Nonprofit Media Solutions had the opportunity to attend the Preemie Parent Alliance Summit in Nashville, Tennessee.
PPA invited NMS co-founder Lori Lee Davidson to speak about social media and its benefits for nonprofits on Sunday, so we went and soaked in all we could. PPA is made up of organizations that support parents of preemies. Each organization within PPA shares that general mission in common, but has a more specific niche within the field. We spent the weekend listening to some fantastic speakers and meeting members of preemie-focused nonprofits from all over the country.
Life balance coach Renee Trudeau spoke about channeling one’s energy, time and resources into the things that are most important to you, and being mindful of what fills you and what drains you. (So important for personal and professional development!) Vicki Clark spoke about business/nonprofit collaboration, and how to determine what’s beneficial to both parties. In short, if it’s a mission-driven relationship, great. If it’s not, think twice. She left time in her presentation for us as an audience to do some planning with the group at our tables about our organizations’ missions, primary customers, supporting customers and the results we want to see. Finally, she ended with a meaningful quotation by Henry Ford: “If everyone is moving forward together, the success takes care of itself.”
All of that, plus some time getting to know the other conference participants both during the day sessions and after hours made for a fun, informative conference.
Sunday morning Lori was up with Julie Howard, founder of It’s a Preemie Thing, a company selling clothing for babies in neonatal intensive care units and their family members.
Their talk, titled Social Media: The Pitch, The Message & You, covered a lot of ground in a short time, and gave the audience time to craft their organization’s 30-second elevator pitch. Here are a few fun facts from their presentation:
- 75% of donors under age 35 donate exclusively online
- You have an average of 30 seconds to tell someone about your organization before they lose interest. Online, this time frame drops to 10 seconds. Capture your audience well and quickly.
- Your organization doesn’t have to be on every social media platform, just the ones your audience members are on.
- A good combination for your social media content is 80% resources and 20% goodwill, or sharing others’ posts.
- Social media can never replace the old standby: in-person networking. But, conversations can begin in the social media realm that never could have otherwise, and those conversations can be continued offline. It’s a place to start.