated, representing a diverse mix of ages, backgrounds, and nonprofit professional experience. Here are a few highlights from our discussion.
Volunteering is a great way to develop your leadership skills. Want to transition into a career in international development? Build your skills in planned giving? Overcome your shyness at speaking in front of groups? Volunteer! Organizing or staffing an event, coordinating a committee, and other volunteer activities not only open up networks, they force you to work with new people in new situations.
Tell them what you need to learn. Trying to break into a new area? Develop new skills? Tell your boss or your peers and colleagues what you want to learn, and offer to help out with projects that may be outside of your job description so you can build your skills. For instance, if you’re a grant writer but you want to get into major donor work, ask your boss if you can help them research and prep for a meeting, or listen in on a meeting or two.
Be yourself. We talked a lot about the power of authenticity in building a strong reputation. Not sure what the answer is? Be honest about it. It’s good to stretch - but it’s not good to be something you’re not. Most of the experienced women at this event found their careers really took off when they spoke with their own voice, rather than trying to play a part they felt was expected of them.
Show up. It’s easy to watch that webinar from your desk, follow along via social media in your jammies from home, and learn virtually. But when you show up at a conference, breakfast, workshop, or other event, the benefits are much greater. Get out and show up! You’ll make deeper, more meaningful connections faster.
Personally, I was deeply inspired by the younger women who participated, like Amalyah Oren, a young woman who works by day, volunteers by night, and writes a blog called the Giving Kind.
If you’re building your leadership skills I’ll be participating in a panel on women’s leadership for the Foundation Center on March 7—details are online here. I hope you can make it!Source: BigDuck smart communications for nonprofits
Should you outsource your appeal writing this year-end season? Maybe, maybe not.
Thursday Sep 29, 2016
The year-end fundraising season is heating up! Time to sharpen your pencils and craft those appeals that will move your donors, right? But what if you’re swamped? Not a great writer? Outsourcing some aspects of your fundraising?
Big Duck often works with nonprofits who need help with fundraising campaigns, but many organizations don’t have the budget to pass off every aspect of their campaign to a consultant, and others have great in-house capacity that’s smart to leverage, too.
When should you keep the writing for your campaign in-house? When is it smarter to outsource to a writer or agency? Here’s what we’ve learned from helping our clients wrestle with these questions.
When to use internal staff
A nonprofit’s staff knows its mission, its language, its voice, and its community best. With all that already in their head, nonprofit communications staff may be able to knock out content that works well for your organization with relative ease.
If you’re reading this and saying, “That’s sounds like my organization,” the next thing you should ask yourself is, “Are any of my staff truly writers?” And, “Are they the right kind of writers?” Many (most?) nonprofit staff wear a lot of different hats, some of which they are more suited to than others. That applies to different types of writing—someone who can craft great major donor asks or direct mail appeals may not have the skill set or expertise to write for email and social media, or to produce a cohesive multi-channel campaign with a strong narrative arc and theme that plays out across all components and channels.
Further, producing effective fundraising copy takes a good amount of mental space and concentration. So, even if you have a good writer with the right kind of writing experience, it is worth considering if she will be able to dedicate the necessary time.
When to use a consultant
Consultants will guarantee a certain quality because they use (or are) professional writers. They should dedicate the time your content needs because that is exactly what you’re paying them to do!
An external writer or agency is also more likely than staff, who are in the weeds with your cause every single day, to find a surprising angle or add fresh new energy that will make your campaign more dynamic—and can even serve as a model to help re-energize your organization’s content beyond one campaign. And their ”outsider” perspective often helps them express your work in simpler terms that make it easier for donors to get it.
Part of what external writers get paid for is to quickly build the expertise needed to produce strong appeals, so the level of intimacy they have at the outset with a nonprofit’s issues typically shouldn’t be a major roadblock. But if a nonprofit’s work and the issues it confronts are highly nuanced—and its audiences are the kind that will pay close attention to fine, even academic, points of its language—it may be important to find the right person or to make sure they will work closely with internal staff to get the details right.
How to make the call
The decision often comes down to two things, assuming budget isn’t an issue. First, whether you have a good writer on staff with the relevant experience and bandwidth needed to tackle the task, and how much you’re looking to push the way you communicate with this campaign.
Depending on the specifics of your campaign, these questions may weigh on you differently. For example, if your campaign will consist of a single letter, it may be easy enough to just take care of it in-house, and bringing in a new perspective on one appeal might provide limited long-term value. But if you are producing a more complex multi-channel campaign, with multiple components that need to be versioned for a set of audience segments—it may be a gamechanger to work with an agency or other pro that is able to write for each context while weaving in a theme that helps make your case stronger with every appeal.
Of course, the decision may not feel easy or obvious even if you easily fit into one of these scenarios, and in the end the choice is often something of a leap of faith. But, the issues outlined here will help you weigh the pros and cons, and come to the decision that feels best for you.Source: BigDuck smart communications for nonprofits
- The ABCs Of A/B Testing In Healthcare Marketing
Friday Feb 24, 2017
Medical research relies on tests with reproducible results, and the same maxim applies to healthcare marketing and education. Marketers need to understand what works, what doesn't, and the methods of delivery that resonate with patients. To that end, communications should be assessed using A/B testing.Source: Media Post: Marketing: Health
- Scenery-Chewing Canine Steals Show In 'Downward Dog' On ABC
Monday May 15, 2017
ABC has a comedy series premiering this week about a talking dog -- and the dog is the star of the show.Source: Media Post: TVBlog
- ABC Looks To Restart 'Idol' Worship
Wednesday May 10, 2017
ABC said it kick-start a new version of one of the biggest U.S. TV shows ever -- "American Idol" -- from its original producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment. It's scheduled for the 2017-'18 season.Source: Media Post: TV Watch
- Rooted in Counterculture, Whole Foods’ Founder Finds an Unlikely Refuge
By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED and ALEXANDRA STEVENSON - Friday Jun 16, 2017
John Mackey wanted to fight off the activist investors attacking Whole Foods. He found a savior in Amazon, a company blamed for laying waste to retailers.Source: NYT > Home Page
- Fit City: Taking Night-Life Cue, Gyms Lower the Lights
By TATIANA BONCOMPAGNI - Tuesday Jun 13, 2017
Cycling, boxing and running studios, as well as some full-service gyms, are using sophisticated lighting systems to heighten the exercise experience.Source: NYT > Home Page
- All Blacks Face Down Lions Challenge to Win First Test
By REUTERS - Saturday Jun 24, 2017
New Zealand winger Rieko Ioane scored two tries as the All Blacks faced down a spirited British and Irish Lions challenge 30-15 at Eden Park on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-test series.Source: NYT > Home Page