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Posts from the ‘Nonprofits’ Category

Investing in Specialization

Heard on MPR this week that by 2020 at least 40% of the workforce will be independent workers – freelancers, consultants, etc.

What does this mean? It means businesses are pulling resources from the labor force when and where needed, creating a new, more fluid dynamic in the overall workforce. Businesses are modeling a pattern of paying for specialization, rather than hiring for generalization.

Nonprofits, take notice.

Gone are the days when one communications director handles every aspect of a small to mid-size nonprofit’s communications efforts – from website creation to writing press releases.

More and more the most creative and talented among us are freelancers, embracing the opportunities of being independently employed and unwilling to work for a single organization.

This shift in employment patterns can be beneficial to small to mid-size nonprofits as it gives them an opportunity to invest in specialization in new and creative ways.

Imagine a part-time or independent communications director focused on strategy while managing a bullpen of freelancers – folks who are called on, as their particular skills are needed, to play a specific role.

Imagine having a team of specialists working on your campaign. This team not only serves the nonprofit but recognizes the fact that skilled individuals no longer want to be organizational employees.

Instead of bemoaning this trend away from individual employment, embrace it for the potential it brings to your organization.

independent workforce
New Independent Workforce

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The real story behind great video

I’ve been working on Episcopal Story Project since the beginning of the year. It’s become quite the successful little enterprise.

One of my favorite videos from Episcopal Story Project. Click to watch the video.

Not being fully schooled in videography this has been a learning experience for me. I’ve had to first learn how to use my new Nikon D7000 camera for video and then had to figure out lighting, editing (first using iMovie then moving onto Final Cut thanks to the folks at the Rosedale Apple Store), and then distribution.

Of the many things I’ve learned, perhaps the most important is that in this age of youtube, video does not need to look professional – unless, of course, you are making a video to prove your skills as a videographer. In fact, for many nonprofits it is true that if your video looks too professional folks will assume you spent a lot of money on it and question the administrative decisions of your organization.

Seth Goden, in his blog post today said something along the same lines:

A fancy video isn’t important unless the product you’re selling involves video.
Direct and clear beat clever editing and dissolves every time.

Video is a powerful medium that folks tend to scare themselves away from because they can’t produce anything that is sufficiently “professional looking.”

I say – and Seth Godin does too – that you should be trying your hand at video.

Don’t talk yourself out of one of the most important marketing resources you may have at your fingertips, literally.